February 21, 2024

HPAS/ N.T. Allied Mains 2022-23 Answer Writing Challenge: Model Answer

Question: Indian National congress bloomed as the one of the first political associations formed in India in the later half of the 19th century but with  its formation some controversies sparked around. Explain them in detail?                 




  • Safety Valve Theory
  • Theory Of Lightening Conductor
  • Domination of Lawyers

Safety valve theory

  • The Safety valve theory was established by extremist elements in India, such as Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, and others. ‘Unhappy India’ and ‘Punjabi’ are two books written by Lala Lajpat Rai.
  • He explained and criticized the British policy regarding the establishment of the INC in these two books.
  • According to him, the Indian National Congress (INC) was founded as a result of a plot hatched by Lord Dufferin and A.O. Hume
  • Hume’s involvement sparked a slew of conspiracy theories about the origins of Congress.
  • W. C. Banerjee’s claim that Hume was acting on behalf of Lord Dufferin sparked controversy.
  • According to P. Dutt, the Congress was formed under the supervision of a British viceroy to act as a safety valve against popular discontent.
  • This theory arose from William Wedderburn’s biography of Hume, which was published in 1913.
  • In 1878, Hume discovered seven volumes of secret reports revealing discontent among the lower classes and a conspiracy to overthrow British rule.
  • He met Lord Dufferin, and they decided to form an organization of educated Indians that would act as a safety valve by allowing communication between rulers and the ruled, thereby preventing mass revolution.

Lightening Conductor Theory

  • The Lightning Conductor Theory was presented by Gopal Krishna Gokhale.
  • As per the theory, the Indian nationalists were well aware of A.O Hume’s status as an enlightened imperialist.
  • They were well aware that A.O Hume intended to use them for the protection of the British Indian empire.
  • Nonetheless, they joined forces with him in order to use A.O Hume as a protective shield or lightning conductor for the safety of Congress


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