The mild policies of the Moderates in the Congress led to the rise of passionate, radical nationalists, who came to be called the ‘Garam Dal’. Thus the first phase of the nationalist movement came to an end with government reaction against the Congress on the one hand and a split in the Congress in 1907 on the other.
That is why the period after 1905 till 1918 can be referred to as the ‘Era of Passionate Nationalists or Garam Dal’. Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal (Lal-Bal-Pal) were important leaders of this Radical group.
When the Moderates were in the forefront of the action, they had maintained a low profile but now they swung into action. Their entry marked the beginning of a new trend and a new face in India’s struggle for freedom. According to them, the Moderates had failed to define India’s political goals and the methods adopted by them were mild and ineffective.
Besides, the Moderates remained confined to the upper, landed class and failed to enlist mass support as a basis for negotiating with the British.
The Garam Dal realized that the British were out to exploit Indians, destroy their self-sufficiency and drain India of its wealth. They felt that Indians should now become free of foreign rule and govern themselves. This group, instead of making petitions to the government, believed in organising mass protests, criticising government policies, boycotting foreign goods and use of Swadeshi (home-made) goods etc.
They did not believe in depending on the mercy of the Britishers, but believed that freedom was their right. Bal Gangadhar Tilak gave a slogan ‘Freedom is our birth right and we must have it’.
In 1916 the two groups were again united with the efforts of Mrs. Annie Besant. She started working for the Home rule movement in 1914. She was convinced that India should be granted Self-Government. In 1916, Muslim League and Congress also came to an understanding with each other and signed the Lucknow Pact.
Later, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose became the eminent figures of Indian National Congress, who led the freedom movement of India forward.