"Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny and now
the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not
wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the
stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India
will awake to life and freedom."
This was the speech made by Jawaharlal Nehru, as the
Prime Minister of an Independent India, addressing the
constituent assembly and the Indian nation on 15 th
Now, as we are about to celebrate 66 years of our
Independence, we pay our tributes to all those
people, who had laid down their lives in an attempt to
liberate India from the clutches of British imperialism.
The freedom struggle
had various stages, in
the form of many
rebellions and armed
There were many
the nation during the
first 100 years of
This traditional opposition
finally culminated in the
revolt of 1857, in which
princely rulers, soldiers as
well as peasants, alike took
The revolt was a product
of the accumulated
grievances of all these
people towards British
Though a failure, it
produced many heroes and
also created unity among
Mangal Pandey is considered
as one of the greatest heroes
of the Revolt of 1857.
Some of the other
people, who fought in this
revolt, were Rani Lakshmi
Bai, Tantia Tope, and Nana
The revolt shook the very
foundations of British rule in
Finally, it led to the power of
India to be transferred from
the British East India
Company to the British
Nationalism is the feeling of oneness among
the people living in a territory.
The period from 1885 to 1905
was the time for sowing the
seeds of Indian nationalism.
The Indian National Congress
was formed in 1885, under the
leadership of A.O. Hume, a
retired British civil servant.
In 1905, Viceroy Curzon
initiated the partition of Bengal
to curb the nationalist feelings
among the people of India.
This led to the launch of the
Swadeshi movement and
boycott of British goods and
contrary to Curzon's plan, led to
the unity of all Indians.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin
Chandra Pal and Aurobindo
Ghosh advocated for
Swaraj, a year later.
In1919, there was a
campaign against the
Rowlatt Act, under the
leadership of Lala Lajpat Rai
and others, in which he was
It was at this time that
Gandhi appeared on the
His main contribution was
his non-violent revolution
He believed in truth, nonviolence and love for fellow
Gandhi launched the Salt
Satyagraha, starting his
march from Sabarmati
Ashram to Dandi
Non co operation was launched under Gandhiji’s leadership in
It aimed at protesting against the injustices done to Punjab and
Turkey and to attain Swaraj.
Educated middle class led the movement in towns and cities.
Educational institutions, Law courts and foreign goods were
Peasants organized movements against Talukdars and
Landlords in villages under the leadership of Baba
Tribal people started an armed struggle in the Gudem hills of
Andhra Pradesh under the leadership of Alluri Sitaram Raju.
Workers in the plantations of Assam started a struggle to get
the right to free movement.
Khadi clothes were very costly. The poor were
not able to buy them.
Indians boycotted British institutions like law
courts and educational institutions. But
alternative institutions did not come up. So
people had to stop boycott.
Gandhi ji had to call off this movement due to
widespread violence and the incident of Chauri
On 13 April 1919, a public
meeting was organized at
Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar
to protest against the arrests of
Many villagers who came to
attend a fair were also present
in the park.
General Dyer reached the
meeting place along with the
British troops. He ordered the
troops to fire. The firing lasted
for nearly 10 minutes.
More than thousand people
were killed and many were
wounded. This incident is
called Jallianwala Bagh
In the Kakori conspiracy case, Ram Prasad
Bismil and Ashfakullah Khan were hanged.
Chandra Shekhar Azad and Khudiram Bose
were some of the important revolutionary
leaders of the time.
On March 1931, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and
Sukhdev were hanged, following a series of
There were other revolutionary groups like the
Chittagong group led by Surya Sen.
It was a statutory commission set up by the
British under Sir John Simon.
It was asked to study the constitutional system
in India and suggest changes.
Indians opposed the Simon Commission
All the members of the commission were
English men. There was no Indian in it.
It did not provide any hope of Swaraj to
It was also an important stage for our
The Congress session was held at Lahore in
1929 under the President ship of Jawaharlal
Nehru. Following decision were taken:
The Congress declared Poorna Swaraj as its
It was decided to celebrate 26 January every
year as Independence Day.
It was decided to start the Civil Disobedience
Movement to win Poorna Swaraj.
Gandhiji decided to inaugurate the Civil
Disobedience Movement by breaking the salt law.
Gandhiji and 78 of his followers started a march on
foot from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi [Dandi
When they reached Dandi. Gandhi ji prepared salt
by using sea water, broke the salt law and
inaugurated the Movement.
The government imposed heavy tax on salt.
Moreover, the production of salt was the
monopoly of the government. So the price of salt
was very high. Therefore, Gandhiji opposed the
People broke salt law in many places. Foreign
goods were boycotted. Liquor shops were
Government servants resigned their jobs.
Forest laws were broken. People refused to pay
taxes. Leaders were arrested. Workers attacked
Gandhiji called off the movement on 5 March 1931
under the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. He agreed to attend
the Second Round Table Conference.
It was restarted when Gandhiji returned from
London. It was finally called off in 1934.
The arbitrary entry of India into the war was strongly
opposed by Subhash Chandra Bose, who had been elected
President of the Congress twice, in 1937 and 1939.
After lobbying against participation in the war, he resigned
from Congress in 1939 Subhash Chandra Bose, with the help
of Japan, preceded fighting the British forces and not only
freed Andaman and Nicobar Islands from the Britishers but
also entered the north-eastern border of India.
But in 1945 Japan was defeated and Netaji proceeded from
Japan through an aeroplane to a place of safety but met with
an accident and it was given out that he died in that air-crash
"Give me blood and I shall give you freedom" - was one of the
most popular statements made by him, where he urges the
people of India to join him in his freedom movement.
In August 1942, Gandhiji started the 'Quit India
Movement' and decided to launch a mass civil
disobedience movement 'Do or Die' call to force the
British to leave India.
The movement was followed, nonetheless, by largescale violence directed at railway stations, telegraph
offices, government buildings, and other emblems and
institutions of colonial rule.
There were widespread acts of sabotage, and the
government held Gandhi responsible for these acts of
violence, suggesting that they were a deliberate act of
However, all the prominent leaders were arrested, the
Congress was banned and the police and army were
brought out to suppress the movement.
At last on June 3 1947, Viscount Louis
Mountbatten declared they would leave india.
But a Very big price was paid by people. The
Britishers left India By dividing the country in two
Pakistan was officially announced to be a separate
nation and given an independent status on 14
At midnight, on 15 August 1947, India was
declared to be an independent nation by her first
Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.