- Published: November 9, 2022
- Updated: November 9, 2022
- Language: English
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1. Political Unity: India was united politically and administratively under the British Government for the first time. One rule, one set of laws, administrative officials were appointed and transferred by the British Government all over India. This provided the concept of one nation and one citizenship among the Indians. 2. Development of Means of Communication: The improvement in the means of transport and communication also quickened the pace of nationalism movement in the country.
The Indian leaders found themselves in a position to carry on their national propaganda in every nook and corner of the country. Without these means of communication and transport things would have been unthinkable. The frequent meeting of the Leaders among themselves and their direct personal contact with the people in different parts of the country gave a momentum to the nationalist movement in the country.
3. Spread of English Language: After the mutiny of 1857 English education made rapid progress, especially in Bengal and the Indian intelligentsia began to draw upon the store house of the western culture. The latter half of the nineteenth century was the golden age of Liberalism in Europe particularly in England. The study of the Political classics of English literature from Milton to Mill planted in the minds of English educated Indians seeds of Liberalism in its two aspects-nationalism and democracy.
Thus the educated Indian gradually became politically minded and expected much from the Britishers who had taken the lead in the world in supporting the cause of Liberalism. The British had introduced English language in India with their own selfish interest; it was mainly to get Indian clerks in order to strengthen the British rule in India. But it proceeds to a great boon, for the Indians. In his book “ India Today” R. Palm Dutta writes: “ When Macaulay…imposed the system, his object was not to create national consciousness but to destroy it down to the very deepest root of its being… his object was to train up a stratum of decite executants of the English Wills cut off from every line of watch with their people.
” English education enabled people of different provinces to come close to one another. Thus helped to develop national feeling and political consciousness. The educated Indians read the works of Nazzini of Haly, Rousseau and Voltani of France, Macaulay, Mill etc. of England. The works of these champions of liberty, liberalism and nationalism further developed political consciousness and unity among the Indians. Rabindra Nath Tagore observed: “ We had come to know England through her glorious literature which had brought new inspiration to our young lives. The English authors whose books and poems we studied were full of love of Humanity, Justice and freedom.
” Sardar Panikar wrote: “ The mining of ancient fortress of Hindu custom was a major achievement for the reason that it was uniformly spread all over India. Had the education been through the Indian languages, the emphasis of the movement would have been different from province to province according to the development, flexibility and character of the language used. From this development India was saved by common medium of education which Macaulay introduced in India.” 4. Impact of the Western Civilisation: The establishment of British Supremacy in India brought the Indians into intimate contact with the European countries and the latter influenced them immensely. Nineteenth century in Europe was the century of nationalism and liberalism and the Indians learnt their sessions from the Europeans on both these points, Indians learnt a lot from the western countries particularly from Germany, Italy, Greece and Belgium.
A wave of nationalism and liberalism was prevalent in Europe in 19th century. This influenced the Indians also and they also began to aspire for achieving independence. The Indian students studying in European Universities started thinking’s that, if Germany and Italy could become independent why not India could do the same. Besides this the writings of western thinking are such as Macaulay, Burks Mill and Herbert Spencer also encouraged the feelings of independence nationalism and liberalism among the minds of the Indians. According to Coupland, the Indians too learned from British history that British Liberalism had backed the cause of nations rightly struggling to be free in South America in the Balkons in Italy and in Ireland. 5. Economic Exploitation: From the very beginning the British aimed at the economic exploitation of India. They took away raw materials from India and brought here their manufactured goods.
The policy of economic exploitation of the Indians ruined the Indian industries and the wealth of India was being taken away by the British to their own country. Even after the British established their rule in India, they did not make any change in their attitude and policies. They adopted a free trade policy which proved to be ruinous for Indian trade and industries. Indian industries failed to compete with those of the British because the British had all the advantages and privileges on their side. The British officials working in India were a very heavy drain on the Indian resources. The economic system of India was adjusted to the needs of the people of England. The interests of the Indians were completely ignored.
According to Mrs. Blind: “ The voice of the Indian finance was that the Finance Minister of India looked more to the interests of Great Britain than to those of India.” Sir Henry Cotton also condemned the exploitation of Indian and the subsequent miseries of the people of India. The Indians resented the attitude of the English men towards them. The Europeans in India were arrogant.
They had a very low opinion of the Indian character. They took pleasure in calling the Indians the creatures of an inferior breed, “ half Gorilla half Negro”. They ridiculed the Indian black heathens worshipping stocks and stones and swinging themselves on bamboo tress like bees. The European masters regarded the Indian as “ the helots of the land, the hewers of the wood and the drawers of water.” No wonder the relations between the Indians and European became strained.
6. Development of Indian Press and Literature: The Indian Press and literature both English and Vernacular also aroused national consciousness among the people of the country. Great was the influence of the papers like the Indian Mirror, ‘ Bombay Samachar’, ‘ The Hindu Patriot’, ‘ The Amrit Bazar Patrika’, ‘ The Hindu’, ‘ The Kesri’, The Bengalee’ etc., on the political life of the country. The writings of Din Bandhu Mitra, Hem Chandra Banerjee, Navin Chandra Sen, Bankim Chandra Chaterjee, R. C. Dutta and Rabindra Nath Tagore also affected the minds of the people.
The Anand-Math’ of Bankim Chandra Chaterjee has rightly been regarded as “ the Bible of modern Bengalee Patriotism. Tagore and D. R. Roy gave people lot of nation poetry, songs and plays.
” The writings of these patriots and scholars brought about a revolution in the minds of the Indians. It is revolutionary minds that were responsible for the growth of Indian nationalism. 7.
Contribution of the Social and Religious Reformers: Religion has always played a significant part in India from time immemorial. After the establishment of the British rule when the Christian Missionaries started converting Hindus to Christianity. Many social and religious reformers came on the field and started reminding the people about their glorious part.
In order to save Hinduism from the attacks of the Christian Missionaries they started several movements to reform the social and religious evils of Hinduism. Swami Daya Nanda Saraswati, Founder of Arya Samaj exercised great nationalising influence upon his followers. According to Mrs. Annie Bessant: “ It was Dayananda Sarswati who proclaimed India for the Indians/’ According to Sister Nivedita Swami Vivekananda was also a great Patriot and the queen of his adoration was his Motherland.
Thus we see that these social and religious reformers made a significant contribution in the development of national movement. 8. Discrimination with the Indians with Regard to Their Appointment in Government Services: In the beginning no Indians were appointed on high posts. The British thought the Indians were not capable of any trust and faith. The proclamation of Queen Victoria in 1858 declared that hence forward Indians would be appointed on high posts on the basis of their merit irrespective of their caste, religion or race.
In spite of this proclamation this Policy was not properly implemented. In 1868 Surendra Nath Banerjee passed the I. C. S. Examination yet he was not given any high position. When Queen’s Bench Division gave its decision in his favour he was appointed an Assistance Collector in November, 1871.
But two years after this he was removed from service. This discriminatory, arbitrary and unjust policy of the Government created a great discontent and unrest among the educated people of India. They started taking active part in the National Movement with the aim of driving away the British altogether from India. 9.
Racial Jealoucies: During the Mutiny the relations of the Europeans and the Indians were greatly embittered. A large number of Britishers were killed in the Mutiny. Now the Britishers were also full of vengeance and the helpless and innocent Indians became the victims of their vengeance.
According to Zakarias:
“ The light of distrust had begun to fall upon England’s relations with India; these people had mutinied once and committed dreadful atrocities; how could one trust them not to plan further sedition? After the mutiny testifies an eye witness, the old sympathy with India changed to feeling of repugnance: the old spirit of contest with life and work in India, the old inclination to regard things in and Indian rather an English light gave place to a reluctance to stay in India longer than needs must, and a disposition to judge things by an emphatically English Standard.” The English killed their prisoner without trial and in a manner held by all Indians to be the height of barbarity. General Neil gave order that certain villages were marked out for destruction and all the men inhabiting there were slaughtered and indiscriminate burning of inhabitants occurred wherever the English armies moved.
These atrocities aroused discontent and unrest among the people of India. No doubt the Mutiny was suppressed for the time being, but they were not able to suppress the feelings of nationalism among the people of India. Travelling in the upper class railway compartment was not for the Indians. Even the ruling Chiefs were bullied into unlacing the boots and shampooing the weary legs of the Sahibs just back from hunting expeditions. The administration of Criminal Justice was a judicial Scandal. 10. Events of the Reign of Lord Lytton: Lord Lytton was an imperialistic Governor General and some of the events of his reign gave further impetus to the national movement.
His imperialistic policies accelerated the nationalist movement. The following events of Lord Lytton’s reign gave impetus to the nationalist movement: 1. For employment in Civil Service the minimum age was reduced from 21 to 19 years. This aroused discontent and unrest of the Indian.
2. The Vernacular Act of 1876 was passed imposing restriction upon the press. 3. He held a magnificent Durbar at Delhi when a severe famine was raging in different parts of the country. It showed that he had no sympathy for the people who were suffering on account of the famine. It was rightly remarked “ Nero was fiddling while Rome was burning.
” 4. The Arms Act of 1878 further increased the discontent of the Indians. Indian could no longer keep any arms without obtaining licences for the same. According to Surendranath Banerjee the Arms Act” imposed upon us a badge of racial inferiority.” 5. In order to please the English merchants of Lancashire he abolished export duty on cotton.
The measure dissatisfied the Indian merchants. The Indian industries suffered irreparable loss. 6. The Scun Afghan War put heavy strains on the Indian treasury. Lord Lytton’s Afghan Policy was subjected to severe criticism by the Indians. 11.
Ilbert Bill Controversy: Lord Ripon tried to satisfy the Indians by removing some of the grievances of the Indians. The Ilbert Bill was presented by the Law Member P. C. Ilbert. It tried to authorise the Indian Judge to hear cases against the British subject and officers. The Europeans living in India raised a great hue and cry against this bill.
The behaviour of the Europeans during this controversy was quite shameful and further created discontent and unrest among the Indians. The British Government was forced to withdraw the Bill. Surendra Nath Banerjee has rightly remarked “ No self respecting Indian could sit idle under the fierce light of that revelation. It was a call to high patriotic duty to those who understood its significance.” It was therefore, natural for the Indians to have the feelings of hatred for the British.
It is clear from the above analysis that birth and growth of Indian nationalism was result of a combination of number of factors. No doubt the British imperialism was one of the important factors in the process of development of Indian national movement. According to Prof. Ishwari Prasad, “ The Consciousness of the French that their troubles were due to Bourbuons led to the French Revolution of the English that their troubles were due to the unrestrained pregorative of the Crown led to the Civil War, and of the Indians that their troubles were due to British rule led to the formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885, whose object was to secure India’s liberation.” So all these factors contribute for Indian nationalism.
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