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Indian freedom struggle
With the first war for Indian independence, the struggle for Indian freedom began. When 72 delegates from throughout the nation gathered in Bombay later that year, the Indian National Congress was created. The Indian National Congress was a crucial player in the fight for Indian independence. Interesting tidbits regarding the Indian liberation struggle will be provided in this post.
Indian Freedom Struggle Background
In the latter half of the nineteenth century, Indian nationalism started to take shape. The battle for freedom from colonial domination by the British Empire officially began in 1857 with the uprising. The Sepoy Mutiny and India’s First War of Independence were two of the names given to the insurrection in 1857. Although the Revolt of 1857 began as a mutiny, it quickly extended over the entire nation in an effort to topple the foreign rule. The 1857 uprising was unsuccessful, but it ignited the flame of independence, leading to a number of Indian national movements with the ultimate aim of ending British control in India.
Indian Freedom Struggle: Moderate Approach
The Indian National Congress (INC) adopted a moderate stance during its first 20 years. They began by requesting that Indians have more clout in the executive and legislative branches of government. It demanded that India have civil service examinations. In order to make the Legislative councils more representative, Indian National Congress asked that they be established in any provinces where they weren’t already present.
- INC pushed for the right to free speech and expression.
- The arm laws were to be repealed, and the judicial and executive branches were to be separated.
- The INC also asked that the British find more money for irrigation, spend less on the military, collect less money from land sales, and other measures to help the Indians’ economic troubles.
- The INC issued numerous resolutions regarding the plight of forest inhabitants, the treatment of Indian labourers overseas, and the salt tax.
- The INC’s moderate leaders made an effort to raise public awareness of the injustice of British rule by delivering speeches, writing articles, printing newspapers, and dispatching representatives to various regions of the nation to mobilize public opinion.
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List of Indian Freedom Struggle (1857-1942)
In 1857, the first war for Indian independence was fought. The Indian National Congress afterwards attempted to continue the freedom-related momentum. Numerous extremist leaders appeared. There were several leaders of the revolt. The father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was crucial to the fight for Indian independence.
|Year||Indian Freedom Struggle||Significance|
|1857||Revolt of 1857||Sepoy Munity in Meerut spread to Delhi, Agra, Kanpur, and Lucknow|
|1905-1911||Swadeshi Movement||Partition of Bengal by Lord Curzon|
|1914-1917||Gadar Movement||Komagata Maru Incident|
|1916-1918||Home Rule Movement||Bal Gangadhar Tikal Launched the movement with Annie Besant|
|1917||Champaran Satyagraha||First non-violent protest in India by Mahatma Gandhi|
|1920||Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement||First Mass Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi|
|1930||Civil Disobedience Movement||Launched to break the salt law|
|1940||Individual Satyagraha||Launched against the August Offer|
|1942||Quit India Movement||Mahatma Gandhi launched his third major movement against British Rule|
Indian Freedom Struggle in Details
Revolt of 1857
The struggle, also known as India’s first freedom war, started on May 10 at Meerut and gradually moved to Delhi, Agra, Kanpur, and Lucknow. The East India Company was the target of its first big insurrection. The Revolt, whiles its failure, had a profound effect on the populace and served as the impetus for India’s entire independence movement. The East India Company was clearly shown to be incapable of exercising authority over the country by the uprising of 1857, which sent a strong message to the British Crown. This struggle for independence marked the end of the British East India Company’s rule. India legally became a British territory in 1858, when the British Crown usurped power from the East India Company. After then, the British government used governors general to directly rule India. In the second half of the nineteenth century, political organisation grew rapidly in British India. The Indian National Congress, sometimes known as the Congress Party, was the most notable one and was founded in 1885. In order to obtain a bigger political role for educated Indians, its first objective was to create a forum for civil and political conversation between Indians and the British Raj. Later, the Congress party played a key role in planning significant movements against the British administration, led by figures like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahralal Nehru,Subhas Chandra Bose, and Sardar Vallabhai Patel.
Swadeshi Movement – 1905-1911
Given that the population of Bengal as a whole would be challenging to manage, Lord Curzon’s proposal to divide Bengal in 1905 led to the birth of the Swadeshi Movement. However, in order to undermine nationalist unity, the British decided to split Bengal into two provinces. On August 7, 1905, a meeting held at the Calcutta Town Hall adopted the “Boycott” resolution, launching the Swadeshi movement and unifying its previously dispersed leadership. The Swadeshi movement aimed to promote the use of local products and services while criticising its British rivals. This improved India’s economic situation and proved to the British that Indians were capable of supporting themselves. This movement turned violent when openly burnt British goods. To solve this problem, the British began imprisoning the agitators, and ultimately Bengal was divided. Because it showed the nation’s unity and let people realise they could beat the British if they banded together, the Swadeshi Movement was a turning point in Indian history.
Ghadhar Movement- 1914-1917
An important turning point in India’s struggle for independence was the Ghadar Movement. In order to decrease the amount of Indian immigrants coming to Canada in search of employment in the early 20th century, a variety of strict immigration restrictions based on racial discrimination were placed in place. Komagata Maru Incident: Indian immigrants were being transported on board a ship from Canada under the name of Komagatamaru when it was ordered back. As the ship was returning to India, a fight with the British police resulted in the deaths of several passengers or the detention of others. Due to the prejudice and violation of human rights, the Komagata Maru incident garnered attention and outrage on a global scale. The incident provided the Ghadar party more motivation to fight against colonial control, which in turn helped the Indian cause for independence. The Ghadar Movement faded with the violent British suppression. Following the conclusion of World War I, the Ghadar Party divided into a Communist and a Socialist faction in 1917. One way to describe the Ghadar movement is as a tale of amazing bravery, effort, and struggle that touched every Indian expatriate. The strong statements given by its leaders did influence the view of foreigners against the British misrule in India. It genuinely counts as a significant conflict since it inspired the populace to strive for freedom and planted the seeds for any other future course of action.
Home Rule Movement – 1916-18
The Home authority Movement was a potent vehicle for voicing opposition to British authority and the nation’s response to the First World War. Bal Gangadhar Tilak launched the Home Rule Movement in Belgaum in April 1916, while Annie Besant launched it in Madras in September 1916. The goal of this movement was to achieve independence from the British government. By increasing political knowledge and gathering a larger political representation for the nation in opposition to British Rule, the movement aimed to show the might of India and its people. The 1917 Montague Declaration, which was the culmination of this campaign, promised more representation of Indians in government, encouraged the development of institutions for self-governance, and ultimately resulted in responsible administrations in India.
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Champaran Satyagrah – 1917
The Champaran Movement, which took place in the Bihar province of Champaran in 1917, was Mahatma Gandhi’s first instance of civil disobedience during the campaign for freedom. Rajkumar Shukla, an indigo farmer, convinced Gandhi to travel to Champaran to investigate the situation of the farmers there, who were subjected to onerous restrictions and hefty taxes. The British colonists forced them to cultivate indigo under the tinkathia system. Gandhi organised nonviolent demonstrations against planters and landlords with the help of the local farmers and people, and as a consequence the oppressive tinkathia system was abolished by the government. Additionally, a portion of the money that was seized from the peasants was used to recompense them. Before starting the Rowlatt Satyagraha, Gandhi organised three protests in Champaran, Ahmedabad, and Kheda in 1917 and 1918. Although the Champaran Satyagraha was the first to be organised, the term “Satyagraha,” which refers to a non-violent manner of protest, was first used during the anti-Rowlatt Act protest.
Rowlatt Satyagraha- 1919
The British Indian government passed the Rowlatt Act in 1919, also known as the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act. According to the Act, the government had the right to hold someone accused of participating in terrorism for up to two years without a trial. The Rowlatt Act also placed significant restrictions on press freedom. On April 6, 1919, Mahatma Gandhi started a non-violent Satyagraha known as the Rowlatt Satyagraha to protest the British government’s discriminatory Rowlatt Act. People were urged to hold protests and not report to work as part of a nationwide hartal that was declared. Despite the success of the hartal in Delhi, there was violence in Punjab and a few other locations. Gandhi therefore decided to halt the hartal following the violence. The protests against the Rowlatt Act also led to the tragic Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which occurred in Amritsar on April 13, 1919. This incident gave Indians a compelling motive to intensify their fight for their country’s independence.
Khilafat and Non- Cooperation Movement – 1920
Khilafat Movement: Muslims in India were not pleased with how the British overthrew the Caliph in Turkey. As a result, there were many anti-British protests in 1919. Congress and the Muslim League joined forces at this time. Together, these two parties planned a number of political demonstrations. On August 31, 1920, the Khilafat Committee launched a campaign of non-cooperation, which served as the movement’s official launch date. The Non-Cooperation Movement was started on September 5, 1920, by the Indian National Congress (INC), under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. One of the most important movements in India’s fight for independence is the non-cooperation movement. Gandhi started it in order to aid the Khilafat Movement. To support India’s independence movement, important social initiatives, events, workplaces, and educational institutions were to be boycotted. Gandhi called for the adoption of Swadeshi ideals and the eradication of untouchability in society in his declaration. It was a truly mass movement when thousands of Indians protested openly and nonviolently against the government. The Indian National Congress demanded Swarajya, or self-government, and only non-violent forms of protest were permitted. Gandhiji chose to put a stop to the campaign, however, after the Chauri Chaura incident in February 1922, when amid a struggle between the police and demonstrators, a rowdy crowd set fire to a police station, killing 22 policemen.
Civil Disobedience Movement – 1930
In colonial India, Mahatma Gandhi organised the nonviolent Salt March, also known as the Salt Satyagraha, the Dandi March, and the Dandi Satyagraha. By 1930, the Congress Party had declared that Poorna Swarajya, or complete independence, should be the main objective of the liberation fight. Poorna Swarajya Day was established on January 26, 1930. Indians were incensed by a British tax on the sale and collection of salt in 1930, and Gandhiji decided to ignore the levy in disobedience of the government as a result. In contravention of the law, Mahatama Gandhi led a sizable group of people from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, a Gujarati beach town, on March 12, 1930. As the movement spread across the country, more than 60,000 people were arrested, including Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji met with Lord Irwin when he was eventually given permission to leave prison in 1931. Lord Irwin was eager to put an end to the civil disobedience movement and the media attention it had attracted. According to the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, the civil disobedience campaign would halt in exchange for granting Indians the right to produce salt for domestic use. Lord Irwin agreed to the release of the Indians from custody as well. Gandhiji took part as a “equal” in the London Second Round Table Conference.
Individual Satyagraha – 1940
The British administration had dragged India into the Second World War in 1939 without the Indian people’s permission, which angered the leaders of the Indian National Congress (INC). Due to the British government’s strong desire for Indian support in the war, Viceroy Linlithgow made a set of suggestions known as the “August offer.” The right of Indians to create their own constitution was initially recognised in the August Offer of 1940, following the Indian nationalists’ demand for an interim government in India in exchange for assistance during World War II. The August Offer, however, promised that following the war, a representative Indian body would be constituted and given dominion status to draw India’s Constitution. At its convention in Wardha in August 1940, the INC rejected this proposal and called for total independence from colonial authority. Mahatma Gandhi then launched the Individual Satyagraha to defend the right to free expression. The first three satyagrahis were Jawaharlal Nehru, Vinoba Bhave, and Brahma Datt. The ‘Delhi Chalo Movement’, a march by the satyagrahis in the direction of Delhi, also got underway. The movement exerted tremendous pressure on the British even though it fizzled out and was abandoned in December 1940.
Quit India Movement – 1942
When the Cripps Mission, which arrived in India in March 1942, was unable to guarantee any kind of constitutional remedy for India’s problems, the INC called for a widespread civil disobedience effort. At its Wardha meeting on July 14, 1942, the Congress Working Committee agreed that India should launch an independence struggle. This movement was started by Gandhi in August 1942 in an effort to get the British to leave India. The “Bharat Chhodo Andolan,” also known as the “Bharat Campaign,” forced the British colonial rulers to think about leaving India. The movement’s result was that Congress’ offices nationwide were raided and it was deemed an illegal group. With this occurrence, the leaders were detained, and chaos erupted. The populace persisted in their battle despite the government’s brutal suppression. The movement elevated the demand for total independence to the top of its agenda.