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SYNOPSIS [14th JANUARY,2021] Day 4: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
Q1. How did internal rivalries lead to early British expansion and control in India? Discuss.
Students are expected to write about internal rivalries in India. And how internal rivalries lead to British expansion and control in India.
There was a vacuum of power in India after the Mughal Empire got fractured falling under its own weight. Its various governors and rebel commanders established their superiority at different places and started fighting against each other. Even though there were powerful Indian states like Punjab, Mysore and the Marathas that ruled Indian subcontinent during the mid-19th century, many of them were fighting with each other for different reasons. They failed to perceive the danger arising from the East India Company and could not unite against a common foreign enemy.
Internal rivalries lead to early British expansion and control in India:
- Carnatic Wars: It was the succession disputes in both the Carnatic and Hyderabad that opened the gates for the British and the French to play the roles of middlemen and thus in order to grind their axe both European powers had a golden opportunity for intervention in support of various rival Indian claimants. Later French were checked by British forces under Robert Clive in 1751 AD. Robert Clive changed the course of the war. And gained control over region.
- Battle of Plassey: The battle was hardly important from the military point of view. It was a mere skirmish. The English army didn’t show military superiority. It was desertion in the Nawab’s camp and treason that resulted in the victory of Clive. Clive excelled in the game of diplomacy and used Jagat Seth and Mir Jafar to win without fighting. It gave the British the access to the rich resources of Bengal. These were used to win the wars in Deccan including defeating the French in the Third Carnatic war, and also to extend influence overNorthern India.
- Anglo Mysore War: The Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas launched an invasion from the north. The British won a decisive victory at the Battle of Seringapatam in 1799. Tipu was killed during the defence of the city. Much of the remaining Mysorean territory was annexed by the British, the Nizam and the Marathas.
- Lack of Maratha unity: “The Maratha unity was artificial and fortuitous, and therefore uncertain”. It was this basic weakness that stood against the Maratha Power and it did neither acquire real strength nor permanence. After the death of Madhav Rao the Marathas were caught in the meshes of mutual hostilities and machinations; the result was that the Marathas could not put up that unity, sense of purpose, strength and patriotism which were necessary to meet the English.
- Anglo Sikh War: The immediate cause for the English Company’s invasion of the Punjab was the revolt of Mulraj, the Governor of Multan. The final and decisive battle at Gujrat near Chenab was won by the English in 1849. This war resulted in the annexation of Punjab. In March 1849, Lord Dalhousie annexed Punjab under the Treaty of Lahore and pensioned off Dalip Singh to England along with his mother Rani Jindan. The second Anglo Sikh War ended with British conquest of Punjab.
- Annexation of Sindh: Many people helped the British in the conquest of Sindh, including a Hindu government minister of Sindh, Mirs of Khairpur, Chandio Tribesmen, and Khosa Tribesmen. Then, Charles Napier hired Khosa Baloch tribesman. Chandio Baloch Sardar brought a cavalry of 10,000 to support Charles Napier in the Miani war, but did not participate in the actual war, and his armies stood on reserve to attack in case Charles Napier lost the war. For his role, Chandio sardar got Chandka (present day Larakana, Qambar- Shahdadkot districts) as Jagir.
Other factors lead to British expansion in India were:
- Nationalist Pride: An economically thriving British people believing in material advancement and proud of their national glory faced the ‘weak, divided-amongst-themselves Indians’ bereft of a sense of unified political nationalism.
- Civil Discipline and Fair Selection System: The Company officers and troops were given charge on the basis of their reliability and skill and not on hereditary or caste and clan ties.
- Better Military Discipline and Regular Salary: A regular system of payment of salaries and a strict regime of discipline were the means by which the English Company ensured that the officers and the troops were loyal.
- Strong Financial Backup: The income of the Company was adequate enough to pay its shareholders handsome dividends as also to finance the English wars in India.
By the middle of the nineteenth century AD, the British had firmly established their position in India. A large part of the country was under direct British rule. The areas that remained independent were indirectly under British influence. India was subjugated politically as well as economically. The economic exploitation of India was a result of its political subjugation.
Q2. Comment upon the role of peasants during initial phase of freedom struggle
Question is straight forward. Demand of question is factual in the first half and analytical in second half. Stressing on the importance of peasants in freedom struggle its impact on post independent India ca be underlined in conclusion.
Indian peasants suffered from high rents, illegal levies, arbitrary eviction and unpaid labour in zamindari areas. The peasants often resisted the exploitation and realised that their real enemy is colonial state. Desperate peasants took to crime to come out of intolerable conditions. These included robbery, dacoity and social banditry.
What are the reasons of impoverishment of Indian peasantry under colonial rule?
- Colonial economic policies
- Ruin of handcrafts industry led to overcrowding in agriculture
- New land revenue system
- Colonial administrative and judicial system
- High rents, illegal levies, arbitrary evictions, unpaid labour in zamindari areas.
Peasant movements in nineteenth century
- Indigo revolt (1859-60) In Bengal European indigo planters exploited local peasants by forcing peasants to grow indigo on their land instead of rice or other profit making crops. Anger of peasants exploded in 1859 when under Digambar biswas of nadia district they decided not to grow indigo and resist physical pressure from planters. Bengali intelligentsia played significant role in this cause through campaigns and mass meetings. Government appointed indigo commission and issued a notification that ryots could not be compelled to grow indigo.
- Pabna agrarian league- oppressive practices of zamindars in eastern Bengal caused unrest. Rents beyond legal limits prevented tenants from acquiring occupancy rights under act X of 1859. As a result to fight back pabna agrarian league was constituted. The form of struggle was that of a legal resistance there was little violence. Government to protect tenants from oppression passed Bengal tenancy act of 1885.
- Deccan riots- Ryots of deccan suffered heavy taxation under ryotwari system. Peasants found themselves trapped in vicious network of moneylenders. Most of them were outsider’s marwaris or gujratis. Crash in cotton prices due to American civil war worsened situation. Growing tension between moneylenders and peasants resulted on social boycott movement against outsiders in villages of Pune, Ahmednagar and satara. As a conciliary measure Deccan agriculturist relief act was passed in 1879.
Weaknesses of 19th century movements –
- They lacked adequate understanding of colonialism
- They did not possess new ideology or new social, economic or political programme
- Militant struggles occurred within old societal order lacking a positive conception of an alternative society
Outcomes of early peasant movements –
- Peasants emerged as main force in agrarian movements fighting directly for their demands
- Their demands were concentrated on economic issues.
- There was no continuity of struggle or long term organisation
- Peasants developed a strong awareness of their political and legal rights and asserted them in and outside the courts.
- Objective of these movements was not to end subordination or exploitation of peasants as their struggle was directed against the immediate neighbour of zamindars and moneylenders.
Later in the 20th century peasant movements were influenced by national freedom struggle. Kisan sabha movement, Eka movement, Mappila revolt, bardoli satyagraha, champaran satyagraha are some examples which contributed immensely to the freedom struggle.
In the initial phase of freedom struggle, mass movements did not made much of a impact. But peasants in organised form recognised enemy and their mode of exploitation thereby contributing to greater cause of awareness among masses. Hinterland and countryside was cut off from the freedom struggle, with these movements freedom fighters penetrated in these spaces making them aware of their rights and also advocated their cause in front of the government. This resulted in India taking post-independence land reforms and agriculture revolution.
Q3. What were the consequences of the Surat split? Analyse.
As the derivative is analyse you have to break an issue into constituent parts and explain how these relate to one other and present as one summary.
While working together for the Bengal movement, the extremists were of the view that the movement should be expanded and should target the government. The moderate leadership which was invited to see the process of administrative reforms by the British felt it would be dangerous to rouse the British at this time. Both sides thus viewed each other as the enemy. The extremist leader Tilak and moderate leader Gokhale wanted to avoid split as they knew that divided congress could be easily subdued by the British. But they had to kneel before the other leaders of their factions. Finally, on 1907 under president ship of Rash Bihari Ghosh the party split in Surat.
The Consequences of the Surat Split
- Immediately after the split the leaders of the extremists were repressed by the government and the faction was left leaderless. Tilak was imprisoned in Burma; Aurobindo Ghosh gave up politics for religion. Pal retired from politics and Lala Lajpat Rai went abroad for an extended stay.
- The moderates too were fooled and no concessions were given by the Morley Minto reforms. Instead, it sowed the seeds of communal representation and which finally led to the partition of India. They lost their credibility and support. The period from 1907-1914 was a dark period for the congress.
- The efforts by the eminent person like Ravindra Nath Tagore to bring Extremist and Moderates together in the aftermath of the Surat split, were in vain and further in the 1908 Allahabad convention, the adoption of resolutions by the Moderates for permanently disqualifying the Extremist section of the Congress led to the significant decline of nationalism in India.
- Extremism was confined mainly to Bengal, Maharashtra and Punjab, where outbreak of terrorism allowed the government to unleash repression. With extremist leaders like Tilak in prison, the moderate-dominated Congress was immersed in total inactivity.
- The moderates after the Surat Split in 1907 demanded colonial self-government, as against the extremist demand of complete independence.
- The British Government followed the policy of divide and Rule’ and in order to curb and isolate the militant nationalists and suppress them they tried to win over moderate nationalist opinion.
- In 1909 the Separate electorates were granted to the Muslims and congress was at its low. The most critical and vocal elements were not a part of the INC. Thus, the British had taken absolute advantage over the INC.
- The Minto-Morley Reform of 1909 can be said to be the direct outcome of the Surat Split 1907. The split also greatly weakens both the parties.
- The constitutional politics of the moderates had failed to impress the British government and that was amply reflected in the Morley-Minto Reforms of 1909.As a result, the moderate leaders had lost touch with the younger generation of nationalists who wanted to see the results and this was also the major cause of emergence of revolutionaries.
- The Extremists were hounded by official repression and liberals were abandoned by their own people. It was here that the revolutionary terrorism raised its head. The youth of Bengal was not interested in the petition politics of the moderates.
- The Surat Split 1907 was a turning point in the history of Nationalist Movement in India. It meant a victory of the Extremists over the Moderates it also marked a change in the policy and attitude of the Government towards the nationalist moderates to the government side
British policy of Divide and Rule, saw a major victory in form of Surat Split and the British believed that they were in control of the affairs of the INC after significant period of time. While the leadership of the Congress remained in the hands of the Moderates for some time more, as the Extremists worked separately till 1916. Later both groups reunited at Lucknow session of Congress in 1916 due to the efforts of the leaders of Home Rule movement.
Q4. Examine the philosophical basis of the Swadeshi movement. How did it affect the views and perspectives of average Indian back then? Discuss.
The question demands thorough explanation of Swadeshi movement from philosophical basis and how it changed the perspective of average Indian that time. A fair explanation of how swadeshi movement changed the course of freedom struggle and enabled Indian masses to be part of it is also required.
The Swadeshi movement was part of the Indian independence movement and contributed to the development of Indian nationalism. The movement, begun in 1906 by Indian nationals opposed to the Partition of Bengal, was one of the most successful movements against British rule.
There were however multiple other reasons that led to discontent amongst Indians like,Growing awareness about the economic exploitation by Britishers of Indian masses through drain of wealth theory.Diverting fund for railways and police instead of education and famines.Passing of Indian university commission Act 1904 which increased the official control over universities by increasing the nominated elements over the elected ones.Punjab land alienation Act of 1900 which prohibited any sale or purchase of land for 15 years by non-peasants.
- Originally, Indian social structure was divided and purely based on duties performed by different sections of people. The concept ensured true division of labour and mass production. This improved the workmanship, perfection and speed of work.
- The Swadeshi movement was an economic strategy aimed at removing the British Empire from power and improving economic conditions in India. The application of swadeshi in politics calls for the revival of the indigenous institutions and strengthening them to overcome some of its defects.
- The ideological inspiration for this new politics came from the new regional literature, which provided a discursive field for defining the Indian nation in terms of its distinct cultural heritage or civilisation. This was also a response to gendered discourse of colonialism that had established the philosophical connection between musculanity and political domination, stereotyping the colonised society as having un-manly characters and therefore unfit for rule.
- Concept of swadeshi later became the basis of all the anti-British movements and became fundamental in Gandhian philosophy. Gandhi described swadeshi as ‘law of laws’ ingrained in the basic nature of human being. It is a universal law. Like nature’s law it needs no enacting. It is self-acting one. When one neglects or disobeys it due to ignorance or other reasons, the law takes its own course to restore to the original position like the laws of nature.
Change in views and perspectives of Indian people –
- The Marathas, Rajputs and Sikhs stereotyped in colonial ethnography as Martial Races were now placed in the Aryan tradition and appropriated as national heroes. Leaders were idolised as champions of national glory.
- The Indian political leaders also looked back to ancient Indo-Aryan political traditions as alternatives to colonial political systems. The Indian tradition was described as more democratic with strong emphasis village self-government.
- The movement was a turning point in modern Indian history. It proved to be a “leap forward” in more ways than one. The previously untouched sections like students, women, and workers, some sections of the urban and rural population participated.
- The trend of the national movement moved from conservative moderation to political extremism, from revolutionary activities to incipient socialism, from petitions and prayers to passive resistance and non-cooperation, emerged during the Swadeshi Movement.
- The anti-partition agitation paved the way for the development of indigenous industries, for example, Acharya PC Ray’s Bengal Chemical Stores. This inculcated a feeling of self-reliance by reducing the dependence on foreign goods.
- The movement also increased the demand for national education and numerous national schools and colleges came up in various parts of the country.
- Samitis mobilized people at mass level by engaging in various types of activities such social work during famines festivals, preaching swadeshi message, organizing crafts, setting up arbitration. Various samitis came up in many parts of Bengal such as Swadesh Bandhab Samiti, Dacca Anushilan courts.
- Moreover the movement gave confidence to the masses to fight the british with more energy and vigour, Also It led to building of self-reliance or Atma Shakti asserting on national dignity, honor and confidence. Swadeshi movement led the people to learn to challenge and disobey the British government explicitly without fearing the atrocities of the police and imprisonment.
Though he Swadeshi Movement was not successful in reaching its immediate goals but it provided a platform for the national freedom struggle. Later it showed the way to nationalist leaders to prepare the masses for the next phase of struggle under Gandhiji’s leadership.
Q5. What were the key achievements of the moderates? What were the limitations of their means and methods? Discuss.
A Straightforward question which is divided into two parts where the first part should explain what the key achievements of the moderates were while the second part should discuss the limitations of their means and methods to fulfil the overall demand of the question.
The Moderates were the ones who dominated the affairs of the Indian National Congress from 1885-1905 who believed in patience, steadiness, conciliation and union. They were called moderates because they appeal through petitions, speeches and articles loudly professing loyalty to the British Raj.
The leader of the first phase of the National Movement were A.O. Hume, W.C. Banerjee, Surendra Nath Banerjee, Dadabhai Naoroji, Feroze Shah Mehta, etc. who were staunch believers in liberalism and moderate politics . The key achievements of moderates can be seen from the following points:
- They were the architect of first all India political forum. They build up a political platform which became the focal point of national mainstream movement in the years to come.
- They represented the most aggressive forces of the time which transform the Indian political notion. They were able to create anti-colonial ideology and political awakening and consciousness among the public.
- The moderate nationalism promoted the national consciousness and national identity. They laid the foundation for the growth of feeling of India as a nation. They fostered a sense of political unity, spirit of togetherness and unity of purpose.
- They were able to expose the myth of benevolent despotism of British rule in India. Through their economic critique and criticism of British policies etc., they uncovered the exploitative nature of British rule in India.
- They exposed the true nature of the colonial rule and elements associated with it –that Indian poverty was result of colonial exploitation. They could corrode much of the popular belief in benevolence and good will of imperial rule.
- In order to create public opinion in England, the Moderates arranged lectures in different parts of England. Moderates used different types of newspaper and chronicles to criticise the government policies through newspaper like Bengali newspaper, Bombay chronicle, Hindustan Times, Induprakash, Rast Goftar and a weekly journal India.
- They also began process of inculcating national sentiments among the people in organised manner. They strengthened democratic conception popularised the idea of representative institutions and elective principles.
- Some of the other major achievements of moderates included passing of Indian Council’s Act of 1882, formation of Welby commission on Indian expenditure in 1895 and passing of resolution in House of commons for simultaneous examinations in 1893.
However, the moderates also suffered from some limitations in terms of their means and methods, which can be seen from the points given below –
- The moderate phase leaders were criticized for the methods they used i.e. 3 P’s -prayers, petitions and protests. These methods were criticized as being inadequate for challenging the British might in India.
- Further the lack of participation of masses in the movement has been criticized as the major drawback as the leaders were mainly educated middle class professionals like lawyers, teachers, journalist and civil servants etc. The masses mainly played a passive role during the moderate phase of national movement. Thus, it had a limited social appeal.
- They were geared towards rectifying the un-Britishness of the British rule in India. The moderates expected the British to guide India, help her conquer the cultural and social backwardness and then transform into progressive country which would lead to establishment of representative government. For them the interests of the British and Indians were similar rather than opposites.
- Contrary to its claim as representing all communities, an important limitation was that majority of the moderates were Hindus. Between the period of 1892-1909, Hindus comprised 90% of the delegates attending the Congress.
- As moderates started to become more assertive, the British became unfriendly, and began to encourage Muslims to stay away from the Congress. Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan and other prominent Muslim leaders feared that INC’s demand for ‘elected council’ would mean Hindu majority rule. End result was formation of separate Muslim league (in 1906).
- Moderates could have gained following among the women and mill workers, but it did not champion the mining, factory and labour reform bills in Bombay, due to lobbying from its industrialists members and donors
- Political ideologies of the moderates were blamed to be inefficient. Methods followed by moderates were described as political mendicancy. The result was emergence of a more militant school of thought.
However, the role of moderates can also not be negated. They were first to create national awakening among Indians and prepared a solid ground for mass oriented national movement at later stages that followed which awakened another generation of nationalists who continued to demand for their rights.