Solution: Daily Problem Practice [Modern India: Week 27]- 17 April
Q. “The Ghadar Movement not only underestimated the armed and organizational might of the British, but the ideological foundations of their rule as well. It has been argued that they fought in vain.” Critically evaluate. [10 Marks]
The Ghadar movement was attempt by the revolutionary leaders of Ghadar party to launch a violent attack on British India. Outbreak of First World War and the Komagata Maru incident served as the catalyst for the launch of Ghadar movement. February 21, 1915 was fixed as the date for armed revolt across multiple locations in India.However, the movement failed to a great extent due to gross underestimation of the armed and organizational might of the British and the ideological foundations of their rule.
- The major weakness was that they completely under-estimated the extent and amount of preparation at every level- organizational, ideological, financial etc. which was necessary before any armed revolt.
- They under-estimated the strength of the British in India, both their armed and organizational might.
- The Indian political leadership and the commercial and land-owning classes gave unquestioning support to the British for their war efforts.
- They made no secret of their plans during the voyage and British intelligence agents, who had infiltrated their ranks, gave detailed reports to the government, which was fully aware of their plans earlier than their arrival.
- British took some preventative measures in time, such as keeping the regiments on the move, transferring them from one cantonment to another – even from one province to another, so as to prevent contact between the soldiers and the revolutionaries.
Despite these, it is inappropriate to conclude that the Ghadrites fought in vain.
- The Ghadarites certainly had a share in the freedom struggle when it came to be deepening the national consciousness, testing new strategies and methods of struggle, creating the tradition of resistance, ideas of democracy and egalitarianism.
- Through its papers it carried the nationalist critique of colonialism in a simple and powerful form. The huge propaganda motivated an entire generation.
- The Ghadarites also created the secular consciousness among the Punjabis.
- The movement also had a democratic and egalitarian content. It was clearly stated that the objective of Ghadar was the establishment of independent republic of India.
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