Rise of Extremists

  • The first activity of militant nationalism was seen in Pune during the Bubonic plague of Bombay presidency when the Chapekar brothers shot two officials Mr. Rand and Lt. Ayerst dead in 1897.

    This group of people hated the British due to their apathy, discrimination and irresponsible administration during the famine and plague.

    Lord Curzon, who wanted to make England’s stronghold more strong in India actually did some political blunders as follows:

  • In 1899 the political powers of Calcutta Corporation was curtailed down.
  • The University act of 1904 reduced the number of Indian elected members.
  • The Official secrets act 1904 tightened the security and
  • The police reforms increased the power and expense of the Police Force.

    There was considerable unemployment in the country and these unemployed youths started getting attracted towards the anti-Government radical politics.

  • These youths were aware of the Russophobia of British.
  • They could understand what was happening in Japan.
  • They knew about the Chinese boycott of American goods.
  • They knew about the struggle of British in the Boer war.

    These news that came from across the border was enough to boost their self confidence and slowly the inferiority complex of Indians was getting washed away.

    Around 1 million people were reading newspapers now. The Bengal, the Punjab and the Presidency of Bombay were ripe for rise of the militant nationalism.

  • These youngsters did not like the congress mendicancy. They had the Atma shakti and wanted to fight for their rights.

    The father of this extremism was Bal Gangadhar Tilak who started Ganapati festival from 1894 and developed this religious method of mass contact into a patriotic and historic cult and a symbol of nationalism. In 1896 he started organizing Shivaji festival. For him, the congress was a frog that croaked once a year.

    He believed in Swaraj and not in administration reforms.

  • He was a Lion who was able create mass unrest by writing articles in his Kesari in Marathi and Mahratta in English.
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