Chapter 15: SURAT SPLIT
Reasons for rise of
of the moderates were great as they succeeded in creating
a political education and awareness but their failures too
were great as they failed to mobilize the masses. They did
not form roots amongst the masses and hence their
propaganda never reached the masses. Their politics had
become moribund as they never started any mass campaigns
nor did they head any if it was started [Swadeshi
movement]. Due to this they invited contempt of the
British and never could attract the youth.
the congress wasn’t repressed by the British who believed
it would be confined to academic activity and reach out to
a few intellectuals only. But as time passed they realized
the wide reach of the congress and then resorted to
publicly ridicule it. The British were eager to attack and
finish of the congress. It knew that the congress was held
by moderates who were loyal in their political perception
but still they were anti colonist and nationalists.
Carrot and stick policy
the British realized that the moderates could be useful as
an alternative to the militant nationalists who were
growing in popularity. So the British followed policy of
carrot and stick. The policy involved repressing the
extremists, making promises to the moderates for reforming
institutions if they were to separate from the extremists
and then once the extremists were repressed the moderates
could be ignored. This strategy was successful and led to
the split as both the moderates and extremists fell into
and extremists were 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.
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
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.
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
Rise of revolutionary
here that the revolutionary terrorism raised its head. The
youth of Bengal was not interested in the petition
politics of the moderates. The extremists had
effectively critiqued the moderates and were responsible
for introducing the youth to politics of the bomb. But
even though the extremists were successful in
establishing a link with the masses and their methods of
agitation were better and their willingness to sacrifice
was greater. They couldn’t succeed in creating an
effective expression to this anger and finally they to
failed like the moderates.
the youth towards more violent tactics of militancy like
the Russian nihilists. They aimed to assassinate unpopular
officials and their action would then strike terror in the
minds of rulers. If captured their trial would be
propaganda to inspire others. Here the extremist
leadership failed them. The extremist leaders couldn’t
explain to the youth the misgivings of their ideas but
Aurobindo Ghosh even encouraged them to fight force with
Reasons for failure
different acts of militancy were recorded from 1908-1918
but eventually they petered out. As they too lacked the
popular support and couldn’t match the mighty colonial
state even though they were courageous. But despite
their small numbers and failures they succeeded in
contributing to the growth of nationalism in India.
The Yugantar wrote "The remedy
lies with the people. The 30 crore people inhabiting India must raise
their 60 crore hands to stop this curse of oppression. Force must be
stopped by force."
But, an overemphasis on religion kept the Muslims aloof while it
encouraged quixotic heroism. No involvement of masses was envisaged,
which, coupled with, the narrow upper caste social base of the movement
in Bengal, severely limited the scope of the revolutionary terrorist activity. Lacking a mass base, it failed to withstand the weight of
|Social base—zamindars and upper middle classes in towns.||Social base
educated middle classes in towns and lower middle class
|Ideological inspiration— western liberal thought and European
history.||Ideological inspiration—Indian history, cultural heritage and Hindu
|Believed in England's providential mission in India.||Rejected 'providential mission theory' as an illusion.
|Believed political connections with Britain to be in India's
social, political and cultural interests.|| Had immense faith in the capacity of masses to participate and to
|Professed loyalty to the British Crown||Believed that political connections with Britain would
perpetuate British exploitation of India.
|Believed that the movement should be limited to middle class
intelligentsia; masses not yet ready for participation in political
work.||Believed that the British Crown was unworthy of claiming Indian
|Demanded constitutional reforms and share for Indians in services.||Did not hesitate to use extraconstitutional methods like boycott
and passive resistance to achieve their objectives.
|Insisted on the use of constitutional methods only.|| Had immense faith in the capacity of masses to participate and to
|They were patriots and did not play the role of a comprador (person who acts as an agent for foreign organizations) class.||Demanded swaraj as panacea for Indian ills. They were patriots who made sacrifices for the sake of the country.
Extremists proved to be social
reactionaries. They had revivalist and obscurantist undertones attached
to their thoughts.
Tilak's opposition to the Age of Consent Bill (which
would have raised the marriageable age for girls from 10 years to 12
years, though his objection was mainly that such reforms must come from
people governing themselves and not under an alien rule), his organising
of Ganapati and Shivaji festivals as national festivals, his support
to anti-cow killing campaigns., etc. portrayed him as a Hindu
Similarly B.C. Pal and Aurobindo spoke of a Hindu nation
and Hindu interests.
Q.The `Swadeshi’ and ‘Boycott’ were adopted as methods of struggle for the first time during the (UPSC CSAT 2016)
Ans . A
Swadeshi and Boycott started against Partition of Bengal in 1905
Q.Satya Shodhak Samaj organized (UPSC CSAT 2016)
a movement for upliftment of tribals in Bihar
a temple-entry movement in Gujarat
an anti-caste movement in Maharashtra
a peasant movement in Punjab
Ans . C
Jyotiba Phule had setup this organization to begin anti-caste movement in Maharashtra.
Q. The Montague-Chelmsford Proposals were related to(UPSC CSAT 2016)
Ans . D
They’re related to Constitutional reforms.
Q.Consider the following :
1. Calcutta Unitarian Committee
2. Tabernacle of New Dispensation
3. Indian Reform Association
Keshab Chandra Sen is associated with the establishment of which of the above? (UPSC CSAT 2016)
1 and 3 only
2 and 3 only
1, 2 and 3
Ans . B
In 1881, Keshab Chandra Sen established Naba Bidhan ( New Dispensation) meaning new universalist religion after having differences within Brahmo Samaj. He was also part of Indian reform association to legalize Brahmo marriage and to fix minimum age of marriage.
Q. What was the main reason for the split in the Indian National Congress at Surat in 1907?(UPSC CSAT 2016)
Introduction of communalism into Indian politics by Lord Minto
Extremists’ lack of faith in the capacity of the moderates to negotiate with the British Government
Foundation of Muslim League
Aurobindo Ghosh’s inability to be elected as the President of the Indian National Congress
Ans . B
In 1907, the extremists wanted either Tilak or Lajpat Rai to be president, so when Rasbehari Ghose was announced as president, the extremist resorted to violence. Hence Surat Split happened.
Q.Which one of the following movements has contributed to a split in the Indian National Congress resulting in emergence of ‘moderates’ and ‘extremists’? (UPSC CSAT 2015)
Ans . A
Surat split was due to disagreements between Moderates and extremists regarding the methods for protest against the partition of Bengal (in the Swadeshi Movement).
Q.The Government of India Act of 1919 clearly defined (UPSC CSAT 2015)
the separation of power between the judiciary and the legislature
the jurisdiction of the central and provincial governments
the powers of the Secretary of State for India and the Viceroy
None of the above
Ans . B
It relaxed the central control over the provinces by demarcating and separating the central and provincial subjects. The central and provincial legislatures were authorised to make laws on their respective list of subjects. However, the structure of government continued to be centralised and unitary.
It further divided the provincial subjects into two parts—transferred and reserved which is what we know as diarchy.
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