Indian National Movement Phase- I (1885-1915) PDF Download (Notes+MCQ)

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The second half of the 19th century witnessed the full flowering of national political consciousness and the growth of an organized national movement in India.

Before we start the Indian National Movement, we need to understand the factor that led to the growth of Nationalism among Indians.

The Indian nationalism is the product of a mix of various factors, such as-

Causes of the rise of the National Movement in India

Western education

  • Macaulay had instituted a western educational system in India with the sole aim of creating a class of educated Indians who could serve their colonial masters in the administration of the ‘natives’.
  • This idea sort of backfired because it created a class of Indians who became exposed to the liberal and radical thoughts of European writers who expounded liberty, equality, democracy and rationality.
  • Also, the English language united Indians from various regions and religions.

Vernacular languages

  • The 19th century also saw the revival of vernacular languages. This helped the propagation of the ideas of liberty and rational thought to the masses.

End of the old social order

  • British imperialism put an end to the old social order of the country. This was resented by many Indians.

Socio-religious reform movements

  • Socio-religious reform movements of the 19th century helped a great deal in the rise of nationalism in India.
  • These movements sought to remove superstition and societal evils prevalent then, and spread the word of unity, rational and scientific thought, women empowerment and patriotism among the people.
  • Notable reformers were Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Jyotiba Phule, and so on.

Economic policies of the British

  • The oppressive economic policies of the British led to widespread poverty and indebtedness among the Indians especially farmers.
  • Famines that led to the deaths of lakhs were a regular occurrence.
  • This led to a bitter sense of suppression and sowed the seeds of a yearning for liberty from foreign rule.

Political unity

  • Under the British, most parts of India were put under a single political set-up.
  • The system of administration was consolidated and unified throughout all regions.
  • This factor led to the feeling of ‘oneness’ and nationhood among Indians.

Communications network

  • The British built a network of roads, railways, ports, and telegraph systems in the country.
  • This led to increased movements of people from one part of the country to another and increased the flow of information.
  • All this accelerated the rise of a national movement in India.

Growth of the modern press

  • This period also saw the rise of the Indian press, both in English and in the regional languages.
  • This also was an important factor that helped in the dissemination of information.

Lord Lytton’s policies

  • Lord Lytton was the Viceroy of India from 1876 to 1880.
  • In 1876, there was a famine in southern India which saw the deaths of almost 10 million people.
  • His trading policies were criticized for having aggravated the famine.
  • Also, he conducted the grand Delhi Durbar in 1877 spending a huge amount of money at a time when people were dying of hunger.
  • Lytton also passed the Vernacular Press Act 1878 which authorized the government to confiscate newspapers that printed ‘seditious material’.
  • He also passed the Arms Act 1878 which prohibited Indians from carrying weapons of any kind without licenses.
  • The act excluded Englishmen.

Legacy of the Revolt of 1857

  • After the Revolt of 1857 and its bitter crushing by the British, there was deep racial tension between the British and the Indians.

Ilbert Bill controversy

  • In 1883, the Ilbert Bill was introduced which gave Indian judges the power to hear cases against Europeans, by the then Viceroy Lord Ripon and Sir Courtenay Ilbert, the legal advisor to the Council of India. But there was a huge outcry against this bill from Britishers in India and in Britain.
  • Arguments made against this bill displayed the deep racial prejudice the English had for Indians.
  • This also exposed the true nature of British colonialism to the educated Indians.

Indian National Movement Phase- I (1885-1915) PDF Download

Indian National movement (1885-1915) outside the country

There were many national movements outside the country that inspired the Indian nationalists like the French Revolution, the American War of Independence, and so on.

Political Associations before the Indian National Congress

Some of the prominent Political Associations which played a very important role in arousing general will and laying down a path towards modern Nationalism are as following-

Political Associations in Bengal

Bangabhasha Prakasika Sabha

  • This was started by Associates of Raja Ram Mohan Roy in 1836.
  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy was one of the first politically active leaders in the modern sense.
  • He started agitations for demands like appointments of Indians to Higher Govt Offices, Freedom of Press, Prevent Zamindari Oppression of Ryots, etc.

Zamindari Association (Bengal Landholder’s Society)

  • It was formed in 1836 by Prasanna Kumar Tagore, Dwarkanath Tagore, and Radhakant Deb.
  • The main purpose of the organization was safeguarding the interests of Landlords.
  • They used constitutional methods of agitation to fulfill their demands.

British India Society

  • The Organisation was set up in 1843 by William Adam, a friend of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, In England.
  • The organization’s aim was to improve the situation of Indians by letting the people of England know of the dire condition in which the British were keeping the Indians.
  • They used constitutional and Legal means to achieve this aim.

The British Indian Association of Calcutta (1851)

  • It was formed in 1851 by the merger of the Bengal British India Society and the Landholders’ Society.
  • It was established to convey Indian grievances to the British Govt.
  • It suggested various reforms in the Company’s upcoming charter-like Need for the establishment of a separate legislature, separation of judicial functions from executive functions, salaries of higher officers to be reduced, the abolition of abkari, salt duty, and stamp duties.
  • Some of the recommendations of the association were accepted when the Charter Act of 1853 provided the addition of six members to the governor general’s council for legislative purposes.

Indian League

  • In 1875, noted journalist Sisir Kumar Ghosh had started the Indian League in Calcutta.
  • Its main aim was to develop the feeling of nationalism among the common people.

Indian Association of Calcutta (Indian National Association)

  • Surendranath Banerjee and Anand Mohan Bose founded the Indian Association of Calcutta in 1876.
  • Founders of the Indian Association of Calcutta were discontented with the pro-landlord and conservative policies of the British India Association that’s why they established this new Association.
  • This association was aimed to unify Indian people on a common political program and create a strong public opinion on political questions.
  • East India Association also organized an all India agitation known as the Civil Service Agitation after its formation.

East India Association

  • Dadabhai Nauroji started the East India Association in London in 1867.
  • This association is also called the predecessor to the Indian National Congress.
  • In 1866, the Ethnological Society of London tried to prove Asian’s were inferior to the Europeans. The East India Association’s work also targeted to challenge this notion.
  • The association had opened Branches in Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta in 1869

Political Associations in Bombay

Bombay Association (Bombay Native Association)

  • In 1852, Jagannath Shankersheth started the Bombay Association along with Sir Jamshedji Jejibhai, Jagannath Shankarshet, Naoroji Fursungi, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad, Dadabhai Naoroji and Vinayak Shankarshet.
  • This is also called as the first political party/organization in Bombay Province.
  • They too aimed to address public grievances through Legal agitational means.

Poona Sarvanajanik Sabha

  • It was started in 1870 by Mahadev Govind Ranade and his associates in Pune.
  • They aimed to be a connecting link between the Government and the common people.
  • It also worked for the legal rights of the peasants.
  • Many prominent leaders of the Freedom struggle like, Lokmanya Tilak were members of this organization.

Bombay Presidency Association

  • The association was started in 1885 by Pherozshah Mehta, Badruddin Tayabji and KT Telang.
  • It was formed in opposition to the Ilbert Bill and Lytton’s other reactionary policies.

Political Associations in Madras

Madras Native Association

  • Formed by Gazulu Lakshminarasu Chetty in 1849 in Madras Presidency.
  • It was the First Political Organisation in Madras

Madras Mahajan Sabha

  • It was formed in 1884 in Madras by B. Subramaniya Aiyyar, P. Ananda-Charlu and M. Viraraghavachari.
  • The organization took a moderate stance on opposing govt policies in the beginning.

Formation of Indian National Congress (INC)

  • Hume, a retired English Civil Servant along with prominent Indian leaders founded an all-India organization namely the “Indian National Congress.”
  • The first session of the Indian National Congress was held at Bombay in December 1885. It was presided by  C. Bonnerjeeand attended by 72 delegates.
  • Formed during the period of Governor-General Lord Dufferin
  • Its 1st session was held at Bombay in 1885 under the presidency of W C Banerjee.
  • Discussed the problems of all the Indians irrespective of their religion, caste, language, and regions
  • The INC from the start was an all-India secular movement
  • 2nd session was held in Calcutta in 1886 and the 3rd in Madras
  • In 1886, Surendranath Banerjee and other leaders of Bengal merged their forces with those of the National Congress whose second session met in Calcutta in December 1886 under the president-ship of Dadabhai Naoroji.
  • From the Calcutta session, the National Congress became ‘the whole country’s Congress’. Its delegates, numbering 436, were elected by different local organizations and groups.
  • The National Congress met every year in December, in a different part of the country.
  • The number of its delegates soon increased to thousands. Its delegates consisted mostly of lawyers, journalists, traders, industrialists, teachers, and landlords.
  • In 1890, Kadambini Ganguli, the first woman graduate of Calcutta University addressed the Congress session.
  • This was symbolic of the fact that India’s struggle for freedom would raise Indian women from the degraded position to which they had been reduced for centuries past.
  • Some of the great presidents of the National Congress during its early years were Dadabhai Naoroji, Badruddin Tyabji, Pherozeshah Mehta, Ananda Charlu, Surendranath Banerjee, Ramesh Chandra Dutt, Ananda Mohan Bose, and Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

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Sessions of Indian National Congress before Independence

1885, 1882Bombay, AllahabadW.C Bannerji
1886CalcuttaDadabhai Naoroji
1893LahoreDadabhai Naoroji
1906CalcuttaDadabhai Naoroji
1887MadrasBadruddin Tyyabji (fist Muslim President)
1888AllahabadGeorge Yule (first English President)
1889BombaySir William Wedderburn
1890CalcuttaSir Feroze S.Mehta
1895, 1902Poona, AhmedabadS.N Banerjee
1905BanarasG.K Gokhale
1907, 1908Surat, MadrasRasbehari Ghosh
1909LahoreM.M Malviya
1916LucknowA.C Majumdar (Re-union of the Congress)
1917CalcuttaAnnie Besant (first woman President)
1919AmritsarMotilal Nehru
1920Calcutta (Special Session)Lala Lajpat Rai
1921,1922Ahmadabad, GayaC.R Das
1923Delhi (Special session)Abdul Kalam Azad (youngest President)
1924BelgaumM.K Gandhi
1925KanpurSarojini Naidu (first Indian woman President)
1928CalcuttaMotilal Nehru (first All India Youth  Congress Formed)
1929LahoreJ.L. Nehru (Poorna Swaraj Resolution was passed)
1931KarachiVallabhbhai Patel (Here, resolution on Fundamental Rights and the National Economic Program was passed)
1932, 1933Delhi, Calcutta(Session Banned)
1934BombayRajendra Prasad
1936LucknowJ.L. Nehru
1937FaizpurJ.L Nehru (first session in a village)
1938HaripuraS.C Bose (a National Planning Committed set-up under J.L Nehru).
1939TripuriS. C. Bose was re-elected but had to resign due to protest by Gandhiji (as Gandhiji supported Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya). Rajendra Prasad was appointed in his place.
1940RamgarhAbdul Kalam Azad
1946MeerutAcharya J.B Kriplani
1948JaipurDr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya.

Moderate Nationalism

Famous Moderate Leaders

Surendranath Banerjee
Surendranath Banerjee
  • Known as Indian Burke
  • Published Newspaper – The Bengali
  • firmly opposed the Partition of Bengal
  • founded the Indian Association (1876) to agitate political reforms
  • Convened the Indian National Conference (1883) which merged with the INC in 1886
G Subramanya Aiyar
G Subramanya Aiyar
  • Known as Grand old man of South India
  • Preached nationalism through the Madras Mahajana Sabha
  • founded The Hindu (English) and Swadesamitran (Tamil)
Dadabhai Naoroji
Dadabhai Naoroji
  • Known as Grand Old Man of India
  • Publication – Voice of India
  • Regarded as India’s unofficial Ambassador in England
  • The first Indian to become a Member of the British House of commons
  • Dadabhai Naoroji in his famous book Poverty and un-British Rule in India wrote his Drain Theory
  • Showed how India’s wealth was going away to England in the form of salaries, savings, pensions, payments to British troops in India & profits of the British companies
  • British Government was forced to appoint the Welby Commission, with Dadabhai as the first Indian as its member, to enquire into the matter
Gopal Krishna Gokhale
Gopal Krishna Gokhale
  • Political guru of Gandhi
  • Publication – Sudharak
  • 1st to raise voice for free preliminary education
  • In 1905, he founded the Servants of India Society to train Indians to dedicate their lives to the cause of the country

Indian National Movement Phase- I (1885-1915) PDF Download

Main Demands of Moderates

  • Expansion and reform of legislative councils.
  • Greater opportunities for Indians in higher posts by holding the ICS examination simultaneously in England and in India.
  • Separation of the judiciary from the executive.
  • More powers for the local bodies.
  • Reduction of land revenue and protection of peasants from unjust landlords.
  • Abolition of salt tax and sugar duty
  • Freedom of speech and expression and freedom to form associations
  • Reduction of spending on the army.

Methods of Moderates

  • Moderates had total faith in the British sense of justice and looked to England for inspiration and guidance (Loyal to British)
  • Moderates used petitions, resolutions, meetings, leaflets and pamphlets, memorandum, and delegations to present their demands
  • Confined their political activities to the educated classes only.
  • Their main aim was to attain political rights and self-government stage by stage

The only demand of the Congress granted by the British was the expansion of the legislative councils by the Indian Councils Act of 1892.

Extremist Nationalism

Rise of Extremism

  • Failure of the Moderates to win any notable success other than the expansion of the legislative councils by the Indian Councils Act (1892)
  • An all India famine in 1896, the British did not take any famine relief measures approximately 90 lakh people died; moderates were unable to force the British to take any measures.
  • Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05 in which Japan defeated the European power Russia.
  • This encouraged Indians to fight against the European nation, Britain.

 Immediate cause: Reactionary rule of Lord Curzon

  • Calcutta Corporation Act, (1899) reducing the Indian control of this local body
  • Universities Act (1904) reduced the elected members in the University bodies & reduced the autonomy of the universities and made them government departments
  • Sedition Act and the Official Secrets Act (1904) reduced the freedoms of people & the press
  • His worst measure was the Partition of Bengal (1905)

Famous Extremist Leaders

Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Bal Gangadhar Tilak


  • Titled as Lokmanya
  • Regarded as the real founder of the popular anti-British movement in India
  • Attacked the British through his weeklies The Mahratta and the Kesari
  • Collaborated with Agarkar and set up institutions to give cheap education to people
  • Started Akharas, Lathi clubs, and anti – cow killing societies to built his rapport
  • Was deported to Mandalay on the ground of sedition for 6 years in 1908
  • Set up the Home Rule League in 1916 at Poona and declared “Swaraj is my birth-right and I will have it.”
  • Build up anti-imperialist sentiments among the public through Ganapati festivals (started in 1893), Shivaji festivals (started in 1896)
  • Valentine Shirol described him as the ‘Father of Indian Unrest’
  • Famous books: The Arctic Home of Vedas & Gita Rahasya
Lala Lajpat Rai
Lala Lajpat Rai


  • Titled as Lion of Punjab
  • founded the Indian Home Rule League in the US in 1916
  • Deported to Mandalay on the ground of sedition
  • Received fatal injuries while leading a procession against the Simon Commission and died on November 17, 1928
Bipin Chandra Pal
Bipin Chandra Pal
  • Began his career as a moderate and turned an extremist.
  • Preached nationalism through the nook and corner of Indians by his powerful speeches and writings
Aurobindo Ghosh
Aurobindo Ghosh
  • Another extremist leader who actively participated in the Swadeshi Movement & imprisoned.
  • After his release, he settled in the French territory of Pondicherry and concentrated on spiritual activities

Extremists – Objective, Methods & Achievements

  • To attain Swaraj or self-government
  • No faith in the British sense of justice
  • Believed that political rights will have to be fought for
  • Had the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination
  • Not cooperating with the British Government by boycotting government courts, schools, and colleges
  • Promotion of Swadeshi and boycott of foreign goods
  • Introduction and promotion of national education
  • 1st to demand Swaraj as a matter of birthright.
  • 1st to involve the masses in the freedom struggle.
  • 1st  to organize an all-India political movement, viz. the Swadeshi Movement

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The Bengal Partition and the Movement

The Partition

  • The Swadeshi movement began as an agitation against the Bengal partition in 1905, which Lord Curzon had designed as a means of destroying political opposition in Bengal province.
  • In 1901, a census was conducted which revealed that Bengal had a population of 78.5 million.
  • Curzon and his administration had given the reason that Bengal was being partitioned because it has become too big to be administered.
  • But the real motive behind the partition plan was the British desire to weaken Bengal, the nerve center of Indian nationalism.
  • Home Secretary Herbert Risley made his point clear in his note that “Bengal united is a power” and “Bengal divided will pull in several different ways.”
  • The Government’s decision to partition Bengal was made public in December 1903. It sought to achieve by putting the Bengal under two administrations by dividing them:
    • on the basis of language (thus reducing the Bengalis to a minority in Bengal itself as in the new proposal Bengal was to have 17 million Bengalis and 37 million Hindi and Oriya speakers), and
    • on the basis of religion, as the western half was to be a Hindu majority area (42 million out of a total 54 million) and the eastern half was to be a Muslim majority area (18 million out of a total of 31 million).
  • Trying to woo the Muslims, Curzon, the viceroy at that time, argued that Dacca could become the capital of the new Muslim majority province, which would provide them with a unity not experienced by them since the days of old Muslim viceroys and kings.
  • Thus, it was clear that the Government was up to its old policy of propping up Muslim communalists to counter the Congress and the national movement.

The Movement

  • From 1903, the partition proposals became publicly known. So, during the 1903-1905 period, moderate techniques of petitions, memorandum, speeches, public meetings, and press campaigns held full sway.
  • But despite the widespread protests, the decision to partition Bengal was announced on 19th July 1905.
  • The Congress leadership then made the final proclamation of the Swadeshi Movement on 7th August 1905, in a meeting held at the Calcutta Town Hall.
  • Then in the same year, the Annual Congress Session, which took place at Banaras took up the Swadeshi call under the presidentship of Gopal Krishna Gokhale.
  • The people were urged to boycott foreign cloth and the shops selling foreign goods were picketed.
  • The Ganpati and Shivaji festivals popularized by Tilak became a medium of Swadeshi propaganda. People tied rakhis on each other’s hands as a symbol of unity of two halves of Bengal.
  • Rabindra Nath Tagore also made a huge contribution to the movement. He made public speeches, wrote essays, short stories, poems inspiring the Bengali mind.
  • His patriotic songs swayed the Bengali heart, touching a chord within and filling them with love and pride for their country.
  • Women came out of their homes for the first time and joined processions and picketing.
  • During the movement, even the moderate leaders like Surendranath Banerjee toured the country urging the people to unite and boycott British made goods.
  • Owing to mass political protests, the partition was annulled in 1911.
  • New provinces were created based on linguistic lines rather than religious lines. Bihar and Orissa Province was carved out of Bengal. (Bihar and Orissa became separate provinces in 1936).
  • A separate Assam province was created.
  • The capital of British India was moved to Delhi from Calcutta in 1911.
  • Despite the annulment, the partition did create a communal divide among the Hindus and Muslims of Bengal

The Swadeshi and Boycott Movement (1903-1908)

Also known as the Vandemataram movement

The Swadeshi and Boycott movement began as an agitation to oppose the Bengal partition, which later turned into a mass movement throughout the country.

  • The formal proclamation of the Swadeshi Movement was made on 7th August 1905in a meeting held at the Calcutta Town Hall. In the meeting, the famous Boycott Resolution was passed.
  • The Congress Session of 1905- The session took place at Banaras. Gopal Krishna Gokhale took up Swadeshi call.
  • The Congress Session of 1906- The session took place at Calcutta under the presidentship of Dadabhai Naoroji. In this session, four resolutions on the Swadeshi, Boycott, National Education, and Self-Government demands were passed.
  • It is to be noted that the two terms- Swadeshi and Boycott are complimentary. By the term Swadeshi, we mean adopting indigenous products. And by the term Boycott, we mean rejecting foreign-made products.

Aims of the Swadeshi and Boycott movements

  • To secure the annulment of the partition of Bengal.
  • Passive resistance- to oppose the British colonial rule through violation of its unjust laws
  • Boycott of British goods such as Manchester cloth and the Liverpool salt and British institutions.
  • Development of indigenous alternatives, that is, swadeshi goods and national education.

Impact of the Swadeshi and Boycott Movements

  • Self-reliance popularised through the movement meant an effort to set-up Swadeshi or indigenous enterprises.
  • The period saw the mushrooming of Swadeshi textile mills, soap and match factories, tanneries, banks, insurance companies, shops, etc. Though unable to survive for long, Acharya P.C. Ray’s Bengal Chemicals Factory, became successful and famous.
  • Indian craftsmen got their work back.
  • In science, Jagdish Chandra Bose, Prafulla Chandra Ray, and others pioneered original research that was praised around the world.
  • Nandalal Bose made a major imprint on Indian art. He was the first recipient of a scholarship offered by the Indian Society of Oriental Art, which was founded in 1907.
  • The students boycotted schools and colleges and organized meetings and demonstrations, picketed the shops, and burnt foreign goods.
  • Swadeshi or national education was emphasized. Taking a cue from Tagore’s Shantiniketan, the Bengal National College was founded, with Aurobindo Ghosh as its principal.
  • In August 1906, the National Council of Education was established to organize a system of education literary, scientific, and technical, on national lines and under national control.
  • Ashwani Kumar Dutt, a school teacher in Barisal, organized the Swadesh Bandhab Samiti. The Samiti took the Swadeshi messages to the villages through magic lanterns and swadeshi songs, gave physical and moral training to their members, did social work during famines and epidemics, organized schools, training in Swadeshi craft and arbitration courts.

Agitations by the Moderates

  • In the beginning, the Swadeshi movement was led by the Moderates.
  • The moderates wanted to put pressure on the Government to reverse the decision of Bengal’s partition.
  • 7 August 1905 was the date when a huge meeting was held in Calcutta, which led to the official proclamation of this movement.
  • After the partition became official, the people of Bengal mourned.
  • With so many people involved in this movement, it soon spread to other parts of India like Punjab (under the aegis of Lala Lajpat Rai), Madras (under Chidambaram Pillai), and Delhi (under the aegis of Syed Haider Raza).

The Contribution of Extremists

  • The Extremists wanted to see better results; as they felt they were being suppressed by the British power.
  • To make the movement more impactful, following Dadabhai Naoroji’s Calcutta declaration in 1906, the Extremists directed to boycott all government schools and colleges.
  • They wanted to stop doing anything which would help the British either directly or indirectly.

Unity in Diversity

  • After Bengal’s partition, India witnessed great unity between Hindus and Muslims. Everyone would participate in social movements to bring about a change.
  • Students would encourage the use of local products. They drove the movement even further and this scared the Britishers.
  • As a result, the Government started to subdue the students by penalizing them.
  • However, there was a certain class of people who supported the partition. The Muslim peasantry, being uneducated, was often blinded by the Government on the pretext of the differences between caste and class.
  • In 1907, the All India Muslim League was formed.

Reversal of Bengal’s Partition

  • In 1911, the Government decided to annul Bengal’s partition; as it wanted to put a stop to public movements and demonstrations.
  • The capital was shifted to Delhi.
  • Eventually, Bihar and Orissa were separated from Bengal.

Significance of Swadeshi and Boycott movements

  • The movement made a major contribution in taking the idea of nationalism to many sections of the population.
  • It eroded the hegemony of colonial ideas and institutions.
  • The movement evolved several new methods and techniques of mass mobilization.
  • It led to the emergence of the capitalist class which funded the leaders of the national movement in the coming years.
  • This legacy they bequeathed was one on which the later national movement was to draw heavily.

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Formation of Muslim League

  • Muslims Leader met at Dhaka on Dec 1906 on the occasion of the annual meeting of the Mohammadin education conference.
  • The meeting took place at Dhaka under the presidency of Nawab Waquril Muk, Sir Suleman [the Nawab of Dhaka] voted the resolution for establishing a Muslim organization to be called as All India Muslim League.
  • Mulavi Ali Jahal Hakim, Ajmal Khan, and Moulana Zafar Ali also supported the Resolution.

Reasons for Creation

  • Hindi and Urdu Conflict.
  • Negative of Hindu Sectarian parties and Movement.
  • The problem of slaughtering cow.
  • The claim of congress to the only responsible properties.
  • Success of Simla Delegation on Nov – 1906.

Aims and Objectives

  • To Provide the Muslims of India feeling Loyalty to the British Government.
  • To provide the rise among the Muslims of India any feeling of hostility towards other communities without prejudice to other objects of League.
  • To protect Muslims and Rights and Interests.

Head Office 

  • Aligarh was at a central position in the Political, Educational, and Economic Progress of Indian Muslims.
  • So the Head Office of All India Muslim League was also formed in Aligarh.

First Office Holder

  • In the Meeting of March 1908, Sir Agha Khan was elected as President and Syed Hasan Bilgrani was elected as a General Secretary of the Muslim League.

Achievements of Muslim League:

  • A representative of Muslims of the Sub-continent.
  • Answer to Congress Propaganda.
  • Approval of Separate Election.
  • Formation of Aligarh Muslim University.

The Surat Split

  • Rash Behari Ghosh was the president of the Surat Congress session in 1907, although he was vehemently opposed by Tilak and his colleagues.
  • Congress leaders split into two groups. moderates and extremists at the Surat in 1907.
  • The Rift between these two sections became clearly visible at the Banaras Session of Congress (1905) when some nationalist-led by Tilak denounced the method of the moderates and suggested passive resistance.
  • They also advocated the boycott of British goods and government institutions.

Causes of the Surat Split

  • Bengal partition of 1905 apparently enabled the Extremists to criticize the Moderate strategies and the partition further promoted the extremist ideology.
  • The Moderate method of constitutional agitation, expressed in 3-Ps (petition, prayer, and protest), remained largely an academic exercise that seemed to have exhausted potentials with the emergence of extremist ideology and revolutionary tendencies which asked direct action against the British.
  • In the Surat Session of Congress, the two main objectives placed by the extremists were: Lala Lajpat Rai to be made the President of the INC and Demand for the resolution of Swaraj.
  • These two demands were not accepted by the moderates, and instead of Lala Lajpat Rai, the moderates supported Rash Behari Ghosh as the President.

Lal-Bal-Pal and a new era of Extremist dominance which resulted in Surat Split of 1907

  • The Extremist ideology in Indian National Movement created a leadership trio of Lal-Bal-Pal (Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Bipin Chandra Pal), who were the critiques of the Moderates.
  • The nationalist vocabulary of the Indian National Movement was altered by these 3 leaders (Lal-Bal-Pal) as they incorporated the new concepts of boycott, swadeshi, and national education in the Indian National Movement.
  • In Punjab, Maharashtra, and Bengal the Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal respectively were so popular, that the Moderates did not entertain much credibility in these areas.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak

  • He was apparently the most prominent militant leader of the Extremist phase of the Indian freedom struggle.
  • Tilak articulated his nationalist ideas in both Kesari (in Marathi) and Maratha (in English), long before his active involvement in the Congress, and to inspire the youth by drawing upon the patriotism of Shivaji, he introduced the Shivaji festival in 1896.
  • In 1896, Tilak successfully organized a campaign for a boycott of foreign clothes in Maharashtra and protested against the imposition of taxes on cotton this led to his prominence in the National Politics.
  • He advocated for a no-tax campaign in areas of Maharashtra, which were adversely affected by the 1896-7 famine.
  • Tilak demanded immediate self-rule or swaraj.

Results of the Surat Split

  • The moderates after the Surat Split in 1907 demanded colonial self-government, as against the extremist demand of complete independence.
  • The constitutional politics of the moderates had failed to impress the British government and that was amply reflected in the Morley-Minto Reforms of 1909.
  • The British Government followed the policy of ‘Divide and Rule’ and in order to curb and isolate the militant nationalists and suppress them, they tried to win over moderate nationalist opinion.
  • Extremism was confined mainly to Bengal, Maharashtra, and Punjab, where the outbreak of terrorism allowed the government to unleash repression.
  • With extremist leaders like Tilak in prison, the moderate-dominated Congress was immersed in total inactivity.
  • In 1909 the Separate electorates were granted to the Muslims and congress was at its low. The most critical and vocal elements were not a part of the INC. Thus the British had taken absolute advantage over the INC.

Revolutionary Activities (First Phase) (1885-1915)

  • In the first half of the 20th century, revolutionary groups sprang up mainly in Bengal, Maharashtra, and Punjab.
  • The revolutionaries were not satisfied with the methods of both the moderates and extremists.
  • Hence, they started many revolutionary secret organizations.

Revolutionary Activities in Maharashtra

Vasudeo Balwant Phadke

  • Phadke was influenced by the vision of Justice Ranade.
  • He held the British government to be responsible for the sufferings of the people during the famine in the Deccan in 1876-77.
  • Phadke denounced the British policy of ruthless exploitation of India.
  • The government ordered the army to suppress the uprising.
  • Avoiding pitched battle; Phadke recognized his force & started guerrilla warfare against the British.
  • He was ultimately captured and was sentenced to transportation for life. He was deported to Aden where he died in 1883 in jail.

The Chapekar Brothers, Damodar, Vasudev and Balkrishan

  • They established the Hindu Dharma Sanrakshini Sabha in 1894.
  • During the Ganapati festivals of 1894, they circulated leaflets in Poona and asked the Hindus to rise in arms against that rule as Shivaji had done against the Muslim rule.
  • On 22 June 1897, C. Rand & Lieutenant C.E. Ayearstwere shot dead by Damodar & Bal Krishna Chapekar.
  • Damodar was arrested immediately after and was sentenced to death.
  • Bal Krishna was later arrested in Hyderabad and sentenced to death.

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

  • Savarkar joined the Abhinav Bharat Society founded by his elder brother Ganesh Damodar.
  • At the time of his departure from India, Savarkar and his brother were also leaders of an association known as the Mitramela, which started around 1899.
  • Savarkar later proceeded to London in 1906, but his organization continued to flourish in India.

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Revolutionary Activities in Bengal

Anushilan Samiti

  • The first revolutionary organization in Bengal was the Anushilan Samiti.
  • The Anushilan Samiti was established by Pramathanath Mitra, a barrister from Calcutta.
  • The people associated with this site were Sri Aurobindo, Deshabandhu Chittaranjan Das, Surendranath Tagore, Jatindranath Banerjee, Bagha Jatin, Bhupendra Natha Datta, Barindra Ghosh, etc. Bhupendra Nath Datta was the brother of Swami Vivekananda.
  • Barindra Ghosh was sent to Paris to learn the science of Bomb Making and here he came in touch was Madam Bhikaji Cama.
  • Madam Cama was already associated with the India House and the Paris India Society.
  • Its members Kudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki were entrusted with the task of the assassination of Kingsford the vindictive judge who had sentenced many political prisoners to heavy terms of punishment.
  • On 30th April 1908, they threw a bomb at the carriage in which they believed Kingsford to be traveling. But unfortunately, two British ladies who were in the carriage were inadvertently killed. Kudiram was arrested and hanged on 11th August 1908.
  • They published a periodical named Jugantar, which openly preached armed rebellion in order to create the necessary revolutionary mentality among the people. Both Sandhya and Jugantar openly preached the cult of violence.
  • Aurobindo Ghosh published Bhavani Mandir giving a detailed plan for organizing revolutionary activities.
  • Another book Mukti Kon Pathe (Which way lies the Salvation) exhorted Indian soldiers to supply weapons to Indian revolutionaries.

The Alipore Conspiracy

  • The government’s search for illegal arms in Calcutta led to the arrest of thirty-four persons including the Ghosh brothers and their trial came to be known as the Alipore conspiracy case.
  • One of the arrested persons Narendra Gosain became the approver, but he was shot dead in jail before giving evidence.
  • Of the accused in the Alipore conspiracy case, fifteen were found guilty and some of them including Barindrakumar Ghosh was transported to live.
  • After the Alipore conspiracy case, Rash Behari Bose planned a nationwide-armed uprising with the help of Indian soldiers of the British army. However, following the discovery of the plot by the police, Rash Behari Bose escaped to Japan & continued his revolutionary activities there

Bengal Group Association

  • A bomb was thrown at Viceroy Hardinge II by Rash Behari Bose & Sachin  Sanyal at Chandani Chowk, Delhi
  • Many of his attendants were killed in this.
  • Sanyal was arrested, tried, and later released for some time and in that time he with Ramprasad Bismil formed HRA in 1924.
  • Later he was convicted in Kakori conspiracy and died in jail.
  • Rash Bihari Bose was able to escape to Japan
  • Note – Sachin Sanyal wrote  BANDI JEEVAN (Bible of revolutionaries at that time).

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Revolutionary Activities outside India

Shyamji Krishnavarma

  • He was a member of the Mitramela Abhinav Bharat revolutionary group.
  • He left Bombay in 1897 and went to London.
  • He started a monthly journal, the Indian sociologist; an organ of the freedom struggle of India in 1905.
  • Shyamji established the Indian Home Rule Society and a hostel for Indian students living in London, popularly known as the Indian House.
  • The most important revolutionaries associated with him were D. Savarkar, Madanlal Dhingra, Madame Cama, and Lala Hardayal.
  • In 1907 Shyamji shifted his headquarters to Paris and Savarkar took up the political leadership of the Indian House in London.

Madanlal Dhingra

  • In 1909 Madanlal Dhingra, an associate of Savarkar assassinated Curzon-Wylie an A.D.C. to the Secretary of State for India.
  • He was spying on Indian students.
  • Madanlal Dhingra was arrested and brought to trial and was hanged on 1st August 1909.

Madame Cama

  • Madame Cama had been popularly described as the Mother of the Indian revolution. She left India in 1902.
  • She took an active part in editing the Indian sociologist and represented India at the Stuttgart conference of socialists in 1907.
  • At the conference, Madame Cama unfurled for the first time the Indian national flag on the foreign soil.
  • Due to her anti-British activities, she was forced to shift her residence from London to Paris.
  • After thirty years of patriotic service in London, Paris, and other cities of Europe, her friends succeeded in repatriating her to India in November 1936. She died on 12th August 1937.

The Indian Independence Committee in Berlin

  • After the outbreak of the First World War, Hardyal and other Indians abroad moved to Germany and set up the Indian independence committee at Berlin.
  • The policy and activities of the Berlin committee and the Ghadar party had greatly influenced the revolutionaries of Bengal.

Ghadar Party

  • The difference of the Ghadar party from others was that it was founded by the Indian immigrants of the United States and Canada.
  • Lala Hardayal, Sohan Singh Bhakkna, and Taraknath Das were the founders of this party.
  • The party was founded in 1913 and it’s headquarter was in San Francisco.
  • Ghadar is an Urdu word which means “revolt” or “rebellion “.
  • The Ghadar was a weekly published by the Ghadar Party.

The Ghadar Party was dissolved after the independence of India in 1948.

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