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The Indian Independence Movement, to 1947

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Title: The Indian Independence Movement, to 1947


1
The Indian Independence Movement, to 1947
2
The Land and the People
  • Despite periodic famines due to drought, Indias
    fertile land allowed the Indian population to
    increase from 250 million in 1900 to 389 million
    in 1941.
  • Population growth brought environmental pressure,
    deforestation, and a declining amount of farm
    land per family.
  • Indian society was divided into many classes
    peasants, wealthy property owners, and urban
    craftsmen, traders, and workers.

3
  • The people of India spoke many different
    languages
  • English became the common medium of communication
    of the Western-educated middle class.
  • The majority of Indians practiced Hinduism.
  • Muslims constituted one-quarter of the people of
    India and formed a majority in the northwest and
    in eastern Bengal.

4
British Rule and Indian Nationalism
  • After the Indian mutiny, the East India Company
    was removed from power and Queen Victoria and
    British government took over rule India directly.
  • Colonial India, was ruled by a viceroy, a sort of
    deputy king, and administered by the Indian Civil
    Service.
  • Indian nationals had no say in central government
    and even at a local level, their influence on
    policy and decision making was minimal.
  • But the warning of the mutiny influenced much
    that happened afterwards. The fact that Muslims
    and Hindus ganged up together was something the
    British never ever wanted to happen again.
  • So they dealt with the Indians by grouping them
    according to their religion.

5
  • At the turn of the century, the majority of
    Indians accepted British rule
  • However, the racism and discrimination of the
    Europeans had inspired a group of intellectuals
    who just happened to be Hindus to establish a
    political organization called the Indian National
    Congress in 1885.
  • Largely as a result of British attitudes, Muslims
    were fearful of Hindu dominance and so the
    All-India Muslim League in 1906, thus giving
    India not one, but two independence movements.

6
___________________ (INC)
?
Muslim or Hindu?
7
______ League
Muslim or Hindu?
8
  • The British resisted the idea that India could or
    should industrialize,
  • (they wanted to protect industrial Britain and
    its workers)
  • but Pramatha Nath Bose of the Indian Geological
    Service and Jamseji Tata, a Bombay textile
    magnate, established Indias first steel mill in
    Jamshedpur in 1911.
  • Jamshedpur became a powerful symbol of Indian
    national pride.

9
Before the First World War
  • Moves were made to give some autonomy to the
    Indians (what is that?)
  • In response to this development, the Morley-Minto
    reforms were introduced in 1909.
  • Morley was the Secretary of State for India and
    Lord Morley was Viceroy of India.
  • Their reforms lead to each province in India
    having its own governor and Indian nationals were
    invited to sit on the councils which advised
    these governors (no elections you notice)

10
The First World War and after
  • The war started and many Indian regiments went to
    Europe to fight along side the British.
  • Once they returned, Indians had hoped that they
    would be given greater powers to run their own
    lives, in recompense for their help.
  • Instead, harsh laws that had been put in place in
    wartime, the restriction of legal rights, were
    not overturned but were made permanent by the
    Rowlett Act.
  • This together with a widespread flu epidemic and
    a famine, lead to widespread discontent.

11
Armitsar
  • Riots did break out when 2 Hindu leaders were
    imprisoned without trial under the Howlett Act.
    In early April, there were demonstrations in
    Armitsar, and there was some violence and about
    dozen deaths on both sides.
  • The army fearing an uprising, restricted most of
    the Punjab by martial law. The legislation
    limited a number of civil liberties, including
    freedom of assembly, banning gatherings of more
    than four people.
  • On April 13 1919, the holiday for thousands of
    Sikh people along with few Hindus and Muslims
    gathered in the main square in Amritsar where
    people celebrated by congregating in religious
    and community fairs. On the same day, a political
    meeting had been arranged few of the Sikhs even
    knew about it.

12
Armitsar
  • An hour after the meeting began as scheduled at
    430 pm, Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer marched
    a group of sixty-five Gurkha and twenty-five
    Baluchi soldiers into the Bagh, fifty of whom
    were armed with rifles. Dyer had also brought two
    armoured cars armed with machine guns.
  • The sqaure was bounded on all sides by houses and
    buildings and had few narrow entrances, most of
    which were kept permanently locked. The main
    entrance was relatively wider, but was guarded by
    the troops backed by the armoured vehicles.
    General Dyer ordered troops to begin shooting
    without warning or any order to disperse, and to
    direct shooting towards the densest sections of
    the crowd. He continued the shooting,
    approximately 1,650 rounds in all, until
    ammunition was almost exhausted

13
Armitsar
  • Apart from the many deaths directly from the
    shooting, a number of people died in stampedes at
    the narrow gates or by jumping into the solitary
    well on the compound to escape the shooting. A
    plaque in the monument at the site, set up after
    independence, says that 120 bodies were pulled
    out of the well.
  • The wounded could not be moved from where they
    had fallen, as a curfew had been declared - many
    more died during the night and wild animals fed
    off the bodies.
  • The number of deaths caused by the shooting is
    disputed. While the official figure given by the
    British inquiry into the massacre is 379 deaths,
    the method used by the inquiry has been subject
    to criticism. Another investigation by the Indian
    National Congress seemed to indicate that the
    numbers were closer to 1000 deaths.

14
Armitsar
  • This incident shocked many in India but what
    caused equal outrage was the British reaction to
    Amritsar the officer commanding British troops
    at Amritsar, General Dyer, was simply allowed to
    resign his commission after an inquiry criticised
    his leadership during the riot.
  • Many national Indians felt that he, and others in
    the army, had got away very lightly. The more
    radical Indians felt that the British government
    had all but sanctioned murder. 
  • As a result of Amritsar, many Indians rushed to
    join the INC and it very quickly became the party
    of the masses.

15
_________ Massacre
General _____?
379(??) dead and over 1,500(??) wounded
16
Mahatma Gandhi and Militant Nonviolence
  • Mohandas K. (Mahatma) Gandhi (18691948) was an
    English-educated lawyer who practiced in South
    Africa before returning to India and joining the
    Indian National Congress during World War I.
  • Gandhi persuaded many of his followers to use
    non-violent protests. They had sit-down strikes,
    they refused to work, they refused to pay their
    taxes etc.

17
Mahatma Gandhi and Militant Nonviolence
Gandhi with Nehru
  • If the British reacted in a heavy-handed manner,
    it only made the British look worse essentially,
    the British would come across as bullies
    enforcing their rule on the bullied.
  • However, there were those in India who wanted to
    use more extreme measures.

18
  • In 1919, the Government of India Act was
    introduced.
  • This introduced a national parliament with two
    houses for India. About 5 million of the
    wealthiest Indians were given the right to vote
    (a very small percentage of the total
    population) Within the provincial governments,
    ministers of education, health and public works
    could now be Indian nationals A commission would
    be held in 1929, to see if India was ready for
    more concessions/reforms.
  • However, the British controlled all central
    government and within the provincial governments,
    the British kept control of the key posts of tax
    and law and order.

19
  • Part of the 1919 Government of India Act stated
    that a commission would be established after 10
    years to assess whether India could/should have
    more self-rule. This first met in 1928 the
    Simon Commission.
  • This commission reported in 1930. There were no
    Indians on the commission. It proposed
    self-government for the provinces but nothing
    else. This was unacceptable for the INC, which
    wanted dominion status, granted immediately.
  • During the time the Simon Commission reported,
    Gandhi started his second civil disobedience
    campaign.
  • This included Gandhi deliberately breaking the
    law.
  • The law in India stated that only the government
    could manufacture salt. After a 250-mile march to
    the sea, Gandhi started to produce his own salt.
  • This produced a violent clash with the British
    authorities and Gandhi was arrested.

20
Satyagraha the name that Gandhi gave to civil
disobedience
21
The Salt March In 1930, Gandhi organizes protest
of Salt Acts These laws force Indians to buy
salt from the government Salt March-240-mile
walk led by Gandhi to collect seawater for
salt British police brutalize protestors Indians
gain worldwide support
22
India Moves Toward Independence
  • At this time, a sympathetic Viceroy to India had
    been appointed Lord Irwin. He believed that
    India should have dominion status and he
    publicly expressed this idea. Irwin pushed for
    the issue to be discussed. He organised two Round
    Table conferences in 1930 and 1931. They were
    both held in London.
  • The first conference failed as no INC members
    were present. Most were in Indian prisons. Irwin
    pushed for their release and he persuaded Gandhi
    to travel to Britain to take part in the second
    conference. Despite this development, the
    conference achieved little as it broke down over
    an issue that was to haunt India in future years
    religion. Those present at the second
    conference, argued and failed to agree over what
    the representation of Muslims would be in an
    independent Indian parliament.

23
India Moves Toward Independence
  • In 1935, the Government of India Act was
    introduced. Britain, at this time, had a National
    Government and progress was made over India
    purely because Stanley Baldwin, the Tory leader,
    and Ramsey-MacDonald, the Labour leader, agreed
    on a joint course of action. Winston Churchill
    was bitterly opposed to it. The Act introduced
  • An elected Indian assembly to have a say in
    everything in India except defence and foreign
    affairs. The eleven provincial assemblies were to
    have effective full control over local affairs.
  • The nationalists in India were not satisfied with
    this as the act did not introduce dominion status
    and white dominions (such as Australia and
    Canada) were allowed to control their own defence
    and foreign policies. Also the princes who still
    ruled areas of India refused to co-operate with
    the provincial assemblies so the second strand of
    the Act would have been meaningless..

24
India Moves Toward Independence
  • The acts major failing was that it ignored the
    religious rivalry between the Muslims and Hindus.
    Nearly two-thirds of Indias population were
    Hindus and the Muslims feared that in an
    independent and democratic India they would be
    treated unfairly.
  • In the 1937 provincial elections, the Hindus, who
    dominated the Congress Party under Nehru, won
    eight out of the eleven provinces.
  • The Muslim League under Jinnah demanded a
    separate state of their own to be called
    Pakistan.
  • Both Gandhi and the Congress Party were
    determined to preserve Indian unity. Such a
    rivalry between the Hindus and Muslims could only
    bode ill for the future of India.

25
Partition and Independence
  • The Second World War divided the Indian people
    Indians contributed heavily to the war effort,
    but the Indian National Congress opposed the war,
    and a minority of Indians joined the Japanese
    side.
  • When World War II ended, Britains new Labour
    Party government prepared for independence, there
    was mutual animosity between the Indian National
    Congress and the Muslim League.
  • This led to the partition of India into two
    states India and Pakistan.

26
As a result
  • Some people found themselves on the wrong side of
    frontiers especially in the mixed provinces of
    the Punjab and Bengal.
  • Millions moved to the new frontiers Hindus in
    what was to be the new Pakistan moved to India
    while Muslims in India moved to Pakistan.
  • Where the two moving groups met, violence
    occurred especially in the volatile Punjab
    province where it is though 250,000 people were
    murdered in religious clashes.
  • By the end of 1947, it seemed as if the violence
    was on the wane but in January 1948, a Hindu
    assassinated Gandhi.
  • In a gesture that summed up the whole problem of
    India, the Hindu detested Gandhis tolerance
    towards Muslims. However, the murder of Gandhi
    shocked so many people, that ironically it
    ushered in a period of stability.

27
Families were cut to half as men were killed
leaving women to fend for themselves.
In a couple of months in the summer of 1947, a
million people were slaughtered on both sides in
the religious rioting. Here, bodies of the
victims of rioting are picked up from a city
street.
28
Homework
  • Next week we start to talk about slavery. I am
    sure, if I asked you, what this was about, you
    would talk about America and the Caribbean, about
    how the British took people from Africa and left
    them in dreadful conditions?
  • But in fact slavery has a much longer history
    than that and was practiced by many other peoples
    in different parts of the world.
  • Your task is to find out when ,where and by whom
    slavery was practised in the past.

29
Homework
  • For one place/time only
  • When? A century or a period of time
  • Who and where were the slave masters?
  • Where did their slaves come from?
  • How did they get their slaves?
  • If it is in PP then one slide only!
  • If it is in WORD, you see you will need to keep
    it brief.
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