Growth of the Middle Class:
(1) Under the British rule there had been a total change in the life of the people.
This was due to the changes introduced by the British in every aspect of life, be it social, economic or cultural. For example, the British introduced changes in the land laws.
There was disruption in the old system of trade and industry.
(2) With these changes there emerged a new social class in India that came to be known as the middle class.
(3) Urbanisation was also an important factor responsible for the growth of the middle class. New urban areas and the emergence of cities were seats of government.
Persons engaged in government jobs belonged to the new social order known as the middle class.
(4), The Western contact through Western junction gave birth to the middle class intelligentsia.
(5) Another section of people that emerged as the middle class were the products of the administrative and economic policies of the British.
By way of elaboration it may be said that the new landlord (zamindars), money lenders, businessman etc. were the product of the British rule. They may also be described as the agents of the foreign rulers who constituted the middle class.
b. Middle Class in the Freedom Movement:
The middle class played a very important role in the freedom movement.
Firstly, precondition for the freedom movement is the growth of national consciousness.
And it was the middle class that played the most vital role in the awakening of national consciousness.
Secondly, it was the educated middle class who discovered the true nature of the British rule.
They realized that in order to do away with poverty and unemployment the foreign rule must be brought to an end.
Thirdly, it was again the middle class people who took initiative in organizing political association and thereby laid the foundation of political movement.
Fourthly, it may be said that at the initial stage of the freedom movement it was the middle class people who started criticizing the government policy and activities.
By adoption of resolution, by organizing meetings as also writing in newspapers, and journals the middle class people drew the attention of the common people to the evils of the foreign rule.
Thus the middle class may be said to be responsible for laying the seeds of national movement.
Also it was this class of people who steered the freedom movement to its destination taking along with it every section of the people.