By the end of the nineteenth century, the Indian nationalists had grown in self-respect and self-confidence. They had acquired faith in their capacity to govern themselves and in the future development of their country.
Leaders like Tilak, Aurobindo Ghose and Bipin Chandra Pal preached the message of self-respect and asked the nationalists to rely on the character and capacities of the Indian people.
They taught the people that the remedy to their sad condition lay in their own hands and that they should therefore become fearless and strong. Swami Vivekananda, though not a political leader, again and again drove home this message. He declared:
If there is a sin in the world it is weakness; avoid all weakness, weakness is sin, weakness is death. And here is the test of truth-anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually and spiritually, rejects as poison, there is no life in it, it cannot be true.
He also urged the people to give up living on the glories of the past and manfully build the future. "When, O Lord," he wrote, "shall our land be free from this eternal dwelling upon the past?"
The belief in self-effort also created an urge for extending the national movement. No longer should the nationalist cause rely on a few upper-class educated Indians. Instead, political consciousness of the masses was to be aroused.
Thus, for example, Swami Vivekananda wrote: "The only hope of India is from the masses. The upper classes are physically and morally dead." There was the realisation that only the masses could make the immense sacrifices needed to win freedom.