THE SURAT SPLIT
THE SURAT SPLIT
- At the Surat Session in 1907, congress leaders split into two groups – moderates and extremists.
- Rift between these two sections became apparent at the Banaras Session (1905) when some nationalist led by Tilak denounced the method of the moderates and suggested passive resistance.
- They also advocated boycott of British goods and government institutions. At the end of this session, Lokmanya Tilak and his followers held a separate conference and announced the formation of the Extremist Party.
- However they decided to work as a part of the Indian National Congress. In 1906, at Calcutta Session the rift between Moderators and Extremists further widened.
- Both the groups put their candidates for president ship but Dadabhai Naroji was accepted as a compromise candidate by both of groups.
- The Extremists group also succeeded in getting a resolution which emphasised the principle of swadeshi, boycott and national education.
- But Moderators did not accept what had happened at the Calcutta session in 1906 and were determined to undo the same at the Surat Session in 1907.
- Extremists were also equally determined to see that the Moderates where not able to have their way.
- In Surat Extremists tried to push the candidature of Lala Lajpat Rai for President-ship of congress and Moderates Dr. Ras Behari Ghosh to be the President.
- The situation was saved by Lala Lajpat Rai and stepping down and Dr. Ras Behari Ghosh became the President. THE SURAT SPLIT
- Real trouble started when the moderates tried to repudiate the resolution on boycott, swadeshi and national education which has been adopted in 1906.
- This was not acceptable to the extremists. As a result open clashes took place and session was suspended thereafter Moderates held a separate convention from which the extremists were excluded this marked a complete split in the Congress.
- The division was further cemented in 1908 when the Indian National Congress at the madras session made a change in its constitution.
- It provided that the Congress delegates were not to be elected only by the congress committee and associations affiliated to the Congress. Net result of this change was that the Extremists were excluded from the Congress.
- Tilak and his followers remained outside the Indian National Congress till 1915 when a compromise was arrived at. THE SURAT SPLIT
- The Surat Split was a turning point in history of Nationalist Movement in India. It meant a victory of the Extremists over the Moderates it also marked a change in the policy and attitude of the Government towards the nationalist moderates to the government side.
- The Minto-Morley Reform of 1909 can be said to be the direct outcome of the Surat Split. The split also greatly weaken both the parties.
- The Extremists were hounded by official repression and liberals were abandoned by their own people.
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