(Last Updated on : 18-04-2014)
Indian freedom struggle involves the independence movements pertaining to those contrived crusades that were popularised against the oppressing British dominion, both by employing non-violent and violent measures. This dichotomous issue was in fact a substantial issue, due to diverging paths of many nationalists espoused to reach one common goal of 'Purna Swaraj
' or absolute freedom. Indian freedom struggle has gone towards much shallow an establishment, with 15th August merely reduced to ceremonial rituals. The huge mass in India that is named today as 'middle class', is governed much by international rules and laws, including globalisation. Much narrower a section of society comprise the Indian defence forces, represented by Indian Army
, Indian Air Forces
and Indian Navy
. Otherwise, the present Indian society is largely unaware and cloudy about the umpteen Independence movements that India underwent to become what it is now.
Sepoy Mutiny, 1857
Also known as the 'Sepoy Rebellion' or the 'Uprising of 1857' and the 'Great Rebellion', Sepoy Mutiny
commenced on 10th May, 1857, spearheaded by protests by sepoys or soldiers of the East India Company
which extended to the upper Gangetic Plain
and the central portion of India and the most major hostilities were concentrated in Delhi
, Madhya Pradesh
, Uttar Pradesh
. The East India Company was threatened greatly and it was suppressed by the downfall of Gwalior
on 20th June, 1858.
Swadeshi Movement, 1905 to 1911
Indian society, as compared to contemporary times, was much simpler and less uncomplicated. The conscious class division was unheard of, with almost no technological tool witnessed in any household. Freedom fighters
as such arrived onto such a hot-bed Indian state
of affairs, just to help people not to be influenced and charmed by British petty alluring of fineries and everything 'Vilayati' (referring to British goods and Britain as a whole). This surging mass of protest marches led to the culmination of the Swadeshi Movement
in early 1900s, under able leadership of Mahatma Gandhi
. Swadeshi Movement was largely a successful ensuing of the Partition of Bengal in 1905 and the amount of loss of lives under the sadistic Britishers.
Wahabi Movement, 1900's
One significant factor that is noteworthy in the context of Indian independence movements is that, these crusades had intensified much more in the late 1930s and its succeeding period culminating in the year 1947. Instances prior to this time period are not the least infrequent, with every decade producing and emoting a naturalistic note of their own. For instance, the Wahabi Movement
during the extensive period of late 1800's, was a slow mass accumulation of men from various Indian states, leading only to deportation in the Andamans
, more effectively to 'Kala Pani
Ghadar Movement, 1914-1917
The 'Ghadar Movement
' during the initial years of 1900's was also akin to 'Wahabi', with rebels gathering from outside the country like Canada or United States. These independence movements planned in erstwhile Indian context strikes a distressing chord in the heart, when it is gathered that men fighting during those times were perhaps not even aware that these would take such historic proportions as to reach every Indian household; times during those did not call for publicised affairs, but just the realisation of Indian Independence. However, with men like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Subash Chandra Bose
, Rabindranath Tagore
or Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
, India was never in dearth of legendary crusaders, rebelling valiantly against English oppression.
Khilafat Movement, 1919-1924
With the British cruel arm crushing down on natives in a more intensifying degree with the aid of acts or laws, these Indian independence movements went on streets even more and more. For instance, the Khilafat Movement
was awakened largely after the stringency of Rowlatt Act
of 1919, absolutely mirroring Muslims sentiments as opposed to British way of life. Indeed, it came to be a mere order of day and a topic of snigger that after each passing of law, an independence movement was sure to come up and gain accomplishment. Lord Curzon
and Lord Dalhousie
in later years were almost wholly to blame for foolish administration and inviting the wrath directly from England Crown.
Akali Movement, 1920's
The Akali Movement
around 1919 had tremendously ushered in the Sikh community
into Indian freedom struggle, with stray communal incidents happening here and there. Sikhs became such a headache to British rule, that hanging and deportation was the last feasible way out for these ruthless overseas men. By such horrible mixing of British acts and anti-British Indian independence movements, the time was sneaking towards the 1930s, which was the most personified time for protests, rallies and demonstration of both violence and non-violence.
Civil Disobedience Movement, 1930-1931
Courts and other administrative buildings, like police outposts, including railways carriages or public transports began to be looted and bombed, only to exhibit the gallantry of fighting nationalists; they believed only in the one policy of giving back an eye for an eye.
However, these radical ways were condemned by the non-violent protestors, who were of the faith that Swaraj could also be attained by not shedding any drop of English blood. Gandhiji was considered the leader of all non-violence that ever came up during those times. He was known to pacify British rank-holders by his gifted vocabulary and gift of gab. As such, the Civil Disobedience Movement
or admired as Salt Satyagraha
March to Dandi
, was deemed as a serious threat to establishing British supremacy in India.
Non Cooperation Movement, 1920-1922
Indian independence movements under the towering Gandhian Era was ushered in by Non Co-operation Movement
within 1920-22, signifying every degree of total denying of every British rule of law that was passed under the Rowlatt Act revisions. These one-at-a-time non-violent acts turned into a volley of protests, encompassing fasting for several days by Gandhiji, leading British administration to review and bend their direction of governance. The rebels refused to purchase British goods and embrace indigenous products and services like regional handicrafts, ransack liquor shops, thereby highlighting the Indian moral virtues.
Quit India Movement, 1942
Mahatma in fact, along with violence of the young guns of India, continued his passive protests by topping his rebellion with the Quit India Movement
in 1942. It was also known as 'August Kranti' or 'August Movement', and was launched as a reaction against Gandhi's call for Satyagraha. It reflects Gandhi's determined resistance against the British Raj, in the form of his 'Do or Die' which was issued on 8th August, 1942 at Gowalia Tank Maidan, Mumbai. Eventually, British Raj learnt that India was unmanageable in the long run.
Contribution of Indian National Army
The Indian National Army
(INA) or the 'Azad Hind Fauj' was a forceful army established in 1942 during the World War II, by Indian nationalists. The army's main goal was to forcefully acquire Indian independence with the aide of Japan and restored by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in 1943 after the disintegration of the first INA in December. INA played a crucial military role despite the fact that it was represented by a tiny military strength and absence of adequate military equipments. The soldiers of INA put up a stiff resistance and kept fighting along with Japanese troops to secure India's independence from the British Raj.
Royal Indian Navy Mutiny, 1946
The Royal Indian Navy Mutiny
was also known as 'Royal Indian Revolt' or 'Bombay
Mutiny' and included a complete strike and rebellion by numerous Indian sailors on board the ship which started on 18th February 1946. The revolt was violent and spread throughout the country, covering Karachi to Kolkata
and involved 20, 000 sailors, 78 ships and 20 shore establishments.
Mahatma Gandhi's hope to bring in immediate independence to India by just holding talks was somewhat crushed, with the disillusioned men being put under house arrest for the rest of the freedom struggle. In a nutshell, Indian independence movements were incredulously successful to awake the unaware men at large, with every household housing a revolutionist secretly. British men, at last, could only look towards the future helplessly, with all of their endeavours grovelling in the dust.