Freedom Struggle Phase-I


South Africa:

  1. 1907 Satyagraha against compulsory registration and passes for Indians

  2. 1910 Satyagrah against immigration restrictions, derecognition of non-Christian Iridian marriages while deciding the case of new entrants and tax on ex-indentured labourers.

Appeal of Gandhi:-

  1. He was already a leader of action who had achieved results in South Africa.

  2. The social composition of Indians in South Africa made him an all Indian figure while the Lal-Bal_Pal ,trio were essentially regional leaders.

  3. The doctrine of ahimsa mediated internal differences contributing to a joint nationalist struggle

  4. Gandhi’s social utopia was a critique of Industrialism appealed to those alienated by it.

  5. The use of Indian idiom (e.g. Ram Rajya) helped in communication.

  6. Rumours greatly enhanced his stature.

Gandhi in Champaran,Ahmedabad and Kheda

  1. The story of Champaran(Bihar) begins in the early 19th centurywhen European planters had involved the cultivators in agreements that forced them to cultivate indigo in 3/20 th of their holding (Tin Kathia).

  2. But when indigo became unremunerative,the European planters imposed higher taxes to compensate their losses in the international trade at that time.

  3. Gandhi(in July 1917) was successful in abolishing the Tin-Kathia system and refund was made to the cultivators in wages.

  4. In Ahmedabad (March 1918) the dispute was between mill owner and workers over the “Plague bonus”, which the former wanted to withdraw once the epidemic was over.

  5. The workers troubled by inflation wanted adequate compensation.

  6. Gandhi initially persuaded the mills owner and workers to agree to arbitration by a tribunal but the mill owners withdraw after commitment.

  7. Gandhi then advised the workers to go on strike and the undertook hunger strike under which the mills owner were pressurized into accepting the tribunal award of 35 % increase in wages.

  8. The peasants of Kheda district (1917-1918) were in extreme distress due to a failure of crops and the government ignored their appeals for the remission of land revenue.

  9. The peasants of Kheda were already hard pressed because of plague ,high prices and drought.

  10. Appeals and petition having failed Gandhi advised the withholding of revenue and asked the peasants to fight into death.

  11. After the government directed that revenue should be recovered only from those peasants who could pay,the movement was withdrawn.

  12. Gandhi undertook his first hunger strike at Ahmedabad(1918) for the mill wage hike of workers.

  13. His first Civil disobedience movement was the Champaran Satyagraha

  14. His first all india Satyagraha was the Rowlatt Satyagraha.

  15. His first Non cooperation  Movement was the Kheda Satyagraha.


Khilafat Movement

During the World War I Turkey fought against Britain as an ally of Germany. So, after Turkey’s defeat, the abolition of Khilafat was proposed. The proposal wounded the feelings of Indian Muslims. They organized a protest movement under the leadership of Khilafat leaders.

Launching the movement:  The ‘Khilafat Day’ was observed on 17 October 1919. Soon, the movement on an all-India scale was launched on an imposing scale. The Central Khilafat Committee organized an all-India general strike on 1 August 1920. The movement gathered momentum as many Pirs and Mullahs supported it.

The end of the movement: In September 1921, the Ali brothers was arrested. Gandhiji suspended the non-cooperation movement after the Chauri Chaura incident. He was arrested in 1922. A few months after his arrest, the Caliph or the Sultan of Turkey was deposed of his power due to a revolution led by Mustafa Kemal Pasha.

Non Cooperation Movement

the non-cooperation movement in 1920. Based on the principles of non-violence and boycott, this movement was launched formally on August 1, 1920.

Non-cooperation movement was nothing but a declaration of peaceful; and non-violent war against the atrocities of the British government which had gone back on its words.

The Non-cooperation Movement meant active refusal to abide by the laws and regulations passed by the government.

An appeal was made to all the Indians to surrender their titles and to boycott the law courts, the educational institutions and the election of the legislatures.

  1. It was thought in the beginning that this would be enough to emphasis upon the government the need for greater reforms and more amenities in the administration of the country.

  2. However, it was planned that, in case, it did not succeed in bringing down the Government; the payment of taxes would be refused.

The Congress also declared that it would not be satisfied with anything less than Swarajya. Thus, for the first time the Congress had taken a revolutionary step. An organization which was wedded to constitutional means had now adopted a revolutionary policy and was even ready to work for a self rule disconnecting all relations from the government of England in case it was not granted by them willingly.

Causes of the Movement

  1. Disillusion at the end of the war:There were some Indians who did not want to cooperate with the government during the war but Gandhiji thought it improper to take advantage of the weak position of the rulers. With the outbreak of the World War I, India came to be involved in the War as a part of the British Empire.

    The British Government utilized India’s wealth, money and manpower for its own interest. About 1.25 million Indian soldiers fought on behalf of the British in different war fronts and many of them sacrificed their lives. They also donated about six crores and 21 lac pounds as war subscription.

    So, Indians expected that in return of this valuable service, the British Government would grant autonomy to them at the end of the War. But they were greatly disillusioned. This dis-satisfaction was one of the causes of the Non-cooperation Movement by Gandhi.

  1. Home Rule movement:Indians were disappointed to see the British government adopting repressive measures. In response to it Tilak and Besant started Home Rule movement. The Lucknow Pact had brought the Congress and the Muslim League closer together. The return of the Extremists to the Congress in 1916 gave the Congress a militant character.

    The Home Rule movement prepared the ground for Non-Cooperation Movement.

  1. Economic distress caused by the World War I:The War brought about great economic distress to the Indians. At the end of the war, the economic condition took a turn of the worse. Prices shot up. Price of cloths, sugar etc., began to soar. Foreign goods began to be imported.

    Both the peasants and the workers suffered due to the impact of war. The price of agricultural products did not increase. The workers being unemployed had to live in half starvation.

    According to Louis Fischer, not only political leaders, but also the soldiers and even the peasants claimed compensations for shedding Indian blood.

  1. Montague-Chelmsford Act:The Mont-Ford Act of 1919 could not satisfy the Congress. The actual scheme of reforms fell far short of nationalists’ demands.

  2. Impact of the Rowlatt Act: The passing of the Rowlatt Act and the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy gave a new turn to Indian politics. Gandhiji became firm in the policy of non-cooperation. The Rowlatt Act tried to put restriction upon the liberty of speech and Press, and this was taken to be a signal for still greater repressive measures from the British government. The whole of the nation rose in indignation against the government, and like a wild fire there was a wave of an agitation all over the country.

  3. The Khilafat movement:The Khilafat leaders were told that they should not expect anything more. So, the Khilafat Committee accepted the suggestion of non-cooperation and asked Gandhi to lead the movement.

    Thus it was apparent that the Congress had to work out something soon, for it was clear that the people were becoming impatient for action. So, the all India congress Committee met to decide on its course of action. The Nagpur session of the congress confirmed the resolution of starting non-cooperation movement. Gandhiji assured the nation that the Swaraj would be achieved within a year.

The Revolutionary Terrorism

The revolutionary terrorist movement was largely the outcome of the same set of causes which gave rise to the extremist wing in the national politics. Only the revolutionaries wanted quicker results and discounted the value of moderates and low-grade pressure. The revolutionaries believed that the British rule was destructive of all that is worthwhile in national life- political liberties, religious freedom, morality and Indian culture. Though it is difficult to pinpoint the political philosophy of the revolutionary terrorist in different parts of India, but they are one common aim was freedom from the British rule. 

Revolutionaries activities in Maharashtra 

The authors of Sedition Committee Report , 19 Latin opts owed the first indication of revolutionary movement in India in Maharashtra and among the Chitpavan Brahmins of the Poona district. 
Following were the highlights of the revolutionary activities in Maharashtra:

  1. Assassination of Rand amd Ayerst by Chapekar Brothers:On June 22, 1897, Damodar Chapekar and Balkrishna Chapekar- famous as Chapekar Brothers-assissinated two British officials named Rand and Ayerst at Poona. The Chapekar brothers were disillusioned with the British administration for its indifferent attitude towards plague at Pune.

  2. In 1899, V.D. Savarkar and his brother Ganesh Savarkar organised a secret society Mitramela.

  3. In 1904, V.D. Savarkar organised the Abhinava Bharat, a secret society of revolutionaries.

  4. In 1909, Anant Kanhare, and activities staff Abhinava Bharat, assissinated Jackson, the judge of Nasik, Jacson had sentenced Ganesh Savarkar to deportation to Andaman on the charge of sedition. Ganesh’ crime was that he had composed some patriotic songs.

Revolutionaries activities in Bengal

The youth of Bengal found peaceful protests and political actions blocked and out of desperation they fell back upon individual action and the cult of bomb. They no longer believed that passive resistance could achieve the nationalist aims.

  1. In 1902, Pramatho Mitra, Jatindranath Banerjee and Barindra kumar Ghosh founded the Anushilan Samiti a secret society and promoting revolutionary activities.

  2. Decca Anushilan Samiti was founded by Pulin Das in East Bengal. Apart from Decca Anushilan Samiti, there were four other prominent samities in Mymensingh, Faridpur, Bakargunj and Burisal in East Bengal. These samities were: Swadesh Bandhav, Sadhna, Brati and Suhrid.

  3. In 1905, Barindra Kumar ghosh published Bhavani Mandir.

  4. In 1906, Barindra Kumar ghosh and Bhupendranath Dutta started the paper Yugantar, in which they had inspiredcountry’s youth to begin an armed revoltion.

  5. On December23, 1907, the revolutionaries shot the magistrate of Dacca at the Faridpur railway station.

  6. In April 1908, Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki threw a bomb at a carriage which they believed was occupied by Kingsford, the unpopular judge of Muzzaffarpur. Kudiram was hanged, while Prafulla Chaki shot himself dead.

Revolutionaries activities in Punjab and Delhi 

And revolutionary activities, Punjab was not far behind Bengal. The following were the highlights of revolutionary activities in Punjab:

  1. In 1904, J.M. Chaterjee set up an organisation with Lala Hardayal and Sufi Amba Prasad to spread revolutionary activities in Punjab.

  2. After his release from jail in 1907, Sardar Ajit Singh began establishing revolutionary outfits in many places.

  3. In November 1908, the deputy superintendent of police of Layalpur and his orderly were assassinated. It was perhaps the first political incident of its kind in Punjab.

  4. In December 1909, a bomb was exploded in the house of the deputy collector of Ambala.

  5. Bombing of Lord Hardinge II and the Delhi Conspiracy Case : On December 23, 1912 Rash Behari Boseamd Sachin Sanyal threw bomb on Viceroy Lord Haringe II who was leading a procession in Delhi to celebrate the occassion of the city becoming the new capital of India. Lord Hardinge escaped with minor injuries but his attendant died on the spot. 

    13 people were arrested and tried in what is known as Delhi Conspiracy Case. Dina Nath, on of the arrested, became government approver under pressure. Four persons-Master Amir Chand, Awadh Bihar, Bal Mukund and Basant Kumar Biswas were hanged. Rash Behari Boase succedded in fleeing to Japan.

    Revolutionaries activities in Europe 

    1.The revolutionaries are also established centres of activity abroad. In London the lead was taken by Shyamaji Krishnavarma, V.D Savarkar and Har Day.

    2.In 1905, Krishnavarma setup the India Home Rule Society popularly known as the India House; he also published a monthly journal “The Indian Sociologist”.


        3.On July 1, 1909, Madan Lal Dhingra shot deat the Assistant of the Secretary fo State Curzon Wyllie in      London.Dhingra was sentenced to death on August 16, 1909.