Q. 55.0( 2 Votes )

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Answer :

Before Gandhi:


The formation of Indian National Congress was a significant development in the struggle for freedom. It was formed in the year 1885 by A. O. Hume. Some of the prominent leaders of the time were Dadabhai Nowroji, D.E. Wacha, G.K. Gokhale, etc. They followed a moderate approach in their demands form the Britishers.


The demands were as follows:


1. They demanded increased representation of Indians in the Legislative Council.


2. Indians be considered for higher positions in administrative departments.


3. Decrease in land revenue.


4. Cut in military expenditure and focus on agricultural prosperity.


The Moderates believed that the British were not aware of the atrocities upon Indians and if they succeed in making them aware of it, they would be just and fair to them. Therefore, the methods adopted by early Congress were as below:


1. Create public opinion and raise those demands in front of the government.


2. This was done by petitions, meetings, resolutions, propagation, etc.


3. A British Committee was formed by Dadabhai Nowroji in 1899 in London to carry forward the same agenda.


After Gandhi:


Gandhi arrived from South Africa to India in the year 1915. He was already known to the people and the Britisher due to his efforts against racist restrictions in South Africa. His role in the independence movements can be seen as follows:


1. He introduced the concept of ‘Satyagraha’ in the Indian national movement and believed in the power of nonviolent ways to achieve freedom.


2. The biggest difference between his ways and the ways of early Moderates was the confidence in masses. Gandhiji believed that masses if united, had immense strength enough for overthrowing the Britishers.


3. He struggled equally with the masses. Some of his ways like fast unto death proved to be very encouraging when the morale of the public was down after a prolonged movement.


4. He believed that large-scale movements could not go on for long and the focus should be on constructive work till the masses get ready for another movement.


5. He was neither a moderate nor an extremist but was successful in convincing both the groups on his methods of satyagraha, boycott, mass protests, etc.


We can conclusively say that Gandhi provided the necessary leadership and strategy to the larger public which was one of the major reasons for the achievement of independence.


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