Independence Day: 5 key movements in India’s freedom struggle
- The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 was retrospectively considered as the First War of Independence
- The Civil Disobedience Movement started with Gandhiji’s famous Dandi March from the Sabarmati Ashram to the coast of Dandi
- The Quit India Movement that began in 1942 sought the end of British rule in India
The Independence of India was preceded by a number of battles and movements at the national level. All these battles had witnessed mass participation from various section of the society. Most of the movements still attract the interests of scholars and social scientists from all over the world. Some of these key movements are still widely read about. Let's take a look at these movements.
1. The Revolt of 1857
The Sepoy Mutiny of the year 1857 is also known as the First War of Independence. The revolt was against the British East India Company. It started in Meerut and spread to Delhi, Agra, Kanpur and Lucknow. Professor Bipan Chandra stated, “The Revolt of 1857 was the most dramatic instance of traditional India’s struggle against foreign rule”. It was not a sudden event but culmination of a prolonged period of resistance against the Britishers.
2. The Swadeshi Movement (1903-1908)
The Swadeshi Movement had its roots in the anti-partition movement which was initiated to counter the British decision to partition Bengal. The Home Secretary to the Government of India, Risley opined – Bengal united is power, Bengal divided will pull several different ways.
The movement involved moderate methods as well as radical ones like boycott of foreign goods. This movement had also failed but it was a small, yet significant step towards freedom.
3. Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-1922)
The country was in a state of unrest during this time due to a number of reasons like the Jallianwala Massacre, martial law in Punjab, dismemberment of the Turkish Empire. This movement was also suppressed by the British but this movement was successful in many grounds.
4. Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-1931)
This movement started with Gandhiji’s famous Dandi March which started from the Sabarmati Ashram and ended at the coast of Dandi, with Gandhi breaking the salt law. In almost all discourses on Gandhi, this march holds a level of importance.
5. Quit India Movement (1942)
Also known as the August Movement, the Quit India movement was launched by Gandhi demanding an end of British rule in India. This was during the Second World War.