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History of Indigo Revolt 1859 – 60 :
- In this, the peasants were forced to grow indigo in their lands unwillingly by the European factory – owners.
- The anger exploded in Govindpur village of Nadia district (Bengal) under Digambar Biswas & Vishnu Biswas.
- Others who played important role were Harish Chandra Mukherjee (editor of the newspaper Hindu Patriot), Dinbandhu Mitra (writer of play, Neel Darpari) & Michael Madhusudan Datta (eminent Bengali poet-cum-play writer, who translated Neel Darpan into English).
- The Govt appointed an Indigo Commission in 1860 and removed some of the abuse of Indigo cultivation.
The Indian National Congress :
- Formed in 1885 by A.O. Hume, an Englishman and a retired civil servant.
- Hume’s main purpose was probably to provide a “safety valve” to the growing discontent among the educated Indians.
- Other important leaders during foundation were Dadabhai Naoroji, Badrudin Tyabji, Anand Mohan Bose, R.C.Dutt, Ferozshah Mehta, G.K.Gokhale, G. Subramaniyam Aiyyar, Dinshaw Vacha, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Madan Mohan Malviya.
- First session in Bombay under WC.Banerjee in 1885 (72 delegates attended it).
- In the first two decades (1885 – 1905), quite moderate in its approach and confided in British justice and generosity.
- But the repressive measures of the British gave rise to extremists within Congress like Bipin Chandra Pal, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai (Lai, Bal, Pal), along with Aurobindo Ghosh.
Partition of Bengal 1905 :
- By Lord Curzon on October 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.
- 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 in the movement against the partition of Bengal in 1905.
- Rabindranath Tagore composed the national song ‘Amar sonar Bangla’ for the occasion which was sung by people everywhere. This song was adopted as national anthem by Bangladesh in 1971 after liberation from Pakistan.
- The ceremony of Raksha Bandhan was observed on October 16, 1905. Hindus and Muslims tied rakhis on each other’s wrist showing solidarity.
- The newspapers played a significant role in the movement. The main newspapers were K.K. Mitra’s Sanjeevani, S.N. Banerjee’s Bengali, Motilal Ghosh’s Amrit Bazar Patrika, B.B. Upadhyaya’s Yugantar, Bipin Chandra Pal’s New India, Aurobindo Ghosh’s Bande Mataram, Aji Singh’s Bharat Mata, etc.
- Had its origin in the anti – partition movement of Bengal. The leaders of Bengal felt that mere demonstrations, public meetings and resolutions were not enoughand something more concrete was needed and the answer felt was Swadeshi and Boycott.
- An important aspect of the Swadeshi movement was emphasis placed on self – reliance.
- Lai, Bal, Pal, and Aurobindo Ghosh played the important role.
- INC took the Swadeshi call first at the Banaras Session, 1905 presided over by G.K. Gokhale.
- A resolution to boycott British goods was adopted on August 7, 1905 at a meeting of INC at Calcutta.
- Bonfires of foreign goods were conducted at various places.
Muslim League 1906 :
- Setup in 1906 under the leadership of Aga Khan, Nawab Salimullah of Dhaka and Nawab Mohsin – ul – Mulk.
- It was a loyalist, communal and conservative political organization which supported the partition of Bengal, opposed the Swadeshi movement, demanded special saieguards of its community and a separate electorate for Muslims.
- Swaraj : In December 1906 at Calcutta, the INC under Dadabhai Naorojiadopted ‘Swaraj’ (Self – Government) as the goal of Indian people.
History of Surat Session of Inc :
- The INC split into two groups -The extremists and The moderates, at the Surat session in 1907. Extremists were led by Bal, Pal, Lai while the moderates by G.K. Gokhale.
- Controversy rose over the elected president, Ras Bihari Ghosh, as extremists didn’t accept him. Extremists wanted Lala Lajpat Rai to be chosen.
- The government after this launched a massive attack on extremists by suppressing their newspapers and arresting their leaders.
The Indian Councils act 1909 (or) Minto Morley Reforms 1909 :
- Besides other constitutional measures, it envisaged a separate electorate for Muslims.
- Aimed at dividing the nationalist ranks and at rallying the Moderates and the Muslims to the Government’s side.
Ghadar Party of India 1913 :
- Formed by Lala Hardayal, Taraknath Das and Sohan Singh Bhakna.
- The name was taken from a weekly paper, Ghadar, which had been started on November 1, 1913 to commemorate the 1857 revolt.
- HQ was at San Francisco.
- The outbreak of the First World War provided the Ghadarites with an opportunity to free India from a Government which was indifferent to their cause.
- They began to return to India in thousands for a co – ordinated revolt in collaboration with the Bengal revolutionaries. Their plan was foiled at the last moment due to treachery.
Komagata Maru Incident 1914 :
- Komagata Maru was the name of a ship which carried a shipload of Sikh and Muslim immigrants from Punjab to Vancouver, Canada.
- But the Canadian immigration authorities turned them back after months of uncertainty.
- The ship finally anchored at Calcutta on September 29, 1914.
- But the inmates refused to board the Punjab bound train and there was a clash with the police in which 22 persons died.
- This incidence fired up the revolutionary activities which sought to avenge the death of the innocents.