Role of Moderates and Extremists in Indian Freedom Struggle

2821 Words Jul 28th, 2011 12 Pages
Part Two: "Moderates" versus "Extremists" in the battle for "Swaraj" and "Swadeshi"
Even as loyalist pressures cast a long shadow on political currents that were to influence the Indian elite of the late nineteenth century, rapidly deteriorating economic conditions also led to a heightened degree of radicalization amongst the most advanced sections of the new Indian intelligentsia. Ajit Singh in Punjab, Bal Gangadhar Tilak in Maharashtra, Chidambaram Pillay in Tamil Nadu and Bipin Chandra Pal in Bengal formed the nucleus of a new nationalist movement that tried valiantly, but mostly unsuccessfully to move the conservative leadership of the Indian National Congress in a more radical direction. Most charismatic amongst the new national
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Neither a sectarian religious revivalist in the mold of Chiplunkar, nor willing to confine himself exclusively to the cause of radical social reforms like Agarkar, Tilak eventually parted ways with his colleagues in 1888. Working through the Kesari, (and later also the Maratha) he gradually developed a more advanced nationalist perspective based on the pillars of nationalist education, Swaraj (self-rule) and Swadeshi (self-reliance). One of the first to take the nationalist message to the Indian masses, he played a particularly important role in organizing western Maharashtra's peasant and artisan communities during the 1897 famine under the auspices of the Sarvajanik Sabha. By 1905, popular resistance movements had developed in both Bengal and Maharashtra, calling for the boycott of British goods and non-payment of land revenues and other taxes. Between 1905 and 1908 the national movement intensified, workers participated in strikes and work-stoppages, women and students joined the boycott movements - picketing at shops that sold imported goods, and an ever-growing mass of people began joining mass meetings and street processions.
Only too aware of the economic devastation that British rule had brought on the country, India's broad masses were responding eagerly to the nationalist message. But the nationalist movement was also

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