Key Events, Dates, and Personalities

The Indian National Movement was a long and arduous struggle for independence from British colonial rule, spanning several decades. It was marked by numerous key events, dates, and personalities that played pivotal roles in shaping the course of the movement. Here are some of the most significant events, dates, and personalities associated with the Indian National Movement:

1857 – The Revolt of 1857: Also known as the First War of Independence or the Sepoy Mutiny, this armed uprising against British rule erupted in various parts of India. Although it was suppressed by the British, it laid the foundation for future movements against colonial rule.

1885 – Formation of the Indian National Congress: The Indian National Congress (INC) was founded on December 28, 1885, by Allan Octavian Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji, Dinshaw Wacha, Womesh Chunder Bonnerjee, Monomohun Ghose, and William Wedderburn. It aimed to represent the interests of Indians in front of the British government and act as a platform for political reform.

1905 – Partition of Bengal: The British divided Bengal into two provinces – East Bengal and Assam, and West Bengal – in an attempt to weaken nationalist sentiments. This led to widespread protests and the Swadeshi Movement.

1919 – Jallianwala Bagh Massacre: On April 13, 1919, British troops opened fire on a peaceful gathering of Indians in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, killing hundreds. The incident fueled anti-British sentiments and intensified the demand for independence.

1919 – Rowlatt Act: The Rowlatt Act allowed the British government to imprison any individual without trial and curb civil liberties. It was met with strong opposition and led to the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.

1919 – Khilafat Movement: The Khilafat Movement, launched by Indian Muslims in support of the Ottoman Caliphate, was a significant alliance between the Indian National Movement and the Khilafat activists.

1930 – Dandi March: Also known as the Salt March, Mahatma Gandhi led a 240-mile march from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi to protest against the British monopoly on salt production. This became a symbol of civil disobedience and non-violent resistance.

1931 – Gandhi-Irwin Pact: An agreement signed between Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of India, which led to the suspension of the Civil Disobedience Movement. As a result, political prisoners were released, and the INC participated in the Second Round Table Conference in London.

1942 – Quit India Movement: On August 8, 1942, the Indian National Congress launched the Quit India Movement, demanding the immediate withdrawal of the British from India. It was a mass movement marked by civil disobedience, strikes, and protests.

1947 – Indian Independence: On August 15, 1947, India gained independence from British rule. The Indian Independence Act was passed by the British Parliament, resulting in the partition of India into two separate nations – India and Pakistan.

Key Personalities:

Mahatma Gandhi: The preeminent leader of the Indian National Movement, Gandhi led the non-violent struggle for independence through movements like Satyagraha, Non-Cooperation, Civil Disobedience, and the Quit India Movement.

Jawaharlal Nehru: A close associate of Gandhi, Nehru was the first Prime Minister of independent India. He played a crucial role in shaping India’s foreign policy and domestic governance.

Subhas Chandra Bose: A charismatic and radical leader, Bose advocated for armed resistance against the British and established the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) to fight for independence.

Bhagat Singh: A young revolutionary, Bhagat Singh, along with his comrades, sought to overthrow British rule through armed struggle. He became an icon of youth resistance and sacrifice.

Sarojini Naidu: A prominent poet and freedom fighter, Sarojini Naidu played a significant role in mobilizing women in the national movement and became known as the “Nightingale of India.”

Motilal Nehru: An early leader of the INC and a prominent lawyer, Motilal Nehru was an influential figure in the early stages of the national movement.

Annie Besant: An influential social reformer and leader, Annie Besant led the Home Rule Movement and played a crucial role in advocating for Indian self-rule.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: A prominent freedom fighter and scholar, Azad was a key figure in the Khilafat Movement and later became India’s first Minister of Education.

These events, dates, and personalities are a testament to the diverse and complex nature of the Indian National Movement. The struggle for independence was characterized by unity, diversity, and a shared vision for a free and independent India. The legacy of this movement continues to inspire generations, and the principles of non-violence and civil disobedience espoused by leaders like Mahatma Gandhi remain relevant even today.

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