15 July, 2021
Beginning of Modern Nationalism in India
The rise and growth of Indian nationalism has been traditionally explained in terms of Indian response to the stimulus generated by the British Raj through creation of new institutions, new opportunities, resources, etc.
Factors in Growth of Modern Nationalism
People came to realize that colonial rule was the major cause of India’s economic backwardness
For administrative convenience, considerations of military defense and the urge for economic penetration and commercial exploitation were the driving forces behind the planned development of modern means of transport and communication such as railways, roads, electricity and telegraph.
From the nationalists’ point of view, this process of unification had a two-fold effect:
(i) The economic fate of the people of different regions got linked together.
(ii) This was important for the exchange of political ideas and for mobilisation and organisation of public opinion on political and economic issues.
Modern system of education afforded opportunities for assimilation of modern Western ideas, also helped nationalist leaders from different linguistic regions to communicate with each other. English educated class formed the middle class intelligentsia who constituted the nucleus for the newly arising political unrest.
The press while criticising official policies, on the one hand, urged the people to unite, on the other.
It also helped spread modern ideas of self-government, democracy, civil rights and industrialization.
Historical theories by European researchers like Max
Mueller, Monier Williams and by Indian scholars such as R.G. Bhandarkar, R.L. Mitra and later Swami Vivekananda, created an entirely new picture of India’s past.
Reform movements sought to remove social evils which divided the Indian society; this had the effect of bringing different sections together.
Rise of a number of nations on the ruins of the Spanish and Portuguese empires in South America, and the national liberation movements of Greece and Italy in general and of Ireland in particular deeply influenced the nationalist.
Political Associations Before Indian National Congress
Most of the political associations, in the early half of the nineteenth century, were dominated by wealthy and aristocratic elements. Through long petitions to the British Parliament most of them demanded—
The political associations of the second half of the nineteenth century came to be increasingly dominated by the educated middle class—the lawyers, journalists, doctors,teachers, etc.,—and they had a wider perspective and a larger agenda.
Political Associations in Bengal
These were partially accepted in the Charter Act of 1853.
It later merged with the Indian National Congress in 1886.
Political Associations in Bombay
Political Associations in Madras
The associations organised various campaigns before the Indian National Congress appeared on the scene. These campaigns were—
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