Highlight the role of capitalist class in Indian independence movement.

Published: September 22, 2017

The capitalist class emerged in the end of 19th century and played some roles in freedom movement in one way or other. There were certain capitalists who joined Congress, went to jails and suffered hardships, for example JL Bajaj. There were many others who didn’t join Congress but gave financial and other support, for example, GD Birla. At the same time, there were a small number of capitalists who actively opposed the movement, or remained neutral.
Though less number of capitalists participated in Swadeshi movement, home rule movement and all movements till 1920; yet after 1920, large number of capitalists participated in national movement. The civil disobedience movement was a watershed moment as it saw the greatest participation of capitalists. Most of them supported the national movement but were skeptical about unconstitutional means to carry it. So, they advocated negotiations and legal methods to pursue freedom struggle which led to passage of various acts.
The establishment, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) ,a national level body capitalists also worked with Indian National congress. FICCI refused to negotiate with the British Government, on constitutional as well as economic issues, without the participation of the congress or at least its approval.

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