• Fri. Jul 12th, 2024

Some historical tips regarding independence movement of India and its back grounds

About 600 BC Parsia king (now Iran) Darus occupied the Gandhar (Afganisthan) kingdom .After his death his son Daraus occupied upto Punjab of India. Vasko- Da -Gama first located the position of India in 15 th century and after that Portugal people came to India for business. At that point of time India was not united and was divided with lots of states .Most of the states were busy in fighting with each other and as such no one was able to resist the attack of invaders. Finding the weakness the Portugal people were able to occupy Goa ,Daman ,Dieu and then the than fisher market Bombay. After that the France came to India for business Duplex was their leader. They also occupied Chandan Nagar, Pondechery, Mahey and Karikol. In 1612 East India Company of England came to India and set their Kuthi at Surat. They wanted permission from Delhi Badshah Jahangir for business. When Hawkins and Thomas Roe went to Jahangir in 1615 for their business permission ,the daughter of Jahangir was sick. Hawkins gave some medicines for his daughter which cured her. Jahangir was so pleased that he asked them for any remuneration. They did not ask anything for their personal gain but wanted permission for free business for East India Company. Jahangir was happy to allow them permission. Then they purchased Madras from a hindu king Chandra Giri and set an army cantonment (George Forte)there. In the mean time British King was married to a portugul girl, when the king got Bombay as marriage gift. In 1639 they set Kuthi at Bombay, Massipattan,Dacca,Patna, Kashim Bazar etc. In 1690 they took lease of three villages Calcuta, Sutanuti and Govindapur. Present Kolkata is the combination of these three villages. They set there an army cantonment (Forte Willium) .In 1757 they defeated Sirajuddoula the ruler of Bengal in Pallasy battle with the help of Siraj’s own army heads traitors like Mir Jafar, Raja Ballab ,Jagat Seth etc. After defeat of Siraj, Mir Jafar was made the puppet ruler of British. Ultimately the Britishers succeeded to occupy almost all of India. But before completion of about 100 years of rule the Britishers had to face army revolt. First of all 19 infantry of Murshibad refused to use enfield rifle as it was necessary to cut the bullet head with tooth which believed to carry the fat of cow and bitch ,being afraid of religion.One Mongal Pandey of 36 infantry shot dead a British army officer as a result he was hanged to death.On 10/5/1857 Indian soldiers of Meerat refused to obey the order of British officer due to availability of cow fat and pig fat in the cartridge of Enfield Rifle(as it was suspected), which was required to be torn by tooth So they killed one of the British soldiers.On 11/5/1857some Indian soldiers crossed Jamuna river and reached Delhi to request Mughal emperor Jafar shah to take the lead of revolt.

They compelled Jafar Shah (who was enjoying British dole) to lead the movement. They captured some Govt offices and soon it spread to Lucknow ,Kanpur and Allahabad, Bariely etc of north India. Nana Saheb came forward to lead the movement and Tatia Tope also participated to lead this agitation. Jhansi queen Laxmi Bai was also fighting the British. This agitation spread to parts of Bombay and Bengal Cantonment . But there was no revolt r in south belt of India. More over the Scindia king of Gwalior, Jong Bahadur king of Nepal and many other Indian kings helped British Govt against revolt. So the British Govt was able to crush the movement within one year. Nana Saheb was able to flee to Nepal but Tatia Tope was killed due to betrayal of an Indian. Queen Laxmi Bi was also killed after a heroic fight. Jafar Shah’s two sons were killed and he was imprisoned for life and sent to Burma where he died.

Before that the struggle against British started with revolt of Sanyasis in 1793, the details of which are found in Ananda Math of Bankim chadra Chattarjee.The revolt of Vella Thampi was the second and he was hanged in 1805. Then there was Saotal revolt where about 1000 Saotals were killed and their leaders Kanu ad Sidhu were hanged. There was revolt by Munda lead by Birsa Munda and he was also killed. Then there was Nil revolt. Britishers compelled Bengal farmers to cultivate Nil in spite of their loss. But Britishers crushed that revolt also. In 1885 Indian National Congress was formed by one retired IAS officer Hume to mobilize Indians in favor of British rule .Initially Lord Dafrin helped it. In 1886 some dedicated leaders like Surendra Nath Banerjee , Umesh Chandra Bondopadyaya and some other intellectuals joined it. But after sometime it was clear to them that independence was not possible by negotiations. Some extremists group like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Aurobindo Ghosh, Lala Lajpat Roy etc were united to achieve freedom. Lord Curgeon wanted to suppress the agitaitons by force. So to divide the Hindu Muslim unity and to flare up communal feeling he decided to divide Bengal in 1905.Prominent leaders of Bengal like Surendra Nath Banerjee,Aswini Kr Dutta, Ambika Mazumder ,Ananda mohan Bene, Bipin Chadra Pal, Tilak, Lala Lajpat Roy etc organized strong protest against Banga Bhanga. Rabindra Nath Tagore organized Rakhi Bondhan for both Hindu and Muslims to defuse British plan. No cooking for a day was also a part of agitation. Entire India was mobilized against this Bengal partition. In 1906 Dada Bhai Nouraji became congress president and at that time Mohammed Ali Jinna also returned to India being Bar At Law at London and joined as Secretary of Nouraji after joining Congress. In 1908 Tilak was arrested and was jailed for 6 years. In that year Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki attempted to kill “Kings Forte”.But it was an abortive attempt. Prafull Chaki commited sucide by consuming poison before being arrested but Khudiram was caught and hanged at a very tender age. Aurobindo was also arrested and jailed then but after release he left politics and went to Pondechery and made an Ashram there. Revolutionary groups lika “Jugantar”,”Anushilan” etc were formed at that time. Among the revolutionaries Rash Behari Bose ,Sachin Sanyal were famous Being frightened the British Govt withdrew the Bengal partition order and Bengal was reunited in 1912.Tilak was released from jail in 1914. But after release he decided to support British in the 1st world war . In 1915 .He started home rule agitation in April 1916 and Anne Basant joined him in Sept 1916. Gandhiji returned from South Africa after gathering lot of experience of non violence movement there. In 1917 Anne Basant became the Congress president and Tilak was taken back to Congress. Tilak expired in 1919 .So after Tilok’s death Gandhiji took control of Congress party. At that time cultivators of Bihar Champaran revolted against British. Gandhiji along with Rajendra Prasad, J.B.Kripalani came forward to assist them.

In 1921 non co operation movement was forcefull with active initiative of C.R.Das and his wife Basanti Devi. . In 1922 Congress and Khilafat made a huge joint rally at Chourachouri. British police misbehaved with them. As a result some Britishers were killed. So Gandhiji stopped all agitations to avoid killing. At that time Gandhiji was jailed for 6 years. Motilal Neheru, C.R.Das wanted to continue that agitation but Ballav Bhai Patel,Rajendra Prasad , Raja Gopal Acharya objected. So they left Congress and formed “Swarajya Party” . Gandhiji was released in 1924 due to ill health and he made a compromise with Swarajya Party. In June 1925 C.R.Das expired. In 1925 a revolutionary team was formed by Chandra Sekhar Azad, Bipin Chandra Paul etc. The name of the team was Hindustan Republican Army . But most of them was hanged. In 1927 Jaharlal Nehuru proposed full independence for India. A commission under Saimon was arranged by the Govt to study the situation of Jallianwala Bag massacre. But leaders like Jaharlal Nehuru , Subhash Chandra Bose etc boycotted the commission as there was no Indian there. In 1928 Hindustan Republican Army was renamed as Socialistic Republican army by Bhagat Singh, Batukeswar Dutta etc. On 31/10 1928 Lala Lajpat Rai was wounded by Britsh Police in a rally organized by him in Punjab and he died on 17/11/1928.The main culprit Saddar who wounded Lajpat was killed by Chandra Sekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh and Rajguru on 17/2 1928. The other revolutionaries who sacrificed their lives for independence were Binoy , Badal , Dinesh etc. In 1929 most of the communist leaders were arrested and sent to jail. In jail communists started hunger strike and after 64 days of hunger Jatin Das expired in Jail. At that time labor party came to power in England and Arwin was sent to India as Bara Lat and he wanted to negotiate with congress He proposed for a round table talk at London. Before that on 31st Dec. 1929 in Lahore session congress declared independent India and it was also decided to observe 26 th January as independence day of India every year and Indian flag was hoisted and decided to launch Civil disobedience movement. Gandhiji started Dandi march with 78 of his followers from Sabarmati Ashram of Gujrat. It continued from12th march to 6 th April 1930. On 6th April 1930 Gandhiji broke salt law by making salt . On 14 th April 1930 Jaharlal Neheru was arrested as a result the agitation spread further. Due to severity of salt agitation Gandhiji was also arrested then. British Govt was compelled to release Gandhiji and all othere arrested congress leaders to check the agitation. Though Congress agreed to send Gandhiji to London for round table conference, before starting to London on23d March 1931 Bhagat Singh , Raj Guru and Sukhdev were hanged to death. So congress cancelled the trip of Gandhiji. But due to persuasion of Gandhiji at Karachi meeting, he was sent to London. But the round table conference was a failed exercise. British did not agree to fulfill any of the demands. On 24/12/1931 Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan leader of Khuda E khedmodgar party and strong follower of Gandhi was arrested. On 4/1/1932 most of congress leaders including Gandhiji were arrested again .In 2006 the Nawab of Dacca Sir Salimulla, Aga Khan, Mosin Mulk with their some close associates formed Muslim league with an object to serve Muslim interest in India. They wanted that British should hand over the power to them. They picked Mhammed Ali Jinna as their leader. His idea was that Hindu and Muslims can not live together . He was the pioneer of two nations theory. Brtishers also encouraged them to achieve their goal of divide and rule policy. In spite of Gandhiji’s efforts they never cooperated with congress. A group of revolutionaries lead by Surya Sen (Masterda) with the help of associates like Ananta Sing, Ganesh Ghosh , Prity Wadder etc, looted the arms from Arm Treasury at Chittagang. But ultimately most of them including SuryaSen were either killed or jailed .In 1937 the British Govt allowed Indians to form provincial Govt. through election. In the election Congress got absolute majority in most of the states except Assam where Muslim league got majority and no party got majority in Bengal. Congress was the largest party here and was able to form a qualition Govt ,but congress disagreed to do that .So muslim league formed the govt here with help of some other parties. In 1938 Subash Chandra Bose was elected the Congress President . In 1939 again he desired to be congress President but Gandhiji and others put Pattavi Sitaramaiya as congress candidate for the post of President. But Bose was farm to contest. So election was held and with the help of leftists and others Bose was reelected. Gandhiji and other opposing leaders were unhappy. They curtailed the power of President and asked him to take a decision after approval of congress working committee. Subhash Chandra Bose felt insulted and left Congress and formed a new party (Forward Block).In 1939 Germany attacked Poland. World war ii was initiated by Axis force comprising German, Italy and Japan. Initially America was not involved in war but after the attack of Parl Harbour port by Japan they also joined the war along with allied force. Britishers made India also a party against Axis force without any approval of Indians. Britishers felt that Subhash Chandra Bose was a danger for them ,so they arrested him. But due to his poor health he was released from jail and kept him interned in his Elgin road house at Kolkata. They kept so close watch on him that even a fly was not able to move without their knowledge. In spite of all these precautions Bose managed to flee on 17 th January 1941 in disguise. By kalka mail he reached Delhi and from Delhi by frontier mail reached to Peshawar .With great difficulty he reached Kabul of Afganistan.On his journey he was accompanied by Bhagat Ram Talawar and was identified as Jia uddin. From the beginning he planned to flee to Russia (as it was not a part of war at that time) and to fight for India independence with their help. Afganistan was also out of British Govt then. But from Kabul he got no positive response from Russia. So he was compelled to take help of Itally and in turn Germany. He managed to reach Germany and discussed with Hitler regarding freedom of our mother land. Quit India Movement was started in 1942 by Gandhiji. At that time he again gave a call for Saytagraha. He asked British to leave India and he declared that If Japan attacked India it would be due to presence of Britishers in India and asked Britishers to allow Indians to look after its own defense. He gave a call for do or die. Gandhiji and some other important leaders were arrested again. But quit India movement got momentum and spread all over India. On 8 th February 1943 Subhash Chandra Bose started from Germany accompanied by Major Abid Hasan .With great difficulty he reached Madaghaskar after 2 months by a small sub-marine of German and from there he was shifted to a Japanese Sub-marine.After another one month he reached SABONG of Sumatra in Asia, after that he reached Tokiyo on 16 th may 1943.He was there for about one and half months. At that time Rash Bihari Bose, a revolutionary who left India to fight against British, handed over him the responsibility of INA formed by war prisoners who were arrested by Japan after defeating the British on the pledge to fight against British in cooperation with Japan to liberate India and also handed over the leadership of south east Asia Independent league. After that Bose went to Singapore(at that time occupied by Japan from Britishers) and on 21 st October 1943 he decleared Azad Hind Govt and pledged to collect support of all independent loving people of all the world and with the help of Azad Hind Fouj to liberate India. Then Mr Tejo P.M of Japan declared to hand over Andaman and Nicober ilands wich they captured from Britain to Azad Hind Govt. It was a pride for Bose Govt as it was the part of India where the Indian Prisoners were sent for punishment. Netaji reached there on 31 st December 1943 and hoisted Indian flag as mark of 1 st place of independent India. The 1 st anniversary of Azad Hind Govt was observed at Central park of Rengoon with great enthusiasm .On 27 th January 1944 INA got approval to proceed from Burma towards India(Manipur state).In may 1944 INA captured Modok and after that captured Mairong in opposite side of Kakadan and hoisted Indian flag in Indian soil. Due to lack of supply line i.e food etc , arms and ammunitions and want of medicine for Malaria effected soldiers the Indian soldiers were in distress. Nature also played a havoc for Indian soldiers. There was heavy rain and all background supply lines were cut. So the soldiers started to die due to hunger and illness. Azad Hind Fouj failed to occupy Imphal. So Netaji ordered his force to retreat to Rengoon in September 1944 leaving all occupied areas to save the life of soldiers with a plan to attack again when situation improved. On 11 th August Netaji got a massage that Russia who also joined the war along with British and its allies attacked axis force including Japan. Netaji was of the view that ultimately Japan would be compelled to surrender to allied force. In that case he was not ready to Surrender . Japanese surrender did not mean surrender of Indian liberation army. His only aim was to liberate India. He realized that defeated Japan or surrendered Japan could not protect the interest of India So he made a plan to be in touch of Russia by going to Manturia likely to be occupied by Russia. If he was caught there to Russian army he was confident that he would be able to convince Russia to help him to liberate India from British rule. On 12 th August 1945 Netaji came back to Singapore. As Netaji desired to go to Manturia on 17 th August 1945 morning he reached Saigon and from there with the help of Japanese, by another plane on 18 th August he started for Dairen of Manchuria accompanied by Col.Habibur Rahman. On way they landed at Taihuko air port of Formuja . But it was announced that Netaji expired in a plane clash at Taihuku Airport at 2.45 pm on18th August 1945 while the flight started from Taihuku airport for Dairen,though it was not believed by most of Indians. In Delhi trial was started for Azad Hind Force. But Indians were very unhappy for such trial, so wide spread discontent prevailed all over India irrespective of political difference and cast and creed. Agitation spread all over India. At that time Navy agitation also started at Mumbai against Brith rule. So the British Govt felt it unsafe to rule India any more. So decided to leave India in August 1948.Muslim League under the leadership of Jinnah left no stone unturned to demand for separate state for muslims. Most of the parties of India including leftists were against partition of India at that time. But cunning Britishers were in favor of partition of India to divide Indians. In 1946 they asked Indians to form a a Govt comprising all major parties. In that Govt Jaharlal Neheru was made Prime minister,Sardar Ballav Bhai Patel ,Home Minister and Liakat Ali Khan as Finance Minister. Patel wanted to fill some grade iv posts. But Finance Minister expressed inability to allot fund for that. So patel felt insulted and told Neheru that it was not possible to work with Muslim league as they started non cooperation even before getting independence. So it was better to agree to the demand of their separate state for Muslims. On hearing this Moulana Abul kalam Azad ,Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and some other leaders met Gandhiji to refrain congress to accept such proposal. Gandhiji assured them that he was deadly against such proposal and if it happened it would be on his dead body. But Patel and Neheru compelled Gandhiji to accept their demand in a congress session in December 1946. British Govt was delighted to this decision and declared freedom of India in August 1947 in lieu of 1948. Baluchistan, Sind, North east Frontier Province along with willing princely states would be part of Pakistan along with divided parts of Bengal and Punjab. As such India got independence on end of 14 th August 1947 and starting of 15 th August (midnight). It was not possible to get independence only by democratic movement but other anti british actions for liberation also compelled Britishers to be frightened and allow Indian independence by quiting India.

(The article is solely the opinion of the author. The views expressed here are solely personal and not in any way connected to any organisation or any political party )

By Jashada Ranjan Bhattacharjee

Retd.Assistant director General(DOT/BSNL) , New Delhi

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