Demands of the Early Nationalists
The demands of the early nationalists were
- Abolition of India Council.
- The moderates demanded control over the public purse and raised the slogan, ‘No taxation without representation’.
- Adequate representation of Indians in the Executive Council of the Viceroy and the Governors.
- By the beginning of the twentieth century, they demanded ‘Swarajya’ or self-government within the British Empire like the status given to Canada and Australia.
- To decrease land revenues and protect peasants against the unjust demands and atrocities of the zamindars.
- To reduce expenditures on the army and to spend the saved money on welfare of the people.
- To enquire into the reason behind recurrent famines and growing poverty of the people.
- To develop and provide banking, irrigational, health and medical facilities to the people.
- To protect the interests of Indian industries by imposing heavy trade duties on imported goods.
- To abolish the salt tax and duties on sugar.
- To hold the Indian Civil Service Examinations in England and India simultaneously.
- To completely separate executive and judicial wings of the government. This demand was made to protect Indians from the arbitrary acts of the police and the bureaucracy.
- To increase the powers of the local municipal bodies and to do away with excessive official control over municipal bodies.
- To repeal or annul the Arms and Licence Acts. To spread primary education among the Indian masses.
Defence of Civil Rights
- To do away with the restrictions imposed by the British government on the freedom of speech and press in India.
- To abolish the Preventive Detention Act and restore civil liberties in India.
- To allow Indians to assemble and to form associations.
Beliefs of the Early Nationalists
- The early nationalists had faith in the British sense of justice and fair play.
- They believed that the British would grant ‘Home Rule’ to Indians.
- They believed that the British rule had positively influenced Indian society by banning sati, female infanticide and by raising the minimum marriageable age of girls and boys.
- They believed in agitating through constitutional and peaceful methods like writing petitions.
- Also Read Programmes and Achievements of the Early Nationalists