Indian Independence Movement Essay

The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide range of areas like political organizations, philosophies and movements which had the common aim to ending the company rule (East India Company), and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia. The independence movement saw various national and regional campaigns, agitations and efforts, some nonviolent and others not so.

During the first quarter of the 19th century, Rammohan Roy introduced modern education into India. Swami Vivekananda was the chief architect who profoundly projected the rich culture of India to the west at the end of 19th century. Many of the country’s political leaders of the 19th and 20th century, including Mohandas K. Gandhi and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, were influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda.

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According to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, who was a major proponent of armed struggle for Indian independence, Swami Vivekananda was “the maker of modern India”; for Mohandas Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda’s influence increased his “love for his country a thousandfold. ” His writings inspired a whole generation of freedom fighters. Many years after Swami Vivekananda’s death, Rabindranath Tagore told French Nobel Laureate Romain Rolland, “If you want to know India, study Vivekananda. In him everything is positive and nothing negative. The first organised militant movements were in Bengal, but they later took to the political stage in the form of a mainstream movement in the then newly formed Indian National Congress (INC), with prominent moderate leaders seeking only their basic right to appear for Indian Civil Service examinations, as well as more rights, economic in nature, for the people of the soil.

The early part of the 20th century saw a more radical approach towards political independence proposed by leaders such as the Lal, Bal, Pal, Aurobindo Ghosh and V. O. Chidambaram Pillai. The last stages of the freedom struggle from the 1920s onwards saw Congress adopt Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s policy of nonviolence and civil resistance, Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s constitutional struggle for the rights of minorities in India, and several other campaigns. Legendary figures such as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh came to adopt political method of revolution to the freedom movement, while others like Swami Sahajanand Saraswati wanted both political and economic freedom for India’s peasants and toiling masses.

Poets such as Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam used literature, poetry and speech as a tool for political awareness. The period of the Second World War saw the peak of the campaigns by the Quit India movement (led by “Mahatma” Gandhi) and the Indian National Army (INA) movement (led by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose) and others, eventually resulting in the withdrawal of the British. The work of these various movements led ultimately to the Indian Independence Act 1947, which created the independent dominions of India and Pakistan.

India remained a Dominion of the Crown until 26 January 1950, when the Constitution of India came into force, establishing the Republic of India; Pakistan was a dominion until 1956. The Indian independence movement was a mass-based movement that encompassed various sections of society. It also underwent a process of constant ideological evolution. [1] Although the basic ideology of the movement was anti-colonial, it was supported by a vision of independent capitalist economic development coupled with a secular, democratic, republican, and civil-libertarian political structure. 2] After the 1930s, the movement took on a strong socialist orientation, due to the increasing influence of left-wing elements in the INC as well as the rise and growth of the Communist Party of India. [1]. The All-India Muslim League was formed in 1906 to protect the rights of Muslims in the Indian Sub-continent against the INC and to present a Muslim voice to the British government.

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