The Early Nationalist and Assertive Nationalism : ICSE Class 10 Board Exam Questions and Answers

2 Marks Questions

Question 1 : Mention two important contributions of Lala Lajpat Rai. (2014)

Answer : Two important contributions of Lala Lajpat Rai are as follows:

i) Lala Lajpat Rai was popularly known as ‘Punjab Kesari’ or ‘Sher-e-Punjab’. He founded ‘Punjabi’, ‘Vande Mataram’ (Urdu Daily) and ‘People’ (English Weekly).

ii) He joined the Congress in 1888 and remained its member till the end of this life. He was elected as the President of Congress in 1920. He became the first President of the All Indian Trade Union Congress (AITUC) in 1920.

Question 2 : What were the two basic reasons responsible for the Surat Split in 1907 between the Early Nationalists and the Assertive Nationalists? (2014)

Answer : There were much debate and disagreement between the Moderates and the Extremists in the Indian National Congress. The Moderates wanted to achieve Swaraj through Constitutional means and Assertives believed that unless they put a stronger pressure on the Government, they would never achieve their objectives. The Moderates believed only in resolutions and petitions. After the Partition of Bengal, the Assertives had come to believe that it was impossible to gain any concession by petitions and prayers.

Question 3 : Who exposed the Economic Exploitation of India through his book “Poverty and Un-British Rule in India”? (2013)

Answer : Dadbhai Naoroji exposed the Economic Exploitation of India through his book ‘Poverty and Un-British Rule in India’.

Question 4 : Mention two reasons for the faith of the Moderates in the British sense of justice. (2012)

Answer : Two reasons for the faith of Moderates in the British sense of justice were as follows:

i) The Moderates thought that the Englishmen thought about progressing Indian and putting it on the path of democracy and self governance.

ii) The Moderates thought that English rule had conferred benefits upon them, especially the English language and the modern means of communication and transport.

Question 5 : Mention two achievements of the Moderates. (2011,2002)

Two achievements of the Moderates were as follows:

i) They trained people in politics by popularising the ideas of democracy, civil liberties, secularism and nationalism.

ii) They created national awakening among the people that they belonged to one common country. This made Indians conscious of the bonds of common political, economic and cultural interests that united them.

Question 6 : Mention the regional associations that each of the following nationalists had in the freedom struggle. (2010)

i) Surendranath Banerjee

ii) Dadabhai Naoroji

Answer : i) Surendranath Banerjee – Indian  Association (1876) in Bengal.

ii) Dadabhai Naoroji – East India Association (1866) in London.

Question 7 : What were the two methods adopted by the radical nationalists in the freedom struggle? (2010)

Answer : Swadeshi and Boycott were the two methods, which were adopted by the radical nationalists in the freedom struggle.

Question 8 : Mention two acts against which Surendranath Banerjee protested. (2008)

Answer : The Arms Act and the Vernacular Press Act were protested against by the Surendranath Banerjee,

Question 9 : Name the Congress leader, who died after being assaulted by the British in his demonstration against the Simon Commission’s recommendations. (2008)

Answer : Lala Lajpat Rai was the Congress leader, who died after being assaulted by the British in his demonstration against Simon Commission’s recommendation.

Question 10 : Name the nationalist who said ‘Swaraj is my birth-right.” Mention one contribution of his to the National Movement. (2007)

Answer : Bal Gangadhar Tilak said ‘Swaraj is my birth-right’. In year 1896, he started a No Rent Campaign to expose the British , who misruled the country. Tilak established a Home Rule League at Pune in 1916 to attain self-government within the British Empire by constitutional means.

Question 11 : Mention two contributions of Dadabahi Naoroji to the Indian Movement. (2006)

Answer : Two contributions of Dadabhai Naoroji were as follows:

i) In 1865, he founded the London India Society in collaboration with WC Bonnerjee.

ii) He presented the ‘Drain Theory’ in his book ‘Poverty and Un-British Rule in India.”

Question 12 : Name of the Moderate leader who explained the economic ‘Drain Theory” during the colonial times. (2004)

Answer : Dadabhai Naoroji explained the economic ‘Drain Theory’ during the colonial times.

Question 13 : Name the national leader, who succumbed to the Lathi charge during the protest movement against the Simon Commission. (2004)

Answer : Lala Lajpat Rai was the Congress leader, who died after being assaulted by the British in his demonstration against Simon Commission’s recommendation.

Question 14 : Who started the paper ‘The Young India’? (2003, 2000)

Answer : Lala Lajpat Rai started the paper “The Young India”.

Question 15 : Who was called ‘The Grand Old Man of India’? (2001)

Answer : Dadabhai Naoroji was called ‘The Grand Old Man of India.”

Question 16 : Name any two leaders among the Moderates. (2000)

Answer : Two leaders of the Moderates were as follows:

i) Dadabhai Naoroji

ii) Surendranath Banerjee

Question 17 : Who said ‘Swaraj is my birth-right and I will have it’? (2000)

Answer : Bal Gangadhar Tilak said ‘Swaraj is my birth-right and I will have it.”

3/4 Marks Questions

Question 18 : What were the four aims of the Congress? (2014)

Answer : There were several aims of the Congress party. Some of them were as follows:

i) To develop the friendly relations between Nationalist political workers from different parts of the country.

ii) To promote and consolidate the feeling of national unity irrespective of caste, religion or province.

iii) To formulate popular demands and present them before the British Government.

iv) To train and organise the public opinion in the country.

Question 19 : Why were the Early Congressmen called Moderates? (2013)

The Early Congressmen were called Moderates, because

i) early Moderates believed in loyalty to the British crown.

ii) they had faith in the British sense of justice and fair play. Their attitude was not anti-British.

iii) they believed that the British rule had many benefits e.g., it aided in cleansing social ills like Sati, Untouchability and Child Marriage.

v) the method of Petitions, Prayers and Protests were used by the early congressmen.

Question 20 : How did Moderates differ from the Assertive Nationalists in realising their objectives? (2013)

Answer : Differences between the Moderates and Assertive Nationalists were as follows:

i) Moderates wanted to achieve self-governance and they strove for autonomy within the empire and not for absolute independence. The assertive Nationalists aimed at nothing short of Swaraj.

ii) In terms of the basic beliefs, the Moderates looked to England for inspiration and guidance. They had faith in the British benevolence whereas aggressive nationalists had no faith in the goodness of the British or in their assurance to the Indians.

iii) The moderates had faith in the British sense of justice and fair play. The Assertives rejected British rule and held it responsible for the poverty of the Indian people.

iv) Moderates were inspired by the ideas of Western philosophers. Assertives drew their inspiration from the Indian past.

v) Moderates believed in constitutional methods and worked within the framework of the law. Whereas, Aggressive Nationalists were radical in their approach. Their demands were aggressive.

Question 21 : How did Tilak bring a new wave in Indian politics that was distinct from the Early Congressmen? (2013)

Answer : i) Bal Gangadhar Tilak is known as the ‘Father of the Assertive Nationalism’. He was a fearless fighter and had no faith in the methods of prayers and petitions.

ii) He started two newspapers, ‘The Kesari’ (Marathi) and ‘The Maratha (English), both of which made bitter attacks on the Government. He used his newspapers as powerful weapons to spread discontent against the British rule.

iii) He preached the idea of Swadeshi, Boycott and Prohibition, later on these ideas were followed by Mahatma Gandhi.

iv) It was his conviction that Independence would come to India only when the Indians were strong enough to snatch it from the British hands.

v) He was the first Nationalist leader, who sought close contact with the masses.

vi) It was under his influence that, the Congress in its annual session in 1906, had to pass resolutions regarding Swaraj. He said ‘Swaraj is my birth-right and I shall have it.’

7 Marks Questions

Question 22 : With reference to nationalism, explain each of the following (2008)

i) Contributions of Bipin Chandra Pal.

ii) How did the British react when the Indian National Congress was founded? Why did the attitude change later?

Answer : i) Contributions of Bipin Chandra Pal : Bipin Chandra Pal is known as the ‘Father of the Revolutionary Thought’ in India. He joined the Congress in 1886 and made a forceful speech in Madras to repeal the Arms Act. In the role of a journalist, he worked for ‘Bengal Public Opinion’, ‘The Tribune’ and ‘New India’ to propagate his brand of nationalism. He opposed the caste system and other rigidities concerning inter-dining and inter-mixing.

He advocated Widow remarriage. Educating women, he believed, was the most effective way of elevating their position. To establish equality in society, the wanted to tax the rich more heavily than the poor. He demanded forty-eight hours of work in a week and an increase in the wages. During the Anti-Partition Movement, he toured several parts of the country with the message of Boycott and Swadeshi.

ii) Initially, the British Government looked upon the Congress Movement with favour and welcomes the formation of the Indian National Congress. A few Government officials attended the first session of the Congress and took part in its deliberations. In fact, AO Hume, the founder of the Congress was himself a retired British civil servant. It was felt by the British rulers that the suppressed rage or popular demands of the Indians can be given a safe outlet through a political platform.

They thought that this will prevent the recurrence of revolt from the Indians. Bu the official attitudes soon changed. Lord Dufferin, tried to divert the National Movement, by suggesting Hume that the Congress should devote itself to social rather than political affairs. But the rising popularity of the Congress and the increasing demands of the Nationalists from the British rulers led to a change in the British policy towards the Congress. Gradually, the British Government became indifferent to the meetings and demands of the Congress.

In 1887, Lord Dufferin attacked the National Congress in his speech and ridiculed it as representing only ‘a microscopic unconstitutional’. British officials criticized the National Congress and branded its leaders as ‘disloyal babus’ and ‘violent villains’.

10 Marks Questions

Question 23 :










a) Identify the persons ‘A’ and ‘B’ given above. To which section of the Congress did each belong and what were their ultimate objectives?

b) Highlight three different methods of struggle adopted by each section of the Congress.

c) State the contributions of the person ‘B’ in the freedom struggle. (2009)

Answer : a) Person in picture ‘A’ is Gopal Krishna Gokhale. He belonged to the Moderate section of the Congress. He was influenced by the ideas of Justice MG Ranade.

The moderates wanted to achieve self-governance and thy strove for autonomy within the British empire and not for the absolute independence. They believed in constitutional methods and worked within the framework of the law.

Person in picture ‘B’ is Lala Lajpat Rai, one of the Assertive leaders of the Congress. The main objective of the Assertive Nationalists was the immediate attainment of ‘Swaraj’. This meant complete independence and not just self-government, as was in the colonies of Australia and New Zealand etc.

b) Methods of struggle adopted by each section of the Congress were as follows:

i) Methods of Moderates

The Moderates relied on constitutional and peaceful methods and avoided violence and confrontation. They believed in the three Ps – Prayers, Petitions, and Protests to achieve their objectives. Thy had faith in the British sense of justice and fair play and believed that India needed a balanced representation of of its demands before the British rulers. Therefore, they did not follow a policy of confrontation but hihglighted their problems in the following manner:

  • They held meetings where speeches were made and resolutions for popular demands were passed.
  • They made use of the press to  carry out a criticism of the Government policies.
  • They sent memorandums and petitions to the Government officials and to the British Parliament.

ii) Methods of the Assertives

The main focus of the Assertive Nationalists was to get a larger share for Indians in the administration of their country and to end Britain Economic Exploitation of India. They favoured the use of revolutionary methods for achieving their aims.

They adopted the following methods for the struggle:

  • The Assertive leaders believed in adopting the policy of non-violent resistance and vigorous political action to achieve their arms.
  • They mainly relied on the strength of the masses. They converted the National Movement into a Mass Movement. They aroused the masses by influencing them with their sacrifices and sufferings.
  • Assertive Nationalists received self-respect by referring to India’s past glory. These leaders planned the National Movement on people’s religious beliefs.

The Assertive Nationalists tried to enlist the students in their service, when the British Government threatened to take disciplinary action against the students, the national leaders advocated national universities that were free from government control.

c) Contributions of Lala Lajpat Rai in the Freedom Struggle

i) He started a monthly magazine ‘The Young India’, to spread the message to the right of India to attain Swaraj. Through this magazine, he propagated his ideas of Radical Nationalism among the people of India.

ii) He opened orphanages, hospitals and schools. He set-up ‘Servants of the People Society’ for the welfare of the downtrodden and outcastes.

iii) He was assaulted by a British sergeant while demonstrating against the Simon Commission in Lahore in 1928.  This incident fuelled Anti-British passion and enraged revolutionaries.

iv) He inspired Indians to take action against the British rulers rather than following the three Ps – Prayers, Petitions and Protests for this purpose. He delivered many seditious speeches and for the same was arrested and deported to prison for six months for the same.

Question 24 : Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow

‘….the Indians, who actively worked for the creation of an all-India political organisation represented new social forces that were increasingly opposed to the exploitation of India for British interests. They needed on organisation that would fight for India’s political and economic advancement.’ – From ‘Freedom Struggle.’ (2007)











i) In the context of the above, identify the two individuals in Pictures (A) and (B), who were the early leaders of the organisation to be for.

ii) How did the person in picture (B) explain the Economic Exploration of India for British interests?

iii) Name the organisation, which was to be formed. What were the objectives behind the formation of this political body?

iv) Explain the major ideological differences, which emerged amongst the leaders within the first twenty years of the foundation of this organization.

Answer : i) Picture (A) – Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Picture (B) – Dadabhai Naoroji.

ii) Dadabhai Naoroji exposed the economic ills of the Indian economy and criticised the British rule for its bad effects on the Indian economy. His views on Indian economy are given in his work titled ‘Poverty and Un-British Rule in India’. His famous ‘Drain Theory’ explained how India’s wealth was being ‘drained’ to England through various ways.

iii) The Indian National Congress was the organisation that was to be formed.

The objective of the Indian National Congress were as follows:

a) To promote friendly relations between nationalist political workers from different parts of the country.

b) To develop and consolidate the feelings of national unity irrespective of caste, religion or province.

c) To formulate popular demands and present them before the Government.

d) To train and organize the public opinion in the country.

iv) The method popularly known as Constitutional Agitation method was followed by the Early Liberal Nationalists. The Moderates carried their agitations by the following methods which were as follows:

a) They made us the Press to carry out a criticism of the Government policies.

b) They made use of three Ps – Petitions, Prayers and Protests.

c) They held meetings in towns, cities, and the countryside.

d) Resolutions and distributions of leaflets and pamphlets.

e) Preparing memorandum for the Government Committees and sending them.

f) They merely wanted to mitigate the evils of British rules and not to terminate it.

Question 25 : i) Name the person represented in the picture given alongside. Write about his contribution to the National Movement.

ii) State the demands made by the Moderates.

iii) Give any four achievements of the Moderates.


Answer : i) The person represented in the picture is Bal Gangadhar Tilak, known as the ‘Father of the Assertive Nationalism’. He played an important role in popularising the cult of patriotism and making the Congress Movement broad-based. He was truly an Extremist leader as he did not believe in the constitutional methods of Petitions, Prayers and Protests for getting reforms from the British. Tilak was the first to openly declare the demand for Swaraj. ‘Swaraj is my birth-right, and I shall have it.’

He started two newspapers, Maratha (English) and Kesari (Marathi), which soon became the mouthpiece of his ideas. In 1893, he started the traditional religious Ganpati festival to propagate nationalist ideas, and in 1895 he glorified Shivaji and started the Shivaji festivals to encourage young Maharashtrians. No-rent campaigns were also organized by him. The British Government’s mishandling of plague relief measures was also criticised by Tilak. Due to the efforts of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the Indian National Congress passed the resolution of Swadeshi, Boycott, Swaraj and National Education in its Annual Session in the year 1906.

ii) The Demands made by the Moderates

a) Abolition of Indian Council.

b) Expansion of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assemblies both at the Center and in the Provinces.

c) Increase in the membership of Indians by including some members elected by local bodies like Chambers of Commerce and Universities, etc.

d) Reduction of land revenue and protection of peasants against unjust demands of the zamindars.

e) Demand for Indianisation of services through simultaneous Indian Civil Service Examinations in England and India.

f) Abolition of the Preventive Detention Act and restoration of individual liberties.

g) Removal of restrictions imposed by the British Government on the Freedom of Speech and the Freedom of Press.

h) Increase in the power of the local (municipal) bodies and reduction of official control over them.

i) Complete separation of the Executive and the Judiciary. They made this demand to protect the Indians from the arbitrary acts of the police and the bureaucracy.

j) Industrial growth through trade protection . It meant that a heavy tax should be imposed on imported goods and the Government should give out loans for the development of iron, coal, paper and sugar industries in India.

iii) Four Achievements of the Moderates

a) They aroused the feeling of one nation. They succeeded in creating national awakening by arousing among people the feeling that they belonged to one common nation in India.

b) They trained Indians in the art of political work and popularized the idea of Democracy and Civil liberties and Representative Institutions.

c) They exposed the true nature of the British rule in India.

d) They pressurised the British Government to introduce certain reforms like the appointment of Public Service Commission (1886), holding ICS Examination simultaneously in London and India and the appointment of the Welly Commission for Indian Expenditure.

Question 26 : With reference to the role of the Moderates in arousing National awakening in India, answer the following questions. (2002)

i) Name the Moderates leaders. Why were they called so?

ii) Who was known as ‘India’s unofficial ambassador in England’? What were his views on the cause of poverty in India? Mention his achievements in strengthening Indian nationalism.

Answer : i) Dadbhai Naoroji, WC Bonnerjee, Madan Mohan Malviya, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Justice Ranade and Pherzoeshah Mehta were some major Moderate leaders. They were called Moderate leaders because by nature, their demands were Moderate along with their methods, which were constitutional as well.

ii) Dadabhai Naoroji, the ‘Great Old Man of India’ was known as India’s unofficial Ambassador in England, and can be viewed as the architect who laid the foundation of the Indian Freedom Struggle. He sacrificed his career and his family for the country. His views on why poverty occurred in India and how the wealth of the Indians was gradually drained to Britain have been published. As the years passed, Dadabhai grew more and more disillusioned with the ‘fair-minded’ British.

After spending years collecting statistics, Dadabhai propounded the ‘Drain Theory’. “The inevitable consequences of foreign dominion is the drain of wealth of the subject nation to the country of the rulers.” Dadabhai proved that the average income of an Indian was barely Rs.20. Examining the import and export figures for 37 years, he proved that India’s exports exceeded its imports by Rs.50 crore (approximately $135 million) annually.

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