Indian History
General Knowledge

Extremist Phase

( 1905 - 17 )

Reasons for the Emergence of Extremists

1. Realization that the true nature of British rule was exploitative.
2. International influences and events which demolished the myth of White / Europeans supremacy.These included- Abyssinia / Ethopia’s victory over itely (1896), Boer wars (1899 – 1902 ) in which the British faced reverse, Japan victory over Russia (1905).
3. Dissatisfaction with the achievements of Moderates.
4. Reactionary policies of Curzon such as Calcutta Cooperation Act (1904), India Universities Act (1905) and Partition of Bangal (1905).
5. Existence of a militant school of thought and emergence of a trained leadership.

Prominent Extremist Leaders

1. Bal Gangadhar Tilak
‘Lokmanya’ Tilak was the uncompromising leader of extremists. He was influenced by Agarkar, Ranade and Naoroji. He launched two newspapers the Kesari (in Marathi) and the Maratha (in English). He Organised Ganpati Festival (1893) and Shivaji Festival (1895) . He was deposed to Mandlay Jail (Burma) for writing seditions articles. He started Home Rule League in 1916. He wrote Gita Rahasya. Tilak asserted : ‘Swaraj is my Birth Right and I will have it’.

2. Lala Lajpat Rai
Extremist from Punjab. Under the influence of Arya Samaj he founded National school at Lahore. He presided over the AITUC in 1920. Boycotted Simon Commission and demonstrated against it at Lahore during which he was brutally assaulted by the police and subsequently succumbed to his injuries.

3. Bipin Chandra Pal
Discarded orthodox Hinduism and entered Brahmo Samaj and visited England and America. He founded English weekly New India He led the Swadeshi movement. He carried gospels of Boycott, Swadeshi, National Education, Swaraj and the Passive Resistance. He founded Vande Matram

4. Sri Aurobindo Ghosh
He Passed ICS exam with record marks in Greek and Latin. He had European upbringing. He worked for secret societies in Bengal and Maharashtra. He started Bengali daily Jugantar. He wrote seditious articles in Vande Matram. He was put to trial for Maniktalla (Calcutta) Bomb Conspiracy Case. He finally retired to the life of Yoga at Pondicherry.