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The moderates were like shields and extremists like swords. Without being together, the moderates seemed toothless and extremists appeared too vulnerable to repression. Congress collapse at Surat was a great triumph for the colonial rulers. Discuss.

Topic:  Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues;

2. The moderates were like shields and extremists like swords. Without being together, the moderates seemed toothless and extremists appeared too vulnerable to repression. Congress collapse at Surat was a great triumph for the colonial rulers. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: India’s struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the impact of Surat Split which rendered moderates ineffective, extremists prone to backlash and made the national movement enter a dormant phase.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin the answer by giving context of Surat split which divided the nationalist ranks.

Body:

Describe the metaphor of ‘swords and shields’ used for extremists and moderates respectively. How as a united front they could put pressure on the government and moderate can handle any backlash.

Write about the impact of Surat Split on moderates, extremists and national movement as whole. Use examples to substantiate your points. Elaborate how this was major triumph for the colonial government.

Conclusion:

Mention the bitter lessons learnt from the Surat split to avoid future splits.

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