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Indian independence movement - Indian independence movement

Indian National Movement to End British Rule (1857-1947)

The Indian independence movement was a series of historical events aimed at ending British rule in India. The movement stretched from 1857 to 1947. The first nationalist revolutionary movement for Indian independence emerged from Bengal. It was later rooted in the newly formed Indian National Congress with prominent moderate leaders just seeking their basic right to appear for Indian civil service exams in British India, as well as more rights (economic in nature) for the people on the ground. At the beginning of the 20th century, leaders such as the triumvirate Lal Bal Pal, Aurobindo Ghosh, and VO Chidambaram Pillai suggested a more radical approach to political self-government.

The final stages of the struggle for self-government from the 1920s onwards were marked by the adoption of Mahatma Gandhi's policy of non-violence and civil disobedience by Congress, as well as by several other campaigns. Nationalists like Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Bagha Jatin and Surya Sen preached the armed revolution to achieve self-government. Poets and writers such as Rabindranath Tagore, Subramania Bharati, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and Kazi Nazrul Islam used literature, poetry and language as a tool to raise political awareness. Feminists such as Sarojini Naidu, Pritilata Waddedar and Begum Rokeya promoted the emancipation of Indian women and their participation in national politics. BR Ambedkar campaigned for the disadvantaged sections of Indian society within the larger self-government movement. During World War II, the campaigns of the Congress-led Quit India Movement and the Indian National Army Movement, led by Subhas Chandra Bose with the help of Japan, peaked.

The Indian self-government movement was a mass-based movement that encompassed different sections of society. It also went through a process of constant ideological development. Although the ideology underlying the campaign was anti-colonial, it was supported by a vision of independent capitalist economic development combined with a secular, democratic, republican and bourgeois-libertarian political structure. After the 1930s, the movement took on a strong socialist orientation. The work of these various movements eventually led to the Indian Independence Act of 1947, which ended suzerainty in India, and the creation of Pakistan. India remained under the rule of the Crown until January 26, 1950, when the Constitution of India came into effect and the Republic of India was established. Pakistan was a rule until 1956 when it passed its first republican constitution. In 1971, East Pakistan declared independence as the People's Republic of Bangladesh.


Early British colonialism in India

European traders first reached the Indian coast with the arrival of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1498 in the port of Calicut in search of the lucrative spice trade. A little over a century later, the Dutch and English established outposts on the Indian subcontinent. In 1613 the first English trading post was set up in Surat. In the course of the 17th and early 18th centuries, the British defeated the Portuguese and the Dutch militarily but remained in conflict with the French, who had until then tried to settle on the subcontinent. The decline of the Mughal Empire in the first half of the 18th century gave the British an opportunity to gain a foothold in Indian politics. After the Battle of Plassey in 1757, in which the Indian army of the East India Company under Robert Clive defeated Siraj ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, the Company established itself as a major player in Indian affairs and soon gained administrative rights over the Regions of Bengal, Bihar and Midnapur, part of Odisha, after the Battle of Buxar in 1764. After the defeat of Tipu Sultan, most of southern India was either under the direct rule of the company or under its indirect political control as part of a princely state in a subsidiary alliance . The company then took control of regions ruled by the Maratha Empire after defeating them in a series of wars. The Punjab was annexed in 1849 after the defeat of the Sikh armies in the first (1845–1846) and second (1848–49) Anglo-Sikh Wars.

English was made the medium of instruction in Indian schools in 1835. The British government imposed western standards of education and culture on the Indian masses and believed in the superiority of western culture and enlightenment in the 18th century. This led to Macaulayism in India.

Early rebellions

Maveeran Alagumuthu Kone (1710–1757) from Kattalankulam in the Thoothukudi district was an early chief and rebel against the British presence in Tamil Nadu. Born into a Konar Yadava family, he became a military leader in the city of Ettayapuram and was defeated in battle against the British and Maruthanayagam forces. He was executed in 1757. He was considered one of the earliest freedom fighters. The government of Tamil Nadu under former Prime Minister J. Jayalalithaa inaugurated its statute in Chennai opposite Egmore Railway Station. Puli Thevar was one of the opponents of British rule in India. He was in conflict with the Arcot nawab, which was supported by the British. His standout exploits were his confrontations with Marudhanayagam, who later rebelled against the British in the late 1750s and early 1760s. Nelkatumseval in what is now Tirunelveli District in Tamil Nadu was his headquarters.

Syed Mir Nisar Ali Titumir was an Islamic preacher who led a peasant revolt against the Hindu zamindars and the British in the 19th century. Together with his followers he built a bamboo fortress in the village of Narkelberia ( Bansher Kella in Bengali), which occupied a prominent place in Bengali folk legend. After the fort was attacked by British soldiers, Titumir died of his wounds on November 19, 1831.

The toughest opposition the company encountered was offered by Mysore. The Anglo-Mysore Wars were a series of wars fought over the last three decades of the 18th century between the Kingdom of Mysore, on the one hand, and the British East India Company (mainly represented by the Madras Presidency) and the Maratha Confederation, on the other the Nizam of Hyderabad on the other side. Hyder Ali and his successor Tipu Sultan waged a war on four fronts, with the British attacking from the west, south and east while Marathas and Nizam forces attacked from the north. The fourth war resulted in the overthrow of the house of Hyder Ali and Tipu (who was killed in the last war in 1799) and the dismantling of Mysore in favor of the East India Company, which won much of it and took control of India. Pazhassi Raja was the Prince Regent of the Princely State of Cotiote in North Malabar near Kannur, India, between 1774 and 1805. He waged a guerrilla war with tribal peoples from Wynad who supported him. He was captured by the British and his fort was razed to the ground.

In 1766 the Nizam of Hyderabad transferred the Northern Circars to the British authorities. The independent King Jagannatha Gajapati Narayan Deo II of Paralakhemundi estate in the current location of Odisha and in the northernmost region of the then political division has been continuously outrageous against the French inmates since 1753, following the earlier surrender of his estate to Nizam for similar reasons. Narayan Deo II. Fought the British on April 4, 1768 at Fort Jelmur and was defeated due to the superior firepower of the British. He fled to the tribal hinterland of his estate and continued his efforts against British authority until his natural death on December 5, 1771.

Rani Velu Nachiyar (1730–1796) was a queen of Sivaganga from 1760 to 1790. Rani Nachiyar was trained in war game weapons, martial arts such as valari, silambam (fighting with a stick), horse riding and archery. She was a scholar in many languages ​​and mastered languages ​​such as French, English, and Urdu. When her husband Muthuvaduganathaperiya Udaiyathevar was killed by British soldiers and the son of the Nawab of Arcot, she was drawn into battle. She formed an army and sought an alliance with Gopala Nayaker and Hyder Ali to attack the British, which she successfully challenged in 1780. When the British inventories were discovered, she is said to have arranged a suicide attack by a believer. Follower Kuyili immersed herself in oil, set herself on fire, and entered the warehouse. Rani formed a women's army called "Udaiyaal" in honor of her adopted daughter who died in the detonation of a British arsenal. Rani Nachiyar was one of the few rulers who regained her kingdom and ruled it for another decade .

Veerapandiya Kattabomman was an 18th century polygar and chief from Panchalankurichi in Tamil Nadu, India who waged the Polygar War against the East India Company. He was captured by the British and hanged in 1799 AD. Kattabomman refused to accept the sovereignty of the East India Company and fought against it. Dheeran Chinnamalai was a chief of Kongu Nadu and Palayakkarar from Tamil Nadu who fought against the East India Company. After the deaths of Kattabomman and Tipu Sultan, Chinnamalai sought the help of Marathas and Maruthu Pandiyar to attack the British in Coimbatore in 1800. The British forces managed to stop the Allied armies and therefore Chinnamalai was forced to attack Coimbatore alone. His army was defeated and he escaped British forces. Chinnamalai led guerrilla fights and defeated the British in battles in Cauvery in 1801, in Odanilai in 1802 and in Arachalur in 1804.

Paika Bidroha

In September 1804, the traditional rights of the Jagannath Temple were revoked from the King of Khordha, Kalinga, which came as a great shock to the King and the people of Odisha. As a result, a group of armed Paiks attacked the British in Pipili in October 1804. This event alarmed the British troops. Jayee Rajguru, the chief of the Kalinga Army, urged all the kings of the state to unite in a common cause against the British. Rajguru was killed on December 6, 1806. After Rajguru's death, Bakshi Jagabandhu commanded an armed uprising against the rule of the East India Company in Odisha known as the Paik Rebellion, the first rebellion against the British East India Company.

1857 rebellion

The Indian uprising of 1857 was a large-scale uprising in north and central India against the rule of the British East India Company. It was suppressed and the British government took control of the company. The service conditions in the army and in the company's cantons increasingly came into conflict with the religious beliefs and prejudices of the sepoys. The predominance of members of the upper castes in the army, the perceived loss of castes due to overseas travel, and rumors of the government's secret plans to convert them to Christianity led to deep discontent among the sepoys. The sepoys were also disaffected with their low salaries and the racial discrimination that British officers practiced on matters of promotion and privilege. The British 'indifference to leading Indian rulers such as the Mughals and Ex-Peshwas and the annexation of Oudh were political factors that caused disagreement among the Indians. The annexation policy of the Marquess of Dalhousie, the doctrine of failure (or escheat) applied by the British and the planned removal of the descendants of the Great Mughal from their ancestral palace in the Red Fort to the Qutub Minar complex (near Delhi) also some People upset.

The final spark was caused by the alleged use of tallow (from cows) and lard (lard) in the newly introduced Enfield rifle cartridge Pattern 1853. Soldiers had to bite the cartridges with their teeth before they were loaded into their rifles, and the reported presence of cow and lard was religiously offensive to both Hindu and Muslim soldiers.

Mangal Pandey was an Indian soldier who played a key role in the events immediately prior to the outbreak of the Indian uprising of 1857. He was a sepoy (infantryman) in the 34th Regiment of the Bengal Native Infantry (BNI) of the British East India Company. His defiance to his British superiors, and later his execution, kindled the fire for the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

On May 10, 1857, the sepoys broke their rank in Meerut and turned on their commanders, killing some of them. They reached Delhi on May 11, set the Mauthaus company on fire, and marched into the Red Fort, where they asked the Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah II, to become their leader and reclaim his throne. The emperor hesitated at first, but eventually agreed and was considered by the rebels Shehenshah-e-Hindustan proclaimed. The rebels also murdered much of the city's European, Eurasian, and Christian populations.

Revolts broke out in other parts of Oudh and the northwestern provinces, which were followed by civil uprisings that led to popular uprisings. The British were initially unprepared and therefore slow to react, but eventually responded with violence. The lack of effective organization among the rebels, combined with the military superiority of the British, brought a quick end to the rebellion. The British fought against the main rebel army near Delhi and after lengthy battles and sieges defeated them and recaptured the city on September 20, 1857. Subsequently, uprisings in other centers were also suppressed. The last major battle was fought in Gwalior on June 17, 1858, in which Rani Lakshmibai was killed. Sporadic fighting and guerrilla wars, led by Tatya Tope, lasted until the spring of 1859, but most of the rebels were eventually subdued.

The Indian Rebellion of 1857 marked a major turning point in the history of modern India. While the British were reaffirming their military and political power, it led to a significant change in the way India was to be controlled by them. Under the Government of India Act of 1858, the company was stripped of its participation in rule over India and its territory was placed under the direct authority of the British government. At the head of the new system was a cabinet minister, the Indian Foreign Minister, who was to be officially advised by a legal council; The Governor General of India (Viceroy) was held accountable to him, while in turn he was accountable to the government. In a royal proclamation to the people of India, Queen Victoria pledged equal opportunities in public service under British law and pledged to respect the rights of local princes. The British stopped the policy of seizing land from the princes, enacted religious tolerance, and began to enlist Indians in the civil service (albeit mostly as subordinates). However, they also increased the number of British soldiers compared to Native American soldiers and only allowed British soldiers to handle artillery. Bahadur Shah was exiled to Rangoon, Burma, where he died in 1862.

In a controversial move, Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli passed a law in 1876 to give Queen Victoria the additional title of Empress of India. British liberals complained that the title was alien to British traditions.

Rise of organized movements

The first session of the Indian National Congress in 1885. The Congress was the first modern nationalist movement to emerge in the British Empire in Asia and Africa.

The decades after the rebellion were a time of growing political awareness, the manifestation of Indian public opinion, and the emergence of Indian leadership at both the national and provincial levels. Dadabhai Naoroji founded the East India Association in 1867 and Surendranath Banerjee founded the Indian National Association in 1876. Inspired by a proposal from AO Hume, a retired Scottish official, seventy-two Indian delegates met in Bombay in 1885 and established the Indian National Congress. They were largely members of the emerging and successful western educated provincial elites who worked in professions such as law, teaching, and journalism. Initially, Congress lacked a clearly defined ideology and had few of the resources essential to a political organization. Instead, it acted more as a discussion society, meeting annually to express its loyalty to the British Raj and passing numerous resolutions on less controversial issues such as civil rights or opportunities in government (especially in the civil service). These resolutions were put before the Viceroy's government and occasionally the British Parliament, but the early gains of Congress were small. "Despite its claim to represent all of India, Congress has expressed the interests of the urban elites. The number of participants from other social and economic backgrounds remained negligible. However, this period in history remains crucial as it represented the first political mobilization of the Indians, who come from all parts of the subcontinent and are the first formulation of the idea of ​​India as a nation and not a collection of independent princely states.

The influence of socio-religious groups like Arya Samaj , who was initiated by Swami Dayanand Saraswati, and Brahmo Samaj , founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and others, was evident in pioneering reforms of Indian society. The work of men like Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo, VO Chidambaram Pillai, Subramanya Bharathy, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Rabindranath Tagore and Dadabhai Naoroji as well as women like the Scottish-Irish sister Nivedita spread the passion for rejuvenation and freedom. The rediscovery of India's indigenous history by several European and Indian scholars also led to the rise of nationalism among the Indians.

Rise of Indian Nationalism

Cover of an issue of the Tamil magazine Vijaya from 1909 with "Mother India" (Bharat Mata) with her diverse descendants and the collective call "Vande Mataram".
Ghadar di Gunj was Ghadar party literature produced in the early stages of the movement. It was a compilation of nationalist literature that was banned in India in 1913.

Although Congress had become a purely Indian political organization in 1900, it did not have the support of most Indian Muslims until 1900. Attacks by Hindu reformers against religious conversion, cow slaughter, and the preservation of Urdu in Arabic script deepened their concerns about minority status and denial of rights if Congress were to represent the Indian people alone. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan started a movement for Muslim renewal that culminated in the establishment of the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh in 1875 (renamed Aligarh Muslim University in 1920). Their aim was to educate the students by emphasizing the compatibility of Islam with modern Western knowledge. However, the diversity of Indian Muslims made it impossible to bring about a uniform cultural and intellectual renewal.

The nationalist sentiments among members of the Congress led to an urge to be represented in government organs and have a say in the law and administration of India. Congressmen saw themselves as loyalists but wanted an active role in governing their own country, albeit part of the empire. This trend was embodied by Dadabhai Naoroji, who even successfully contested an election to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom and became its first Indian member.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was the first Indian nationalist who Swaraj as recognized the fate of the nation. Tilak was deeply against a British educational system that ignored and defamed India's culture, history and values. He resented the denial of freedom of expression to nationalists and the lack of any voice or role for ordinary Indians in the affairs of their nation. For these reasons, he saw Swaraj as the natural and only solution. His popular phrase "Swaraj is my birthright and I will have it" became a source of inspiration for Indians.

In 1907 the Congress was divided into two factions: those led by Tilak Radicals advocated civil agitation and direct revolution to overthrow the British Empire and abandon everything British. The Moderates led by leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji and Gopal Krishna Gokhale, on the other hand, wanted reforms under British rule. Tilak was supported by aspiring heads of state such as Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai, who shared the same point of view. Among them, India's three great states - Maharashtra, Bengal and Punjab - shaped popular demand and Indian nationalism. Gokhale criticized Tilak for promoting violence and disorder. However, the 1906 Congress had no public membership, and so Tilak and his supporters were forced to leave the party.

But with Tilak's arrest, all hopes of an Indian offensive stalled. The Indian National Congress lost credibility to the people. A Muslim deputation met with Viceroy Minto (1905-10) to obtain concessions on impending constitutional reforms, including special considerations in the civil service and among the electorate. The British recognized some of the Muslim League's petitions by increasing the number of electoral posts reserved for Muslims in the Indian Councils Act of 1909. The Muslim League insisted on its separation from the Hindu-dominated Congress as the voice of a "nation within a nation".

The Ghadar Party was formed overseas in 1913 to fight for India's independence with members from the United States and Canada, as well as Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. Members of the party sought the unity of the Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims against the British.

In colonial India, the All India Conference of Indian Christians (AICIC), founded in 1914, played an important role in the Indian independence movement, which advocated Swaraj and spoke out against the partition of India. The AICIC was also against separate constituencies for Christians, believing that believers "should participate as common citizens in a common national political system". The All India Conference of Indian Christians and the All India Catholic Union formed a working committee in which M. Rahnasamy of Andhra University served as President and BL Rallia Ram of Lahore as General Secretary. At its meeting on April 16, 1947 and April 17, 1947, the Joint Committee prepared a 13-point memorandum, which was sent to the Constituent Assembly of India, calling for freedom of religion for both organizations and individuals. This was reflected in the constitution of India.

The moderation movement in India, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, was reconciled with Indian nationalism, which viewed alcohol as a foreign import into the culture of the subcontinent.

Partition of Bengal, 1905

In July 1905 Lord Curzon, the Viceroy and Governor General (1899–1905), ordered the partition of the Province of Bengal, ostensibly to improve administrative efficiency in the vast and populous region. However, Indian leaders and people believed it was an attempt by the British government to weaken the growing idea of ​​nationalism and break the unity between Hindu and Muslim. The Bengali-Hindu intelligentsia exerted a significant influence on local and national politics. The partition outraged Bengal. Not only had the government not consulted Indian public opinion, but the action appeared to reflect Britain's determination to divide and rule. It got widespread in the streets and in the press Riots , and Congress approved the boycott of British products under the banner of Swadeshi or indigenous industries. A growing movement emerged focused on indigenous Indian industry, finance and education, which resulted in the establishment of the National Council of Education, the birth of Indian financial institutions and banks, and an interest in Indian culture and achievements in science and literature. Hindus demonstrated unity by tying rakhi to each other's wrists and Arandhan watched (no food cooked). During this time, Bengali Hindu nationalists such as Sri Aurobindo, Bhupendranath Datta and Bipin Chandra Pal began