The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 116
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
heated parliamentary debates on the alleged culpability of General
Dyer. They spent months in the dominions and the colonies, inter-
viewing officials and civilians, examining documents and obtaining
direct and reliable information on the condition and status of
Although there were scattered and sporadic manifestations of
nationalism earlier, Professor Smith rightly selected the organiza-
tion of the Indian National Congress in 1885 to mark the begin-
ning of the more continuous and extensive movement of today.
Recognizing the importance of that event, it is to be regretted
that he did not discuss the original purposes of the Congress and
the attitude of the Viceroy Lord Dufferin towards it. The Con-
gress came to be India's most dynamic, unofficial political insti-
tution, constantly agitating for a greater degree of native partici-
pation in administration and obtaining occasional concessions; but
up to 1919 none of these was fundamental, none yielded any impor-
tant political power, none was sufficient to appease. The author
attributes their failure largely to the attitude of the British re-
cruited Indian civil service, which had developed "a bureaucratic
tradition and a strong feeling of racial superiority"; so, although
its government was efficient, it was not sympathetic, and its mem-
bers, "convinced that an Indian is incapable of exercising adminis-
trative responsibility," were "unwilling to give him a chance to
prove the contrary."
Professor Smith's analysis of Indian political leadership con-
vinces one that the general trend has been and still is toward the
left. His classification of the leaders is sound, his biographical
sketches illuminating, and his explanation of the constitutional evo-
lution simple. The native politicians were in general agreement that
self-government was the desired objective. They differed from one
another primarily over the speed at which the goal was to be ap-
proached and the methods by which it was to be attained. The
Montagu-Chelmsford reforms (1919-21) constituted a concession
to a strengthening national sentiment. They represent a sharp
departure from earlier British constitutional policy. They were
to be the first of several steps leading to ultimate dominion status.
The first step was a short one but it would have accomplished more
had "the educated classes in India been willing to cooperate." The
intellectuals, however, believed that India had once again been
let down and that "self-determination" was nothing but a war
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940, periodical, 1940; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/m1/124/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.