Chapter 15: SURAT SPLIT

Reasons for rise of revolutionary terrorism


The contribution 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.


Although initially 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


However soon 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 the trap.


Surat Split


The moderates 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.


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.


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.


Rise of revolutionary terrorism


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 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.


Inspiration


This led 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 force.


Reasons for failure


Around 186 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.





Q.The `Swadeshi’ and ‘Boycott’ were adopted as methods of struggle for the first time during the (UPSC CSAT 2016)


  • agitation against the Partition of Bengal


  • Home Rule Movement


  • Non-Cooperation Movement


  • visit of the Simon Commission to India



Ans . A


  1. 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


  1. Jyotiba Phule had setup this organization to begin anti-caste movement in Maharashtra.


Q. The Montague-Chelmsford Proposals were related to(UPSC CSAT 2016)


  • social reforms


  • educational reforms


  • reforms in police administration


  • constitutional reforms



Ans . D


  1. 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


  • 3 only


  • 1, 2 and 3



Ans . B


  1. 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


  1. 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)


  • Swadeshi Movement


  • Quit India Movement


  • Non-Cooperation Movement


  • Civil Disobedient Movement



Ans . A


  1. 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


  1. 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.

  2. It further divided the provincial subjects into two parts—transferred and reserved which is what we know as diarchy.

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