Indian historians have tended in the past to explain the origins of nationalism and political activity in the subcontinent in terms of all-India organizations such as the Indian National Congress or in terms of the political thought and background of important national figures. As research on modern India accumulates, however, it is becoming apparent that this limited explanation of Indian political history is no longer adequate. The major regions had their own distinct social and political development which molded the response of local politicians to the larger political movements and which in turn had some effect on the speed and direction of the Indian nationalist movement. A fruitful approach to understanding the Congress would thus be to view it as an assembly of politicians who had regional political ties and who were strongly influenced by regional organizations. The significant role of the Arya Samaj in the politics of North India particularly supports such an interpretation. The revivalist Arya Samaj contributed to Hindu militancy and aggravated Hindu-Muslim relations. Although this aspect of Arya activity has yet to receive systematic treatment, the broad outline of the Samaj's part in hardening divisions between Hindus and Muslims is well known. The role of Aryas in provincial and national politics, on the other hand, has received little or no attention.

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