[Topic wise IAS Modern Indian History Question Bank (1979-2015)]: (8) Early Indian Nationalism

Early Indian Nationalism: Factors leading to the birth of Indian Nationalism; Politics of Association; The Foundation of the Indian National Congress; The Safety-valve thesis relating to the birth of the Congress; Programme and objectives of Early Congress; the social composition of early Congress leadership; the Moderates and Extremists; The Partition of Bengal (1905); The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal; the economic and political aspects of Swadeshi Movement; The beginning of revolutionary extremism in India.

Rise of Nationalism

1. Describe the nature of Indian Nationalism with special reference to the character of its leadership in the period between 1885 and 1905. [1982, 60m]

2. “The Ilbert Bill was the most extreme but by no means isolated expression of white racism.” Comment. [1987, 20m]

3. “The national democratic awakening of the Indian people found expression of white racism.” Comment. [1987, 20m]

4.  “The new India was not to be built up, as late nineteenth century patriots had thought, by copious draught from the past, but rather by frequent injections from the energetic contemporary west.” Comment. [1990, 20m]

5. “It was in this almost unrecognizable form that the Ilbert Bill was finally enacted it was primarily a failure of the Viceroy.” Comment. [1992, 20m]

6. Examine the economic and social factors which led to the rise of Indian nationalism in the second half of the nineteenth century. [2001, 60m]

7. “Rabindranath Tagores’s nationalism was based on a Catholic internationalism.” Comment. [2003, 20m]

Indian National Congress

1. Describe briefly the ideals and programme of the Indian National Congress between 1885 and 1905 and assess official response to it. [1980, 60m]

2. Discuss ‘the safety valve’ theory. Does it satisfactorily explain the foundation of the Indian National Congress? [1991, 60m]

3. To what extent was the emergence of the Congress in 1885 the culmination of a process of political awakening that had its beginning in the 1870s? [2000, 60m]

4. Trace the factors which led to a split in the Indian national Congress in 1907. What was its impact on the course of the nationalist movement? [2003, 60m]

5. Analyze the social composition of the early Congress leadership. [2009, 30m]

6. “At the dawn of the twentieth century Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India, was full of hostility towards the Indian National Congress and he confidentially reported to the secretary of state in November 1900: My own belief is that the congress is tottering to its fall, and one of my greatest ambitions while in India is to assist it to a peaceful demise.” Examine. [2013, 25m]

The Partition of Bengal (1905); The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal
1. Write a critical note on: Significance of the Swadeshi Movement 1905-07 in the freedom struggle. [1981, 20m]

2. “Curzon’s political obtusely created a breach between government and people which was never wholly closed in the remaining forty-two years of British rule.” Comment. [1984, 20m]

3. “Curzon was an unconscious catalyst who did not understand, let alone desire, what the new century was about to bring forth, but who helped it to be born.” Comment. [1989, 20m]

4. “The tragedy of Cruzan lay in that, with such abundance of trained talent; he was denied the crowning qualities. He was never an administrator of the first rank.” Comment. [1991, 20m]

5. “Curzon’s partition of Bengal gave the unwitting initiative to events of magnitude and returned many years later to port with the cargo of freedom.” Comment. [1997, 20m]

6. “India after 1905 had new interests and objectives and compelled new lines of policy.” Comment. [1996, 20m]

The beginning of revolutionary extremism in India

1. Discuss the nature, methods and activities of the Terrorist Revolutionary Movement and assess its place in India’s Freedom Struggle. [1979, 60m]

2. Examine the causes of the rise and progress of revolutionary movements in India from 1905 to 1931. [2003, 60m]

3. “The very idea of the bomb and the secret society, and of propaganda through action and sacrifice were import from the West.” Critically examine. [2015, 10m]

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