Discuss Surendranath Banerjee's contribution as a social reformer in Indian History.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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When Banerjee wrote the pamphlet, A Nation in Making, it helped set forth the fundamental principle that articulated Indian empowerment.  I would say that this is a major contribution to the social reform movement in Colonial India.  Banerjee was able to articulate a condition that demanded an Indian voice be heard in its relationship with the British.  He understood that there needed to be a fundamental change in the relationship with the British, and validating this concern was Banerjee's primary motivation.  It is here where he gets the most credit and the most criticism.  At the time, it was difficult to envision a "nation in making" that did not possess Britain in it.  This was the position of the "radical" voices of Indian politics, and these voices had nothing but disdain for thinkers like Banerjee, whose position was that working with the British and accommodating them to allow Indians greater flexibility was the answer for the future nation.  Banerjee's stance here made him unpopular with the thinkers like Gandhi.  Banerjee's passion about social reform revolved around the fundamental idea that an Indian voice in Indian affairs was essential for progress in the future, and towards advancement to the idea of "a nation in making."

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