Beginning of Nationalism
Though we became independent in the year, 1947, but this independence was not achieved in an instant.
This independence was the result of the feeling of nationalism that Indians had for their motherland.
Many factors played an important role in bringing the feeling of nationalism. Let us discuss some of them
British Policy of Economic Exploitation
India's economic system was adjusted to the needs of the people of England.
British exploited India's resources to promote their own interests. They took India's wealth to England.
Farmers had to pay heavy taxes. They were tortured by the government, landlords as well as by moneylenders.
Many of them were forced to grow jute and cotton for the factories in England.
No steps were taken to encourage agriculture in India.
They exported raw materials to England at cheaper rates.
Goods manufactured in England were sold in India at higher prices.
This policy completely destroyed the cottage industries.
Handicrafts men and artisans started losing their livelihood because of no income.
The situation of the factory workers was also very bad.
They were exploited by factory owners who were usually British.
The policy of free trade by the British gave a tough competition to Indian trade and industry.
Educated Indians were dissatisfied because they were not appointed to higher positions.
The British brought every section of Indian society to the brink of poverty and hunger.
Frequent famines, droughts and epidemics also created difficulties among Indians.
Indians thought that the only solution to their economic problems was to overthrow of British rule from India.
The Repressive Colonial Policies
Viceroy like Lytton (1876-1880) and Curzon (1899-1905) made many policies to suppress Indians.
Lord Lytton put many restrictions on the publication of various Indian newspapers using the Vernacular press Act of 1878.
Similarly, Lord Curzon made changes in the field of education and separated Bengal in 1905.
Other British officers also used to insult, abuse and assault Indians from time to time.
These things injured the feeling of self respect of Indians and created a feeling of nationalism.
There were many factors behind the growth of nationalism in the country.
British policies of economic exploitation were one of them.
Farmers, factory owners, artisans and educated Indians all faced difficulties because of British policies.
They the only solution to their problems was to overthrow the British rule.
Policies of Lord Lytton were also discriminatory.
He passed the Vernacular Press Act in 1878 which took the freedom of speech and expression from India.
British officials also had a very bad attitude towards Indians.
All these policies hurt the sentiments of Indians and developed the feelings of nationalism.