• Three successive but overlapping stages of British exploitation of our country

1. The first ‘mercantilist’ phase from 1757 to 1813 was marked by direct plunder and the East India Company’s monopoly trade.

2. The Industrial Revolution changed this pattern to one of ‘free trader industrial capitalist’ exploitation between 1813 and 1858.

3. From the latter half of the 19th century ‘Finance Imperialism’ began to entrench itself in India through some export of capital and a massive chain of British-controlled banks, export-import firms and managing agency houses.

• India had one of the lowest possible annual per capita national incomes, calculated at Rs. 18 for the year 1899.

• In 1921 only 8 per cent of the people were literate.

Growth of Modern Press

• James Augustus Hickey was the pioneer of Indian journalism, with his weekly paper the Bengal Gazette, which he established in 1780.

• In 1818 publication commenced of the first Bengali weekly, called Bengal Gazeti and Samachar Darpan.

• Raja Ram Mohan Roy commenced publication of his weekly Sabad Kaumudi in 1821.

• Samachar Chandrika was another weekly representing the orthodox section of the Hindu society.

• In 1851, the Rast Goftar, a Gujarati fortnightly, was published from Bombay under the editorship of Dadabhai Naoroji.

• The Hindu Patriot was published from Calcutta under the editorship of Harish Chandra Mukherjee.

• In the 1870s there were about 62 such papers in the Bombay Presidency, about 60 in the North-West provinces, Awadh and the Central Provinces, about 38 in Bengal and 19 in Madras.

• The Amrita Bazar Patrika, edited by Sisir Ghosh, The Hindu, published from Madras, were powerful organs.

• Lord Lytton, the then Viceroy, passed the Vernacular Press Act (1878).

• To bypass the restrictions imposed on the vernacular press, the Amrita Bazar Patrika was immediately converted into an English Paper.

• The founding of the Hindu in Madras was also in reaction to Lytton’s Press Act.


• Bankim Chandra wrote Anand Math.

• Around 1860 a play called Neel Darpan was written by Din Bandhu Mitra to expose the atrocities by indigo planters.

• The Hindi author Bhartendu Harishchandra put forward a plea for the use of swadeshi things.


• The Arms Act of 1878 in an attempt to disarm the Indian people.

• Lowering of age bar for appearing in the Indian Civil Service Examination from 21 years to 19 years. A massive agitation under the aegis of the Indian Association was organized by people like S.N. Banerjee and Lal Mohan Ghose, a well known Bengali barrister.

• The magnificent Durbar organised by Lord Lytton in 1877 at Delhi.

• Sir Courtenay Ilbert, Law Member in the Viceroy’s Council, introduced a Bill (popularly known as Ilbert Bill) in the Governor General’s Legislative Council in 1883 to remove the Indian officer’s disability in judiciary.

• Ripon backtracked and amended the Bill. No less than half the number had to be Europeans or Americans.

Growth of Political Ideas and Political Organization up to 1885

• Henry Vivian Derozio established a daily paper –the East Indian.

• The first association to be established in Bengal was Bangabhasa Prakasika Sabha in 1836.

• The landholders of Calcutta and its neighborhood founded the Landholders’ Society in 1837.

• The Landholder’s Society decided to cooperate with the British India Society in London.

• Dwarkanath Tagore founded Bengal British India Society in 1843.

• Three Presidency Associations were founded

1. The British Indian Association of Calcutta (1851)
2. The Bombay Presidency Association (1852).
3. The Madras Native Association.

• The Deccan Association, founded in 1852.

• Poona Association founded in 1867.

• Poona Sarvajanik Sabha, founded in 1870 by M.G. Ranade and G.V. Joshi.

• Madras Mahajan Sabha, which in 1885 had nearly 56 affiliated associations.

• East Indian Association, founded by Dadabhai Naoroji in London in 1866.

• The India League founded in 1875 by Sisir Kumar Ghose, founder-editor of the Amrita Bazar patrika.

• The India League was in 1876 replaced by another political body called the Indian Association. Its founder was Surendra Nath Banerjee; his chief associate was Anand Mohan Bose.

• The Indian Association provided leadership for agitation on issues such as the age limit for the Indian Civil Service examination and the Ilbert Bill agitation.

• The first session of the National Conference held in Calcutta in December 1883.

• The second session of the National Conference was held in Calcutta in December 1885, almost at the same time that the Indian National Congress was holding its first session in Bombay.

The Foundation of the Indian National Congress, 1885

• Allan Octavian Hume (A.O. Hume) founded the Indian National Union, the forerunner of the Indian National Congress, in 1884.

• The venue of the conference was shifted to Tejpal Sanskrit Pathshala, Bombay.

• The first session of the Indian National Union was held on December 28, 1885.

• At the suggestion of Dadabhai Naoroji the name of the organisation was changed to Indian National Congress (Congress).

• Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee was elected its president.

• At the first session in Bombay, there were 72 delegates, about 38 of them from the Bombay Presidency and only 3 from Bengal.

• At the second session in Calcutta (1886) - in which Surendra Nath Banerjee and Anand Mohan Bose played an important role - there were 434 delegates.

• At the third session in Madras (1887) there were 607 delegates.

• At the fourth session at all Allahabad there were 1248 delegates.



• Dufferin himself described the Congress as the mouthpiece of the ‘microscopic minority’.

• Lord Curzon wrote to the Secretary of State in 1900: “The Congress is tottering to its fall, and one of my great ambitions, while in India, is to assist it to a peaceful demise”.

Methods of Work

• People who studied law or ICS: Pherozeshah Mehta, Badruddin Tyabji, W.C. Bonnerjee, Lal Mohan Ghosh, Surendra Nath Banerjee, Anand Mohan Bose, and Romesh Chandra Dutt.

• All of them had come under the influence of Dadabhai Naoroji, who was then settled in England as businessman-cum-publicist.

• They were later joined by people like Dwarkanath Ganguli, M.G, Ranade, G.V. Joshi, Viraraghava Chari, Anand Charlu and, most importantly, Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

Evaluation of Work

• Second session, held in Calcutta in 1886, was presided over by Dadabhai Naoroji.

• This 2nd session witnessed the merger of the National Congress and the National Conference.

• The third session was held in Madras in 1887 under the Presidentship of Badruddin Tyabji.

• The fourth session, held in Allahabad in 1888, was presided over by George Yule, the first Englishman to preside over a Congress session.

• An Indian Christian (W.C. Bonnerjee), a Parsi (Dadabhai Naoroji), a Muslim (Badruddin Tyabji), and an Englishman (George Yule), proof for the secular nature of the Congress.


• Aurobindo Ghosh published New Lamps for Old in 1893-94.

• Ashwini Kumar Datta derided the Congress as a “three days tamasha”.

• Bipin Chandra Pal mocked the Congress as a “begging institution” (1902).

• Indians could not achieve any success if we croak once a year like a frog”.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Neo- Nationalism

• Sir William Jones founded the Asiatic Society in Calcutta.

• Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in his novel Anandamath, published in 1882, contained the song Bande Mataram.

• Aurobindo Ghosh’s work Bhavani Mandir.


• Withdrawal of cotton excise duties in 1896, the Universities Act of 1904 and the controversial partition of Bengal in 1905.

• Most popular journals like Calcutta Bangabasi, and Kesari and Kal of Poona were very critical of the moderate politics of the Congress.

• In 1903 only 16,000 Indians held posts at salaries higher than 75 rupees a month.

• Ashwini kumar Dutta and Rabindranath Tagore, who repeatedly called for atmasakti (self-reliance) through swadeshi enterprise and national education.

• In the Punjab, the cult of swadeshi was being propagated by Arya Samajists like Lala Lajapat Rai.


• He organised Ganapati festival from 1874 and shivaji festival from 1896 onwards.

• He was the first to give the slogan of “Swarajya, Swadeshi and Boycott” and wrote in his paper Kesari, “Our nation is like a tree, of which the original trunk was Swarajya and branches were Swadeshi and Boycott”.

• Newspapers (Tilak’s Kesari, Pal’s New India and Lala’s Punjabi).

The First Phase of Revolutionary Terriosm

• They decided to follow the footsteps of Irish terrorists and Russian Nihilists

• Tilak’s slogan ‘Militancy and not Mendicancy’

• One of the earliest terrorist deeds was done in Poona in 1897 by two young Chapekar brothers, Damodar and Balkrishna, when they murdered two notorious British offcials, Rand and Amherst.

• The Chapekar brothers were associated with the revolutionary society Hindu Dharma Sangha.

• The Arya Bandhav Samaj was another society formed under the inspiration of Tilak.

• Foremost among the revolutionary associations in Maharashtra was the Abhinava Bharat Society founded by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in 1904.

• Anant Lakshman Karkare, a leading member of Abhinava Bharat Society, murdered Jackson, the District Magistrate of Nasik.

• In this Nasik conspiracy case 27 of them were found guilty and punished.

• V.D.Savarkar’s brother Ganesh Savarkar was transported for life seditious writings and inciting war against the British Government.

• In the Madras Province, Nilkantha Brahmachari and Vanchi Aiyar founded a secret Bharatha Matha Association.

• Aiyar killed Ashe, the District Magistrate of Tirunelveli in 1911 and later on committed suicide.

• In the Punjab, in 1904, J.M. Chaterji, founded the Bharat Mata Society. Later he was joined by Lala Hardayal, Ajit Singh and Sufi Amba Prasad.

• After the Foundation of the Ghadar Party in the USA, Lala Hardayal and Bhai Parmanand joined the Ghadar Party movement in the USA.

• One of the earliest and best known revolutionary socities in Bengal was the Anushilam Samiti. Satish Chandra Bose and Pramathanath Mitra played a leading role in founding this society. Aurobindo Ghosh and Sister Nivedita greatly encouraged and supported it.

• Another Anushilan Samiti was founded in Dacca (now Dhaka). This was led by Pulin Behari Das

• Atmonnati Samiti in Bengal was founded by Bipin Behari Ganguly

• Sakharam Ganesh Deuskar, a Marathi scholar who was proficient in Bengali, provided a link between the revolutionaries of Bengal and Maharashtra.

Secret Revolutionary Societies (all of these declared illegal)

• The Suhrid Samiti and the Sadhana Samiti of Mymensingh.

• The Swadesh Bandhav Samiti of Barisal.

• Brati Samiti of Farridpur.

Revolutionary Papers and Journals

• The Sandhya edited by Brahamabandhab Upadhyay.

• The Bandemataram edited by Aurobindo Ghosh.

• The Yugantar edited by Bhupendra Datta. This emerged as a revolutionary society calling itself Yugantar led by Barindra Ghosh.

• Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose assassinated a vindictive Judge, Kingsford, at Muzaffarpur (Bihar).

• Prafulla Chaki committed suicide and Khudiram Bose was arrested and hanged.

• 34 revolutionaries of the Yungantar group, including Barindra and Aurobindo Ghosh, were arrested and tried in the Alipur Conspiracy case. while the trial was in progress , the approver, the Public Prosecutor and a Deputy Superintendent of Police were assassinated.

• Barinda was transported for life.

• Aurobindo Ghosh was acquitted.

• Jatindranath Mukherji, popularly known as Bagha (Tigar) Jatin, who on being surrounded and outnumberd by the police in Balasore (Orissa) on September 9, 1915 put up a most heroic resistance before courting death.

• Ras Behari Bose, who a link between the revolutionaries of Bengal and the Punjab. He was the brain behind the attempted assassination of Viceroy Hardinge, when he was making state entry into Delhi.

• Ras Behari Bose escaped to Japan.

• During the Second World War he organised the Indian Independence League and the Indian National Army (INA).

Revolutionary Movements outside India

• The India Home Rule Society, one of the earliest revolutionary societies outside India, was founded by Shyamji Krishna Varma who had settled in London in 1897.

• Shyamji Krishna Varma gathered a group of Indian revolutionaries around him, the most prominent among who were V.D. Savarkar, Hardayal and Madan Lal Dhingra.

• Shyamji Krishna Varma started a paper, Indian Sociologist, and founded the India House in London.

• Shyamji left London and settled in Paris and the political leadership of India House came to be vested on V.D. Savarkar.

• Savarkar’s colleague Madan Lal Dhingra shot dead Curzon Wyllie on July 1, 1909 in London. Madan Lal Dhingra was arrested and hanged.

Bhikaiji Cama’s Movement

• Madam Bhikaiji Rustam KR Cama, an associate of Shyamji Krishna Varma, left India in 1902.

• She and Sardar Singh Rana lived in Paris and attended the International Socialist Congress at Stuttgart (Germany) in August 1907, as representative of India.
• Madam Cama at the conclusion of the conference unfurled the National Flag of India – a tricolour in green, yellow and red.

The Ghadar Party Movement

• Taraknath Das in the USA, formed the Indian Independence League in California in 1907, and the next year he began to publish the paper Free Hindustan.

• In November 1913 the Hind Association of America was founded by Sohan Singh Bhakana. It decided to publish a weekly paper Ghadar or Hindustan Ghadar, in commemoration of the Revolt of 1857, in English, Urdu, Marathi and Gurmukhi.

• Lala Hardayal was the guiding spirit of the Ghadar party movement. The organisation began to function from the Yugantar Ashram in San Franciso.

• Lala Hardayal, Bhai Parmanand and Ram Chandra were the leading figures of the Ghadar Party movement.

• Raja Mahendra Pratap and Barkatullah who, with the support of Germany and Russia, set up the Provisional Government of India in Kabul.

Partition of Bengal and the Swadeshi Movement

Partition of Bengal (1905)

• Lord Curzon’s administrative measure was the Partition of Bengal in 1905, on the ground that it was too large to manage efficiently.

• The truncated new province of Bengal was to comprise Calcutta and 11 districts of West Bengal, the district of Darjeeling, as also the whole of Bihar and Orissa (including Sambalpur and the Oriya speaking areas), the majority of the population being Hindu.

• The part taken away was to be known as ‘Eastern Bengal and Assam’ comprising the Muslim-majority districts of Bengal, with its capital at Dacca.

• Sir Bamfylde Fuller, the Lieutenant Governor of East Bengal, described the Muslims as his ‘favourite wife’.

Swadeshi Movement

• The partition of Bengal officially came into effect on October 16, 1905.

• The day the partition came into effect was observed in Bengal as a day of mourning. On the suggestion of Rabindranath Tagore the day of partition was further observed as Rakhi Bandhan Day.

• It was decided to boycott British goods. This was the beginning of the Swadeshi movement.

• The University of Calcutta, which supervised education in schools and colleges, was denounced as a gulam khana (house for slaves) and a ‘National Council of Education’ was established with a view to organizing a system of education on national lines and under national management.

Significance of the Movement

• The Swadeshi movement was the beginning of the organized movement in India.

• It was the only movement which fully achieved its objective, in that partition of Bengal was revoked in 1911.

The Surat Split

• The Varanasi session of the Congress, presided over by G.K.Gokhale in 1905, recorded its protest against the partition of Bengal.

• At the Calcutta session of the Congress, presided over by Dadabhai Naroji in 1906, the Congress recognized the boycott as “legitimate” and accorded its most cordial support to the Swadeshi movement.

• The Surat Session of the Congress in 1907, when against the wishes of the Extremists, who preferred Lala Lajpat Rai, Ras Behari Ghosh was chosen as President.

The Congress (1908-1915)

• The Moderates at the Surat Session met on December 28, 1907, and formed a Convention for drawing up the new constitution of the Congress. This convention met at Allahabad in April 1908 and formed a constitution.

• This constitution was ratified by the Congress at its Madras session in 1908.

The Foundation of All-India Muslim League

• A Muslim deputation led by the Agha Khan, the spiritual head of the Khoja Muslim community, met Lord Minto at Simla on October 1, 1906.

• Nawab Habibulla (or Salimullah) of Dacca, favoured by Lord Curzon, took the leadership of the pro-partition movement.

• In the wake of these developments, a meeting was held at Dacca on December 30, 1906, where it was decided to form a political association, called the All India Muslim Leauge.

• The Amritsar session of the Muslim League, held in 1908, demanded a separate electorate for the Muslims, which was conceded to them by the Morely-Minto reforms in 1909.

The Morely-Minto Reforms or the Indian Councils Act, 1909

• In 1905 Lord Minto succeeded Lord Curzon as the new Viceroy and shortly afterwards John Morley was appointed the Secretary of State for India in London.

• Passed by the British Parliament in 1911, the new statute, officially called the Indian Councils Act (1909), was popularly known as Minto-Morley Reforms.

The Main Features

1. It increased the membership of non-officials in the Imperial and Provincial Legislative Councils.

2. The effective principle introduced by the Indian Councils Act, 1892, was further extended, so that in 1910 more than a hundred indirectly elected Indians took their seats in the Councils.

3. In the Provincial Legislature, the non-official members had the majority, but an official majority was retained at the Centre.

4. The Act provided for the appointment of an Indian to the Viceroy’s Executive Council, as well as the Provincial Executive Councils.

5. The powers of the Legislature were also improved. The members could ask questions and even debate the budget, but could not vote on it. They could introduce legislative proposals, but could not enact laws.

6. The greatest evil of the Act of 1909 was the grant of separate electorate to the Muslims.

• The Lahore session of the Congress in 1909 expressed its storage disapproval of separate electorate formed on the basis of religion.

The Delhi Durbar and the Annulment of Partition of Bengal (December 1911)

• In early December 1911 King George V and the Queen Empress visited India.

• On December 12, 1911, a magnificent coronation Durbar was held in Delhi.

• The Delhi Durbar of 1911 was memorable for a number of historic announcements made by the Government-Governor-General Lord Hardinge on behalf of his sovereign.

• It was decided to transfer the capital of British India from Calcutta to Delhi.

• The annulment of the partition of Bengal.

• A new province of Bengal, consisting of all Bengali-speaking districts except Sylhet, was created. Bihar and Bengal were separated from Bengal.

• Assam was created as a separate province, the status it had in 1874. The new province, however, included the Sythet district as well.

Lord Hardinge Bomb Case - December 23, 1912

• December 23, 1912, was fixed as the date for the Viceroy’s state entry into the new capital, Delhi.

• A long procession through a Chandni Chowk in Delhi, a bomb was thrown at the elephant carrying the Viceroy. Hardinge was badly wounded.

The First World War (1914-1919) and India

• Formation of two blocs of great powers in Europe:
1. Triple Alliance (Germany-Austria, Italy and Turkey)
2. Triple Entente (France, Russia and England).

• The declaration of war by Great Britian against Germany on August 4, 1914, automatically made India a belligerent and dragged her into the great holocaust.

• An armed uprising in the Punjab was planned in 1915.

• The same year in 1915, Indian troops in Singapore mutinied.

• Another unsuccessful war time plot was ‘Silk Letters Conspiracy’. This was a plan for a general Muslim uprising against the British.

• The Muslim League, which had been loyal to the British Government, was disenchanted on account of the declaration of war against Turkey, the premier Islamic State which had allied with Germany and Italy in the First World War.

• The leaders of the Ehrar League, such as Hakim Ajmal Khan, Mohammad Ali, Hasan Imam and others, very strongly proposed that Muslims should not remain subservient to the British Government, but should participate in the national movement.

The Lucknow Pact (1916)

• The Lucknow session of the Congress in 1916 was a memorable event on account of two important developments.

• Readmission of the Extremists, who had been expelled from the Congress nine years earlier.

• Ther bond of alliance between the Congress and the Muslim League.

• The League at its annual session in Bombay in 1915 it was decided to hold the annual session of the League and Congress at the same place and during the same week.

• This agreement is generally known as the Lucknow Pact or the Congress-League Scheme.

• The Lucknow Pact also marked the formal acceptance of Separate Electorate for Muslims by the Congress.

• The Congress and the League both worked together under the spirit of the Pact till the suspension of the Non-Cooperation movement after the Chauri Chaura incident in 1922.

The Home Rule Movement

• The Home Rule Movement was by Tilak and Mrs. Annie Besant,

• The definite campaign for Home Rule began with the publication of a weekly review, The Commomweal, on January 2, 1914.

• The paper adopted as its cardinal programme, “religious liberty, national education, social reform, and political reform” aiming at self-government for India within the British Commonwealth.

• Two Home Rule Leagues were founded to pursue this programme, both Leagues being supportive of each other.

• Tilak founded the Indian Home Rule League in April 1916 and five months later in September 1916 Mrs. Annie Besant started the Home Rule League.

• Both launched a propaganda in favour of Home Rule through their respective papers - Mrs. Besant’s Commonweal and New India and Tilak’s Mahratta and Kesari.

• After Montagu’s Declaration (August 1917) Mrs. Besant dropped her League, but Tilak continued his movement.

• Two far-reaching political consequences.

1. It infused the Congress with new strength and vigour.

The Home Rule movement had virtually eclipsed the Moderates from the political field.

The Extremists were admitted to the Congress and Mrs. Besant was elected as President of the Congress in 1917, when she declared “India is no longer on her knees for boons: she is on her feet for rights”.

2. Home Rule movement hastened the formulation of a new policy by the British Government which was defined in Montagu’s Declaration (August Declaration).

Montagu Declaration (August 1917)

• Montagu was appointed the Secretary of State of India.

• On August 20, 1917, Montagu made a historic Declaration in the House of Commons defining the goal of British policies in India.

• Montagu visited India in November 1917.

• Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms or the Government of India Act, 1919.

Reactions to Montagu’s Declaration

• Moderates welcoming it as ‘the Magna Carta of India’ while the nationalists criticized it as falling far short of the legitimate expectations of India.

• Congress session held in Calcutta in December 1917, where Mrs. Besant was the President.

• Tilak characterized the Montagu Declaration as “a sun-less dawn”.

Second Split in the Congress

• This time the Moderates walked out.

• The Congress in a special session (August 1918) criticized the August Declaration as “disappointing and unsatisfactory” and suggested important modifications.

• The Moderates, led by Surendra Nath Banerjee, supported the Declaration in a separate conference (November 1918)

• The Moderated left the organization in order to cooperate with the British Government.

• These ultra-Moderates started a new party, called the National Liberal League, later on known as All-India Liberal Federation.

Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms or the Government of India Act, 1919

Feature of the Act

• A provision was made for classification of central and provincial subjects.

• The provincial subjects were divided into two groups: Reserved and Transferred.

• The Reserved subjects were with the Governor and Transferred subjects with the Indian Ministers. This division of subjects, known as ‘Dyarchy’ or dual governament in the provinces, was the most important feature of the Act.

• Reserved subjects: Justice, police and revenue.

• The Transferred subjects: Education, public health, public works.

• The Central Legislature covered all central subjects, as also some matters falling within the scope of provincial subjects.

• The Indian Executive comprised the Governor-General and his Executive Council.

• No Bill of the Legislature could be deemed to have been passed unless assented to by the Governor-General.

• The Governor-General’s control over the Indian finances was also kept intact.

• The Act provided for the establishment, for the first time, in India of a Public Service commission.

• The Act provided for a Statutory Commission to be set up, at the end of ten years after the Act was passed, to inquire into “the working of the system of government”. The Simon Commission, appointed in 1927, was the out come of this provision.


• The other features of the Act were
1. Financial devolution.
2. A bicameral legislature at the Centre.
3. Diarchy in the provinces
4. The character of the central government remained unchanged except that a second Indian was included in the Governor-General’s Executive Council.
5. Separate electorates were further extended to Sikhs in the Punjab and non- Brahmins in Madras.

• The Congress decided to boycott the elections which to be held in November 1920.

The Beginning of the Gandhian Era

• Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa in January 1915.

• In his book Hind Swarajya, written in 1909, he interpreted Swaraj (self- rule) in a broad sense.

• Foundation of the Sabarmati Ashram at Ahamadabad in May 1915.

• It was through involvement in two agrarian disputers, Champaran (in North Bihar) and Karia (in Gujarat) and a labour dispute in Ahamedabad in 1917-18, that Gandhi emerged as an influencial political leader.

• At all the three places Gandhiji used his technique of Satyagraha or passive resistance.

• In Ahamedabad Gandhiji organized a movement in 1918 for increase in the wages of the mill workers.

Anti- Rowlatt Satygraha (1919)

• In view of the growing revolutionary terrorism and the on-going First World War, the Governor –General Chelmsford had appointed a Committee (the Sedition or Rowlatt Committee) under the Presidentship of Sydney Rowalatt, a Judge of the King’s bench in London.

• The Rowlatt Committee, which submitted its Report in April 1918.

• Two Bills based on the Rowlatt Committee’s recommendations were placed before the Imperical Legislative Council. One was dropped; the other - the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act was passed in March 1919.

• It provided for speedy trial of offences by a Special Court consisting of three High Court Judges. There was no appeal from this Court and it could accept evidence not admissible under the Indian Evidence Act.

• As soon as the Government introduced the two Bills (February 6, 1919), Gandhiji decided to organize a Satyagraha campaign.

• A Satyagraha Sabha was established, with Gandhiji as its president, to organize the campaign.

• After the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on April 13, 1919, the anti-Rowlatt Satyagraha lost momentum.

The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

• The Lieutenant Governor, Gen. Michael O’Dwyer, had already earned notoriety as an oppressive administrator.

• On April 9, 1919, he ordered the arrest of two local Congress leaders, Dr. Satyapal and Dr. Kitchlew, who were associated with the Reception Committee for the annual session of the Congress to be held in December 1919.

• To protest against the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy Rabindranath Tagore surrendered the knighthood conferred on him by the British Government.

• Sir Sankaram Nair, a former president of the Congress, resigned his membership of the Viceroy’s Executive Council.

• The Congress session in 1919 held at Amritsar.

The Khilafat Movement (1920-1922)

• Mahatma Gandhi was elected president of the All India Khilafat Conference in November 1919.

• The Amritsar session of the Congress, held in December 1919, gave a great fillip to the Khilafat agitation.

• “Khilafat Day” was observed on October 17, 1919.

• At the special session of the Congress held in Calcutta in September 1920 a resolution was passed, at Mahatma Gandhi’s instance, to launch the Non-cooperation movement for two wrongs:

1. The British Government‘s attitude towards the Khilafat issue.

2. Its failure to protect the innocent people of the Punjab and punish the officers guilty of barbarous behaviour towards them.

The Nagpur Session of the Congress (December 1920)

• It was a historic session, which apart from ratifying the Non-Cooperation resolution, also undertook two important amendments to the constitution of the Congress:

1. The goal of the Congress, which in the existing constitution was “self- government within the British Empire”, was replaced with the word Swaraj.

2. Revolutionary changes were brought about in the Congress organization and a constructive programme was chalked out.

• These included:
1) Opening of Congress membership to all adults
2) The formation of an All-India Congress Committee(AICC) of 300 members
3) Creating a hierarchy of district, taluka and village Congress Committees
4) Reorganization of the Provincial Congress Committees on a linguistic basis
5) Promotion of Swadeshi, particularly hand-spinning and weaving
6) Removal of untouchability among the Hindus
7) Promotion of Hindu-Muslim unity and use of Hindi as faras possible.

The Non-Coorperation Movement (1920-1922)

• The first mass movement launched under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.

• Three main demands
1. The Khilfat issue.
2. The redressal of the Punjab wrongs.
3. The attainment of Swaraj.

• Constructive programme of the Non-Cooperation movement
1) Popularization of Charkha, and Khadi.
2) Raising a Volunteer Corps

• The AICC meeting Vijayawada March 31, 1921, outlined two more programmes.

1) To collect one crore rupees for the Tilak Memorial Swarajya fund
2) To introduce 20 lakh charkhas into Indian households.

Progress of the Movement

• The Non- Cooperation movement was initiated by Mahatma Gandhi on August 1, 1920.

• Bal Gangadhar Tilak passed away in Bombay on the day the movement was launched.

• New educational institutions such as the Jamia Millia Islamia and the Kashi Vidyapith were founded.

• When the Prince of Wales landed in Bombay on November 17, 1921, he was welcomed with a nation-wide hartal.

• Annual session of the Congress at Ahmedabad in December 1921, Mahatma Gandhi sent a written ultimatum to the Viceory threatening “Mass Civil Disobedience” if the Viceory did not decide to reverse the Government’s repressive policies within seven days.

• Before the week elapsed, at Chauri Chaura, a small town in Gorakhpur district, U.P., twenty-two policemen were killed after they had fired on a political procession.

• He prevailed upon the Congress Working Committee, which met at Bardoli on February 12, 1922, to call off the movement.

• The British government, Mahatma Gandhi’s arrested him in March 1922 and he was sentenced to six years of imprisonment.

The Swarajya Party

• A group of Congressmen, led by Motilal Nehru and Chitta Ranjan Das, wished to contest the elections in 1923 organised under the Government of India Act, 1919.

• The ‘no-changers’, who were opposed to Council entry, and the ‘pro-changers’, who wanted to contest the elections.

• At the Gaya session of the Congress, held in December 1922, the ‘no-changers’, led by C. Rajagopalachari, defeated the ‘pro-changers’.

• Chitta Ranjan Das, himself a pro-changer who had presided over the Gaya session, resigned from the Presidentship of the Congress.

• With Motail Nehru and other ‘pro-changers’ he formed the Congress-Khilafat-Swarajya Party, commonly known as the Swarajya Party.

The Swarajya Party

• C.R.Das as its president

• Motilel Nehru as its secretary

• It had the active support of Congressmen like Vittalbhai Patel, Madan Mohan Malaviya and M.R. Jayakar.

• They won 42 out of the 101 elective seats in the Central Legislative Assembly.

• In the Provincial legislatures, too, they did quite well, securing a clear majority in the Central provinces, and becoming the largest party in Bengal.

• In Bombay and the United Provinces, too, they did quite well not in Madras and the Punjab where strong casteist and communal forces in the form of the Justice and Unionist Parties, respectively, held sway.

• In the Central Legislature, the Swarajistis forced the appointment of Alexander Muddiman Committee to inquire into the defects of the Act of 1919.

• But soon the Swarajya Party faced a host of problems and internal divisions.

• A trend grew within the party towards ‘responsive cooperation’ with the Government. The group advocating cooperation with the Government came to be known as ‘Responsivists’ and those opposed to it were known as ‘Non-responsivists’.

• In the 1926 elections, though the Swarajya Party won 40 seats in the Central Legislature and half of the seats in Madras, in other provinces it suffered badly.

• The Swarajists finally walked out of the Legislature in 1930. By early 1930 the Swarajist sun had set.

Other Political Parties and Movements (1922-1927)

• The Moderates who had walked out of the Congress in 1918, constituted themselves into the National Liberal League, later known as the All-India Liberal Federation, and cooperated with the Government.

• The All-India Khailafat Committee also ceased to function after the abolition of Khilafat in Turkey by Mustafa Kamal Pasha in 1924. This led to the revival of the All India Muslim League with M.A.Jinnah emerging as its leader in 1924.

• The Hindu Mahasabha,a communal orginisation of the Hindus founded in December 1918, also gained strength, when Madam Mohan Malaviya was elected as its President at the Belgaum session of the Sabha in December 1924.

• The different non-Brahmin organization of South India were merged into a single all-India body and an all-India Non-Brahmin Conference was held at Belgaum on December 28, 1924, with A. Ramaswami Mudaliar as the Chairman.

• In the Punjab, a Unionist Party was formed to protect the interests of the landed class.

• Akali movement for freeing the Sikh gurdwaras from the corrupt and pro-British hereditary Mahants.

• British Government passed a Bill in July 1925, which gave the Sikh community the right to elect their functionaries to manage their gurdwaras.

• The outcome of this Bill was the installation of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) to manage the affairs of the gurdwaras.

• The important movements in the intervening period were the Nagpur Flag Satyagraha, the Borsad agitation, and the Vaikom Satyagraha.

• The Nagpur Flag satyagraha took place in mid-1923 against a local order banning the use of the Congress flag.

• At Borsad in Khera district (Gujarat) there was a successful Gandhian satyagraha against the imposition of a poll tax on every adult to pay for police reinforcements required to suppress a wave of dacoities.

• The Vaikom Satyagraha in Travancore was led by the Ezhava Congress leader T.K. Madhavan in 1924-25, demanding temple entry for the untouchables.

The Left Movement

• Manabendra Nath Roy (actual name Narendranath Bhattacharya) visited Russia and came in contact with the Russian Communist party.

• He also attended the Second Communist International held in Moscow in July-August 1920 and shortly after he founded the Communist Party of India in Tashkent in October 1920.

• In December 1925, Satyabhakta organized an All-India Conference of the Communists at Kanpur. This Conference met under the Presidency of Singaravelu Chettiar, a Communist leader from Madras.

• The convening of this Conference is regarded as the formal beginning of the Communist Party of India in 1925.

• The All-India Trade Union Congress held its first session in Bombay in October 1920, under the presidentship of Lala Laipat Rai.

Revoutionary Movement in Northern Indian

• The Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) and its successor organization was the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (or Army) (HSRA).

• The HRA was founded at Kanpur in October 1924, by Sachindranath Sanyal, Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee, Ramprasad Bismil and Chandra Shekhar Azad.

• In the Kakori Conspiracy case, four revolutionaries – Ram Prasad Bismil, Asfaqullah Khan, Roshan Lal and Rajendra Lahiri-were sentenced to death.

• Chandra Shekhar Azad at Ferozeshah Kotla ground in Delhi on September 9-10, 1928 established the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).

• HSRA was a democratic organization in which majority decisions were to be binding upon all.

• The first revolutionary act of the HSRA was the murder of Saunders, the Assistant Superintendent of Police, Lahore, who had lathi-charged and mortally wounded Lajapat Rai, during the anti-Simon Commission protest march at Lahore on October 28, 1928.

• Saunders was killed at the Lahore railway station on October 30, 1928 by Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad and Rajguru.

• Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw two crude bombs and some leaflets in the Central Legislative Assembly on April 8, 1929, when the Assembly was discussing the Public Safety Bill and the Trade Disputes Bill. Bhagat Singh and Dutt were arrested and tried in the Central Assembly Bomb case.

• The undertrials launched a hunger-strike to secure for themselves the status of political prisoners, instead of ordinary criminals. In one of these hunger strikers, Jatin Das, died on the 64th day of his fast on September 12, 1929.

• Most of the HSRA revolutionaries were convicted in the Lahore Conspiracy case and three of them - Bhagat Singh, Sukh Dev and Rajguru - were hanged on March 23, 1931.

• On February 27, 1931, Chandra Shekhar Azad was surrounded by the police at Alfred Park, Allahabad, and met a heroic death in the police encounter.

The Revolutionary Movement in Bengal

• The old revolutionary societies such as the Anushilan and Yugantar again became quite active.

• A number of new societies were also founded, such as Bengal Volunteers or “B.V. Party” by Hema Chandra Ghose and Lila Nag and Sri Sangha by Anil Roy.

• Outstanding among the new revolutionary organization in Bengal was the Indian Republican Army (IRA) founded by Surya Sen popularly known as Master Da.

• Surya Sen made regular military preparations, after which he issued a manifesto in the name of the Indian Republican Army, declaring war against the British, on April 19, 1930.

• A provisional independent Government of India was set up with Surya Sen as its president.

• In December 1931, two young girls shot dead the District Magistrate of Comilla.

• In February 1932, Bina Das shot at the Govenor of Bengal while receiving her degree at the Convocation of the University of Calcutta.

• On September 22, 1932, a young woman revolutionary, Pritilata Waddedar along with a group of revolutionaries, raided the Railway Institute at Pahartali in Chittagong. She committed suicide.

• In February 1933, Surya Sen was arrested after betrayal by a companion and was later on hanged.

Anti-Simon Commssion Agitation (1928-1929)

• Appointment of the Simon Commission in 1927.

• The Commission was composed of seven British members of Parliament, with Sir John Simon as its Chairman. It had no Indian member.

• The Congress, at its session held in Madras in December 1927, resolved to boycott the Commission.

• A complete hartal was observed in Bombay and other cities on February 3, 1928, the day the Simon Commission landed in Bombay.

• In Lahore Lala Lajpat Rai, while leading the anti-Simon Commission procession, was lathi-charged and mortally injured.

• The Simon Commission paid two visits to India in 1928 and 1929. It submitted its Report in May 1930, which was later discussed at the Round Table Conference held in London.

Nehru Report (1928)

• When the Congress gave a call to boycott the Simon Commission, Lord Birkehead, the Secretary of State for India, threw a challenge to the Indian leaders to prepare a Constitution to which all parties would agree.

• The Indian leaders accepted the challenge, and an All-parties Conference was called between February and May 1928, which appointed a Committee under the Chairmanship of Motilal Nehru, to draft the proposed Constitution.

• The Nehru Committee submitted its Report on August 28, 1928, which was accepted by the All-Parties Conference at Lucknow, and passed with the only dissenting vote of M.A. Jinnah.

• Some important features of the Nehru Report:
1. India must be given Dominion status.
2. India would be a Federation, having a bicameral Legislature at the Centre.
3. The Governor-Genral would be only the constitutional head with the same powers as the British Crown.
4. No separate electorate.
5. Citizenship was also defined and fundamental rights enunciated

• The annual session of the Congress held in Calcutta in December 1928, approved the Nehru Report

• The British Government did not accept or spurn the Nehru Report, the Congress passed the Poorna Swarajya Resolution at its Lahore session (1929).

Fourteen Points of Jinnah

• M.A. Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim League, did not accept the Nehru Report on the ground that it discarded separate electorates for the minorities.

1. Separate electorate for Muslims. One-third Muslim representation in the Central Cabinet and in all provincial Cabinets (although the Muslim constituted only one-fourth of the total population).

2. Creation of Muslim-majority provinces.

3. Reservation of posts for Muslims in all services of the state.

The Lahore Session of the Congress, December 1929

• Jawaharlal Nehru was elected president of this historic session of the Congress.

• The Lahore session of the Congress passed a series of landmark resolutions.

1. The Nehru Committee Report had lapsed (i.e. Dominion status was now not acceptable).

2. The word Swaraj in the Congress Constitution would thenceforth mean complete Independence.

3. The Central and provincial Legislatures and the Committees constituted by the Government were to be completely boycotted.

4. All future elections were to be boycotted

5. A programme of the Civil Disobedience was to be launched

• As the clock struck midnight on December 31, and the date of ultimatum issued by the (Calcutta-1928) Congress expired, Jawaharlal Nehru, the President of the Congress unfurled the flag of India’s independence on the banks of the river Ravi in Lahore.

• The Congress Working Committee, which met on Junuary 2, 1930, decided that January 26, 1930, should be observed as the Poorna Swarajya Day. On that day a Poorna Swarajya pledge was drafted by Mahatma Gandhi.

The Civil Disobedience Movement (The First Phase) and the Dandi March - March 12, 1930 - March 5, 1931

• Gandhiji decided to inaugurate the movement by violating Salt Laws on the sea-coast at Dandi.

• Mahatma Gandhi launched the Salt Satyagraha on March 12, 1930, when he marched from his Sabarmati Ashram (Ahmedabad) with some eighty hand-picked followers.

• After a 24-day long march he symbolically broke the Salt Laws at Dandi on April 5, 1930.

Progress of the Civil Disobedience Movement

• In United provinces and Gujarat, no-tax campaign was launched

• In the North-West Frontier province (NWFP), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, popularly known as Frontier Gandhi, under the banner of his “Khudai Khidmatgar” (Servants of God) organization, most actively participated in the movement with his volunteers, who dressed up in red shirts. From their uniform they came to be known as Red Shirts.

• In the North-East, the Manipuris joined the movement, and the young Rani Gaidinliu with her Naga followers actively supported the movement.

• The Viceroy took the initiative of releasing the Congress leaders and invited Mahatma Gandhi for talks, which led to the Gandhi-Irwin Pact and the suspension of the Civil Disobedience movement.

Gandhi-Irwin Pact-March 5, 1931

• First Round Table Conference was summoned in London, in November 1930. The Congress boycotted this Conference.

• Some of the Liberal leaders like Tej Bahadur Sapru, V.S. Sastri and M.R. Jayakar, on their return from the Conference appealed to Mahatma Gandhi to seek an interview with the Viceroy.


1. Gandhiji agreed to discontinue the Civil Disobedience movement.

2. The Congress agreed to join the Second Round Table Conference.

• The annual session of the Congress, held in Karachi from March 26 to 29, 1931endorsed the pact.

Second Round Table Conference (September-December 1931)

• The second session of the Round Table Conference opened on September 7, 1931, with Mahatma Gandhi attending as the sole representative of the Congress.

• Dr. B.R. Ambedkar demanded a separate electorate for the depressed classes, but Mahatma Gandhi opposed the grant of separate electorate to the “so called untouchables”

Second Phase of the Civil Disobedience Movement (January1932-1934)

• Lord Willington had succeeded Irwin as the Viceory.

• The movement was gaining strength when it was suddenly side-tracked, with the announcement by the British Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald of his infamous Communal Award on August 16, 1932.

Communal Award and Poona Pact

• British Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald announced his ‘Communal Award’ on August 16, 1932.

• According to this Award the Muslim, European and Sikh voters would elect their candidates by voting in separate communal electorates

• There was also provision for separate electorates for the Depressed Classes, officially described as Scheduled Casts, as a separate community.

Gandhi’s Fast unto Death and Poona Pact - September 25, 1932

• Gandhiji commenced the fast on September 20 in the Yervada prison

Poona Pact

• Madan Mohan Malaviya summoned a conference of various castes and political parties, including Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the leader of the Depressed Classes League.

• The conference finally arrived at an agreement in Poona on September 25, 1932, the sixth day of Gandhiji’s fast.

• A Common electorate of all the Hindus was agreed upon, subject to two conditions

• First, 148 seats in different Provincial Legislatures were reserved for the Depressed Classes, in place of 71as provided in the Communal Award.

• Secondly, 18% of the seats in the Central Legislature were reserved for the Depressed Classes.

The End of the Civil Disobedience Movement

• The Delhi Congress session (April 1932) and the Calcutta Congress session (March 1933) were held while the official ban on the Congress was still in force.

• On May 8, 1933 Mahatma Gandhi announced self–purification fast for 21 days for purification of himself and his associates “for greater vigilance and watchfulness in connection with the Harijan cause”.

• Mahatma Gandhi launched Individual Civil Disobedience on August 1, 1933.
• In October 1934, Gandhiji decided to withdraw himself from active politics to devote all his time to the cause of Harijans.

The Third Round Table Conference November 17 to December 24, 1932

• The Congress boycotted it and only 46 delegates attended the session

The Government of India Act, 1935

• In March 1933, the British Government published the main features of the constitutional reforms in a White paper.

• A Bill based on the White paper was introduced in the British Parliament on December 19, 1934.

• It was passed by the British Parliament and received the royal assent on August 2, 1935.

• It was longest piece of legislation ever passed by the British Parliament

• It provided for the establishment of a ‘Federation of India’ consisting of Governors’ Provinces and princely States

• Diarchy was withdrawn from the Provinces and implanted at the Centre.

• The proposed Federal Legislature was to be bicameral, with a Council of States with 250 members and a Federal Assembly of 375members.

• The representatives of the princely States in the Council of States and the Federal Assembly, numbering not more than 104 and 125 respectively, were to be nominated by their rulers, not elected by the people.

• A threefold division of subjects was made - Federal, Provincial and concurrent.

• Provision was made for the establishment of a Federal Court, with original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction. Appeals from its decisions lay to the Privy Council in London.

• The most important feature of the Act was Provincial Autonomy.

• The Act divided the British Indian provinces into two categories:

a) 11 Governor’s provinces (Madras, Bombay, Bengal, United Provinces, Punjab, Bihar, Central provinces and Berar, Assam, NWFP, Orissa and Sind)

b) 5 Chief Commissioner’s provinces.

• Provincial autonomy was to be introduced only in the Governor’s Provinces.

Political Reaction to the Act of 1935

• Princely States did not join the proposed Federation.

Provincial Elections and Formation of Popular Ministries in Provinces-1937

• The Congress got absolute majority in five provinces: Madras, United Provinces, Central Provinces, Bihar and Orissa; in Bombay, Assam and in the North West Frontier Province it was the largest party and formed Government.

• In Bengal, the Punjab and Sind the Congress did not have majority.

• In July 1937 the Congress formed ministries in the United Provinces, Central Provinces, Orissa, Bihar, Madras and Bombay. Later, Assam and the North-West Frontier Province also came under the Congress rule.

• In the Punjab, the Unionist Party and the Muslim League formed a coalition government, but later on the Muslim League established its influence on the Muslim section of the Unionist Party during the Premiership of Sikandar Hayat Khan, which remained uninterrupted till March 1947.

• In Bengal the coalition ministry of the Krishak Praja Party and the Muslim League came to power, but later on the Muslim League Ministry was installed, which remained in power till August 14, 1947, with H.S. Suhrawardy as the Premier.

• In Sind a succession of non-Congress ministries under different leaders held office during the decade 1937-47. Two of the Premiers there - Ghulam Hussian Hidyatullah and Allah Bakhsh - had strong associations with the Congress

The Congress Ministries in office (1937-39)

• In the United Provinces and Bihar, Tenancy Bills were passed.

• The Congress Government in Bombay appointed a Textile Enquiry Committee in 1937, which recommended a wage increase, and health and insurance cover to workers. The Bombay ministry also introduced an Industrial Disputes Act in November 1938.

• Ministers voluntarily reduced their salaries to Rs.500 per month and on railways they travelled by second or third class.

• In 1939, when Britain unilaterally declared India to be a belligerent in the Second World War, the Congress Ministries resigned.

The Congress Socialist Party

• The Left influence had become predominant in the Congress in 1934.

• In May 1934, Acharya Narendra Dev, Jayaprakash Narayana and Achyut Patwardhan, who were members of the Congress Working Committee, organized the Congress Socialist Party.

Emergence of the Radicals in the Congress

• At Haripura session (February 1938), where Subhas Chandra Bose was unanimously elected President, the Congress adopted two important resolutions.

• First, the people of Princely States were assured of moral support in their struggle against the rulers.

• Secondly, the Congress declared that India “could not be a party to an imperialist war” and “would not permit her manpower and resources to be exploited in the interest of British imperialism.

• Subhas Chandra Bose formed the National Planning Committee (forerunner of independent India’s Planning Commission).

Tripuri Session of the Congress - 1939

• Mahatma Gandhi choose Pattabhi Sitaramayya as his candidate as the President of that session.

• Subhas Chandra Bose was re-elected, defeating Gandhiji’s candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya.

• Subhas Chandra Bose resigned as President of the Congress in April 1939, and later on founded a radical party, the Forward Bloc.

The Struggle in the Princely States

The Praja Mandal Movement

• During and after the Non-Cooperation movement, Praja Mandals or States People’s Conferences were founded in various Princely States.

• In December 1927, Balwantrai Mehta and Mani Lal Kothari (from Gujarat) and G.R.Abhyankar of Bombay convened the All-India States’ People’s Conference.

• At the Haripura session of the Congress in 1938, one of the main issues discussed was the problem of the Princely States.

• In 1939, Jawaharlal Nehru became the President of the All-India States’ People’s Conference.

The Rise of Extreme Communalism

• In 1930, the great poet Sir Mohammad Iqbal, while addressing the Allahabad session of the Muslim League declared that “the formation of a consolidated North-West India into a Muslim State appears to me to be final destiny of Muslims”. He thus initiated the idea of a separate Muslim state.

• In 1933, a group of Muslim students studying in England, led by Rahamat Ali, proposed the creation of a separate Muslim State in North-West India, to be called Pakistan.

• The Lahore session of the Muslim League, held on March 24, 1940, passed the Pakistan Resolution and rejected the Federal Scheme.

The Second World War and the National Movement

• On September 3, 1939, the Second World War broke out and the same day the Viceory Linlithgow, declared India to be a belligerent and at war with Germany.

• The Second World War affected India in many ways.

• When Germany attacked the Soviet Union the Indian communists changed their anti-war and anti-British stand and came to support the British war efforts

• Subhas Chandra Bose raised the Indian National Army with Japanese support.

The August Offer - August 8, 1940

• After the resignation of the Congress Ministries, the annual session of the Congress was held at Ramgarh (Bihar) in March 1940.

• Viceroy Lord Linlithgow offered August offer.

1. A respective Constitution-making body would be set up after the war.

2. For the present there would be an immediate increase in the number of Indians in the Viceroy’s Executive Council

3. A War Advisory Council would be set up

• The Congress rejected the “August Offer’.

The Individual Satyagraha 1940-41

• It was launched on October 17, 1940, and as soon as an individual (or a small group was arrested), another took his place.

• One of the first Satyagrahis was Vinoba Bhave.

• But the movement created little enthusiasm and Mahatma Gandhi suspended it on December 17, 1940

• On January 5, 1941, the campaign was started again

The Cripps Proposals - March-April 1942

• Germany had invaded the Soviet Union.

• After Japan attacked the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor(December 7, 1941), the U.S. had joined the Allied Powers in the war.

• Under U.S. pressure the British Government decided to send Sir Stafford Cripps, a member of the British Cabinet, to India. He spent three weeks in India (March-April 1942)

• Cripps announced his proposals in the form of a Draft Declaration

1. Dominion status offered to India.

2. A Constitution making body Set up immediately after the war

Political Reaction to the Cripps Proposals

• Both the Congress and the Muslim League found the Cripps proposals unacceptable.

• Mahatma Gandhi called the proposals “a post-dated cheque on a failing bank”.

The Quit India Resolution

• The Congress Working Committee, which met at Wardha on July 14, 1942, passed a long resolution, generally called the ’Quit India’ resolution.

• The All India Congress Committee, which met in Bombay on August 7, 1942, ratified the Wardha Resolution with overwhelming majority

• Mahamata Gandhi, in his speech after the passing of the Quit India resolution said:

“I am not going to be satisfied with anything short of freedom. We shall do or die. We shall either free India or die in the attempt”.

• The place where the AICC met and ratified the Quit Resolution is now known as the August Kranti Maidan.

Progress of the Movement

• From Aug 9-13. The events of these four days in August are known as “the great August uprising”.

Subhas Chandra Bose and Indian National Army (INA)

• INA led by Subhas Chandra Bose in cooperation with Japan.

• Subhas Chandra Bose, after founding the Forward Bloc, in January 1941 escaped out of India and went to Berlin (Germany) via Moscow.

• He made anti-British propaganda from the Berlin radio station and raised “Free India” Units with the Indian prisoners of war in Germany.

The Indian National Army

• Ras Behari Bose, an Indian revolutionary who had taken political refuge in Japan in 1915, organized the Indian Independence Leauge with the support of Indians living in South-East Asia.

• In March 1942, Ras Behari Bose convened a Conference in Tokyo at which it was decided to form the Indian National Army (INA) or Azad Hind Fauj.

• The nucleus of the INA was composed of the Indian soldiers who had surrendered to the Japanese troops after the fall of Singapore.

• The INA was initially of the British army in Malaya who had surrendered to the Japanese.

• In June 1942, Ras Behari Bose convened another Conference of the Indian Independence League in Bangkok, which decided that INA would fight for Indian’s independence.

• The Bangkok Conference invitied Subhas Chandra Bose to come to Japan. He reached Tokyo in June 1943

• Ras Behari Bose resigned the Chairmanship of the Indian Independence League in favour of Subhas Chandra Bose, who was also named as the Supreme Commander of the INA.

• On October 21, 1943, Subhas Chandra Bose set up a Provisional Government of Free India in Singapore.

• In March 1944, the INA commenced its military offensive and advanced towards Assam through Burma. The INA columns reached Kohima in Nagaland and laid siege of Imphal.

• After a year the fortunes of war turned against Japan when the British troops recaptured Rangoon in May 1945 and the INA troops were forced to surrender and made prisoners.

• Three months later, Subha Bose also did in an air crash near Taiwan in August 1945.

• The last echo of the INA movement was heard when the INA prisoners were tried at the Red Fort in Delhi and were defended by a panel of lawyers who included Tej Bahadur Sapru, Bhulabhai Desai and Jawaharlal Nehru.

Wavell Plan and Simla Conference - June 25, 1945

• The Viceory Lord Wavell, who had succeeded Lord Linlithgow in October 1943, decided to take fresh measures.

• On June 14, Wavell broadcast a plan, popularly known as the Wavell Plan

• A Conference of 21 Indian political leaders was invited to the summer capital of Simla in June 1945. The leaders included Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the then president if the Congress, M.A. Jinnah the leader of the Muslim Leauge etc.

• Jinnah, however, sabotaged the Simla Conference. He objected to the inclusion of any non-Leauge Muslims in the Executive Council, with the claim that the Muslim Leauge was the sole representative of Indian Muslims.

• Wavell had given the Muslims, who constituted only about 25 per cent of the total population of India, 6 representatives in an Executive Council of 14.

• Since the League would not relent on its demands, Wavell dropped the plan.

• At the Simla Conference, the Muslim League acquired the weapon of veto, which it threatened to use or actually used in the coming years, till India was partitioned.

General Elections in India - December 1945

• In Britain Labour Party headed by Clement Attlee came to power.

• Pethick Lawrence was appointed the new Secretary of State for India.

• The General Election results announced in December 1945

• The Congress secured 91.3% votes in the General Constituencies; the Muslim League won every Muslim seat.

• In the Provincial Legislature, the Congress won absolute majority in Bombay, Madras, United Provinces, Bihar, Orissa and Central Provinces.

• In the NWFP the Congress won 30 seats (including 19 Muslim) while the Muslim League got only 17.

• In the Punjab a Coalition Government of the Congress, Akalis and the Unionists was formed.

• The Muslim League could secure majority only in Bengal and Sind.

Ratings Mutiny-February 1946

• On February 18, 1946, a section of Indians serving in the Royal Indian Navy, known as ratings (non-commissioned officers and sailors) mutinied in Bombay.

• Due to the efforts of Vallabhbhai Patel, on February 23, 1946, the ratings surrendered.

• On February 19, 1946, the day after the Ratings Mutiny began, the British Government announced the sending of a Cabinet Mission to India.

The Cabinet Mission - March-May 1946

• The Cabinet Mission, composed of three British Cabinet Ministers - Sir Pethick Lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade and A.V. Alexander, First Lord of the Admiralty - arrived in New Delhi on March 24, 1946.

• Thus the appointment of the Cabinet Mission was a virtual declaration of India’s independence.

• It’s most important task was to devise the mode or methods for the transfer of power, to suggest measures for the formation of a Constitution making machinery and also to set up an Interim Government.

• After all the discussions of first three weeks with the leaders of various political parties, when it could not arrive at any agreed solution, the Cabinet Mission announced its own recommendations on May 16, 1946. Its main recommendations were as under:

• The unity of India had to be retained

• The demand for Pakistan, as demanded by the Muslim League, was rejected on the ground that it would not solve the communal minority problem.

• There was to be a Union of India, consisting of the British Provinces and the Princely States.

• All subjects other than the Union subjects and all residuary powers would vest in the Provinces.

• The Princely States would retain all subjects and all residuary powers other than those ceded to the Union.

• The Constituent Assembly was to consist of 293 members from the British Provinces and 93 members from the princely states. One representative to a million population.

• The provinces were grouped into three categories - A, B and C.

• Group A was to consist of Madras, United Provinces, Bihar, Central provinces and Orissa.

• Group B was to comprise (the Muslim-majority areas) of the Punjab, Sind, NWFP and Baluchistan.

• Group C was to include Bengal and Assam (where the Muslims had small majority over the rest).

• The Congress agreed to the proposals relating to the Constituent Assembly, but rejected the proposal regarding the formation of an Interim Government, because the Muslim League had been given disproportionate representation.

• The Muslim League at first accepted the Cabinet Mission plan on June 6, 1946, but on July 29, withdrew its acceptance and called upon Muslims “to resort to Direct Action to achieve Pakistan”.

Direct Action Day-August 16, 1946

• The events in Calcutta have been known as the “Great Calcutta killing”.

• This communal madness soon spread to other parts of North India, particularly East Bengal and Bihar.

• Seventy-seven year old Mahatma Gandhi, who went to Noakhali to restore peace.

The Interim Government – September 2, 1946

• Four days before the great communal inferno was ignited, the Viceroy Lord Wavell invited Jawaharlal Nehru, the leader of the largest party in India, to form an Interim Government, which was sworn in on September 2, 1946.

• It was composed of 12 members (including 3 Muslims) nominated by the Congress with Jawaharlal Nehru as its Vice-President.

• The Muslim League at first refused to join the Interim Government, but was persuaded to change its stand.

• On October 13 five Congress appointees resigned to make way for the League’s nominees.

• Muslim League joined the Interim Government

• To paralyse the functioning of the new Government not to work sincerely and cooperate with the Congress, but to paralyse the functioning of the new government.

• Liaqat Ali, who was given the Finance portfolio, used his position to bring this about.

The Constituent Assembly –December 6, 1946

• Elections to the Constituent Assembly were held between July and December 1946.

• The Constituent Assembly met for the first time on December 6, 1946 with Dr. Rajendra Prasad as its President.

• The Muslim League, adhering to its resolution rejecting the Cabinet Mission plan, refused to join the Constituent Assembly and began to press its demand for Pakistan.

• The British Government finally ruled that the decisions of the Constituent Assembly would not be applicable to the Muslim majority areas

Attlee’s Declaration- February 20, 1947

• Prime Minister Attlee announced on February 20, 1947, in the House of Commons, that the British would quit India after transferring power “into responsible hands not later than June 1948”.

• Attlee also announced the appointment of Lord Mountbatten as Viceroy in place of Lord Wavell.

• Lord Mountbatten, the 34th and the last British Governor-General and Viceroy, arrived in India on March 22, 1947.

Renewed Communal Violence

• Downfall of the non-League Coalition Ministry in the Punjab again called for ‘Direct Action’.

• Another staunch opponent of the proposed partition was Abul Kalam Azad.

• On June 3, 1947, Prime Minister Attlee announced the Partition Plan or the June 3rd Plan in the House of Commons.

The June Third Plan

• The June 3rd Plan was essentially a plan for the partition of India.

• The Provincial Legislative Assemblies of Bengal and the Punjab would meet in two parts separately one representing the Muslim-majority districts and the other representing the remaining districts, to decide by vote for the partition of the provinces.

• In case of Sind and Baluchistan a straight forward decision was to be taken by their respective Provincial Legislatures.

• In the case of the North-West Frontier Province, the choice was to be made by the people through a referendum. A similar referendum was to be held in the Muslim- majority district of Sylhet in Assam.
• Paramountcy in the Princely States would not be transferred to either of the successor states.

The Implementation of June Third Plan

• The Congress Working Committee, which met on June 3, 1947, approved of the partition plan.

• The All India Congress Committee, which met in New Delhi on June 14-15, ratified the approval.

• Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant, moved the resolution for ratification

• The Partition Plan was implemented within ten weeks of the announcement of the plan.

• The Provincial Assemblies of East Bengal, West Punjab and Sind voted for Pakistan.

• In Baluchistan the decision to join Pakistan was made by a meeting of the Shah Jirga and the non-official members of Quetta Municipality.

• In the North-West Frontier Province, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his followers boycotted the referendum; as a result, only 50.49% of the voters took part in it, the majority of them voting in favour of joining Pakistan.

• In another referendum held in the Muslim-majority district of Sylhet, the majority voted for joining the Muslim-majority province of East Bengal.

• The non-Muslims majority areas in the Punjab and in Bengal, as also the entire province of Assam (except a part of Sylhet) remained within the boundaries of India.

The Indian Independence Act - July 1947

• The Indian Independence Bill was drafted, which was passed by the British Parliament in July 1947.

• The Act provided for setting up two independent Dominions, to be known as India and Pakistan, from August 15, 1947.

The Integration of Princely States

• It was to the credit of Vallabhbhai Patel and V.P. Menon who successfully brought about the integration of Princely States.

• Rulers of all states geographically contiguous to India, with the exception of Hyderabad, Junagadh and Kashmir, signed the Instrument of Accession and Stand–still Agreement with India before August 15, 1947.

• The Maharaja of Kashmir acceded to India in October 1947 when irregular Pakistani troops invaded his state.

• The Nizam of Hyderabad was forced to accede to the Indian Union under the pressure of internal anarchy and military action against him.

The Divided Freedom

• On August 7, 1947, M.A. Jinnah left India for Karachi.

• The Constituent Assembly of Pakistan which met on August 11, elected him as first President; three days later he was sworn in as Governor General of Pakistan

• The Constituent Assembly of the Indian Union met on the night of August 14, 1947.

• The Constituent Assembly then appointed Lord Mountbatten the First Governor–General of the Dominion.


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