Surat split of 1907 in the INC was an unfortunate event in Indian history. The assertive nationalists remained out of Congress for many years. It undermined the national movement in the country.
Surat Split of 1907 in INC
- The Swadeshi Movement created a rift between early and assertive nationalists. While the assertive nationalists wanted to use the Swadeshi and Boycott Movements as a weapon to unsettle the British in India, the early nationalists did not support the Boycott Movement as it was contrary to their policy of ‘petition and persuasion’.
- While the assertive nationalists wanted to spread the movement outside Bengal, the early nationalists wanted the movement to remain confined within Bengal.
- The Congress session of 1906 condemned the Partition of Bengal and declared Swaraj or self-government as the goal of the Indian National Congress (INC).
- The differences between the two sections of the INC became apparent in the 1907 session of Congress held in Surat. While the assertive nationalists proposed the name of Lala Lajpat Rai as the President of the Surat session, the early nationalists proposed the name of Rashbehari Ghosh for the chair.
- There were discussions and debates in the Surat session among both factions. However, there was no conciliation between both groups leading to the Surat split in Congress.
- The split in the INC was an unfortunate event in Indian history. The assertive nationalists remained out of the Congress for many years. It undermined the national movement in the country. The British took this opportunity and used the policy of ‘concession and repression’. While they granted some concessions to the early nationalists, they repressed the activities of the assertive nationalists. Both the early and assertive nationalists were reunited in the 1916 session of Congress held at Lucknow.
The socio-religious reform movements which began in the nineteenth century also instilled the feeling of nationalism among Indians. The introduction of Western education made the educated Indians realize the need to reform society. As a result, socio-religious reform movements started in India.