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India after Independence

Integration of States
Sardar Patel's strategy to consolidate native states
1. Atlee had declared that didn't intend to hand over her paramountcy over Indian states to any
government in India. Consequently the states began to harbor dreams of independence. Their
desires were supported by Jinnah in a speech in June 1947 in an obvious attempt to keep
India weak. However began to realize the complications of cold war and by now they
changed their stance somewhat and Atlee said that he hoped that the states would join one
dominion or the other.
2. The people of the states had suffered side by side with the people in India in the INM. Both
movements marched hand in hand and thus it was not possible for nationalist leaders to leave
the people of the state on the mercy of the princes.
3. By April 1947, some states had showed wisdom and joined the constituent assembly. But a
majority of them stayed away and some even openly declared their intent for claiming an
independent status. In June 1947, Patel set to the task of integrating the states. INM had
become deep rooted in princely states as well - too strong that it was impossible for them to
ignore it. Had they ignored it, they faced possibility of internal revolts. Patel made the rulers
realize this by saying that he won't be able to stop their people from revolting. He appealed to
all the princes whose territory fell in India to accede to the union on 3 subjects - foreign
relations, defence and communications.
4. He followed a policy of stick and carrot. The carrot was that he guaranteed the continuation of
personal privileges of the princes in India. A privy purse would be established and they would
draw pensions from it. No enquiries would be initiated against the princes as well. Although
there was some criticism of the privileges accorded to the rulers, it was a small price to pay for
the integrity of the union. Consolidation of the states indeed healed the wounds of partition to
some extent.
Before Independence
1. Hyderabad had a feudal setup. ~10% of land was reserved for the Nizam and 30% given out as
jagirs. Muslims received preferential treatment and non-Muslims were even persecuted.
2. Political agitations first reached state on the Khilafat issue. Khilafat merged with the issue of a
responsible government in the state and enhanced civil liberties.
3. A cultural movement started in Telangana under the leadership of Andhra Mahasabha which
advocated Telugu language and literature and promoted press. In 1938, all the major
associations in the state merged together to call Hyderabad State Congress (not a branch of
4. Hyderabad State Congress had close connections with INC and used the methods of
satyagraha, INC leaders too personal interest including Gandhiji. Gandhiji actively guided the
1938 satyagraha and also wrote to Hyderabad government to agree to their demands.
However, due to a launch of a parallel satyagraha by Arya Samaj, Gandhiji urged Hyderabad
State Congress to withdraw their satyagraha so that it doesn't get associated with a communal
After Independence

1. Patel was in no hurry to force an accession on Hyderabad since the Nizam had made a secret
commitment not to join Pakistan and also had refused to give the dominion status to
Hyderabad. Moreover Mountbatten himself was involved in negotiations with the Nizam. So
Patel felt that time was on his side. But at the same time he made it clear that India will not
tolerate an 'island' in the middle of its territory.
2. In November 1947, the Nizam signed a standstill agreement with GoI which called for
immediate restoration of peace. Behind signing this standstill agreement while GoI hoped that
Nizam would be made to see the reality and could be forced to accept a representative
government in his state, Nizam hoped to build up his military strength and force the GoI to
accept his sovereignty. So he hoped to prolong the negotiations.
3. While negotiations were on, violence kept on increasing. Nizam had organized a muslim
communal organization which had an armed wing called Razakars. On 7 August 1947, the
state congress unit launched a powerful satyagraha to force the nizam to accept a
representative government. Nizam unleashed a reign of terror on the people through his band
of Razakars leading to merciless communal prosecution. As a result CPI was able to expand its
cadre in Hyderabad and powerful peasant struggles began to come up and the CPI led struggle
turned violent. Peasant groups began to be formed to resist with arms the attack of Razakars.
The GoI restrained for several months but as the negotiations and killings showed no signs of
ending, it had to send in the Indian army. in September 1948.
1. 80% of the population was Muslim while 20% was Hindu. The king was a Hindu. He wanted to
stay independent. The stand of Indian leaders was clear that only people can decide on their
fate and they supported a plebiscite. But Pakistan not only refused to accept the principle of
plebiscite but also tried to short circuit the decision by sending in armed tribals and forces in
Kashmir in October 1947. In panic, he appealed to India.
2. Nehru (on the advise of Mountbatten) said he will only send army if Kashmir is integrated with
India. So on 26 October the maharaja signed the instrument of accession. Even though both
the maharaja and National Conference (led by Sheikh Abdullah) wanted a firm accession,
Nehru said he will get the instrument of accession ratified by holding a referendum once peace
and law had been restored in Kashmir. Indian troops went in and pushed back the invaders to
some extent. Then on advise of Mountbatten again, Nehru decided to submit the matter to the
arbitration of UN on 30 December 1947.
3. In 1951, UN passed a resolution providing for a referendum under UN supervision after
Pakistan had withdrawn its troops from PoK. It has remained unimplemented since as Pakistan
has refused to withdraw its forces from PoK.
1. Majority population was Hindu in this case but the ruler was a Muslim. He wanted to remain
independent but when popular pressure began to grow, he declared accession to Pakistan
which Pakistan accepted.
2. A mass revolt broke out and he fled to Pakistan. Indian leaders anyways stood for the
sovereignty of the people and not of the ruler. The Diwan of Junagarh asked the Indian
government to intervene and signed instrument of accession with India. A plebiscite was
organized in which an overwhelming majority voted for merger with India.
Full Integration of Former Princely States
1. This was even more difficult than the initial accession. Once again Patel showed great vigor in
completing the full scale integration within an year. Smaller states were either merged in the
neighboring provinces or were merged together to form 'centrally administered areas'. 5 new
unions were formed vis Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU), Madhya Bharat,
Rajasthan, Saurashtra and Travancore - Cochin. States of Hyderabad, J&K and Mysore were
allowed to remain in the original form.
Step 1: Fast-track integration
1. The first step in this process, carried out between 1947 and 1949, was to merge the smaller states
that were not seen to be viable administrative units either into neighboring provinces, or with other
princely states to create a princely union. This policy was contentious, since it involved the
dissolution of the very states whose existence India had only recently guaranteed in the Instruments
of Accession. Patel and Menon emphasised that without integration, the economies of states would
collapse, and anarchy would arise if the princes were unable to provide democracy and govern
properly. They pointed out that many of the smaller states were very small and lacked resources to
sustain their economies and support their growing populations. Many also imposed tax rules and
other restrictions that impeded free trade, and which had to be dismantled in a united India. Such
mergers took place in many provinces and HP.
2. The Merger Agreements required rulers to cede full power to the India. In return it gave privy purses,
protection of private property, personal privileges, dignities and titles. Succession was also
guaranteed according to custom.
3. Although the Merger Agreements were principally intended for smaller, non-viable states, they were
also applied to a few larger states. Kutch, Tripura and Manipur, all of which lay along international
borders, were also asked to sign Merger Agreements, despite being larger states. Similarly Bhopal
and Bilaspur also had to go.
Step 2: Princely Union and Rajpramukhs
1. The bulk of the larger states, and some groups of small states, were integrated through a
different, four-step process. The first step in this process was to convince groups of large states
to combine to form a princely union through the execution by their rulers of Covenants of
Merger. Under the Covenants of Merger, all rulers lost their ruling powers, save one who
became the Rajpramukh of the new union. The other rulers were associated with two bodies
the council of rulers, whose members were the rulers of salute states, and a presidium whose
members were elected by the rulers of non-salute states. In return for agreeing to the extinction
of their states as discrete entities, the rulers were given a privy purse and guarantees similar to
those provided under the Merger Agreements.
2. Through this process, Saurashtra, Madhya Bharat, PEPSU, Travancore - Cochin and
Rajasthan emerged. Only Kashmir, Mysore and Hyderabad were left now.
Step 3: Democratization
1. These mergers did not meet the expectations of the Government of India so it suggested requiring
the rulers of states to take practical steps towards the establishment of popular government. The
States Department accepted this suggestion, and implemented it through a special covenant signed
by the rajpramukhs of the merged princely unions, binding them to act as constitutional
monarchs. This meant that their powers were de facto no different from those of the Governors of
the former British provinces, thus giving the people of their territories the same measure of
responsible government as the people of the rest of India.
2. The result of this process was an assertion of paramountcy by the Government of India over the
states. While this contradicted the British statement that paramountcy would lapse on the transfer of
power, the Congress position had always been that independent India would inherit the position of
being the paramount power.
Step 4: Centralization and Constitutionalization
1. Democratization still left open one important distinction between the former princely states and the
former British provinces, namely, that since the princely states had signed limited Instruments of
Accession covering only three subjects, they were insulated from government policies in other
areas. So in May 1948, a meeting was held in Delhi between the Rajpramukhs of the princely
unions and the States Department, at the end of which the Rajpramukhs signed new Instruments of
Accession which gave the Government of India the power to pass laws in respect of all matters that
fell within the seventh schedule of the Government of India Act 1935. Subsequently, each of the
princely unions, as well as Mysore and Hyderabad, agreed to adopt the Constitution of India drafted
by the constituent assembly as the constitution of that state, thus ensuring that they were placed in
exactly the same legal position vis--vis the central government as the former British provinces. The
only exception was Kashmir, whose relationship with India continued to be governed by the original
Instrument of Accession, and the constitution produced by the state's Constituent Assembly.
2. The classified the constituent units of India into three classes, which it termed Part A, B, and C
states. The former British provinces, together with the princely states that had been merged into
them, were the Part A states. The princely unions, plus Mysore and Hyderabad, were the Part B
states. The centrally administered areas, except the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, were the Part C
states. The only practical difference between the Part A states and the Part B states was that the
constitutional heads of the Part B states were the Rajpramukhs appointed under the terms of the
Covenants of Merger, rather than Governors appointed by the central government.
Step 5: State Reorganization
1. The distinction between Part A and Part B states was only intended to last for a brief, transitional
period. In 1956, the States Reorganization Act reorganized the former British provinces and princely
states on the basis of language. Simultaneously, the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution
removed the distinction between Part A and Part B states, both of which were now treated only as
"states", with Part C states being renamed "union territories".
2. The Rajpramukhs lost their authority, and were replaced as the constitutional heads of state by
Governors, who were appointed by the central government.
Step 6: Other Colonial Territories
1. French: At independence, the regions
of Pondicherry, Karikal, Yanam, Mahe and Chandernagore were still colonies of France. An
agreement between France and India in 1948 provided for an election in France's remaining
Indian possessions to choose their political future. A plebiscite held in Chandernagore in 1949
resulted in merger with India. In the other enclaves, however, the pro-French camp used the
administrative machinery to suppress the pro-merger groups. Popular discontent rose, and in
1954 demonstrations in Yanam and Mahe resulted in pro-merger groups assuming power. A
referendum in Pondicherry and Karikal in 1954 resulted in a vote in favor of merger. A treaty of
cession was signed in 1956, and following ratification by the French National Assembly in
1962, de jure control of the enclaves was also transferred.
2. Portugal: On 15 August 1955, five thousand non-violent demonstrators marched against the
Portuguese at the border, and were met with gunfire. In 1960, the United Nations General
Assembly rejected Portugal's contention that its overseas possessions were
provinces. Although Nehru continued to favor a negotiated solution, the Portuguese
suppression of a revolt in Angola in 1961 radicalized Indian public opinion, and increased the
pressure on the Government of India to take military action. On 18 December 1961, following
the collapse of an American attempt to find a negotiated solution, the Indian Army entered
Portuguese India and defeated the Portuguese garrisons there. Goa was incorporated into
India as a centrally administered union territory and, in 1987, became a state. In 1954, an
uprising in Dadra and Nagar Haveli threw off Portuguese rule. The Portuguese attempted to
send forces from Daman to reoccupy the enclaves, but were prevented from doing so by Indian
3. Sikkhim: Historically, Sikkhim was a British dependency with a status similar to that of the other
princely states, and was therefore considered to be within the frontiers of India in the colonial period.
On independence, however, the Chogyal of Sikkhim resisted full integration into India. Given the
region's strategic importance to India, the Government of India signed first a Standstill Agreement
and then in 1950 a full treaty with the Chogyal of Sikkim which in effect made it a protectorate which
was no longer part of India. India had responsibility for defence, external affairs and
communications, and ultimate responsibility for law and order, but Sikkim was otherwise given full
internal autonomy. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Chogyal, supported by the
minority Bhutia attempted to negotiate greater powers, particularly over external affairs. These
policies were opposed internally and in April 1973, an anti-Chogyal agitation broke out; the agitators
demanded the conduct of popular elections. Chogyal was reduced to the role of a constitutional
monarch, his opponents won an overwhelming victory, and a new Constitution was drafted providing
for Sikkim to be associated with the Republic of India. This resolution was endorsed by 97% of the
vote in a referendum held in 1975, following which the Indian Government amended the constitution
to admit Sikkim into India as its 22nd state.
Integration: Critical Analysis
1. Ian Copland argues that the Congress leaders did not intend the settlement contained in the
Instruments of Accession to be permanent even when they were signed, and at all times privately
contemplated a complete integration of the sort that ensued between 1948 and 1950. He points out
that the mergers and cession of powers to the Government of India between 1948 and 1950
contravened the terms of the Instruments of Accession, and were incompatible with the express
assurances of internal autonomy and preservation of the princely states which Mountbatten had
given the princes.
2. Menon in his memoirs stated that the changes to the initial terms of accession were in every
instance freely consented to by the princes with no element of coercion. Copland disagrees, on the
basis that foreign diplomats at the time believed that the princes had been given no choice but to
sign, and that a few princes expressed their unhappiness with the arrangements. He also criticizes
Mountbatten's role, saying that while he stayed within the letter of the law, he was at least under a
moral obligation to do something for the princes when it became apparent that the Government of
India was going to alter the terms on which accession took place, and that he should never have
lent his support to the bargain given that it could not be guaranteed after independence. One of the
reasons why the princes consented to the demise of their states was that they felt abandoned
by the British, and saw themselves as having little other option.
3. Lumby takes the view that the princely states could not have survived as independent entities
after the transfer of power, and that their demise was inevitable. They therefore view successful
integration of all princely states into India as a triumph for the Government of India and Lord
Mountbatten, and as a tribute to the sagacity of the majority of princes, who jointly achieved in
a few months what the Empire had attempted, unsuccessfully, to do for over a centuryunite
all of India under one rule.
4. In the context of the history of political integration in Northeast India, it is found that the integration
with the Indian union politically remained a serious issue. The mode of integration of the
Northeastern states has been sought through negotiations, promises, baits and force. Some areas
like Manipur and Naga Hills refused to merge with India and expressed desire for withdrawal from
the Union which resulted in secessionist demands. The late realization that such integrationist policy
was erroneous has led the government to concede autonomy demands of ethnic groups, which led
to creation of separate states. However the formation of new states had a cascading affect leading
to new demands from other smaller ethnic groups vying different levels of autonomy.
Other Internal Challenges
1. There was great danger that the wounds of partition may refuse to seal and the communal riots
may linger on promoting hatred in the society and leading to further violence and disintegration
of the nation. Communalism was the Indian version of fascism. Even many Congress leaders
came under its sway but thanks to the strength of the nationalist sentiments, the top leadership
remained committed to secularism and integration of the nation. It was on the grounds of
checking communalism that Nehru got the amended and inserted 'reasonable restrictions' on
the fundamental right to freedom of speech.
2. After the killing of Gandhi, realizing that RSS was a spreading communalism and fascism in
India and was behind the assassination of Gandhi, Nehru got RSS banned. But Patel, in 1949,
got the ban revoked on the guarantee that RSS would refrain from any involvement in politics.
The Punjab Problem
1. The Punjabi Suba agitation had different colours and complexions. Initially the agitation had ethnic
and language connotations, founded by a feeling of distrust over the Punjabi language, between the
Hindu and Sikh communities, but the same was given the shape of religious nationalism
subsequently which ultimately led to ripping the ground to a secessionist movement with insurgent
2. The acceptance of the Hindi language as the mother tongue, vis-a-vis the local Punjabi, in the
sixties by the Hindus may have marked the beginning of the problem and was one of the major
reasons, which led to the division of Punjab in 1966.
3. The distrust was further forged by the religious communalism of the seventies and by the insurgent
activities in the eighties, with the connivance of cross-border hostile forces supporting the demand
for separatism, leading to violent reprisal and counter-reprisals.
Left Wing Extremism
1. CPI in 1948 proclaimed a beginning of a general revolution in India as it branded Nehru as an
agent of imperialist and feudal forces! And to this extent it launched violent movements in many
parts of the country. Nehru was appalled but he resisted banning CPI until it was impossible for
him to not to do so. Still he banned it only in Bengal and Madras where it was most active.
2. He believed that the best way to combat the communists was to bring the fruits of development
to the people. As soon as the CPI gave up its programme of waging an armed struggle and
accept parliamentary process, Nehru saw to it that the ban was revoked everywhere.
Rehabilitation of Refugees
1. This was a great destabilizing problem but was handled efficiently, specially in west, and by
1951 the refugees from west were amicably settled. But the task was more challenging in the
East. This was because while in the west most of the hindus and muslims had migrated in one
go, in the east, the inflow of hindus continued for years. Many Hindus in the east Pakistan had
stayed on but as the communal riots spread there, they were forced to migrate to W Bengal
and Assam.
2. In the west most of the immigrants cold occupy the land and property left by the muslim
emigrants in Punjab, UP and Rajasthan. But in the east, this was not the case.
3. Also due to linguistic affinity it was easier to resettle the immigrants in the west in Punjab, HP,
western UP, Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan. But in the east, it was only possible to resettle
them in W Bengal and to some extent in Assam and Tripura.
Linguistic Reorganization of States
1. The biggest desire was to preserve the ethnic and political identity and not
to be swamped by linguistic or ethnic majorities.
1. In 1953 Andhra Pradesh was created after the riots broke out following the death by fasting for
this cause of Potti Sriramulu, a noted Andhra linguistic enthusiast. Subsequently, the
Government appointed the States Reorganization Commission to examine and suggest a
rational solution for the reorganization of States, based on language.
2. The Commission, after consultations and interactions with various groups of people, reported to
have found the public will in favour of linguistic reorganization. The rationale was that language
being the most faithful reflection of the culture of an ethnic group, ethno-lingual boundaries
would be considered the most stable and suitable arrangement for the effective working of
democratic entities and institutions. It was also perceived that the same would also have the
advantage of ease for peoples interaction with the government.
3. Linguistic division of States and reshaping of the political boundaries took place in the year
1956. The bi-lingual Bombay and Punjab were subsequently bifurcated to form unilingual
Maharastra and Gujarat, in the West, and Punjab and Haryana in the North, in 1960 and
1966 respectively.
4. It allowed for accommodation of diversity within the larger framework of federal unity and
without weakening the Nations integrity. In social terms, it removed a major source of discord,
and created homogenous political units which could be administered through a medium, the
local language, that the vast majority of the population understood.
Anti-Hindi Movement
1. The dispute was not one of national language since the view that one language should be the
symbol of national identity was rejected and out adopted almost all the major different
languages as the national languages. The issue was of the official language since the official
work couldn't be carried out in so many languages. Only 2 candidates were available - and
2. Even before the independence, the leadership of the INM had felt that can't continue as the
official language. As early as 1937, JLN while accepting that was the world language had
clearly stated that at best it can be pursued as a second optional language. Hindi had been
accepted by the nationalist leaders of non-Hindi belt as well since the overriding need at that
hour was to display unity and independence (in every field including culture and language).
Thus leaders like Tilak, SCB, Rajgopalachari, Gandhiji etc. were all votaries of Hindi. In its
sessions and political work too, INC used hindi and other regional languages. Thus in the 1928
Nehru report, it was laid down that 'Hindustani' as written in Devanagari or Urdu script would be
the common language of India and that may continue only for some time. The accepted
this stand only replacing Hindustani by Hindi.
3. The choice between Devanagari and Urdu script was the first dilemma of the constituent
assembly. Both Gandhi and Nehru were strong advocates of Hindustani (in both Devanagari
and Urdu) but the question was settled by the partition (and as Pakistan claimed Urdu to be the
language of Muslims and Pakistan). In a vote held the votaries for Hindi in devanagari won
although by a razor thin majority.
4. The next question was what should be the time frame for replacing English with Hindi. This is
the issue which led to most serious divides between the Hindi and the non-Hindi areas. While
the proponents of Hindi wanted an immediate switchover, the non-Hindi speaking people
wanted a long (if not an indefinite) switchover time. Nehru wanted Hindi as the official language
eventually but wanted to continue in the transition time and that the transition should only be
5. The provided that Hindi in Devanagari script (with international numerals) will be the official
language of India. will continue as the official language till 1965 when it would be replaced by
Hindi. Until then Hindi will be introduced in a phased manner and it would be the duty of the
government to promote the spread of Hindi. The parliament will have the power to provide for
the use of for specified purposes even after 1965. The state legislatures could decide on the
state language though for all union-state communications, Hindi will be used. The hope was
that by 1965, Hindi proponents would be able to overcome its weaknesses, develop the
language and win over the confidence of non Hindi people. It was also hoped that because
Hindi will be the medium of instruction in education and universal education would anyways be
provided by 1960, Hindi will come to be accepted by all as the official language.
6. But this never happened. Education never grew in India and Hindi proponents, instead of trying
to calm the anxieties of non Hindi people and win their confidence, began to look for
government imposition of Hindi. Also instead of simplifying and developing the language, they
made it too complex in the name of 'purification'. Comprehensive literature in Hindi was never
developed and by no means it was ready to be accepted as the official language of the union.
7. It was launched pre-independence by DMK under Periyar
E.V.Ramaswamy Nayakar to agitate against the introduction of Hindi as a
compulsory subject in the schools of the then Madras Presidency. It
succeeded in preventing compulsory teaching of Hindi in the schools of the
8. The agitation of the post- independence period was conducted to ensure the
continuation of English as an official language and to prevent Hindi from
becoming the sole official language of the Republic. The
Government responded with the constitution of the first Official Language
Commission in 1955. The commission recommended a number of steps
to eventually replace English with Hindi. But the report was not unanimous
and had dissenting notes from non-Hindi speaking Members of the
Commission from Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
9. The report was further reviewed by a parliamentary committee
which recommended that Hindi should be made the primary official language with
English as a subsidiary one. Both these reports were opposed by many
non-Hindi groups. As the opposition grew stronger the government
English would continue as the associate language for an indefinite
10. However, as the deadline of 15 years stipulated in the constitution for switching
over to Hindi as primary official language approached, the government efforts to spread
Hindis official usage stepped up. But the Official Language Bill, 1959 was brought up for
continuation of English.
Factors Responsible for Promoting National Unity
1. Unified army, all india services etc. Unified economy, large scale planning, communication and
transport system etc. Steel plants, fertilizer plants, hydro electric dams, higher educational
institutions, Nehru's foreign policy etc. all became a symbol of national unity and development.
2. Commitment of the national leadership. Centralized tendencies in our . The commitment to
reduce social injustice also promoted unity.
3. The language policy followed was not that of suppression and imposition from top. But this
multiplicity was accepted and the system evolved to live with it without giving rise to persistent
Foreign Policy
Phase 1 (1880-1919)
1. The early nationalists used to oppose the aggressive use of Indian resources in military
operations outside India by the government. Thus they opposed the Afghan war in 1878-80,
Egypt expedition in 1882 to protect interests there. They opposed 1885 annexation of Burma,
1903 attack of Tibet and the forward policy followed by in NW of India supposedly to 'defend
India from Russian designs'.
2. They expressed solidarity with people fighting for independence and liberation elsewhere in the
world like Ireland, Turkey, Russia etc.
3. They expressed pan-Asian consciousness. Thus Japan's rise was hailed earlier until it attacked
China, attack on Burma and China by was condemned.
4. They clearly saw the role of foreign capital in expanding imperialism. Foreign capital went first
and soldiers later in order to 'protect the capital'.
5. In the war, though officially the nationalists supported effort there was little sympathy for .
Phase 2 (1919 onwards)
1. INM grew more conscious of foreign developments and began to express opinion on almost
every major event happening worldwide. Indians continued to express solidarity with people
fighting for independence and against fascism.
2. Indians opposed the Treaty of Sevres, the mandate system was rightly labeled as a cover for
imperialism, Congress favored Burma's independence from India and opposed an attack on
Afghanistan. Congress supported the revolution in China by Sun Yat-Sen.
3. JLN traveled to Brussels in 1926-27 to attend Congress of Oppressed Peoples. He met many
leaders there but didn't meet Mussolini. Thus while criticizing colonialism, he made clear that
INM was no friend of fascism. He also condemned US imperialism over Latam which was
previously ignored by Indian nationalists. They extended support to Chezchoslovakia and
Spanish people. It was basically ideology based.

Relations with Pakistan
1. Even after the Kashmir complications, in January 1948, GoI decided to pay Pakistan Rs. 55 cr
as a part of the partition plan even though that money could be used against it in Kashmir.
2. Pakistan also ridiculously laid claims on the property of the migrants who had fled to Pakistan
leaving their land and property in India. Such issues had to be resolved by negotiations.
3. Another source of discord between the two nations was the treatment of Hindus in east
Pakistan specially where they were subject to communal hatred and extermination. This led to
a steady inflow of refugees in India and worsening of situation. While this strengthened the calls
for a military intervention in east Pakistan, Nehru always resisted and tried to resolve the issue
by negotiations. He also took a clear stand against a similar prosecution of Muslims in some
areas of W Bengal. At the same time he always urged Pakistan to end the communal frenzy
and provide security to the religious minorities in east Pakistan. In April 1950, he was able to
sign a pact with Pakistan on the issue of protection of minorities (which was resented to by the
communal forces in India) but the problem continued despite the pact.
4. Another source of tension was the river waters of Indus and both countries signed a treaty to
share its water under the auspices of WB after India showed generosity.

Politics of Separation
1. By the middle of 19th century, Hindus had forged ahead due to awakening created by socio-
reform movements which were liberal and progressive. A middle class had emerged which had
modern ideas. On the other hands, the reform movements in the Muslim society were
backward looking. They emphasized on purity of Islam and were orthodox.
2. Since Muslims formed the political elite before , they were quite discontent with the . So
participated in large numbers in 1857 revolt. So after the 1857 revolt, followed a politics of
discrimination against Muslims. As a combined result, Muslims were left behind in government
jobs and middle class professions.
3. Some Muslim intellectuals realized the causes and made attempts to befriend the and to
embrace western education. Many schools and colleges were opened.
Phase 1: Secular interests linked to religion (1888-1906)
Nature & Character
1. The dominance of Hindus and religious policies of created a sense that secular interests were
linked to religion and Muslims as a community shared common interests. Terms like "Muslim
interests" came up and issue of safeguarding it as well.
2. Once such a thing came up, fanned it by beginning to favor Muslims and encouraging liberal
communalists who claimed to champion Muslim interests. associated with MAO College @
Aligarh and encouraged Syed Ahmed Khan.
3. in 1885, INC was founded. attempted to gave it a Hindu color and won over Syed Ahmed
Khan to their side. He became a communalist now. In 1888, he setup United India Patriotic
Association to counter INC. In 1893, he setup MAO Defense Association to 'protect Muslim
interests'. In 1893 when Tilak began the ganpati festival, he found the Mohammedan Defence
4. In 1888, he even emphasized that Hindus and Muslims were 2 separate nations, separate
people with separate needs and aspirations. He introduced the idea that because of numerical
majority, Hindus will annihilate Muslims in any sort of representative government.
5. Essentially secular things were increasingly being given communal color (examples are
Wahabi, Faraizi, Arya Samaj, Urdu agitation) - often by vested interests like the landlords who
found it an effective way of retaining their influence. Thus Hindi became a language of Hindus
and Urdu became a language of Muslims, cow became a reason worth spilling blood for and
things like playing loud music within the audible range of a mosque became communal issues.
Involvement of political leaders from both communities gave the issues a political color as well.
An example is the political recruitment of Ganpati by TIlak in 1893.
6. The 1st muslim organization in bengal was the Mohammedan Association or Anjuman-i-Islami
in 1855 with the objective of 'protecting muslim interests' and 'professing loyalty' to . Then
came Hunter's thesis in 1871 that the exclusion of muslims from the education and
administrative posts was mainly responsible for the popular appeal of the anti sentiment in
the community (the wahabi and the faraizi movements). Soon a close collaboration between
educated muslims and the maulavis developed and communalist ideas began to spread in rural
areas as well. Then came swadesi and until then not all muslims were separatists or loyalists,
but the movement soon put on the unmistakable stamp of otherness. The anti-partition
campaign began to appear as anti-muslim campaign to them.
Syed Ahmad's Concept of Nationalism
1. His idea of being a muslim was not opposed to being an Indian but he did not visualize India as
a nation state based on individual citizenship. Instead it was to be a lose federation of
communities or qaums and in this federation of qaums the Muslims should get preferential
treatment from the virtue of being the past rulers.
Factors Responsible

1. Rise of modern politics: Earlier people's involvement in politics was negligible. But the modern
politics was people based and public opinion mattered. So people had to be mobilized.
Naturally they had to be organized along some lines. Caste, religion, region etc. formed natural
organizing lines and became political identities. Even some of the nationalists used symbols of
Hinduism to rally people and thus made it easier for the communalists to point fingers.
2. Colonial government: It always stroked communalism to divide Indian people and deny
existence of India. So while normally such political identities give way to modern identities
based on economic lines, this never happened in India because supported communal
division. They supported communal forces, communal press and extended concessions to
them. They favored the concept of communal electorates. The colonial government always
tried to project Muslims as a homogenous community. The Indian census made religion as the
fundamental category for ordering and classifying demographic and developmental data. The
breakup of education and occupation statistics gave an objective expression to the vague
communal thoughts.
3. Rise of middle class: Communalism is a middle class phenomenon, fanned by them, to protect
their interest. Reservations in legislatures and jobs sound appealing to all though they benefit
mainly the middle class. Colonial rule here played an important role again because as a result
of destruction of industries, the middle class had to rely mainly on government jobs.
4. Social differences: At the same time the structure of Indian society too made things easier for
communalists. In entire areas, certain classes or religious communities dominated the
resources and power. So it was easier for communalists to point finger and rally people behind
them. So tenant-landlord struggles were repeatedly given religious color. It was also easier to
rally people in the name of religion as religion had always played an important role in Indian
5. Intensification of rivalry: Once communal tendencies evolved in one group, other groups' radical
elements too gained popularity by pointing fingers. This only worsened the situation. Revivalist
movements in both communities fueled it. The Wahabi and Faraizi movements rejected the
earlier syncretism and sought to Islamize the muslim culture by purging customs of un-Islamic
origin. Thus communalism began to percolate among the masses as well.
Phase 2: Interests are divergent (1906-1937)
Nature & Character
1. ML was founded in 1906 @ Dhaka. Its members were aristocratic elements and ML truly
represented their interests in the name of representing 'Muslim interests'. It began with the
demand of communal electorates for Muslims. While earlier the jagirdari elements had
managed to keep the ulamas distant from the center stage of politics, now the Aligarh school
ulammas came to be directly involved in central politics.
2. Though from 1912-1924 ML purged its jagirdari elements and moved towards Congress, its
nationalism was flawed in the sense it was not fully secular. Protecting Muslim interests
remained the core and nationalism was taken too because it was though Muslim interests could
be better served via the nationalist cause. Instead of fighting for political and economic
reasons, they fought them on question of Caliph and holy places. They viewed the Balkan and
the Tripoli wars as a conspiracy of the west to weaken the muslim turks. This was a step back
because it introduced the tendency of looking @ purely politico-economic questions from
religious viewpoint.
3. Congress too failed to check communalism at this stage because its policy was flawed. It
followed a policy of negotiating with Muslim communal leaders first in 1916 and then in 1919-20
instead of expanding its base among Muslims. This had many negative effects - (a) It gave
legitimacy to Muslim communal leaders' claims of 'representing Muslims'. (b) It made life tough
for Muslim leaders inside Congress as they lost the ground of their existence to the communal
leaders. (c) It accepted the notion that there were things such as 'Muslim interests' and 'Hindu
4. Hindu communalism also began to grow and it was used as a means of justification by Muslim
communalism. Chicken and egg problem. Both used each other to justify that the interests of
two communities were divergent. Hindu Mahasabha was founded in 1915 and RSS in 1925.
There was a 'crisis of unity' after the NCM.
1. Communal riots broke out after the end of the khilafat and the NCM. Issues like cow and music
before the mosque became the issues of the riots. The 1926 elections were fought openly on
communal issues. There was not a single muslim congress candidate in Bengal. Elsewhere all
congress muslim candidates lost. The majority of elected congressmen were pro hindu
sympathizers. The uncomfortable association of the local congress leaders with hindu
mahasabha also complicated the situation. Naturally in such situation communal institutions of
both communities gained following. Even Dr. Kitchlew for whom Jalliawalah happened became
a hard core communalist. Shaukat Ali in 1929 observed that congress had become a hindu
2. Within ML as well there were issues between the supporters of communal electorates and the
Additional factors

1. Swadesi & Boycott Movements: These were immensely powerful movements and to counter
this, government had to form ML and encourage separatist elements.
2. Congress' Policy: It was bound to fail as - (a) By negotiating with communal leaders, Congress
gave them political space and legitimacy. (b) It accepted notions of 'communal interests'. (c) It
made life difficult for secular Muslim leaders. (d) When one set of demands were fulfilled, other
more radical communal demands came up - either from new leaders or from the same ones.
This led to progressively increasing communalism and even the liberal communalists were
forced to become radical to save their careers.
Phase 3: Interests are conflicting and incompatible (1937 onwards)
Nature & Character
1. Idea of a separate state was propounded in 1916 by Abdul Sattar while participating in 2nd
Comintern @ Moscow. In 1924, Lala Lajpat Rai echoed separate state theory. In 1930, @
Allahabad session of ML, Mohd. Iqbal proposed a separate state in NW parts of the country. In
1933, Rahmat Ali proposed Pakistan. It was @ Karachi meeting of the Sind branch of ML
presided over by Jinnah that a resolution was passed which mentioned the need for 'political
self determination of the 2 nations' and asked ML to think of appropriate measures to realize it.
This was the 1st official declaration of the 2 nation theory by ML. Some commies however
argued that this was not separation yet and it merely signified muslims becoming a 'nation'
from a 'minority' and thus any development in India must take consent of the muslim nation
as well.
2. But still none of the important leaders of ML supported the 2 nation theory including Jinnah.
Only after ML lost the 1937 elections and faced an existential threat that it began to cry 'Islam in
danger' and 'Pakistan'.
3. The 1937 elections were fought by ML largely on a liberal agenda which resembled INC's. On
the other hand the Krishak Praja Party of Fazlul Haq in Bengal fought the election on class
issues by rallying lower class muslims and low caste hindu peasants. In Punjab Sikandar Hayat
too formed a coalition of Hindu and Muslim upper peasant elements and won. ML had no issue
left since its demand for communal electorates had been fulfilled. So it merely wanted more
reservations and to protect 'Muslim interests'. In the elections, it fared badly. It got only 4.4% of
the Muslim votes and only 110/485 seats reserved for Muslims. Congress ditched ML.
4. After the defeat and facing existential threat, it took resort to extremism. It came up with a
series of fabricated reports telling tales of oppressions of Muslims in INC ruled states and took
resort to communal riots. Of course, policy of INC to tackle communalism also has to be
blamed since it never made a serious effort to reach out to Muslim masses. It always followed a
policy of negotiating with communal Muslim leaders. This not only gave these leaders
legitimacy but also discouraged Muslim leaders inside Congress.
5. Communalism now became increasingly radical, mass based and violent. The reactionary
elements in the society like zamindars increasingly turned to communalism for the defense of
their interests.
Additional Factors
1. Existential threat to reactionary elements: The CDM and Congress governments had
considerably strengthened INM and now the zamindars couldn't justify defending their interests
plainly. So they took recourse to communalism to protect their interests.
2. Exhaustion of other sources of division: Other division lines like caste, region, leftist-rightist
ideology had been defeated by the INM. So took gave their full support to communalism.
3. Nature of communalism itself and Congress' mistakes: Appeasement of communalism leads to
its radicalization inevitably. By the Communal Award of 1932 and GoI Act of 1935 almost all
major demands of communalists had been accepted. So they resorted to something more
radical to save their careers. Congress was finally realizing its mistake and pushing out
communalists and also launching a mass contact program among Muslims under JLN but it
was already too late.
Logic of communalism - Jinnah a case study
Nationalist --> Communal Nationalist --> Liberal Communalist --> Radical Communalist.
1. Jinnah was one of the most secular Muslim leaders earlier on. His first step towards
communalism was taken perhaps unintentionally when he entered legislature on a Muslim
electorate seat. Then in 1913 he joined Muslim league and became a communal nationalist. He
still opposed communal electorates but increasingly spoke on behalf of 'Muslim interests'.
2. In 1919-20 when Congress took a turn towards mass movements, liberals like Jinnah faced the
threat of political end. So he turned to communal politics and became a liberal communalist. He
revived ML in 1924. He raised demands on 'protecting Muslim interests' and the strategy
worked well until CDM.
3. In this phase he tried to develop Muslims into vote banks i.e. they should organize themselves
as one unit and press for their demands @ all forums. Gradually he kept on surrendering to
more radical demands. By 1937 elections, all his demands were fulfilled and he fought on a
liberal ideology.
4. Facing existential threat after the elections, he unleashed Pakistan. In Hindus, communal
leaders like Madan Mohan Malviya retired from active politics after 1937 but their place was
taken over by fascist communalists like Gowalikar.
5. Congress leaders couldn't have negotiated with him because he insisted that Congress
declared itself a Hindu organization.
Hindu Mahasabha
1. In 1909, Punjab Hindu Sabha was founded and its leaders focused their anger on Congress for
appeasing Muslims and sacrificing 'Hindu interests'.
2. In 1915, HM was founded under the leadership of Maharaja of Kasimbazar.
3. By 1937, its place was taken over by RSS and they evens supported fascist Germany and Italy.
Post-War Scenario in India
1. legitimacy was gone. When the leaders came out of the jail they expected to find demoralized
people. But they found jubilated masses. Freedom was in the air and everybody could sense it.
2. Labor party had come to power in . It wanted to resolve the issue at the earliest so ban on
Congress was revoked, elections were held and Congress was invited for the talks. The most
significant part of the elections was that it mobilized people against - the elections were to
prove end of legitimacy in India. Nationalist issues were @ the forefront in the campaigning.
Main issues were reopening cases of repressions during QIM and enquiries, INA trials.
Why there was a dissent in pillars of rule - bureaucracy, police and military
1. QIM had completely undermined the legitimacy. Post war international scenario,
government and strength of nationalist movement had convinced days of rule in India were
limited and power would go in the hands of Congress. So bureaucracy chose to support their
new masters.
2. The elections of 1945 were fought on the issues of reopening cases of official excesses during
QIM! Nothing can be worse for the morale of bureaucracy. The government failed to check
such speeches of enquiries.
3. INA trials brought out the sympathies of military with INA men in open. Military personnel and
bureaucrats openly took part in the meetings in support of INA men and even donated.
Debate: Why did finally quit? Why did Congress accept partition?
(a) Colonial version
1. It was fulfillment of long term promise of granting India self-government.
2. Partition was unfortunate and happened because the 2 communities failed to arrive at any
mutually acceptable conclusion on how to transfer power.
(b) Communist version
1. left India because of the uprisings and radical action in 1945-46.
2. Bourgeoisie Congress frightened of a mass uprising struck a deal with and agreed to partition
to grab power quickly.
(c) Nationalist version
1. Since the beginning Congress had a 2 fold task - (a) to mobilize various communities against
the colonial rule and to exert pressure on . (b) to unite all communities sufficiently into a
nation. While it succeeded in the first one and united them sufficiently to exert pressure on ,
they failed in the latter task and couldn't weld them into a nation.
2. Prove that the reforms of 1909, 1919, 1935 were not a means of delegation of power to Indians
with the objective of self government but was to maintain the essentials of rule in India. Even
in 1950s the were thinking of means to consolidate their hold over other colonies in Africa and
3. The growing pitch of nationalism and defiant mood in the country had made rule almost
impossible by the end. Even the strongholds of rule - the loyalists, the bureaucracy and the
military were flinching. The beliefs that were mai baaps of India and they were invincible were
4. had been weakened considerably and the cold war international politics couldn't give them a
chance to continue their rule.
5. were losing the economic control of India. From 30s, London had little control over the
economic policies of GoI, protective tariffs had been imposed, India became a creditor from a
debtor to ( owed India 1.3 bio now), had to pay for the use of Indian army now, empire
in other parts of the world was shaky so strategic defence argument also didn't work. India was
no longer her imperial asset, rather had become a source of weakness. And this situation arose
due to strength of the nationalist movement and not by any designs. Even though Labor party
had Indian independence on its manifesto since 1935, after coming to the power they turned
out to be remarkably unradical in their approach. But India by now was beyond manageable for
6. strategy was that of force and conciliation i.e. carrot and stick. After Cripps mission and Quit
India, there was no room for further reforms and only thing they could negotiate was on how to
transfer the power. A policy of suppression couldn't have been carried on for perpetuity.
7. Congress accepted partition because it had failed and had to accept what people wanted. The
interim government had failed. Direct Action and communal riots could be countered only by an
early transfer of full power. Also the balkanization of the country had to be prevented. Gandhiji
in his prayer meeting said, "you ask me why I accepted partition. I accepted it because you
wanted it."
Whatever pre war tendencies may have existed, the pattern of post war decolonialisation was
impacted by the war.
1. The QIM and its brutal repression ruptured the relationship between the and the people and
lay hollow their claim of being mai baaps. The Bengal famine, the war time food security, INA
question had eroded the moral legitimacy of the Raj.
2. Then there were international realities of cold war. Also were losing the economic control of

India response to British rule
Revolt of 1857
The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was not one rebellion, it was many.

1. Colonial historians have emphasized that the various players in the revolt had their own
grievances and shared nothing in common except perhaps a suspicion of the for allegedly
destroying their religion.
It was primarily a mutiny, the civilian unrest being a secondary phenomenon which happened as the
unruly elements took advantage of the breakdown of law and order.

Perhaps the only common trait that pervaded all the layers of the society was a suspicion of rule,
allegedly threatening their religion.

There is a widespread agreement that it was something more than a sepoy mutiny, but something
less than a national revolt.
1. It was not national because the popular character of the revolt was limited to 'Upper' India alone
and the regions and groups which had benefitted from the raj remained loyal as they
had material interests in the new order, and often a deep, ideological commitment to the new
ideas. The Punjabi princes hated the Hindustani soldiers and shuddered at the thought of the
resurrection of the Mughal empire. On the other hand those who had rebelled had various
motives which were not always connected to any specific grievance against .
2. This so called 'agreement' has been widely questioned in recent years. It can hardly be denied
that there was no concept of Indian nation in the modern sense among the rebels of 1857.
Peasant actions too were local affairs. Yet unlike the previous revolts there was now a greater
interconnection across the territories and rebels from one area frequently tried to help those in
the other. The common distaste for was in no way limited to merely an alleged attempt to
destroying their religion, it manifested in every sphere of their lives. All of them wanted to go
back to the pre-colonial state which was that of a decentralized Mughal empire. Thus if Laxmi
bai was fighting for Jhansi it can't be said that her cause was aloof from that of Nana Saheb.
Both of them had the same aim. Similarly the aim of the taluqdars, the peasants etc. all
coincided with restoration.
This loyalty, it may be true, springs nearer from the head than from the heart.
1. This is in reference to the loyalty of the Bengali intelligentsia.
Was it an elitist revolt?
1. Some historians think that during the revolt the feudal elements were the decision makers and
much of the revolt was determined and shaped by them for it was only they who could give the
direction to the revolt (being the natural leaders of the people).
2. But this position obviously is incorrect and trivializes the role of the masses. So far as the
feudal elements are concerned, in many cases, they were reluctant to give leadership (Bahadur
Shah, Nana Saheb, Laxmi Bai) and had to be pressurized. Even when they gave leadership as
in the case of Bahadur Shah the actual operations were planned and carried out by a military
council comprising the soldiers as well. In many cases these feudal lords were the first ones to
compromise and the revolt went on even after that.
3. Similarly in case of taluqdars, even though they were the leaders invariably, many of them were
turncoats or never supported. The peasants had to force them in many cases to provide
leadership (because this was the state system back then, there was no concept of ordinary
people providing leadership).
4. Above all the main initiatives came from sepoys. Almost everywhere rebel action was preceded
by panchayats or open gatherings of the rebels.
The annexation of Oudh shook the loyalty of these sepoys, as it was for them an ultimate proof of
untrustworthiness of the .
1. Mention the caste policies of followed wrt the army. Mention the economic exploitation.
Bound by ties of kinship and feudal loyalty, the villagers were happy to acknowledge the claims of
their lords and joined hands against their common enemy, the .
1. The in their settlement in Oudh and NW provinces had disregarded all the traditional rights of
the taluqdars as they made settlements with the actual occupiers of the land or the village
bodies. It was hoped that the move would win the loyalty of the peasants and get rid of the
unwanted and unproductive intermediaries. This left the taluqdars no better than ordinary
tenants. So they had a natural cause to revolt.
2. The peasants joined the rebellion because they too were hit hard by the high revenue demands
of the company. The ownership rights were of no avail precisely due to this reason and they too
had their own cause to fight the and not just out of sense of loyalty to their erstwhile 'lords'.
Individual Episodes
1. Lucknow Pact: It was issued by rebels in Lucknow underlying the reasons for rebelling - had
endangered their religion, lives and property.
2. Bakth Khan: He fought in Rai Barelli and then took his forces to Delhi where he was appointed
commander-in-chief of the rebel forces.
3. Tantia Tope: He was betrayed by a zamindar friend Man Singh @ Narwar and hanged in April
1858 in Shivpuri.
4. Maulvi Ahmedullah: He commanded rebel forces in Faizabad.
5. Rajputana: Man Singh of Jodhpur & Swarup Singh of Udaipur participated in it.
Nature & Character
1. Unplanned vs Planned Controversy: Some historians have put forth the view that the revolt was
planned in London in 1856 between the advisors to Nana Sahib and Hazrat Mahal. They also
point out that its quick spread, lotus flowers and chapatti codes prove its planned character. But
in reality, the made every effort to prove the conspiracy theory so that Bahadur Shah Zaffer
could be charged for sedition and killed so as to devoid the only rally point of the Indians. But
they couldn't even prove these in courts. Bahadur shah himself was surprised and accepted
the leadership after lot of persuasion.
2. Mutiny vs Popular Revolt Controversy: In reality, it began as a mutiny but turned into a popular
revolt. This is evident from the participating masses as well as those who were persecuted later
3. Reactionary: They wanted to turn the clock back and go back to pre- setup.
4. Anti-colonial, anti-.
5. First of its kind: It wasn't the first revolt, but it was first of its kind. The earlier revolts were
localized revolts but this one was big - in spread as well as social composition. In terms of
challenge posed, rule ceased to exist for some time. In terms of repression, it was
unprecedented as well.
6. Though the concept of nation was absent and leaders lacked the clear sense and were fighting
for personal gains, some actions show that a vague sense of belonging was there. It was not
merely parochial and personal but a greater cause was there as well.
1. Rohillakhand, Doab, Oudh, Allahbad, Bihar, Rajasthan were the maximum affected areas. The
mutiny mainly affected the Bengal army, the Madras and the Bombay regiments remained
quiet, while the Punjabi and the Gurkha regiments actually helped to suppress the revolt. The
maximum number of Indian sepoys were in Bengal regiment and if we look at overall numbers,
~ 50% of the Indian sepoys had revolted.
2. The presence in the Bengal army was also minimal. It also came from the high caste
background and most of them were recruited from the peasant families of Oudh.
Causes of Failure
1. Reactionary attitude: This was the reason it always remained weak. People with personal
grudge fought. Intelligentsia stayed away.
2. Lack of awakening: Thats why people in other parts of the country didn't participate. Even in
revolt areas, not everybody supported it. Until then the state system was people have nothing
to do with politics or state except for paying taxes. People were tied with local loyalties.
3. Violent character: So it could never have been a mass phenomenon.
4. won as they had committed unlimited amount of resources to the cause while rebels had
limited resources only.
5. Rebels showed a remarkable centripetal impulse to congregate at Delhi which prevented the
rebellion from spreading as much as it could. The extremely localized nature of the rebellion
helped in quelling it with ease.
Was 1858 a great divide?
What is more important, the earlier reformist zeal of a self-confident Victorian liberalism now
evidently took a back seat, as many believed now that Indians were beyond reform.

1. Company vs crown.
2. Policy of territorial expansion abandoned.
3. Before 1858, the trend was centralization. By Charter Act of 1833, the legislative powers of the
4. provinces were taken away and vested in Bengal. After 1858, the trend was decentralization
albeit a slow one.
5. policy towards the native states changed from subordinated isolation to subordinated union.
1. Number of soldiers increased, key posts reserved, caste and regional divisions in army,
martial and non-martial races.
1. Policy of direct and open exploitation gave way to indirect and silent economic exploitation.
Earlier one way free trade policy was followed; now finance capitalism was followed and
amount of home charges was increased substantially.
2. Policy towards landlords changed from being anti to friends.
1. The social policy was changed from liberal and progressive to regressive.
2. Racial discrimination increased further due to the fight.
Rise of Indian Nationalism
Factors Responsible
+ve Impact of Rule
1. Political and administrative unity. Uniform laws.
2. Modern press, railways, post.
3. Modern education and ideals.
4. Emergence of educated middle class.
-ve Impact of Rule
1. Isolation of Indian villages was broken. What happened in one country began to affect others.
2. People saw their problems had same root.
3. The unpopular actions like Vernacular Press Act of 1778, Ilbert Bill controversy (the effeminate
babu was not fit to preside over the trial of a manly not could he be expected to honor the
dignity of white women as they did not respect women in their own household), Lex Loci Act
(which gave christian converts the right to inherit their ancestral property), imposition of income
tax in 1860 and raising its rate subsequently, Indian Council Act 1861, government proposal to
cut back on funding of higher education in Bengal (and instead to route the funds into
elementary education - mai baap politics), reducing the maximum age for civil services exam
from 21 to 19 and refusing to conduct a simultaneous exam in india, Arms Act of 1878 (which
introduced a licensing system but excluded the Eurasians and Europeans from the need of any
license), Inland Emigration Act (which condemned the plantation workers to serfdom) worked to
bring out the true nature of rule in India and also helped in rallying Indians.
Socio-Cultural Reform Movements
1. Highlighted the commonalities in Indian culture and worked to eliminate the divisive forces.
2. They were egalitarian, humanist, rationalist, modern.
3. Nationalist historians instilled sense of pride.
Project Revival
The purpose of the social reform movements in 19th century was to 'purify' and 'rediscover' an Indian
civilization that would be conformant with the European ideals of rationalism, empiricism,
monotheism and individualism. Thus the movement was meant to fashion a 'modern' national culture
that is nevertheless not Western.
1. The reformers, by a re-interpretion, tried to show that the Indian culture was not inferior in any
way to the culture and in fact on one count vis spiritualism even surpassed it. This sense of
spiritual essence of the Indian society provided the ideological foundation of the modern Indian
The modern revivalistic project created an identity that was inclusive as well as exclusive at the
same time.

1. However this revivalistic project had its own drawbacks like uncritically accepting all practices
of the past, bypassing the long Muslim rule, presenting the golden and the dark ages etc.
Reform vs Revival
1. The reform movements in which a number of moderates too were involved attempted to
change Hindu institutions and social customs to bring it in conformity with the post
enlightenment western ideas. Thus a National Social Conference was setup in 1887 as an
adjunct body to congress. These movements were thus inspired by the western ideals as well
as represented a response to the western critique of hindu civilization and the westernizing
2. It was this second aspect of the reform movements which led to the revivalist project while the
former aspect was made secondary to the second.
Nationalism and reformism seemed to be contradictory ideas.
1. To many Indians the relentless western critique of the hindu civilization and the growing
pressure (with state patronage) of the westernizing forces meant a surrender to the colonial
rule (as they viewed it as being sponsored by the colonial rule). Hinduism became an identity,
a symbol of sovereignty and since the reform movements were anchored in the western ideals
and criticized hindu practices they were viewed with suspicion by a section of nationalists.
2. This led to the growth of anti-reformism based on a sense of pride on everything Hindu (and
thus also sanctioned the theory of a glorious hindu past marked by a degeneration under
muslims and threatened by ). And this revivalism thus acquired a strong political overtone (as
it became a weapon to resist colonial ideology).
The educated middle class in the 19th century often found the domain of reason to be oppressive,
as it implied the historical necessity of the 'civilizing' colonial rule.
1. Mention the role of reform movements, how their inspiration was drawn from ideals, and how
their activities sought to change hinduism. But the same social reforms were also being
sponsored by and thus the reformist movements came to be associated as westernizing
force. Thus began the revivalist reaction.
2. This reaction sought to legitimize any and every defence of Hindu traditions. They began to
invent precedents in ancient India for every modern scientific discovery of the west. The whole
propaganda thus took an active form. This was accompanied by works in literature and other
arts (although more sophisticated sometime as those of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee who wrote
Anand Math, portrayed krishna as the modern politician and a nation builder, invented the icon
of mother goddess for the nation and wrote Bande Mataram). Behramji Malabari in 1884 in
Maharashtra wrote a 'note' on child marriage leading to enforced widowhood which led to a
countrywide debate on the issue. Rukhma Bai a 22 year old widow was taken to Bombay high
court by her husband because she refused to recognize his conjugal rights out of a child
marriage. In this he was supported by the hindu revivalists even though reformers like Malabari
tried to defend Rukhma Bai. The hindu revivalists also opposed the Age of Consent Act, 1891
for it was being imposed by a colonial government while incidentally they had no hesitation in
taking resource to the same colonial government to impose their viewpoint in the Rukhma Bai
3. In these circumstances (growing revivalist tendencies) Ramkrishna Paramhansa and
Vivekananda captured the imagination of the nationalist masses.
While Brahmo Samaj's appeal was to intellect, that of Ramkrishna was to the mind and emotions.
1. Unlike the brahmo samajists, he was a man who was a saint and was completely untouched by
any westernizing influence. He offered simplistic interpretations of Hinduism, often based in the
ancient Indian practice of bhakti which had the same effect of conforming to some of the
reformist ideals and doing so without succumbing to any of the westernizing forces. Thus
casteism should not be followed because in conformance with the ancient Indian practice of
bhakti all are children of god and he will not make any such distinction among his bhaktas and
not because such a thing was inhumane as per the post enlightenment thinking of the west.
Thus the humanism ideal of enlightenment was incorporated by Ramkrishna as 'the best way to
serve god is to serve his poor children'.
2. His teachings also contained an open rejection of the values imposed by the western education
and the westernized life and jobs Thus he became immensely popular with the middle class
western educated bengalees as his teachings conformed with their ideals and yet were based
on a completely indigenous interpretation which in no way undermined the prestige of their
To describe Ramkrishna as a revivalist is to ignore the 'universalistic' aspects of his teachings.
1. He was not exactly a revivalist for he did include a form of assimilation of religious ideas. He
thus argued that there are various ways to achieve god but one must stick to his own path. He
argued that assimilation was the essence of Hinduism. He advocated social service and didn't
remain confined to the elites and in fact criticized the other social movements for being too
Hindu revivalist project selectively retained the teachings of Vivekananda and Ramkrishna.
1. His evocation of Hindu glory mixed with patriotism and restoration of Hindu masculinity had a
tremendous influence on the popular mind. While this aspect of his teachings was highlighted,
his call to change some of the evil hindu practices was ignored. His philanthropic activities were
never emulated and his criticism of brahmanical and gender oppression was scarcely ever
taken seriously.
The term revivalism itself remained problematic as it did not mean resurrecting an old forgotten past,
but reconstituting the past in the service of the present.
1. Many of the practices being 'revived' were actually already being practiced. Many others were
simply conveniently forgotten. An example is Ramkrishna's teachings.
Singh Sabha Movement
1. It was a sikh revivalist movement as it sought to revive the 'glory of the 17th and 18th century'
Sikh. It spread due to the emergence of an elite sikh class and also a sense of exclusion of
sikhs from education and administrative posts. One of its aim was to restore the control of the
holy places.
The colonial state, therefore could confidently claim itself to be the real champion of the interests of
the masses.
1. Between 1892 and 1909, about 20% of the delegates attending congress sessions were
landlords, 40% were lawyers and 15% were traders. Among the lawyers and traders as well
many were related to landlord families or had landed interests. The congress could therefore
never take a coherent logical stand on peasant question. They demanded extension of PS in
the interest of zamindars, opposed a survey on measuring the extent of land holdings and their
values in 1893-94 which could have protected the peasants from the manipulations of the
zamindars, its leaders opposed the Bengal Tenancy Act 1885.
2. The representation of the pro commercial classes also prevented congress from addressing the
worker question. Thus they opposed the Factory Acts of 1881 and 1891, Mining Bill and other
labor reforms. It was the pro landlord and pro bourgeoisie policies of the congress that allowed
the colonial government to project itself as the real protector of the poor.
3. Further they were high caste hindu leaders and couldn't overcome their social conservatism
while the government on the recommendation of the Indian Education Commission,1882
even set aside special funds for the education of the backward classes. It were the colonial
education, christian missionary philanthropy and their own initiative which inspired their
awakening and guided it into an anti-brahman movement and not anti- (it may be noted that
even now the nationalists did nothing to enlist their support and it had to wait until the arrival of
the mahatma). They looked at the emerging nationalist movement as a conspiracy to establish
Brahmanic hegemony over the new institutions and viewed the colonial government as their
patron and liberator. By trying to portray Hinduism as a religion of a book, they also tended to
ignore the numerous folk cultures and other cultures.
4. Moreover they alienated the Muslims in their project revival and in their failure to criticize the
cow riots. After the 1891 Nagpur session of congress, the Gaurakshini samiti held its meeting
within the congress pavilion and was attended by a large number of congress leaders and thus
only increasing muslim misgivings. Then they also opposed the Age of Consent Act, 1891. In
their agitation also they never tried to enlist the support of the masses.
Thus the nationalism, which grew in strength in the late 19th century, was beset with contradictions
from the very beginning.
Politics of Associations
1. Earlier Raja RM Roy had carried out a modest agitation for such demands as separation of
powers, trial by jury, indianization of services and freedom of press. 1st political body to be
found was Bengal Bhasa Prakashika Sabha in 1836. In 1838 Zamindar Association was formed
which was the first example of a constitutional lobbying group. In 1841 Desh-hitashini sabha
was founded which promoted the ideas of Young Bengal movement. Gopal Harideshmukh was
first to plead swadesi, Bhaskar Pandurang Tarkhadkar was first to write militant criticism of
colonial rule.
2. A series of associations had been founded. But these were too narrow in their thought and
objectives and had outlived their utility. For example, the Indian Association of Bengal had
increasingly associated itself with zamindars. Unlike its predecessor Landholders' Society
which had many non official -Indians in it, the Indian Association had Indian members only.
It was created on the eve of the renewal of the charter of the company to send petitions to the
parliament to express the demands of the Indian subjects. It initially tried to coordinate the
efforts of the other presidencies as well but failed (mainly ego clashes). They demanded
greater participation in the administration, more efficient administration, protested against
legislations unresponsive to the feelings of the people, high taxation, salt and opium
monopolies and neglect of education and public works. Obviously parliament paid no heed.
3. On the failure of the Indian Association to create a national level representation, the Bombay
Association (D Nairoji, Fardoonji) and Madras Native Association came up but they too had
become reactionary. Only the Poona Sarvjanik Sabha continued as before. But they had
created a basic level of awakening in the country. So need was there for a more radical and
national level organization.
4. Thus the Indian Association was founded in 1876 by SN Bannerjea and Anand Mohan Bose
which was free from the landed plutocracy and represented the middle class. IN the same year
the Bombay Association was given a new life when Dadabhai Nairoji and Ferdunji joined it but
the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha remained the main organization. In 1884 Madras Mahajan Sabha
was founded by S Iyer, PA Charlu and C Raghavchari. In 1885 Bombay Presidency
Association was found by PS Mehta, B Tyabji. These new associations demanded separation
of power, indianization of legislative council (50% elected representation from local bodies,
chambers of commerce, universities etc.) and bureaucracy, 2 Indian members in the GG's
executive council, reduction of military expenditure and home charges, extension of PS to other
parts of India (in the support of zamindar group). Where they differed from the old politics
(zamindar associations) was that they were demanding a share in running their own country.
The older ways survived in various forms.
1. Despite the founding of the new associations which were led by middle class intellectuals, the
older lobby of landlords survived in the form of dals which were dominated by absentee
landlords. They presided over an informal but effective social network of the landed gentry
across Bengal and took position in support of or in opposition to many public issues depending
upon their interests. In united provinces too the older forces were channeled by the caste and
communal associations.
2. Moreover the new middle class too had land connections of its own it was only in Bombay that
an industrialist class could come up. This is revealed in their continuous raising of zamindari
interests and opposition to the Bengal Tenancy Bill, 1885.
Safety Valve Hypothesis
1. The theory was put forward by Lala Lajpat Rai in 1916. Before him WC Bonnerjee had put
forward a similar view that 'Congress was the brainchild of Dufferin'. He also cited Hume's
biography by William Wedderburn written in 1913.
2. According to this, in 1878, Hume came across 30k secret reports while in Shimla. He also had
a large number of mysterious godmen who used to keep him informed.
3. But Lala was an extremist and he was biased against congress. Hume was i revenue
department. How can he access files meant for home department? +
True Character
1. A series of associations had been founded. But these were too narrow in their thought and
objectives and had outlived their utility. For example, the Indian Association of Bengal had
increasingly associated itself with zamindars. Similarly the Bombay Association and Madras
Native Association had become reactionary. Only the Poona Sarvjanik Sabha continued as
before. But they had created a basic level of awakening in the country. So need was there for a
more radical and national level organization.
2. The press was growing and spreading nationalist ideas and integrating people all over the
3. A series of campaigning against unpopular acts of government had already given experience
and confidence to Indian leaders. Vernacular press act, arms act, afghan war, land revenue,
ilbert bill.
4. The new leaders and press were already pressing for the cause of a national level political
Programme and Objectives of Early Congress
The Indian patriots of the late 19th century were not questioning the imperial connection. But Her
Majesty's loyal subjects were also gradually turning into conscious citizens, demanding their rights
from an authoritarian colonial state.
1. Anti-Colonial Rule: The early demands were mild - like reduction of LR, reduction in war
expenses, more education, health, Indians in civil services etc. But these were demands which
ran contrary to the very nature of a colonial rule and couldn't have been fulfilled.
2. Nation Building: This process had just started in India, so they had to continue it. This had to be
done by emphasizing common nature of problems, promoting unity across regions, religions,
mobilizing public opinion and raising issues of national importance.
3. Create a common political platform: Where workers from different parts of India could gather
and conduct their activities to educate and mobilize people all over India. To give a proper
organizational structure and leaders for them to work around.
4. Guiding the INM on modern path: Changing concepts, bringing modern ideas to Indian public,
to draw them into politics. New politics meant involvement of people, so to mobilize public
5. Expose the true nature of rule: This would enable people to focus and channelize their
opinions. They believed Indian poverty is not God sent but man made due to actions of .
Economic development means development of modern industries. The economic development
in India should happen with Indian capital only and not foreign capital. They disagreed that
rule was good for India because it had established law and order. They said the law and order
only means that could bleed India dry with minimal resistance. Development of railways etc.
served the same purpose. The policy of free trade was ruining Indian industry.
Drain of Wealth
The economic theory by linking Indian poverty to colonialism was trying to corrode the moral
authority of colonial rule, and also perhaps by implication challenging the whole paternalistic
imperialism or benevolence.

Factors Responsible
1. Rise of as political power - diwani and nizamat rights.
2. Colonial nature of rule.
3. Return of officials to home.
1. Indian Investments: The used Indian revenues to buy Indian products and export to . So
India got nothing for the exports.
2. Home Charges: Expenses of the India office in London including salaries, pensions (expenses
of company's London establishment till 1858 and then by the office of SoS for India in
London); dividends / charges paid by the company; interest on loans taken by GoI (earlier
company); pensions. The amount of home charges was 10% of total revenues of GoI in 1858,
24% in 1900, 40% in 1921.
3. Wars fought by outside India: They had no relation to India but India had to pay for it.
4. Excessive employment of : They came expensive and took away all wealth to .
5. Capital: The profits went back as dividends / interest.
6. Coercive Practices: Used to coerce Indians into labor and buy low, sell high.
Critique of DoW Theory (Curzon et al)
1. They said there was an inflow of bullion into India. But bullion as a commodity can be
2. They said arranged loans for India @ concessional rates. But did India ask for it?
3. Railways brought benefit to India. But it was colonial in character.
Moderates (1885-1905)
Nature & Character
1. They were young and more radical compared to the previous generation who were too narrow
2. They were liberals believing in constitutional means and processes. They protested against the
colonial element in the rule. They had full faith in sense of justice. They were totally non-
violent. And they considered as inviolable and hence the faith in methods.
3. They were democratic in thought and even structured INC on democratic lines. They were
assimilatory, secular, egalitarian and tolerant. Yet they were not always forthright enough to
rise above their sectarian interests despite claiming to do so.
4. Their social outlook was also progressive. They represented the modern enlightened chain of
thought in India. They supported the Age of Consent Act of 1892.
5. They were the western educated intelligentsia of India. They were journalists. They belonged to
upper middle class and were elitist. They had no faith in efficacy of masses. Their social
support base was urban, yet their issues and activities were pan-Indian in character and were
sympathetic towards peasants.
6. They were primarily guided by utilitarian theories, the administration should be efficient, the
government should be guided by expediency and not by any traditionalism or moral laws.
The moderates had wanted the Indian nation to develop along a modernistic course; but modernism
being a western concept, this meant an advocacy of the continuation of the colonial rule.

Thus their immediate demand was not for full self government or democracy, they demanded
democratic rights only for the educated members of the Indian society who would substitute for the
1. They wanted abolition of the India Council which prevented the SoS from initiating liberal
policies in India. They also wanted to broaden the Indian participation in the central and the
provincial legislative councils by having 50% members elected not by the general public, but by
local bodies, chambers of commerce, universities etc. They wanted 2 Indian members in the
GG's executive council and 1 such member in each of the provincial council.
2. The budget should be referred to the legislature which should have the right to discuss it,
amend it and vote on it. They also wanted the right to appeal directly to the parliament
against the GoI.
Limitations of Moderates
1. Between 1892 and 1909, about 20% of the delegates attending congress sessions were
landlords, 40% were lawyers and 15% were traders. Among the lawyers and traders as well
many were related to landlord families or had landed interests. The congress could therefore
never take a coherent logical stand on peasant question. They demanded extension of PS in
the interest of zamindars, opposed a survey on measuring the extent of land holdings and their
values in 1893-94 which could have protected the peasants from the manipulations of the
zamindars, its leaders opposed the Bengal Tenancy Act 1885.
2. The representation of the pro commercial classes also prevented congress from addressing the
worker question. Thus they opposed the Factory Acts of 1881 and 1891, Mining Bill and other
labor reforms. It was the pro landlord and pro bourgeoisie policies of the congress that allowed
the colonial government to project itself as the real protector of the poor.
3. Between 1892 and 1909, ~90% of the delegates attending congress sessions were hindus and
only 6.5% were muslims. Even in Hindus ~40% were brahmans and rest were upper caste
hindus. This led to social orthodoxy and lack of clear communal policies (even though in 1888
congress passed a rule that no decision will be taken which was opposed by an overwhelming
majority of any community and in 1889 in its resolution demanding reforms in legislature it
recommended proportional reservations for minorities). Muslim participation declined even
further after the 1883 communal riots and congress' silence on it. After the 1891 Nagpur
session of congress, the Gaurakshini samiti held its meeting within the congress pavilion and
was attended by a large number of congress leaders and thus only increasing muslim
misgivings. And no major initiative was launched by the congress to bring the muslim in its fold.
Successes of Moderates
1. Political reforms were taking place and Indian Councils Acts of 1892 and 1909 were passed.
2. Their economic critique and nation building activities + founding fathers of modern India in
many ways.
3. The Public Service Commission was setup in 1886. They succeeded in getting a resolution
introduced in parliament on holding civil services examination in India as well.
4. A Welby Commission was setup to look into the ways of better management of Indian
Extremists (1905-1919)
Political extremism in the late 19th century was not just a reaction to moderate failures; it drew its
inspiration and ideology from a cultural and intellectual movement that developed simultaneously
with and parallel to moderate politics of the Congress.

Nature & Character
1. Congress under the moderate leadership was being governed by an undemocratic . Despite
repeated attempts by Tilak no reforms were carried out. The congress was also financially
broke as the capitalists didn't contribute and the patronage of a few landed elements was never
sufficient. The social reformism of the moderates also went against popular orthodoxy. Then
came Curzon and he passed a string of unpopular acts including the Calcutta Municipal
(Amendment) Act, 1899 (which sought to reduce the number of the elected representatives in
it), the Indian Universities Act, 1904 (which placed Calcutta university under government
control) and the Indian Official Secrets (Amendment) Act, 1904 (which placed further
restrictions on press). His unpopular Calcutta university convocation address too stoked
2. They were more radical than moderates in their demands and means. They had no faith in
constitutional processes and resorted to agitations on streets, public speeches, fiery press
articles, traditional festivals, boycotts etc. Basically they sought to broaden the support base of
the INM.
3. They were non-violent but had sympathies with violent actors against . They themselves never
asked for violence neither openly supported it.
4. They demanded not constitutional reforms but home rule. They had no faith in sense of
5. Though they were generally progressive and secular in outlook, they often took recourse to
religion and reactionary elements to garner support. Their source of inspiration was past glory
of Indian culture. They opposed the Age of Consent Act, 1891.
6. Their support base was still urban, though it widened to include lower middle class as well. At
its height, it also entered villages to a limited extent.
Partition of Bengal
Partition Plan
1. East Bengal would have 18 mm Muslims & 12 mm Hindus. INC would oppose it thus Muslims
will feel that INC doesn't want to give them a Muslim majority province. W Bengal will have 17
mm Bengalis and 37 mm non-Bengalis. Also any measure to reduce the importance of Calcutta
would weaken the INM and Congress.
2. Had the partition been purely on administrative grounds then the government would have
accepted the alternative proposals offered by a number of civil servants suggesting more
logical partition plans based on linguistic division rather than religious division of the population.
But Curzon rejected all these proposals on political ground that linguistic unity would further
consolidate the position of the Bengalee politicians.
Response (1903-early 1905)
1. Sarkar (1973) has identified 4 major trends in Swadesi politics which ran more or less
simultaneously throughout - the moderate trend, the constructive swadesi, the political
extremism and the revolutionary terrorism. Initially the moderates held sway. They wrote in
press, speeches, public meetings assuming that the would be amenable to arguments. Some
of the largest public meetings were held in this period. They were trying to build public opinion
against the partition. They also tried to build opinion in and in parliament against the plan.
But when they failed to do so the movement widened into a call for the boycott of goods - led
by the moderate SN Banerjee himself. But despite the wider call, the strategy of the moderates
remained the same - they only sought to pressurize the parliament to secure an annulment of
the partition and couldn't conceptualize of boycott as a method for the development of national
economy and resistance.
2. As a reaction to the boycott, a new trend developed with the emphasis on self reliance and
many constructive projects to develop swadesi education and businesses were launched. The
difference from the political extremist version of swadesi and this constructive swadesi was that
the emphasis was on non political programmes and religious revivalism. Atmasakti became the
creed of Bengal. Arbitration courts were created and the Swadesh Bandhab Samiti settled over
500 cases.
3. But as it developed the political extremists began to argue that without political freedom no
atmasakti or self reliance was possible. And thus the movement took a new turn and became
wider than just Bengali sub nationalism. Now the goal changed from annulment of the partition
to swaraj.
In 1911 the Curzonian aim of weakening the Bengali politicians was achieved in a different way and
now with less resistance.
1. Also refer to the transfer of capital out of Calcutta to Delhi.
Swadesi Movement
Gandhi vs Swadesi - Swadesi was the 2nd failure of congress (1st was to keep muslims within its
1. Although the tools were similar like boycott of goods and institutions, development of their
indigenous alternatives, violation of unjust laws and agitation against excesses yet there were
important differences.
2. Swadesi also allowed for violent agitation in the face of excesses while Gandhi emphasized
completely on non violence.
3. Hindu religious revivalism was the main feature of swadesi while Gandhi had a universal
assimilatory philosophy. He too used religious idioms and songs but his was not a revivalist
tendency but referring to religious morality. His goal was a moral goal and he never defined
4. Swadesi failed in developing mass support as its leaders were not particularly keen to include
lower peasantry and lower castes in their fold. They were dominated by high caste hindus and
sometimes used coercive practices and social boycott etc. to enlist their support. Swadesi thus
failed to recognize and accommodate the social aspirations of lower classes. It was primarily
because of this failure of mass mobilization that the boycott movement failed to affect imports
into India.
5. Gandhi's swadesi was firmly based on Indian ideology whereas the earlier swadesi was on
borrowed ideology.
1. It began when it became obvious that moderate methods had failed and government will not
stop @ them. Spontaneous meetings and processions took place.
2. Mourning day was observed and rakhis tied. Picketing, strikes, boycotts, women, students,
Indian enterprises. It was pan-India and took place in other parts of India as well. Songs,
3. Corps of volunteers were setup to spread the message in villages as well.
(a) Social
1. Education: National Council of Education was setup comprising of leading nationalists.
Vernacular languages were promoted. Indian schools and colleges were setup to
accommodate expelled students.
2. Social Base: Usual suspects + class of zamindars. Instilled sense of self-sacrifice. Peasantry,
changed concept of modern politics!
3. It led to increased participation of workers in mainstream INM as well. For the first time, INM
began to turn pro-worker. Swadesi led to politicization of workers, their demands were no
longer immediate economic ones but now linked to national cause.
(b) Political
1. Emerging Trends: Transition to Gandhian methods could be seen in fragments. Mass
involvement, constructive work in villages, women, student, peaceful picketing, swadesi,
passive resistance.
(c) Cultural
1. Patriotic songs were composed which inspire till date. Folk music was influenced.
2. Vernacular languages got a boost.
3. Abanindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose sought to revive Indian style of painting and end
victorian domination.
Surat Split
The all India political alignments in 1906-07 could best be described as in a state of confusion.
1. The Bengali moderates cherished their connection with the more conservative Bombay group
but the local political compulsions in Bengal (swadesi was most active there and the pressure
of extremists was hardest there too) imposed upon them a more radical course. The Bombay
group, led by Mehta and Gokhle, couldn't appreciate their radical tendencies at all.
2. Among the non Bengali extremists, Lala and Tilak was clearly in favor of restraint and wanted
reconciliation between extremists and moderates. But other extremists were clearly against any
compromise and wanted to press further on.
3. The even bigger issue was how far to carry the radical programme @ Congress. INC embraced
swadesi in 1905 and swaraj in 1906 under the pressure of the extremists who got support from
Bengali moderates despite the machinations of Mehta. Now differences emerged over whether
to extend boycott to other things apart from goods as well and whether to extend it to other
parts of India as well. Mehta was against the retention of the 4 Calcutta resolutions (on swaraj,
swadesi, boycott and national education).
Home Rule Movement
Methods Used
1. Organization, associations, committee. Several committees of dedicated workers were formed -
6 by Tilak and 200 by AB.
2. Press was used. They published journals, used newspapers, distributed pamphlets in which
they clearly articulated their demands.
3. They used vernacular languages in their writings, speeches and promoted political education
and discussion.
4. Gradually its extremist tendencies were growing. After the arrest of HRM activists including AB,
Tilak began to talk of a passive resistance or civil disobedience movement. He sent out a
proposal in this regard to all provincial congress committees who wanted more time to launch it.
1. Swaraj no longer seditious, filled political vacuum etc.
2. Home rule leagues had good membership in areas like Gujarat, Sind, UP, Bihar which had
hitherto not participated to any appreciable extent in the mainstream INM.
3. Created a dedicated cadre for the nationalist cause. To play an important role in Rowlatt
Satyagraha and peasants' movements.
Revolutionary Extremism
Changing Character of REM
1. Growing Organization: In the beginning they were little organized, lacked clear understanding
of the rule in India. They were driven more by emotions and self sacrifice than by real world
considerations. In 1920s it turned more organized and pan-India. In 1940s, INA was formed
which was a highly organized effort.
2. Changing Methods: In the beginning, they followed the model of individual bravery and didn't try
to get any mass support. The Gadhar Party made attempt to involve the army into it. By the
time of Bhagat Singh, need was felt to involve the masses into the struggle and individual acts
merely became a means and not an end in themselves. INA was a proper organized army.
3. Growing Socialistic Influence: The impact of socialistic ideals gradually grew. Hindustan
Republican Association and HSRA were openly socialist in their leanings. INA was completely
4. Growing Secularism: The early REM took oath in the name of religion and were confined to
Hindus. But the groups in 1920s abandoned Hindu oaths and no longer excluded Muslims.
Impact of REM
1. On Princely States: They helped a lot in spreading the nationalist ideas in princely states as
they used to hide in these states after committing their acts.
2. They were egalitarian and secular in character.
Beginning Phase (1900s till 1920s)
Factors Responsible
1. Economic hardships faced by people during closing years of 19th century. There were massive
famines repeatedly.
2. Hindu revivalism - Vivekananda's emphasis on masculinity, akharas.
3. Failure of mainstream movement: The Swadesi and Boycott movements had aroused the
urban youth. The speeches of extremist leaders and slogan of swaraj had fired their
imagination. But the extremists failed to provide them any guidance from thereon and the youth
were forced to adopt a path of violence.
4. International factors like defeat of Italy at the hands of Ethiopia, Japan's victory over Russia and
methods of Irish revolutionaries and Russian nihilists encouraged them.
Nature & Character
1. They tried to follow the model of Irish militants and Russian nihilists instead of trying to organize
a mass revolt or an army mutiny. Their model was based upon leading by action.
2. They lacked proper understanding of the strength and character of rule.
3. They got active support of press and even had some dedicated newspapers. Important ones
were Jugantar and Abhinav Bharat.
4. They organized themselves into secret societies. Important ones were Anushilan Samiti and
5. They were also spread outside India.
6. They were Hindu biased as they took religious oaths and excluded Muslims.
Early Acts
1. In 1877, Basudeo Balwant Phadke gathered around him a small band of backward classes and
engaged them into dacoities to collect money for his plans of an armed revolt against .
2. In 1902 4 groups were formed. 1st one was Midnapur Society, 2nd was an akhara by Sarala
Ghosal in Calcutta, 3rd was Atmonnoti Samiti in Calcutta & 4th was Anushilan Samiti by Satish
Chandra Basu in Calcutta.
3. The 1st swadesi dacoity to collect funds was organized by Anushilan @ Rangpur (Barindra
Kumar Ghose, Prafulla Chaki, Hemchandra Qanungo). A bomb making factory was started in
Maniktala @ Calcutta. In 1907, an unsuccessful attempt was made on the life of Lieutenant
Governor of Bengal.
4. In 1908, Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose threw a bomb in a carriage believed to be carrying
an unpopular judge of Muzaffarpur.
5. In 1912, Rash Behari Bose and Sachin Sanyal made an attempt on life of Viceroy Lord
6. Jatin Mukerjee in Bengal tried to smuggle arms from Germany during WW1 but was
suppressed ruthlessly in a battle with police @ Balasore in Odisha.
Second Phase (1920s & 30s)
Factors Responsible
1. Failure of mainstream nationalist movement.
2. Socialistic ideals: Success of Russian revolution. Growing importance of worker class and trade
unions in India which they wanted to harness for the nationalist revolution.
Nature & Character
1. They aimed at creating mass revolutions now. They particularly wanted to target working class.
The individual acts were means to spread their propaganda and not ends in themselves.
2. They had close association with communist leaders, trade unions etc.
3. In some places like Bengal, the REM had close association with Congress. Their cadre
continued to work for INC while working for REM as well. This provided them cover. After the
death of CR Das, Bengal Congress leadership got divided into two - Yugantar teamed up with
JM Sengupta while Anushilan teamed up with SC Bose. They carried out a few attempts but
failed and stagnated.
4. Surya Sen led REM in Chittagong. They wanted to organize a rebellion, however small in scale,
to demonstrate that it was possible to challenge might with arms. So they carefully planned to
capture armory, seize its arms, cut off telegraph and railway lines to Chittagong and then fight
the invading force.
5. Women participated in large scale. They acted as messenger, provided shelter, took care of
arms and even fought.
6. They no longer took religious oaths and excluded Muslims.
1. The Chittagong armory raid fired the imagination of youth and REM activities reached their
peak from 1930-32.
2. The REM led by Bhagat Singh transformed the meaning of nationalist struggle. It no longer
meant end of imperialism only. It took heavy socialistic color. It now meant end of oppression of
man by man. Revolution was no longer associated with violence only.
Nature & Character
1. In some places like Bengal, the REM had close association with Congress. Their cadre
continued to work for INC while working for REM as well. This provided them cover. After the
death of CR Das, Bengal Congress leadership got divided into two - Yugantar teamed up with
JM Sengupta while Anushilan teamed up with SC Bose. They carried out a few attempts but
failed and stagnated.
2. Surya Sen led REM in Chittagong. His was a group attempt instead of individual. They wanted
to organize a rebellion, however small in scale, to demonstrate that it was possible to
challenge might with arms. So they carefully planned to capture armory, seize its arms, cut off
telegraph and railway lines to Chittagong and then fight the invading force.
3. Women participated in large scale. They acted as messenger, provided shelter, took care of
arms and even fought.
4. They no longer took religious oaths and excluded Muslims.
Benoy, Badal, Dinesh
1. They attacked the Writers' Building in Calcutta during the CDM and became heroes.
Punjab, UP, Bihar
Nature & Character
1. They shed their religious bias as they no longer took religious oaths and excluded Muslims.
2. Young women took part in large numbers as messengers, custodians, shelter providers as well
as fought with weapons.
3. They had heavy socialistic leanings. They wanted to use individual heroic acts to spread their
propaganda, specially among the working class and communists. They were working for an
organized armed rebellion.
4. They had a solid intellectual background behind them which was full of socialistic, republican
and modern ideas. The revolutionaries were well read and their leaders often took lectures to
spread their ideas.
5. By his end, Bhagat Singh had begun to believe in non-violent mass movements. Still he took
recourse to violent methods. (a) The changes happened quickly. They became slaves of their
past. Once they indulged in violence, built their career and name on it, they couldn't abandon
their organization. (b) To arouse the masses, they had to somehow spread their propaganda.
They had to differentiate themselves from Congress.
Gadhar Movement
Nature & Character / Significance
1. It was based in W Coast of US and had its base in Punjabi immigrants. The liberty of US made
it easier for them to carry it there.
2. They made good use of press. Various circulations like Free Hindustan, Gadar, Gadar di Gunj
were brought out. In Gadhar, they made good use of the economic critique theory of
3. They organized themselves into secret societies.
4. They worked to instigate Punjabis and the Indian army to revolt against .
5. They were secular, free of ethnic / regional biases. They had people of all religions, regions.
Rash Behari Bose, Barkatullah Khan. They condemned Punjabis for serving in army and
looked upon Muslims as brothers.
6. They were egalitarian and democratic in outlook. Their stated aim was to establish a republic in
free India.
7. They used press, speeches, tours, travels to India and contacts in the Army to instigate a
8. They lacked clear understanding of the true depth of rule in India, so were badly crushed.
9. They were international in outlook and kept themselves updated. The WW 1 and Komagatu
Maru ship incident triggered them to launch their revolt. They used to cooperate with other
international revolutionary extremists.
1. Raja Mahendra Pratap and Barkatullah Khan were involved in talks with Amir of Afghanistan
and even setup a provisional government of free India there during WW 1.
1. The idea of INA was first conceived in Malay by Mohan Singh, an Indian officer in army when
he decided not to retreat with army and instead went to Japanese for help. From thereon
Indian PoWs were handed over to Mohan Singh who tried to recruit them in INA. The fall of
Singapore was crucial as lot of Indians lived there. By the end of 1942, INA strength was
40,000 men.
2. The outbreak of QIM gave INA a chance to enter India. But by December 1942, differences
arose between INA and Japanese as Japanese wanted to take only a token INA force of 2,000
men to India while INA wanted 20,000 men. Mohan Singh was arrested.
3. With the coming of SC Bose, phase 2 of INA began. They invaded India but never succeeded
due to the discriminating treatment at the hands of Japanese as well as overall defeat of Japan.
Congress Strategy towards INA trials
1. JLN wrested the initiative when he raised the demand for leniency towards INA convicts - Shah
Nawaz Khan, GS Dhillon, PK Sehgal. were already planning leniency but JLN's act made
their announcement seem like a reaction.
2. Congress leaders never raised the question of law or anything. They asked leniency on the
grounds of maintaining good relations between India and . Thus the entire issue became an
issue of friendly relations between 2 nations and had to yield. It became an issue of India's
sovereignty as to how can try Indians.
3. Congress leaders ran their election campaign on this issue, organized meetings in support of
INA men, fought their cases and collected funds for them.
Significance of INA Trials
1. INA trials generated unprecedented level of intensity. The famous upsurges of Calcutta in
November 1945 and February 1946 are examples. In these upsurges, generally a group defied
the authority, then other people in the city joined in their support and soon all country began to
express their support and solidarity.
2. INA campaigned wide level of solidarity. This solidarity could be seen at grass root level,
between Hindus and Muslims, all classes of society. Initially these men were labeled as
misguided patriots but later on they became the symbols of most heroic patriotism. Entire
country united behind them.
3. INA meetings arose the sympathy of loyalist sections, bureaucracy and military as well. Military
men openly collected funds for INA convicts.
4. Upon convicting and then remitting the sentences, the commander in chief noted, "Any attempt
to enforce the sentence would have led to chaos in the country at large and probably to
Royal India Navy Revolt (February 1946)
Discipline in army can't be tempered with, we will need an army even in free India.
1. It began @ HNS Talwar when the naval ratings protested against racial discrimination, bad
food and punishment @ boots. Soon ratings of 2 other ships joined them and sympathetic
token strikes took place in over 75 ships.
2. In next phase, people of Bombay descended on streets and expressed their solidarity with the
ratings despite suppression. Soon situation turned violent and lathi-bhata battles were fought
@ the barricades. The communists also poured in.
3. The 3rd phase began when people all over the country began to express their support. Naval
ratings in other parts of the country began to go on strike to express their solidarity.
4. These uprisings were not a result of any particular group or party calling for one. But they were
spontaneous uprisings and the support of people was spontaneous as well. Like all
spontaneous things it was short lived.
Debate: Significance of Naval Revolt and Calcutta Uprisings
(a) Communist version - potentially game changers
1. They argue that the communal unity witnessed in these uprisings, if built upon, could have
avoided partition.
2. RIN revolt is seen as the event which marked the end of rule as now the fundamental pillars
of had revolted. These were violent, flagrant (in the face) challenges to raj.
(b) Nationalist version - limited significance
1. Communal harmony seen in these uprisings was shallow and only cause specific. It was merely
a sentimental solidarity and as soon as the cause went, rivalry resurfaced. These very cities
witnessed communal riots only a few weeks later. Communalism had become too big a
monster by then.
2. RIN revolt was a manifestation of the mood of defiance prevalent in the country. People were
convinced raj would end anytime. If not the naval revolt, such a mood would have found
expression in form of something else.
3. In the violent battles fought with the establishment, only the most radical elements fought, not
the masses. Masses expressed support no doubt but they didn't fight. Moreover the upsurges
were short lived.
Peasant Movements and Tribal Uprisings
Resistance to colonial rule was therefore as old as the rule itself.
1. rule in India which manifested itself in local issues. This led to high rents, control of forests,
spurt in moneylending and indebtedness, displacement from land, new court and legal systems
which protected the oppressors. The new legal system led to disruption of traditional ways of
life and the poor had no recourse to justice.
2. Christian missionaries.
3. Breakdown of pre-Mughal compromise, creation of property right in land, restructuring of
Nature & Character
Composition of Peasant Society in days
1. It was a pyramidal agrarian society with ~70% being non owners of land. There were the rural
land magnates who were building upon their power as landlords, there were rich peasants and
there were poor peasants. rule managed to severely affect all the sections of Indian
peasantry which drove them into revolting.
Pre-1857 Revolts
1. These were apparently local in spread and support base. The apparent factors were also local
in character. Most of these were a result of anguish against the new zamindars or
moneylenders. Yet these were national and had underlying commonness in a sense. The
factors were a manifestation of character of rule in India. The revolts though targeted against
moneylenders, zamindars, had as ultimate target.
2. They were not sudden isolated events but were the result of years of exploitation. Thus the
tribal revolts of Bhils in 1819, Kolis in 1829 in Ahmadnagar were all due to interference of in
the local society and economic restructuring.
3. They were violent, backward looking in character. The leaders sometimes claimed religious
powers. They revolved around medieval social setup.
4. Ethnic and local ties were an important element in these revolts. Still not all outsiders were
attacked and the poor ones facing similar conditions even helped them. Generally only the
oppressors were attacked.
5. They have also been labeled as 'restorative rebellions' as they were started by disaffected local
rulers who were supported by the peasant via traditional caste, customs, ties and sought to
reinstate the old order. The polygar revolts were an example. While the treated them as
ordinary zamindars they were used to being sovereign powers in the post Vijaynagar kingdom
era. The revolt of Velu Thampi of Travancore state is also an example.
These rebellions were a problem of law and order.

These were primary resistances i.e. a traditional society's act of violent defiance, from which usually
follows the imposition of colonial rule in response.

These were 'pre-political' uprisings, because of their lack of organization, programme and ideology.

The rebellions were not apolitical acts, they constituted political action that demonstrated the political
consciousness of the peasant society.
1. It is clear from the examples (Rangpur, Santhal, Faraizi, Moplah, Kol etc.) that the rebels had a
clear awareness of the altered power relations in their society and a determination to overturn
that structure of authority. They knew that the economic restructuring done by lay behind their
grievances. They knew that their oppressors were zamindars, moneylenders, merchants and
ultimately the and they attacked them only. They also knew their friends were other poor
2. Their rebellions were open rebellions often conceived after long open political meetings and
thus can't be labeled as crimes. The rebels formed their own parallel governing structures,
levied taxes to fund the rebellion and held parallel courts.
3. They had a proper leadership and in many cases like Rangpur they even elected their leaders.
In pre-capitalists societies where class consciousness is less developed, religion / ethnicity
naturally plays an important rallying role. The leaders are often associated with divine powers
and blessings from the gods. But this doesn't mean they were mere religious or ethnic
Shift in Character post-1857
1. Pre 1857, they were generally under zamindars, princes. But they were crushed in 1857 or
turned colonial allies. Post, they fought themselves. So the new revolts were modern in their
outlook not regressive.
2. Pre, they generally were violent. Post, the non-violence element grew in importance as a
tool. The new movements also represented a sense of natural justice and strong notions of
legitimacy. They didn't kill money lenders just destroyed their books which were full of fraud.
They didn't resist against paying any LR but only what was considered unjust. Post 1857
revolts show higher level of unionism and political awareness. They began to use legal means.

3. Earlier they were directed against but now they were directed against their immediate
enemies like moneylenders, zamindars, planters. Earlier their target was colonialism and very
broad wide reaching ones. Now their targets were immediate, specific and local and they went
back to cultivation after these specific targets were met. These targets were invariably
economical issues.
4. While earlier revolts had a religion / ethnicity played an important role, the post revolts showed
complete H-M unity. However this doesn't mean that the earlier movements were religious
movements. Religion, religious symbols, religious places, slogans etc. were just used to rally
people behind what were essentially secular causes. Examples are the Satnami and Fakir
movement, the Pagalpanthi sect of Tipu Shah in 1833.
Satnami and Fakir Movement, Bihar 1763 - 1800
1. The dasnami sanyasis were armed wandering monks involved in landholding, moneylending
and petty trade while the madari fakirs enjoyed rent free tenures and retained armed followers
in Mughal days. Both these groups were affected by the as apart from the obvious economic
factors couldn't tolerate presence of armed strong groups in the countryside.
1. They were a reason why 1857 revolt didn't spread to S India, W and E. But they were source of
inspiration and established a tradition of resistance.
Rangpur Ding (1783)
1. This led to impeachment proceedings against Warren Hastings. The reason for the revolt was
heavy tax assessment. The initiative was taken by the peasants themselves. The revenue
farming system of Hastings had led to severe exploitation of peasants for the usual reasons.
The peasants initially sent a petition to the asking for redress against the illegal activities of
the ijardars like Debi Singh and Ganga Gobind Singh. When it fell on deaf ears, they organized
themselves, elected their own leader, raised an army and fought with whatever primitive
weapons they had. Both H-M peasants fought side by side and stopped paying revenue.
2. They even sought to legitimize their move by invoking the pre-colonial symbols. Thus they
began to call their leader 'nawab', started their own government and levied charges to meet the
cost of their movement. It was suppressed by army.
Kol Rebellion, Chota Nagpur (1832)
1. They used to enjoy independent power for centuries but rule threatened to transfer the
powers of village headman from the tribal heads to outsiders. Also the 'raja' of Chota Nagpur
began to drive out Kols who had lived there for centuries to farm out the land to outsiders for
higher rent. This led to an uprising.
2. The attackers went for the property of the outsiders and not their lives.
Wahabi Rebellion (1862)
1. It was based on radical ideas and purity of Islam and was popular in NWFP @ Sittana. It was
first preached by Abdul Wahab in Arabia and in India by Syed Ahmed of Barelli.
Faraizi Movement
1. It developed under Haji Shariatullah and after him Dadu Mian. It sought to purify Islam by
purging all un-Islamic beliefs and practices. Its social base was among the poor Muslim
peasants of east Bengal and they revolted against planters, zamindars, and rulers.
2. Their anger was against zamindars and both Hindu and Muslim zamindars had to suffer. They
had a strong egalitarian philosophy and declared that land belonged to God and thus collecting
rent or levying taxes was against divine law. They also levied taxes to meet the expenses and
held local courts.
Mopla Rebellion in Malabar (1841-1920)
1. Moplahs were descendants of Arab traders who had married local Hindu women. Later their
ranks also swelled with the conversion of the emancipated slave caste of Cherumars in 1843
(Slavery Abolition Act). They were a community of petty traders, small tenants, landless labor
and fishermen. The system deprived them of their lands and all the land ownership rights
were given to the landlords. To this was added the usual exploitation and they were ready for
a revolt in 1840s. But the peasants here were mostly muslims while the LL were Hindus.
2. They rallied behind religious symbols, used religious places, raised religious slogans but their
grievance was essentially for a secular cause.
3. The 1920 rebellion had close connection with the Khilafat movement. Peasants could now see
the true nature of rule and connect their local grievances with the national ones.
4. However, once the repression began, the anti-government and anti-LL movement turned into
communal riots. It was so badly crushed that they couldn't dare to rise for the rest of their lives.
Santhal Hul (1855)
1. It was directed mainly against dikus and petty government servants. Again they were driven
into desperation by the transfer of their land to outsiders. By 1854, the tribal leaders had begun
to discuss the possibility of a revolt.
2. In 1855, an assembly of all local Santhals was called and it was decided to raise the banner of
revolt. Their principal leaders, Sido and Kanhu, claimed to have blessings of God.
3. People were mobilized, and in bands of 1500-2000, they attacked local dikus, zamindars,
police stations etc. They were also helped by poor non-tribals.
4. A massive military campaign was launched and they were suppressed. But a separate Santhal
Parganas district was created.
Indigo Rebellion (1859-60)
Earlier Indigo Rebellions
1. In 1832, Titu Mir rallied the local peasants in Bengal against the indigo planters. Then the
Faraizi movement under Dudu Mian too had indigo planters as its targets.
1. The indigo planters (mostly ) compelled the peasants to grow indigo on their best lands, gave
loans in advance, bought output @ low rates, and recovered loans even if crops failed.
2. Planters resorted to local goons to coerce peasants and in courts as well were difficult to be
brought to justice. There was a saying 'jay rakshak, tey bhakshak'.
3. The revolt broke out when their cause seemed to get government support in 1859. The Lt.
Governor of Bengal John Peter Grant was sympathetic to the peasants' cause and the deputy
magistrate of Kalaroa exceeding his capacity issued orders to police that indigo cultivators
could not be coerced or evicted from their land. The news spread and peasants stopped
growing indigo.
Nature & Character
1. Initially the movement was peaceful but when it failed, the peasants took to violence. The
planters came back with their goons and police. The peasants initially tried to get redress
through official means. When they failed they resorted to violence and evicted the planters and
police. This spread in entire Bengal and indigo cultivation was paralyzed.
2. This saw unionization of peasants. They fought jointly. The peasants also collected themselves
and filed class action suits in courts. Finally a committee was setup, planters closed their
business and went away. Digambar and Vishnu Biswas were important leaders and Govindpur,
Nadia, Murshidabad and Pabna were important centers.
3. The panic struck planter lobby managed to get a legislation passed compelling the peasants to
fulfill their current contractual obligations. But Grant refused to extend the legislation beyond its
life of 6 months and issued orders to the magistrates not to compel the peasants. This saw
peasants trying to get their objectives by using legal means. Shows level of awakening.
4. It received the support of intelligentsia and press. Hindoo Patriot wrote articles supporting it, Nil
Darpan was a play on it, Hindoo Patriot, Somprakash and Indian Association came to the
side of the indigo peasants. Missionaries too supported the peasants. After the rebellion much
of the indigo cultivation shifted from Bengal to Bihar where it had to wait the arrival of Gandhi to
be stopped.
Agrarian League of Pabna / The Pabna Experiment (1873)
1. The Rent Act of 1859 had some pro-tenant clauses and under the Act if a tenant was cultivating
a piece of land continuously for 12 years he was entitled to protection of his tenancy rights by
law. This movement was spurred by the attempts of landlords to destroy their occupancy rights
by preventing the tenants from cultivating continuously for 12 years. Thus this movement
clearly shows a high level of awareness by the peasants of their rights and the laws.
2. The movement, though spearheaded by the high peasantry, had mass base among the lower
peasants as well and it used non violent means and courts for grievance redressal. It
professed complete faith in sense of justice and in fact demanded to become the ryots of her
majesty itself. They formed the Agrarian League to collect money and fight cases for their
3. Their successful experiment was repeated in other parts of Bengal as well. Due to their efforts,
Bengal Tenancy Act 1885 was passed which provided for greater protection of tenancy rights.
However, the middle class remained ambivalent since their interests naturally coincided with
the landowning class (some of them being landowners themselves). This was the contradiction
which remained till the very end. Thus the same Hindoo Patriot which had taken pro-peasant
position in the indigo revolt now took a pro landlord position and so did the Amrita Bazar
Patrika. But on the other hand, Bengalee took a pro peasant position.
Deccan Uprising (1875)
1. It broke out in Supe village, Pune and Ahmadnagar under the Ryotwari system. But high LR
had led to indebtedness at the hands of outsiders - the Marwaris and Gujjus. Earlier too the
moneylenders used to lend tot he peasants but never took more intimate control over their
lands. But the introduction of RS made land a tradable property and this led to large scale
transfer of land to these elements and the original owner was not made the tenant cultivator on
his own land.
2. The US civil war had led to first a rise and then a sharp fall in cotton prices. This volatility had
pauperized many.
3. In 1867, the government raised LR by 50 - 200% (on the grounds of extension of cultivation
and rise in prices) and then there were a series of bad harvests. So peasants fell into the
clutches of money lenders.
4. Role played by early nationalists like MG Ranade. He increased their awakening and asked
them to resist the payment of enhanced LR.
Nature & Character - Riots or Revolt?
1. The peasants tried to appeal to the sense of natural justice. They first tried to resort to
customary punishments and norms which were peaceful. For example initially when they failed
to persuade a moneylender from bringing down a peasant's house, they resorted to his social
boycott. This boycott soon spread to other areas.
2. But only when the boycott proved ineffective that peasants resorted to violence. Even this
violence was not aimed at taking lives but just to destroy the money lenders' book of accounts
which were the symbols of oppression and that too when they refused to peacefully hand it
over. Thus the 'rioters' had clearly identified their target, their source of grievance, had a clear
policy of addressing it and so this can't be called a 'riot'.
3. The government suppression was again not brutal since the fight was never consciously
against government. It even led to Deccan Agriculturists' Relief Act, 1879. However the
government failed to address the real causes of the revolt (high LR assessment and the
associated inflexibility) and thus when the crops failed again in 1896-97 there was a no tax
campaign again.
4. It got support of intelligentsia. MG Ranade and his Poona Sarwajanik Sabha had played an
important role in their awakening.
Munda Ulgulan (1899-00)
"... naughty boys making a disturbance in the schoolroom when they believed the school master's
attention was momentarily diverted".

Indian Forests Act, 1878
1. This act established complete government monopoly over the Indian forests. This was driven
by the imperial need for commercial timber production. The act divided the forests into 3
categories - reserved, protected and unclassified. In the reserved forests government had a
monopoly over all produce and felling of trees was completely prohibited. In protected forests
the traditional right holders could collect timber for personal use but not for sale. Initially they
could do it free of cost, but later government imposed charges for doing so.
Rampa Rebellion (1879)
1. This broke out when the commercial exploitation of forests began, roadways were constructed
and the infiltration of outsiders happened who began to take hold of their tribal lands and force
them into bonded labor. The tribes used to practice shifting cultivation which was banned and
their rights over forest produce were also charged by the . The local muttudars often coerced
by the tribals provided the leadership and religion played an important role.
Munda Revolt
1. The Munda sardars had been struggling against the exploitation for over 30 years. Then came
Birsa Munda who claimed to have vision of God and declared himself His prophet possessing
magical powers. Under the influence of sardars, his religious movement soon turned political
and he began to organize people against dikus. In 1899, he proclaimed a revolt.
2. But what was more important was their greater awareness of the wider political realities of the
colonial state. Birsa's ambitions were no longer localized. The aim of his movement was no
longer just to drive out the dikus, but to put an end to the Raj itself.
Peasant Movements of 1920s
Change in character compared to earlier uprisings
1. Earlier movements were based on immediate local economic issues, later ones combined the
local issues with the national ones. While the earlier movements lacked in their vision and
understanding of the true nature of colonial rule, the later ones could clearly see that rule was
the cause of their problems.
2. The leadership was twin level now - local as well as national. Kisan sabha members used to
attend INC sessions in large numbers. It was often impossible to distinguish the NCM meetings
from peasant meetings. But in due course, due to adoption of violent means their distance with
INM grew. This divergence has fueled the leftist argument that INC didn't want power to go into
radical hands.
3. These movements were a result of the mass awakening and politicization of the peasants in the
wake of NCM and constructive work of Congress workers. Examples are Bardoli where
congress workers worked for the betterment of outcastes and gained their support. Similarly
4. The new movements had a wider social base since now both the high and low caste peasants
were a part of it.
Nature & Character
1. These were closely related to and exchanged liberally (methods, ideology as well as leaders)
with the mainstream nationalist movement.
2. They could clearly see that the ultimate rule was responsible for their miseries. This was the
result of large scale politicization of the peasants in the wake of NCM and constructive work.
Grass root level politicization was achieved through kisan sabhas, prabhat pheris, magic
3. It cut across caste lines and both high and low classes of peasants participated in it.
4. The Oudh Kisan Sabha comprised of NCM peasants. It asked peasants not to pay illegal
cesses, forced labor and eviction from land. It mainly relied on large scale demonstrations and
passive resistance comprising lacs of peasants. However, after some time these movements
tended to run violent against zamindars, money lenders and police. A classic example is the
Eka Rebellion in UP. It began as a non-violent movement against illegal extraction of excess
rent and oppression by local goons under the leadership of national leaders. However, soon
grass root leaders emerged who began to use violent methods and the movement grew
divergent from NCM.
5. These movements didn't aim at overturning property relations or had deep rooted socialistic
mindset. They never wanted abolition of rent or zamindari system. They merely fought against
illegal cesses and excess rent. The divergence of local leaders and national leaders on peasant
movement reflects not the bourgeoisie bias of national leadership but their faith in non-violence
Baba Ramchandra
1. He was the grass root leader of Oudh Kisan Sabha.
1. They showed success of constructive work done by the INC. INC could now rally both the high
and low castes behind it.
2. Success of these movements led to loss of prestige of , loss of fear etc. Example in Bardoli,
after the initial tax hike of 30%, the independent commission settled for a hike of 6% only.
3. It had a domino effect. Success or mobilization @ one place led to mobilization in others. Every
such effort brought swaraj nearer.
4. It gave moral strength as well as mass strength to the mainstream INM. No mass movement
can be successful without the participation of the class which comprises of 80% of the
1. Exploitation. Zamindari powers had been increased following the revolt of 1857. Land
settlement systems. No checks and illegal cesses.
2. HRM. Its members initiated the process of organization of of the peasants in the Kisan Sabhas.

Peasant Movements in 1930s & 40s
Additional factors responsible
1. Depression of 1929. No decrease in rent. Bakasht lands.
2. CDM.
3. Socialism. CSP worked to form kisan unions. All India Kisan Sabha was founded in 1936 and it
had close contact with the mainstream nationalist leaders like JLN and Lohiya.
4. Formation of Congress ministries in provinces.
Congress Ministries and Peasant Movements
1. The peasant movements used tools of and were integrated with mainstream national
movement. The main stress was on peasant mobilization and huge gatherings were organized
which were addressed by national leaders as well. Such meetings would air peasant demands
and pass resolutions. Campaigns or marches would be carried out in neighboring villages prior
to such meetings. Sometimes long marches would be organized to press for peasant demands.
2. Although each committee was local, all movements combined affected large parts of India. The
demands were of a similar nature, methods used were similar and factors responsible were
similar as well. When it became clear that congress ministries were not interested in following
any real pro peasant programme (all the pro tenants legislations were significantly watered
down in the face of the pressure from congress right) the peasants began to agitate to press on
for their demands.
3. In Malabar in 1938, meetings were organized for amending the tenancy laws, in AP 2000
peasants organized a march for 1500 miles and presented their petition to the provincial
legislature which called for debt relief. In Bihar, effect of socialism was more pronounced, and
in 1938 - 39 one lac strong rallies were organized protesting against congress and demands
were raised to abolish zamindari. They also demanded the return of bakasht lands (lands
confiscated in depression years for non-payment of rent and cultivated thereafter on a
sharecropping basis). In Punjab, it was directed against the illegal feudal levies and excess rent
and even spread to princely states. In Patiala, demand was raised to restore illegally
confiscated land by officials. In UP too the congress government significantly watered down a
legislation which was expected to reduce rent by half. In Odisha it was the same story and
finally the peasants had to organize a mammoth rally in 1938. In all these provinces the
congress governments used the government power to suppress these movements.
4. When the WW2 broke out and Congress ministries resigned, these movements were subdued
because of severe suppression by the government. Then due to the attitude of CPI, the
communist and non-communist strands of peasant movements split.
5. After the war, a new spirit was evident as freedom was anticipated and peasants began to
assert their demands with new vigor. Zamindari abolition struggle gained primacy. In Bengal,
the tebhaga struggle broke out where the sharecroppers said they would only pay one-third and
not half the produce and store grains in their own godowns instead of landlords' before sharing.
Movements spread to princely states as well and turned violent there.
Kisan Sabha Movement in Bihar - Swami Sahajanand Saraswati
1. In 1929 he founded the Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha to mobilize the peasants against
zamindar attacks on their occupancy rights. Initially it was meant to promote class harmony but
by 1935 it increasingly adopted abolition of zamindari as its main programme.
Kisan Sabha Movement in AP - NG Ranga
1. He organized a number of peasant marches in 1930s and also demanded abolition of
zamindari. In 1935 he along with Namboodripad tried to take the movement to other linguistic
areas of Madras presidency as well and formed the S Indian Federation of Peasants and
Agricultural Labor. Next they made efforts for the establishment of an all India body.
Kisan Sabha Movement in Odisha
1. This was led by CSP activists and they formed Utkal Kisan Sangha in 1935 and organized
some militant peasant movements along the demand of zamindari abolition.
All India Kisan Sabha (1936)
1. It was founded at the Lucknow session of the congress ion April 1936 with Sahajanand
Saraswati as its first president. It brought out a Kisan manifesto which adopted radical
demands like zamindari abolition, graduated LR on agricultural income, grant of occupancy
rights to all tenants and scaling down of interest rates and debts.
2. As a result of this body, Congress in its Faizpur session in December 1936 adopted the
Agrarian Programme.
1. They had a significant impact on the mainstream national movement. Impacted the policies and
aims of Congress. This manifested itself in the Economic Policy, election manifesto and
Planning Committee. IN most places, peasants enrolled for the kisan sabha and Congress
2. They created the environment which necessitated the post-independence agrarian reforms.
Thus zamindari system was abolished.
3. Their impact on Congress was quite immediate and significant. As a part of the Quit India
Movement, Congress explicitly stated that it believed that the land belonged to the tiller and not
zamindar. If a zamindar was on government's side, rent shouldn't be paid to him at all.
1. Demands of agricultural laborers were not taken up.
Gandhian Phase
Rise of Gandhi
Debate #1 Gandhi's Rise an Act of Manipulation?
1. Gandhi's Critics: He was a great manipulator. He systematically eliminated all other leadership.
2. Real Reasons: (a) The INM was rudderless and directionless at that time. The old methods had
failed, people were looking for alternatives. (b) There was already a leadership vacuum. (c) G
was not a noob. He was known for his SAF affairs. His early successes in India too proved the
Socio - Economic Circumstances Around the Rise
1. The phenomenal increase in defence expenditure during the war refused to come down even
after the end of the war and kept on increasing. This meant heavy public debt and more taxes.
Since LR was fixed in PS areas, indirect taxes on commerce were raised which stroked
inflation. Thus the general prices from 1914 to 1920 nearly doubled.
2. The growth of industry in the war period meant a growth in labor class as well. And they were
the worst hit by the general rise in price levels.
3. There was an under production of food crops and there were successive famines in 1919-20.
Still the export of food grains continued unabated creating tough conditions in India. The prices
of cash crops didn't increase sufficiently and left the peasants dissatisfied. There was a marked
increase in peasant indebtedness and hence a resulting loss of land rights. This also
contributed to the massive growth of peasant consciousness and the kisan sabha movements
around this time.
4. The continued recruitment of Indians in the army was also breeding popular discontent.
Inclusivism became Gandhi's unique style of politics.
1. Highlight Gandhi vs swadesi here.
While Annie Besant failed, Gandhi succeeded in uniting both the moderates and the extremists.
1. He claimed a centrist position and alienated none. He adopted the techniques more favorable
to extremists and yet left the definition of swaraj open so that moderates could interpret it in
their own way. His total emphasis on non violence too was to their liking.
The rise of Gandhi did not symbolize a radical restructuring of political life, rather it signified the rise
of western educated and regional language literate elites of backward areas in place of the western
educated leaders of the presidency towns.
1. This school argues that Gandhi relied on a network of local elite people - the 'sub contractors'
to mobilize popular support. However this is a gross underestimation - give usual explanations.
2. Time and again the masses deviated from the path of non violence laid down by Gandhi while
still believing at the same time that they were following Gandhi and establishing gandhi-raj.
Gandhi himself, let alone his sub contractors, had little control over this Gandhi. In this sense
he indeed represented a radical shift.
By offering an ideological critique of the western civilization in its modern phase, Gandhi was
effectively contesting the moral legitimacy of the Raj that rested on a stated assumption of the
superiority of the west.
1. To Gandhi, parliamentary democracy didn't reflect the general will of the people but merely that
of the political parties which constricted the moral autonomy of the parliament in the name of
party discipline. So for him it was not enough to achieve independence and then 'perpetuate
the rule without the '; it was also essential to have an Indian alternative to the western
political structures. His alternative was a concept of popular sovereignty where each individual
controls his own self and that was his swaraj - something which had to be experienced by each
one for himself.
2. He always emphasized on the moral rightness which sprang from Indian religion. Also mention
his views on class struggles. His strong point was that he based his ideology firmly in Indian
culture and yet worked for inclusiveness - something like Ramkrishna although different
Gandhi was everything to everyone / Gandhi was the undisputed leader of a movement over which
he had little control / To the masses, Gandhi was a symbol of freedom and not a source of
ideological constraint.
1. Time and again the masses deviated from the path of non violence laid down by Gandhi while
still believing at the same time that they were following Gandhi and working to establish
the Gandhi-Raj. Everybody had his or her own grievances with the colonial authority. By
appealing to this sense and leaving vague the alternative, Gandhi got the imagination of the
masses going. All of them had their own conceptualization of swaraj and all of them followed
his call and fought for their swarajs.
2. By the time his message reached the grass roots via the hierarchical structure of congress
organization, it got transformed - interpreted @ each level according to its vision. What passed
as a Gandhian mass movement actually contained in it various levels of consciousness
informed by different visions of freedom.
3. NCM: In Kheda the Patidar peasants started a no revenue campaign even without the formal
approval of congress. In Oudh the peasants interpreted Gandhi Raj in their own way and
initiated a struggle against the taluqdars and the movement continued in the form of Eka
movement even after the congress broke off from it due to ensuing violence. Even Gandhi's
visit to Oudh failed to have much restraining impact on the peasants. In Odisha, peasants
stopped paying rents and forest taxes even against the wishes of the local congress leaders
and continued their stir even after the formal withdrawal of the NCM by the congress. There
were rumors all around which shows that to the peasants swaraj meant an utopian state with
no rent, no exploitation, no money lender, no zamindars. In Punjab the government deposed
the ruler of Nabha for his support to Akalis. But when the resulting movement (to demand his
restoration) turned violent Gandhi had to withdraw his support and yet it continued. The tribals
of Kumaon and Garwahl fought violently for the end of bania raj of and the establishment of
Gandhi raj. But they were not fighting merely for their own land, they raised slogans in praise of
Gandhi and swatantra bharat. In Andhra the tribal leaders preached the Gandhian message of
prohibition and khadi and yet advocated force for their emancipation. For Bengali tribals,
wearing Gandhi cap or chanting his name meant protection from the police bullets.
4. CDM: Women's large scale appearance in the open street and participation in the agitational
politics didn't jeopardize their respectability as Gandhi's name legitimized such actions as the
sacred duty to the nation.
5. QIM: "Do or die". People accepted the challenge and interpreted it in their own way.
Here also lay the main paradox of Gandhian politics, for he wanted not just any ass upsurge, but a
'controlled mass movement' which would strictly adhere to his prescribed path.
1. During the NCM when the prince of Wales arrived in India there was violence in Bombay.
Gandhi was incensed and he postponed the no revenue campaign which was to begin from
Bardoli and also the full scale CDM was postponed.
Rowlatt Satyagraha
1. The government was trying to push 2 unpopular Rowlatt Bills through the legislation. Despite
the opposition of all elected members, such Bills were made into laws. This showed complete
disregard of public opinion by the government.
2. The cadres of HRM were only too eager to join the nationalist calls. They became the mainstay
of the Rowlatt Satyagraha. It was decided to observe a nationwide hartal against the Bills on
April 6.
3. However, the hartals turned violent and G was forced to withdraw it on April 18.
1. As a political campaign it failed for it failed to achieve its only state goal - to repeal the Rowlatt
Acts. It lapsed into violence as well. It was limited to certain cities only and failed to have any
impact in vast regions of India. However, in its failure it highlighted the necessity of a well oiled
organizational machinery for the success of a mass movement. This prompted G to introduce
many changes in the Congress organization. G emerged as the supreme leader.
2. It led to the melting of any goodwill GoI Act 1919 could have created and led to its failure.
Factors Responsible
1. Nature of rule in India.
2. Failure of earlier efforts.
3. Contribution of previous efforts like HRM and Rowlatt Satyagraha in awakening the masses.
4. Enaction of Rowlatt Acts and GoI Act, 1919 increased disillusion. Khilafat question (Treaty of
Sevres) exposed intent. Jalliawalah Bagh response of . government refused to prosecute
Dyer and public actually contributed money for his cause.
Khilafat Movement - It was thus a pan Islamic movement in all its appearance as the cause had
nothing to do with India
1. It had 3 main demands - (a) Caliph must retain control over Muslim holy places, (b) his pre war
territories must be restored to him so that he can maintain his position as the muslim head, (c)
Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Palestine must not be under non muslim sovereignty.
2. But Khilafat was being used more as a symbol while the leaders actually had little concern
about altering the political realities in the middle east. It was a found to be a symbol that could
unite the Indian muslims divided across various regional, class, sectarian lines completely. It
was essentially anti in character and thus it had everything to do with Indian cause. In fact
this is what led Gandhi to support it.
3. When its demands were not met, the Khilafat committee decided to launch a 4 stage NCM -
boycott of titles; boycott of civil services and police; boycott of army and finally non payment of
Gandhi's goal was to forge a grand coalition of various classes and communities and in this sense
the Nagpur congress symbolized the emergence of a centrist leadership within the pluralist structure
of political India.
1. Gandhi wanted to launch the NC with the aim to redress the khilafat wrong, the punjab wrong,
and to attain swaraj. The special session of congress @ Calcutta in September 1920 approved
Gandhian programme of an extra passive resistance despite stiff resistance from the old
liberal guard.
2. There was politics until the December session @ Nagpur but Gandhian resolutions prevailed.
Gandhi needed the congress because without its organization (as he had realized in the
Rowlatt satyagrah) he could not have organized a mass movement. Congress despite its many
voices needed Gandhi because he was the only leader capable of drawing mass support. He
had the muslims behind him, he had the untouchables behind him, he had the labor behind
him, he had the peasants behind him.
3. Also Congress was restructured to transform itself into a truly mass party.
1. 1st great mass movement. Widened social base of INM.
2. Fear of rule was erased from the minds and hearts. It highlighted the effectiveness of G
technique. can do nothing against peaceful masses. Expressed the power of 'dumb millions'
of India.
3. Triggered women liberation movements, peasant movements as women were drawn into it in
large numbers.
4. Sudden withdrawal led to disillusionment and growth of REM.
Debate #1 Gandhiji's Intent Behind NCM's Withdrawal?
1. Leftist Interpretation (Palme Dutt): G was afraid of growing militancy and radicalization of
movement as it soared among the farmers and workers. He feared that they would take over
and destroy the capitalist elements for who he cared. They also as a proof point out to the
withdrawal statement where G advised peasants to pay rents.
2. Real Reason: He feared that with increasing violence the movement will lose its moral strength.
Government will use violence in one place as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests at
another. The civil disobedience movement will fail even before beginning. Also it was clear that
NCM was fatiguing. This is the character of all mass movements. He wanted to exit with honor.
Leftist argument is hollow because the peasants in Chauri Chaura did so because of
oppressions of police and not against LL or tried to overturn the structure of property relations.
Congress had at no point sanctioned non-payment of taxes or withhold the rent. So the
statement was merely a restatement of its policy.
The most significant aspects of NCM were, however, its uneven geographical spread and wide
regional variations.
1. Middle class participation was not spectacular, as revealed by the school, court boycott
records, whereas the participation of the peasants and the working class was impressive.
Except in Madras the council election boycott was successful everywhere with the voting %
being < 5%.
2. Economic boycott was very successful as the imports dropped by half. Partly responsible for
this immense success was the active participation of the traders and businessmen who
pledged not to deal in foreign cloth and generously contributed to the Tilak Swaraj Fund.
However the large industrialists remained neutral or pro government during this period.
3. Gandhian social movements which were associated with NCM also achieved fair amount of
success. Anti liquor campaign saw a significant drop in the liquor revenue realized from Punjab,
Madras, Bihar and Odisha. H-M unity remained impeccable throughout the period except in
Malabar (the mopillahs). Although Gandhi himself was involved in the anti-untouchability
campaign, it remained as secondary for most congressmen.
4. NCM was marked by the participation of regions and classes which had not participated to any
appreciable extent in any of the congress movements until then. Thus there was significant
peasant participation in Rajasthan, Sind, Gujarat, Oudh, Bihar, Assam and Maharastra. In S
India only Karnataka lagged behind and participation was impressive in AP, Kerala and TN.
5. Among the SCs, there was significant participation from Maharastra and AP while among the
tribals AP delta and Bengal led. Labor unrest was high in Madras (cotton mill workers invited
the congress leaders to give leadership), Bengal (massive strike waves in industrial
establishments throughout the NCM) and Assam (tea gardens, Assam - Bengal railways),
Ahemdabad (at least 1 strike per month).
6. In Kheda the Patidar peasants started a no revenue campaign even without the formal approval
of congress. In Oudh the peasants interpreted Gandhi Raj in their own way and initiated a
struggle against the taluqdars and the movement continued even after the congress broke off
from it due to ensuing violence. Even Gandhi's visit to Oudh failed to have much restraining
impact on the peasants. In Odisha, peasants stopped paying rents and forest taxes even
against the wishes of the local congress leaders and continued their stir even after the formal
withdrawal of the NCM by the congress. There were rumors all around which shows that to the
peasants swaraj meant an utopian state with no rent, no exploitation, no money lender, no
zamindars. In Punjab the government deposed the ruler of Nabha for his support to Akalis.
But when the resulting movement (to demand his restoration) turned violent Gandhi had to
withdraw his support and yet it continued. The tribals of Kumaon and Garwahl fought violently
for the end of bania raj of and the establishment of Gandhi raj. But they were not fighting
merely for their own land, they raised slogans in praise of Gandhi and swatantra bharat. In
Andhra the tribal leaders preached the Gandhian message of prohibition and khadi and yet
advocated force for their emancipation. For Bengali tribals, wearing Gandhi cap or chanting his
name meant protection from the police bullets.
NCM - Khilafat Equation
1. It soon became clear that the khilafat leaders had accepted the Gandhian concept of non
violence opportunistically so as to take the advantage of Gandhi's charismatic appeal than out
of any genuine belief in the principle. The leaders couldn't (perhaps deliberately) control the
situation when it turned violent specially in the Malabar.
2. They also brought in ulammas in large scale, resorted to excessive use of religious symbols
and rhetoric and evoked religious sentiments among the Muslims. Thus effectively khilafat
began to promote communalism. Thus differences emerged between Gandhi and the Ali
brothers over the use of religious rhetoric. As a result, by the end of the NCM there was a
visible breach in H-M unity and communal riots occurred in 1922-23.
Akali Movement - "... the largest and longest application of the Gandhian programme of satyagraha."
1. In 1920, SGPC was formed and its aims were to reform the Sikh gurudwaras and reclaim the
control of Sikh shrines from the hands of government manipulated loyalists. Akali Dal was its
auxiliary and was formed to coordinate the satyagrahi jatthas to wrest the control of the shrines.
While on the face it appears a communal movement, in reality it received wide support because
of the imposition of martial law and Jalliawallah excesses. It was this discontent which was
pouring out.
2. Akalis received active support from Gandhi and congress and were ultimately able to force the
government to surrender the control of the shrines.
There was a 'crisis of unity' after the NCM.
1. Talk of swarajists - no changers; talk of H-M unity; talk of division in ML; talk of rise in political
mobilization of dalits under Ambedkar.
G's Approach to Swarajists
1. G was against the idea. When he was released from jail in 1924, hoped he would throw them
out. But he worked to avoid a split at any cost. He held his fundamental stand and yet
accommodated them.
2. He never criticized then in public and only highlighted their love for the country. When the
government began to arrest Swarajists for their support to revolutionaries, Gandhiji used the
opportunity to accommodate them fully and still hold high ground by showing full solidarity and
surrendering to them against repression.
3. In November 1924, he ended the rift by signing a joint statement where INC declared that
swarajists will carry out INC work in legislatures.
Reasons for Failure
1. Their strategy was doomed to fail. Swaraj could never be won by constitutional means.
2. Their internal differences weakened them.
3. They began to deviate from their stated path of non-cooperation and began to cooperate with
the government.
4. Appointment of Simon Commission made their existence irrelevant.
Constructive Work
Methods Used
1. They sought to educate the upper castes about the evils of untouchability.
2. They also worked directly among outcastes and educated them, asked them to mend some evil
practices. Night schools were organized for adults, day schools for children. They condemned
the Hali system i.e. hereditary labor to serve upper class land owners, exploitation by money
lenders and exploitation of women by high caste men.
3. They used tribal dialects, composed tribal literature and music. Bhajan mandalis were
organized to recite prayers among tribals.
4. They also led movements like Bardoli movement.
1. Tribals, untouchables integrated. It gave moral strength to Congress led movement.
2. It promoted grass root level leadership and extended depth of Congress organization.
Gandhi had to devise a strategy to break out of this impasse and impute a broader meaning into the
word 'independence' as opposed to its narrower political connotation that had such a divisive impact.
1. The 1929 Lahore declaration proclaimed complete independence as the goal of congress and
the intention to launch a CDM to attain it. But the reactions of many groups was not so
2. Many muslim leaders of congress were unhappy as communal unity (which was a precondition
to the success of the movement) was still not there. ML opposed it since they saw it as a
sinister design of the congress to establish a hindu raj. Sikhs had grown distant from the
congress and even hindu mahasabha declared its opposition to the movement. Business
houses too were apprehensive of the unconstitutional movement.
3. In this impasse, Gandhi placed an 11 point demand before Irwin and a failure to accept them
would necessitate the launch of the movement. These 11 demands contained something for
everybody. 6 were issues of general interest - reduction of military and civil services
expenditure, total prohibition, discharge of political prisoners not convicted of murder, reform of
CID, its popular control and amendment to the arms act. 3 were pro business demands -
revaluation of INR, protective tariffs and reservation of coastal shipping for Indians. 2 were
peasant demands - 50% reduction in LR, abolition of salt tax and government monopoly on
salt. Since salt was an emotional issue with universal appeal, he chose to launch CDM by
violating the salt law.
CDM Programme
1. The violation of salt law would be followed by boycott of foreign cloth and liquor, then non
payment of revenue in ryotwari areas, non payment of chaukidari tax in zamindari areas and
violation of forest laws in central provinces.
1. NWFP: Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan launched the Red Shirt Movement. Nationalist protests were
organized and even the soldiers of Garhwal regiment refused to fire on the protestors.
2. UP: The peasant movements became indistinguishable with the CDM and No Rent Campaigns
became a part of the movement. Prabhat pheris, magic lanterns and peasant meetings became
main methods.
3. Gujarat: Salt satyagraha, no rent campaigns etc. were organized. The satyagrahis used to
march towards salt depots in waves. When one wave fell to police blows, the next came and so
4. MP, Maharastra, Karnataka: Anti-forest laws campaigns, salt satyagraha, workers' movements
were organized. The Sholapur Rebellion of workers is too well known. In Nagpur the
participation of the workers was again immense. There were massive strikes in the Grand
Indian Peninsular railways and also in docks.
5. E India: Anti-chowkidari tax campaigns (Bihar), anti-municipality tax (Bengal) were organized.
Assam organized anti-Cunningham Circular campaign which asked for parents to furnish a
guarantee of the 'good' behavior of their wards. In Nagaland, Rani Gaidinliu was jailed until
6. S India: Flag agitations, salt satyagraha were organized.
7. Economic: The imports declined by half. Depression contributed to it but most of it was due to
8. Women participation: They really broke the gates and CDM witnessed massive women
participation. Their appearance in the open street and participation in the agitational politics
didn't jeopardize their respectability as Gandhi's name legitimized such actions as the sacred
duty to the nation.
9. Untouchables: In Nagpur and Berar which were strongholds of Ambedkar, the CDM failed to
enlist much support among the untouchables.
Capitalists' Movements
Factors Responsible - Indian capitalist class had developed a long term contradiction with
imperialism while retaining a relationship of short term dependence on an accommodation with it.
1. Indian capitalists didn't grow up as junior partners to and were an independent class. Their
interests often clashed with interests. In 20th century, they had emerged as a strong class
dominating most of the organized industrial base in India. This made it easier for them to
organize. Some early capitalist organizations were Bengal National Chamber of Commerce in
1887 and Indian Merchants' Chamber in 1907 @ Bombay. This growth was not a result of
colonialism but happened in spite of colonialism. Thus @ the even of the launch of CDM they
had huge unsold stocks with them and yet the government refused to impose any customs
duty. Now they realized earlier on that Congress was essential for their demands to be met.
won't listen to them sans Congress backing. So they supported Congress.
2. Indian business group, however, were far from one voice. Thus the industrialists were generally
neutral or pro government and were eager to broker peace in the CDM. The traders and the
marketers on the other hand remained staunch supporters of Gandhi.
3. But at the same time they were also wary of the methods used by the Congress. They realized
that unconstitutional methods of CDM are necessary to press but they followed these only till
the point their demands could be met and not more or else a fight against imperialism might
turn a fight against capitalism. They formed its right wing and tended to be the first ones to pull
it towards constitutional process as soon as they realized their demands would be met.
Many Voices in the Capitalist Class
1. While the WW1 brought immense profitability to the industrialists, the merchants (who were
mainly importers) suffered due to currency fluctuation and stoppage of imports. The rupee
devaluation by 30% threatened to saddle them with losses.
2. The 1919 reforms, based on its policy of interest representation, also promised to give political
representation to the industrialist class. Furthermore the promised a policy of protection from
imports. This drew the industrialists closer to the and their participation in the NCM was little
though Birla and Bajaj became close associates of Gandhi. But Tata and Purshottamdas
Thakurdas formed an anti NCM Society. On the other hand, merchants were alienated by the
and also Gandhi's moral religious values, his trusteeship theory etc. all appealed to them and
they were active participants in NCM.
3. Post NCM the worsening economic conditions brought the industrialists as well closer to
congress and they actively participated with the swarajists. Moreover when due to opposition
from the Lancashire lobby the government matched a customs duty hike with a hike in excise
duty they realized that aligning with the government only was futile. There was a rising threat of
communism as well and they needed to come close to congress in order to prevent its
communist takeover!
Nature & Character of Capitalists' Policy
1. Some early efforts were made by leading industrialists and in 1927 FICCI was formed. soon
recognized FICCI as representative of capitalist class in the hope of keeping a check on INM.
On the other hand, the Indian capitalists saw FICCI as a guardian of Indian economic interests.
2. FICCI (1st head was Purshottamdas Thakurdas) was closely integrated with INM as well and
its leaders clearly emphasized the need to support Congress. So while they supported CDM,
they were opposed to its continuation for long lest it becomes revolutionary and threaten the
existence of capitalist class. Also they felt that they had reached a point where the demands of
their class could be met and thus brokered for truce. They supported constitutionalism. The
traders were active in implementing the boycott of foreign goods and factory owners pledged to
not manufacture coarse cloth which competed directly with the charkha cloth.
3. However opposed the capitalists may be to CDM in its last days, they never supported the
repression unleashed by the colonial government. They needed Congress. But at no stage did
they dominate the Congress. Congress' policies were becoming increasingly pro-people, they
were not mainly dependent on business class for funds, their organizational strength was far
too superior and the leadership was far too decentralized and connected to people.
4. After the CDM when the government announced the proposal of an Imperial Economic
Conference @ Ottawa in 1932 to foster a close economic relationship between the different
industries of the empire, FICCI was initially enthusiastic but the viceroy turned down its offer
and sent only some loyalist industrialists. Thus the Ottawa Agreement of 1932, despite
promising some real benefits to Indian business, got a lukewarm response from FICCI.
5. In QIM, the capitalist class supported the underground leaders of the movement. Sumati
Morarji helped Achyut Patwardhan in evading arrest by providing him different cars.
Women Movements
The male reformers of 19th century treated women as subjects of their modernizing project and
could not imagine them to be their conscious equals claiming agency for their own emancipation.

It was in this area that there was a broad degree of consensus between the colonial state and the
nationalist male elites.
1. The education meant for women was never for the emancipation of women. The colonial
government wanted female education as it wanted educated wives so that the english speaking
mothers could inculcate loyalty and english taste in the children from the beginning. The
educated middle class males dreamt of the Victorian ideal of companionate marriage and in
Bengal the educated bhadramahila appeared to be an ideal companion to the bhadrapurush.
This new concept of womanhood was a fine blending of the self sacrificing hindu wife and the
Victorian helpmate.
2. It must be noted that while such people encouraged women education, they considered the
wrongly educated or the over educated women as a threat. Similarly muslims educators of
women too wanted women who would be better wives, better mothers and better muslims.
3. Even when the women worked their reproductive role was considered primary and productive
role secondary and their incomes were considered to be supplementary only. Thus they
received low wages and were first to be fired and were not expected to take part in labor
agitations. One Pandita Ramabai took the lead and started Arya Mahila Samaj in Maharastra.
She also started Mukti Mission and Sharda Sadan to uplift the condition of widows. She also
defied many of the social practices like hypogamy, seclusion, conversion etc. And she was
equally criticized by reformers and conservatives.
4. As reformism gave way to revival, Hindu woman became an ideal emblem of the moral order -
uncontaminated by the influence of west - that symbolized their India. The degraded condition
of women was often used as an attack on Indian culture, so hindu revivalists often imagined a
golden past where women were treated with dignity and honor. Icons of mother india were
created, laxmi had deserted India due to and now one had to bring her back. The revivalist
nationalists too emphasized on her reproductive potential by emphasizing on her
motherhood. Thus even in the early revolutionary movement there were a few women who
participated but they were assigned secondary roles only and not the main roles. In swadesi,
the participation of women became an extension of their household duties vis to follow their
husbands. Participation of women was highest where the husbands too participated. In cases
where they defied the husband's command and went on the streets, she was immediately
disowned. And when they participated their role was confined to that of staying between
women and picketing shops.
It was Gandhi's name which ensured that even after marching on the streets, going to jail, suffering
indignity there women could come back to their families with no stigma attached.
1. It was Gandhi who changed this concept and shifted the emphasis from their reproductive
power to their selfless sacrificing power. He always held men and women equal and he had
already seen their capacity of sacrifice in SAF and he sought to harness it. Thus women
flocked in his movements in masses and yet it wasn't considered to be demeaning, for
answering Gandhi's call had become a religious duty. Thus Basanti Devi, Urmilla Devi and
Suniti Devi (relatives of CR Das) stunned the nation by participating in open demonstration on
the streets of Calcutta and courting arrest. CDM opened the floodgates. As an influence of
Gandhi the nature of participation of women in the revolutionary activities too went a
fundamental change as now they actually started shooting guns.
Muslim Reforms and Women
1. These movements made women a center measurement scale to measure 'progress'. In a high
status muslim home, women would be in purdah - physical as well as psychological.
Women Movements
1. Radhakanta Deb started the School Book Society for women education. In 1882, Tarabai
Shinde wrote a book A comparison between men and women which protested against the
exploitation of women. Yet she was no rebel for she merely wanted a dignified space for
women within the household. Pandita Ramabai took the lead and started Arya Mahila Samaj in
Maharastra. She also started Mukti Mission and Sharda Sadan to uplift the condition of
widows. She also defied many of the social practices like hypogamy, seclusion, conversion etc.
And she was equally criticized by reformers and conservatives. Rashtriya Stree Sangha and
Des Sevika Sangha were setup as auxiliary bodies to congress.
2. Hunter commission of 1882 also noted that 98% of women in India were illiterate and
recommended special funds to be set apart for their education.
3. IN 1917, Women's Indian Association appeared @ Madras and it was started by the
enlightened european and Indian ladies like Margaret Cousins and Annie Besant. In 1925
National Council of Women in India was setup as a branch of the International Council of
Women by Tata's wife. The most important organization was the All India Women's Conference
in 1927 - initially as a non political body - to promote education by Margaret Cousins. Later it
lobbied for other female rights as well including political. Sarala Devi Chaudhurani founded
Bharat Stree Mahamandal on 1910 @ Allahbad to promote education. In Bengal, Bengal
Women's Education League was founded for the same purpose. However, instead of preparing
a mass base, these organizations relied on petitioning the and appealing to the nationalists.
While the remained unsympathetic, the nationalists took up their cause somewhat.
4. These women organizations failed to create a distinct feminine consciousness in India for
although they recognized the central role of women in public, they envisioned such a role to be
constrained within some social, physical, psychological norms.
5. This concept was only seriously challenged in 1940s when (as we can see in QIM) women
began to claim their rightful place as equal partners. Sucheta Kriplani coordinated the non
violent movement, Aruna Asaf Ali coordinated the underground activities, rural women
participated on their own account in the QIM. SC Bose in 1928 was instrumental in raising
under the leadership of Latika Ghose a congress women volunteer corps which marched on
Calcutta streets in full uniform and later in INA he formed a women's regiment.
By the turn of the 19th century, whatever be said, the fact remains that a number of women in the
middle class hindu households were educated. But this did not improve the conditions of their social
existence very remarkably.
1. This was because the motivation of such education was never the emancipation of women. The
colonial government wanted female education as it wanted educated wives so that the english
speaking mothers could inculcate loyalty and english taste in the children from the beginning.
The educated middle class males dreamt of the Victorian ideal of companionate marriage and
in Bengal the educated bhadramahila appeared to be an ideal companion to the bhadrapurush.
This new concept of womanhood was a fine blending of the self sacrificing hindu wife and the
Victorian helpmate.
2. It must be noted that while such people encouraged women education, they considered the
wrongly educated or the over educated women as a threat. Similarly muslims educators of
women too wanted women who would be better wives, better mothers and better muslims.
Did the INM activism and politicization of women promote a feminist consciousness in India?
1. For the wider society, the answer is clearly no. The reasons are obvious - the framework in
which women used to participate.
2. But for those women who led these movements, life could perhaps never be same again.
Indian Youth & Student Movements
1. Many of them participated in constructive work.
2. They gave militant flavor to anti-Simon agitations and rose to prominence thereafter. JLN and
SC Bose were prominent youth leaders.
3. The rise of youth elements also led to the radicalization and socialization of the INM.
Lower Class Movements
Phase 1 (Till 1919)
1. The moderate leadership was elitist, middle class. They definitely couldn't take up the cause of
untouchables. The extremist leadership was lower middle class and rested heavily on the
support of caste people. So they too couldn't alienate them by taking up cause of untouchables.
2. The winds of change however couldn't leave them isolated and in 1917, INC passed a
resolution condemning untouchability. But nothing concrete was done in this phase.
Factors Behind Mobilization
1. There was a growing realization of the significance of the new sources of status i.e. education,
government jobs, political participation and an awareness that these new sources of status too
had been monopolized by the brahmans. In this the policies and Christian missionaries
helped a lot. In fact for some time it was believed that one way of protest against the caste
disabilities was to convert into christianity but it failed for obvious reasons. But as a result
organized caste movements began to grow in many parts of the country - Ezhavas and Pulayas
in Kerala, Chamars in Punjab, UP and Chattisgarh, Nadars in TN, Namasudras in Bengal.
2. Another important factor behind their mobilization was the spread of the message of bhakti.
Thus Sri Narayan Dharma Paripalna Yogam worked among the Ezhavas and Matua among the
Namasudras and preached the message of equality. There was the Adi Hindu movement
among the chamars in UP.
3. There ensued a process of Sanskritization among the lower classes where those with social
mobility ambitions chose to follow the customs of higher caste hindus like sati, child marriage,
women seclusion etc. There were other social movements as well.
4. At the same time the increasing hindu revivalist tendencies also alarmed them because if for
the brahman hindus the ancient age was a golden age and the present was a dark age, for
untouchables it was the opposite.
Jyotirao Phule and Satyashodak Samaj in Maharastra
1. He argued that it was brahman domination and their monopoly over the sources of power which
led to exploitation of the Shudras and ati-shudras. So he turned the orientalist theory of Aryan
invasion upside down. He argued that the shudras and the ati-shudras being the original
inhabitants should have a higher status than the brahman aryas and thus there was a need for
a social revolution. He tried to unite the lower peasantry as well as lower caste labor.
2. Even when after the 1919 Reforms when there was a schism in the movement with the upper
caste (but non brahman) elements breaking off to fight elections, satyashodak samaj continued
to mobilize the dalits. In 1930s it came close to Gandhian movement and merged into it and in
this merger Kesavrao Jedhe played an important role.
Madras Presidency Movements - Justice Party, MC Rajah and Periyar
1. Here it was associated with creating a distinct dravidian identity as well. By the late 19th
century, brahmans consisted of < 3% of the population but monopolized over 42% of the
government jobs. They showed a public disdain for Tamil and the dravidian culture and
ethnicity. This motivated the Velalas to mobilize to uphold the dravidian entity and in this they
were aided by the christian missionaries who emphasized on the antiquity of Tamil and the
dravidian culture. They also argued that the status of shudra was an imposed one which the
northern brahmans had done so and the caste system as well was not indigenous to Tamil
2. In 1916 Justice Party was formed as a formal political party of non brahmans to demand for
separate political representation of the non brahmans and it defied the NCM and participated in
the elections of 1920. Naturally it won a big victory. But soon it became clear that it represented
only the richer classes and thus its social base narrowed as the untouchables moved away
under the leadership of MC Rajah. MC Rajah drew closer to congress and even participated in
CDM making it a resounding success in TN.
3. Soon another movement, the Self Respect movement by EV Ramaswamy Naicker Periyar
developed which was very radical and championed the dravidian entity and Tamil language. He
had left congress in 1925 accusing it to be a brahman organization and then worked to mobilize
the dalits. He believed that self respect was needed before self rule. Associating Sanskrit and
north India with brahmans he launched scathing attacks on both. He turned Ramayna upside
down and portrayed Ravana as the ideal south indian king. He organized many programmes of
temple entry and public burning of manu smriti. When in 1937 C Rajgopalachari proposed the
introduction of Hindi in TN, he fiercely opposed it. In 1944 he became the DMK.

Phase 2 (1919- 1934)
1. By this phase the character of INM had changed. Masses were the key. G was a champion of
lower classes as well. So he drew them in through constructive work. He also gave them the
name Harijan and began to support the temple entry movements.
2. The lower caste groups in order to assert themselves tried to appropriate collectively some
visible symbols like temple entry, sacred thread, rituals, community pujas etc. hitherto reserved
for the higher castes. Such movements were particularly strong in Kerala the most important
being Vaikkam satyagraha in 1924-25 and the Guruvayur satyagraha in 1931-33. There was
Mushiganj Kali temple Satyagraha in Bengal in 1929 and Kalaram satyagraha in nasik in 1930-
35. Local and national Congress leaders actively participated in a few and organized
satyagrahs and eventually won them temple entries. These temple entry movements created
the widest possible unity. People from highest castes to the lowest outcastes broke social
customs and fought together. People and leaders from all over the country flocked in and
fought. All the methods of INM were used. In Chattisgarh the chamars reinterpreted the
religious symbols to even assert their supremacy over the brahmans. Apart from the religious
rights the lower castes also demanded social rights and when denied organized themselves.
Thus the was an attempt by Nadar women in Kerala to cover their breasts like the higher caste
women and this was violently resisted in 1859. This issue flared up again in 1905 between the
Ezhavas and the Nairs in Quilon in 1905. In Bengal when the high caste kayasthas refused to
attend the funeral ceremony of namasudras they resorted to a boycott of working in their fields.
In 1927 in Mahad, Ambedkar organized a satyagraha to demand water from the public tank.
3. Then came the political mobilization and this was led by Ambedkar. In 1927 he publicly burnt a
manu smriti. In 1934 he wrote to the temple satyagrahis emphasizing the futility of temple
movements and instead urging them to focus on political representation and education. If
political gates are opened, temple gates would automatically open. He believed that dalit
grievances could be redressed only by a complete overhaul of hindu society and not just by a
reformist approach. In 1936 he founded Independent Labor Party to mobilize the poor and the
untouchables and in 1942 All India SC Conference @ Nagpur with its claiming dalits to be
separate from hindus.
4. Gandhi distinguished between issue of untouchability and endogamy + dining restrictions. He
wanted INM to focus on untouchability but not on endogamy + dining restrictions because these
were not disabilities imposed on Dalits and were practiced among Dalits and among caste
people as well. Ambedkar asserted that untouchability was an outcome of caste system, so
caste system should be abolished. Gandhiji believed untouchability was a product of thinking of
'high and low' and had nothing to do with caste system so caste system needn't be abolished.
Moreover Gandhi's approach was to dignify the untouchables and to remove various disabilities
imposed on them. But Ambedkar focused more on empowerment.
Communal Award of 1932

1. When the Communal Award, 1932 gave separate electorates to Dalits, Gandhiji opposed the
communal electorates for Dalits and demanded that increased number of seats be reserved for
them but they should be elected by everyone. He undertook 2 major fasts to press for his
demand on this issue. Ambedkar on the other hand supported the Award while MC Rajah
opposed it since he favored a joint electorate.
2. After the Poona Pact there was a cooperation between Gandhi and Ambedkar for some time
and it led to founding the Harijan Sevak Sangh but it failed to last for long.
But unlike Muslim breakaway politics, dalit self assertion did not go very far and their politics was
soon appropriated in the INM in 1940s
1. Ambedkar found in 1942 All India SC Conference @ Nagpur with its claiming dalits to be
separate from hindus. But still it couldn't break away dalits from INM fold. One reason is that
not many dalits believed in his separatist politics and Gandhi had acquired immense popularity
even among them. His constructive work programme naturally played a big role in allaying their
concerns. This lack of mass support made his movement weak and he couldn't play another
2. In 1946 elections his party won only 2 out of 151 reserved seats and on this basis Cabinet
Mission could safely conclude that congress was a genuine representative of the dalits. Even
now a furious Ambedkar tried to prove his base by trying to initiate a mass satyagraha but
failed to get much support. Then congress absorbed him into the assembly.
Princely India
Factors Responsible
1. Exploitative nature and character of and princely rule. It was worse than in provinces.
2. REM.
3. Khilafat and NCM led to growth of praja mandals in states.
Phase 1 (1920 - 1939)
1. The princely states had never been completely insulated from the happenings in India and
both the nationalistic politics and the communal tension spilled over onto them. Thus in 1921 in
Sirohi, Motilal led a Bhil movement in Sirohi to protest against the jagirdari oppression. The
rulers of Alwar and Bharatpur became ardent supporters of hindu revivalist project and actively
patronized Arya samaj activities.
2. Congress allowed people of states to join Congress but barred them from carrying out activities
in states in the name of Congress. They could carry out such activities only under local
organizations or individual capacity. Thus the main emphasis was that the people of states
should build up their own strength. Informal links remained close and throughout the decade
praja mandals began to come up which eventually formed the All India States' People's
Conference in 1927. In 1928, congress passed a resolution calling upon princes to grant a
responsible government in their states.
3. Reason for such a policy was general lack of civil liberties in states including freedom of
association, their independent legal status, and comparative political backwardness of people
of the states.
Phase 2 (1939 - 1947)
1. The policy changed for closer integration for 3 reasons. (a) The GoI Act, 1935 envisaged a
federation where states would be able to send their representatives to upper house. These
representatives would constitute one-third of the strength of upper house and would be
nominated by the princes, hence form a solid reactionary bloc. This led to a great sense of
urgency for responsible governments in states. (b) Congress ministries. This fired the
expectations of people in states and princes too had to contend with a Congress in power. (c)
The earlier policy was an acknowledgement of the fact that awakening in princely India was
low. Now the time had come for its integration as people were ready. So in 1938 @ Haripura,
Congress made it clear that complete independence included states as well.
2. 1938-39 were years of great awakening of people in states and witnessed large number of
movements demanding for responsible governments. Praja mandals came up in many states
and intensified their activities to an unprecedented scale. Massive agitations took place in
Jaipur, Rajkot, Travancore, Kashmir, Hyderabad which were often led personally by congress
3. In 1942 while launching Quit India movement, no distinction was made between India and
princely states.
4. Due to heavy and indiscriminate repression, CPI tended to rally peasants behind it and lead the
struggle. Often such movements turned violent.
Reasons for difference from provinces
1. Lack of civil liberties, associations etc. meant that space for political peaceful agitations was
small. So there was much greater tendency for use of violence. Gandhian strategy could work
in provinces because empire was not a totalitarian state. It was semi-authoritarian or
dominance based on rule of law. Such a strategy had no space in medieval institutions of
princely India.
2. Brutal medieval repression meant struggles were led by communists.
Quit India Movement
"Do or die". People accepted the challenge and interpreted it in their own way.

Congress' attitude towards war
1. A section under Gandhi were strongly anti-fascist and sympathized with . So much so that
they were ready to extend support to .
2. Radicals under SC Bose argued that this was an imperialist war fought by imperial states in
both sides for imperial questions. So there is no question of supporting either. Instead the
Congress should use this opportunity to launch a mass movement.
3. JLN like Gandhi made a distinction between fascism and democracy. But like radicals he
believed that even though justice was with , they were basically imperialists. So unless India is
freed from imperialism it can't support . At the same time, it should not compound problem
by launching a mass movement. His view became the official view of Congress. At the same
time it should be felt that demands be presented to government and it be given an opportunity
to negotiate. If negotiations fail and nothing happens, only then a mass movement should be
launched. For this eventuality, Congress' organization should be cleansed and people should
be prepared for the struggle.
4. By end of 1940 it was clear government was not in a mood to negotiate. Hence Congress gave
charge to Gandhiji once again to prepare people for a mass movement. He decided to initiate
a limited satyagraha by a few individuals in each locality. The satyagrahis would be hand-
picked, would inform the magistrate of the venue and time of his satyagraha in advance, go to
the spot, make an anti-war speech and court arrest. If the government didn't arrest him, he
would move into villages and spread the message. The aim of this satyagraha was to inspire
people, prepare them and to give further chance to to negotiate and if they don't then to
expose their true intentions to people. So this satyagraha was pretty successful.
5. After the failure of Cripps mission, Gandhiji decided to launch Quit India.
response to Congress
1. were happy the Congress ministries resigned. They refused to accept Congress' demand of
complete freedom after the war and effective transfer of power immediately. They merely said
were fighting the war to resist aggression and that after the war GoI Act 1935 reforms would be
discussed with various Indian parties.
2. The followed their old imperialist policy, tried to harp on differences between ML and
Congress and refused to believe that they will have to leave India.
Reasons for Congress not launching a mass movement in 1939-40
1. Congress felt that since cause in the war was justified, their problems shouldn't be
2. They felt Congress organization was not ready for launching a mass movement. It was full of
corrupt self-serving elements as Congress had been in power. Congress had lost touch with
people due to its ministries.
3. Lack of Hindu-Muslim unity could easily have triggered communal riots during the mass
movement and even civil war.
4. Gandhian philosophy argued that a mass movement is most effective only when the possibility
of negotiation is exhausted. Only then people feel what is happening is unjust and pour in. So
decision was made to present demands to and try to negotiate with them. At the same time
keep on preparing the people and cleansing organization for the eventual mass movement.
Factors responsible for the launch of Quit India Movement
1. Failure of Cripps Mission: Cripps Mission was never serious about giving independence to India
or to give it any meaningful responsibility for defence during the war. So despite early
reservations about launching a movement, Congress and Gandhiji came to the conclusion that
any further silence would amount to accepting the right of to coerce India into the war. Also its
failure had exposed the intentions of to people and made them ready.
2. war reversals: The way and French were getting swept away led to a popular feeling of
imminent fall. Japanese were on the doorsteps. Also the way and French had fled from Asia
leaving the natives behind had exposed their true thinking. This way both the legitimacy and the
awe of rule was gone. It can be gauged from the fact that there was a run on the banks and
people had started hoarding bullion.
3. War time difficulties; Like shortages, inflation, famines, coercion etc.
Quit India Movement Phase 1 - Mass Protests (August 1942 - October 1942)
1. Mass, mass reaction. Biggest strikes, agitations, the country was paralyzed. Violence
happened everywhere. Symbols of government authority were attacked. Clashes happened
with authorities. Railway stations, post offices, police stations, public buildings were all targets.
National flags were hoisted forcibly on many public buildings. rule ceased to exist in many
parts of the country. People actually uprooted railway tracks, blew up bridges, cut telegraph
wires, burnt public property.
2. Many provincial and local leaders who were able to evade arrest returned to their homes and
spread into villages. News and rumors began to reach villages and complete paralysis there as
well. Students and youth participated in immense numbers. They defied the ban on press by
circulating hand written journals. Labor struck work most notably @ Ahemdabad, Bombay,
Jamshedpur, Poona. The reaction was most intense in UP and Bihar where students dispersed
into villages, organized peasants and burnt all symbols of government authority.
3. Suppression was equally brutal which coupled with the fact that leaders had already been
arrested led to quick subsidence of the mass phase.
Quit India Movement Phase 2 - Underground Activities (October 1942 - February 1943)
1. The active phase had died. Leaders went underground and began to organize underground
resistance. They also began to coordinate their efforts and developed an underground network.
Achyut Patwardhan, Aruna Asaf Ali, Lohiya, Sucheta Kriplani and Biju Patnaik were main
underground leaders. They saw their main role as keeping up the public morale by continuing
to provide an organization and line of command. These leaders comprised of all sections of
nationalists - CSP, Forward Bloc, Gandhi Ashramites, revolutionary terrorists. Capitalist class
actively supported the underground leaders. Students acted as workers and couriers. Villagers
refused to aid police by providing information. Train drivers etc. delivered bombs.
2. Usha Mehta ran the Azad Radio from 'somewhere in India', bands of peasants used to organize
sabotage activities in night which came to be known as Karnataka Method, JP Narayan
organized a guerilla warfare around Indo - Nepal border, definition of 'underground' meant the
entire nation.
3. The underground leaders didn't direct the local level activities. Their role was mainly to provide
overall organization and guidance, arrange for material and funds. The actual activities were
decided and carried out by local level teams like blowing up bridges, disrupting railways,
telegraph, postal services etc. Naturally they failed to have much impact.
Quit India Movement Phase 3 - Gandhi's Fast (February 1943)
1. A twist came when Gandhiji commenced a 21 day fast in Feb 1943 in jail against the violence
of the government. Once again entire country came to life. But the government refused to
oblige and even issued statements wanting Gandhiji's death.
2. The fast achieved what it intended. The prestige of government reached rock bottom.
Gandhiji survived, government was seen as wanting him dead, even the Indian members of
Viceroy's executive council resigned. Masses had been stirred again.
Quit India Movement Phase 4 - Parallel Governments
1. The first one came up in Ballia in UP in August 1942 under Chittu Pande who called himself a
Gandhian. It lasted for a week.
2. In Tamluk in Bengal, another government came up which lasted till 1944. This was an area
where Gandhian constructive work had made considerable headway.
3. Satara witnessed longest lasting parallel government which began from middle of 1943.
The QIM by promising immediate freedom from an oppressive colonial order had thus captured the
imagination of a significant section of Indian population, notwithstanding their differing perceptions of
(a) Bihar
1. The movement was the most powerful here and had immense participation from a wide section
of the peasantry.
2. @ Patna, students took initiative to mobilize a mammoth rally and hoist the congress flag over
the assembly. Masses poured in and all the symbols of imperial authority were burnt down.
3. @ Jamshedpur and Dalmianagar, peasants struck work in almost all the industrial units and in
both places they had the consent of the capitalists.
4. In the last week of August 1942, massive peasant revolts took place in almost each and every
village of Bihar. The pattern was similar - the students or the rumors of their arrival would
arrive, thousands of ordinary peasants would mobilize and all symbols of imperialism would
be attacked and any personnel found would be killed in public. Everywhere the local civilian
and police authorities vacated their posts without resistance - and their compliance cannot be
negated. Even zamindars and merchants supported the movement by extending support to the
5. @ Barh, parallel government was formed by the lower caste Gops and Dusadhs who started
levying their own tax. Azad Dastas were formed and carried out guerilla warfare with and this
included JP as well and they also indulged in looting exploitative zamindars.
(b) UP
1. In E UP @ Gazipur and Azamgarh, the arrival of BHU students galvanized the local peasantry
and they followed the usual pattern.
2. @ Balia, students from BHU and Allahabad University arrived in a hijacked Azad Train and
rule was ended. Jails were broken open and all political prisoners freed. Chittu Pande, a
follower of Gandhi, hereafter formed a parallel government and was proclaimed ziladhish.
(c) Bengal
1. The movement was strongest @ Tamluk and Kanthi in Midnapore where the government had
followed a policy of denial and thus had caused immense hardship on the peasants.
administration collapsed. Even when a cyclone and a tidal wave killed 15K the refused to
provide relief. @ Kanthi, Swaraj Panchayat was setup and in Tamluk Tamralipti Jaitya
Sarkar was setup which continued to function till 1944.
2. @ Dinajpur, the Santhal tribals participated in the movement in a large scale and fought for
Gandhi raj.
(d) Odisha
1. The movement found heavy support with the peasantry as they had already been mobilized by
the congress and its CSP activists. The pattern was familiar - strikes would begin with the
students in the cities who would then spread out into the countryside where the entire
peasantry would mobilize and destroy all symbols of imperialism.
2. In the princely states of Nilgiri and Dhankanal the tribals and dalits were mobilized by the praja
mandals and they violated the forest laws. @ Talcher, the praja mandal leaders ended the rule
of the local raja and and established a chasi mulia raj where food, shelter and clothes would
be provided to everyone. The demonstrators here were gunned down by air force planes.
3. @ Malkangiri and Nawrangpur, Laxman Naiko assembled the tribals and the peasants and led
attacks on the liquor and the opium shops and proudly declared that raj had been replaced by
Gandhi Raj and that the tribals were no longer required to pay the forest dues.
(e) Maharastra
1. @ Satara a parallel government of non brahmans emerged which continued until 1946. It had
an elaborate organizational structure and had volunteer crops called Seba Dal and village units
called Tufan Dals. Nana Patil was an important leader of the movement. It even defied
Gandhi's call for surrender in 1944.
(f) Gujarat
1. Here it was strongest in Kheda, Surat, Broach and the state of Baroda. Here again one saw the
complicity of the industrialist class in the movement.
(g) S India
1. In TN, rightists like Rajgopalachari as well as dravidian leaders like Periyar opposed the
movement (he saw it as a north Indian movement) and so participation remained weak.
(h) Communal Organizations
1. ML had given a call for the boycott of this movement so muslims too stayed away from it.
Similarly Ambedkar too opposed the movement and in fact joined the Viceroy's executive
council as a labor member (and this is why lost his face in the next elections) but dalits poured
into the movement in large numbers. Hindu Mahasabha too boycotted the movement but many
of its leaders defied the official orders and actively participated in the movement. RSS too didn't
support the movement. Communists were commies after all.
Significance - The leadership had passed on to the ricksha pullers, ekka drivers and other such
people whose political knowledge extended only this far - that were their enemies.
1. It had the widest social base. Princely states participated. Peasants from lowest to highest
strata participated. Even zamindars supported or remained neutral. Raja of Darbanga one of
the biggest zamindars asked his men to help the peasants who had been arrested.
2. Total concentration of attack against and absence of attacks on zamindars even in Bihar and
UP where the movement was strongest and in the areas where parallel governments stayed for
long times.
3. Government officials supported the QIM. This broke the back of the and made them realize
the futility of the attempt to rule India.
4. Even though Muslim participation in QIM was low, absence of communal riots helped.
5. It upped the stakes on the table. Now negotiations with could only happen on the mode of
their departure from India.
Debate: Was QIM a spontaneous outburst or planned rebellion?
(a) Spontaneous Outburst
1. The element of spontaneity was definitely larger than the earlier ones. The leadership in QIM
had no time to chalk out any broad programme.
(b) Planned Rebellion (Gandhi had always meant everything to everyone)
1. Even though the element of spontaneity was larger, but this was the very strategy of Gandhian
movements. The leadership merely chalked out a broad programme and local level committees
and people decided what to do exactly given their conditions. Even in CDM (the most organized
one) people had the complete freedom to do what they wanted - break salt law, non payment of
rent, non payment of chowkidari tax, forest law satyagrahs, picketing liquor shops etc.
2. Before the movement Gandhi himself emphasized that everyone must henceforth consider
himself as a 'free' man or woman and chose his own course of action should the leaders be
3. Even though the leadership had no time to chalk out the broad programme but the factors
behind the QIM, its aims and objectives, the philosophy of QIM were in consonance with the
factors, aims and objectives and the philosophy of what the INM had developed over the
4. Congress had been preparing for this movement during the passive phase from 1934 and
actively from 1940s. Limited satyagrahs were there and propaganda spread. Congress
organization was being prepared. Last 2 decades of mass politicization efforts also prepared
them and there is every evidence to show that they were growing more and more radical under
the aegis of congress.
Debate: How does the use of violence reconcile with the non-violence of Gandhi?
1. Gandhi's main objection to violence was that it impeded the ability of people to participate in
mass movements. But QIM showed they were ready for it. had lost their legitimacy by then
and stakes were too high for Gandhi to call it off.
2. "I do not ask from you my own non violence. You can decide what you can do in this struggle".
"I trust the whole of India today to launch a non violent struggle. But even if people deviated
from this path of non violence, I shall not swerve, I shall not flinch". "Do or die". People
accepted the challenge and interpreted it in their own way.
Left Movement
Factors Responsible
1. The rise of youth following the anti-Simon agitations. Youth were a fertile ground for radical
2. The rise of REM activities.
3. Changing character of INM --> from being an elitist movement to mass movement.
1. It was accepted that freedom couldn't be restricted to political sense. But it had to mean socio-
economic freedom as well.
2. They helped in drawing in peasants and workers into politics and INM.
3. They even threw up tall leaders and succeeded in commanding influence on central leadership.
JLN had leftist leanings.
4. Their impact can be seen in the Karachi Resolution on Fundamental Rights and Economic
Policy in 1931, election manifesto of Congress in 1936 and Planning Committee in 1938.
5. Movements in many princely states were led by communists since the repression there was
brutal and there was no space for peaceful political agitations.
Reasons for Failure
1. It fought right wing on wrong issues - not on the questions of ideology but methods and tactics.
They accused Congress of being pro-imperialist! What a joke! They advocated violence again
which found little takers.
2. They failed to see the Indian reality. They asserted that Congress was a bourgeoisie party,
Gandhian tactics of negotiating with was a 'compromise with imperialism' and any step
towards constitutional process as a 'step towards abandoning struggle'. It saw all efforts to
guide the national movement in a disciplined form as an effort by bourgeoisie to not to let it turn
radical and slip 'out of their safe hands'.
3. They failed to work unitedly and pose a common left front.
Left Within Congress
Congress Socialist Party
1. After the suspension of CDM, many INC leaders grew disillusioned and in jail they turned to
radical ideas like socialism. So in 1934, they setup the Congress Socialist Party under the
leadership of JP Narayan, Narendra Dev, Achyut Patwardhan, Ashok Mehta and Minoo
2. They agreed on 4 basic propositions - (a) The primary struggle in India was freedom struggle
and socialism is not possible without nationalism. (b) CSP should work within the Congress
otherwise it would be suicidal. (c) CSP must give Congress a socialist direction. This
transformation has to be a process and not an event. (d) CSP to achieve this must organize
workers and peasants and raise their demands.
3. The goal of transformation of Congress was seen in transformation of leadership as well.
Initially it meant replacing the leadership @ top. But it was soon found unrealistic to displace
Gandhiji. So CSP worked to evolve composite leadership @ all levels. It was to throw up
alternate left leaders from the bottom to the top. Matters came to head in 1939 and 1940
sessions, but CSP shied away from splitting the Congress.
1. It was accepted that freedom couldn't be restricted to political sense. But it had to mean socio-
economic freedom as well.
2. He influenced a whole generation of leaders and gave them socialist orientation.
3. He criticized Gandhiji for refusing to accept conflict of classes, preaching harmony between
exploiter and exploited and for his trusteeship theory. He also criticized Gandhian theory of
STS and believed struggle was perpetual until victory was achieved.
4. He welcomed the efforts of WPPs to radicalize Congress and in the Meerut conspiracy case,
he defended the communist leaders.
5. After 1934 when CDM was withdrawn, there were 2 factions in Congress. One for entering
legislatures and other for doing constructive work. JLN had a third view where he advocated
continuation of struggle. He wanted to continue mobilizing peasants and workers into their
unions and draw them towards Congress. Constitutionalism to him was going back to pre-
Gandhian era of compromise.
6. Congress was apathetic to states' movements. But this policy changed when in 1936 Nehru
himself attended the session of All India States' Peoples' Conference and called for a mass
movement. In 1938 @ Haripura congress decided to support the states' people.
SC Bose vs rightists, 1939 Tripuri crisis
1. He said presidential elections should be fought on the basis of ideology (leftist vs rightist in this
case) whereas the rightists said Congress president was merely a constitutional head. Real
work was done by AICC and working committee. So no question of ideology based presidential
2. He unleashed a propaganda against Sardar Patel and other rightists and accused them of
working on a compromise with the government on question of sharing power. With such grave
accusations, naturally the senior leaders couldn't have worked with SC Bose and a split was
3. He had a difference with Gandhian thought. While Gandhiji thought that Congress organization
was weak and people were not ready for another mass movement, SC Bose thought that
people were ready and the weakness of the organization could be overcome during the
movement. But he recognized that he needed Gandhi to launch any mass movement so he
wanted him to work on his commands. This was naturally unacceptable to the Gandhi camp.
4. He believed that if the main leadership doesn't agree, Congress should be split and people will
support the radicals. But CSP and CPI didn't agree with him as they knew splitting Congress
was not feasible.
Bose After Congress
1. He toured the country to try to fuel an agitation but failed. He came back to calcutta and tried to
forge a pact with ML and to launch a CDM over the Black Hole tragedy monument. But he
failed and was arrested. Next he fled. Rest is history.
1. MN Roy and 7 others setup CPI @ Tashkent in 1920. Independently many communist groups
developed in India and in 1925, they setup CPI @ Kanpur.
2. Initially it asked its members to enroll themselves in INC, form a strong left base in all INC arms
and to eventually give INC itself a left leaning. By 1927, communist elements grew stronger and
various communist groups began to organize themselves in Workers' and Peasants' Parties
(WPP) and began to function as the left wing of Congress. Their influence began to grow and
by 1928, they had a sizable following. JLN welcomed WPPs' efforts to radicalize Congress.
3. In 1928, they split with INC - why? Because in 1927 Koumintang had turned against Chinese
communists and Comintern feared it will happen in India as well. So they asked CPI to break
relations with Congress and expose its bourgeoisie and imperialist face behind the Gandhian
4. After the split of 1928, isolated the communists and launched the Meerut conspiracy case in
1929. Here again the defense of communists was taken up by many nationalist leaders like
JLN and Gandhiji himself visited the communist leaders in jail. CPI went into oblivion and in
1934 it was banned.
5. In 1935, Comintern changed its earlier position on national alliances and advocated alliances
with anti-fascist forces including bourgeoisie led national movements since it now faced the
fascist threat. CPI began to participate again till 1942 when USSR allied with . In this phase,
its main aim was again to transform INC into a leftist party.
Other Left Parties
1. In 1930, MN Roy came to India and found a strong group of Royists.
2. Forward Bloc was founded in 1939 by SC Bose.
3. HSRA, RSP, Trotskyists also functioned in 1930s.
Working Class Movements
Phase 1 (- till 1905)
1. With the growth of industries in India from 1850s, the class of workers also grew. There were
some initial strikes but they were mostly sporadic, local, immediate etc. In 1870s, some
philanthropic elements tried to organize workers but they were not linked to INM. In 1878,
Sorabji Shapoorji Bengali tried to introduce a bill in Bombay Legislative Council to limit work
hours. Sasipad Banerji, a Brahmo Samaj worker, setup a Workingmen's Club in 1870 and
brought out a monthly journal called Bharat Shramjivi. In Bombay, Narayan Lokhande brought
out a journal called Din Bandhu in 1880 and started Bombay Mill Association in 1890.
2. The mainstream INM stayed away from worker grievances because of its middle class and
elitist character. Moreover, working class was not so strong by then. However, when it came to
workers employed by , they took workers' side. On the other hand they opposed the Factory
Indian working class maintained a cultural dual self of a peasant and an industrial worker and
remained divided along the religious and the caste lines.
1. Despite migrating to the cities for better work, Indian workers retained close connections with
their villages. In many cases the family remained behind, migration was seasonal only, money
was sent etc. and thus they could never ignore the cultural factors which were important to
them in the village. Thus religion and caste remained the source of identity and a working class
consciousness was visibly absent.
2. Indian society was dominated by religion and casteism in almost all areas of social discourse.
Thus even the residential mohallas of the workers had spatial segregation along the caste and
communal lines. At work also various departments in an industry were manned exclusively by
workers belonging to a particular caste and religion. Often the higher castes got better jobs
while the lower castes got bad ones and at lower pay.
3. These caste and religious divisions kept the workers divided horizontally and often the
employers took advantage of this division. Often one group was used to break the strike of the
other group apparently on communal lines. Thus in Madras the Adi-Dravids became the strike
breakers of the caste hindu and muslim strikes. But it must be noted that compared to the later
they were economically much vulnerable and were totally dependent on wages for survival.
Thus such occasions came as opportunities to them and the motivation was economic and not
4. In many cases many of the 'communal riots' of the workers were only communal from surface.
Caste and religion being natural rally points in the contemporary Indian society, naturally the
religious gatherings in mosques and religious slogans were used to rally support. But the
causes were ultimately non communal.
Phase 2 (1905-1919)
1. The extremists belonged to lower middle classes. So the leanings of INM towards workers
increased. This was evident in Swadesi as well where workers participated and struck in large
numbers. Swadesi led to growing politicization of workers and integration with INM. Their
demands were increasingly linked to national cause.
2. In 1899, there was a railway signalmen strike which received full support from Tilak's
newspapers. However, the support seen in case of employed workers was still missing to
large extent in case of Indian employed workers.
3. The increasing connection with INM was also evident when workers struck work against the
repression of extremist leaders. But still all-India level organizations were missing.
4. After the arrival of Gandhi and Russian Revolution, there were some efforts to rally workers and
many journals were brought out.
Phase 3 (1919-1928)
1. The distinguishing feature was emergence of all-India workers' associations like AITUC in 1920
and integration of workers in INM on a significant scale. The nationalist leaders like CR Das,
Lala Lajpat Rai began to openly condemn capitalism and associate themselves with workers'
associations. The workers' associations began to openly call upon them to join INM.
2. Gandhiji himself fought for the cause of Ahemdabad workers and gave the concept of
trusteeship claiming the real owners were workers and management was mere trustee and was
required to act in good faith of workers. It also began to push forward workers' rights and
demands in the INM stream. Workers' significance grew and now it was realized that swaraj
would mean swaraj for workers as well.
3. CPI was founded @ Kanpur in 1925. Initially it asked its members to enroll themselves in INC,
form a strong left base in all INC arms and to eventually give INC itself a left leaning. By 1927,
communist elements grew stronger and various communist groups began to organize
themselves in Workers' and Peasants' Parties (WPP) and began to function as the left wing of
Congress. Their influence began to grow and by 1928, they had a sizable following.
4. JLN also played a vital role in spreading socialistic ideas and made it clear that freedom will not
be restricted to political sense. It would mean socio-economic freedom as well.
5. The socialist leanings of the swarajists also came out in open during the debates on Public
Safety Bill meant to try he communists. They criticized capitalism.
6. Anti-Simon agitations and REM propelled youth leaders to the forefront of INM who were
susceptible to radical socialist ideas.
Phase 4 (1928-47)
1. The were getting alarmed at rise of communists and integration with INM. So they began to
work on a two-pronged policy. One was suppression of extremists through the Meerut
Conspiracy Case of 1928 and other was to wean away the moderates in the labor movement
by appointing a commission for labor reforms.
2. The communists broke away from INC in 1928 and also from INM and didn't support it. This led
to a plummeting popularity and the workers got away from Communists. The membership of
their union fell from 54,000 to 800 in 1 year. They were also thrown out of AITUC.
3. The workers continued to participate in the INM despite the communist opposition. This was
because their thinking about the colonial masters was also based on their bad experience as
peasants back in the villages. Thus they had no sympathy with the sympathizers. In CDM, the
work of Sholapur workers is well known.
4. After the withdrawal of CDM, young Congress leaders were disillusioned and decided to found
CSP in 1934. They agreed that - (a) nationalism was the primary struggle in India and was a
pre-requisite for socialism. (b) Congress was the sole party capable of carrying out nationalistic
cause. (c) CSP should work inside the Congress to give it a left leaning including in the
leadership. (d) CSP should organize peasants and workers to do so. In 1935, Communists also
joined Congress and together they formed a strong left bloc inside Congress.
5. However there was a lull in workers activities from 1932-36 only to reemerge in 1937 due to
formation of INC governments and subsequent civil liberties.
6. When WW2 broke out, they were anti-war. But subsequently they supported as USSR was
with and decided not to participate in Quit India Movement. They again lost popularity as
workers joined QIM.
7. After the war, the workers continued to play an important role. They showed support in INA
trials, Bombay mutiny etc. by striking.

For GS Mains
Ans 6 (a)
Singh Sabha
- In the late 19th century.
- Aim: revival of Sikh Gurus teachings, Campaign to increase literacy and promotion
of Gurumukhi script.
- Reaction to the proselytizing activation of Christian Missionaries.
Ans 6 (b)
- Forested area of Rajmahal hills
- Present Sahebganj (Jharkhand)
- Santhal revolt.
Ans (c)
Saliadaran Ayyapan
- Follower of Sri Narayan Guru.
- Social reformer.
- Respected for his selfless social work.
- His slogan - Jati Venda, Matham Venda. Daivam Venda

Constitution development process
GoI Act, 1858
1. Centre-State relations: It laid down a unitary as well as rigidly centralized administration. There
were presidencies ruled by Governors (and councils) who were appointed by crown and
provinces ruled by Lt. Governors (and councils) appointed by GG, the provinces and
presidencies were mere agent of centre. They had to function under their express control and
2. London - Calcutta relations: Now the administration would be run by the secretary of state who
would be advised by the council of India consisting of 15 members nominated by the crown (7
of them would be selected from the now superseded Court of Directors). The GG would now be
answerable only to the secretary of state.
3. There was no separation of powers. All power - civil and military, executive and legislative were
with GGinC who were responsible only to SoS.
4. The entire machinery was bureaucratic, totally unconcerned with public opinion. Continuity was
maintained in civil services and the same recruitment examination (of 1853) was carried on.
Indian Councils Act, 1861
1. Council Composition: Earlier the GGinC included only official members. Now it would include
some non-official members as well. This was not a representative body as all its members were
2. Council Powers: This was not a deliberative body as well since it could consider only those
issues placed before it by GG and could not criticize. The effective legislative powers remained
with GG since (a) his consent was necessary before placing certain issues before the council,
(b) he could veto, (c) he could pass ordinances which would have same force as council's acts.
3. Provincial Councils: Provincial councils were setup as law making powers were given back to
the provinces. No central / provincial jurisdiction was defined and to introduce any bill in
provincial councils, GG's assent was required.
Indian Councils Act / Lord Cross' Act, 1892
Moderates' Demands / Background
1. They wanted abolition of the India Council which prevented the SoS from initiating liberal
policies in India. They also wanted to broaden the Indian participation in the central and the
provincial legislative councils by having 50% members elected not by the general public, but by
local bodies, chambers of commerce, universities etc. They wanted 2 Indian members in the
GG's executive council and 1 such member in each of the provincial council.
2. The budget should be referred to the legislature which should have the right to discuss it,
amend it and vote on it. They also wanted the right to appeal directly to the parliament
against the GoI.
1. Central council composition: Non-official members were to be nominated by Bengal Chamber
of Commerce and provincial councils. There would be no election but selection by the governor
from amongst the recommended candidates by such bodies.
2. Central council powers: It could now discuss budget and address questions to the executive.
But supplementary questions were not allowed, could not vote on the budget, nor move any
resolutions or demand a vote on any resolution brought by the government.
3. Provincial council composition: Non-official members were to be nominated by certain local
bodies like municipalities, universities, district boards. There would be no election but selection
by the governor from amongst the recommended candidates by such bodies.
4. Provincial council powers: It could now discuss budget and address questions to the Executive.
But supplementary questions were not allowed.
Indian Councils Act, 1909
The 2nd half of 19th century, particularly the period after the suppression of the 1857 revolt was the
high noon of imperialism in India.
1. In this period their despotism grew and they were not prepared to give any kind self
governance to Indians. And they could confidently back this by their racist claims. And above all
still manage to come out as the champion of masses.
The intensity of Swadesi and the spread of extremism had forced upon the administration some new
thoughts on reforms, while revolutionary terrorism reinforced this process.
1. The Cambridge school explains this shift in policy (of not giving any concessions for self
government) in terms of its weak imperialism - nationalism model. shared power because the
empire was essentially weak and it could not have survived without the cooperation of the
natives. So there was a gradual Indianization of the civil services and entry of Indians in politics
(first through local self government and now councils). The 1909 (and later) devolution of power
was merely an act to rope in more collaborators at the bottom.
2. Another hypothesis is that of a fiscal crisis so that roping in Indians would ensure more support
for in extracting higher revenue.
3. However the most important reason was the growth of nationalism which both of the above
theories neglect. Although partition was a settled fact, there was a growing realization in that
India can't be ruled with an iron fist. Some concessions are necessary. Moreover the carrots of
these reforms will split the moderates and the extremists and thus weaken the INM. It was also
decided to strengthen the post 1857 alliance with the conservative elements in the Indian
Devolution of power in the 1909 reforms was the only way to preserve the essentials of the empire.
1. Mention the 3 prong strategy to divide the INM here. The emergence of radicals meant that
pacification of moderates was the only workable strategy to keep the radicals in check.
1. Central Council Composition: Elected non-official members were introduced but official majority
was retained.
2. Central Council Powers: They could now influence administration policies by moving
resolutions on budget and other issues of public importance except armed forces, foreign
affairs and native states.
3. Provincial Council Composition: Elected non-official members were introduced so that the
official majority was gone but many of the non officials were to be nominated by the
4. Elections were introduced but under various constraints. Details of seat allocation and electoral
qualifications were left to be decided by the local governments which left enough space for
bureaucratic manipulation. Special provision was made for the additional representation of
conservative classes and Muslims. Moreover the electorate was to be based on high property
qualifications. And finally the GoI was given the power to disallow any candidate from
contesting on any grounds.
Reactions - The reforms satisfied none.
1. It was rejected by Congress. It had no element of Swaraj, legislatures were weak and non-
official elected consisted of only a minority. The GG and Governors enjoyed veto power.
2. Elections were indirect and universal adult suffrage was not there. Principal of separate
1. Communalism: The principle of separate electorates fueled it. Subsequently these electorates
were extended to Sikhs (1919), Dalits (1932), Laborers (1935).
GoI Act, 1919
1. Lucknow pact, HRM and then the August Declaration. The moderates were being sidelined by
the radicals and thus the demands of the moderates had to be conceded to save them (which
was in interests) and to create divisions in the INM.
Lucknow Pact of 1916
1. It was essentially a Moderates' draft. It demanded constitutional reforms like expansion of
popular elements in central and provincial legislatures, inclusion of Indians into the Viceroy's
and Provincial Governors' executive council. The executive councils would have at least half
the members as Indians who would be elected by the corresponding legislature. Once elected
they can't be removed by the legislature.
2. Congress accepted communal electorates and fixed proportion of Muslims in central and
provincial legislatures.
3. Congress agreed to it reluctantly to bring Muslims in the INM fold. But after the 1919 reforms
when it realized that it could have the power without the support of Muslims, it went back on the
1. 3 of the 8 members of GG's executive council will be Indians, but appointed ones.
2. Centre-State Relations: Subjects of administration were divided into central and provincial.
Even the sources of revenue were divided into central and provincial so that the provinces
could run their administration based on the revenue they generated. Thus the budgets for
provinces also came into place. But this was not federalism, rather act of benevolence. The
centre could still legislate on any subject.
3. Dyarchy in Provinces: It sought to introduce element of responsible government without
impairing Governor's powers. So subjects were divided into 2 - reserved and transferred.
Reserved were kept only for governor (with his executive council) and transferred for governor
on the advice of CoM.
4. Composition of Central Council: Now it was made bicameral. Non-official majority in the lower
house was raised to 70% and in the upper house too they had a majority. The electorates were
arranged on communal basis.
5. Powers of Central Councils: GG still had overriding power by (a) veto, (b) his consent needed
for introduction of certain bills, (c) he could make ordinances which had same power as acts.
6. Composition of Provincial Councils: Nonofficial majority was raised to 70% of total strength.
Electorates were communal.
7. Powers of Provincial Councils: They could now move resolutions on Budget and levy taxes. But
a provincial bill could become an act only when it received the consent of GG as well. His
consent needed to introduce some bills.
1. Centre-State Relations: Administration still remained rigidly centralized. The GG who decided
whether a subject belonged to centre or state, not courts. GG's consent needed for introduction
and passage of some bills. Less important subjects in state list. Centre could still legislate on
any subject.
2. Dyarchy: Governor had all financial powers. He also controlled the bureaucracy. Less important
subjects and conflicts in subjects. The governor was not bound by advice of CoM even on
transfered subjects. CoM were not collectively responsible to the council, but individually to the
3. All the key administrative departments including finance were kept on the reserved side.
4. The actual division of subjects was haphazard and illogical. The ministers had no full control over
the factories, mines, water, power etc.
5. Then again, the ministers had to depend completely on the Finance Department which was
supervised by a member of the Governors Executive Council. No progressive measure could be put
through without his consent.
6. The extensive authority of the Governor to ignore the advice of his ministers and to act in his
discretion in case he considered it necessary, ostensibly in the interest of minorities, the depressed
classes, public services or for maintaining peace and tranquillity in the province, virtually made the
ministers powerless even in relation to transferred subjects.
7. The main instruments of administration, namely, the Indian Civil Service and Indian Police, were
under the control of the Governor and were responsible to him and not to the ministers. Thus, an
ICS officer in the rank of Secretary or the Commissioner, being backed by the Governor, could
practically veto a decision of the minister, which resulted in considerable diminution in the authority
of the latter.

8. Narrow franchise. Property qualifications restricted it to 12.5% of the adult population. In
addition to muslims, sikhs were given communal electorate as well while the depressed classes
were given nominated seats in legislatures at all level.
GoI Act, 1935
Factors Responsible
The Act was thus to corrode the support base of the congress.
1. The government had curbed CDM by using force. But it knew force can work only for so long.
So it decided to divide the INM by drawing the moderates out with the lure of reforms. This
would accentuate the differences between left and right wings as left would be opposed to
constitutional process. Once separated, left could be crushed. The right wing once in power
would be cutoff from the masses and lose popularity.
2. Gandhiji had been persuaded by the to participate in the 2nd RTC on the basis of 3 promises
- federation, responsible government, reservations and safeguards.
3. Provincial autonomy would weaken the central leadership and create strong provincial leaders.
Thus Congress organization would be weakened @ all-India level.
4. In rural India the voting rights were given to the rich and the middle peasants who were staunch
supporters of the congress.
The Act consciously chose federal structure because it would act primarily to protect interests
rather than hand over the control in the vital areas / The Act only proposed to protect interests in
India by sharing power with the loyalist elements / If any change happened at all, the apex of the
system moved from London to Delhi.

1. Centre-state relations: It prescribed a federation with provinces and such native states who
were willing to join as units. But each province and native state was free to chose whether to
join the federation or remain separate. States representatives were to be nominated by the
rulers who would constitute a solid conservative and loyal 40% in the upper house. The
federation would come into existence only if > 50% of the princely states formally acceded to it
by signing the Instruments of Accession which would override their previous treaties with the .
But it established a federation and gave provinces autonomy in their sphere of legislation. The
3 lists were created. There were also emergency provisions. They were no longer delegates of
the centre. Governor now derived his powers from the crown and not GG.
2. Provincial government: The governor was now required to act on the advice of CoM who were
responsible to the council. But this was balanced by giving wide powers to the governors on
summoning legislatures, giving assent to bills, administering tribal regions, safeguarding
minority rights, privileges of civil servants and business interests. And finally they could take
over and run the administration of a province indefinitely.
3. Central government: It introduced dyarchy @ centre. On reserved subjects which included
internal security, foreign affairs, defence etc., GG acted solely in his discretion. On the
transfered subjects, he was to act in accordance with the advice of CoM who were responsible
to the legislature. But even here, the GG could act in contrary to the advice tendered by the
CoM if it affected his 'special responsibilities'. In practice, even the CoM was never appointed.
4. London - Delhi relations: There was to be a transfer of financial control from London to Delhi in
response to the long standing demand of the GoI for fiscal autonomy.
5. Powers of councils: GG (and governor in provinces) could veto, suspend proceedings /
discussion on a bill, needed to give assent for introduction of bill.
6. Electorate: The electorate was enlarged to 30 mm but high property qualifications meant only
10% could vote. In rural India, thus, the voting rights were given to the rich and the middle
peasants who were staunch supporters of the congress. + communal electorates to everybody.
The GoI Act 1935 could hardly satisfy anybody.
1. The ML opposed it because it was afraid of Hindu domination and feared that the proposed
federal structure would be very unitary. All the representatives of India to the central
legislature were to be elected by the provincial assemblies (without any provision for
proportional representation) and this would go against the muslims who were minorities in all
but 4 provinces. So although they didn't oppose the federation in public they preferred to allow
more autonomy to the provincial governments.
2. The congress didn't like the proposed federation because ~33 - 40% seats would be filled in by
the princes.
States on Federation

1. Their main objection to federation was that the Act still left the question of paramountcy
unsettled. Despite the lapse of all treaties with the crown, were not willing to give away their
paramountcy over the princes. And thus as the paramount power still retained the right to
interfere in their internal matters and to even overthrow them if necessary. So for the princes
there was nothing to be gained in joining the federation.
2. The 1825 Butler Committee too didn't provide any solution to the paramountcy issue. The only
concession it gave to the states was that paramountcy would not be transferred without their
consent to any democratically elected government in India but there was no dilution of
3. The princes supported the idea of federation in the Nehru report of 1928 hoping to get rid of the
paramountcy problem. Thus in this federation they would be able to secure their autonomy as
well as break free of . Thus the Chamber of Princes endorsed it and federation became a
demand of the princes. But in the GoI Act 1935 made it clear that their paramountcy will not
lapse despite the princes joining the federation. So joining the federation became meaningless.
4. Their second fear was that the democratic government at the center would have little sympathy
for their autocratic causes and thus would encourage democratic forces in their territories as
Provincial Administration
1. The Regulating Act of 1773 and Pitt's India Act of 1784 put restrictions on the provinces with
respect to making wars, forming alliances etc. and subordinated them to the Bengal province.
2. Still the provincial governments used to enjoy great deal of autonomy in administrative matters
till 1833 when their power to pass laws was taken away and their expenses put to greater
3. But the centralized system failed to be effective in India and expenses began to run high. So a
decision was taken to decentralize.
4. In 1870, Lord Mayo decided to give a fixed sum to the provincial governments for
administration of certain services like police, jail etc. The provincial governments could spend
it as they wished.
5. In 1877, Lord Lytton enlarged it by transferring to provinces certain heads of expenditure and to
meet the needs, provinces were given a fixed share of revenue from certain sources like
excise, income tax.
6. In 1882, under Lord Ripon sources were divided into 3 - reserved for provinces, reserved for
centre and sharing between provinces and centre.
Local Bodies
1. With changing times, there was a need to improve civic amenities. But finances were tight and
taxes already high. So government realized that if it made locals to pay more for benefit in their
own areas, they won't mind. They also believed associating Indians with administration in some
capacity would help diffuse the tension.
2. Between 1864 to 1868 local bodies were formed but they consisted of nominated members
only and chaired by the DM. Thus they were not local self government.
3. In 1882, Lord Ripon issued a circular saying local bodies will consist of a majority of non-
officials who would be elected wherever feasible. A non-official could also become the
chairman of the body. But the franchise was limited to a few only.
Labor Acts
1. The pressure of manufacturers was instrumental since they didn't want Indians to
manufacture cheaply! (Height of blind criticism)
2. First Indian Factory Act was passed in 1881 under Lord Ripon and dealt with child labor.
Second Act was passed in 1891 and dealt with women and child labor. But they didn't apply to
the plantations.
3. The condition of plantation workers remained miserable and government acts gave protection
to the planter only. The workers once contracted couldn't go away or refuse to work. He could
be arrested.
4. Only in 20th century were better labor laws passed.
Simon Commission
1. The provisions of GoI Act, 1919 mandated creation of a commission 10 years hence to review
the working of the Act. But the conservatives were about to lose the polls, hence wanted to
complete this important assignment before the polls as a part of poll gimmicks.
1. It triggered a wave of mass protests and charged up the political climate in India. Gave a new
lease of life to Indian nationalism. The main point of opposition was that there was no Indian in
the Commission.
2. New Protest Methods: In Lucknow, Khalik-uj-Jama coined the term "Simon Go Back". He also
flew black kites near the venue Simon was holding his meeting. Black flags were shown. The
Bombay workers had a clash with the capitalists who went to welcome Simon.
1. It suggested the replacement of dyarchy with full responsible government in the provinces with
the provision of some emergency powers in the hands of the governors.
2. It recommended autonomy for the provinces as far as practicable and visualized a federation at the
Centre, comprising both British India and the Indian States.
3. It didn't suggest any change in the central government.
Nehru Report
Delhi Proposals by ML
1. Reservations of one-third seats in central legislature.
2. In Punjab and Bengal, Muslim majority should be guaranteed via proportional representation
and in communities where Muslims were in minority, existing system of reservations should be
3. Sind be made a separate province.
4. NWFP be treated as a full fledged province.
1. It demanded dominion status on the lines of Australia and Canada.
2. It rejected the principle of separate electorates. Seats would be reserved for religious minorities
only in centre and in provinces in proportion to their population.
3. India should be a federation on the basis of linguistic provinces and provincial autonomy. Sind
be made a separate province from Bombay and NWFP be a full fledged province.
4. It provided for universal adult suffrage, secular state, freedom to form unions.
1. Congress: It accepted the report and decided to give 1 year to government to implement the
report failing which a mass civil disobedience movement will be launched and goal of INC will
be 'complete independence'.
2. Youth Section: They were dissatisfied because it compromised with the goal of complete
independence and merely asked for dominion status. Under their pressure in 1928, it was
decided to give government 1 year to implement this report else congress would adopt
complete independence as a goal and launch a mass CDM.
3. ML: It rejected it because there was no provision for reservation in majority provinces and also
one-third reservations for Muslims in Central Legislature. Jinnah went on to propose Calcutta
Amendments and then his 14 points which were a reiteration of his unfulfilled Delhi Proposals +
'residuary powers be vested with provinces'.
4. HM and Sikh League: Rejected the proposals on Sind, Punjab, Bengal and NWFP.
Round Table Conferences
Communal Awards, 1932
1. It awarded to each minority a specific number of seats in legislatures to be elected on the basis
of communal electorates. It also declared Dalits to be a minority community and extended the
communal electorates to them.
2. Gandhiji opposed the communal electorates for Dalits and demanded that increased number of
seats be reserved for them but they should be elected by everyone.
Elections of 1937
Gandhiji's Strategy towards Elections
1. After the withdrawal of CDM 3 rival factions arose in Congress. One favored elections, other
constructive work, third led by left favored continuation of mobilization of peasants and workers
into their respective unions and their affiliation with Congress.
2. Gandhiji conceded to the demand of liberals. Allowed them to participate in the elections and
also shielded them from accusations of being lesser patriots. He said that though
constitutionalism can't give India freedom, Congressmen who can't offer satyagraha may not sit
idle and choose to express their patriotic energies in the councils provided they don't get
sucked into it.
3. At the same time, he also conciliated left by backing Nehru for Congress presidentship and
stressing that CDM withdrawal doesn't mean compromise.
4. But he sensed that he was getting out of sync with changing thought in Congress. He
disagreed with participating in elections, he disagreed with left, people had no faith in his
constructive work program. So he quit Congress in 1934.
Congress Debate on participating in the elections
1. It believed participating in elections would mean going back to pre-1919 era and abandoning
the revolutionary unconstitutional path.
2. Accepting ministries would mean accepting responsibility without power since the colonial
nature of the state remained same.
1. Constitutional process was only a short term tactics. Idea is to expose the hollowness.
2. It is just a part of STS strategy of Gandhi. Ministries could be used to promote constructive
While fighting the Raj, the Congress itself was becoming the Raj.
1. Formation of ministries changed the entire psychological mood in the country. It was seen as a
2. Civil Liberties & INM: It led to increase in civil liberties and hence increase in youth, worker and
peasant movements.
3. Zamindari System: Congress couldn't have overthrown the zamindari system because - (a) The
ministries didn't have enough powers to do so. The sanctity of administration was guaranteed
by GG and governors who were not under the control of ministry. The ministries also didn't
have enough financial resources to do so. (b) The multi-class nature of the INM also didn't
permit it to please one class at the expense of another. Many small landlords were also
Congress supporters. (c) For any bill to be passed, support of both houses was necessary. But
the upper house was elected on a very narrow franchise and represented reactionary elements.
So anti-zamindari bills could never be passed. But it worked to reduce rent, debt burden, illegal
practices. It also restored the lands confiscated during the no rent campaign under CDM.
4. Workers' Relations: The basic approach was to promote workers' interests while protecting
industrial peace. Political arbitration in the workers' matters was increased. Industrial Disputes
Act 1938 was passed which provided for a Court of Industrial Arbitration. No strike or lockout
can happen within 4 months of submission of matter to the court.
5. Dalits: Temple entry laws were passed. No government institution was to recognize any
practice of untouchability. Efforts were made to increase their participation in education and
police and administration.
6. Congress Organization: Serious differences emerged. Right wing in power became susceptible.
They began to use state machinery to suppress left wing and nationalist movements. Congress
was weakening. There were cases where Congress leaders outside power were arrested for
leading protests.
7. GoI Act: It led to the failure of intentions behind GoI Act. There was no split in Congress and
INM remained as strong as ever. On the other hand, the morale of the bureaucracy was
8. Princely States: It led to greater sense of urgency for responsible governments in states and
integration of states' movements with INM because people in states had their expectations fired
August Offer
1. The Congress ministries resigned when the government made India a party to the war
without consulting its people. government was happy to see them resign as now trouble
would be less.
2. But the war began to turn against and they realized the importance of Indian help. To re
conciliate, August offer was announced in August, 1940.
1. GG's executive council to be immediately expanded to include more Indians.
2. A War Advisory Council to be setup to help the government in managing war needs.
3. A constitution making body will be setup after the end of the war. Subject to the fulfillment of
certain conditions like treaties with native states, minority rights' protection, defense of India,
position of all India services, the constitution making process will be entrusted primarily to
1. Congress: It rejected the offer because - (a) Congress wanted complete Independence
immediately. only promised it after the war (that too subject to all the above conditions) and
only the expansion of GG's executive council for the time being. This was nowhere close to
complete independence. (b) Emphasis on giving full weight to minority opinion was criticized by
the Congress as it complicated the scenario and any solution would never emerge. It amounted
to giving veto power to ML and HM.
Cripps Mission
1. After Battle of was over in 1940 end, reverted back to the policy of suppressing nationalists
and not paying attention to their demands. But again by 1942, was reeling. US had joined and
was putting pressure on to win support of India.
2. He discussed all the issues with Indian leadership but failing to find a common point, released
his pre-planned document in April 1942.
1. During war time, the GG's executive council will be completely Indianized (except war
department and that GG will continue to have a veto though) and will work as an interim
2. An elected constituent assembly comprising solely of Indians would be setup after the war to
frame Indian constitution. Such an assembly would be drawn from provincial legislatures and
will have proportional representation. Steps will also be taken for the participation of native
states in the constitution making process.
3. will accept any constitution prepared by the constituent assembly subject to the fulfillment of
the condition that each province will have the right to accept or reject the draft constitution. If a
province does so, it can enter into a separate arrangement with in its sovereign right.
Comparison with August Offer
1. Constitution Drafting Process: August Offer was less clear on the details of the constitution
making body. It merely said such a body will be setup and the process will be run primarily by
Indians. Cripps mission was clear that such a body shall be elected by provincial legislatures,
will have proportionate representation, representatives from native states and will comprise
solely of Indians.
2. Integrity of the Country: August Offer made no attempt to divide the country. Cripps Mission
deliberately left such a possibility open by insisting that each province shall have the right to
reject the constitution.
1. Congress: Rejected it because (a) Congress wanted even war department for Indians and GG
not to have any veto power. GG should only work according to the advice tendered by the
executive council. (b) It was against the right given to the provinces to accept / reject the
constitution. (c) It demanded that representatives of the native states should be elected, not
2. Muslim League: Rejected it because (a) It didn't provide for setting up of 2 constituent
assemblies for India and Pakistan. (b) There were no express provisions for the safeguard of
minority interests.
3. Hindu Mahasabha: Rejected it because (a) It opposed the continuation of separate electorates
for the provincial elections. (b) It was also against the independence given to the provinces to
reject the constitution.
4. Sikhs: Opposed it because of the provision of independence of provinces.
5. Dalits: Opposed it because no protection for dalits.
Wavell Plan, 1945
Pre-Wavell Diplomacy
CR Formula
1. In 1944 when it became clear Allied would win, Indian nationalists decided to put pressure on .
But at that time there was a deadlock between Congress and ML. So in order to resolve this
deadlock, C Rajgopalachari proposed this plan which was also endorsed by Gandhiji.
2. Congress and ML should work together to pressurize for independence. The issue of partition
could be decided after the independence.
3. Even in the situation where a separate state was created, cooperation would be retained in
matters like currency, communications, defence and foreign affairs.
4. Talks were held between Gandhi and Jinnah over the plan but failed as Jinnah insisted that the
issue of partition be settled first.
Desai-Liaqat Ali Talks
1. Both (Bhula Bhai Desai and Liaqat Ali) were members of central legislative assembly and
personal friends. To break the deadlock between Congress and ML, both agreed that Congress
and ML will share equal number of positions in the interim government and will work together
for independence.
2. When such an understanding became public, Jinnah publicly repudiated these talks and ML
refused to follow it.
Wavell Plan & Shimla Conference
1. It came in the middle of 1945 when the war in Europe had ended. He declared that would still
abide by the promises made in the Cripps Plan and came up with his own plan.
2. According to his plan, Viceroy's executive council will be converted into interim government
immediately. Members to such interim government will be 50% caste Hindus and 50% Muslims.
Simultaneously a constituent assembly will be elected on the basis of proportional
representation to draft a constitution. The interim government will function till the constitution is
drafted. To build a consensus for his plan, he called a conference in Shimla.
3. Shimla conference failed. Jinnah demanded that all the Muslim members of the interim
government should be the nominees of Muslims (Note this is not very different from the Desai-
Liaqat talks which Jinnah rejected! But the context here was so different.). Congress naturally
couldn't have accepted it because it would have meant giving up its secular credentials and
becoming a Hindu only party. It failed because Jinnah was allowed to effectively veto all the
Impact of Wavell Plan & Shimla Conference
1. ML was allowed to veto the proceedings. Its prestige and claim to be a representative of all
Muslims sky-rocketed. government virtually accepted that ML was the sole representative of
2. It led to strengthening of partition movement because ML used this enhance prestige to press
for more radical demands and on this credibility it won the elections held in 1945.
Cabinet Mission (June, 1946)
1. It came as increasingly realized that it was impossible to hold India any more. There was the
cold war effect, pressure exerted by Indian nationalists, the growing nationalism in bureaucracy
and military etc. By now their strategy had changed.
2. Earlier they were stroking communalism in the hope to divide the nationalists and delay
freedom. But now they realized that freedom was inevitable. Cold war politics dictated that the
new entity should remain a friend to . But how would it be possible if 2 mutually hostile entities
are created. One would necessarily gravitate towards Soviet Union and it will get a foothold in S
Asia. So Cabinet Mission rejected the idea of Pakistan. To this extent Atlee had declared that
minority will not be allowed to veto any progress by majority.
1. Viceroy's executive council will become the interim government and all members except the
viceroy and commander-in-chief will be Indians.
2. An attempt was made to strike a balance between aspirations of Congress and ML. Provinces
should be free to form groups (sub-federation) with Executives and Legislatures, and each group
could determine the provincial subjects to be taken in common. A 3 tier federal structure was
proposed - union, groups, provinces for both India and princely states. Congress was
appeased by rejecting the demand of Pakistan. ML was appeased by creating 3 grouping of
provinces. Hindu majority provinces of UP, Bihar, Odisha, Central Provinces, Bombay, Madras
were to be in Group A. Muslim majority provinces of Punjab, Sind, NWFP would be in Group B.
Bengal and Assam would be in Group C. After the first general elections a province could come
out of a group. After 10 years a province could call for a reconsideration of grouping or the
union constitution.
3. High degree of provincial autonomy was adopted. The new central government will have
powers over only communication, defence and foreign affairs with the right to raise revenue for
the discharge of these functions. All the residual powers will lie with the provinces.
4. The constituent assembly was to be elected to draft the for whole of India, on a proportional
basis by provincial legislative assemblies. The guiding principal should be that 1 man in
constituent assembly should represent roughly 1 mm men.
1. Congress: It accepted only the provisions regarding constituent assembly while rejecting the
ML interpretation of groupings. ML asserted groupings were mandatory while Congress asked
the government to clarify that the groupings were optional i.e. the provinces should be ale to
come out of a grouping before the 1st general elections itself. (Congress was strong in NWFP
and Assam and was hoping these provinces will not join their respective groupings). Congress
claimed that the Mission Plan was against Pakistan, ML's veto was gone and there would be
only one constituent assembly. JLN declared that the congress had agreed to nothing else
apart from the participation in the constituent assembly and that the group system would
probably collapse as Assam and NWFP may not want to join it. When the clarified that ML's
interpretation of the groupings was correct, Congress rejected the plan and refused to join the
2. ML: It accepted the plan initially and was ready to join the government. It maintained that the
groupings were a sanction for Pakistan. However, it wanted the right to consider the union
constitution now and not after 10 years. But when Congress refused to join the government, ML
pressurized the to go ahead with the interim government formation without the Congress.
made it clear that any government was not possible without Congress. So ML withdrew its
support and decided to press for Pakistan. The events which followed made partition inevitable.
Post-Cabinet Mission Diplomacy
Breakdown Plan (September 1946)
1. To pressurize the Congress to accept the Cabinet Mission, threatened to remove
administrative and military machinery from parts of India gradually. Sovereignty would be
decided by the concerned province / native state on their own. would withdraw to the
Pakistani provinces leaving Congress to deal with the rest of India.
2. So Congress had to join the interim government which was formed on 2 September 1946. ML
had not, however, joined it yet.
ML Diplomacy
1. Once the refused to overlook the Congress, ML decided to militantly press ahead for the
demand of Pakistan. On 29 July 1946, it announced, "Lekar rahenge Pakistan." It announced
that it will observe 10 August 1946 as the Direct Action Day and would force Congress and to
agree to Pakistan even if force had to be resorted to.
2. Massive communal riots broke out all over the country. It appeared that India was going down
the road of a civil war. Congress and now were compelled to agree to the possibility of
3. ML joined the interim government in October 1946 without giving up on direct action to wreck
its functioning and to prove any governance of India was not possible without the cooperation
of ML. It wanted to make sure state machinery was not used against ML. When announced
that it will only accept a constitution which was drafted by the consent of all major communities,
ML promptly resigned from the interim government as well as constituent assembly in
December 1946.
February Declaration & Mountbatten Plan
1. had increasingly realized the inevitability of partition. Their aim was to contain Soviet Union
and hence establish friendly relations with both nations. For this, instead of identifying
communal elements and then to eliminate them, they followed a policy of friendly negotiations
with both. They sought to win both parties by saying that if the constituent assembly was not
representative of both communities, power would be transfered to 2 states. Congress thought
even if ML withdrew constituent assemblies will still have Muslims. So it agreed. ML withdrew.
2. On 20 February 1947, prime minister Atlee announced that would quit India in any case by
30 June 1948. He sent Mountbatten to oversee the transfer of process. The declaration came
in the hope that it would shock the parties and pressurize them to move towards a solution out
of the deadlock.
3. Immediately upon arrival Mountbatten held large number of discussions with Indian leaders. On
3 June 1947, Atlee announced Mountbatten Plan. Also by now Pakistan's creation had become
a necessity.
He realized on his very arrival that it was virtually impossible to hand over the power to a united
1. He proposed Plan Balkan in April which was to partition Punjab and Bengal and to hand over
the power to each province or sub province which would have the freedom to join either
constituent assembly based on the right to self determination. Demission of power to provinces
and sub provinces in the absence of a strong center would have definitely led to balkanization
of India.
2. Jinnah rejected it too for he was not willing to accept a plan which gave him a truncated
1. 2 dominion status states of India and Pakistan were to be created. Hindu majority provinces
that had already accepted the constituent assembly had no choice but the muslim dominated
provinces had the freedom to join either constituent assembly.
2. Native states would have complete freedom to decide their own destiny.
3. Separate boundary commission would be setup to decide the boundary between India and
Pakistan. Punjab and Bengal would be partitioned as well. ML's position was granted in the
sense Pakistan was created and Congress' in the sense such a Pakistan was kept as small as
The fatal defect in this scheme was that neither Jinnah nor ML had ever defined the rights of non
Muslims in Pakistan.
1. Congress: It accepted partition and dominion status as it believed power should be grabbed as
soon as possible so that the communal situation in the country could be met with a firm hand.
Hence the early transfer of power on 15 August 1947 instead of 30 June 1948.

Constitution Development process