LAQ : Why is the 19th century known as the Age of Associations?




Why is the 19th century known as the Age of Associations? What were the aims of ‘Bharat Sabha’?


Age of Association: The whole of the nineteenth century has seen the formation and development of many such associations. So, Cambridge historian Dr Anil Sil, in his book ‘The Emergence of Indian Nationalism: Competition and Collaboration in the Late Nineteenth Century, has called “this period as an age of associations”. Because

  1. In the second half of the nineteenth century, a large number of political organisations emerged.
  2. They were instrumental in the development of political consciousness
  3. Some of the well-known political organisations were: ‘The Puna Sarbojonik Sabha’ of Gopal Hari Deshmukh (1867), ‘Madras Mahajan Sabha (1884), ‘Madras Native Association (1852) and ‘The East India Association, London’ of Dadabhai Naoroji and K. R. Cama (1866).
  4. In 1871 a branch of the East India Association was formed in Bombay. Rangaiyya Naidu, the President of Mahajana Sabha (1884), spread the popularity of his association among small towns and villages.
  5. In 1885, Firoz Shah Mehta, Badruddin Tayebji and Kashinath Trimbak Telang formed ‘The Bombay Presidency Association’. In 1886 Rajnarayan Basu formed a ‘Secret Samity’ in Midnapore and Jyotirindra Nath Tagore formed ‘Sanjeebani Sabha’. ‘Indian Reform Society’ and ‘The London Indian Society’ (1865) were formed through the foreign initiative.

Bharat Sabha had four aims-

  • First, to unite people of all races, religion and community for political purpose.
  • Secondly, to develop strong public opinion throughout the country.
  • Thirdly, to involve people in the mass movement and
  • Fourthly, to unite the Hindus and Muslims together.

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