Modern Indian History (Part-4)



  • Foundation in 1885
  • The significance A.O. Hume’s involvement was to remove official hostility
  • First Session at Gokaldas Tejpal Sanskrit College in Bombay
  • First president was Womesh Chandra Banerjee of Bengal
  • Attended by 100 men of who 72 were non-officials & were recognised as members
  • Founder members were Pherozshah Mehta, Badruddin Tyabji, W.C. Banerjee,

Romesh Chandra Dutt, Dadabhai Nauroji

  • Initially it was named Indian National Union
  • Named “Indian National Congress” on the suggestion of Dadabhai Nauroji
  • Earlier Poona was selected for the venue, but it had to be shifted to Bombay because of the outbreak of Cholera in Poona
  • The Governor-General of India at the time of foundation was Lord Dufferin  Among the classes, the educated middle class had the largest share in the beginning
  • The legal profession was most heavily represented among the professions
  • The Brahmins among the castes were comparatively large in number
  • Among the provinces Bombay, Calcutta and Madras took the leading part
  • Landed classes and the masses were absent
  • Foundation of British Committee of the Congress in 1889 by Dada Bhai Nauroji,

A.O. Hume and William Wedderbum to influence British Public opinion at London 

  • Started the journal ‘India’ in 1890



  • State of Bengal comprising Bengal proper, Assam, Bihar and Orissa with Capital at Calcutta
  • Separation of Assam and creation of a new state with Assam and Sylhet in 1874
  • Partition of Bengal in 1905 by Lord Curzon-two separate states were created
  • Bengal comprising Western part of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa with capital at Calcutta
  • East Bengal and Assam with capital at Dacca comprising the Chittagon, Dacca and Rajshashi divisions, Hill Tippera (Tripura), Malda and Assam
  • Annulment of the partition of Bengal in 1911 – integration of West and East

Bengal and creation of three separate states

  • Bengal comprising West and East Bengal, Assam, Bihar and Orissa
  • Separation of Bihar from Orissa in 1935





  • First advocated by Gopalrao Deshmukh of Poona in 1849
  • Preached by M.G. Ranade. Rajnarain Bose, Nabgopal Mitra, Rabindranath Tagore, G.V. Joshi as an economic measures for the development of India industry
  • Recommended by Bholanath Chandra to exert economic pressure on the British in 1870’s
  • A boycott campaign organized by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1896
  • During Swadeshi Movement the idea of boycott was first given by Krishnakumar Mitra through his journal Sanjivini



  • By Lord Curzon on Oct 16, 1905, through a royal Proclamation, reducing the old province of Bengal in size by creating East Bengal and Assam out of rest of Bengal.
  • The government said that it was done to stimulate growth in eastern region.
  • Partition of Bengal was effected in October 16, 1905
  • Actually, the objective was to set up a communal gulf between Hindus and Muslims.  
  • A mighty upsurge swept the country against the partition. National movement found real expression against the partition of Bengal in 1905.



  • It began as an anti-partition agitation in Bengal and boycott was first suggested by Krishna Kumar Metra in Sanjivini in 1905.
  • The boycott of British products was followed by the advocacy of Swadeshi and to buy indigenously produced goods as a patriotic duty.


Stages of Swadeshi Movement

  • 1905-1909: Movement confined to Bengal and launched as a protest movement.
  • 1910-1911: Swadeshi movement merged with revolutionary terrorist movement of 1st phase and led to foundation of numerous secret associations.
  • To encourage indigenous Industries, some Swadeshi enterprise were set up viz. Calcutta potteries, Bengal Chemical and Bengal Lakshmi Cotton Mills. Swadeshi meals or fairs were held for selling handicrafts.
  • Charkha (spinning wheel) came to symbolize the popular concern for country’s economic self-sufficiency.
  • The ‘Carlyle circular’ withdrew grants and scholarships to educational institutions. Hence, nationalist educational institutes were founded e.g., Bengal Technical Institute, Bengal National College and School with Aurobindo Ghosh as its principal.
  • Rabindranath Tagore called for the observance of Raksha-bandhan as a symbol of brotherhood.
  • A large number of volunteer bodies or Samitis were founded. Swedish Bandhav Samiti of Barisal founded by Ashwini Dutt was the largest.
  • Anushilan Society had two branches. Pulin Das led the Dacca Branch. Birendra

Ghosh and Jatin Banerjee led the Calcutta Branch. Tagore wrote “Amar Sonar Bangla”

  • To mark the Hindu-Muslim unity Raksha Bandhan was celebrated on the day of


  • Nanda Lal Bose became the first recipient of scholarship offered by Indian Society of Oriental Act, set up in 1907.
  • Surat split in 1907. The Moderates dominated the session and the extremists wore ousted. Leader of Moderates was Firoz Shah Mehta. President of this session was Ras Bihari Bose.  
  • Indigenous in various fields developed to sustain Swadeshi call
    • Bengal National College was established
    • Bengal Council of National Education headed by Gurudas Banerjee
    • Pachaiapa National College – Madras
  • Bengal Chemical factory established by Acharya P.C. Ray


Important quotes about Swadeshi Movement

  • Tilak gave a call “Swaraj is my birth right and l shall have it”
  • Tilak – “Swaraj or self-government is essential for the exercise of Swadharma. Without Swaraj there could be no social reform, no industrial progress, no useful education, no fulfillment of national life”
  • B.C. Pal-“It is not reform but re-form, which is the new cry in the country”
  • Aurobindo Ghosh-“Swaraj is the fulfillment of the ancient life of India under modern conditions, the return of Satyuga of national greatness “Political freedom is the life breath of a nation”
  • Lala Lajpat Rai-“A man without soul is a mere animal. A nation without a soul is only dumb driven cattle.



  • Set up on 31 December 1906 at Dacca under the leadership of Aga khan, Nawab Salimullah of Dhaka and Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk.
  • The object of the League was defined as follows :
    • To promote among the Muslims of India for the feeling of loyalty to the British Government.
    • To protect and advance the political rights and interests of the Muslims of India.
    • To prevent the rise among the Muslims of India of any feelings of hostility towards other communities.
  • The first conference of the All India Muslim League was held at Amritsar under the President ship of Sir Syed Ali Imam.
  • Mr. Jinnah for many years had been an opponent of the League and in the Allahabad Session of the Congress in 1910; he moved resolution condemning the system of communal representation.  
  • Maulana Muhammad Ali started an English paper ‘Comrade’ and an Urdu paper ‘Hamdard’ to propagate his anti-League views.  
  • Maulana Azad also brought on a paper ‘Al Hilal’ from Calcutta to serve as the mouthpiece of his nationalist views.
  • It was a loyalist, communal and conservative political oraganisation that supported the partition of Bengal opposed the Swadeshi movement, demanded special safeguards of its community a separate electorate for Muslims.



  • After Tilak’s return, having served sentence of six years in Mandalay (in Burma), he tried securing the readmission of himself and other extremists into the INC, with the need being felt for popular pressure to attain concessions, disillusionment with Minto-Morley reforms and war-time miseries. Tilak and Annie Besant readied to assume leadership.
  • Started by B.G. Tilak (April 1916) at Poona and Annie Besant and S. Subramania lyer at Adyar, near Madras (Sept 1916).




  • 1907 Ramnath Puri, a political exile, issued a Circular-I-Azadi (circular of Liberty) in USA pleading for support to the Swadeshi Movement in India. Taraka Nath Das leader of Indian Communitiy in North America started a paper “Free Hindustan”.
  • Virendranath Chattopadhaya started- 'Talwar' from Berlin.
  • G.D. Kumar established “Swadesh Sevak Home” and published a paper “Swadesh Sevak” in Gurmukhi language.
  • Taraka Nath Das and G.D. Kumar set up “United India House” in (USA)
  • United India House developed links with Khalsa Diwan Society and they sent a deputation to London but they failed in their efforts to remove restrictive measures adopted by the Canadian government on the immigration of the Indian on request of the British Government.
  • Lala Hari Dayal founded ‘Hindi Association’ in Portland in 1913. A weekly paper “The Ghadar” was started with it does headquarter at San Francisco. The Ghadar was published in Urdu, Gurumukhi, Gujarati and Hindi.
  • The Ghadar published series of Articles entitled- “Angrezi Raj Ka Kachcha Chittha” (An exposure of the British Rule). This exposed the III effects of the British rule in India.
  • Copies of the “Ghadar” were distributed in North America, Philippines, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Thailand and India.
  • Kamagatamru Incident occurred In March 1914. “Shore Committee” was set up under the leadership of Husain Rahim, Shoan Lal Pathak and Balwant Singh to fight for the right of the passengers.  
  • The Kamagatamaru Ship returned to Calcutta at Budge a clash followed between the police and the passengers leading death of 10 persons.
  • February 19, 1915 was fixed as date for first mutiny in Punjab. Ras Behari Bose was made leader of the Ghadar Movement in India.


  • Reached South Africa in 1893 to work out legal problems of Dadu Abdullah, a Gujarati merchant.
  • The issue on which his South African struggle began was the proposed bill of the Natal government to disfranchise Indians at Natal.
  • The first phase of his struggle was during 1894-1906 with constitutional methods.
  • His second phase of struggle was during 1996-1914 with Satyagraha as the main method.
  • Formed Indian Natal organisation/Natal Indian Congress in 1893.
  • Started weekly ‘Indian opinion’ in 1903.
  • Formed 'Passive Resistance Association' in 1907 to boycott permit offices associated with registration issue.
  • Established Phoenix Ashram in Natal.
  • Founded Tolstoy Farm at Transvaal with the help of his German Friend Kallenbach to house the families of Satyagrahis.
  • Suspended 'Satygraha' for the time being on the assurance of Gen. Smuts to repeal the registration law but later Gen. Smuts went back on his words & this created great annoyance of the people against him.
  • Began a spectacular march across Transvaal boarder with a huge band of Satyagrahis on six, November 1913 against the Supreme Court judgment of invalidating all marriages not performed according to Christian rites.
  • Finally he got a package deal signed according to which marriage performed according to India rites were declared legal, poll tax of 3 pounds on freed laboured was abolished and a domicile certificate was now required only to enter Union of South Africa.
  • Legislation making it compulsory for Indians to take out certificates of registration, which held their finger prints.
  • Restriction on Indian immigration.
  • Poll tax of 3 pounds imposed on all ex-indentured Indians.
  • Invalidation of all marriages not conducted through Christian rities and registered by Registrar of marriages.




  • As a step towards strengthening the ties of comradeship, both the parties held their sessions simultaneously at Bombay in 1915.
  • Prominent Congress leaders namely, Mahatma Gandhi, Malviya and Sarogini Naidu, also spoke from the League platform.
  • The League appointed a committee to prepare a scheme for India a consultation with the Congress. The report of the committee was the basis of the Lucknow Pact rectified by both the parties in 1916 at Lucknow.


The Main Features of the Lucknow Pact

  • The Pact laid down that the number of elected members in the Provincial Legislature should be raised to four-fifths of the total strength. The membership of the Legislatures in big Provinces should be raised to 125 and in the smaller ones between 50 and 75. As far as possible, all the members of the

Legislatures should be elected on the basis of as broad a franchise as possible.

  • The minorities should be given adequate separate representation in the elected bodies.
  • It was demanded that at least half the members of the Executive Council of the Governor-General were to be Indians returned by only the elected members of the Central Legislature. The same procedure was to be adopted in the case of Provincial Executive Councils.
  • The Provinces should be given a large measure of autonomy in their sphere.  
  • The Central Government should confine itself to acts of general supervision over them.
  • Indians should be placed on a footing of equality in respect of status and right of citizenship with other subjects of his Majesty, the King Emperor throughout the Empire.



  • In 1917, the Government of India had appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Justice Sydney Rowlett to investigate “revolutionary crime” in the country and to recommend legislation for its suppression.
  • After a review of the situation, the Rowlett committee proposed a series of change in the machinery of law to enable the British government to deal effectively with the revolutionary activities.  
  • In the light of these recommendations, the Government of India drafted two bills and presented them to the Imperial Legislative Council on 6 February 1919.
  • The new bills attempted to make wartime restrictions permanent. They provided trial of offences by a special court consisting of three high court judges.  
  • These were no provision of appeal against the decision of this court, which could meet in camera and take into consideration evidence not admissible under the Indian Evidence Act.  
  • The bill also proposed to give authority to the government to search place and arrest a person without a warrant. Detention without a trial for maximum period of two years was also provided in the bills.
  • There was widespread condemnation of the bills in the whole country. Gandhi also launched his campaign against the bills. He formed a Satyagraha Sabha in February 1919 in Bombay to protest against the Rowlett Bills.
  • A group of liberals like Sir D.E. Wacha, Surendranath Banerjee, T.B. Sapru and Srinivas Shastri opposed Gandhi's move of starting Satyagraha. Their reason for opposing the Satyagraha was that it would hamper the Reforms.
  • In organising this Satyagraha certain Pan-Islamic Leaders, particularly Abdul Bari of Firangi Mahal Ulema group at Lucknow, and some radical members of the Muslim League also assisted Gandhi.
  • Gandhi inaugurated his Satyagraha by calling upon the fellow citizens to observe a day of Hartal when business should be suspended and people should observe fast and pray as a protest against the Rowlett Act.  
  • The date for the hartal was fixed for 30th  March but it was changed to April 6th  
  • In Amritsar, the news of Gandhi's arrest coincided with the arrest of two local leaders Dr. Kilchlu and Dr. Satyapal on 10 April.
  • On 13 April, General Dyer ordered his troops to fire on a peaceful unnamed crowd assembled at Jallianwala Bagh.
  • The martial law was immediately enforced in Punjab also on the 13 April (night).



  • People were agitated over the arrest of Dr. Kilchlu and Dr. Satyapal on April 10, 1919.
  • General O’Dyer fired at people who assembled in the Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar. As a result, hundreds of men, women and children were killed and thousands injured.
  • Rabindranath Tagore returned his knighthood in protest. Sir Shankaran Nair resigned from Viceroy’s Executive Council after this event.
  • Hunter Commission was appointed to enquire into it.
  • On March 13, 1940, Sardar Udham Singh killed O’Dyer when the latter was addressing meeting in Caxton Hall, London.



  • During the First World War, Turkey was allied with Germany and Austria against the British. The Indian Muslims regarded the Sultan of Turkey as their spiritual leader, Khalifa, so naturally they sympathized with Turkey.  
  • After the war, the British removed the Khalifa from power and fragmented Turkey. Hence, the Muslims started the Khilafat Movement in India for the restoration of the Khalifa’s position.  
  • The demands were :
    • Khalifa’s control should be retained over the Muslim sacred places.
    • Post war territorial adjustments, the Khalifa should be left with sufficient territories.


Khilafat Movement in India

  • The Khilafat issue was not directly linked with politics in India but the khilafat leaders (Ali bothers, Maulana Azad, Hakim Ajmal Khan and Hasrat Mohan) were eager in enlisting the support of Hindus.
  • Gandhi saw in this, an opportunity to bring about Hindu-Muslim unity against the British.
  • The publication of the terms of the Treaty with Turkey, which were very harsh, and the publication of the Hunter Committee report on ‘Punjab disturbances’ in May 1920 infuriated the Indians.
  • Thus at one level, Indian political situation also merged with the issue of Khilafat.
  • Initially the Khilafat leaders limited their actions to meetings, petitions, and deputations in favour of the Khilafat.
  • Later a militant trend emerged, demanding an active agitation such as stopping all cooperation with the British :
  • The central khilafat Committee met at Allahabad.
  • A number of Congress and Khilafat leaders attended the meeting. In this meeting, a programme of non-cooperation towards the government was declared.  
  • This was to include :
    • Boycott of titles conferred by the government.
    • Boycott of civil services, army and police i.e., all government jobs.
    • Nonpayment of taxes to the government.
    • August 1, 1920 was fixed as the date to start the movement.



  • It was the first mass based political movement under Gandhi.
  • The movement was launched as per resolution by Calcutta Session and ratified in Nagpur session, December 1920.
  • Anti-Rowlett Agitation, Jalianwala Bagh tragedy, Khilafat movement and general economic, distress during and after the war were the reasons for Non Co-operation Movement.
  • The Tilak Swarajya Fund was started to finance the Non-cooperation Movement.
  • The main emphasis of the movement was on boycott of schools, colleges, law courts and advocacy of the use of Charkha. 
  • There was widespread student unrest and top lawyers like C.R. Das and Motilal Nehru gave up their legal practice. 
  • Thereafter, the stress was on boycott of foreign Cloth and boycott of the forthcoming visit of the Prince of Wells in November 1921, popularization of Charkha, khadi and Jail Bharo by Congress Volunteers.
  • Swaraj or self-rule, Redressed of Punjab wrongs and Khilafat issue was demanded though Non Co-operation Movement.
  • Non-co-operation Movement progressed powerfully from Jan. 1920 to Early Feb 1922.
  • The attack on a local police station by angry peasants at Chauri Chaura, in Gorakhpur district of U.P, on Feb 5, 1922, changed the whole situation Gandhi, shocked by this incident and withdrew the Non Co-operation Movement.



  • The annual session of the Congress was held at Gaya in December 1922. It became a battleground between the supporters of the Council-entry and no Council-entry.
  • Moti Lal Nehru and C.R. Das decided to go ahead with their programme. On 31 Dec. 1922, they announced the formation of a party, known as the Swaraj Party and the decision to wreck the constitution of 1919 from within the Council was taken.
  • The immediate objective was proclaimed the attainment of Dominion Status. Their method was that of obstructionism-to contest the election on the issue of the redress of the workings done by the British bureaucracy, to oppose every measure of the Government, including the budget, to move resolutions necessary for the healthy growth of the national life and the consequent displacement of the bureaucracy and if returned in majority to throw out all legislative enactments by which the British proposed to consolidate their power
  • The mambers of the Swaraj Party fought the election of 1923 and had to face the Liberals. The Swarajists achieved success and became a majority in Central

Provinces (C.P.), a dominant party in Bengal and influential in U.P. and

Bombay. In the Central Legislative Assembly, they won 45 out of 145 seats.

  • On 18 February 1924, the Swarajists carried by majority a resolution relating to the Act of 1919.  
  • It provided that the Governor-General-in-Council should take steps to have the Act of 1919 revised with a view to establishing full responsible Government in India.
  • The Government appointed a committee known as Muddiman Committee for this purpose. The Committee comprised of Sir Alexander Muddiman (Home Member and Chairman), Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Mohd. Ali Jinnah, Sir Siva swami Aiyer, Dr. Paranipye.
  • Lord Birkenhead became the new Secretary of State for India. He described the Swaraj Party as the most highly organised political party in India and the work it was doing was even more difficult to deal with than open rebellion.
  • S.B. Tambe, the Swarajist President of the Legislative Council, accepted Executive Councillorship. The Central Legislative Assembly was granted the right of electing its own chairman. V.B. Patel was elected for the post.
  • M.L. Nehru now accepted membership of the Skeen Committee, which was set up to report on the early Indianisation of the Army. Lajpat Raj joined the Central Legislative Assembly as a Swarajist and accepted the deputy-leadership of the Party.
  • In 14 February 1926, Kelkar and Jayakar formed the Responsivist Party and proclaimed responsive cooperation as their creed. They came closer to Pandit Malaviya and Lajpat Rai and in early April formed a new party known as the Nationalist Party.



  • There was great discontent among the people of native states, because the administration was rude and the people had to face financial crisis.
  • Initially, National Congress did not intervene in native states. However, in 1915 Congress decided to support the progressive elements of native states.
  • There was a great impact of civil disobedience movement on native states and since 1922, the people of states got membership of the Congress.
  • It strengthened the political awareness in states and in 1926. All India native state's people conference was established. First session of this was held in 1927.
  • In the matter of these states, Congress did not intervene directly because Gandhi was not in its favour Congress in states.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru became the President of All India states people conference in 1939.



  • Sachin Sanyal, Jogesh Chatterjee and Ram Prasad Bismil founded Hindustan Republican Army (HRA) at Kanpur in October 1924.
  • HRA aimed at organising an armed revolution and establishing a Federal Republic of the USA with a government elected based on adult franchise.
  • Sachin Sanyal wrote ‘Bandi Jivan’, Hindustan Republican Army was later named as Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).
  • Important action of Hindustan Republican Army was Kakori Robbery (August 1925).
  • Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) was founded in September 1928 at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi under the leadership of Chandra Shekhar Azad. They were also influenced by Socialist ideas.
  • Bhagat Singh, Azad and Raj gurus shot dead Saunders, the police official responsible for the lathi-charge in Lahore. 
  • Bhagat Singh and BK Dutt threw bombs in the Central Legislative Assembly on 8 April 1929 against the passage of the Public Safety Bill and the Trade Disputes Bill. The objective was not to kill but to make the deaf hear.
  • Bhagat Singh wrote, “Why I am an atheist.
  • Jatin Das (Sept.1929) died after a prolonged fast in jail.
  • After raiding Chittagong Armory, Surya Sen proclaimed the formation of Provisional Revolutionary Government and the Indian Republican Army, which fought at Jalalabad.
  • Bina Das fired directly at the governor while receiving her degree at the convocation.
  • Kalpana Datta was arrested and tired along with Surya Sen.



  • The Act of 1919 contained provision for the appointment of a Royal Commission at the end of the ten years after the passing of the Act with the enquiring into the functioning of the Government.
  • Lord Birkenhead, Secretary of State for India announced the appointment of a

Statutory Commission under the Chairmanship of Sir John Simon in November. 1927

  • The aim of the Commission was to inquire into the working of provincial government, to examine how far the representative institutions were functioning satisfactorily and to draft the outlines for the future progress in establishing responsible government.
  • All the seven members of the Commission were Englishmen who were members of British Parliament.
  • The announcement of the all-white commission shocked almost all Indians. It was greeted with strong protest by all parties, i.e., the Congress, a section of the Muslim League, Hindu Mahasabha, Liberal Federation, etc.,
  • The Simon Commission reached Bombay on February 3, 1928 and was greeted with slogan of ‘Go back, Simon’.
  • A procession led by Lala Lajpat Rai in Lahore was lathi charged and Lalaji succumbed to his injuries. J Nehru and G.B. Pant were lathi charged in Lucknow. A revolutionary group led by Bhagat Singh avenged Lala Lajpat Rai's death by killing Assistant Police Superintendent, Saunders.



  • The future constitution of India should be based on “Full responsible

Government on the model of the constitution of the self-governing Dominions”, and the conceding of the Dominion Status should be “the next immediate step a remote stage of our evolution”.

  • The North-West Frontier Province (with its Muslim majority of over 90 percent) should acquire the same status as other Provinces and Sind (with its Muslim majority of over 7 percent) should be detached from Bombay and became a separate Province.
  • The Committee made no concession to the Muslim standpoint on the question of separate electorates. All elections made by joint or mixed electorates.
  • The only communal safeguard should be “reservation” of seats, and this should only be afforded to the Muslims and not to any other community or group except the non-Muslims in the North-West Frontier Province nor should seats be reserved for Muslims where they were in a majority, but only at the Centre and in the Provinces in which they were in a minority.
  • The constitution of Indian should be federal in character and the Indian States should be welcome to joint it.
  • There should be inserted in the constitution a “Declaration-of Rights” assuring inter alia, the fullest liberty of conscience and religion.
  • The new Indian Legislature should be empowered to legislate and budget for the Indian army, and that its control should be transferred to a responsible Indian Minister of Defense.
  • The legislative power of the Commonwealth should be vested in a bicameral legislature and the executive power in the King “exercisable by the GovernorGeneral as the King's representative, acting on the advice of the Executive Council”.



  • The form of the future constitution of India should be federal with residuary powers vested in the provinces.
  • A uniform measure of autonomy should be granted to all Provinces.
  • All Legislatures and other elected bodies should be constituted on the definite principle of adequate and effective representation of minorities in every Province without reducing the majority in any Province to a minority or even equality.
  • In the Central Legislature, Muslim representation should not be less than onethird.
  • Representation of communal groups should continue to be by separate electorates as at present provided that it should be open to any community at any time to abandon its separate electorate in favour of joint electorate.
  • Any territorial redistribution should not. In any way, affect the Muslim majority in Punjab, Bengal and the NWFP.
  • Full liberty of belief, worship and observance, propaganda, association and education should be guaranteed to all communities.
  • No bill or resolution or any party should be passed any Legislature or any other elected body if three-fourths of the members of any community in that body opposed it as being injurious to the interests of that community.
  • Sind should be separated from the Bombay Presidency.
  • Reforms should be introduced in the N.W.F.P. In addition, Baluchistan on the same footing as in other Provinces.
  • Adequate share for Muslims should be provided in the constitution in all services of the State subject to the requirements of efficiency.
  • Adequate safeguards for the protection and promotion of Muslim culture, education, language, religion, personal laws and charitable institutions and for their due share in the grants-in-aid given by the State should be provided in the constitution.
  • No Cabinet, either Central of Provincial, should be formed without at least onethird of the ministers being Muslims.
  • No change should be made in the constitution by the Central Legislature except with the concurrence of the States constituting the Indian Federation.



  • Some of the important 11 points of Gandhi to Lord Irwin on 31, Jan 1930.
    • 50% reduction in land revenue.
    • Abolition of salt tax.
    • Cuts in civil and military expenditure by 50%.
    • Textiles protection.
    • Release of political prisoners.
    • Lowering of the rupee-sterling ratio to 1:4.
  • Rejection of these demands by the government & beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement with Dandi March on 12, March 1930 from Sabarmati to Dandi to break the salt-law by Gandhi with his 78 followers.
  • Programmes :
    1. To violate salt law 
    2. Boycott schools and colleges. 
    3. Boycott foreign clothes 
    4. Resignation from Government services 
    5. Non-payment of taxes 
    6. Staging Dharana at liquor shops
    • Programmes introduced in May 1930
    1. Non-payment of revenue in Ryotwari area 
    2. Non-payment of Chaukidari tax in Zamindari area  (c) Violation of forest laws in central provinces.
    • Various Marches  
    • (a) March from Tiruchirapalli to Vedamniyam led by C. Rajagopalachari in Tamilnadu  

    (b) March from Calicut to Payannur led by K. Kelappan in Malabar  (c) March from Sylhet to Noakhali by a band of Satyagrahis.  

    • Associated Struggles
    1. Red Shirt Movement by Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan in North West frontier province 
    2. March from Calicut to Payannur led by K. Kelappan in Malabar  
    3. No tax campaign against Chowkidari tax in Eastern India  (d) Students agitation against Cunningham Circular in Assam  (e) Revolt of Rani Gaidnulu in Nagaland.


    GANDHI-IRWIN PACT – 17 FEB TO 5 MARCH 1931 Demands:

    1. Immediate release of political prisoners not convicted for violence  
    2. Remission of all fines not yet collected 
    3. Return of confiscated lands not yet sold. 
    4. Lenient treatment to government employees who resigned 
    5. Right to make salt for consumption to the people living along the seacoast 
    6. Public enquiry into police excesses (not accepted)
    • Irwin agreed to release all political prisoners expect these who were engaged in violence.
    • Right to make salt in coastal villages for personal consumption.
    • Gandhi agreed to suspend Civil Disobedience Movement and participate in second of Round Table Conference.  
    • Leadership assumed after the arrest of Gandhi by Abbas Tayabji & then by Sarojini Naidu.
    • N.C. Kelkar, Satyamurti & M.A. Ansari were among those who refused to resign from legislature after the call of the Congress to do so. They are known as new Swarajists.
    • Satyamurti voiced council-entry programme in October 1933 followed by Bhulabhai Desai, B.C. Roy and M.A. Ansari in April 1934.
    1. Restarting of Civil Disobedience Movement after Second Round Table

    Conference – Jan, 1932

    1. Suspension of Civil Disobedience Movement – May, 1933
    2. Withdrawal of Civil Disobedience Movement at Patna – May, 1934



  • It was the first conference arranged between the British and Indians as equals. It was held on Nov 12, 1930 in London to discuss Simon Commission.
  • Boycotted by INC, Muslim League, Hindu Mahasabha, Liberals and some others were there.
  • Postponed to Jan 2, 1931, in the absence of any major political party.



  • Gandhi agreed to attend the Second Round Table Conference scheduled to be held in September 1931. He demanded control over defense and foreign affairs.
  • Hindu Mahasabha demanded federal responsibility, which was opposed by Muslim League and the prices. Ambedkar demanded separate electorates for Dalit are which Gandhi opposed.
  • The government refused to concede the basic nationalist demand of freedom or the basis of immediate grant of dominion status.



  • On August 16, 1932 McDonald announced the proposal on minority representation known as the “Communal Award” which recommended :
    • To double the exiting seats in provincial legislatures,
    • To retain the system of separate electorate for the minorities.
    • To grant weightage to Muslims in provinces where they were in minority.
    • To reserve 3 percent seats for women in all provincial legislatures except in NWFP.
    • To recognize depressed classes as minority community and make them entitled to the right of separate electorate and  
    • To allocate seats to labor, property owners, and traders and Industrialists.
  • MacDonald gave it to appear that the Award announced because the India communities were unable to reach a settlement acceptable to all parties on communal questions. However, in reality, the Award was the continuation of the old English policy of “divide and rule”.
  • On the initiative of Malaviya, various Hindu leaders met in Poona and on 25

September, they concluded an agreement known as the “Poona Agreement”.

  • It provided that the depressed classes would forgo their separate electorates and content themselves solely with the general Hindu electorates. 
  • The members of the depressed class, who were registered in the general electoral roll in a constituency, were to form an electoral college, which was to elect a panel of four candidates for each of such reserved seats. 
  • The general electorate, in its subsequent choice, was to choose one of these four. This agreement could be altered by common consent.
  • The British authorities accepted this agreement. It gave to the depressed classes 148 seats while MacDonald's Award gave them merely 71. Gandhi also gave up the fast and released from prison.



  • Launched to attain Purna Swaraj and not merely to remedy wrongs.
  • It involved deliberate violation of law and not merely non co-operation.
  • In the initial phase, urban people participated but it spread to rural areas, where it gained its maximum strength.
  • Less Muslim and labour participation.
  • Women participated on a large scale to picket shops.


Impact of CDM

  • The Congress swept the polls in most provinces in 1937.
  • The left alternative emerged, for the movement had aroused expectations, which Ghandhian strategy could not fulfill.
  • At the level of leadership, Nehru and Bose voiced the new mood, emphasizing the need to combine nationalism with radical social and economic programmes.
  • Some Congress activists formed a Socialist group within the party in 1934.
  • Kisan Sabha with anti-zamindar programmes was developed rapidly in provinces like Bihar and Andhra.



  • With the failure to the British government to measure up to the demands, there were two opinions in Congress about the launching of Civil Disobedience. 
  • Gandhi felt that the atmosphere was not in favour of Civil Disobedience as there were difference and indiscipline within the Congress. However, the Congress socialists and India Kisan Sabha were in favour of immediate struggle.  
  • Convinced that the British would not modify their policy in India, (the Congress having reflected the August offer), Gandhi decided to start the individual Satyagraha.  
  • The very reason for confining the movement to an individual participation was the neither Gandhi nor the Congress wished to hamper the war effort and this was not possible in a mass movement.  
  • Even the aim of the Satyagraha was a limited one i.e., to disprove the British claim of India. Supporting the war effort whole-heartedly on 17 October 1940, Vinoba Bhave became the first Satyagrahi followed by Nehru.



  • Based on the Simon Commission report.
  • The Congress rejected the 1935 Act and demanded the convening of a Constituent Assembly elected based on adult franchise to frame a constitution for an Independent India. J.L. Nehru described it as “we are provided with a car, all breaks and no engine.
  • Yet, INC fought the election in 1937, when the constitution was introduced and formed ministers in seven out of eleven provinces. Later, Congress formed coalition governments in two others, only Bengal and Punjab had non-Congress ministries. 
  • Punjab was under the Unionist Party and Bengal under the Krishak Praja  Party and Muslim League coalition.



  • Under the pressure of Allies and the need for gestures to win over Indian public opinion, the British were forced to offer reconciliatory measures. After the fail of Rangoon to the Japanese, the British decided to send the Crips Mission to India for constitutional proposals, which included :
    • Dominion status to be granted after the war with the right to secede (Any Province could, if it so desired, remain outside the Indian union and negotiate directly with Britain).
    • Constitution making body to be elected from provincial assemblies and princes.
    • Individual prices could sign a separate agreement with the British, which in effect accommodated the Pakistan demand.
    • British would however, control the defense for war period.
  • The Congress did not want to delay upon future promises it wanted a responsible government with full powers and a control over the country’s defense. 
  • Gandhi termed the proposals as “a postdated cheque in a crashing bank”.
  • Cripps Mission failed to satisfy Indian nationalists and turned out to be merely a propaganda device for US and Chinese consumption. 
  • Above all the Cripps proposals brought in “Pakistan” through the backdoor via the “local option” clause. 
  • However, the Cripps Missions failed. Cripps proposals provided legitimacy to the Pakistan demand by accommodating it in their provision for provincial.





  • In the backdrop of the failure of Cripps Mission, imminent Japanese threat, the British attitude towards Indians who were left behind in Burma and the prevailing anger and hostility to an alien and meaningless war, Quit Indian resolution was passed on 8 August 1942 at Gowalia Tank, Bombay.
  • In the initial stages, the movement was based on non-violence.
  • Repressive policy of the government and indiscriminate arrests of the leaders provoked people to violence.
  • Further, it was the only All India Movement, which was leaderless in many areas, the government lost all control the people established Swaraj.
  • The meeting of Congress Working Committee held on 27 April 1942 at Allahabad. In this meeting, the Congress criticizes the policy of the British Government on war front.
  • On July 1942, the meeting of Congress working committee held at Wardha. The Congress asked the British to Quit India.
  • On 7 August 1942, the session of Congress started in Bombay. Gandhi presented the historical proposals of “Quit India” on 8 August.
  • Gandhi gave the slogan “Do or Die”.
  • Gandhi and the members of Congress working committee were imprisoned on 9 August 1942.
  • Mahatma Gandhi was kept in Agha Khan Fort at Poona, Nehru was lodged in

Almora jail, Maulana Azad in Bankura, and others were kept in the Fort of Ahmednagar.

  • Congress was declared Illegal.
  • This movement was directionless and leaderless.
  • It is also known as August-Revolution because it started in the month of August.
  • Communist Party of India supported the British Government.  Dr. Ambedkar opposed the movement.
  • Princes kept themselves aloof.
  • Merchants kept themselves aloof from this movement.
  • Hindu Mahasabha also opposed this movement.
  • Property owners kept themselves aloof from this movement.
  • The Quit India Movement witnessed emergence of underground movement.

Some prominent leaders who participated were – Achyut Patwardhan, Aruna Asaf Ali, Ram Manohar Lohia, Sucheta Kriplani, Biju Patnaik & Jai Prakash Narayan.

  • Usha Mehta established Congress Radio in Bombay.
  • Parallel Government was established during this movement at Balia, Satara & Tamluk.
  • A slogan “Divide and Quit” was given by Muslim league in 1943 Karachi Session.
  • Muslim League supported the government.
  • Gandhi observed fast for 21 days during his imprisonment to confirm his strung believe in non-violence and for self-purification.
  • During imprisonment of Gandhi his personal secretary Mahadeo Desai and wife Kasturba died.          



  • In 1944 Rajagopalachari proposed that the termination of the war, a commission could be appointed for demarcating contiguous in the North, West and East were Muslims in absolute majority. 
  • In the areas thus demarcated, a plebiscite held based on adult suffrage that ultimately decides the issue of separation from Hindustan. 
  • If the majority decided in favour of forming a separate sovereign State. Such decision could be accepted.
  • In case of acceptance of partition, agreement to be made jointly for safeguarding defense, commerce and communications. The above terms would to be operative only in England transferred full power to India.
  • Muslim League was expected to endorse the Congress demand for independence and co-operate with it in the formation of provisional government for the interim period.
  • Jinnah objected, as he wanted Congress to accept two-nation theory and wanted only Muslim of the North, West and East of India to vote in the plebiscite. 
  • Hindu leaders led by V.D Savarkar condemned the plan.



  • Gandhi got convinced that the British rulers would not grant independence to India unless and until the Congress and the Muslim League reached some accord as to the future of the country and the immediate formation of an interim National Government. 
  • He lent support to Rajaji's formula, but Jinnah did not relent. Now Gandhi asked Bhulabhai J. Desai to attempt to appease the League leaders.
  • Desai was the leader of the congress in the Central Assembly and a friend of the Deputy Leader of the Muslim League, Liaqat Ali Khan. 
  • In January 1945, he gave to Liaqat Ali “Proposals for the Formation of Interim Government at the Centre”.
  • The government was to be formed and was to function within the framework of the existing Government of India Act 1935. Jinnah did not accept these proposals.


SHIMLA CONFERENCE (JUNE-JULY 1945) Proposed by Wavell.

  • Talks suggested setting up on a new Executive Council with only Indian members. The Viceroy and the commander in chief would be the only nonIndian members of the Council.
  • Caste Hindus and Muslims would have equal representation the executive would work within existing Constitution (i.e., not responsible to the Central Assembly) but the door was kept open for discussions on a new Constitution.
  • The Congress, headed by Maulana Azad, resented being characterized as a caste Hindu organization.
  • Talks broke down due to Jinnah’s demand for the Muslim League to have absolute choice in choosing all Muslim members and a demand for communal veto, though it had ministers only in Assam and Sind.
  • The dissolution of the conference gave Jinnah the communal veto in effect. Thereafter, the satisfaction of the League became a pre-requisite to any major settlements.



  • The British Government decided to send out to India a special mission (Secretary of State – Patrick Lawrence, President of Board of Trade – Cripps, and First Lord of the admiralty – A. V. Alexander.
  • On 23 March, the Cabined Mission landed in Karachi and its leader Patrick Lawrence, commented that the Mission had open minded on the Indian constitutional question, and that Indian would decide themselves freely whether they wished to remain in the Commonwealth or would be completely independent. 
  • The Cabinet Mission started conferring with the congress and League leaders at Shimla on 6 May but on 12 May, the talks broke down. 
  • The members of the Mission found that while the Congress wanted a united India the Muslim league was insistent on the division of India and the creation of Pakistan.
  • Four days after the end of Shimla parleys, the Cabinet Mission announced a plan to serve as a basis of agreement between the Indian parties for the future of India.
    • An All India Union Government and a legislature dealing with foreign affairs, defense and communications.
    • All remaining power to vest in the Province. 
    • The all-Union Legislature to be composed of equal proportions from Hindu majority and Muslim majority Province with representatives of the Indian States.
    • The constitution-making machinery to arrive at a constitution to be framed by a constituent assembly formed of representatives of Provincial Assemblies and of States – each Provincial Assembly being a separate unit.
    • In order to give to the minority’s greater assurance, the Mission divided the country into three groups – A, B and C. 

Group A was to include Madras, Bombay, U.P., Bihar, Central Province and


Group B to comprise Punjab, Sind, N.W.F.P., and British Baluchistan (this

Group was to constitute a Muslim Majority area), and 

Group C was to include Bengal and Assam (here the Muslims were to give a small majority over the rest).

  • The two most important minority groups, the Sikhs and the Scheduled Castes, also considered the Cabinet Mission's proposals and found them unacceptable.The Akali Sikhs attacked the proposals on the ground that the inclusion of the

Sikh community in the north western Muslim bloc (Group B) would “leave the Sikhs at the mercy of the Muslim majority and imperil Sikh religion and culture”. 

  • The mission rejected the demand for a full-fledged Pakistan (comprising the whole of all the Muslim majority areas). The mission reasoned that the right of communal self-determination, if conceded to Muslims, also had to be granted to non-Muslims who formed majorities in West Bengal and Eastern Punjab as well as in Assam proper. The ‘truncated’ or smaller Pakistan was unacceptable to the League.
  • The plan failed on the issue of the nature of grouping Jinnah was for compulsory while Nehru was for grouping only till the formation of Constituent Assembly.  
  • On 29 July 1946, Jinnah withdraws his earlier acceptance of the plan and fixed 16 August 1946 as Direct Action Day. Calcutta, Noakhali, Garmukteshwar were the storm centers.  
  • Communal massacre wakened the Congress position in NWFP.