What was the difference between Moderates and Extremists during indian freedom struggle.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Studying for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations in India involves a deep dive into the country’s rich history, which is like a layered tapestry of events, personalities, and beliefs. A subject that often perplexes aspirants is the difference between Moderates and Extremists in the Indian freedom struggle. It is important to comprehend the ideological divergence that existed within the freedom movement to ace the Modern History section of the UPSC exam.

The Indian National Congress (INC) was the main body that guided India’s struggle for independence. However, two primary schools of thought shaped its strategies – the Moderates and the Extremists. Here, we examine the fundamental differences between the two.

1. **Formation and Leadership**

The Moderates were a group of early nationalists who believed in reformist politics and adopted a ‘soft’ approach to rid India of British rule. The principal leaders included Dadabhai Naoroji, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, R.C. Dutt, etc. The Extremists, on the other hand, emerged at the close of the 19th century when some nationalists grew frustrated with the slow pace of reforms achieved by the Moderates. The main leaders of the Extremist group were Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, and Bipin Chandra Pal.

2. **Nature of Struggle**

While Moderates believed in constitutional and peaceful means of negotiation for freedom, the Extremists advocated for non-compliant and aggressive measures. The former adopted a policy of prayers, petitions, protests, and wanted to achieve their objectives gradually. Meanwhile, the latter endorsed self-reliance, self rule, boycotts, and political agitation as effective strategies.

3. **Goals and Objectives**

The goals of the Moderates were largely confined to acquiring greater involvement in the British Indian administration and obtaining limited political rights. The Extremists, however, were more ambitious; they aimed for ‘Swaraj’ or complete independence from colonial rule.

4. **Methodology**

The Moderates put forth their demands via constitutional methods, lobbying, and negotiation with the British Government. The Extremists, however, adopted direct opposition and confrontation with the existing government via public meetings, protests, and mobilization of the masses.

5. **Criticism of British policies**

The Moderates had faith in British justice and desired reform within the existing political framework. On the contrary, the Extremists rejected the British system in its entirety, criticizing it for its economic policies, drain of wealth, and lack of political rights for Indians.

6. **Evaluation of Achievements**

Moderates received criticism for their ‘soft’ methods, lack of mass support, and meager achievements. Nevertheless, they laid the foundation for India’s future struggle by making people aware of their rights. The Extremists, with their revolutionary beliefs and methods, succeeded in awakening the Indian masses towards the need for freedom but they also faced criticism for their extremism and lack of concrete plan of action after freedom.

Understanding the underlying perspectives of the Moderates and Extremists in the freedom struggle goes a long way in comprehending the various strands of thought that influenced India’s journey to independence. As aspiring civil servants, it’s crucial to grasp the nuances of such ideological variations to answer questions convincingly in the UPSC exams. Keep revising, keep evolving and remember every conquest begins within. All the best for your preparation!

Prince Luthra (UPSC CSE AIR 577)

Hello Aspirants, I am Prince Luthra (AIR 577) from UPSC 2014 batch. I started the UPSC preparation way back in 2010. I was giving my time, effort, and energy. I was pretty sure to pass the exam in 1st attempt but I could not. After the failure, I asked myself why could not I clear prelims? After a lot of analysis, I figured out that I was reading the books toppers told me to; Nevertheless, in the prelims exam, I was making mistakes in MCQs. I started attempting MCQs for preparation. This strategy worked since when an MCQ is asked then your brain stimulates and starts searching for answers. Our MCQs series capitalize upon this concept and hence we provide you Spectrum MCQ series and Laxmikanth MCQ series so that you score 90-95% in History and Polity MCQs which will take your marks above cut off be it UPSC, PSC, EPFO or any other exam. This strategy helped me clearing Prelims of UPSC and UPPCS, I am certain that it will help you too. All the best! Prince Luthra (AIR 577)

You may also like...