Mains Daily Question
Jan. 8, 2021

  1. Enumerate the main objectives of the Indian National movement up to 1905.



  • Introduce with the national movement leading to 1905

  • Enumerate the objectives of the movement under various heads like military, administrative etc.

  • Conclude with how the moderate failed and it led to extremists gaining prominence in 1905.

Model Answer

The Indian national movement up to 1905 was primarily led by the moderate leaders in Indian National Congress who favoured constitutional and peaceful struggle for incremental gains against the British excesses in India. They are also known as "Early Nationalists" and had full faith in the British sense of justice, fair play, and honesty while they believed that British rule was a boon for India.

The tools used by moderates to achieve their objectives were - to educate the people, to arouse political consciousness, and to create powerful public opinion in favour of their demands by organizing annual sessions, processions, meetings etc. Their objectives were primarily to reform the Indian civil, military and financial administration. 

Reform In Civil & Political Administration:

  1. Abolition of the India Council Act.

  2. Adequate representation of Indians in the executive council of the Viceroy and those of the governors.

  3. Expansion of the legislative council and Legislative Assemblies, both Central and Provincial.

  4. Increase in the membership of Indians by including some members elected by local bodies like chambers of commerce, universities, etc. in these councils and by giving greater powers to them.

  5. Separation of the Judiciary from the executive.

  6. Simultaneous examination for the Indian Civil Service in India and England.

Reforms In The Military Field

  1. Reduction on expenditure on home charges

  2. Reduction of military expenditure, including on costly foreign wars like the Afghan war of 1878-79

  3. Repeal of Arms Act

  4. Appointment of Indians to the commissioned ranks in Army

Reforms In Financial Administration:

  1. Introduction of Permanent Settlement to other parts of India

  2. Rationalization of the financial relations between India and England

However, the national movement of this period had limited success due to its limited support base, connections to landlords etc. The failure of the moderates in extracting any significant reforms from the British has led to the increasing prominence of the extremists in Congress after 1905. As a result, the extremists, who favoured a more militant form of struggle and called for Swaraj, took over the Swadeshi movement during this period.


Subjects : Modern History
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