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THE SWARAJIST MANIFESTO FOR ELECTIONS IN 1923

THE SWARAJIST MANIFESTO FOR ELECTIONS IN 1923

Released in October 1923, the manifesto took a strong anti-imperialist line. It said:

  1. The guiding motive of the British in governing India is to secure selfish interests of their own country;
  2. The so-called reforms are only a blind to further the said interests under the pretence of granting a responsible government, the real objective being to continue exploitation of the unlimited resources of the country by keeping Indians permanently in a subservient position to Britain;
  3. The Swarajists would present the nationalist demand of self-government in councils
  4. If this demand was rejected, they would adopt a policy of uniform, continuous and consistent obstruction within the councils to make governance through councils impossible;
  5. Councils would thus be wrecked from within by creating deadlocks on every measure.

GANDHI’S STAND

Gandhi was initially opposed to the Swarajist proposal of council entry.

But after his release from prison on health grounds in February 1924, he gradually moved towards reconciliation with the Swarajists because:

  1. The felt public opposition to the programme of council entry would be counter-productive;
  2. In the November 1923 elections, the Swarajists had managed to win 42 out of 141 elected seats and a clear majority in the provincial assembly of Central Provinces and, in legislatures, had joined hands with the Liberals and the independents like Jinnah and Malaviya; the courageous and uncompromising manner in which the Swarajists functioned convinced him that they would not become just another limb of colonial administration;
  3. There was a government crackdown on revolutionary terrorists and the Swarajists towards the end of 1924; this angered Gandhi and he expressed his solidarity with the Swarajists by surrendering to their wishes.

SWARAJIST ACTIVITY IN COUNCILS

  • By 1924, the Swarajist position had weakened because of widespread communal riots, split among Swarajists themselves on communal and Responsivist-Non­-responsivist lines, and the death of C.R. Das in 1925 weakened it further.
  • The Responsivists among Swarajists- Lala Lajpat Rai, Madan Mohan Malaviya and N.C. Kelkar- advocated cooperation with the Government and holding of office wherever possible to protect the so-called Hindu interests.
  • They accused the Non-responsivists like Motilal Nehru of being anti-Hindu and a beef-eater.
  • Thus, the main leadership of the Swarajya Party reiterated faith in mass civil disobedience and withdrew from legislatures in March 1926, while another section of Swarajists went into the 1926 elections as a party in disarray, and did not fare well.                                            THE SWARAJIST MANIFESTO FOR ELECTIONS IN 1923
  • In 1930, the Swarajists finally walked out as a result of the Lahore Congress resolution on puma swaraj and the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-34).

ALSO READ : https://www.brainyias.com/home-rule-movement-and-its-fallout/

Modern History

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