Independence Movement in India


In ancient times, Aryans, Persians, Iranians and Parsis came from all over the world and settled down in India. Then Moghuls followed them and settled down in India. Chengis Khan, the Mongolian, invaded and looted India many times. 

Alexander the Great too, came to conquer India but went back after a battle with Porus. He-en Tsang from China came in pursuit of knowledge and to visit the ancient Indian universities of Nalanda and Takshila. 

Columbus wanted to come to India, but instead landed on the shores of America. Vasco da Gama from Portugal came to trade his country's goods in return for Indian species. The French came and established their colonies in India.

Lastly, the Britishers came and ruled over India for nearly 200 years. After the battle of Plassey in 1757, the British achieved political power in India. And their paramountcy was established during the tenure of Lord Dalhousie, who became the Governor- General in 1848. 

He annexed Punjab, Peshawar and the Pathan tribes in the north-west of India. And by 1856, the British conquest and its authority were firmly established. 

While the British power gained its heights during the middle of the 19th century, the discontent of the local rulers, the peasantry, the intellectuals, common masses as also of the soldiers who became unemployed due to the disbanding of the armies of various states that were annexed by the British, became widespread. This soon broke out into a revolt which assumed the dimensions of the 1857 Mutiny.

Indian National Congress was formed in 1876 by A.O. Hume brought educated middle-class into politics. The first session of the Indian National Congress was held in Bombay in December 1885 under the president ship of Womesh Chandra Banerjee. 

The Indian National Movement was founded by Suredranath Banerjee. "Swadeshi Movement" launched by Bal Gangadhar Tilak asked for ‘Swaraj’.

A barbaric massacre took place in Jallianwala Bagh near Amritsar on April 13, 1919. The people of Punjab gathered to celebrate Baisakhi there. Then suddenly General Dyer came along with his army and ordered to fire on all the people. 

Thousands of man, women and children were killed. Non violent protest against British Government started in the entire nation. Thus Non-cooperation Movement was started in 1920. 

This freedom struggle made the Indians aware about the fact that British government can be opposed if the opposition is carried out actively and that will keep a check on them. Educational institutions and foreign goods were boycotted.

simon go back

The British Government sent Simon Commission to India in 1927 to study the constitutional reform. The commission consisted of a group of seven Britishers and no Indian was included. It brought a storm of protests all over the country. Civil Disobedience Movement was launched under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. 

A complete disobedience of the orders of the British Government was decided. During this movement British Government decided to give independence to India on 26th January. Cripps Mission was organized in late March 1942. 

British government launched the mission to secure Indian cooperation and support for their efforts in World War II (1939-1945). The mission was headed by Sir Stafford Cripps. The mission was formed to negotiate with the Indian National Congress to obtain total co-operation during the war, in return of progressive devolution and distribution of power from the crown and the Viceroy to elected Indian legislature. 

However, the talks failed, having failed to address the key demand of a time frame towards self-government, and of definition of the powers to be relinquished, essentially portraying an offer of limited dominion-status that was wholly unacceptable to the Indian movement.

The Quit India Movement of 1942 brought entire nation together for freeing India from the shackles of British. It was a call for immediate independence of India and the slogan of "Do or Die" was adopted. 

After the Quit India Movement the freedom struggle got more intense and passionate. People raised voice for Purna Swaraj or complete independence. After much sacrifices and efforts, India gained independence and unfurled its flag on the 15th August, 1947.

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