Difference Between Moderates and Extremists

The 1907 session of the Indian National Congress saw the splitting of the party into two different factions.

Although they shared the common goal the idea of an independent India, how they approached the matter was entirely different.

UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 - Difference Between Moderates and Extremists

This article will give a proper understanding of the differences between the moderates and the extremists of the Indian National Congress, which is important for a Civil Services aspirant as questions are repeatedly asked on this topic in the UPSC Prelims examinations. 

The difference between Moderates and Extremists are given in the table below:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Differences Moderates and Extremists



Moderates believed in Liberalism and Moderate Politics. They believed that the British rulers were merely unaware of the plight of the Indian masses and that once they were made aware the British authorities would do their utmost to improve the lives of the local populace. The Extremist leaders firmly believed that the British had no interest of the Indian people in mind. It was evident from the lacklustre response from the authorities during a plague or famine
The moderates found their support base in the Zamindars and the upper-middle-class The extremists found their support bases among the educated middle-class and lower classes
Moderates wanted greater autonomy and self-rule while still under the nominal rule of the British crown Extremists wanted completed independence from British rule
Moderates limited their struggle to constitutional means Extremists often used extra-constitutional methods often during their activities
Prayer, Petition, Persuasion, and Philanthropy. Their demands were constitutional, and so was their agitation. Their methods were regarded as ‘Passive Resistance’. Extremists were radical in terms of their approach.
Dadabai Naoroji, A.O. Hume Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak

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Frequently Asked Questions on Difference Between Moderates and Extremists


What was the ideology of Moderates and Extremists during the Freedom Struggle?

Extremists were completely against British rule and wanted complete independence. The Moderates, on the other hand, wanted self-rule and greater autonomy and accepted nominal British rules.

How were extremists different from moderates?

The Moderates believed that once Britishers would understand the Indian mass, they would work for their benefits and progress and improve the lives of the people. However, the Extremists firmly believed that the British authorities were not interested in the Indian people and lives.

To get a general idea of the exam, you can visit the UPSC Syllabus page. For more UPSC-related preparation materials and other articles refer to the link given in the table below:

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