4 Important Demands of the Early Nationalists

Demands of the Early Nationalists

The demands of the early nationalists were

Constitutional Reforms

  • 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.

Economic Reforms

  • 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.

Administrative Demands

  • 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

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