What were the Two Basic Reasons responsible for the Surat Split in 1907 Between the Early Nationalists and the Assertive Nationalists?

By Shivank Goel|Updated : August 25th, 2022

The two basic reasons responsible for the Surat Split in 1907 between the Early Nationalists and the Assertive Nationalists were:

  • The Early Nationalists believed in settling the minor issues by discussing them with the Government amicably, whereas the Assertive Nationalists believed just the opposite and preferred protests and agitations. The Early Nationalists preferred the Swadeshi Boycott movement to be limited to Bengal, but the Assertive Nationalists wanted it to extend all over the country.
  • The Early Nationalists, during the Surat Session of 1907, advocated for Rash Behari Ghosh as the President of the Indian Congress whereas the Assertive Nationalists preferred Lala Lajpat Rai or Bal Gangadhar Tilak for the President's position. This majorly led to the Surat Split of 1907.

Surat Split, 1907

The difference of opinions between the Early Nationalists and the Assertive Nationalists led to the Surat Split of 1907. This split was a major setback for the Indian National Congress.

It happened when an INC meeting was shifted from Nagpur to Surat and Surat being in the home province of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, made him ineligible to preside over the meeting. The only reason why the Assertive Nationalists or the Extremists as they were called, were enraged was that Tilak was not even given a chance to speak in the meeting. This led to a violent situation and eventually led to the major Surat Split.

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  • The Early Nationalists preferred Rash Behari Ghosh as the President of the Indian National Congress.

  • The difference in the opinions of Early Nationalists & the Extremists over the Presidency of the Indian National Congress & other reasons led to the Surat Split in 1907.

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