Lecture 17

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3 Nov 2010
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L17
Indian National Congress (1885)
- after 1857, areas that were non-British direct control were absorbed into larger British
areas - Bombay, Madras, Calcutta, began to expand
- as result of the Mutiny, direct British control fostered a sense of distain in Indian culture &
response of Indian national movement
- influenced growth and served as a model for future
1. transformation of identity Æ unity expression
- what exactly was an 'Indian' as national expression
- settle on and create an identity that was pan-Indian
[regional Æ national particularist (lesser in terms of hierarchy) Æ patriotic]
- affiliated and associated solely in a regional way, but aim to spread to national scale
- make least important most important
- agrarians try to expand people's regional and particularist identities
- pan-identity is usually the lowest common denominator (smallest similarity)
2. dialogue with the Raj (for political rights)
- become spokesperson with the Raj (British colonial power)
- Congress' first job = create Indian-ness for it to represent the nation
- members of colonial elites - used British methods/structures in law to put theory into
practice
- dialogue with divergence of theory and power
- using the legal framework that was set up to attempt to change the system
- working from nothing to create something - no military means to do something radical
- important stages prior to movements
3. coalition of interests and Congress became a secular institution
- disadvantaged to create unity/embracive framework due to diversity
- attempting to merge various identities and ideologies into one (lowest common
denominator)
- secular -- respect for all religions equally but it will not affect political decisions
* either try to make it work (rule with tolerance) based on singularity or become all
embracive
- grows out of a necessity
Æ coalition of elites, religions, castes, lingual/ethno group - attempting to be all embracive
- if not, Æ
- multicultural cities/countries
4. inspiration serving as models
- inspiration of direction in the minds of future leaders of the movement
- Congress influenced by Garibaldi (Young - youthful ideas - Italy) Æ nation
-- helps realize the nation
- Sinn Fein (Ireland) Æ home rule/independence
-- white country for Irish struggle
- Lenin (Soviet Union) Æ secular, socialist mentality, multicultural
- Fabians (British Constitutional/Democratic/Socialist movement) Æ legality, gradualism
-- did not want to do it through violent means and thought that a gradual reach would be
better
Mohandas K. Gandhi ("Mahatma")
- 1885-1911, Congress was pursuing political nationalism
- Gandhi expanded smaller uppercrust movement to a mass grassroots movement with
more civil disobedience and struggle
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