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Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge Day – 19

QUESTIONS ASKED: DAY-19 (07/08/2013)

1)What was the effect of Russian Nihilism and Irish nationalism on the Indian national movement? Evaluate.

2)Which factors accelerated the process of decolonization post World War II? Explain the role played by the UN and US in this process.


  1. Meeta Vinay Myskar
    3 Votes


    1) What was the effect of Russian Nihilism and Irish nationalism on indian national movement?

    Indian national movement (INM) encompasses a wide range of movements spanning over 19th till mid 20th centuries with a common aim to end company rule. Unorganized, scattered uprisings were weaved into organized mass movements over years. Dadabhai Naoroji’s economic critique of exploitative British imperial policies, coupled with, volatile international scenario augmented INM – Russian revolution, Russian nihilism, French revolution, Irish nationalism etc.

    Nihilism is a radical skepticism & pessimistic belief that all values are baseless. In 1860 – 1917 Russia, it was identified with complete destruction and a revolutionary movement that rejected authority of state, church and family. It advocated social arrangement based on rational & material knowledge and individual freedom. Political nihilists were associated with clandestine political groups advocating terrorism and assassinations.

    Nihilism’s & INM
    • Rise of extremists,& revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad etc sowed seeds of disrespect and antagonism to govt.
    • The Kakori conspiracy case (1925), Muzzafarpore tragedy, increasing murder attempts (Mr. Kingsford, Andrew Fraser etc), widespread conspiracies, secret societies etc indicate nihilist ideologies.

    Irish Nationalism (I.Na) in late 18th century inspired by French revolution repeatedly demanded self govt. and autonomy from British parliament – particularly Poyning law, which allowed British to rule Ireland. While Irish Radical republicanism advocated use of force to found a secular & egalitarian republic, moderates advocated non violent reformist nationalism. Mass nationalist mobilization began when Isaac Butt’s Home rule league (HRL)(1873) adopted social issues, especially land redistribution issue. Land League campaigned for 3 Fs – fair rent, free sale, fixity of tenure. Cultural nationalism (Celtic Revival of 19th century) concerned with furthering Ireland’s individual native & cultural identity.

    I. Na & INM
    • Moderates and extremists ideologies
    • Hardayal’s Gadar party (USA)(1913)
    • Chittagong armory raid (1930) – to replicate easter rising of Ireland
    • Anne Besant and Tilak’s HRL movement in 1916
    • Nationalists increasingly supporting land reforms, peasants problems also mobilized masses (like Ireland)

    Thus, over the years both internal and external factors gave INM its true essence.

    • Amudhan
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      Hey Meeta
      This question had me stumped. After reading your answer i have a better idea about external influences on INM…. are there any other such influences that we should know about?? :)

      • Meeta Vinay Myskar
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        Thank you Amudhan! Well there are influences of French revolution, American war of independence and also Russian revolution.

        Russian revolution mainly led to the emergence of communist ideology in India, indian communist political parties and mainly our leaning towards USSR during cold war.

        I might have still missed few things here..

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  3. phani
    1 Vote


    Which factors accelerated the process of decolonization post World War II? Explain the role played by the UN and US in this process

    During the war years itself ,in 1941 , USA president Franklin d Roosevelt has mooted the idea of having an international organization which can act as the sovereign force on behalf of all nations to instill peace and avoid the prospects of another world war like situation. Taking cue from this , the major declaration came from the USA and Britain through YALTA CONFERENCE in 1943 in which they declared “none of the allied forces has any intention of holding onto their colonies once the war is over”. It might have been their strategy to muster the support or the learning from the humiliating treaty of Versailles which eventually lead to the WW2. The Potsdam conference and the oaks conference has finally lead to the creation of United Nations organization through sanfrancisco declaration.
    War destructs and there will be no winners and losers in a war. Both the allied forces and the axis powers were equally destructed and post war reconstruction of Europe which has lost its glory became the primary interest of the United States. The birth of communist Russia though happened in 1919 but its mark on world affairs became so prominent after the ww2.with USSR supporting the freedom movements in other countries and the inability of the financially and militarily torn Europe, large scale revolutions for independence in the colonies have left USA with no options but to aid the decolonization.
    Poland, Hungary , Bulgaria , Czechoslovakia ,Romania which were French colonies became independent with the support of USSR. In Albania and Yugoslavia communist governments took oath. India , Pakistan , Burma were freed from British and other south eastern countries too became independent soon. The birth of third world and the policy of pursuing an independent foreign policy as advocated by the leaders like Nasser, tito , sukarno and Nehru through NAM pitched for the independence and peaceful coexistence. With the onset of cold war and a fear of its spread USA fought wars in Korea and Vietnam which made more damage to it than good by stirring the national consciousness of the people in other countries aswell.
    The birth of UNO with 6 principle organs could able to create a level playing field for the thirld world countries to pitch for the total decolonization of the world . The economic and social council and trusteeship councils played a major role in the post war reconstruction and decolonization respectively. The 11 countries put under UNO trusteeship became independent one by one with the last one being Namibia. The emergence of national leaders with new national consciousness has greatly helped UNO in fulfilling its mission.


    Nirmal Singh
    1 Vote


    The moderates failure to yield results through constitutional methods from 1985 to 1905 had convinced youth of ineffectiveness of their methods and had caused widespread frustration This yielded ground for new alternatives like revolutionary terrorism drawing inspiration from foreign movements. Russian Nihilism and Irish Nationalism need special mention here.
    Russian nihilism basically a branch of anarchism believes in natural state i.e. no state, no political religious authority and no value system .It employs violent means whose success attracted extremist attraction. This led to a the era of individual heroism and extremist movements .For the first time the INM reached masses and not limited to elite section. New underground organisations like “Abhinav Bharat”,”Anushilan Samiti and ideologically committed press began to take roots. Activities like decoity(Kakori conspiracy case, murder of officials and arms manufacturing took place. A new class of leaders like Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad, and Aurbindo Gosh emerged. The Indian nationalism is different from nihilism in the sense that former is committed to nationalism with a idea of nation unlike later which is anarchist.
    Irish nationalism is yet another movement which influenced INM although in a more moderate way. The self rule movement in Ireland became inspiration for Indian version i.e. Home rule league movement led by Tilak and Annie Besant.The goal changed from mere constitutional reforms to self rule. It had comparatively less impact on extremist ideology. Further cultural revivalism doesn’t left India untouched The impact of Irish nationalism can be gauged from the fact that later India adopted Directive Principals from Ireland.
    Although the impact of these movements is immense, yet Indian nationalism had developed its own strategy widely different and worked to complement much active non violent mass struggle unlike movement like nihilism.

    • Nirmal Singh
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      I have tried to answer this question my best yet I know it is not complete .Sir can you suggest what is missing and how it can be improved

      • Rate This Response!


        You have given a very good answer. In the conclusion you would have added few lines about failure of such ‘revolutionary struggles’ to inspire masses for a prolonged struggle, weaknesses of individual heroic acts, lack of long term strategy etc.