Independence Day India: India commemorates the 75th year of its independence today. It was on this day on August 15, 1947, that India emerged as a sovereign nation at the stroke of midnight, walked into the lap of freedom and completes 75 years of its existence today. However, the road leading to Indian independence was a not smooth ride but an arduous affair marked by a trail of sacrifices, struggles, and perseverance in attaining liberation from the British imperialist rule.
Independence Day 2021: Tracing India's Moderate And Revolutionary Phase Of Struggle
The Indian freedom struggle in addition to being impacted by various external factors had its own share of internal tussles over the mode of securing independence from the British rule. One such is the Moderate and Revolutionary phase of the Indian freedom struggle that contributed towards attaining the Indian independence that eventually came about on August 15, 1947, commemorated as independence day year after year.
Indian Independence Struggle: Moderate Phase (1885 - 1905)
The early phase of the Indian freedom struggle was marked by the moderate politics led by the moderates who believed in the policy of Prayers, Petitions, and Persuasion in securing Indian independence from the British rule
The moderates included leaders like Gopal Krishna Gokhale, who was also the political guru of Mahatma Gandhi, Dada Bhai Naoroji, Feroz Shah Mehta, Badruddin Tayabji, W. C. Baneerjee, Surendra Nath Baneerjee, R. M Sawhney, Anand Mohan Bose, C. Shankaran Iyar, Anand Charlu, etc. who strongly believed that a direct action or struggle for political emancipation of India from the British was neither feasible nor advisable.
Moderate Methods Of Struggle, Demands And Achievements
The moderates who believed in the policy of prayers, petitions and persuasion popularly known as the PPP model in their struggle for Indian independence adopted and followed a few methods, and pressed a few demands in achieving their objectives.
- Moderates believed in peaceful and bloodless movement in achieving independence
- They pushed the PPP policy through the way of Pressure-Compromise-Pressure (PCP) to secure more concessions for Indians from the British
- Moderates pushed for greater representation and Indianisation of ICS
- They popularized Swadeshi that impacted imports and opposed the drain of wealth
- Moderates demanded repealing for Arms act and separation of powers between Judiciary and Executive
- Indian Council Act, 1892 was passed due to the efforts of the moderates along with a drastic reduction in military expenditure
Indian Independence Struggle: Revolutionary Phase (1905 - 1919)
The closing decade of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century witnessed the emergence of a new and younger group within the Indian National Congress which was sharply critical of the ideology and methods of the moderates.
They were opposed to the moderates' policy of prayers, petitions and persuasion or the PPP model in securing the Indian independence from the British rule, which eventually resulted in the emergence of radical or revolutionary leaders who believed in direct action and adopted an aggressive approach in their fight against British imperialist rule.
The revolutionary or radical phase was led by leaders such as Lokamanaya Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, Aurobindo Ghose, and Lala Lajpat Rai who formed the creed of this phase, and believed is securing Swaraj through aggressive means and not through constitutional processes on the lines of moderates.
Revolutionary Methods Of Struggle And Demands
- The revolutionaries substituted the policy of cooperation of moderates by non-cooperation through passive resistance
- They pushed for mass agitation involving people's participation and not just the middle class
- The revolutionaries called for the boycott of foreign goods, use of Swadeshi goods and opposed bureaucracy
- They pressed for promoting national education while calling for the boycott of the English language and culture
- The radicals stressed on self-reliance and called for Swaraj - self-government outside the British dominion
Post-Moderate And Revolutionary Phase
Even as the Indian freedom struggle was being shaped and influenced by the moderate and revolutionary policies, a third phase of the Indian independence struggle was gaining ground known as the Gandhian era (1919 - 1947), which eventually culminated in the liberation of India from the British rule on August 15, 1947, which is celebrated as the Independence Day recalling and cherishing India's path to freedom