Indian Nationalism

Indian Nationalism: Nationalism among the Indians started to take a shape. Struggle for India’s freedom from British started. Revolt of 1857 had a huge impact on British. The British crown took the direct control of all the administrative effects and east India Company was destabilised. Indians were included in more numbers in British army. A feel of nationalism developed among the Indians. British slowly started to do divide and rule policy. Slowly but steadily Indians realised the importance of freedom.  Struggle led by many great leaders started in different parts of the country. The bloodshed done by these great freedom fighters led to free India from the hands of British. Today we are enjoying the rights of freed India due to these many freedom fighters. The struggle was led by both modern group and the extremists group. However the British rule also had some good impact on India. They established railways, roadways, telegraph lines, canals, English language and a good education system

Formation of Indian National Congress

Lord LyttonLord Lytton
A O HumeA O Hume

Some reforms introduced by Lord Lytton were not liked by many Indians. He increased taxes for unnecessary military expenditure. The   maximum age to appear for ICS exams were lowered from 21to 19. The period of Lord Lytton from 1876-1880 had a huge impact on Indians to gain freedom. Lord Lytton legislated Indian arms act according to which no Indian had the right to keep any arms without licence, however the English men could hold the arms without licence. Lord Lytton also abolished the tax on the cotton that was being imported to India. This led to huge economic distress.

In the year 1878 Lord Lytton passed Vernacular Press Act. According to this act the magistrate of the particular district was given the power to call upon any printer to enter into a bond. If the printer violated the bond the magistrate had the right to confiscate the print.

The period of Indian nationalism from 1885-1947 can be divided into 4 phases. The moderate phase from (1885-1905), the extremist phase from (1905-1918), the Gandhian phase (1919-1939) and the final phase (1939-1947)

Formation of Indian national congress-A O Hume, a retired British officer invited the educated Indians to form an organisation for fighting against British. A.O Hume met the then British Governor General of India lord Dufferin to form an association which might work against British atrocities. This was the main reason behind the formation of Indian National Congress. The first session was held in Bombay on 28th December 1885. The session was presided over by Womesh Chandra Bonnerjea and was attended by as many as 72 delegates from all over India. In the first session a resolution was passed expressing the dissatisfaction of governance and demanding more Indians in the governance. The first session was held at Gokuldas Tejpal College, Bombay. After the formation the initial year were mainly discussion were held with no concrete steps being taken. The leaders of the Indian national congress can be divided into moderate phase, extremists phase, Gandhian phase and the final phase. Many leaders of Congress during the moderate phase were Dadabhai Naoroji, Surendranath Banerjee, Badruddin Tyabji, G K Gokale and Romesh Chandra Dutt.  Dadabhai Naoroji became the first Indian member of British house of Commons after being elected as a member. The moderates demanded inclusion of more Indians in the government bodies. The moderates thought that since English civil servants drew large amount of salary if Indians included this would cut down the administrative costs. For this the moderates demanded the ICS exam be held even in India and not just in England. The other demands of moderates were- to improve economic conditions reduce in military expenditure, greater expenditure on irrigation, education and other important activities, protection to cultivators from famine, floods.

The moderates also demanded for the separation of judiciary from executive for better working conditions. The moderates adopted the method of constitutional like appeals, petitions. Bowing to the demands the British passed an act called as Indian council act 1892. It also increased number of Indians in government bodies but however no power was given to Indians. Even though there were not much positive results from the moderates periods but however their constitutional methods firmly established a democratic tradition in India. Slowly the moderates phase gave place to extremists phase.

Surendranath Banerjee
Dadabai NairojiDadabhai Nairoji
Gopal Krishna GokuleGopala Krishna Gokhale