were of the following categories one that remained neutral or
pro British, one that gave financial support to the congress,
one that came out in active support of the movement occasionally
and the last group that completely identified with the movement
and participated in the struggle and went to jail too.
Growth of the Indian Capitalists
growth of Indian capital class was different and not seen in
other colonial countries. The Indian capitalist grew as
independent from foreign capitalist and not as their junior
partners or friends. The capitalist weren’t tied up with pro
imperial interests but a large section of them argued for
comprehensive reforms, cooperatives of production, finance and
capitalist grew during the period of 1914-1947 due to import
substitution. The Indian enterprises had captured round 70% of
the domestic market. This growth which was unusual for
any industry in a colony wasn’t achieved by siding with
colonialists but by wresting space from them. The capitalists
took anti imperialism stands but were careful not to choose a
path that would threaten capitalism itself.
was established by the capitalist class as a body for lobbying
with the colonial government. FICCI was treated as a guardian of
trade, commerce and industry performing in the economic sphere
functions of the national government. In this process the
capitalists clearly saw the negative effects of imperialism on
the home country. FICCI wasn’t merely a body created as a trade
union but was to be strong enough to intervene in the politics.
Participation in the movement
capitalists had their own ideas about how the anti imperial
struggle should be waged. They were in favor of using
constitutional reforms than civil disobedience. They feared
that if the movement became too revolutionary it could
threaten capitalism itself. Hence when the movement was
getting out of hand they tried to bring it back to
also weren’t in favor of all out hostility to the government as
it hampered day to day interests.
also joined the legislative forums but not because they were
interested in being a part of the movement but because they
wanted to prevent black elements from joining them.
However they never accepted the government proposal blindly.
They refused to cooperate with the government behind the backs
of the congress.
attitude towards civil disobedience was different. Although they
saw it’s utility in getting concessions for their class as well
as the nation, but they weren’t interested in protracted mass
civil disobedience. But they never supported the government’s
were crucial in mediating truce between congress and the
government for withdrawing the struggle but they never did it if
the movement would be weakened.
the above points one must remember that the national struggle
was never influenced in a decisive way by this class nor was
it dependent on its support.
capitalist class became more involved in active politics due to
its growing radicalization by the left and socialists. But at no
point was it driven to the lap of imperialism by this. It
refused support on public safety bill since it threatened
nationalism even though the main aim was to stop communism.
British policy affecting iron and
steel plants in India:
patrons of swords and armory makers were the native princes and
traditional powers of India. After the British defeated them the
demand for Indian steel was reduced.
prevented Indian steel makers from accessing wood to get
by the British to access forests.
too preferred British imports as the tariff policy favored them
over Indians and Indian steel became costlier.
setup large factories to compete with British and small scale
Indian iron smelters didn’t have those resources.