Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Indian National Congress Attitude of the British Indian Government

Attitude of the Government

The British authorities were from the beginning hostile to the rising nationalist movement and had become suspicious of the National Congress.

Dufferin, the Viceroy, had tried to divert the national movement by suggesting to Hume that the Congress should devote itself to social rather than political affairs. But the Congress leaders had refused to make the change. British officials now began to openly criticize the National Congress. British officials from Dufferin downwards began to brand the nationalist leaders as disloyal babus, seditious Brahmins and violent villains. The Congress was described as factory of sedition.

In 1887, Dufferin attacked the Congress in a public speech and ridiculed it as representing only a microscopic minority of the people and Congress demands as a big jump into the unknown.

Realising that the growing unity of the Indian people posed a major threat to their rule, the British authorities also pushed further the policy of divide and rule. They encouraged Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan, Raja Shiva Prasad of Benaras, and other pro- British individuals to start anti- Congress movement.

Lord Curzon said that the Congress was tottering to its fall and one of my greatest ambitions while in India was to assist it to a peaceful demise.

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