the culture which it contained.
Two Types of Movements The uneven development of a colonial milieu
and the persistence of indigenous forms of socio-religious dissent produced
two distinct types of movement within the period of British rule, the one
“transitional”—and the other “acculturative”.
Transitional Movements had their origins in the pre-colonial world and arose
from indigenous forms of socio-religious dissent, with little or no influence
from the colonial milieu, either because it was not yet established or because
it had failed to affect the individuals involved in a particular movement. The
clearest determinant of a transitional movement was an absence of anglicised
individuals among its leaders and a lack of concern with adjusting its
concepts and programmes to the colonial world. Transitional movements
linked the pre-colonial period with the era of English political domination
and, if successful over time, with the colonial milieu. Once in contact with it,
transitional movements made limited adjustments to that environment.
Acculturative Movements originated within the colonial milieu and was led
by individuals who were products of cultural interaction. The founder of such
a movement may or may not have been drawn into the world of British
culture, but his followers and those who moved into positions of leadership
were largely English-educated Indians, influenced by the specific culture of
England. Acculturative movements sought an accommodation to the fact of
British supremacy to the colonial milieu that such supremacy had created,
and to the personal position of its members within the colonial world. The
basis of such movements and many of their declared aims rested on the
indigenous heritage of social and religious protest. In no way were
acculturative movements totally new or without roots in the established
cultures of India and the specific subcultures of a given region. Thus, the
difference between the transitional and acculturative movements was
primarily at their point of origin.
Their Historic Role The socio-religious movements of a given area must
be examined in relation to British influence and political dominance, in terms
of the local and regional culture, and according to patterns of interaction
between different religious communities. The historic role of socio-religious
movements can only be understood within the context in which they
originated and functioned.