Sunday, June 24, 2012




In this article we will discuss about the moderates (1885-1905) and Act of 1892.

MODERATES (1885 - 1905)

a)      Preface

b)      Contribution

c)       Achievement

d)      Evaluation



The first phase of congress leaders were called moderates because they opted the philosophy of p(3) i.e. petition, prayer and protest. There were two reasons behind this philosophy

1)      General reason: Moderates have faith in British constitution

2)      Main reason: At that time moderates were infant in front of mighty British empire


Moderates in initial phase of freedom struggle played the role of pupil and mentor at the same time. During this time the people of Indian sub-continent were unaware about the modern ideology of nationalism, democracy etc. so it was the duty of nationalists to learn it and then preach it to the people of India. It is evident by statement of gopal Krishna ghokle when he said "we won't be remembered in history for our achievement but we will be remembered for the role of guide in contemporary situation."

The most important contribution of moderates was that they provided ideological background for political struggle that was theory of drain of wealth given by Dada bhai naraoji in his famous book called "poverty and unbritish rule in India".

Moderates demanded for good governance for that purpose they made a 3 point reform proposal in legislature. The proposals were:

1)      Increase in the member of legislature as there were only 12 members in legislature from 1861

2)      Initially no power were given to legislature now they demanded power to the legislature

3)      They demanded for provision of election by people so that legislature would be responsible to people

Therefore the demands of moderates were democratic form of government which will establish people's rule in the nation.

Moderates proposed for welfare programmes by the government to end the rift between the ruler and the ruled and under it they demanded judicial rights, promotion to education, Indians in higher services etc.



1)      Dada bhai naraoji also called as grand old man of India. He is called grand old man because he laid the foundation stone for freedom struggle in India because he is the first man to form political  organization to demand the rights of Indian people from British government, he is the first Indian to enter in British parliament as a member of British parliament. He contested election from Salisbury seat on the ticket of labor party. He became Member of Parliament and entered British parliament and there he addressed the British government about the real situation of India, he facilitated drain theory which became ideological background for the freedom struggle in India.

2)      Mahadev gobind ranade: He advocated modern industrialization as the hope for new India.

3)      Surrender nath Banerjee: He was efficient propagandist.

4)      Pheroz shah Mehta: He was an efficient strategist.

5)      W.C. Banerjee: 1st president of Indian national congress.

6)      RC dutt : He was an economist and wrote the book "economy of India".



Although moderates were in infant stage and it was not possible for them to achieve anything big from the government but then also they were able to pressurize the government which is evident by the steps taken by government. These steps are

1)      Appointment of wellby commission

2)      Appointment of Aitchhission commission

3)      Act of 1892



The biggest blame of moderates was drain of wealth therefore government appointed wellby commission to inquire about the income and expenditure.



The important demand of moderate was to give place to Indians in higher services therefore aitchhission was appointed to review the situation of civil services in India. Due to recommendation of this commission birth of 2 tier civil services in India i.e. union and provincial civil services.


ACT OF 1892

1)      INCREASE IN THE MEMBER OF LEGISLATURE: the demand of moderates was to increase the number of members in legislature and government respected their demand but in 2012 legislature of India 543 are elected and 2 are nominated out of 545 but in 1892 legislature 6 were elected and 24 were nominated by the British government out of 30 members. In this way today's parliament people's representative are dominant but in the legislature of 1892 the official members were dominant so ultimately government was dominated in legislature.

2)      ELECTION: today India has universal and adult franchisee but by the act of 1892 elections was introduced in India but they were indirect election and the voting right was given to members of local bodies' e.g. municipal corporations and district boards.

3)      POWER: by the act of 1892 legislatures got the right to ask question but they had no right to ask cross question

4)      BUDGET: budget was in the hands of British government although Indians had the right of non-official questions.

CONCLUSION: The act failed to satisfy the sentiment of nationalist so it was called as mockery by nationalist. Therefore the doors of struggle were still open and empire once again faced the twin threats i.e. internal threats (aggressive nationalism) and external threat (expansionist world powers).


In this situation Britain appointed Lord Curzon in India so next article will be Lord Curzon.


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