The Europeanised Indians who led India’s independence movement — both Hindu and Muslim — represented no one but themselves. They were a handful of fortunate Indians who had done extremely well out of British tutelage. For their loyalty and willing acceptance of an alien language and culture, the British had offered them enormous rewards by way of jobs, titles, estates and social status. The men who became leaders of Indian ‘nationalism’ and ‘patriots of the front rank’ were in fact the very people who had willingly abandoned their Indian identity and had helped British rule take deep roots in the soil of India. When they turned round and asked the British to leave they were biting the hand that fed them. The British, knowing the languid and tame nature of this élite group, merely ignored them. In any case, so long as the 80 to 90 per cent of the Indian masses were ‘happy’ in their remote villages, untouched by the new ‘civilisation’ of European nationalism, the few men in the Congress of the town dwellers could do little to shake the supremacy of the monolithic colonial bureaucracy. One attribute of western education was that it made the ‘educated’ incapable of political or any other form of social communication with the Indian masses.
KeywordsMuslim Community United Province Western Education Feudal Lord Indian Mass
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