Famous Indian Industrialist of 1920s-30s – 

Jamnalal Bajaj , Vadilal lalubhai Mehta , Samuel Aaron , Lala Shankar Lal , G.D.Birla , Ambalal Sarabhai , Purshottamdas Thakurdas , JRD Tata , John Mathai.
Though didn’t took direct participation in the national movement but supported congress effort by financial help and supporting their view point.

Characteristics of Indian Capitalist class-

  •  It grew out of its own capital base and was not a subsidiary to the foreign capital.

  • It’s interest were profit based and had nothing to do with feudal and pro imperialist interests.

  • They encroached upon the areas of European domination and thus extended their clout on domestic market.

  • The class was open and consistent in its opposition to pro imperialist policies but were not sure of the path to fight imperialism. Coz they wanted to follow the path which was safe for them too and didn’t threatened their own existence too.

Formation of FICCI in 1927

Since from 1920s the capitalist class felt a need of a National level organization which could lobby in their favour from the colonial govt. 

FICCI was formed in 1927 . They developed a unique economic critique of colonial govt. and helped congress in providing valuable inputs on various national economic issues. 

However its functions were not limited to a trade union lobby but it also intervened in the national politics and its leaders iterated it many times that Indian trade and commerce industry is an integral part of national movement.

J r d tata
J R D Tata (image credit- Wikimedia commons)

Opinion on How to wage struggle

  • While capitalists supported national movement they never abandon constitutional path and negotiation through table talks. The Capitalist were not in favour of a prolonged movement.
  • Movement at some point could take social cause and could have turned against capitalist class.

  • A prolonged movement including dharnas and strikes could have affected their own day today business.

  • Supporting constitutional methods though did not guarantee any positive development in national cause but if it was totally ignored it could have helped the other ‘black legs’ to be the only  representatives of the Indians in council. So to stop such black legs from entering into the council constitutional methods were necessary.

  • But they did knew their limits and boycotted the Round table conference in 1930 coz there was no congress voice in that conference.

  • They also denied to negotiate with the govt on various economic issues behind the back of the congress. Coz they knew that without the support of congress nobody will listen to their view in future.

  • While the capitalist class strategy were revolving around congress action congress was not at all effected by the capitalist views. The movement was autonomous and led by nationalist views and not for achieving the interests of a particular class. The issue of economic nationalism was discussed by congress since from 1880s as it effected the nation as a whole and there was no question of capitalist support for it. Even the capitalists opinion about congress was as of an open ended organization where anybody could join.

  • The funds they donated to congress were only their contribution towards national cause and not a token money to as the Congress was self sufficient and had such a public support that it could garner enough money to fight elections.

Capitalists vs Left (1930s-40s)

  • Growth of communist influence over congress pressured capitalist to enter the political movement.

  • They had their own ways to contain the left but they never supported imperialism just to contain the left.

  • They opposed to form a united front with the European traders to oppose left.

  • They opposed government's public safety bill which was intended to curb the communist activities.

  • Post war economic development committee was setup by the capitalists in 1942 according to which a plan was drafted called as Bombay Plan.

  • How far to Support socialist demands till it effects the basic features of capitalism.

  • The points raised in Bombay plan were Government intervention for promoting Indegenous industires for Rapid economic growth ,equitable distribution ,partial nationalization , land reforms , public sector and a series of labour welfare schemes.

Special Tag
Notes from Bipin Chandra Freedom Struggle .

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