India is now a country that is freed from the colonial powers. After centuries of occupation of European powers, it finally attained its independence that was facilitated by many factors. There are a number of events that led to the independence of India from the British in 1947. The essay will tend to give some of the most important events between the years1857 and 1947 and their influences towards the achievement of independence in 1947. Some of the events are as follow;
Sepoy Riots; it occurred in the year 1857, and it was Indias first war of independence. It was an attempt to unite India under the cruel leadership of the British. The rebellion bore some fruits as it led to the end East India Companys regime. In August the following year, the company was dissolved and its powers transferred to the British crown.
Formation of Indian National Congress; the party, was also known as the Congress Party. It was created in the year 1885 and became the only major political party in India. The party later spearheaded the struggle against the British Empire. The movement was one of the things that gave the people the zeal to fight the British.
The Return of Gandhi in 1915; Gandhi returned to India, and he immediately joined the Indian Congress Party. As a member of the party, he took over the leadership in 1920 and began to fight against the British. Ten years later (1930), the party declared the independence of India. However, the British government did not recognise this at all.
In 1916, an agreement, Lucknow Pact, was reached between the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress. One of the goals of the agreement was to pressure the British government to give people of India an opportunity to run their country. Mohamed Ali Jinnah, who a member of the Congress as well the Muslim League, ensured that both parties adhered to the agreement. It aimed at ensuring that the British adopted the liberal approach to governance.
In 1919, the most devastating and tragic Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place. During the event, the Brigadier General, Reginald E.H. Dyer, ordered his troops to fire a crowd and this led to many deaths in the region. Many women, men and children were killed as others being injured during the massacre. The action caused much anger among the people of India and led to the formation of Non-Cooperation movements in the region. The movements formed catalysed the need for freedom and independence in the region. They also enlightened people on their rights and the benefits that were associated with being independent as a country.
In 1935; the creation of Constitution and the Government Act formed a strong foundation for the journey towards the achievement of independence. It laid a path that was to be followed for some decades to come. Constitution was important as it gave directions on what was to be done, by both the Indians and the British.
The British involvement in the Second World War (1940) weakened them. The effects of second war were devastated as the British Empire could not get enough resources to help in ruling and determining the future of India.
In 1942, the Quit Movement facilitated the withdrawal of British from India. Since the British were still in power, they responded to this by putting most of the INC leadership in jail. The British rule ended in the year in the year 1947 when the country got its independence. The region was partitioned into sub-continents mainly Muslim-majority states of Pakistan and Hindu India.
Reasons for Pakistan Partition
Congress leadership; Nehru and Gandhi looked down upon Jinnah and the Muslim League. For instance, in the 1930s, Jinnah was willing to sign the agreement but was constantly ignored by the top leaders. Furthermore, Gandhi tried his level best to stop the separation. On the other hand, Nehru was not happy with the fact that Jinnah would be the first prime minister of the India. Hence, the disagreement between the leaders of the Congress made it necessary for the region to be partitioned.
Jinnah and the Muslim League; Jinnah was a Muslim in the Congress leadership. He believed in the notion that the Muslims and the Hindus can never intermarry. He argued in his presidential address of 1940 that the cultures and ways of living between the two communities are parallel. Therefore, the need of separation came in due to religious and ideological differences between Muslims and Hindus.
The underlying distrust of Muslims and Hindus; despite the fact that the two communities had been living together for centuries; there still existed distrust between them. The Muslims feared that the Hindus would dominate the economy of the regions. This was because Hindus were more educated as compared to the Muslims. The fear of one another dominated the region, and this would have created tension, conflict and more distrust if the two communities were to live together. During the provincial elections of 1946, no Muslim was elected to the Congress, and this made them continue to worry as they lived with the Hindus.
Lack of government preparation; lack of governmental preparation to control the migration and the unity among people called for the separation of the two communities. There was no uniformity in the Congress as some leaders were more sidelined with their communities. Hence, the only way to solve this problem was through separation of the two communities.
SarDesai, Damodar Ramaji. India: The definitive history. Westview Press, 2008.
Smith, Vincent Arthur. The Oxford History of India. Oxford, Clarendon, 2008.
Wolpert, Stanley A. A new history of India. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
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