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Modern Indian History Mindmaps

Sources for the History of Modern India

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Major Approaches to the History of Modern India

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Advent of the Europeans in India

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India on the Eve of British Conquest

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Expansion and Consolidation of British Power in India

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People’s Resistance Against British Before 1857

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The Revolt of 1857

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Socio-Religious Reform Movements: General Features

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A General Survey of Socio-Cultural Reform Movements

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Beginning of Modern Nationalism in India

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Indian National Congress: Foundation and the Moderate Phase

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Era of Militant Nationalism (1905-1909)

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First Phase of Revolutionary Activities (1907-1917)

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First World War and Nationalist Response

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Emergence of Gandhi

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Non-Cooperation Movement and Khilafat Aandolan

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Emergence of Swarajists, Socialist Ideas, Revolutionary Activities and Other New Forces

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Simon Commission and the Nehru Report

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Civil Disobedience Movement and Round Table Conferences

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Debates on the Future Strategy after Civil Disobedience Movement

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Congress Rule in Provinces

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Nationalist Response in the Wake of World War II

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Quit India Movement, Demand for Pakistan, and the INA

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Post-War National Scenario

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Independence with Partition

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Constitutional, Administrative and Judicial Developments

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Survey of British Policies in India

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Economic Impact of British Rule in India

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Development of Indian Press

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Development of Education

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Peasant Movements 1857-1947

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The Movement of the Working Class

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Challenges Before the New-born Nation

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The Indian States

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  • I. The Company’s Struggle for Equality from a Position of Subordination (1740-1765)
  • II. Policy of Ring Fence (1765-1813)
  • III. Policy of Subordinate Isolation (1813-1857)
  • IV. Policy of Subordinate Union (1857-1935)
  • Curzon’s Approach
  • Post-1905
  • V. Policy of Equal Federation (1935-1947): A Non-Starter
  • VI. Integration and Merger
  • Plebiscite and Army Action
  • Gradual Integration

Making of the Constitution for India

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  • Background
  • Constituent Assembly
  • Formation
  • Two Constituent Assemblies: India and Pakistan
  • Evaluation of the Assembly for India
  • After Independence
  • Work : Committees and Consensus

Drafting Committee

The Evolution of Nationalist Foreign Policy

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  • 1880 to First World War: Anti-Imperialism and Pan-Asian Feeling
  • World War I
  • 1920s and 1930s—Identifying with Socialists
  • After 1936—Anti-Fascism
  • After Independence
  • Panchsheel and Non-Alignment

Historical Perspective on Panchsheel

Five Criteria of Non-alignment

First General Elections

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  • Groundwork for the Elections
  • The Election Commission
  • Legislation for Polls
  • Independent India Goes to the Polls for the First Time
  • Challenges
  • Parties in the Fray for the Lok Sabha
  • Conduct of Elections
  • Results

First General Elections: Winners

Developments under Nehru’s Leadership (1947-64)

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  • Political Developments
  • Debate Over National Language
  • Linguistic Reorganisation of the States
  • Growth of other Political Parties
  • An Undemocratic Deed
  • Concept of Planning for Economic Development
  • Progress of Science and Technology
  • Social Developments
  • Developments in Education
  • Social Change Under Nehru
  • Foreign Policy
  • Relations with Neighbours
  • India and Pakistan
  • India and China
  • India and Nepal
  • India and Bhutan
  • India and Sri Lanka

After Nehru...

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  • The Lal Bahadur Shastri Years (June 1964 – January 1966)
  • Indira Gandhi: the First Phase (January 1966 to March 1977)
  • The Janata Party Years (March 1977 – January 1980)
  • Indira Gandhi: the Second Phase (January 1980 to October 1984)
  • The Rajiv Years (October 1984 to December 1989)
  • The V.P. Singh Years (December 1989 to November 1990)
  • The Narasimha Rao Years (June 1991 to May 1996)
  • Between 1996 and 1999: Three Prime Ministers
  • The NDA Years (March 1998 to October 1999)
  • NDA: Second Stint (October 1999 to May 2004)
  • The UPA Years (May 2004 to May 2009; May 2009 to May 2014)
  • The NDA Government (May 2014 – May 2019)

The Tashkent Declaration

Indira Gandhi and JP—Both to be Blamed?

Text of the Simla Agreement

India’s Man in Space

Regulating Act of 1773: Overview and Analysis


By User

Updated May 15, 2024

Comparative Analysis

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Comparative Analysis of Key British East India Company Acts


By User

Updated May 15, 2024

Comparative Analysis

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Education System in British India

British Education System in India

Charter Act of 1813: Rs. 1 lakh budget for teaching Indian subjects.

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  • Introduction of modern education by the British.
  • Establishment of educational institutions to learn about local customs, traditions, and laws.
  • Main proponents: East India Company, Christian missionaries, Indian thinkers, and reformers.

British Education System in India History

  • Prior to British rule, education was imparted by gurus to Hindus and via Maktabs, Madrasas, Tols, and Pathshalas to Muslims.
  • Western educational system introduced post-British invasion.
  • Key periods: Before 1857 (East India Company) and After 1857 (British Crown).

Education System Development

  • Establishment of educational institutions: Calcutta Madarasa, Asiatic Society of Bengal, Sanskrit College, Fort William College.
  • Laws and Acts:
    • Charter Act of 1813: Rs. 1 lakh budget for teaching Indian subjects.
    • English Education Act of 1835: Prioritize teaching literature and sciences in English.
  • Post 1857: Establishment of Mayo College, Rajkot College.

Acts Associated with Education

  • Charter Act of 1813 allocated funds for Indian subjects.
  • English Education Act of 1835: Emphasized English as the medium of instruction.
  • Hunter Commission (1882): Advocated for popular education through vernacular languages.
  • Raleigh Commission (1902): Examined university education system.
  • Indian Universities Act of 1904: Government oversight of institutions.
  • Saddler University Commission (1917-19): Focused on secondary education and women's education.
  • Wardha Scheme of Basic Education (1937): Practical education inspired by Gandhi's principles.
  • Sergeant Plan of Education (1944): Focused on compulsory education and technical education.

Impact

  • Objective: Promote western education for administrative positions.
  • Resulted in lower literacy rates among Indians.
  • Englishmen focused on clerical positions, disregarded technical and scientific education.
  • Illiteracy percentage: Dropped from 94% in 1911 to 92% in 1921.

INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT

1857 : Revolt of 1857 (The Sepoy Mutiny)

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Overview: The Revolt of 1857, also known as the First War of Indian Independence or the Sepoy Mutiny, was a significant uprising against British rule in India. It began as a mutiny by Indian soldiers (sepoys) in the British East India Company's army but quickly escalated into a widespread rebellion involving civilians.


Causes: The causes of the revolt were multifaceted, including discontentment among Indian soldiers due to religious and cultural issues, resentment towards British economic policies, and the use of greased cartridges, which offended religious beliefs.


Key Events: The rebellion erupted in Meerut in May 1857 and spread to various parts of Northern and Central India, with notable incidents in Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, and Jhansi. The rebels proclaimed Bahadur Shah II as the Emperor of India, seeking to overthrow British rule.


Outcome: The revolt was eventually suppressed by the British, who employed brutal tactics to quell the uprising. It led to the dissolution of the East India Company and the transfer of control over India to the British Crown in 1858 through the Government of India Act.


Impact: Despite its failure, the revolt sowed the seeds of nationalism and resistance against British rule, inspiring future generations of freedom fighters.



Suppression of the revolt led to the dissolution of the East India Company and transfer of control over India to the British Crown.

1885 : Foundation Of Indian National Congress

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Overview: The Indian National Congress (INC) was founded in 1885 by Allan Octavian Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji, Dinshaw Wacha, and others. It was initially formed as a platform to voice Indian grievances to the British government.


Objectives: The INC aimed to promote Indian interests, advocate for political reforms, and eventually achieve self-government or swaraj. Initially, it mainly represented the interests of the Indian elite and educated professionals.


Early Years: In its early years, the INC focused on constitutional methods of agitation, including petitions, resolutions, and moderate demands for reforms such as Indian representation in government and civil services.


Leadership: Prominent leaders such as Dadabhai Naoroji, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, and later, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, played pivotal roles in shaping the INC's ideology and strategies.


Impact: The INC became the foremost political organization advocating for Indian self-rule. It provided a platform for political expression, fostered nationalist sentiments, and laid the foundation for India's independence movement.



Foundation of the INC marked a significant step in the Indian nationalist movement, providing a political platform for Indian grievances and aspirations.

1905 : Swadeshi Movement

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Overview: The Swadeshi Movement was a mass movement against British colonial rule and economic exploitation launched in response to the Partition of Bengal by Lord Curzon in 1905.


Objectives: The movement aimed to boycott British goods, promote indigenous industries, and foster national consciousness among Indians. It advocated the use of Indian-made products (Swadeshi) and the rejection of British imports (Boycott).


Key Events: The movement saw widespread protests, boycotts, and the promotion of indigenous handicrafts and industries. It inspired acts of civil disobedience, including the refusal to buy British textiles and the burning of foreign goods.


Leadership: Leaders such as Aurobindo Ghosh, Bipin Chandra Pal, and Lala Lajpat Rai played significant roles in mobilizing support for the Swadeshi Movement and promoting nationalist ideals.


Legacy: The Swadeshi Movement marked a significant shift towards mass-based, militant nationalism in India. It demonstrated the power of non-cooperation and boycott as tools of resistance and laid the groundwork for future movements against British rule.



The Swadeshi Movement promoted indigenous industries and fostered nationalist sentiments, laying the groundwork for future movements against British rule.

1906 : Muslim League Founded

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Overview: The All-India Muslim League was founded in Dhaka in 1906, representing the interests of Muslims in British India. It emerged in response to perceived marginalization of Muslims within the Indian National Congress.


Objectives: The Muslim League initially sought to protect the political and economic interests of Muslims and ensure their representation in legislative bodies and government.


Significance: The founding of the Muslim League marked the beginning of organized political mobilization among Muslims in India. It provided a platform for Muslim leaders to articulate their grievances and aspirations.


Partition Demand: Over time, the Muslim League's demands evolved, culminating in the Lahore Resolution of 1940, which called for the creation of separate Muslim-majority states in India.


Impact: The Muslim League's demand for a separate nation for Muslims eventually led to the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan in 1947.



The founding of the Muslim League marked the beginning of organized political mobilization among Muslims in India, eventually leading to the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan in 1947.

1913 : Ghadar Movement

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Overview: The Ghadar Movement was a revolutionary movement launched by Indian expatriates in the United States and Canada with the aim of overthrowing British rule in India.


Origins: The movement was initiated by Indian immigrants who were influenced by nationalist and socialist ideas prevalent in North America at the time. The Ghadar Party, formed in 1913, became the primary vehicle for the movement.


Objectives: The Ghadarites sought to mobilize Indian soldiers, particularly in the British Indian Army, to revolt against British rule. They published the Ghadar newspaper to spread revolutionary propaganda and organized underground networks.


Key Events: The Ghadarites planned an armed uprising in India, which was scheduled to coincide with the outbreak of World War I. However, British intelligence uncovered the plot, leading to arrests and the suppression of the movement.


Legacy: Although the Ghadar Movement failed to achieve its immediate objectives, it inspired future generations of revolutionaries and contributed to the growth of militant nationalism in India.



The Ghadar Movement inspired future generations of revolutionaries and contributed to the growth of militant nationalism in India.

1916 : Home Rule Movement

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Overview: The Home Rule Movement was launched by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Annie Besant in 1916, advocating for self-government or Home Rule for India within the British Empire.


Objectives: The movement aimed to mobilize public opinion in favor of self-rule and to demand constitutional reforms that would grant Indians greater autonomy in governing their own affairs.


Key Features: The movement was characterized by mass mobilization, public meetings, and the dissemination of propaganda through newspapers and pamphlets. Tilak and Besant traveled extensively across India, addressing large gatherings of supporters.


Impact: The Home Rule Movement succeeded in popularizing the idea of self-government among the Indian masses. It laid the groundwork for future agitations for political reforms and played a crucial role in the growth of nationalist sentiment.


Legacy: Although the movement was temporarily overshadowed by the Non-Cooperation Movement and other mass movements, it contributed to the gradual evolution of India's demand for self-rule and influenced subsequent political developments.



The Home Rule Movement popularized the idea of self-government among the Indian masses and laid the groundwork for future agitations for political reforms.

1917 : Champaran Satyagraha

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Overview: The Champaran Satyagraha was a campaign led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1917 against the exploitation of indigo farmers by British landlords in Champaran district, Bihar.


Background: Indigo cultivation in Champaran had led to widespread oppression and forced labor of tenant farmers by British planters. Gandhi's intervention was sought by local farmers to address their grievances.


Approach: Gandhi adopted the technique of satyagraha (nonviolent resistance) to protest against the unjust treatment of farmers. He conducted investigations, organized mass protests, and courted arrest to draw attention to the issue.


Success: The Champaran Satyagraha attracted widespread attention and support, both in India and abroad. It forced the British authorities to appoint a commission to investigate the farmers' grievances and led to significant reforms in agrarian policies.


Significance: The Champaran Satyagraha marked Gandhi's first major success in India and demonstrated the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance as a tool of social and political change. It set a precedent for future satyagrahas and civil disobedience campaigns led by Gandhi.



The Champaran Satyagraha marked Gandhi's first major success in India and demonstrated the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance as a tool of social and political change.

1917 : Kheda Satyagraha

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Overview: The Kheda Satyagraha was a nonviolent campaign led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1917 in the Kheda district of Gujarat against the oppressive taxation policies imposed by the British authorities during a severe famine.


Background: The British government had imposed a heavy tax burden on the peasants of Kheda, despite crop failures and famine conditions. Gandhi was approached by local leaders to lead a protest against the tax collection.


Strategy: Gandhi organized a campaign of nonviolent resistance, urging the peasants to withhold payment of taxes until their demands for relief measures were met. He mobilized public support and encouraged unity among the affected communities.


Negotiations: Despite facing repression and arrests, Gandhi continued to negotiate with the authorities on behalf of the peasants. His efforts eventually led to the suspension of tax collection and the implementation of relief measures for the famine-stricken population.


Legacy: The Kheda Satyagraha demonstrated the power of nonviolent protest in securing justice for the oppressed. It further enhanced Gandhi's reputation as a leader of the Indian masses and inspired similar movements across the country.



The Kheda Satyagraha demonstrated the power of nonviolent protest in securing justice for the oppressed.

1918 : Ahmedabad Mill Strike

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Overview: The Ahmedabad Mill Strike of 1918 was a labor strike led by textile workers in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, against the oppressive working conditions and low wages imposed by mill owners.


Background: The textile industry in Ahmedabad was a major center of industrial production, employing a large number of workers, mostly from the lower strata of society. The workers faced long hours, low wages, and poor working conditions.


Causes: The strike was triggered by the demand for a wage increase and the implementation of an eight-hour workday, as well as grievances related to bonus payments and the arbitrary dismissal of workers.


Leadership: The strike was organized by a coalition of trade unions and labor leaders, including Anasuya Sarabhai, Narhari Parikh, and Shankarlal Banker. Mahatma Gandhi also lent his support to the workers' cause.


Outcome: The Ahmedabad Mill Strike highlighted the plight of workers in the textile industry and paved the way for future labor movements and the emergence of trade unions.



The Ahmedabad Mill Strike highlighted the plight of workers in the textile industry and paved the way for future labor movements and the emergence of trade unions.

1919 : Rowlatt Satyagraha

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Overview: The Rowlatt Satyagraha was a nonviolent protest movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1919 against the Rowlatt Act, which empowered the British government to arrest and detain individuals without trial.


Background: The Rowlatt Act was passed by the British authorities in response to growing unrest in India, particularly after World War I. It was seen as a draconian measure to suppress dissent and curb nationalist activities.


Strategy: Gandhi called for a nationwide campaign of nonviolent resistance to protest against the Rowlatt Act. He advocated for passive resistance, boycotts, and civil disobedience as means of opposing unjust laws.


Key Events: The Rowlatt Satyagraha saw widespread protests, strikes, and acts of civil disobedience across India. It culminated in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar, where British troops fired on unarmed civilians, resulting in hundreds of deaths.


Consequences: The Rowlatt Satyagraha demonstrated the power of nonviolent resistance in mobilizing mass support and exposing the injustices of colonial rule.



The Rowlatt Satyagraha demonstrated the power of nonviolent resistance in mobilizing mass support and exposing the injustices of colonial rule.

1920 : Non-Cooperation Movement

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Overview: The Non-Cooperation Movement was a significant mass protest launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920 against British rule in India. It aimed to unite Indians across different backgrounds and regions in nonviolent resistance against colonial authority.


Objectives: The movement sought to boycott British goods, institutions, and government services, as well as to withdraw cooperation from the British administration at all levels. It aimed to undermine British authority and pave the way for Indian self-rule.


Key Features: The Non-Cooperation Movement saw widespread participation from various sections of Indian society, including students, peasants, and urban workers. It involved boycotts of British goods, schools, colleges, and courts, as well as the return of honors and titles conferred by the British government.


Challenges: While the movement gained considerable momentum and public support, it also faced challenges such as sporadic violence and internal divisions within the nationalist ranks.


Outcome: The Non-Cooperation Movement marked a significant escalation in the Indian struggle for independence, demonstrating the potential of mass mobilization and nonviolent resistance.



The Non-Cooperation Movement marked a significant escalation in the Indian struggle for independence, demonstrating the potential of mass mobilization and nonviolent resistance.

1922 : Chauri Chaura Incident

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Overview: The Chauri Chaura incident was a violent clash between protesters and police in Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh, during the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1922. It resulted in the death of policemen and protesters, leading Mahatma Gandhi to call off the movement.


Background: Tensions had been escalating in Chauri Chaura as part of the larger Non-Cooperation Movement. On February 5, 1922, a protest march turned violent, leading to clashes between demonstrators and the police.


Violence: During the confrontation, protesters attacked and set fire to a police station, resulting in the death of 22 policemen. In retaliation, the police opened fire on the crowd, leading to further casualties among the protesters.


Consequences: The Chauri Chaura incident shocked the Indian nationalist leadership and led Mahatma Gandhi to suspend the Non-Cooperation Movement. Gandhi believed that the use of violence went against the principles of nonviolent resistance and could derail the struggle for independence.


Impact: The incident had significant repercussions on the Indian independence movement. It highlighted the challenges of maintaining nonviolent discipline in mass protests and raised questions about the effectiveness of Gandhi's methods. However, it also led to introspection and reinforced the commitment to nonviolent means of resistance in the future.



Suspension of the Non-Cooperation Movement and reinforced commitment to nonviolent resistance.

1927 : Simon Commission Boycott

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Overview: The Simon Commission was a British parliamentary commission appointed in 1927 to review and suggest constitutional reforms for India. However, it faced opposition from Indian political parties, which boycotted it due to the absence of Indian representation.


Background: The Simon Commission was composed entirely of British members, with no Indian representation. This lack of Indian participation was seen as undemocratic and prompted widespread protests and boycotts across India.


Boycott: Indian political parties, including the Indian National Congress, boycotted the Simon Commission and organized protests against its arrival in India. They argued that only Indians could formulate constitutional reforms for India and demanded its dissolution.


Violence: The protests against the Simon Commission often turned violent, with clashes between demonstrators and the police. In some instances, protesters were subjected to brutal repression, further fueling public outrage.


Outcome: The Simon Commission failed to achieve its objectives due to the lack of cooperation from Indian political parties. Its recommendations were rejected by Indian leaders, leading to further demands for self-rule and eventual independence.


Significance: The Simon Commission boycott demonstrated Indian unity and defiance against British attempts to dictate India's future without consulting its people. It galvanized nationalist sentiments and contributed to the momentum towards independence.



Demonstrated Indian unity and defiance, contributing to the momentum towards independence.

1930 : Civil Disobedience Movement

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Overview: The Civil Disobedience Movement was a mass protest launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1930 against British colonial rule in India. It aimed to challenge British laws and policies through nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience.


Background: The movement was triggered by the British government's imposition of the Salt Tax, which heavily burdened the Indian population, especially the poor. Gandhi saw the Salt Tax as a symbol of British exploitation and injustice.


Key Features: The Civil Disobedience Movement saw widespread participation from people across different regions and social groups. It involved acts of nonviolent resistance such as the defiance of salt laws, boycotts of British goods, and nonpayment of taxes.


Salt March: One of the iconic events of the movement was the Salt March, led by Gandhi himself. He undertook a 240-mile march from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, Gujarat, where he and his followers ceremonially broke the British salt laws by making salt from seawater.


Repression: The British authorities responded to the Civil Disobedience Movement with arrests, repression, and violence. Thousands of activists, including Gandhi, were imprisoned, and protests were met with police brutality.


Legacy: Although the Civil Disobedience Movement did not immediately lead to independence, it demonstrated the power of mass mobilization and nonviolent resistance in challenging colonial authority. It inspired similar movements around the world and paved the way for future struggles for independence in India.



Demonstrated the power of mass mobilization and nonviolent resistance, inspiring similar movements globally.

1931 : Gandhi-Irwin Pact

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Overview: The Gandhi-Irwin Pact, also known as the Delhi Pact, was a political agreement signed between Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of India, in 1931. It marked a significant milestone in the Indian independence movement.


Negotiations: The pact emerged from negotiations between Gandhi and Irwin, who recognized the need to address the growing unrest in India and find a peaceful resolution to the political deadlock.


Terms: Under the terms of the pact, the British government agreed to release political prisoners detained during the Civil Disobedience Movement and to allow the participation of Congress representatives in the Second Round Table Conference in London.


Suspension of Civil Disobedience: In return, Gandhi agreed to suspend the Civil Disobedience Movement and to participate in the Second Round Table Conference to discuss constitutional reforms and India's future status.


Criticism: The Gandhi-Irwin Pact faced criticism from some quarters for its perceived concessions to the British government without securing concrete commitments on Indian independence. However, Gandhi viewed it as a necessary step towards achieving national unity and progress.



The Gandhi-Irwin Pact laid the foundation for future negotiations between Indian leaders and the British government and provided a temporary respite from mass agitations. It demonstrated Gandhi's willingness to engage in dialogue while remaining committed to the goal of independence.

1932 : Third Round Table Conference

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Overview: The Third Round Table Conference was a series of discussions held in London in 1932 between British government officials and Indian political leaders to discuss constitutional reforms and the future of India.


Participants: The conference was attended by representatives from various Indian political parties, including the Indian National Congress, the All-India Muslim League, and the Princely States, as well as British officials and other stakeholders.


Agenda: The main agenda of the conference was to discuss proposals for constitutional reforms, including the establishment of representative government in India and the rights of minority communities.


Outcomes: Despite extensive deliberations, the conference failed to reach a consensus on key issues, including the question of minority representation and the status of untouchables (Dalits). The Indian National Congress boycotted the conference, criticizing its limited scope and lack of substantive progress.



The failure of the Third Round Table Conference highlighted the deep divisions and mistrust between Indian political leaders and the British government. It underscored the challenges of reconciling conflicting interests and aspirations within the diverse Indian society.

1935 : Government of India Act (1935)

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Overview: The Government of India Act of 1935 was a major constitutional reform passed by the British Parliament to introduce limited self-government in India and expand legislative councils at the provincial and central levels.


Provisions: The act provided for the establishment of provincial legislatures with greater autonomy, the creation of a federal structure with the inclusion of Princely States, and the expansion of the franchise to a larger section of the Indian population.


Reactions: The Government of India Act received mixed reactions. While some Indian leaders welcomed the reforms as a step towards self-government, others criticized the act for its limited scope and retention of significant powers by the British authorities.


Impact: The act laid the groundwork for subsequent political developments in India and served as a basis for the constitutional framework of independent India. However, it also exposed the limitations of British reforms in addressing the aspirations of the Indian people.



The Government of India Act of 1935 is considered a significant milestone in the constitutional history of India. It marked a shift towards greater Indian participation in governance, but also highlighted the need for complete independence.

1937 : Provincial Elections; Congress Forms Governments in Several Provinces

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Overview: The provincial elections of 1937 were a landmark event in Indian political history, marking the first time that elections were held under the provisions of the Government of India Act of 1935. The Indian National Congress emerged as the dominant party, winning a majority of seats in several provinces.


Significance: The provincial elections of 1937 were significant as they represented a significant step towards representative government in India. They demonstrated the widespread popular support for the Indian National Congress and provided an opportunity for Indian leaders to assume governmental responsibilities.


Congress Governments: Following the elections, the Indian National Congress formed governments in several provinces, including Madras, Bombay, United Provinces, Bihar, Central Provinces, and Orissa. The Congress ministries implemented various social and economic reforms, including agrarian reforms, expansion of education, and promotion of indigenous industries.


Challenges: The Congress governments faced numerous challenges, including limited powers under the Government of India Act of 1935, financial constraints, and opposition from vested interests. However, they embarked on a program of social and economic upliftment, laying the foundation for future governance.


Impact: The Congress governments in the provinces provided a glimpse of Indian self-rule and demonstrated the ability of Indian leaders to govern effectively. They also increased popular confidence in the Congress and its leadership, further bolstering the nationalist movement.



Indian National Congress formed governments in several provinces and implemented various reforms, laying the foundation for future governance.

1939 : World War II Begins; Congress Resigns from Provincial Governments

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Overview: The outbreak of World War II in 1939 had significant implications for India's struggle for independence. The British government's decision to involve India in the war without consulting Indian leaders led to a crisis within the Indian National Congress and the resignation of Congress governments from the provinces.


Context: The British government's declaration of war against Germany without consulting Indian leaders angered the Congress leadership, who saw it as a violation of Indian aspirations for self-rule. The Congress Working Committee passed a resolution condemning the unilateral decision and called for the immediate withdrawal of cooperation from the British government.


Resignation of Congress Ministries: In response to the British government's refusal to accede to its demands, the Indian National Congress decided to resign from the provincial governments in October 1939. The resignations were intended to demonstrate Indian opposition to British policies and to press for a commitment to Indian self-rule.


Impact: The resignation of Congress ministries marked a turning point in the Indian independence movement. It demonstrated the Congress's commitment to principles of self-determination and non-cooperation with British rule. However, it also created a power vacuum in the provinces and led to a period of political instability.



Resignation of Congress ministries demonstrated commitment to self-rule but created political instability.

1940 : Lahore Resolution; Demand for Pakistan

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Overview: The Lahore Resolution, also known as the Pakistan Resolution, was a landmark declaration adopted by the All-India Muslim League at its annual session in Lahore in 1940. It called for the creation of separate Muslim-majority states in India, eventually leading to the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan.


Background: The demand for Pakistan emerged in response to perceived Muslim grievances within the Indian National Congress and fears of Hindu domination in a future independent India. The Lahore Resolution was a culmination of years of demands for Muslim representation and autonomy.


Key Points: The Lahore Resolution affirmed the Muslims of India's right to self-determination and called for the creation of independent states in regions where Muslims were in the majority. It rejected the concept of a unified Indian nation and advocated for the protection of Muslim interests.


Significance: The Lahore Resolution marked a significant development in the Indian independence movement and the politics of communalism. It intensified the demand for partition and led to heightened tensions between Hindu and Muslim communities.


Legacy: The Lahore Resolution laid the foundation for the eventual creation of Pakistan in 1947. It remains a contentious issue in South Asian history and continues to shape relations between India and Pakistan.



Intensified demand for partition, leading to heightened Hindu-Muslim tensions.

1942 : Cripps Mission

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Overview: The Cripps Mission was a diplomatic initiative led by Sir Stafford Cripps, a senior British politician, in 1942, aimed at securing Indian cooperation in the British war effort in exchange for self-government and the promise of post-war independence.


Context: The Cripps Mission was launched against the backdrop of World War II, with the British government seeking Indian support in the war against the Axis powers. It was also a response to growing demands for Indian independence and the Quit India Movement launched by the Indian National Congress.


Proposals: The Cripps Mission presented a set of proposals known as the Cripps Offer, which included the offer of dominion status for India after the war, the establishment of an Indian constituent assembly to frame a new constitution, and the possibility of Indian participation in the Executive Councils at the center and in the provinces.


Rejection: The Cripps Offer was rejected by both the Indian National Congress and the All-India Muslim League for different reasons. The Congress objected to the lack of a clear commitment to full independence, while the Muslim League saw it as inadequate in addressing Muslim concerns.


Legacy: The failure of the Cripps Mission highlighted the growing divergence between Indian nationalist aspirations and British colonial policies. It further fueled the demand for immediate independence and contributed to the escalation of the Quit India Movement.



Rejection of the Cripps Mission proposals fueled demands for immediate independence.

1942 : Quit India Movement

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Overview: The Quit India Movement, also known as the August Movement or Bharat Chhodo Andolan, was a mass civil disobedience movement launched by the Indian National Congress under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi in August 1942. It aimed to demand an end to British rule in India and achieve immediate independence.


Objectives: The primary objective of the Quit India Movement was to compel the British government to quit India and transfer power to the Indian people. It sought to mobilize mass support for nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience against colonial rule.


Key Features: The movement saw widespread participation from people across different regions and social groups. It involved strikes, demonstrations, acts of civil disobedience, and the sabotage of government infrastructure and communication networks.


Repression: The British authorities responded to the Quit India Movement with repression and violence. Thousands of activists, including top Congress leaders, were arrested, and the movement was brutally suppressed. The government imposed censorship and used force to quell protests.


Legacy: The Quit India Movement marked a significant escalation in the Indian struggle for independence. It demonstrated the determination of the Indian people to achieve freedom at any cost and challenged the legitimacy of British rule. Although it was suppressed by the British, it inspired future generations of freedom fighters and paved the way for India's independence in 1947.



Movement was suppressed, but it intensified demands for independence.

1942 : Indian National Army (INA) Formed by Subhas Chandra Bose

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Overview: The Indian National Army (INA), also known as Azad Hind Fauj, was a military force formed by Indian nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose in 1942 with the aim of liberating India from British rule.


Formation: The INA was formed with the support of the Axis powers, particularly Imperial Japan, during World War II. Subhas Chandra Bose, who had escaped from British India, took leadership of the INA and sought to recruit Indian prisoners of war and expatriates to join the fight for India's independence.


Objectives: The primary objective of the INA was to use military force to overthrow British rule in India. Bose envisioned the INA as a symbol of Indian resistance and a catalyst for a broader national uprising against colonial rule.


Campaigns: The INA participated in several military campaigns alongside Japanese forces in Southeast Asia, including the Imphal and Kohima campaigns in northeastern India. Despite initial successes, the INA faced logistical challenges and eventual defeat.


Legacy: The legacy of the INA is complex and multifaceted. While its military efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, the INA's struggle and sacrifices inspired nationalist sentiments and demonstrated the resolve of Indians to achieve freedom. The INA trials held by the British after the war further galvanized public support for the independence movement.



INA's struggle and sacrifices inspired nationalist sentiments and demonstrated Indian resolve for freedom.

1943 : Bengal Famine

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Overview: The Bengal Famine of 1943 was a devastating famine that occurred in the Bengal province of British India during World War II, resulting in the deaths of millions of people due to starvation, disease, and malnutrition.


Causes: The famine was caused by a combination of factors, including crop failure, wartime disruptions, hoarding and speculation, and British policies such as the requisitioning of food supplies for the war effort. The British government's neglect and indifference exacerbated the crisis.


Impact: The Bengal Famine had catastrophic consequences, leading to mass starvation, death, and suffering among the population. It disproportionately affected the rural poor, particularly agricultural laborers and marginalized communities.


Response: The British authorities' response to the famine was widely criticized for being inadequate and insufficient. Despite warnings and appeals from Indian leaders and relief organizations, the government failed to take timely and effective measures to alleviate the suffering.


Legacy: The Bengal Famine left a deep scar on the collective memory of the Indian people and highlighted the callousness of British colonial rule. It fueled anti-British sentiments and strengthened the demand for Indian self-rule and independence.



Famine led to mass starvation, highlighting British colonial neglect and fueling demand for self-rule.

1945 : End of World War II; Simla Conference

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Overview: The end of World War II in 1945 had significant implications for India's struggle for independence. It marked the beginning of the post-war era and opened up opportunities for negotiations between Indian leaders and the British government.


Simla Conference: The Simla Conference, held in June 1945, was a meeting between Indian political leaders and British government officials to discuss constitutional reforms and the future of India. The conference aimed to explore possibilities for Indian self-government and the transfer of power from British rule to Indian hands.


Outcomes: The Simla Conference failed to reach a consensus on key issues, including the composition of the future Indian government and the representation of minority communities. Despite extensive discussions, the conference ended without a clear agreement.


Legacy: The Simla Conference highlighted the challenges of reconciling competing interests and aspirations within the Indian political landscape. It underscored the need for further negotiations and dialogue to resolve contentious issues and pave the way for Indian independence.



Simla Conference failed to reach consensus on Indian self-government, highlighting challenges ahead.

1946 : Cabinet Mission Plan; Direct Action Day; Interim Government Formed

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Overview: The Cabinet Mission Plan was a proposal put forward by the British government in 1946 to address the constitutional deadlock in India and pave the way for Indian self-government. It aimed to create a federal union of British India and the princely states.


Key Features: The Cabinet Mission Plan proposed the establishment of a Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution for India, with provisions for protecting the rights of minority communities. It envisaged a three-tiered structure of government, with provinces and princely states enjoying considerable autonomy within the federal framework.


Direct Action Day: Direct Action Day, observed on August 16, 1946, was a call for strikes and demonstrations by the Muslim League to press for the creation of Pakistan. The day witnessed widespread communal violence and riots in cities like Calcutta (now Kolkata), resulting in significant loss of life and property.


Interim Government Formed: In the wake of the Cabinet Mission Plan and Direct Action Day, negotiations between Indian political parties and the British government led to the formation of an interim government in September 1946. Jawaharlal Nehru became the Prime Minister of the interim government, which was tasked with overseeing the transition to independence.


Significance: The events of 1946, including the Cabinet Mission Plan, Direct Action Day, and the formation of the interim government, set the stage for the final phase of the Indian independence movement. They reflected the complex dynamics of communal politics and the challenges of nation-building in a diverse society.



Formation of interim government marked significant progress but also highlighted challenges of communal tensions.

1946 : Constituent Assembly of India

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Overview: The Constituent Assembly of India was established in 1946 to draft the constitution for independent India. It was formed as a result of negotiations between Indian political leaders and the British government, following the end of World War II and the Simla Conference.


Composition: The Constituent Assembly comprised representatives elected by the provincial legislatures, as well as nominees from the princely states. It included members from diverse backgrounds, representing various political parties, communities, and interests.


Task: The primary task of the Constituent Assembly was to draft a constitution that would serve as the supreme law of the newly independent India. It aimed to establish the framework for democratic governance, protect fundamental rights, and promote social justice and equality.


Deliberations: The Constituent Assembly engaged in extensive deliberations and debates on various aspects of the constitution, including federalism, fundamental rights, the structure of government, and the rights of minority communities. It drew inspiration from various sources, including the constitutions of other countries and India's own historical traditions.


Adoption of the Constitution: After nearly three years of deliberations, the Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India on January 26, 1950, marking the culmination of India's journey to independence. The day is celebrated annually as Republic Day in India.



Constituent Assembly drafted the Constitution of India, paving the way for independence.

1947 : Partition of India and Independence

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Overview: The partition of India and independence in 1947 marked the end of British colonial rule and the creation of two independent nations, India and Pakistan. It followed years of nationalist struggle, communal tensions, and political negotiations.


Background: The demand for partition arose from growing communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims, as well as conflicting visions of the future of India. The Muslim League's demand for a separate Muslim-majority state, Pakistan, gained traction, leading to the partition of British India along religious lines.


Mountbatten Plan: The partition of India was formalized through the Mountbatten Plan, proposed by Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India. It envisaged the partition of British India into two dominions, India and Pakistan, with separate constituent assemblies and boundaries.


Partition Violence: The partition of India was accompanied by widespread violence, riots, and mass migrations, resulting in the loss of millions of lives and the displacement of millions more. The communal violence and displacement left a lasting scar on the collective memory of both nations.


Independence: India and Pakistan officially gained independence from British rule on August 15, 1947. Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of independent India, while Muhammad Ali Jinnah became the Governor-General of Pakistan.


Legacy: The partition of India and independence marked the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the Indian subcontinent. It brought an end to centuries of colonial rule and paved the way for the emergence of two sovereign nations, India and Pakistan, each with its own challenges and opportunities.



Partition led to the creation of independent India and Pakistan, marking the end of British colonial rule.

1948 : Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi

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Overview: The assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948, shocked the nation and the world. Gandhi, the foremost leader of India's independence movement and advocate of nonviolent resistance, was killed by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist.


Background: Gandhi's assassination was motivated by Godse's disagreement with Gandhi's approach towards the partition of India and his advocacy for Hindu-Muslim unity. Godse believed that Gandhi's policies favored Muslims at the expense of Hindu interests.


Impact: Gandhi's assassination had a profound impact on India and the world. It led to widespread mourning and condemnation of violence. It also raised questions about the challenges of fostering communal harmony and the dangers of extremist ideologies.


Legacy: Gandhi's legacy as the father of the nation and a champion of peace, nonviolence, and social justice continues to inspire people around the world. His principles of truth, ahimsa (nonviolence), and sarvodaya (the welfare of all) remain relevant in addressing contemporary challenges.



Assassination of Gandhi shocked the nation, highlighting the challenges of communal harmony.

1949 : Adoption of the Constitution of India

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Overview: The Constitution of India, drafted by the Constituent Assembly, was adopted on January 26, 1950, marking the formal establishment of the Republic of India. It replaced the Government of India Act of 1935 as the supreme law of the land.


Features: The Constitution of India is one of the longest and most comprehensive written constitutions in the world. It lays down the framework for democratic governance, defines the powers and responsibilities of the government, and guarantees fundamental rights to all citizens.


Preamble: The Preamble to the Constitution of India embodies the aspirations and ideals of the Indian people, including justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity. It serves as a guiding light for the nation's journey towards progress and development.


Key Provisions: The Constitution of India establishes a federal system of government with a parliamentary democracy at the center and in the states. It enshrines the principles of secularism, socialism, and democracy and provides for a separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.


Legacy: The adoption of the Constitution of India marked the fulfillment of the dreams and aspirations of the Indian people for self-rule and independence. It symbolizes India's commitment to democracy, pluralism, and the rule of law, and serves as a beacon of hope for nations striving for freedom and justice.



Adoption of the Constitution of India established the Republic of India, embodying democratic principles.

Swadeshi Movement

Background

Swadeshi Movement was the first organized mass movement that took place in response to the Partition of Bengal province...../

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  • Response to Bengal Partition by Lord Curzon.
  • Moderates launched Anti-Partition Campaign.
  • Petitions, gatherings, and publications protested the division.

Partition of Bengal

  • Officially announced in August 1905.
  • Goals: Promote Indian industries, boycott British goods, political concessions.
  • Moderate leaders like Surendranath Banerjee opposed the partition.

Beginning

  • Extremist wing of Indian National Congress took over.
  • Strategies: Boycotting foreign goods, promoting Swadeshi.
  • Students and women actively participated.

Course of the Movement

  • Students engaged in picketing, faced government suppression.
  • Active involvement of women marked the beginning of their participation in the national movement.
  • Expansion of industries, schools, and colleges promoting Swadeshi.

Expansion

  • Spread to other parts of India and abroad.
  • Public meetings, festivals, and communication channels aided spread.
  • Emphasis on self-reliance and national pride.

Government Response

  • Suppressive actions: Lathi charges, press censorship.
  • Proposed legislative reforms to divide Congress.

Significance

  • Mass participation in Indian National Movement.
  • Introduction of passive resistance as a powerful idea.
  • Emergence of new leadership and rural peasant participation.
  • Cultural revival and economic promotion of Swadeshi products.

Shortcomings

  • Confined to urban areas, inconsistent leadership.
  • Failed to break loyalty of urban Indian elites.
  • Acquired communal colors at times.

Conclusion

  • Instilled nationalism and self-confidence.
  • Prepared ground for Gandhian phase of national movement.
  • Remained an inspiration for future movements.

UPSC Perspective

  • First organized mass movement in response to Bengal Partition.
  • Leadership by Indian National Congress extremists.
  • Mass participation including women, students, urban middle class, and rural peasants.
  • Political, social, cultural, and economic developments ensued.