17 April, 2021

On Parallel, Shining Paths

Gandhiji’s vision of India—a moral, secular version of village life and economy—was the opposite of Nehru’s ideals of socialism, democracy and science. Both made compromises in their stands.

Illustration by Sajith Kumar
On Parallel, Shining Paths

It is possible to argue that the Indian national movement has been the greatest achievement of the Indian people. Like all revolutionary movements it had modest beginnings, traceable in complaints against particular policies and measures of the British government, without yet any notion of direct opposition to that government, let alone any vision of what India would be, if or when the colonial rule was to end.

By the end of the century, Indian nationalists had produced brilliant critiques of British rule. Dadabhai Naoroji, the ‘Grand Old Man’ of Indian nationalism, published his Poverty and UnBritish rule in India (1901), a collection of his writings of over some 30 years. R.C. Dutt brought out his two volumes of the Economic History of British Rule in India (1901 and 1903), and G. Subramaniya Iyer his Economic Aspects of British Rule (1903), all devastatingly critical of British rule, of the tribute Britain exacted, its heavy taxation, and its forcible capture of the Indian market. But beyond calling for certain specific measures of...

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