Table of Contents

Achievements & Limitations of Moderates


  • Creation of a wide national awakening among the people and training them in the art of political work.
  • Popularization of ideas of democracy and nationalism among the people.
  • Exposition of the exploitative character of British imperialism and the consequent evil results for India, for ex., Dadabhai Naoroji’s Drain theory.
  • Creation of a common political and economic program around which the Indians gathered and waged political struggle.
  • Providing a solid base and foundation on which the Indian national movement built up momentum and vigour in later years.
  • Succeeded in getting the Indian Councils Act of 1892 passed by the British.
  • At the request of Moderates, Calcutta University Act of 1904 and Calcutta Municipal Corporation Act of 1904 were passed.


  • 3P (Prayers, Petitions and Protest)
    • Their method was to send prayers and petitions, make speeches and publish articles. By using these tools of colonial modern public life, they tried to prepare a convincing logical case aimed at persuading the liberal political opinion in England in favour of granting self-government to India.
    • They did not understand the true nature of British rule in India.
  • Narrow Social base, absence of mass participation and negative attitude of Government
    • It did not penetrate down to the masses. The leaders lacked faith in the masses. Gopal Krishna Gokhale pointed to the endless divisions and subdivisions in the country, the bulk of the population ignorant and clinging with a tenacity to the old modes of thought and sentiment, which are averse to all changes and do not understand change.
    • They failed to visualize that the masses could prove to be the real driving force in the movement.
    • Therefore, Congress could not take a logical stand on peasant questions. They demanded an extension of Permanent Settlement in the interest of zamindars, though it was meant to protect the peasants from the manipulations of the zamindars.
  • Other Failure:
    • British agreed to share only a small fraction of military expenditure and the demand for appointing Indians in commissioned ranks was rejected as no European officer would cherish the thought of being ordered by an Indian Commander.
    • Many other demands were rejected.
    • Moderate politics thus remained quite limited in nature in terms of its goals, programs, achievements, and participation.
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