Economic, Social, and Political Protest in Indian Nationalism: Writings and Speeches of Dadabhai Naoroji, Aurobindo Ghose, and Bipin Chandra Pal



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This history thesis analyzes the economic, political, and social ideas of Dadabhai Naoroji, Aurobindo Ghose, and Bipin Chandra Pal, as shown through their writings and speeches. Dadabhai Naoroji was part of the generation of nineteenth-century nationalists who petitioned the colonial government with economic policy critiques, including his own drain of wealth theory. Ghose and Pal were extremist leaders of the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal who advocated for boycott of the colonial system and independence from Britain. My paper looks at the similarities and differences between the ideas of Naoroji, Pal, and Ghose and analyzes Pal and Ghose s use of Naoroji s arguments and their evaluation of the early nationalist period. I seek to answer questions over the linear progression of Indian nationalism and the relationship between economic critiques and social reform. By further analyzing early Indian nationalists, one can better understand the course of the nationalist movement as well as the ideas that were central to the latter part of the movement led most notably by Gandhi. Through analysis of primary sources as well as historical scholarship, I conclude that the relationship between Naoroji, Pal, and Ghose shows the selective appropriation, modification, and rejection of different ideas by each nationalist generation. I also propose that the Swadeshi Movement holds a central position in the combination of economic and social critiques into a comprehensive political movement during the course of Indian nationalism.



India, Swadeshi, nationalism, Naoroji, Pal, Ghose, Bengal, economics, history