Indian National Movement got an impetus after the foundation of the Indian National Congress in 1885. Mr. A.O. Hume, a retired member of the Indian Civil Service, took the initiative in this direction. He appealed to the Graduates of the Calcutta University to form an association for the moral, social and political regeneration of the Indians. Lord
Dufferin, the then Viceroy of India, supported the idea. Leaders like Dada Bhai Nauroji S.N. Banerjee, Ferozshah Mehta, Badruddin Tyabji and others helped him to found the Indian National Congress.
Aims and Objectives of the Congress Leaders from 1885 to 1905: The early phase of the National Movement was dominated by the moderate leaders like Dada Bhai Nauroji, Surendra Nath Banerjee, Ferozshah Mehta, Gopal Krishna Gokhale etc. They believed in peaceful and constitutional methods.
They tried to achieve the following objectives:
I. Demand for wider powers for the councils and training in self-government.
II. Removal of poverty by the rapid development of agriculture and modern industries.
III. Indianization of the higher administrative services.
IV. Freedom of speech and press for the defence of their civil rights.
The moderate leaders, thus, tried to create the national consciousness and raise the public opinion against the British imperialism. They created a common platform for the national struggle.
Methods of the Moderate Leaders:
I. They adopted peaceful and constitutional means to achieve their aims.
II. They had full faith in the British sense of justice, so they adopted a friendly attitude towards the British rulers.
III. They believed in constitutional reforms. They would send petitions to the British Government in the hope that it would grant them freedom.
However, the moderates failed to achieve their aim, as the British government did not cooperate with them. It gave way to the rise of extremism in the Congress after 1905.