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Moderates were the pioneers of political activism in their time. They did work in the spirit of creating popular opinion against British and thus inculcating nationalism in the diverse Indian population.

There created a political base for later mass movements.

However, despite their ambitious efforts moderates had certain limitations.

These limitations were –

  • Moderates did not trust the masses as they were believed to be divided on various lines.
  • According to moderates, these masses needed to be brought together as a nation before launching any mass political movement.
  • They failed to realise that it was only during those political movements that these diverse groups would come together.
  • It was due to lack of this mass support that moderates could not assert themselves against British authority.
  • Nevertheless this changed when later nationalists came to the helm of congress leadership and opposed moderates on precisely this point.
  • Another important limitation was that majority of moderates were Hindus. They comprised 90% of the delegates who attended congress sessions between 1892 and 1909.
  • Although, congress promoted interfaith unity, it gave British an opportunity to prop up Muslim leaders to counter congress on this ground.            LIMITATIONS OF MODERATES
  • However, the larger masses were still not communally divided. Another reason why congress was not able to strike its identity as a representative of all communities was, fluid membership of some of its leaders.
  • In addition to congress’ activities these leaders were also involved simultaneously in Hindu Mahasabha and supported anti-cow slaughter movements.                LIMITATIONS OF MODERATES
  • This continued even after moderates. Bal Gangadhar Tilak – a chitpavan Brahmin leader from poona – used ganeshotsav festival (started in 1894) and shivaji festival (started in 1896) to unite Hindus and generate nationalistic fervour against British rule.
  • These leaders were mostly educated in English so they drew their ideas mainly from western political thought which became a reason for disconnect with the masses.
  • Their influence was limited to urban community.                LIMITATIONS OF MODERATES


Modern History

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