Emergence of INC and its impact on Independence Movement

Emergence of INC and its impact on Independence Movement

Question:-State and analyze the theories for the emergence of Indian National Congress. How did the way it was born affect the Independence Movement?

The Indian National Congress was established on 28th December, 1885 by Allan Octavian Hume, a retired British Civil servant to accept the emergence of the educated class, give a channel to their grievances and satisfy their ambitions. There are two main theories regarding its establishment.

1. It is said that one of the main intentions of Hume was to provide an outlet (safety valve) to the popular dissatisfaction against the British. For this reason it is popularly known as the Safety Valve Theory. As the population in the empire was getting more and more educated, the number of opinions and questions were increasing. They needed expression. Through this organization Hume, supported by Lord Rippon, provided a mouth to this new crowd, mainly to avoid another uprising like that of 1857.

2. The other theory suggests that INC was formed by the politically conscious Indians to set up a national organization for the political and economic advancement of India. Being educated in the British way, they were more aware of their rights and justice. Such local groups like East India Association, Indian Association, Bangabhasa Prasarika Sabha, etc. were being formed as precursor to INC which was on a national scale. And being raised in British culture they regarded the British government as an ally, not an antagonist. The greatest of the leaders of that time cooperated with Hume. The first session was presided over by Womesh Chandra Banerjee. 72 delegates attended the session.

Early Congress:

The delegates were moderates. They believed in negotiations and discussions. They believed in expression of their grievances but staying within the constitution i.e. constitutional agitation. This was a modest beginning to unify the nation for its development without going beyond the limits of the government.

Rise of Extremism:

In the last decade of the 19th century and first decade of the 20th century, a young, angry group rose within the Congress. Their goal was not a compromise point anymore but complete self-rule (Swaraj). Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, Aurobindo Ghosh were all products of English education and were all against the softness of the moderates towards the British. Extremism was influenced by Bankim Chandras’s writings. The Extremists dominated Congress till Gandhi came.
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