DMPQ- Critically evaluate the strategies adopted by moderate congress leaders in the initial phase of nationalist movement against British imperialism.

. The moderate political activity involved constitutional agitation within the confines of law and showed a slow but orderly political progress. The Moderates believed that the British basically wanted to be just to the Indians but were not aware of the real conditions. Therefore, if public opinion could be created in the country and public demands be presented to the government through resolutions, petitions, meetings, etc., the authorities would concede these demands gradually.

To achieve these ends, they worked on a two-pronged methodology—one, create a strong public opinion to arouse consciousness and national spirit and then educate and unite people on common political questions; and two, persuade the British Government and British public opinion to introduce reforms in India on the lines laid out by the nationalists.  They used the method of ‘prayer and petition’ and if that failed, they resorted to constitutional agitation.

A British committee of the Indian National Congress was established in London in 1889 which had India as its organ. Dadabhai Naoroji spent a substantial portion of his life and income campaigning for India’s case abroad. In 1890, it was decided to hold a session of the Indian National Congress in London in 1892, but owing to the British elections of 1891 the proposal was postponed and never revived later.

The Moderate leaders believed that political connections with Britain were in India’s interest at that stage of history and that the time was not ripe for a direct challenge to the British rule. Therefore, it was considered to be appropriate to try and transform the colonial rule to be as close to a national rule as possible.

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