List of National Movements in India – The Indian national movement was undoubtedly one of the biggest mass movement modern societies has ever seen. It was also popular and multi-class movement. It was basically the result of a fundamental contradiction between the interest of the Indian people and that of British colonialism. The Indian people were able to see that India was regressing economically and undergoing a process of underdevelopment.
As a result of British rule, India transformed by the end of the 19th Century into a classic colony. It was a major market for British manufactures, a big source of raw materials and food-stuff, and an important field for the investment of British Capital.
Rise of Nationalism in India
For India, the making of national identity was a long process whose roots can be drawn from the ancient era. India as a whole had been ruled by emperors like Ashoka and Samudragupta in ancient times and Akbar to Aurangzeb in Medieval times. People began discovering their unity in the process of their struggle against colonialism. This strengthened the concept of citizenship and one nation among Indians.
Similarly this economic exploitation by the British agitated other people to unite and react against British
Government’s control over their lives and resources. The social and religious reform movements of the 19th century also contributed to the feeling of Nationalism. It inspired generations to supreme self-sacrifice. Simultaneously, it created a fear in the minds of the British.
The British had to ban the song. Similarly, Swami Vivekananda’s message to the people, “Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached”, appealed to the Indians. It acted as a potent force in the course of Indian Nationalism.
Lets discuss the list of national movements in india:
List of National Movements in India
1. Revolt Of 1857
The Indian Mutiny of 1857-59 was a widespread but unsuccessful rebellion against the rule of British East India Company in India which functioned as a sovereign power on behalf of the British crown.
- It was the first expression of organised resistance against the British East India Company
- It began as a revolt of the sepoys of the British East India Company’s army but eventually secured the participation of the masses.
- The revolt is known by several names: the Sepoy Mutiny (by the British Historians), the Indian Mutiny, the Great Rebellion (by the Indian Historians), the Revolt of 1857, the Indian Insurrection, and the First War of Independence (by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar).
- The Revolt of 1857 lasted for more than a year. In the middle of 1858 the revolt got suppressed.
- On July 8, 1858, fourteen months after the outbreak at Meerut, peace was finally proclaimed by Lord Canning.
|Places of Revolt||Indian Leaders||British Officials who suppressed the revolt|
|Delhi||Bahadur Shah II||John Nicholson|
|Lucknow||Begum Hazrat Mahal||Henry Lawrence|
|Kanpur||Nana Saheb||Sir Colin Campbell|
|Jhansi & Gwalior||Lakshmi Bai & Tantia Tope||General Hugh Rose|
|Bareilly||Khan Bahadur Khan||Sir Colin Campbell|
|Allahabad and Banaras||Maulvi Liyakat Ali||Colonel Oncell|
|Bihar||Kunwar Singh||William Taylor|
The revolt of 1857 was an unprecedented event in the history of British rule in India. It united, though in a limited way, many sections of Indian society for a common cause.Though the revolt failed to achieve the desired goal, it sowed the seeds of Indian nationalism.
2. Indian National Congress Formed
On 28 December 1885, the first session of the Indian National Congress (INC) was held at Bombay and continued till 31 December. Retired British civil servant Allan Octavian Hume along with Dadabhai Naoroji and Dinshaw Wacha founded the INC.
- The INC is the first national movement of a political kind in India with the initial aim of getting more Indians involved in the governance of the country. Later on, its purpose upgraded to complete independence.
- For the first session, Hume obtained permission from the then Viceroy of India Lord Dufferin. It was initially supposed to be held in Poona but was moved to Bombay due to the outbreak of cholera in Poona.
- In 1883, Hume had written an open letter to Calcutta University graduates expressing his idea of having a body for educated Indians to demand more share in the government and also for a platform by which dialogue could be initiated and sustained between educated Indians and the British government.
- 72 delegates from all the Indian provinces attended the first session. There were 54 Hindus, 2 Muslims and the rest were Jain and Parsi members.
- The president of the first session was Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee.
- Prominent attendees of the maiden session were Dadabhai Naoroji, Dinshaw Wacha, William Wedderburn, Pherozeshah Mehta, etc.
3. Partition Of Bengal By Lord Curzon
The decision to split Bengal came in July and by October 16, 1905, Bengal had been divided into Piston Bengal and Assam (with a population of 31 million) and the rest of Bengal (with a population of the 4 million of who 18 million were Bengalis, and 36 million Biharis and Oriyas).
The decision had come after Lord Curzon claimed that Bengal was too large to be governed effectively
- The partition separated the largely Muslim eastern areas from the largely Hindu western areas
- It was definitely the ‘divide and rule’ policy for the Indians and the whole population was outraged about the fact that the colonisers were turning native population against itself in order to rule.
- Curzon left for Britain in 1905, but the agitation continued for many years. Partition was finally reversed in 1911 by Lord Hardinge in the face of unrelenting opposition.
- The Swadeshi movement, which had grown significantly during the agitation, later reached nationwide proportions. The partition of Bengal and the highhanded behaviour of Curzon fired the national movement and the Congress.
- Partition was finally reversed in 1911 by Lord Hardinge in the face of unrelenting opposition.
4. Split of Congress
In 1906 Sri Aurobindo came to Bengal with the purpose of a public initiation of a more forward and direct political action than the moderate reformism which had till then been the creed of the Indian National Congress. He joined the ‘New Party’ which had been recently formed in the Congress and persuaded its chiefs in Bengal to come forward publicly as an All-India party – The Nationalist Party – with Tilak at its head and to attack the then dominant Moderate (Reformist or Liberal) oligarchy of veteran politicians and capture from them the Congress and the country.
The origin of the historic struggle between the Moderates and the Nationalists (called by their opponents Extremists) which in two years changed altogether the face of Indian politics. The Surat Split was the splitting of the Indian National Congress into two groups – the Extremists and the Moderates – at the Surat session in 1907
Leaders of the Nationalist Party
The main leaders of the Nationalist Party at Surat were: Lokmanya Tilak, Sri Aurobindo, G.S. Kharpade, Sardar Ajit Singh, H. Mukherjee, B.C. Chatterjee. Subramaniam Bharati and S. Doraiswamy Iyer had arrived from Madras.
5. Formation Of Muslim league
On 30 December 1906, the All-India Muslim League (AIML), popularly known as the Muslim League was founded in Dhaka, British India (now in Bangladesh). Factors that promotes the Muslim league are – British Plan, Lack of Education,Loss of Sovereignty by Muslims,Expression of Religious Colour,Economic backwardness of India.
The partition of Bengal created a communal divide. The leadership of Aga Khan, the Nawab of Dhaka and Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk formed the muslim league on December 30, 1906 to the notion to safeguard the rights of Indian Muslims. Initially, it gets great support from the British but when it adopted the notion of Self-rule then they get destitution from them.
The Amritsar session of the League, held in 1908, under the presidentship of Sir Syed Ali Imam, demanding a separate electorate for the Muslims, this was conceded to them by his Morley-Minto Reform 1909. Maulana Muhammad Ali started an English Journal ‘Comrade’ and an Urdu Paper ‘Hamdard’ to propagate his anti-league views. He also started ‘Al-Hilal ‘which served as a mouthpiece of his Nationalist views.
6. Delhi-Lahore Conspiracy
The Delhi Conspiracy case, also known as the Delhi-Lahore Conspiracy, refers to a conspiracy in 1912 to assassinate the Viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge, on the occasion of transferring the capital of British India from Calcutta to New Delhi. Hatched by the Indian revolutionary underground in Bengal and Punjab and headed by Rash Behari Bose, the conspiracy culminated on the attempted assassination on 23 December 1912 when a homemade bomb attach into the Viceroys’s Howdah when the ceremonial procession moved through the Chandni Chowk suburb of Delhi.
7. Ghadar Party
The Ghadar Party was an international political movement consisting of expatriate Indians to overthrow British rule in India. On 15 July 1913 in Astoria, Oregon, the United States of America the first official meeting of Ghadar party happened .
Ghadar (Urdu: “Revolution”), an early 20th-century movement among Indians, principally Sikhs living in North America, to end British rule in their homeland of India. The movement originated with an organization of immigrants in California called the Hindustani Workers of the Pacific Coast.
Shortly after the outbreak of World War I, many of the Ghadrites returned to India and for several months during 1915 carried on terrorist activities in central Punjab. Attempted uprisings were quickly crushed by the British. After the war, the party in America split into Communist and anti-Communist factions. The party was dissolved in 1948, after India had achieved independence.
8. Hindu-German Conspiracy
Hindu-German conspiracy were a series of conspiracy planned by radical sections of Indian national movement – notably Bengali,Punjabi revolutionaries at home and similar ideological institutions abroad ,viz , Ghadar party (US) , Indian Independence Committee(Europe) – and Germans to foment a pan-India rebellion against the British Raj during the world war 1 in which Germany and Britain were against each other. The conspiracy found allies in the Irish nationalists and Turkish officials and the central powers. The plot is like usurp British raj by fomenting a rebellion in India to be reinforced through popular upsurge and assisting it through a full scale war via Afghanistan,which gained full independence from the Raj in 1915.
9. Anti-Rowlatt Satyagraha
Gandhiji started the Anti-Rowlatt Satyagraha movement against The Rowlatt Act,1919 for the exclusion of freedom of press and detention without trial set up a Satyagraha Sabha on 24th February 1919 at Bombay. As, the Rowlatt Act empowers the Britishers regarding the suspension of the right of Habeas Corpus.
During this agitation, M.K Gandhi given famous quote “It is my firm belief that we shall obtain salvation only through suffering and not by reforms dropping on us from the English they use brute, we soul force”. After the incident of Jallianwala Bagh massacre on 13th April, 1919, the Anti-Rowlatt Satyagarha lost momentum. The movement was against the exclusion of freedom of press and detention without trial.
10. Jallianwala Bagh massacre
After passing the Rowlatt Act, the Punjab Government set out to suppress all opposition. On April 13, 1919, the public had gathered to celebrate Baisakhi. However, the British point of view, as seen from the documents present in the National Archives of India, indicates that it was a political gathering.
Inspite of General Dyer’s orders prohibiting unlawful assembly, people gathered at Jallianwala Bagh. They discussed the two resolutions, one condemning the firing on April 10 and the other requesting the authorities to release their leaders.
When the news reached him Brigadier-General Dyer, headed to the Bagh with his troops. He entered the Bagh, deployed his troops and ordered them to open fire without giving any warning. People rushed to the exits but Dyer directed his soldiers to fire at the exit.
The firing continued for 10-15 minutes. 1650 rounds were fired. The firing ceased only after the ammunition had ran out. The total estimated figure of the dead as given by General Dyer and Mr Irving was 291. However, other reports including that of a committee headed by Madan Mohan Malviya put the figure of dead at over 500.
11. The Khilafat Movement
Khilafat movement, pan-Islamic force in India that arose in 1919 in an effort to salvage the Ottoman caliph as a symbol of unity among the Muslim community in India during the British raj. The movement fell apart after the abolition of the caliphate in 1924.
The two Ali brothers namely Mohammed Ali and Shaukat Ali-Maulana Azad, Hakim Ajmal Khan and Hasrat Mohani Khilafat initiated the Kilafat movement. The movement supported the Sultan of Turkey whom The Muslim population in India considered their religious head.It has great effect in of National movement in India
- The Khilafat Non-Cooperation Movement started on August 31 1921.
- People started to resign from government services.
- The Khilafat Movement and the Congress Non-Cooperation Movement merged into one nationwide movement by the year-end of 1920.
- In 1921, the Khilafat Committee put a note to all the Muslims asking not to join the police and armed forces and not to pay taxes.
- This outraged the government and the government arrested the popular Ali brothers on charges of sedition.
- The Khilafat and the Congress volunteer engaged in this program received warrant for the arrest.
- Unfortunately, the whole movement got called off on February 12, 1922, at Gandhiji’s insistence, proceeding the news of the Chauri Chaura incident.
12. Non-Cooperation Movement
The Non-Cooperation Movement pitched in under leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress from September 1920 to February 1922, marking a new awakening in the Indian Independence Movement. After a series of events including the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, Gandhiji realised that no prospect of getting any fair treatment at the hands of British. So he planned to withdraw the nation’s co-operation from the British Government, thus launching the Non-Cooperation Movement and thereby marring the administrative set up of the country.
Mahatma Gandhi was the main force behind the non-cooperation movement. In March 1920, he issued a manifesto declaring a doctrine of the non-violent non-cooperation movement. Gandhi, through this manifesto, wanted people to:
- Adopt swadeshi principles
- Adopt swadeshi habits including hand spinning & weaving
- Work for the eradication of untouchability from society
Gandhi travelled across the nation in 1921 explaining the tenets of the movement.
13. Chauri Chaura Killing
On February 4, 1922, a large group of nationalist volunteers had gathered on the streets of a small, obscure hamlet in the Gorakhpur district of the United Provinces. More than a year had passed since Mahatma Gandhi had launched the non-cooperation movement with the aim of attaining ‘Purna Swaraj’ (full independence). The volunteers marched through the streets shouting slogans of Gandhi and the Khilafat.
Soon they walked into the police. As the crowd grew larger and fiercer, the cops retreated inside the police station. The protestors doused the building in kerosene and set it on fire. Twenty-three policemen perished. In the incident, 19 got sentenced to death and total of 228 people got trailed.
14. Government of India Act
The British Parliament passed The Government of India Act on August 1935. It is the longest act enacted by the British Parliament at that time. So, it has two separate acts namely, the Government of India Act 1935 and the Government of Burma Act 1935.
|Government of India Act 1935|
|Aim||An Act to make further provision for the Government of India.|
|Territorial Extent||Territories under direct British control|
|Enacted by||Parliament of United Kingdom|
|Royal Assent||24th July 1935|
|Commenced||1st April 1937|
|Status||Repealed on 26th January 1950 in India|
There was a growing demand for constitutional reforms in India by Indian leaders. India’s support to Britain in the First World War also aided in British acknowledgement of the need for the inclusion of more Indians in the administration of their own country.
The Act was based on:
- Simon Commission Report.
- The recommendations of the Round Table Conferences
- The White Paper published by the British government in 1933 (based on Third Round Table Conference )
- Report of the Joint Select Committees.
15. Quit India Movement
Mumbai’s Gowalia Tank Maidan also known as August Kranti Maidan is the place where the quit India movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi. He along with other leaders gathered here on August 8 and 9, 1942.
The Congress is declared as an unlawful association and its offices all over the country were raided. British police arrested the leaders and there rose a chaotic moment with this incident.It has great effect in of National movement in India
- The movement gave the slogans ‘Quit India’ or ‘Bharat Chodo’. Gandhi gave the slogan to the people – ‘Do or die’.
- The Congress Working Committee on 8 August 1942 in Bombay passed the Quit India Resolution. The Movement leader was Mahatma Gandhi.
- The resolution stated the provisions of the movement as:
- An immediate end to British rule over India.
- Declaration of the commitment of free India to defend itself against all kinds of imperialism and fascism.
- Formation of a provisional government of India after British withdrawal.
- Sanctioning a civil disobedience movement against British rule.
16. India gained its freedom
The Indian Independence Bill, which carves the independent nations of India and Pakistan out of the former Mogul Empire, comes into force at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947.
On 15 August 1947 India became independent from the British Empire following the Independence Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and his message of nonviolent resistance. Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India overseed the power transfer. Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India and raised the Indian national flag above the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi in honour of the celebrations.