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Chapter 16- Indian Independence & Important National Activities

Moderate Nationalism (1885-1905)



Persons involved during this period
Moderate Leaders

i. Surendranath Banerjee 
  • was called the 'Indian Bruke', opposed partion of Bengal, 
  • he had formed 'Indian Assosiation' (1876), 'Indian National Conference' (1883) which merged with INC in 1886.

ii. G Subramanya Aiyar 
  • founded 'Madras Mahajana Sabha', 'The Hindu', 'Swadesamitran'.

iii. Dadabhai Naoroji 
  • known as 'Grand Old Man Of India' also regarded as India's unofficial ambassador in England.
  • He was the first Indian to become a member of the British house of Commons. 
  • Wrote "Poverty & Unbritish Rule in India" explained "Drain Theory" 

iv. Gopal Krishna Gokhale 
  • was regarded as 'Political Guru' of Gandhi, founded 'Servants of India Society'   

The Moderates had succeeded in getting the expansion of the legislative councils by the Indian Councils Act of 1892.

·         Formation Of Indian National Congress (1885)
1. Formed by AO Hume in 1885
2. First session was in Bombay under WC Banerjee in 1885
3. Attended by 72 delegates 

·         Partition of Bengal (1905)
1. By Lord Curzon on october 16, 1905, through a royal proclamation, reducing the old province of Bengal in size by creating East Bengal and Assam out of rest Bengal.
2. The objective was to set u communal unrest between Hindu and Muslims.
3. On the same day of partition pepole of bengal observed "Day of Mourning"


Extremist Nationalism (1905-16)

Objective :- "To attain SWARAJ or complete independence"
Extremist Leader
i. Bal Gangadhar Tilak
  • real founder of anti-british rule in India
  • popularly known as 'Lokmanya'
  • weeklies 'Maharatta' & 'Kesari'
  • in 1908 deported to 'Mandalay' (Burma) for 6 years
  • setup "Home Rule League" in 1916 at Poona
  • said "Swaraj is my birth right & i will have it"

ii. Lala Lajpat Rai
  • known as 'Lion of Punjab'
  • founded "Indian Home Rule League" in 1916 in the US
  • deported to Mandalay 
  • died while protesting 'Simon Commission' on Nov 17, 1928

iii. Bipin Chandra Pal
  • moderate turned extremist
  • played important role in swadeshi movement & preached natiionalism by powerful speeches & writings

iv. Aurobinda Ghosh
  • participated in swadeshi movement
  • settled in Pondicherry after released from jail
  • concentrated on 'Spiritual Activities' 



·         Swadeshi Movement(1905)
1.       Had its origin in the anti-partition movement of Bengal.
2.       Lal, Bak, Pal and Aurbindo Ghosh played important role.
3.       Bonfires of foriegn trade goods were made at various places across the India,

·         Muslim league (1906)
1.      Setup in 30th December, 1906 under the leadership of aga Khan, Nawab Salimullah of          dhaka and Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk.
2.      It was a communal and conservative ploiyical organization which supported the partition of Bengal, opposed the Swadeshi Movement, demanded special safegaurds to its community and a separate electorate for Muslims

 .       Calcutta Session of INC (1906)
1.       Headed by Dadabhai Naoroji
2.       Adopted the resolutions of Boycott & Swadeshi

·         Surat Session of INC (1907)
1.       The INC split into two groups – The Extremists(Led by Lal, Bal, Pal) and The Moderates (GK Gokhale), at the Surat session.

·         Home Rule Movement (1916)
1.      Started by BG Tilak (April 1916) at Poona and Annie Besant and S. Subramania Iyer At Adyar, near Madras (September, 1916).
2.       Objective was Self- government for India in the British Empire.

·         Lucknow Pact(1916)
1.       Signed between Congress and Muslim League, Congress accepted the separate                         electorates and both jointly demanded a representative government and dominion status of the country.

.         August Decleration (1917)
1.     On 20 August 1917, Montague, the Secretary of State in England, made a declaration in the Parliament of England on British Government’s policy towards future political reforms in India.
2.    He promised the gradual development of self-governing institutions in India. This August Declaration led to the end of the Home Rule Movement.



Indian National Movement or Gandhian Era (1917-47)




Advent Of Gandhi
i. MohanDas Karamchand Gandhi was born at Porbandar in Gujarat on 2 October 1869, studied law in England.
ii. returned to India in 1891 & In April 1893 he went to South Africa and involved himself in
the struggle against apartheid (Racial discrimination against the Blacks) for twenty years.
iii. Finally, he came to India in 1915.
iv. Mahatma Gandhi began his experiments with Satyagraha against the oppressive European indigo planters at Champaran in Bihar in 1917.
v. In 1918 he launched another Satyagraha at Kheda in Gujarat with Sardar Patel in support of the peasants who were not able to pay the land tax due to failure of crops.
vi. In 1918 Gandhi undertook a fast unto death for the cause of Ahmedabad Mill Workers

.       Rowlatt Act (1919)
1.     In 1917, a committee was set up under the presidentship of Sir Sydney Rowlatt to look into the militant Nationalist activities.
2.    As per this Act, any person could be arrested on the basis of suspicion. No appeal or petition could be filed against such arrests.
3.     This Act was called the Black Act and it was widely opposed.

·        Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (13 April, 1919)
1.    General O’Dyer fired at people who assembled in the jallianwala Bagh for an unprecedented support to the Rowlatt Satyagraha.

·         Khilafat Movement (1920)
1.      The chief cause of the Khilafat Movement was the defeat of Turkey in the First World War. The harsh terms of the Treaty of Sevres (1920) was felt by the Muslims as a great insult to them.
2.     The whole movement was based on the Muslim belief that the Caliph (the Sultan of Turkey) was the religious head of the Muslims all over the world.
3.      Two brothers, Mohd Ali and Shaukat Ali started this movement.
4.   A Khilafat Committee had been formed and on 19th October 1919, the whole country had observed the Khilafat day.
5.     On 23 November, a joint conference of the Hindus and the Muslims had also been held under the chairmanship of Mahatma Gandhi.
6.     Subsequently, the Khilafat Movement merged with the Non-Cooperation Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920.

·         Non- Coopertaion Movement (1920-22)
1.       It was first mass-based political movement under Ghandhi ji.\
2.       It was approved by the Indian National Congress at the Nagpur session in December, 1920.
3.       Leaders and influential persons also followed him by surrendering their honorary posts and
titles. Students came out of the government educational institutions.
4.    National schools such as the Kashi Vidyapeeth, the Bihar Vidyapeeth and the Jamia Millia Islamia were set up.     

·         Chaura Chauri Incident (5th Feb, 1922)
1.       A mob of people at Chaura Chauri (Gorakhpur, UP) set to fire police station & burnt 22 people.
2.      This compelled gandhi ji to withdraw the Non-cooperation Movement on 11th Feb. Mahatma Gandhi was arrested on 10 March 1922.

·         Swaraj Party (1923)
1.      The suspension of the Non-Cooperation Movement led to a split within Congress in the Gaya session of the Congress in December 1922.    
2.      Motilal Nehru, CR Das and NC kelkar formed swaraj Party on Jan 1, 1923.
3.     The Swarajists wanted to contest the council elections and wreck the government from within. Elections to Legislative Councils were held in November 1923. In this, the Swaraj Party gained impressive successes.

·         Simon Commission (1927)
1.       Constituted  under John Simon to review the political situation in India and to introduce further  reforms & all its seven members were Englishmen
2.       Indian Leaders opposed the commission, as there were no India in it.
3.       Lala Lajapt Rai was injured badly during the protest due to Lathi charge at Lahore and died.
4.    Report published in May 1930, stated that the constitutional experiment with Dyarchy was unsuccessful and in its place the report recommended the establishment of autonomous government.
5.    Simon Commission’s Report became the basis for enacting the Government of India Act of 1935.

.       Nehru Report (1928)

1.     The Secretary of State, Lord Birkenhead, challenged the Indians to produce a Constitution that would be acceptable to all.
2.    A committee consisting of eight was constituted to draw up a blueprint for the future Constitution of India. It was headed by Motilal Nehru. The Report favoured:-
·  Dominion Status as the next immediate step.
·  Full responsible government at the centre.
·  Autonomy to the provinces.
·  Clear cut division of power between the centre and the provinces.
·  A bicameral legislature at the centre.
3.    Mohammad Ali Jinnah regarded it as detrimental to the interests of the Muslims. Jinnah convened an All India Conference of the Muslims where he drew up a list of Fourteen Points as Muslim League demand.

·         Lahore Session (1929)
 1.     On December 19, 1929, undet the Presidentship of JL Nehru, The INC, at Lahore Session, declared Poorna Swaraj (Complete Independence)  as its ultimate goal.
 2.     On december 31, 1929, the newly adopted tri-color was unfurled and January 26, 1930 was fixed as the First independence Day, which was to be celebrated every year.
 3.     Bardoli Movement (1928) was a movement against the payment of land tax, led by Vallabh Bhai Patel. He got the name ‘Sardar’ from here.

·         Dandi march (1930)
  1.    Along with 79 folowers, Gandhi ji started his march from Sabarmati Ashram on March 12. 1930 for the small village Dandi to break the salt law,.
  2.    He picked a handful of salt and launched the Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-34).

.         Ist Round Table Conference (1930)
  1.    The British government adopted the strategy of talking to different political parties by convening the Round Table Conferences.
   2.    The first Round Table Conference was held in November 1930 at London and it was boycotted it by the Congress.

·         Gandhi Irwin Pact (8th March, 1931)
   1.    As per this pact, Mahatma Gandhi agreed to suspend the Civil-Disobedience Movement and participate in the Second-Round Table Conference.

.         2nd Round Table Conference (Sept, 1931)
   1.    Conference was held at London. Mahatma Gandhi participated in the Conference but returned to India disappointed as no agreement could be reached on the demand of complete independence and on the communal question.

·         The Communal award (1932)
1.       Announced by PM Ramsay McDonald on August 16.
2.       According to this award, the depressed classes were considered as a separate community and as such provisions were made for separate electorates for them.
3.      Mahatma Gandhi protested against the Communal Award and went on a fast unto death in the Yeravada jail on 20 September 1932.

·         Poona Pact (1932)
1.       Finally, an agreement was reached between Dr Ambedkar and Gandhi. This agreement came to be called as the Poona Pact. 
2.      Accordingly, 148 seats in different Provincial Legislatures were reserved for the Depressed
Classes in place of 71 as provided in the Communal Award.

.        3rd Round Table Conference (1932)
1.      The Congress once more did not take part in it. Nonetheless, in March 1933, the British Government issued a White Paper, which became the basis for the enactment of the Government of India Act, 1935.

.          Deliverance Day (12 dec, 1939)
1.       On 1 September 1939 the Second World War broke out. The British Government without consulting the people of India involved the country in the war.
2.       The Congress vehemently opposed it and as a mark of protest the Congress Ministries in the Provinces resigned. opposed it and as a mark of protest the Congress Ministries in the Provinces resigned.

·         Demand for Pakistan (1940)
1.       Chaudhary Rehmat Ali gave the term Pakistan in 1933.
2.     Muslim League first passed the proposal of separate Pakistan in its Lahore session in 1940 (Called Jinnah’s Two- Nation Theory)

.         August Offer (8th March, 1940)
1.       During the course of the Second World War in order to secure the cooperation of the Indians, the British Government made an announcement on 8 August 1940, which came to be known as the ‘August Offer’.
2.     The August Offer envisaged that after the War a representative body of Indians would be set up to frame the new Constitution.
3.      Gandhi was not satisfied with is offer and decided to launch Individual Satyagraha(1940)
4.      Acharya Vinoba Bhave was the first to offer Satyagraha and he was sentenced to three months imprisonment. Jawaharlal Nehru was the second Satyagrahi and imprisoned for four months.

.        Cripps Mission (1942)
1.      Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow expanded his Executive Council by including five more Indians into it in July 1941.
2.      The British Government in its continued effort to secure Indian cooperation sent Sir Stafford Cripps to India on 23 March 1942. This is known as Cripps Mission.
3.      The main recommendations of Cripps were:-

o   The promise of Dominion Status to India,
o   Protection of minorities
o   Setting up of a Constituent Assembly in which there would be representatives from the Princely States along with those of the British Provinces,
o   There would be provision for any Province of British India not prepared to accept this Constitution, either to retain its present constitutional position or frame a constitution of its own.
4.        Gandhi called Cripp’s proposals as a “Post-dated Cheque”.

·         The Quit India Movement (1942-44)
1.       The resolution was passed on august 8, 1942, at Bombay. Gandhiji gave the slogan ‘Do or die’.
2.       The failure of the Cripps Mission and the fear of an impending Japanese invasion of India led Mahatma Gandhi to begin his campaign for the British to quit India.
3.      On 8th and 9th August 1942 Mahatma Gandhi was kept in prison at Poona. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Abul Kalam Azad, and other leaders were imprisoned in the Ahmednagar Fort.

·         The Indian National Army
1.       The idea of the INA to liberate India was originally thought by Rasbehari Bose.
2.       SC Bose secretly escaped from India in Jan, 1941, and reached Berlin. In july 1943, Subhas Chandra Bose reached Singapore and gave the rousing war cry of ‘Dilli Chalo’
3.      He was made the President of Indian Independence League and soon became the supreme commander of the Indian National Army. He gave the country the slogan of "Jai Hind".
4.       Two INA headquarters were Rangoon and Singapore.
5.      The Indian National Army marched towards Imphal after registering its victory over Kohima. After Japan’s surrender in 1945, the INA failed in its efforts. Under such circumstances, Subhas went to Taiwan. Then on his way to Tokyo he died on 18 August 1945 in a plane crash.
6.      The trial of the soldiers of INA was held at Red Fort in Delhi. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhulabhai Desai and Tej Bahadur Sapru fought the case on behalf of the soldiers.

·         The Cabinet Mission (1946)
1.       After the Second World War, Lord Atlee became the Prime Minister of England. On 15 March, 1946 Lord Atlee made a historic announcement in which the right to self-determination and the framing of a Constitution for India were conceded.
2.       Cabinet Mission visited India compromising of Lord Pethick Lawrence as Chairman, Sir Stafford Cripps and AV Alexander.
3.       Both Congress and Muslime League accepted their proposals.
4.       Consequently, elections were held in July 1946 for the formation of a Constituent Assembly. The Congress secured 205 out of 214 General seats. The Muslim League got 73 out of 78 Muslim seats. An Interim Government was formed under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru on 2 September 1946.

·         Mounbatten Plan (1947)
1.       On 20 February l947, Prime Minister Atlee announced in the House of Commons the definite intention of the British Government to transfer power to responsible Indian hands by a date not later than June 1948.
2.       On june 3, 1947. Lord Mountbatten put forth the plan of partition of India. The Congress and the Muslim League ultimately approved the Mountbatten Plan.
3.      August 15, 1947, was the date fixed for handing over power the power to India And Pakistan.

·         Partition and Independence (1947)
1.       All political parties accepted the Mountbatten plan. According to this plan India was divided into two parts; India and Pakistan on 14 august, 1947.
2.       India became an independent state on 15 the august, 1947. The Radcliff Boundary Commission drew the boundary line separating India and Pakistan.
3.      Lord Mountbatten was made the first Governor General of Independent India, whereas Mohammad Ali Jinnah became the first Governor General of Pakistan.
4.       Due to the remarkable work of sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, the first home minister, by august 15 1947, all the states, with afew exceptions like Kashmir, Hyderabad and Junagrah had signed the Instrument of Accession.
5.       The most tragic incident occurred on 30 January 1948, when Mahatma Gandhi - the father of the nationon his way to a prayer meeting was assassinated by Nathuram Godse.


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