Chapter 22: YEARS OF STAGNATION

Introduction


The withdrawal of non cooperation and the subsequent arrest and imprisonment of Gandhiji led to stagnation in the congress. Here a new line of political activity emerged to continue the spirit of resistance this was suggested by CR “Deshbandhu” Das and Motilal Nehru. They wanted to participate in the legislative councils and obstruct their work completely from within. 


Swarajists


Das and Nehru put this before the congress but it was defeated. They resigned and formed the Congress khilafat Swaraj party or later called as Swaraj party. They were called as Pro-changers while their opponents became No-changers. The swarajist and the no changers differed on one issue: What to do during the inactive phase after the mass movement? This temporary void had to be filled with working in the council.


The no changers believed that council entry would lead to neglect of constructive work and working with the masses, loss of Zeal and political corruption. The differences between these two groups would have led to a split but both agreed on mutual accommodation. The split was avoided as both sides knew that only mass movement and not parliamentary work would give Swaraj, both agreed importance of Gandhiji’s leadership and also both realized importance of unity.


 Hence in 1923 the congress agreed to allow them to participate in the elections.


Although Gandhiji believed in the futility of council entry he too supported them in the interest of unity. In the Belgaum session of the congress which was presided by Gandhiji for first and last time he ratified their decision and ended conflict between pro changers and no changers.


Work by the Swarajist:


1.   Forced government to take executive route to enact legislations by defeating them in legislative councils at center and state.

2.      Delivered powerful speeches which were widely reported and read.

3.      Defeated government on repressive legislations and regulations.

4.      Inspired politicized people and kept their spirits alive.

5.      Their popularity led the no changers to win many municipalities. The no changers believed these could be used for constructive work.


Drawbacks of the Swarajist:


1.      In the absence of mass movements communalism raised its head.

2.   The limits of the politics of obstruction had reached and further confrontations weren’t possible. The real concessions could be obtained by only mass movements. But the swarajist had no policy of backing their working in the councils with mass movements.

3.      They couldn’t convince their coalition partners on every matter.

4.      A few swarajist couldn’t resist the pull of parliamentary privileges.


Aftermath of the Movement


During the second elections the swarajist faced pressure from communalists and the liberals. It got a lesser majority at the center and the provinces. It resigned from the central and provincial councils in response to Lahore sessions resolution and the beginning of civil disobedience.

The death of CR "Deshbandhu" Das also led to decline of the Swaraj Party.





Q.With reference to Congress Socialist Party, consider the following statements:
1. It advocated the boycott of British goods and evasion of taxes.
2. It wanted to establish the dictatorship of proletariat.
3. It advocated separate electorate for minorities and oppressed classes.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (UPSC CSAT 2015)


  • 1 and 2 only


  • 3 only


  • 1, 2 and 3


  • None



Ans . D


  1. The CSP advocated decentralized socialism in which co-operatives, trade unions, independent farmers, and local authorities would hold a substantial share of the economic power.

  2. As secularists, they hoped to transcend communal divisions through class solidarity.

  3. Some, such as Narendra Deva or Basawon Singh (Sinha), advocated a democratic socialism distinct from both Marxism and reformist social democracy.


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