Indian National Movement

Anti-Colonial Movement gave rise to a feeling of Nationalism. In 1885 Indian National Congress was founded by A.O. Hume. There were phases of Naram Dal and Garam Dal. The Partition of Bengal in 1905 gave rise to a strong national movement. The Non Cooperation Movement, Civil Disobedience and finally Quit India Movement resulted in Independence of India and of course its partition.

Partition of Bengal

In 1905, Curzon announced the partition of Bengal, an attempt to disrupt the growing national movement in Bengal and divide the Hindus and Muslims of the region. This led rise to the Swadeshi Movement.

Rise of Radical Nationalists

The Swadeshi movement was spearheaded by the trio - Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal (Lal-Bal-Pal). This marked the beginning of a new face in India’s struggle for freedom. They represented the Garam Dal. In 1907, the garam Dal led by Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Naram Dal separated.

In 1916 both Garam Dal and Naram Dal united with the efforts of Mrs. Annie Besant. In 1916, Muslim League and Congress signed the Lucknow Pact.

On 13th April, 1919 on the occasion of Baisakhi fair at Jallianwalla Bagh (Amritsar) a British officer General Dyer ordered the army to open fire on the crowd with their machine guns. Within a few minutes about a thousand persons were killed. The massacre aroused the fury of the Indian people.

Emergence of Gandhi

Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi’s first experiment in Satyagraha began at Champaran in Bihar in 1917 when he inspired the peasants to struggle against the oppressive plantation system. He launched a nationwide Satyagraha against the proposed Rowlatt Act in 1919.

In 1927, Simon Commission came to India to suggest measures for constitutional reforms. During March-April, 1930, Gandhi marched from his Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi on the Gujarat coast to challenge the government on salt laws.

Gandhiji went to London in 1931 and participated in the second round table conference but returned empty handed. The Civil Disobedience Movement, though a failure, was a vital phase in the struggle.

Development of Socialist Ideas

A significant feature of the twentieth century was the development of Socialist ideas. The All India Trade Union Congress which was founded in 1920 mobilized the workers for the cause of complete independence. Because of differences with Gandhi, Bose resigned from the Congress and formed his own ‘Forward Bloc’.

Communal Divide

Under the Act of 1935, seventeen separate electorates were constituted. They hampered the growth of national unity. The immediate cause of the emergence of the demand for Pakistan was the refusal of the Congress to form coalition ministries after the elections of 1937.

Quit India Movement

Addressing the Congress delegates on the night of 8th August, 1942 Gandhiji, in his soul stirring speech, said : “I therefore want freedom immediately. The mantra is Do or Die”. Quit India Movement became one of the greatest mass-movements of historical significance.

In 1946, the Cabinet Mission arrived in India to find a mutually agreed solution of the Indian Problem.

Partition and Independence of India

The Muslim League rejected the Cabinet Mission Plan in the middle of 1946. In September 1946, the Congress formed the government at the Centre. The conflict resulted in widespread communal riots in different parts of India.

Lord Mountbatten was sent as the Viceroy to India. He put up his plan in June 1947 which included partition of India. Inspite of strong opposition by Gandhi, All the parties agreed to the partition and the Indian Independence Act, 1947 came into being.

It created two independent states in the Indian sub-continent - Indian Union and Pakistan. India got its independence on 15th August, 1947.