Key Events, Initiatives, and Movements Against British Rule in India

Key Events, Initiatives, and Movements Against British Rule in India

First War of Independence (1857)

  • The First War of Independence, also known as the Indian Rebellion of 1857, was a watershed moment in India’s struggle against British colonial rule.
  • Causes: The uprising was fueled by a combination of political, economic, social, and cultural grievances. These included resentment towards British policies such as the Doctrine of Lapse, high land revenue assessments, the use of Indian soldiers (sepoys) in foreign wars, and the introduction of the Enfield rifle, greased with cow and pig fat
  • Leaders: The rebellion was largely decentralized, with leadership emerging from various quarters including Indian soldiers, nobility, and civilians. Notable leaders included Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, Nana Sahib, Bahadur Shah II, Tatya Tope, and Kunwar Singh.
  • Areas Affected: The rebellion spread across a vast geographical area, including northern and central India, with major centers of resistance in Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, Jhansi, and Bihar.
  • British Officials: The rebellion began during the tenure of Governor-General Lord Canning and continued into the tenure of Governor-General Lord Elgin.
  • Important Events: The rebellion commenced in May 1857 with a mutiny by sepoys in Meerut, which quickly spread to other parts of India. Significant events include the siege of Delhi, the massacre at Cawnpore (Kanpur), the defense of Lucknow, and the battles of Jhansi and Arrah.
  • Impact: While the rebellion failed to achieve its ultimate goal of ousting British rule, it served as a wake-up call for the British government, leading to significant reforms such as the abolition of the East India Company’s rule, the transfer of power to the British Crown (beginning the era of direct British rule known as the Raj), and the end of the Mughal Empire.

Formation of the Indian National Congress (INC) (1885) 

  • The formation of the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1885 marked a significant milestone in India’s struggle for independence, serving as a platform for political expression and advocacy for Indian interests under British colonial rule.
  • Causes: The Indian National Congress was formed in response to the growing demand for political representation and participation in governance by educated Indians, intellectuals, and professionals. Factors such as British policies of racial discrimination, economic exploitation, and cultural marginalization contributed to the need for a united political platform to voice Indian grievances.
  • Leaders: The early leaders of the Indian National Congress included Allan Octavian Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji, Surendranath Banerjee, and Womesh Chunder Bonnerjee, who served as the first president of the INC.
  • British Officials: The formation of the Indian National Congress occurred during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Dufferin, who welcomed the establishment of the Congress as a means of channeling Indian political aspirations within the framework of British colonial rule.
  • Important Events: The Indian National Congress held its first session in Bombay (now Mumbai) in December 1885, where its objectives, including the promotion of Indian interests and the attainment of self-governance, were articulated. Subsequent sessions saw the Congress evolving into a representative body advocating for constitutional reforms, civil liberties, and social justice.
  • Achievements: The early years of the INC focused on constitutional methods of protest, petitioning the British government for greater representation and civil rights for Indians. The INC provided a platform for political discourse, fostering unity among Indians across regional, religious, and linguistic divides.
  • Important events in the INC’s early years include the adoption of the “Moderate” approach, led by leaders like Gopal Krishna Gokhale, emphasizing dialogue and cooperation with the British authorities. However, disillusionment with British promises and the need for more assertive action gradually led to the rise of the “Extremist” faction within the Congress, spearheaded by leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal.
  • By the turn of the 20th century, the INC had become a formidable force in Indian politics, advocating for self-rule and representing the aspirations of millions of Indians. Its significance lies in providing a platform for political mobilization, laying the groundwork for future independence movements, and ultimately leading India towards freedom in 1947.

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Partition of Bengal and Swadeshi Movement (1905-1908)

  • The Partition of Bengal and the Swadeshi Movement from 1905 to 1908 were pivotal events in India’s struggle for independence, marking a significant turning point in the nationalist movement against British colonial rule.
  • Causes: The British decision to partition Bengal in 1905 was primarily motivated by administrative reasons, aiming to create smaller, more manageable provinces. However, it also had political motives, including the British strategy of ‘divide and rule’ to weaken the growing nationalist sentiment in Bengal.
  • Leaders: Leaders of the Swadeshi Movement included prominent figures such as Rabindranath Tagore, Aurobindo Ghosh, Bipin Chandra Pal, and Surendranath Banerjee, who mobilized the masses against the partition and advocated for indigenous self-reliance.
Q. With reference to Indian freedom struggle, the Sarabandi (no tax) campaign of 1922 was led by which of the following persons?

(a) Rajendra Prasad 

(b) Chittaranjan Das

(c) Motilal Nehru

(d) Vallabhbhai Patel 

Answer: (d) 

Explanation:

  • The Sarabandi (no taxcampaign of 1922 was led by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. In this campaign, the peasants decided not to pay the taxes
  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was an Indian lawyer, political activist, the first Deputy Prime Minister of India and a leader of the Indian National Congress.
  • British Officials: The partition of Bengal was implemented during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Curzon, who faced significant opposition from Indian nationalists. The Swadeshi Movement continued into the tenure of subsequent Viceroys, including Lord Minto and Lord Hardinge.
  • Important Events: The formal announcement of the partition of Bengal in July 1905 sparked widespread protests and demonstrations across Bengal. The Swadeshi Movement called for the boycott of British goods and the promotion of indigenous industries, leading to the establishment of Swadeshi enterprises, national schools, and boycotts of foreign goods.
  • Achievements: The Partition of Bengal and the Swadeshi Movement galvanized Indian nationalist sentiment and fostered a sense of unity among Indians against British colonial rule. It demonstrated the power of mass mobilization and nonviolent resistance as tools for political activism and contributed to the growth of Indian nationalism.
  • Impact: Under the tenure of Viceroy Lord Minto, the Swadeshi Movement gradually subsided by 1908, primarily due to increased British repression and the arrest of key leaders. 
    • The then Secretary of State John Morley appointed the liberal Lord Hardinge (governed 1910–16) as viceroy in 1910 succeeding Lord Minto. Soon after reaching Calcutta, Hardinge recommended the reunification of Bengal, a position accepted by Morley, who also agreed to the new viceroy’s proposal that a separate province of Bihar and Orissa should be carved out of Bengal. 
  • King George V journeyed to India for his coronation durbar (audience) in Delhi, and there, on December 12, 1911, were announced the revocation of the partition of Bengal, the creation of a new province, and the plan to shift the capital of British India from Calcutta to Delhi’s distant plain.
  • While the partition of Bengal was eventually revoked in 1911, the Swadeshi Movement left a lasting legacy, galvanizing Indian nationalism and laying the groundwork for future independence struggles.

Ghadar Movement and the Komagata Maru incident (1913)

  • The Ghadar Movement (1913-1915) and the Komagata Maru incident (1914) are significant chapters in India’s struggle for independence, showcasing the global reach of the freedom movement and the challenges faced by the Indian diaspora.
  • Causes: The Ghadar Movement was fueled by grievances against British colonial rule, economic exploitation, and racial discrimination faced by Indian immigrants, particularly in North America. Indian nationalists sought to incite rebellion in India with the support of Indian soldiers stationed in British colonies. The Komagata Maru incident stemmed from discriminatory immigration policies in Canada, highlighting the plight of Indian immigrants seeking better economic prospects.
  • Leaders: Key leaders of the Ghadar Movement included Lala Har Dayal, Kartar Singh Sarabha, and Sohan Singh Bhakna. They mobilized the diaspora, published revolutionary literature, and organized support for armed struggle against British rule. The Komagata Maru incident was led by Gurdit Singh, who chartered the ship to challenge discriminatory laws in Canada.
Q. With reference to Indian national movement, ‘Deliverance Day’ is the day when:

(a) India and Pakistan attained their independence as separate nations.

(b) Muslim League celebrated the resignation of Congress ministries from provinces after the Second World War.

(c) Indian national army led by Subhash Chandra Bose unfurled the Indian flag. 

(d) Muslim League adopted the Lahore Resolution.

Answer: (b)

  • Areas Affected: The Ghadar Movement primarily influenced Indian communities in North America, Southeast Asia, and India. The Komagata Maru incident unfolded in Canada and impacted Indian immigrants worldwide.
  • British Officials: The Ghadar Movement and the Komagata Maru incident occurred during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Hardinge.
  • Achievements: The Ghadar Movement aimed to spark a revolution in India, but its plans were thwarted by British intelligence. However, it laid the groundwork for future revolutionary activities. The Komagata Maru incident raised international awareness about discrimination against Indian immigrants and spurred solidarity within the Indian community.
  • Impact: These events underscored the global nature of the Indian freedom struggle and highlighted the solidarity among Indians worldwide. They also exposed the discriminatory policies of colonial powers and fueled nationalist sentiments among the diaspora.

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Champaran Satyagraha (1917) 

  • The Champaran Satyagraha of 1917 marked a significant milestone in India’s struggle for independence, spearheaded by Mahatma Gandhi. It unfolded in the Champaran district of Bihar, primarily focusing on the grievances of indigo farmers against oppressive British indigo planters.
  • Causes: The indigo farmers of Champaran were subjected to exploitative practices by British indigo planters, who enforced unjust contracts, imposed exorbitant taxes, and forced them to cultivate indigo against their will. This led to widespread poverty and unrest among the farming community.
  • Leaders: Mahatma Gandhi, along with notable leaders such as Rajendra Prasad, Mazharul Haque, and J.B. Kripalani, led the Champaran Satyagraha. Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolent resistance, or Satyagraha, became the guiding principle of the movement.
Q. In context of the Indian National Movement, who among the following founded the Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association? 

(a) Mahatma Gandhi 

(b) Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

(c) N.M. Joshi 

(d) J.B. Kripalani 

Answer: (a) 

  • Areas Affected: The Champaran Satyagraha primarily unfolded in the Champaran district of Bihar, impacting thousands of indigo farmers.
  • British Officials: The Satyagraha began during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Chelmsford.
  • Important Events: Gandhi arrived in Champaran in April 1917 and conducted a detailed investigation into the farmers’ grievances. He organized mass gatherings, conducted meetings, and urged the farmers to resist the oppressive practices peacefully. The British authorities initially resisted Gandhi’s efforts but eventually appointed a commission to inquire into the farmers’ plight.
  • Achievements: The Champaran Satyagraha resulted in significant concessions for the indigo farmers, including the abolition of oppressive farming contracts, reduction of taxes, and improvements in living and working conditions. It also showcased the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance as a tool for social and political change.
  • Impact: The Champaran Satyagraha marked the beginning of Gandhi’s active involvement in India’s freedom struggle and laid the foundation for future movements led by him. It galvanized the rural masses and highlighted the power of nonviolent protest in challenging colonial injustices.

Rowlatt Satyagraha (1919) 

  • The Rowlatt Satyagraha of 1919 was a significant nonviolent resistance movement against the repressive Rowlatt Act passed by the British government, illustrating the growing discontent and defiance towards colonial rule in India.
  • Causes: The Rowlatt Act, passed in March 1919, granted the British government sweeping powers to arrest and detain individuals without trial, severely curtailing civil liberties. This draconian law was perceived as a betrayal of promises made during World War I and fueled widespread anger and frustration among Indians.
Q. ‘Tinkathia system’ was the main reason behind Chamaparan satyagraha. It refers to:

(a) It introduced a system of barter where locals get foreign goods in place of food items

(b) It forced the peasants to grow indigo on part of the total land.

(c) It reduced the shift of working staff by one third in order to cut costs and wages.

(d) It imposed 1/3 rd of the total wage of the worker to be collected as tax by the zamindar.

Answer: (b) 

  • Leaders: The Rowlatt Satyagraha was led by Mahatma Gandhi, who advocated for nonviolent protest against the Rowlatt Act. 
  • Areas Affected: The Satyagraha had widespread influence across India, mobilizing people from diverse backgrounds and regions, including urban and rural areas.
  • British Officials: The Rowlatt Satyagraha occurred during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Chelmsford.
  • Important Events: The movement culminated in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre on April 13, 1919, where British troops opened fire on unarmed civilians in Amritsar, Punjab, resulting in hundreds of deaths.
  • Impacts: While the Rowlatt Satyagraha did not lead to the repeal of the Rowlatt Act, it galvanized the Indian freedom movement and demonstrated the power of nonviolent resistance. The brutal repression of peaceful protestors at Jallianwala Bagh further exposed the ruthlessness of British colonial rule, fueling anti-colonial sentiments and intensifying calls for independence.

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (1919) 

  • The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919 stands as one of the darkest chapters in India’s struggle for independence, epitomizing British colonial brutality and igniting nationalist fervor across the country.
  • Causes: On April 13, 1919, thousands of unarmed civilians, including men, women, and children, had gathered at Jallianwala Bagh to protest peacefully against the enactment of Rowlatt Act. 
  • The Rowlatt Act of 1919 granted the British government sweeping powers to arrest and imprison individuals without trial, sparking widespread discontent among Indians. 
  • The arrest of prominent leaders like Dr. Satyapal and Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew in Amritsar further fueled tensions. Without warning, Dyer ordered his troops to open fire on the crowd, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries.
  • Areas Affected: The massacre took place in Jallianwala Bagh, a public garden in Amritsar, Punjab. However, its impact reverberated across India, leading to widespread outrage and protests against British rule.
  • British Officials: The massacre occurred under the command of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, who ordered British troops to open fire on unarmed civilians gathered at Jallianwala Bagh, during the tenure of Lieutenant Governor Michael O’Dwyer and overlapped with the tenure of Viceroy Lord Chelmsford.
Q. Consider the following statements in the aftermath of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre:

1. Mahatma Gandhi gave up the title of Kaiser-i-Hind.

2. Udham Singh assassinated General Dyer.

3. All the Indian members of the imperial legislative council resigned.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (a) 

  • In the aftermath of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, Rabindranath Tagore renounced his knighthood in protest. Gandhi gave up the title of Kaiser-i-Hind, bestowed by the British for his work during the Boer War. 
  • Udham Singh, who bore the name, Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, later assassinated Michael O’Dwyer, the Lieutenant-Governor who presided over the brutal British suppression of the 1919 protests in Punjab. Udham Singh was hanged in 1940 for his deed. 
  • Note: General Dyer gave the orders for firing against the large peaceful crowd that had gathered at the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, Punjab, to protest against the Rowlatt Act. No Indian member of the imperial legislative council resigned after this act.
  • Impact: The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre deeply scarred the collective consciousness of India, galvanizing the independence movement and strengthening the resolve of nationalists to overthrow British rule. On 29 May 1919, Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, in protest against the horrifying Jallianwala Bagh massacre, renounced the knighthood bestowed upon Tagore by the British monarch in 1915. It also led to the establishment of the Hunter Commission to investigate the events, which further exposed British atrocities and fueled anti-colonial sentiments.

Khilafat Movement and Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-1922)

  • The Khilafat Movement and the Non-Cooperation Movement, spanning from 1920 to 1922, were pivotal in India’s struggle for independence, demonstrating the synergy between religious and nationalist sentiments and the power of nonviolent resistance against British colonial rule.
  • Causes: The Khilafat Movement arose in response to the perceived injustices inflicted upon the Ottoman Caliphate by the Allied Powers, particularly Britain, after World War I. Indian Muslims, led by leaders like the Ali brothers (Maulana Mohammad Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali), rallied to protect the caliphate, viewing it as a symbol of Islamic solidarity.
  • The Non-Cooperation Movement, initiated by Mahatma Gandhi, aimed to unite Hindus and Muslims in a nonviolent protest against British rule. It was triggered by disillusionment with the British government’s failure to fulfill promises of self-rule and the oppressive Rowlatt Act.
  • Leaders: The Khilafat Movement was led by prominent Muslim leaders like the Ali brothers, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, and Hakim Ajmal Khan. The Non-Cooperation Movement was spearheaded by Mahatma Gandhi, with support from leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, and Maulana Azad.
  • Areas Affected: Both movements had widespread influence across India, mobilizing millions of people from diverse backgrounds, including urban and rural areas.
Q. Consider the following events during the Indian national movement against the British Raj:

1. The Lucknow Pact 

2. The Introduction on Dyarchy

3. The Rowlatt Act

4. The Partition of Bengal

What is the correct chronological sequence of the above events?

(a) 1, 3, 2, 4 

(b) 4, 1, 3, 2

(c) 1, 2, 3, 4 

(d) 4, 3, 2, 1 

Answer: (b) 

  • Lucknow Pact – 1916; Introduction of Diarchy under Montford Reforms (Govt of India Act, 1919) – December, 1919; Rowlatt Act – February 1919; Partition of Bengal – 1905.
  • British Officials: The Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movements occurred during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Chelmsford and overlapped with the tenure of Lord Reading.
  • Important Events: The Khilafat leaders called for boycotts of British goods and services and organized mass protests. In 1920, Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation Movement, urging Indians to boycott British institutions, courts, schools, and goods. The movement gained significant momentum, leading to widespread civil disobedience, protests, and hartals (strikes).
  • Achievements: While both movements had significant initial success in mobilizing mass support and challenging British authority, they were ultimately suspended by Gandhi after the Chauri Chaura incident in 1922, where violence broke out. However, they left a lasting impact on India’s freedom struggle, highlighting the potential of nonviolent resistance and fostering Hindu-Muslim unity.

Simon Commission Boycott (1928) 

  • The Simon Commission Boycott of 1928 was a pivotal moment in India’s struggle for independence, marked by widespread opposition to the British government’s decision to appoint an all-British commission to review India’s constitutional arrangements. The boycott symbolized Indian rejection of colonial policies and demands for greater self-governance.
  • Causes: The Simon Commission was formed following mounting demands for constitutional reform in India. However, its composition, consisting entirely of British members and excluding Indian representation, sparked outrage among Indian nationalists who viewed it as an affront to their aspirations for self-rule.
  • Leaders: Indian leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Subhas Chandra Bose, played key roles in organizing the boycott and mobilizing public support. The Indian National Congress, under the leadership of Motilal Nehru and Jawaharlal Nehru, spearheaded the protest against the Simon Commission.
Q. With reference to Modern Indian History, which one of the following organizations first gave the idea of a constituent assembly in order to frame a constitution for India? 

(a) All Parties Conference 

(b) Indian National Congress 

(c) All India Muslims League 

(d) Swaraj Party 

Answer: (d)

  • Areas Affected: The boycott had a nationwide impact, mobilizing people across different regions, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds. It encompassed both urban and rural areas, with mass protests and demonstrations held in major cities and towns across India.
  • British Officials: The Simon Commission was appointed during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Irwin.
  • Important Events: The Simon Commission arrived in India in February, 1928 to assess the functioning of the Indian constitutional system. However, it was met with widespread protests and boycotts by Indians, who demanded Indian representation in the commission. The most notable event was the Lahore Congress session of 1929, where the decision to launch a nationwide boycott of the commission was ratified.
  • Impact: The boycott forced the British government to acknowledge Indian aspirations for self-governance and led to the appointment of the Round Table Conferences to discuss constitutional reforms. It also demonstrated the effectiveness of nonviolent protest as a tool for political mobilization and laid the groundwork for the Civil Disobedience Movement and other mass movements that followed in the quest for independence.

Bardoli Satyagraha (1928) 

  • The Bardoli Satyagraha of June, 1928 was a significant nonviolent resistance movement against the unjust taxation policies imposed by the British colonial administration in Bardoli taluka of Gujarat, India. Led by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, it showcased the power of unity and nonviolent protest in challenging oppressive colonial rule.
  • Causes: The Bardoli Satyagraha was sparked by the imposition of excessive taxes on farmers in Bardoli taluka by the British authorities. Despite successive crop failures and economic hardships, the British administration refused to reduce the land revenue tax, leading to widespread discontent among the farming community.
Q. In context of the freedom struggle in India. consider the following statements:

1. Rabindra Nath Tagore relinquished his knighthood in protest to the passage of the Rowlatt Act.

2. The Rowlatt Act was passed by the British Government in spite of being opposed by all Indian members of the Legislative Council. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b) 

  • Leaders: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel emerged as the leader of the Bardoli Satyagraha, earning the title of “Sardar” or leader for his exemplary leadership. He mobilized the farmers, organized resistance, and provided a cohesive direction to the movement.
  • British Officials: The movement commenced during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Irwin.
  • Achievements: The Bardoli Satyagraha achieved its objective when, after several months of nonviolent resistance and negotiations, the British government acceded to the demands of the farmers and rolled back the increased taxes. The success of the movement elevated Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to national prominence and inspired similar movements against unjust taxation across India.

Civil Disobedience Movement (1930) 

  • The Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930 marked a critical phase in India’s struggle for independence, characterized by mass nonviolent resistance against British colonial rule. Initiated by Mahatma Gandhi as part of the Salt Satyagraha, it aimed to challenge British economic exploitation and discriminatory policies.
  • Causes: The movement was triggered by various factors, including the failure of the British government to grant substantial political reforms, oppressive taxation, and the continued deprivation of civil liberties. The salt tax, in particular, symbolized British economic exploitation and served as a rallying point for Indians.
  • Leaders: Mahatma Gandhi emerged as the chief architect of the Civil Disobedience Movement, advocating for nonviolent protest and mass participation. Other leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Sarojini Naidu played significant roles in mobilizing support and organizing protests.
  • Areas Affected: The Civil Disobedience Movement had a nationwide impact, mobilizing millions of Indians from different regions, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds. It encompassed both urban and rural areas, with various communities participating in acts of civil disobedience.
  • British Officials: The movement commenced during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Irwin and continued into the tenure of Lord Willingdon.
Q. Consider the following statements with respect to the Khilafat Movement:

1. The Khilafat movement brought the Muslims into the Indian National Movement for independent India.

2. Indians were asked to relinquish their titles and resign from nominated seats in the local bodies as a mark of protest.

Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b) 

  • Important Events: The movement began with the Salt March led by Gandhi from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Gujarat, where he defied the salt laws by making salt from seawater. This symbolic act inspired widespread civil disobedience campaigns across India, including boycotts of British goods, refusal to pay taxes, and noncooperation with colonial authorities.
  • Achievements: Although the Civil Disobedience Movement did not immediately lead to independence, it exerted significant pressure on the British government and garnered international attention. It highlighted the power of nonviolent resistance as a tool for social and political change, fostering a sense of unity and resilience among Indians.
  • Impact: The movement galvanized the Indian masses and invigorated the struggle for independence, laying the groundwork for future movements against British rule. It also demonstrated the capacity of ordinary people to challenge entrenched colonial authority through nonviolent means, shaping India’s quest for freedom and inspiring similar movements worldwide.

Poona Pact (1932) 

  • The Poona Pact of 1932 was a significant agreement between Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, representing the depressed classes, and Mahatma Gandhi, on behalf of the Indian National Congress. It aimed to address the issue of political representation for the depressed classes (formerly known as untouchables) in India’s legislative bodies.
  • Causes: The British government’s Communal Award of 1932, proposed by Ramsay MacDonald, granted separate electorates for the depressed classes, a move supported by Ambedkar but vehemently opposed by Gandhi and the Congress. The Communal Award threatened to fragment Indian society along caste lines and hinder the unity of the freedom movement.
Q. Consider the following events during the Indian National Movement:

1. Formation of Tilak’s Home Rule League

2. Kamagata Maru Incident

3. Mahatma Gandhi’s arrival in India

Select the correct chronological sequence using the codes given below:

(a) 1, 2, 3 

(b) 3, 2, 1

(c) 2,1, 3 

(d) 2, 3, 1

Answer: (d) 

  • Tilak’s Home Rule League – April, 1916;
  • Kamagata Maru Incident – September, 1914; 
  • Mahatma Gandhi’s arrival in India from South Africa –1915 
  • British Officials: The Poona Pact negotiations occurred during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Willingdon.
  • Important Events: The Poona Pact negotiations commenced in September 1932, facilitated by the British government, as a response to the deadlock between Ambedkar and Gandhi over the issue of separate electorates. After several rounds of discussions, both parties reached a compromise, wherein reserved seats were provided for the depressed classes within the Hindu electorate, rather than separate electorates.
  • Impact: The Poona Pact averted the division of Hindu society along caste lines and preserved the unity of the freedom movement. It ensured political representation for the depressed classes while maintaining the integrity of the Hindu community.

Lahore Resolution (1940)

  • The Lahore Resolution of 1940, also known as the Pakistan Resolution, was a defining moment in the Indian freedom movement, marking the formal demand for a separate nation for Muslims in British India.
  • Causes: The demand for Pakistan emerged from growing Hindu-Muslim tensions exacerbated by fears of minority rights in a predominantly Hindu-majority independent India. Muslim leaders, led by the All-India Muslim League under Muhammad Ali Jinnah, felt that their interests would be better served in a separate Muslim-majority nation.
Q. In context of the Indian national movement, consider the following statements:

1. In the First Round Table Conference, Dr. Ambedkar demanded separate electorates for the depressed classes.

2. In the Poona Act, special provisions were made for the representation of the depressed people in the local bodies and in civil services.

3. The Indian National Congress led by Mahatma Gandhi did not participate in the Third Round Table Conference.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 3 only

  • British Officials: The Lahore Resolution was adopted during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Linlithgow, who oversaw British governance in India during World War II.
  • Important Events: The Lahore Resolution was adopted at the All-India Muslim League’s annual session in Lahore on March 23, 1940. The Lahore Resolution called for the creation of independent states in areas where Muslims were in the majority, envisaging the establishment of a separate Muslim nation. It marked a formal departure from the idea of a united, independent India and laid the groundwork for the eventual partition of British India in 1947.
  • Impact: The Lahore Resolution intensified Hindu-Muslim tensions and set the stage for the partition of British India along religious lines in 1947. While it fulfilled the aspirations of Muslim leaders for a separate homeland, it also resulted in one of the largest migrations and communal violence in modern history, with lasting repercussions for the subcontinent.

Quit India Movement (1942)

  • The Quit India Movement of 1942, also known as the August Movement or the Bharat Chhodo Andolan, was a pivotal moment in India’s struggle for independence, characterized by widespread nonviolent resistance against British colonial rule.
  • Causes: The Quit India Movement was sparked by growing Indian frustration with British refusal to grant immediate independence and the failure of the Cripps Mission in 1942, which offered limited dominion status to India after World War II. Indians demanded complete independence and sought to intensify pressure on the British government through mass protests.
  • Leaders: The movement was led by leaders of the Indian National Congress, including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Abul Kalam Azad. It also saw significant participation from ordinary Indians, including students, peasants, and workers.
Q. The 1929 Session of Indian National Congress is an important milestone in the Indian freedom struggle. It is due to: 

(a) It called for the attainment of Self-Government as the objective of the Congress.

(b) It declared that attainment of total independence was adopted as the goal of the Congress.

(c) It adopted a resolution for the start of the Non-Cooperation Movement.

(d) It nominated Gandhi as its leader for participation in the Round Table Conference in London.

Answer: (b) 

  • Areas Affected: The Quit India Movement had a nationwide impact, mobilizing millions of people from different regions, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds. It encompassed both urban and rural areas, with mass protests and demonstrations held in major cities and towns across India.
  • British Officials: The movement commenced during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Linlithgow and continued into the tenure of Viceroy Lord Wavell.
  • Important Events: On August 8, 1942, the Indian National Congress launched the Quit India Movement with Mahatma Gandhi’s famous call of “Do or Die.” Mass protests, strikes, and acts of civil disobedience erupted across India. The British responded with a brutal crackdown, arresting thousands of Congress leaders and activists, and imposing severe repression.
  • Achievements: While the Quit India Movement did not immediately lead to independence, it significantly weakened British authority in India and accelerated the process of decolonization. It demonstrated the power of mass mobilization and civil disobedience in challenging colonial rule, leaving a lasting impact on India’s freedom struggle.

Indian National Army (INA) (1942) 

  • The formation of the Indian National Army (INA) in 1942 marked a significant turning point in India’s struggle for independence, representing a unique chapter in the freedom movement led by Subhas Chandra Bose.
  • Causes: The INA’s formation was fueled by various factors, including Indian soldiers’ disillusionment with British colonial rule, dissatisfaction with discriminatory treatment in the British Indian Army, and the desire to fight for India’s independence alongside other nationalist movements across the world.
  • Leaders: Subhas Chandra Bose, a prominent leader of the Indian National Congress, played a pivotal role in the formation of the INA. He sought support from Axis powers during World War II and mobilized Indian prisoners of war and civilians to join the INA’s ranks.
Q. During the course of the Indian Freedom Struggle, who of the following raised an army called ‘Free Indian Legion’?

(a) Lala Hardayal

(b) Rashbehari Bose

(c) Subhas Chandra Bose

(d) V D Savarkar

Answer: (c) 

  • British Officials: The INA’s formation occurred during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Linlithgow and continued into the tenure of Viceroy Lord Wavell.
  • Important Events: The INA was formally established in Singapore in September 1942, with Subhas Chandra Bose assuming leadership as its Supreme Commander. INA recruits, comprising Indian prisoners of war and civilian volunteers, underwent military training and participated in campaigns against British and Allied forces.
  • Achievements: The INA’s formation galvanized Indian nationalist sentiment and symbolized the resolve of Indians to fight for their country’s independence. It also highlighted the diverse strategies employed by Indian leaders to achieve freedom, including armed resistance against colonial rule.

Royal Indian Navy Mutiny (1946) 

  • The Royal Indian Navy Mutiny of 1946 was a significant uprising within the Indian Navy against British colonial rule, marking a crucial moment in India’s struggle for independence.
  • Causes: The mutiny was sparked by various factors, including discontent among Indian sailors over discriminatory treatment, low wages, poor working conditions, and lack of opportunities for promotion compared to their British counterparts. Additionally, Indian sailors were inspired by the INA’s actions and sought to emulate their spirit of resistance.
Q. In context of National Movement at the time of India’s Independence, Mahatma Gandhi was: 

(a) He was a member of the Congress Working Committee.

(b) He was not a member of the Congress.

(c) He was the President of the Congress.

(d) He was the General Secretary of the Congress.

Answer: (b)

  • Leaders: While the mutiny was largely spontaneous and decentralized, it saw the emergence of leaders such as B.C. Dutt, Madan Singh, and Ratan Singh. These sailors played key roles in organizing protests, articulating grievances, and coordinating actions across different naval bases.
  • British Officials: The mutiny occurred during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Wavell, who faced challenges in managing the unrest within the Indian Navy. However, it also contributed to the decision to transfer power to Indian hands, leading to the appointment of Lord Mountbatten as the last Viceroy of India.
  • Important Events: The mutiny began on February 18, 1946, when sailors aboard the HMIS Talwar and HMIS Hindustan in Bombay initiated a strike in protest against the treatment of their colleagues detained in Karachi. The strike quickly spread to other naval vessels and shore establishments, leading to widespread disruptions and demonstrations.
  • Impact: The Royal Indian Navy Mutiny played a significant role in hastening the end of British rule in India. It served as a precursor to larger movements of civil disobedience and resistance, contributing to the British government’s decision to transfer power to Indian hands and ultimately leading to India’s independence in 1947. 

Revolutionary Activities 

  • Revolutionary activities such as the Kakori Conspiracy and the Chittagong Armory Raid were seminal events in India’s struggle for independence, highlighting the role of armed resistance against British colonial rule.
  • Causes: These revolutionary activities were fueled by disillusionment with the constitutional methods of the Indian National Congress and the desire for more radical action to achieve independence. The failure of successive rounds of negotiations with the British government and the lack of meaningful progress towards self-rule prompted some Indian nationalists to resort to armed struggle.
Q. In context of Indian Freedom Struggle, the radical wing within the Congress Party led by Jawaharlal Nehru, founded the Independence for India League in opposition to which of the following events?

(a) Partition of Bengal.

(b) Execution of Bhagat Singh.

(c) Recommendations of the Nehru Report.

(d) Formation of Indian Muslim League.

Answer: (c) 

  • Leaders: The Kakori Conspiracy was led by Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan, and Chandrashekhar Azad, among others, while the Chittagong Armory Raid was masterminded by Surya Sen and his band of revolutionaries. These leaders were inspired by nationalist ideals and sought to challenge British authority through daring acts of resistance.
  • Areas Affected: The Kakori Conspiracy unfolded near Kakori, a small town in present-day Uttar Pradesh, while the Chittagong Armory Raid took place in Chittagong, now in Bangladesh. However, the impact of these events resonated across British India, inspiring other revolutionary movements and nationalist sentiments.
  • British Officials: The Kakori Conspiracy occurred during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Hardinge, while the Chittagong Armory Raid took place during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Irwin. These events posed significant challenges to British colonial administration and underscored the depth of anti-colonial sentiment among Indians.
  • Important Events: The Kakori Conspiracy, which occurred on August 9, 1925, involved the daring robbery of a train carrying government funds near Kakori by members of the Hindustan Republican Association. The Chittagong Armory Raid, staged on April 18, 1930, aimed to seize arms and ammunition from the Chittagong armory to fuel an uprising against British rule.
  • Achievements: While these revolutionary activities did not achieve their immediate objectives, they served to inspire future generations of freedom fighters and nationalists. They also highlighted the willingness of some Indian revolutionaries to resort to armed struggle in pursuit of independence, contributing to the broader narrative of India’s struggle for freedom.
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