The Indian Independence Movement had begun in 1857 and it was the start to a century of India’s fight to freedom. Before this movement India had never experienced political freedom due to the country’s constant rule by foreign rulers. India had grown anxious to have a part in it’s own political decisions during the time that the British had occupied the country. The formation of the Indian National Congress was a major step that India had taken in it? fight for freedom. During the movement for India’s independence, the leadership of the Indian National Congress (INC), especially individuals such as Mahatma Gandhi whose actions were revolutionary leading India to independence in 1947. The INC organized peaceful protests which showed that compromise and resolution is possible without conflict and violence. They taught citizens how political freedom can be achieved through negotiation and civil disobedience, and that they too can have a voice in society.
India gained movement toward Independence at the end of the East India Company, and the rise of the British Indian Empire. The British took complete control of Indian politics and felt entitled to rule the Indian people. Many people took rise against the British, and one prominent name during the movement was Mahatma Gandhi. Gandi migrated to India in 1914 and impacted the movement largely, but had started his quest for Indian equality before his arrival in 1914, standing up to courts and for equality for Indians in Africa. Gandhi worked to create a strong body with the natives he had gathered who would later work together despite their differences. Gandhi had also told the Indians, ¨despite their differences, they all shared one very important thing: a common hatred of the British.¨ Gandhi believes that the British rule in India was a curse.
He had planned to break the curse by initiating civil disobedience and believed that the peaceful manner was the right manner. Gandhi had said, ¨I cannot intentionally hurt anything that lives, much less fellow human beings, even though they might do the greatest wrong to me and mine.¨ Gandhi had later started to get attention from the Indian people and once he had gotten that attention from the Indian people, he addressed nonviolence and used his nonviolent strategies to fight for India’s independence. Gandhi had impacted a large part in what was going on in India during the movement with his peaceful philosophies. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi lead many peaceful acts of civil disobedience which helped establish the ground rules for the movement toward independence.
The Salt March which had taken place from March 12th, 1930 to April 6th, 1930 was an act of civil disobedience led by Gandhi to protest against the British rule. During the Salt March Gandhi and his followers marched a distance of 240 miles from the Ahmedabad to the Dandi, next to the sea to produce their own salt. Salt during the British rule was highly taxed, with many poor families not being able to afford salt. Since salt is also a major need for the human body and if salt levels dip too low, it can be dangerous for the human body, resulting in side effects and problems, and many poor people arriving in hospitals due to salt deficines, salt was a need more than ever.
Once they had reached Dandi, Gandhi and his followers began making salt from the sea water. These actions had violated British law that only salt imported from Britain could be used. Salt became a symbol of the cruel and unjust treatment of the British rule. Another symbol against the cruelty of British rule was cloth. Cloth was heavily taxed and was a major revenue for the British. In textile mills Indians were treated very poorly by the British and were in terrible working conditions with little pay.
To fight this major problem Indians boycotted British cloth and gandhi advocated for the Indian people to create their own cloth from cotton instead of getting cloth from factories and textiles, were both the Indians working in the mills were treated poorly, and the British got high profits from those factories, further raising the power of the British in India. The boycott of cloth led to a great loss for the British empire which further had carved a path to India’s independence.The British on the other hand had used violence against the Indian people, and one great act of violence against the people was the Amritsar Massacre. The Amritsar Massacre was when troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer fired machine guns into a crowd of men, women, and children at a park near a temple where the people had gathered for a religious holiday, killing more than 400 people. The news of the Amritsar Massacre angered Indians throughout the country, bringing in further hatred for the British. Indians more than ever wanted freedom and wanted to achieve self rule.Conflict and compromise had also developed over time during the Indian Independence Movement. Relations between Hindus and Muslims in India developed conflict during and after the Indian Independence Movement.
Both parties felt under represented during the hearing of the policies, with animosity growing between the groups for preference and land. The Indian Independence Movement sought for the rights of the Indians, with no one representing the large majority of Muslims. Tensions between the two religious groups led to the partition of India which ultimately was a wrong decision because it had lead to immeasurable suffering. During the partition, as thousands of Indians were moving from Pakistan, and thousands of Muslims leaving India, leaving their homes.
This led to many riots at the partition, were the people met, crossing over the border. Fights between the groups, blaming the other religion, let to many deaths, caused by the conflict of the separation of the Punjab and West Bengal provinces. This would later lead to multiple wars caused by the partition of India and Pakistan. There was also issues between the countries in the possession of land during this mass partition.
The compromise between Pakistan and India was never achieved, as both countries and the Muslims and Hindus are still at conflict to this day. Conflict was also present through the British rule of India. Through their times in India, the British constantly tried converting Indians into christians, belittling the Hindu religion and glorifying Christianity. Conflict had also risen when the Indian people had become restless against the British presence in India where constant violence was used against the people of India, and the British put upon the people poor wages and harsh policies. Compromise had occurred all throughout the Indian National Movement from the start of the movement to India’s independence on August 15, 1947.
One compromise during the movement was between the Hindu? and Muslims, but the greatest compromise was between Indians and the British. Indian leaders were concerned and threatened of Britain’s power over India. India had seeked to gain self rule and a voice in political decisions. Multiple parties were created to persuade the British into to giving India its independence. India had gotten closer to reaching its goals after the Government of India acts in 1935 which gave the Indian public power. India was now able to elect its own leaders.
In 1942, Sir Stafford Cripps set a promise toward the Indians, to see if the Indian congress leaders would budge. India’s congress hand not budged due to the British’s promise, but instead had initiated a movement called the Quit India Movement which had caused the imprisonment of Congress leaders. Other leaders who weren’t in prison worked with the British and helped India gain power. After World War Two in 1945 the British negotiated with India to give all powers to India’s leaders except, armed forces. The Viceroy Lord Wavell had also gave the Indians the right to decide their future through an election. The majority of Indians had voted for Congress in 1946, and India´s freedom became reality and it was just around the corner.