What were the factors that led to the rise of Militant Nationalism during the early phase of 20th century?



  • At the introduction write the background of the emergence of Militant Nationalism
  • Then write the factors that led to their emergence, like-policies of Curzon, failure of moderates, impact of international events etc
  • In the conclusion part write their contributions
Model Answer :

There was a spark of militant nationalist ideology which was emerging since late 1890s. For example Chepekar brothers in 1897 killed W. C. Rand the chairman of Ponna Plague Commission. Slowly and gradually with circumstances it took a concrete shape by 1905. There was significant shift from non-violence to violence and also from mass action to elite action, necessitated primarily by the failure of the mass mobilization efforts.

The reasons for the rise of militant nationalism can be attributed to various factors-

1.Failure of the moderates to deliverThe conventional methods of prayers, petitions and public meetings of the moderates had failed, and by 1908 political extremism had also declined, and giving way to militant nationalism.

2.Restrictive policies of the British and maladministration: – During 1890s, a series of events like severe famine (1896-1900), bubonic plague in Deccan along with riots made Indians anxious and dissatisfied with colonial government.

3.Repression: – A number of repressive laws were enacted. Section 124A was stiffened and the Criminal Procedure Code and the Post Office Act were amended with a view to increasing the powers of the Government.

4.Administration of Lord Curzon:  His costly Durbars amidst divesting famines, his Indian Universities Act of 1904, his attack on the elected members of the Calcutta Corporation, his expedition to Tibet at the cost of Indian revenue, and finally the partition of Bengal carried out in the teeth of strong opposition from the nation sent a wave of indignation throughout the length and breadth of the country.

5.Impact of Education: – Western education system led to awareness in society. However, with more education, increased unemployment and poverty leading to discontentment among people and increasing the trend of radical nationalism.

6.Impact of westernisation: – In reaction to spread of westernization, emerged various leaders who realized the loss of Indian cultural and national identity which was submerging into the colonial pattern. Number of leaders like B C Chatterjee, Swami Vivekananda, Dayanand Saraswati etc portrayed the brighter side of Indian culture and traditional past removing the myth of western superiority.

7.Impact of international events: – Japan became Industrial power and defeated Russia in Russo-Japanese war in 1905. Ethiopia defeated Italy (another European country). Boer war – Europeans again suffered defeat. Such events broke the myth of western superiority and its invincibility.

8.Militant school of thought: – Leaders like A K Dutta, Aurobindo Ghosh, Bipin Chandra Pal and Bal Gangadhar Tilak advocated the militant approach in performing their political action.

All such factors somewhere led to growth in confidence and rise in self respect. Leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal etc made Indian realize of their capacities and hence made them capable to stand against the colonial rule. They popularized the concept of total independence. They lived and died for the Mother India.