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Today we are sharing {1857-1947} INDIA’S STRUGGLE & INDEPENDENCE. This {1857-1947} INDIA’S STRUGGLE & INDEPENDENCE for UPPSC SI EXAM.

India’s struggle for independence was a significant chapter in its history and spanned several decades. Here is a brief overview of India’s struggle and its path to independence:

British Colonial Rule:
British colonial rule in India began with the establishment of the East India Company’s trading posts in the early 17th century. Over time, the company expanded its influence and control, eventually leading to direct British rule by the mid-19th century. The exploitation of Indian resources, economic policies favoring Britain, and discriminatory practices fueled discontent among the Indian population.

Rise of Nationalism:
The late 19th century witnessed the emergence of Indian nationalist movements that sought to assert Indian identity and demand political reforms. Prominent leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, and Bal Gangadhar Tilak played crucial roles in promoting nationalist ideals and advocating for Indian rights.

Indian National Congress:
The Indian National Congress (INC) was founded in 1885 as a political platform to represent Indian interests and advocate for greater self-governance. Initially, the INC focused on constitutional reforms and representation within the British colonial system. Leaders like A.O. Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji, and Surendranath Banerjee played instrumental roles in shaping the early Congress.

Partition of Bengal and Swadeshi Movement:
In 1905, the British divided Bengal along religious lines, sparking widespread protests. The Swadeshi Movement, led by figures like Surendranath Banerjee and later by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, called for the boycott of British goods and the promotion of Indian-made products. This movement marked a shift towards more assertive and mass-based forms of resistance.

Role of Mahatma Gandhi:
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, emerged as the leader of the Indian independence movement. He advocated nonviolent civil disobedience and emphasized the principles of truth (Satya) and nonviolence (Ahimsa). Gandhi’s leadership and methods of protest, such as the Salt March in 1930, gained significant support from Indians across the country.

Quit India Movement:
During World War II, as demands for independence grew stronger, the All India Congress Committee, under Gandhi’s leadership, launched the Quit India Movement in 1942. The movement called for immediate British withdrawal from India and led to widespread protests and acts of civil disobedience. The British responded with harsh repression, leading to mass arrests and violence.

Partition and Independence:
The struggle for independence took a tragic turn with the communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims. The British government, unable to resolve the differences, agreed to the partition of India into two separate nations, India and Pakistan, along religious lines. India gained its independence on August 15, 1947, and became a sovereign republic on January 26, 1950.

Post-Independence Challenges:
Following independence, India faced various challenges, including communal violence, the integration of princely states, economic development, and the establishment of democratic institutions. Leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, focused on nation-building, industrialization, and promoting a policy of non-alignment during the Cold War era.

India’s struggle for independence was marked by the efforts of numerous leaders, organizations, and ordinary people who fought against British colonial rule. The movement’s legacy of nonviolent resistance, unity, and the pursuit of social justice continues to shape India’s identity and democratic values today.

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It was the morning of 11 May 1857. The city of De1h had not yet woken up when a band of Sepoys from Meerut, who had defied and killed the European officers the previous day, crossed the Jamuna, set the toll house on fire and marched to the Red Fort. They entered the Red Fort through the Raj Ghat gate, followed by an excited crowd, to appeal to Bahadur Shah II, the Moghul Emperor— a pensioner of the British East India Company, who possessed nothing but the name of the mighty Mughals — to become their leader, thus, give legitimacy to their cause. Bahadur Shah vacillated as he was neither sure of the intentions of the sepoys nor of his own ability to play an effective role. He was however persuaded, if not coerced, to give in and was proclaimed the Shahenshah-e-Hindustan. The sepoys, then, set out to capture and control the imperial city of Delhi. Simon Fraser, the Political Agent and several other Englishmen were killed; the public offices were either occupied or destroyed. The Revolt of an unsuccessful but heroic effort to eliminate foreign rule, had begun. The capture of Delhi and the proclamation of Bahadur Shah as the Emperor of Hindustan gave a positive political meaning to the revolt and provided a rallying point for the rebels by recalling the past glory of the imperial city.

The Revolt at Meerut and the capture of Delhi was the precursor to a widespread mutiny by the sepoys and rebellion almost all over North India, as well as Central and Western India. South India remained quiet and Punjab and Bengal were only marginally affected. Almost half the Company’s sepoy strength of 2,32,224 opted out of their loyalty to their regimental colors and overcame the ideology of the army, meticulously constructed over a period of time through training and discipline.

Even before the Meerut incident, there were rumblings of resentment in various cantonments. The 19th Native Infantry at Berhampur which refused to use the newly introduced Enfield Rifle, was disbanded in March 1857. A young sepoy of the 34th Native Infantry, Mangal Pande, went a step further and fired at the Sergeant Major of his regiment. He was overpowered and executed and his regiment too, was disbanded. The 7th Oudh regiment which defied its officers met with a similar fate.

Within a month of capture of Delhi, the Revolt spread to different parts of the country: Kanpur, Lucknow, Benares, Allahabad, Bareilly, Jagdishpur and Jhansi. The rebel activity was marked by intense anti-British feelings and the administration was invariably toppled. In the absence of any leaders from their own ranks, the insurgents turned to the traditional leaders of Indian society — the territorial aristocrats and feudal chiefs who had suffered at the hands of the British.

At Kanpur, the natural choice was Nana Saheb, the adopted son of the last Peshwa,Baji Rao II. He had refused the family title and, banished from Poona, was living near Kanpur. Begum Hazrat Mahal took over the reigns where popular sympathy was overwhelmingly in favour of the deposed Nawab. Her son, Birjis Qadir, was proclaimed the Nawab and a regular administration was organized with important offices shared equally by Muslims and Hindus.

At Barielly, Khan Bahadur, a descendant of the former ruler of Rohilkhand was placed in command. Living on a pension granted by the British, he was not too enthusiastic about this and had in fact, warned the Commissioner of the impending mutiny. Yet, once the Revolt broke out, he assumed the administration, organized an army of 40,000 soldiers and offered stiff resistance to the British.


The Revolt of 1857 was the most dramatic instance of traditional India’s struggle against foreign rule. But it was no sudden occurrence. It was the culmination of a century long tradition of fierce popular resistance to British domination.

The establishment of British power in India was a prolonged process of piecemeal conquest and consolidation and the colonialization of the economy and society. This process produced discontent, resentment and resistance at every stage. This popular resistance took three broad forms: civil rebellions, tribal uprisings and peasant movements. We will discuss the first two in this chapter.

The series of civil rebellions, which run like a thread through the first 100 years of British rule, were often led by deposed rajas and nawabs or their descendants, uprooted and impoverished zamindars, landlords and poligars (landed military magnates in South India), and ex-retainers and officials of the conquered Indian states. The backbone of the rebellions, their mass base and striking power came from the rack-rented peasants, ruined artisans and demobilized soldiers.

These sudden, localized revolts often took place because of local grievances although for short periods they acquired a broad sweep, involving armed bands of a few hundreds to several thousands. The major cause of all these civil rebellions taken as a whole was the rapid changes the British introduced in the economy, administration and land revenue system. These changes led to the disruption of the agrarian society, causing prolonged and widespread suffering among its constituents Above all, the colonial policy of intensifying demands for land revenue and extracting as large an amount as possible produced a veritable upheaval in Indian villages. In Bengal, for example, in less than thirty years land revenue collection was raised to nearly double the amount collected under the Mughals. The pattern was repeated in other us of the country as British rule spread. And aggravating the unhappiness of the farmers was the fact that not even a part of the enhanced revenue was spent on the development of agriculture or the welfare of the cultivator.

Thousands of zamindars and poligars lost control over their land and its revenues either due to the extinction of their rights by the colonial state or by the forced sale of their rights over land because of their inability to meet the exorbitant land revenue demanded. The proud zamindars and poligars resented this loss even more when they were displaced by rank outsiders — government officials and the new men of money — merchants and moneylenders. Thus they, as also the old chiefs, who had lost their principalities, had personal scores to settle with the new rulers.

Peasants and artisans, as we have seen earlier, had their own reasons to rise up in arms and side with the traditional elite. Increasing demands for land revenue were forcing large numbers of peasants into growing indebtedness or into selling their lands. The new landlords, bereft of any traditional paternalism towards their tenants, pushed up rents to ruinous heights and evicted them in the case of non-payment. The economic decline of the peasantry was reflected in twelve major and numerous minor famines from 1770 to 1857.

The new courts and legal system gave a further fillip to the dispossessors of land and encouraged the rich to oppress the poor. Flogging, torture and jailing of the cultivators for arrears of rent or land revenue or interest on debt were quite common. The ordinary people were also hard hit by the prevalence of corruption at the lower levels of the police, judiciary and general administration. The petty officials enriched themselves freely at the cost of the poor. The police looted, oppressed and tortured the common people at will. William Edwards, a British official, wrote in 1859 that the police were ‘a scourge to the people’ and that ‘their oppression and exactions form one of the chief
grounds of dissatisfaction with our government.’

The ruin of Indian handicraft industries, as a result of the imposition of free trade in India and levy of discriminatory tariffs against Indian goods in Britain, pauperized millions of artisans. The misery of the artisans was further compounded by the disappearance of their traditional patrons and buyers, the princes, chieftains, and zamindars.

The scholarly and priestly classes were also active in inciting hatred and rebellion against foreign rule. The traditional rulers and ruling elite had financially supported scholars, religious preachers, priests, pandits and maulvis and men of arts and literature. With the coming of the British and the ruin of the traditional landed and bureaucratic elite, this patronage came to an end, and all those who had depended on it were impoverished.

Another major cause of the rebellions was the very foreign character of British rule. Like any other people, the Indian people too felt humiliated at being under a foreigner’s heel. This feeling of hurt pride inspired efforts to expel the foreigner from their lands.

The civil rebellions began as British rule was established in Bengal and Bihar, arid they occurred in area after area as it was incorporated into colonial rule. There was hardly a year without armed opposition or a decade without a major armed rebellion in one part of the country or the other. From 1763 to 1856, there were more than forty major rebellions apart from hundreds of minor ones.

प्रश्न:- किसने भारतीय सुधार समिति की स्थापना की-
उत्तर:- दादा भाई नौरोजी

प्रश्न:- किसने ये कहा था कि
‘कांग्रेस केवल सूक्ष्मदर्शी अल्पसंख्या का प्रतिनिधित्व करती है’
उत्तर:- डफरिन

प्रश्न:- पहला विद्रोह अंग्रेजों के खिलाफ किसके द्वारा प्रारम्भ किया-
उत्तर:- संन्यासियों द्वारा

प्रश्न:- किस उपन्यास में संन्यासी विद्रोह का उल्लेख मिलता है-
उत्तर:- आनंदमठ

प्रश्न:- किसने आनंदमठ की रचना की-
उत्तर:- बंकिमचंद्र चटर्जी

प्रश्न:- ये कथन किसका है-
‘कांग्रेस अपने पतन की ओर लड़खड़ाती हुई जा रही है’
उत्तर:- कर्जन

प्रश्न:- ये किसका मानना रहा- ‘कांग्रेस क्षयरोग से मरने वाली है’
उत्तर:- अरविंद घोष

प्रश्न:- ये बयान किसने दिया- ‘कांग्रेस के लोग पदों के भूखे राजनीतिज्ञ हैं’
उत्तर:- बंकिमचंद्र चटर्जी

प्रश्न:- किसने ‘घन विकास के सिद्धांत’ का प्रतिपादन किया-
उत्तर:- नौरोजी, दत्त एवं वाचा

प्रश्न:- सर्वप्रथम भारतीय कौन ब्रिटिश हाउस ऑफ कॉमन्स का चुनाव लड़ने वाले थे-
उत्तर:- दादाभाई नौरोजी

प्रश्न:- बंगाल के विभाजन की घोषणा कब और किसने की-
उत्तर:- 20 जुलाई 1905 ई. में लॉर्ड कर्जन ने

प्रश्न:- बंगाल-विभाजन के विरोध में किस आंदोलन की घोषणा की गई-
उत्तर:- स्वदेशी आंदोलन

प्रश्न:- किस अधिवेशन के बाद कांग्रेस दो दलों में विभाजित हो गई-
उत्तर:- सूरत अधिवेशन (1907 ई.)

प्रश्न:- कांग्रेस जिन दो दलों में विभाजित हुई उसका नाम क्या था-
उत्तर:- गरम दल और नरम दल

प्रश्न:- आखिर कांग्रेस में विभाजन की नौबत क्यों आई-
उत्तर:- कांग्रेस के स्वदेशी आंदोलन चलाने के तरीके को लेकर

प्रश्न:- स्वदेशी आंदोलन की घोषणा कब और कहां हुई-
उत्तर:- 7 अगस्त 1905 ई. को कलकत्ता के टाऊन हॉल में

प्रश्न:- कांग्रेस के किस अधिवेशन में स्वराज्य की मांग की गई
उत्तर:- सन् 1906 ई. में कलकत्ता में हुए अधिवेशन में

प्रश्न:- भारत में गरमदलीय कौन थे जो बाद में एक योगी व दार्शनिक बन गए—
उत्तर:- अरविंदो घोष

प्रश्न:- मैडम भीकाजी रुस्तम 1909 ई. में पेरिस में कौन-सा अखबार प्रकाशित करती थीं—
उत्तर:- पैट्रियट

प्रश्न:- भारत में मुस्लिग लीग की स्थापना कब हुई—
उत्तर:- 1906 ई.

प्रश्न:- ‘होमरूल आंदोलन’ का सूत्रपात कब हुआ—
उत्तर:- 1916 ई.

प्रश्न:- भारतीय इतिहास में 1911 का क्या महत्व है—
उत्तर:- राजधानी का कोलकाता से दिल्ली स्थानांतरण

प्रश्न:- ‘अनुशीलन समिति’ किससे संबंधित है—
उत्तर:- पी. के. मित्रा

प्रश्न:- भारतीय राष्ट्रीय कांग्रेस का विभाजन किस साल हुआ—
उत्तर:- 1907 ई.

प्रश्न:- अखिल भारतीय होमरूल आंदोलन की प्रवर्तक कौन थी—
उत्तर:- डॉ. ऐनी बेसेंट

प्रश्न:- बाल गंगाधर तिलक ने कौन-सी पत्रिका आरंभ की थी—
उत्तर:- केसरी

प्रश्न:- पहली बार किसने कांग्रेस के अधिवेशन में स्वराज्य की मांग की-
उत्तर:- दादाभाई नौरोजी

प्रश्न:- कांग्रेस के किस अधिवेशन में पहली बार स्वराज्य की मांग प्रस्तुत की गई
उत्तर:- सन् 1906 ई. में कलकत्ता में हुए अधिवेशन में

प्रश्न:- मार्ले-मिंटो रिफॉर्म्स किस साल हुआ—
उत्तर:- 1909 ई.

प्रश्न:- भारतीय परिषद अधिनियम-1909 का सर्वग्राहय नाम क्या है—
उत्तर:- मॉर्ले-मिंटो सुधार

प्रश्न:- भारतीय सुधार समिति की स्थापना कब और कहां हुई-
उत्तर:- 1887 ई. में इंगलैंड में

प्रश्न:- British Government का रुख किस साल से कांग्रेस के प्रति कठोर होता चला गया-
उत्तर:- 1887 ई.

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