Mass Nationalism In India Essay

1593 Words7 Pages

Mass Nationalism in India
Nationalism, defined by British-Czech philosopher Ernest Gellner, is “the ideology that the political and national units should be congruent” 1 . In India, nationalism developed as a concept during the Independence movement. 2 It was during this time that people gathered together and stood united for a common cause, to free their homeland from the Britishers.
Nationalist movement in India before the arrival of Gandhi from S.Africa in
1915 was described by Judith Brown as "politics of studied limitations" and by
Ravinder Kumar as "a movement representing the classes". 3 However, Gandhi was dedicated to the ideal of a united India. It was under his guidance that mass nationalism was truly seen in a country as vast as India.
Gandhi’s arrival in India was during World War I (1914-18). It was at this time that Britishers increased taxes on goods in India, raised prices of industrial and imported goods and food crops while that of exported Indian raw materials did not increase at the same pace, and also forcibly recruited Indians in the army to fight the war. Because the Britishers were busy with war, they were also not able to look into the conditions of Indians, leading to failure of crops, spread of epidemic diseases and death of many. Not surprisingly, this angered Indians and they needed some way to express their anger. The arrival of Mahatma Gandhi and his ideals gave them the ideal opportunity to do so.
Gandhi claimed that “the real enemies were

Open Document