Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Home Rule agitation

The idea of Home Rule League was initially floated by Mrs. Annie Basant . Several factors came to her aid. As the President of the Theosophical Society she could moblize an organisation of thousand members to her cause. Her contacts with some notable Madras politicians such as Sir Subramania Ayer, C.P. Ramaswami Ayer, G.A.Natesan etc enabled her to broad base her movement. She owned two Madras news papers, New India and Commonweal  which she pressed into service for disseminating her message across Madras Presidency. Having founded the Young Men's Association of Madras, she had the experience of working with the student as well. Thus members of the Theosophical society, Madras Politicians, and the students joined together to spread  the message of Home Rule initially in Madras Presidency and later on in other provinces also.It also drew in its fold huge landed propreitors like the Kumara Maharaja of Vizianagar, Raja of Ramnad, The Zamorin of Calicut and banking and financial interests like the Muslim Badsha family and Calivalla brothers. Also by taking the issues of labour problems she expanded his movement to other sectors of people. Besant's League spread over 200 branches in different parts of India.
While Basant was building up the movement from her Madras base, Tilak was working in the same direction from Maharashtra. Tilak's league was confined to Maharashtra and Karnatak, but was probably more organized and disciplined than the former. Starting in April 1916, it had a membership of 14,000 in April 1917, and 32,000 in early 1918.The entire organizational network was controlled by Tilak and Kelkar from Poona.
The Leagues organized group meetings in cities, sold and distributed pamphlets and carried on lecture tours on a far wider scale than ever before. According to one estimate, in its first year Tilak's league sold 47,000 copies of 6 Marathi and 2 English pamphlets while Basant's League had brought out 300,000 copies of 26 English tracts by Sept 1916. 
Home Rule League also spread in United province with the help of the leaders like Sapru, Matilal Nehru and others.
But it failed to take any deep root in Indian Soil, many like Jawaharlal was dissatisfied with it.  .    

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

the Congress, The Muslim League and the Raj (1914-18)

The meaning of the terms, "Moderates" and "Extremists", were explained by Tiklak in 1907, " these words have a specific relation to time, and they, therefore, will change with them.The extremists of today will be moderates of tomorrow, just as the Moderates of today were extremists of yesterday... We are all extremists today and our sons will call themselves Extremists and us moderates."
When the War broke out Congress generally stood by the side of the Govt.  Surendranath Banerjea declared at the Lucknow Congess (1914)
"The object of the War is to vindicate the sanctity of treaty obligations -- to uphold the sacredness of scraps and bits of paper... In the same spirit the Royal proclamation and charters to india should be redeemed. The moral law does not workby latitudes and longtudes."
In the same spirit the Imperial Legislative Council unanimously passed Defence of India Act, despite its draconian clauses and voted large sums as grants to Britain.
Gandhi on his return from South Africa (1915) was unwilling to embarrass the Government in its hour of peril In 1918 he even campaigned for military recruitment and, with Tilak, tried to raise money for the British by village tours. Tilak had put it as " purchase war debentures, but look to them as the title deeds of Home Rule".

"The object of the War is to vinduicate the sanctity of  treaty obligaions -- to uphold the sacredness of scraps and bits of paper... The imperial Legislative Counil unanimously passed the Defence of India Act, despite its draconian clauses and voted large sums as grants to Britain.Gandhi,on his return from South Africa (1915) was unwilling to embarrass the Government in its hour of peril. In 1918 he even campaigned for  military recruitment and, with Tilak, tried to raise money for the British by village tours.As Tilak had put it, "Purchase War Debentures, and look to them as the title deeds of Home Rule." Tilak was prepared to patch up the difference with the Moderates. After the death of  Pheroz Shah Mehta in 1915, Tilak group reentered the Congress in Dec 1915.
Another important aspects at this moment was the improvement of the relation of Congress with Muslim League. The trend of cooperation was visible since 1911 when the League moved its headquarter from Aligarh to Lucknow. The Lucknow group headed by the Raja of Mahmudabad and assisted by Wazi Hassan and Salimullah Beg were Striving towards political cooperation with the congress. After the outbreak of the War, they wee joined by M.A.Jinnah of Bombay, Hassan Imam, Ali Immam, and Mazhar ul Haq of Bihar.In Dec 1917 the Ali Brothers' mother was accorded cordial treatment at the Congress platform in Calcutta. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

the First World War and the Indian Army

The First World War did not directly concern India. In the second half of the  nineteenth century Indian army periodically to serve the cause of Empire in East Africa, the Sudan, Egypt, Persia, Afghanistan, Burma and China. The annual cost of the enormous army was borne entirely on Indian revenue. On the eve of the War (1913) the Govt of India spelt out the functions of Indian army :
" While India should provide  for her own defence against local agression and, if necessary, for an attack on the Indian Empire by a great power until reinforcements came from home, she is not called upon to maintain troops for the specific purpose of placing them at the disposal of the Home Governmengt for wars outside the Indian sphere, although  -- as has happened in the past  -- she may lend such troops i they are otherwise available "
Initially Indian Army decided that India could spare two infantry divisions and one cavalry brigade for the empire and in Autumn 1914, these were  despatched to France. Soon, however , such niceties were thrown to the winds and India provided troops for Europe and Egypt . During the War the Indian Army was consequently expanded to 1.2 million . More detailed breakdown of figures indicates that the Government of Indian recruited more that 800,000 fighting troops and over 400,000 non-combatants.
This spectacular expansion could only have been carried through with some amount of coercion. Congress enquiry after the 1919 disturbances revealed numerous instances of coercio through lambardars in O'Dwyer's Punjab. Dr. Sumit Sarkar has shown that no less than 355,000 were recruited from Punjab and O'Dwyer in Aug 1918 boasted tha the proportion of soldiers to the adult male population had been forced up from 1:150 to 1:44 in Gujranwala -- a district which was to be noticeably militant during the Rowlatt Act disturbances.
Another recent study indicates that on being requested by the authorities, generally loyalist Oudh lalukdars spared no efforts to aid the Government by collecting material and men for them. James meston, the Lieutenant -Governer of the United Provinces, frankly admitted "that several of the talukdars have already done admirable work in aid of recruiting". Inreality the Oudh peasantlry were compelled to enlist themselves in the army and labour corps. Other regions were not spared either.
The huge army had to be paid for nearly 300% increase in defence expenditure meant a corresponding presure on the exchequer. The Government of India had to take over in March 1917 pound 100 million worth of British government war debt.
According to a recent estimate the total public debt rose substantially from under 4,560 million in 1917 to nearly 6,700 million in 1919.
During the war all tax levels were raised . It was trade and Industry which had to bear the burnt of the enhanced taxes . The collections from income taxes were less than Rs.30 million or 4% of the total tax revenues in 1913-14; by 1918-1919 they had jumped to Rs. 116 million  or 12 %of the total. The burden taxation (excluding land revenue) per head of population roswe from just over Re. 1,5 in 1914-15to just under Rs. 2.5 in 1918-19. Despite protests fromLnchashire its interest had tobe sudordinated to that of the empire and 71/2 %import duty was imposed.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Revolutionary activities during the First World War (1914-1918)

Revolutionary activities within and outside India received a great impetus during the First World War. The movement became more widespread in character, with different reolutionary groups collaborating among themselves, and the revolutionaries, getting direct assistance and in money and arms from the enemies of the British Empire. Germany and her allies The earlier effusions in the writings and speeches of the Indian revolutionaries also gave way to intensive organisation and concrete programme of action.  There was now a greater emphasis on carying out revolutionary propaganda and agitation among the people. Side by side with this went a desire to subvert the established foreign Govt. by an armed national uprising , and with this end in view an attempt was made to tamper with the loyalty of the Indian army. The policy of individual terrorism also was kept in the forefront of this programme. To some extent the the movement had a religious character or association. Members of the Anusilan Samity, for example, had to take their membershipoath before the image of Goddesss Kali. But the relogious character of the revolutionary movement of this oeriod was sentimental or emotional rather than communal or socially reactionary.Members of the revolutionary group came mostly from the youger generation and sometimes includes boys in their teens, Leaders of the movement abroad were, however, mostly grown up persons.           

Dacoits during 1908-1917 (contd-1)

Murder of Officials and Spies (1908-1917)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Revolutionary activity in Paris and America -- Indian Independence Movement

Bhikaiji Rustom Cama (24 September 1861 – 13 August 1936) was a prominent figure in the Indian independence movement.
The revolutionary activities of the Indian Nationalist in Paris centred round the figure of Madam Vikaji Rustamji Cama, a Parsee lady of Bombay who had previously been associated with the India House of London, but who settled down in Paris in the spring of 1909. Madam Cama attended the International Socialist Congress which met at Stittgart in August, 1909, and moved a resolution there in favour of India's Freedom.She also unfurled the Indian National Flag designed by herself.
With the assistance of Lala Hardayal and Thirumal Achari, Cama edited a monthly paper, the Bandemataram which was published from Geneva, Virendra Chattopadhyay, another eminent revolutionary, joined Cama in paris in the summer of 1910.  Cama tried her best to secure the release of Savarkar after he had been re-arrested by the French harbour police at Marseilles (1910), but in vain.Her properties in Bombay, worth about a lakh of rupees, were attached by the Government of India in 1910. She returned to India in 193, and died in Bombay two years later.Chattopadhyay also left for Germany in April, 1914, and the Bande Mataram   was suppressed by order of the French Government in June, 1914.
Activity In America:
Taraknath Das (or Tarak Nath Das) (Bengali: তারকনাথ দাস) (15 June 1884 – 22 December 1958) was an anti-British Bengali Indian revolutionary and internationalist scholar. He was a pioneering immigrant in the west coast of North America and discussed his plans with Tolstoy, while organizing the Asian Indian immigrants in favor of the Indian freedom movement. He was a professor of political science at Columbia University and a visiting faculty in several other universities.
In the American continent Taraknath Das started the Indo-American Association in British Columbia early in 1908, with the bi-monthly English paper Free Hindusthan as its organ. Das moved to Seattle in 1908.
Another revolutionary organisation of the Indians in the United States was the Hindusthan Association of Portlandwhich was moulded into a definite political body by Sohan Singh and his associates by 1910. The most important revolutionary organisation in the United States, the Ghadar party was set up by Lala Hardayal in 1913 on the eve of First World War.
In Japan:
Many Indian revolutionaries were scattered during this period in Malaya, Thailand, and other countries of East and South-East Asia, but they failed to acieve any significant before the 1st World War.The Indian revolutionaries also expected some assistance and guidance from Japan, particularly after Okakura's visit to India.

Revolutionary activities outside India upto 1914

Shyamji Krishna Varma (Shyamji Krishna Nakhua) (1857–1930) was an Indian revolutionary,lawyer and journalist who founded the Indian Home Rule Society, India House and The Indian Sociologist in London. A graduate of Balliol College, Krishna Varma was a noted scholar in Sanskrit and other Indian languages. He pursued a brief legal career in India and served as the Divan of a number of Indian princely states in India A resident of kathiawar who had settled in London as a barrister as early as 1897 started the Indian Hokmerule Society in Londonin January 1905, with the Indian Sociologist as its monthly organ. In Dec 1905, he instituted six lectureships each of Rs. 1000/- for enabling authors, journalists, and other qualified Indians to visit Europe, America and other places of Europe for equiping themselves properly to spread the idea of freedom and national unity among the Indians. Krishnavarma also published a letter from S.R.rana of Paris, another Indian settled abroad, who offered three travelling scholarships of Rs. 2000/- each to be named after famous Indian heroes of the past loke Rana pratap and Sivaji.By means of these offers krishnavarma collected in London some recruits like V.D, Savarkar (right), Lala Hardayal (left), Madan lal Dhingra (left) and others. During 1906-1907 the India House of Krishnavarma of London became a hotbed of revolutionary activity.The Indian Sociologist preached the ideal of complete independence for India to be realized by the apploication of Russian (nihilist) methods.
The growing revolutionary zeal of Krishnavarma could not but draw the attention of the British politicians and in July,1907, a question was put in the House of Commons, inquiring whether the Govt. proposed to take any action against him.Though the liberal Govt. did not take any action immediately but Krishnavarma shifted his residence to Paris. The Indian Sociologist was , however printed in England and V.D. Savarkar gradually rose to the position of acknowledged leader of the India House. The 50th anniversary of the great revolt of 1857-1858 was celebrated at the India House in May 1908and Savarkar published his famous  book The Indian War of Independence , 1857, in 1909. Later  on savarkar was arrested and sent to India to face his trial in the Nasik Conspiracy Case (1910). His attempt to escape though the porthole of his ship at Marseilles failed and he was ultimately sentenced to transportation for life.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Era of Militant Nationalism (contd-3)

Tilak's magnetic personality influenced Bipin Chandra Pal (1858-1932), Aurobindo Ghose, Brahmabandhab Upadhyay (1861-1907) andsome other writers began to preach a new type of aggressive nationalism. "Swaraj", he wrote , " is not colonial form of Govt. nor any form of Govt. It means the fulfilment of our national life". Bipin Chandra Pal defined the "new pariotism"as love for India with all her strength and weakness, beauty, and ugliness, glory and decadence.These leaders believed in complete from British control and not in self-Govt. within the British empire. Towards the end of 1901, Aurobindo Ghose was in servioce of the Maharaja of Baroda sent Jatindranath Bandyopadhyay ( who had been serving in the Gaikawad's army) to Bengal for setting up a secret revolutionary organization in this province. He set up a club on the the Upper Circular Road in north Calcutta where the members were taught boxing , cycling and lathi play, and lectures were delivered on Garibaldi, Mazzini and revolutionary movements in different countries of the West. Aurobondo's younger brother Barindra Kumar Ghose, Abinash Bhattacharya and the Marathi scholar-revolutionary Sakharam Ganesh Deuskarwere also associated with this club. In 1902, the famous Anushilan Samity was established in Calcutta by Satis Chanrdra Bose, with the welknown barrister Pramatha its president.The executive committee was reconstituted with P. Mitra as president, Chitta Ranjan Das and Aurobindo Ghose as its vice-president and Surendranath Tagore as its treasurer. The Saqmity gave training to its members in physical exercisw, asked them to take part in relief workduring natural calamities and also organized classes for them in history, economics, political science and religion. Swami Saradananda, a brother monk of Vivekananda took the classes in Gita, while sister Nivedita inspiredthe members by her fiery wrting and lectures.At the end of 1907, it had expandecd into 500 branches and 20,000 members.
The first series political actions were committed in Bengal during the year 1907-1908. In October, 1907, there were two plots to blow up the Lieutenant-Governor's train, and 6 Dec 1907, the train in  which Lieutenant governor Andrew Fraser was travelling was travelling wasactually ferailed by a bomb near Midnapore. On 23rd Dec Mr. Allen, formerly District magistrate of Dacca , was shot in the back.On 3rd april, 1908, a political dacoity was thrown into the office of the Mayor of Chandernagore who had recently prohibited illicit importation of arms into its territory. On 30th April, 1908, occurred thgde Muzaffarpur murderswhich may be regarded as an important landmark in the history of the revolutionary movement. A series of dacoity, murders of British officials were held during 1907 to 1914.                  

Era of Militant Nationalism (contd-2)

Bengal during the seventies of the 19th century organizes a secret society known as Sanjibani Sabha under the leadership of Rajnatain Bose and Jyotirindranath Tagore in 1877. The members of the society had to take the oath that they would destroy the enemies of the country by force and deliver India from her bondage. Rajnarain's grandson ( by his daughter) Aurobindo Ghosh (1872-1950) published a series of articles in the Induprakash in 1893, condemning the so called 'mendicant' policy of the Congress. Towards the close of tghe 19th century Tilak's influence also gradually made itslf felt in Bengal, and the Bengali papers, taking the cue from the Kesari, began to express freely extremist sentiments and ideas. The growth of extremist and revolutionary activities in Bengal was also influenced to a very great extent by the religio-political ideas of Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) and the inspiration of Bankimchandra's (1838-1894) celebrated novel Anandamath (1882). In alecture delivered in Madras on 14 February, 1897, Vivekananda asked his countrymen to cultivate strength -physical,mental and moral. He regarded the British as unmitigated evil for our country. It is insignificant that the Sedition Committee's Report (1918) begins the account of the revolutionary activities in Bengal with a narration of the life and teachings of Ramkrishna and his great disciple Swami Vivekananda.  
The Rowlatt committee was a Sedition Committee appointed in 1918 by the British Indian Government with Mr Justice Rowlatt, an English judge, as its president. The purpose of the committee was to evaluate political terrorism in India, especially Bengal and Punjab, its impact, and the links with the German government and the Bolsheviks in Russia. It was instituted towards the end of World War I when the Indian Revolutionary movement had been especially active and had achieved considerable success, potency and momentum and massive assistance was received from Germany which planned to destabilise British India. These included supporting and financing Indian seditionist organisations in Germany and in United States as well as a destabilisation in the political situation in neighbouring Afghanistan following a diplomatic mission that had attempted to rally the Amir of Afghanistan against British India. Attempts were also made by the Provisional Government of India established in Afghanistan following the mission to establish contacts with the Bolsheviks. A further reason for institution of the committee was emerging civil and labour unrest in India around the post-war recession, e.g., the Bombay mill worker's strikes and unrests in Punjab, and the Spanish Flu epidemic that killed nearly 13 million people in the country  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Era of Militant Nationalism ( contd-1)

Political murders took place in Poona in 1899.and poliical use continued to be made of the Ganapati and Sivaji festivals. In Bengal, as in Maharashtra , due to the unsympathetic attitude adopted by the Viceroy, Lord Curzon (1899 - 1905), and his decision to partition of Bengal, extremist activities began in this  province even before the plan of partition was announced.
Surendranath Banerjea's lectures on Mazzini and the Italian freedom movement had been very popular with the youth of Bengal duing the seventies of the 19th century, and the Rajnarain Bose, one of the earliest exponents of nationalism in Bengal, is said to have organized in 1877 a secret society called the Sanjibani Sabha whose members had to take the oath that they would destroy the enemies of the country by force and deliver India from her bondage .  
GIUSEPPE MAZZINI, (1805-1872) Italian nationalist and patriot, who, together with Giuseppe Garibaldi, Camillo Benso di Cavour, and Victor Emmanuel II, is considered one of the "patron saints" of the Italian Risorgimento. While still in his teens Mazzini committed himself to the cause of Italian independence and unity. Forced into exile in 1831 for his revolutionary activities, he began to recruit followers and organize uprisings against the rulers of the various Italian states. His association, Giovine Italia (Young Italy), founded in the 1830s, attracted adherents throughout the peninsula and among Italian political exiles everywhere. With the exception of Giuseppe Garibaldi, no other Italian Risorgimento leader enjoyed greater international renown than Mazzini in his time. His revolutionary vision extended beyond the limited objective of Italian national unity. Mazzini's primary goals were the end of Austrian hegemony in Italy and of the temporal power of the pope, Italian unity, republicanism, democracy, and the liberation of all oppressed peoples. Imbued with a messianic zeal, he believed that, united under the banner of "God and people", Italians would succeed in ridding themselves of their various rulers and establish a democratic unitary republic with its capital in Rome. This new Italy would lead other subject peoples to freedom and liberty and embody a "third" Rome, successor to ancient and papal Rome. A new Europe, controlled by the people and not by sovereigns, would replace the old order. By the 1840s Mazzini had become the recognized leader of the Italian nationalist revolutionary movement. His appeal to Italians, restive under oppressive governments, was unrivaled, if not unchallenged. Intellectuals and artisans, men and women, all responded to him. Many lost their lives in abortive revolts inspired by his teachings.
In 1848 Mazzini's dreams seemed to be realized, when news of the successful revolutions throughout Europe reached him in his English exile. As the revolutions progressed like brush-fires up the Italian peninsula, Mazzini arrived in Milan. He was greeted enthusiastically by the people, less so by their leaders. Divided among themselves on whether to accept the invitation of Piedmont-Sardinia to become part of a greater kingdom under its king Charles Albert in return for the latter's military help against Austria, they resented Mazzini's presence and his advice to set political differences aside for the moment and to cooperate with Charles Albert in the name of national unity. On April 30, 1848, Carlo Cattaneo, Giuseppe Ferrari, and other republican leaders of the Milanese revolt proposed to overturn their pro-Piedmontese provisional government and request French assistance against Austria. Mazzini opposed them, urging support for the efforts of the Italian monarch and army, rather than appealing to foreign troops. This drew angry criticisms from the republican leaders who accused Mazzini of betraying his republican principles. The quarrel proved futile. Marshall Radetzky was already regrouping his forces against the Piedmontese army which he would eventually defeat at Custozza on July 25, 1848, to reestablish Austrian control over Lombardy. Meanwhile events in Rome were becoming radicalized. After the assassination of the papal minister Pellegrino Rossi and the departure of Pope Pius IX from the city on November 24, 1848, the Romans proclaimed a republic in January 1849 and invited Mazzini to join them. Mazzini's arrival marked the beginning of the most dramatic period in his life. Elected to the Triumvirate, the republic's executive body, he finally had the opportunity to participate actively in laying the foundations for what he hoped would be a new democratic united republican Italy. His slogan "thought and action" became reality. Since 1834, he had planned revolutions from afar, while others had risked their lives. Now, as Triumvir of the Roman Republic he became an active participant in what was to remain his supreme revolutionary experience.
Like the other insurgent regimes throughout the peninsula, the Roman republic had a brief, intense life. In response to an appeal by Pope Pius IX, French soldiers appeared at the outskirts of Rome on April 30, 1849, and there began the city's futile, brave defense. The various reforms planned by Mazzini could never be effected as survival became the dominant concern. Finally, the city could no longer hold out against the French, and Rome opened its gates to the troops of the Second Republic on July 3, 1849. On July 1, two days before the entry of the French troops, the Constitution of the Roman Republic, was passed by the popularly elected Assembly, and it was solemnly proclaimed in the Campidoglio (City Hall) two days later while the French occupied the city. A disconsolate Mazzini, unmolested by the French garrison, lingered in Rome until the middle of July, when he left Italy once more for exile. He continued to conspire, but the revolutionary élan that had inspired Italian nationalists to follow Mazzini before 1848 faded in the 1850s. The revolutions of 1848-1849 ended the revolutionary phase of the Risorgimento and marked the beginning of a realignment of political forces in Italy and elsewhere in Europe. While Mazzini continued to be held in high esteem, respect, and even affection, Italian nationalists began to turn to the monarchical leadership offered by Camillo Benso di Cavour and his king Victor Emmanuel in Piedmont-Sardinia. In 1861 the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed at Turin, capital of Piedmont-Sardinia, by a Parliament in which sat elected representatives from all of Italy except Venetia and Rome. A disillusioned Mazzini never accepted monarchical united Italy and continued to agitate for a democratic republic until his death in 1872.
Emiliana P. Noether

Era of Militant Nationalism

If the Battle of Plassey (1757) was the foundation of British rule in India then the Battle of Buxer (1764) will be the War of Independence.  But since 1757 to 1857
 ( the date of Great Revolution), there were several battles to oust the British from the soil of India culminating
into a revolt known as Great Revolution properly termed as first War of Independence by Karl Marx.
The indifferent attitude of the Government towards the demand of the Congress formed in 1885, there gradually developed during the last decade of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century an extremist
wing in the nationalist movement first made its appearance  in Maharashtra and Bengal under the leadership of Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Aurobinda Ghosh respectively.
The factors promoting the growth of the extremist movement were;
1. growing economic discontent in Maharashtra among the middle-class, the growing ill-fed middle-class intellectuals, and the growing  un-employed. youth. The only positive respond response in the 19th century
from the Government was Indian Councils Act of 1892.
(The Indian Councils Act 1892 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that authorised an increase in the size of the various legislative councils in British India. Enacted due to the demand of the Indian National Congress to expand legislative council, the number of non-official members was increased both in central and provincial legislative councils. The universities, district board, municipalities, zamindars and chambers of commerce were empowered to recommend members to provincial councils. Thus was introduced the principle of representation. It also relaxed restrictions imposed by the Indian Councils Act 1861, thus allowing the councils to discuss each year's annual financial statement. They coud also put questions within certain limts to the government on the matter of public interest after giving six days' notice. Thus it prepared the base of Indian Democracy)
A section of the nationalist group gradually became disgusted with the Congress policy of "prayer and petition"
In Maharashtra 1879, Balwant Phadke (1845-1883), a Chiypavan Brahmin, tried to raise an army of the tribal people for destroying the British rule.
Tilak opposed the Age of Consent Bill of 1890, as he thought it is an encroachment in religious affairs by foreigners.In 1893, after the Hindu-Muslim riot in Bombay , Tilak stared anti-cow killing societyalso took aleading part in organizing inGanapati festival. he started movement for Sivaji's honour.
In the time of extreme

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Revocation of Bengal Partition - 1911

In the very first session of the newly constituted Imperial Legislative Council, the Government oassed the Indian Press Act of 1910, with support of the non-official Indian members, including Gokhale. The nature of this repressive Act has been mentioned above. The support of the Moderates to such a measure shows how far they had drifted away from the nationalities.
Towards the end of 1910 India had a new Viceroy Lord Hardinge, and anew secretary of state, Lord Crewe, in place, respectively, of Lord Minto and Lord Morley. Both hardinge and crewe felt that the unrest in India was chiefly due to the Partition of Bengal, and there would be no peace until this grievous wrong was remedied.The initiative in the matter was taken by Crewe, but the new Viceroy was afriad to take any step as it was opposed by all the high officials whom he consulted. But as soon as hardinge realized the seriousness of the situation in the two Bengals, he made up his mind and carried his whole Council with him. Advantage was taken of the visit of their Royal majesties, George V and Queen Mary, to India to announce the new proposals in the Delhi Durbar on 11 december, 1911.
So far as Bengal was concerned, the status quo was not restored. The Capital of British india was removed from Clcutta to Delhiand the territories comprised in the two Bengals were redistributed as follows;
1. Bihar, Chotonagpur, and Orissa were constituted into a province under a Lieytenant-government,
2. Assam reverted to a new chief-Commissionership,     
3. The rest constituted the Province of Bengal under a Governor.
The annulment of the partition of Bengali-speaking region was, no doubt, highly welcome in Bengal. But it came ti too late to check the growth of nationalism  -- including its militant aspect -- to which that unfortunate measure gave birth. This was highlighted by the bomb thrown at Lord Hardinge on 23 Dec, 1912, on the occasion of his State entry into Delhi, the new Capital- city of India. Lord Hardinge was badly wounded  ; the man holding the umbrella  over him was killed, and another servant seriously wounded.
The new India was being heralded by the cry for Home Rule in public and conspiracy for armed revolt on a big scale in secret . 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Morley-Minto Reform, 1909

The British had enforced their colonial rule by three methods; 1. Repression cum reform, 2. Rally the moderates, and 3. Divide and rule; Neither Morley nor Minto looked upon ruthless repression as the sole means of restoring peace and order. They installed a reform in order to enlist the sympathy and support of the more moderate section of the people. The essential features of the reforms may be described as follows; 1. The appointment of Satyendra Prasanna Sinha as an Indian member as the Viceroy's Executive Council  (born at Raipur in March 1863. His father was a rich and aristocratic Kayastha. After Lincoln's Inn he was called to the Bar in 1886 and returned to Calcutta. While there he acquired a large practice and in 1903 became the Standing Counsel of the Government of India, overriding the claims of an English Barrister. He was the first Indian to become the Advocate-General of Bengal (1905), also the first Indian to enter the Governor General's Executive Council (1909) which for so long had been the preserve of Englishmen. This, however, meant a great financial loss to him. Due to a difference of opinion with the Government over the Press Bill he tendered his resignation but later withdrew it on request. He returned to the Bar in 1910.

Satyendra was a liberal in outlook. Due to the influence perhaps of the Tagore family, he became a supporter of the Brahmo Samaj. A moderate in politics, he was a firm believer in constitutional methods.). 2. The appointment of an Indian member in Provincial Exdecutive Councils, and sanctions for the creation of such Councilwhere they id not exist.3. The enlargement of Legislative Council, both at the centre and the provinces by an increase of both nominated and elected members.In the Act of 1909, the composition of the new Councils was based on two fundamental principles. First, that the Governor General's Legislative Council must have a 'substantial', though not an 'overwhlming', of officials. Secondly, such official majority was not necessaryfor Provincial Legislative Councils, partly because their powers were very limited, and partly because the Head of the Government had the power to withhold assent to any measure passed by the Council. But non-official majority does not specifically mean the majority of elected non-official majority.As a matter of fact there was no such majority in any province except  Bengal. Thus the Councils, as  constitutedunder the regulations framed by the  Government of India under the Act, could not exercise any effective authority in administration. On the other hand, the Introduction of Communal electorate, i.e., election of Muslim members by Muslims only , drove a permanent wedge between the two communities and made it impossible for them the two communities and made it impossible for  them to regard themselves as members of common nationality . Minto thus kept his pledge to the Muslim Deputationof 1906 -- a pledge which the Anglo-Indian officials regarded as a wise act of statesmanship, sufficient to to put back the cock of Indian national progress by at least half a century.
The regulations under the were issued about five weeks before the next session of the Congress held at Lahore in Dec, 1909, which  passed the  resolution appreciating the measures of Constitutional reforms embodie in the Indian Councils Act of 1909.              

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Muslim Deputation to Lord Minto (contd-1)

In 1905, on the resignation of Lord Curzon of Kedleston, Lord Minto was appointed Viceroy and Governor-General of India, retiring in 1910. In this, he followed in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, the first Lord Minto. When John Morley as Secretary of State for Indiawrote to Minto arguing that "Reforms may not save the Raj, but if they don't, nothing else will", Minto replied:

...when you say that "if reforms do not save the Raj nothing else will" I am afraid I must utterly disagree. The Raj will not disappear in India as long as the British race remains what it is, because we shall fight for the Raj as hard as we have ever fought, if it comes to fighting, and we shall win as we have always won

Sir Sultan Muhammed Shah, Aga Khan III
, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, GCVO, PC (November 2, 1877 – July 11, 1957) was the 48th Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims. He was one of the founders and the first president of the All-India Muslim League, and served as President of the League of Nations from 1937-38. He was nominated to represent India to the League of Nations in 1932. He was instrumental in the creation of Pakistan
The deputation which consisted of 36 members with Aga khan as their leader, was received  by Lord Minto on 1 Oct 1906. The address demanded among other things , 1. employment of a due proportion of Mohammedans in Government service;2. abolition of competitive examinations for recruitment of services ;3. appointment  of Muslim judges in every High Court and Chief Court;4. communal electorate for municipalities; 5. Muslim electoral colleges for election of Legislative Councils.
The foundation of the Muslim League and Minto's concessions had the effect of dividing the Hindus and Muslims into almost two hostile political camps.
The Act of 1909, and the regulation made thereunder, pved the way for subsequent division of India.    

Monday, January 9, 2012

Muslim Depiutation to Lord minto

The  Aligarh Movement continued to be very active force in Muslim politics even after the death of Sir Syed Ahmed ( (October 17, 1817 – March 27, 1898), and its leadership had passed to Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk  (Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, Munir Nawaz Jang, Syed Mehdi Ali (Urdu: ﻧﻭﺍﺏ ﻣﺤﺴن ‌الملک, منير نواز جنگ, ﺳﻴﺩ ﻣﻫﺩﻯ ﻋﻠﻰ) (born 9 December 1837 — 16 October 1907) was a prominent Indian Muslim politician. He was a close friend of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and was involved in the Aligarh Movement and was one of the founders of the All India Muslim League.)
He soon found an extensive scope for practical demonstration of the spirit behind the Aligarh movement.
In 1906, Morley announced in the house of Commons that the Viceroy, Lord Minto (He was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Earl. He was a diplomat and Whig politician and held office as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1835 to 1841 and as Lord Privy Seal from 1846 to 1852. Lord Minto was succeeded by his eldest son, the third Earl. He sat as a Liberal Member of Parliament for Hythe, Greenock and Clackmannanshire. On his death the titles passed to his son, the fourth Earl. He was a prominent colonial administrator and served as Governor General of Canada from 1898 to 1904 and as Viceroy of India from 1905 to 1910. As of 2010 the titles are held by his great-grandson (the titles having descended from father to son), the seventh Earl, who succeeded in 2005.), was aboutto appoint a small Committee to consider the question of extending the representative element in the Legislative Council. This naturally opened the Muslims the possibility of negotiating, in advance, with the Government  in order to safeguard their rights and interests in the new legislation.   

Muslim Attitufe Towards the Partition of Bengal

Three factors completely changed the Muslim attitude towards the "Partition of Bengal";
1. Lord Curzon's  visit to India,
2. Curzon's won over to his side Nawab Salimullah of Dacca, and
3.A loan of Rs.14 lakhs with low interest to the Nawab of Dacca.
The Aligarh movement had emphasized the position of the Muslims as a distinct political unit  -- a separate nation -- in the body politic of India. The addition of the rich and fertile Province of Eastern Bengal and Assam as  a second unit (the first being the Punjab) with majority of Muslim populaion was naturally welcome to the Muslims.
In a meeting of the Muslim leaders of India , held at Dacca on 30th Dec., 1906, a resolution was passed upholding the "Partition of Bengal" as beneficial to the community and depreciating both agitation against it and the Boycott movement. The Central Committee of the Muslim league, which was founded in the meeting at Dacca, passed a resolutionin 1908 expressing grave concern over the Hindu movement against the partition and the hope of the benifit accorded by the Government towards the salvation of the Musalmans of Eastern Bengal. In the Annual session of the League held at Amritsar in Dec 1908, it expressed vehement opposition to all " mischievous efforts" to unsettle the settled fact of the Partition of Bengfal
Reference may be made in this connection to the meeting of the Imperial Council in 1910 in which Mr. Bhupendra Nath Basu (Bhupendra Nath Bose (1859 – 1924) was an Indian politician and President of the Indian National Congress in 1914.

Bose was born in Krishnanagar, West Bengal in 1859. He graduated from the Presidency College, Calcutta in 1880. He completed his master's degree in 1881 and his law degree in 1883.
From 1904 to 1910, Bose was a member of the Bengal Legislature. During this period, he was involved in the nationalist movement. In 1905 he presided over the Bengal Provincial Conference held at Mymensingh. He joined the anti-partition agitation and campaign against British goods throughout Bengal. He opposed the passing of the Press Act in 1910. He became the President of the Indian National Congress in 1914) proposed to raise the question of reversing the Partition of Bengal. Both          

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Morley-Minto Reform in 1909

In 1906, Lord Morley, the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs, announced in the British parliament that his government wanted to introduce new reforms for India, in which the locals were to be given more powers in legislative affairs. With this, a series of correspondences started between him and Lord Minto, the then Governor General of India. A committee was appointed by the Government of India to propose a scheme of reforms. The committee submitted its report, and after the approval of Lord Minto and Lord Morley, the Act of 1909 was passed by the British parliament. The Act of 1909 is commonly known as the Minto-Morley Reforms.

The following were the main features of the Act of 1909:
1. The number of the members of the Legislative Council at the Center was increased from 16 to 60.
2. The number of the members of the Provincial Legislatives was also increased. It was fixed as 50 in the provinces of Bengal, Madras and Bombay, and for the rest of the provinces it was 30.
3. The member of the Legislative Councils, both at the Center and in the provinces, were to be of four categories i.e. ex-officio members (Governor General and the members of their Executive Councils), nominated official members (those nominated by the Governor General and were government officials), nominated non-official members (nominated by the Governor General but were not government officials) and elected members (elected by different categories of Indian people).
4. Right of separate electorate was given to the Muslims.
5. At the Center, official members were to form the majority but in provinces non-official members would be in majority.
6. The members of the Legislative Councils were permitted to discuss the budgets, suggest the amendments and even to vote on them; excluding those items that were included as non-vote items. They were also entitled to ask supplementary questions during the legislative proceedings.
7. The Secretary of State for India was empowered to increase the number of the Executive Councils of Madras and Bombay from two to four.
8. Two Indians were nominated to the Council of the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs.
9. The Governor General was empowered to nominate one Indian member to his Executive Counci

Gokhale -Morley talks

It was when the tide of anti-partition agitation was rising high in the country that the Prince of Wales (who later became King George V) visited India. Attempts were made to turn the country-wide boycott movement into a movement of protest against the Royal visit. But the moderates under the leadership of Gokhale were able to stall  this attempt. Having felt the intensity of the people, the King advised Morley to treat sympathetically the feelings of the people maintain the law and order situation.In a speech delivered in in the Central Legislative Council in March 1906, Gokhale pleaded with the viceroy to appease the educated sections of the people by giving them more and more opportunities  to prticipate in the administration of the country.
Soon after that Gokhale left for England . During his 10-week stay in England, Gokhale and Morley held five rounds of talk, as a result of which certain formal understanding were arrived at between them.Morley assured Gokhale that the number of elected representatives will be increased with more powers to the non-official members. Morley assured Gokhale that the number of elected members in the Central and Provincial Legislatures would be increased, with more powers to the non-official memebers. But the demand of self-government was not acceptable by the Govt. Morley also said that the agitational programme should not be pursued. But on this point Gokhale differed to accept.
It must be noted that in this connection the ideas that emerged in the Morley Gokhale talks held in 1906 were the basis of of the provisions in thev reforms in the Bitish administration namely Morley-Minto reform.