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Indian National Movement and Gandhian Phase of Gandhian Era

S. Dharshini


A retired English servant A.O. Hume founded the Indian national congress to create a forum to ventilate the grievance and feelings of the mass movement in a strong and unified code. The first session was held in Mumbai under the presidentship of W.C.Banerjee. The congress was mainly an organization of a small minority of English educated and it was a moderate body. The known leaders of that time were Dadabhai Naroji, Ferozeshah Mehta, Surendranath Banerjee, Gopala Krishna Gokhale, and Madan Mohan Malviya. The known leaders are not loyal well-wishers for the British government. The petition, Prayer, and Protest witnessed their demands of extension legislative council, separation of judiciary, freedom for the press, etc. Their demands did not get any attention from British rulers. But their work was note-worthy.The British branded Nationalists as 'Disloyal babus', 'Seditious Brahmins' and 'violent villains. Congress was remarked as a microscopic minority by Dufferin. Curzon said, "the congress is tottering to its fall, and one of my great ambitious, while in India, is to assist it to a peaceful demise". Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Raja Shiva Prasad of Benaras were encouraged by Britishers to start anti congress movements. A section of the congress gradually lost faith in its moderate program. In the early 20th century, they moved towards militant nationalism. The leaders of this group gave up the soft approach and petitions. Gandhiji's first great experiment in Satyagraha came in 1917 at Champaran, European planters forced the peasants to grow indigo on their land and the planters will fix the price for the indigo so peasants should sell it for the same price. This was known as Tinkathia System. The Indian Independence Act 1947 said the British paramount over the Indian states was to lapse on 15th August 1947, they were allowed to join either India or Pakistan. Before that date, most of the states had signed the instrument of accession by which they agreed to access India.

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