INC was a movement, not just a party

INC was a movement, not just a party

Question:-The Indian National Congress was a movement, not just a party. Explain.

The Indian National Congress was not just one party. It had also embraced within its fold many individuals and groups which belonged to widely divergent political and ideological categories. To name a few, there were Communists, Socialists, Royists, constitutionalists like Satyamurthy and K.M.Munshi.

- Unity in diversity

At the same time, the national movement showed a remarkable unity despite their diverse belief systems. The split of 1907 was a lesson for these groups and the Moderates and Extremists, constitutionalists and non-constitutionalists, and leftists and rightists did not leave the Indian National Congress thereafter, even during the most disturbing crises.

- Various ideologies under one umbrella

Many other groups kept flowing into the current of India’s freedom struggle. The Indian National Congress was, of course, the mainstream but not the only one. Movements such as the pre-Congress peasant and tribal movements, the Revolutionary Terrorists, the Ghadar and Home Rule Movements, the Akali and Temple Reform movements of the 1920s, the struggle in the legislatures and in the Press, the peasant and working class struggles, the rise of the Left inside and outside the Congress, the state people’s movements, the politics of the capitalist class, the Indian National Army, the RIN Revolt, etc. contributed their share in the struggle that the Congress led.

- Force against imperialism

As Bipan Chandra says, these organizations are not treated as ‘non-Congress’ movements or as ‘parallel’ streams by many scholars. Though outside the Congress, most of them were not distinct from it. Congress with all its positive and negative features, was admittedly the actual anti-imperialist movement of the Indian people which incorporated all their energies and potential. But these smaller movements did not counterpose to the that of the Congress, rather complemented it.

These became an integral part of the Indian national movement as a whole. The only ones which may have formed an alternative stream of politics were the communal and casteist movements which can be said to be not even nationalist or anti-imperialist. They had in fact even betrayed the loyalty to the people's pro- colonial spirit.
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