Growth of Indian Nationalism

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Impact of the First War of Independence

Although the First War of Independence failed to achieve its objectives, it inspired the Indians to resist the foreign power and make a determined struggle for the country's freedom. Thus, the very nature of foreign rule resulted in nationalistic sentiments rising among the Indians and produced conditions conducive for the rise and growth of a powerful national movement.

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Explain East India Association

The East India Association was founded in London in 1866 by Dadabhai Naoroji. The association provided information on all Indian subjects to British citizens and Members of Parliament. It voiced the grievances of Indians and suggested remedial measures. The association had its branches in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

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Peasants Movements in India

The British Government used to protect the landlords and money-lenders. They exploited the peasants. The peasants rose in revolt against this injustice on many occasions. Peasants revolt in Bengal, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala were crushed by the British Government. Peasants' unions such as Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha were formed in different regions. The Indian National Congress also adopted the programmes highlighting peasants problems at its Faizpur session. The peasants also joined the revolutionary movement of 1942 in great numbers.

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Discuss about the economic exploitation

Economic exploitation was the most important factor that aroused opposition to British rule. The Indians realised that the general aim of the British policies in India was to promote their own interests at the cost of welfare of Indians. The peasants, artisans, craftsmen, the working class, and the educated Indians were discontent sections of the society.

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Explain Indian Association (1876)

The Indian Association was headed by Satyendranath Banerjee. The association had lawyers, professionals and educated middle class as its members. It launched agitations against oppressive Acts such as Licence Act, the Arms Act and the Vernacular Press Act.

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All India Trade Union Congress

After the First World War, because of industrialisation, the working class in India grew in size. This necessitated the formation of a nationwide organization of workers. The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) was founded out of this necessity in 1920. The labour leader, N. M. Joshi played a major role in the working of the AITUC. Lala Lajpat Rai was the president of the first session of the AITUC.

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Discuss about the repressive colonial policies

The repressive policies of the British followed by Viceroy Lord Lytton (1876-1880) acted as a catalyst for the growth of nationalistic movement in India. Lord Lytton introduced the Vernacular Press Act (1878) that forbade vernacular papers to publish any material that might excite feelings of dissatisfaction against the British government. He also introduced the Indian Arms Act (1879) which made it a criminal offence for Indians to carry arms without license. Also, the age limit for Indians to participate in Civil Service examination was reduced from 21 to 19.

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Formation of the Indian National Congress ((INC)

A retired British member of the Indian Civil Service, A. O. Hume, wanted to set up an organisation that would draw the government's attention to the administrative drawbacks and suggest means to rectify them. In 1884 Hume, in consultation with the Indian leaders, laid the foundation of the Indian National Union the name of which was changed to the Indian National Congress on December 28, 1885 at Mumbai session.

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Women's emancipation in India

Women had secondary status in the Indian society. Due to many evil practices and customs they were subjected to great injustice. Some men reformer took the initiative in the women's reform movement. Later, women leadership emerged. Pandita Ramabai founded Sharda Sadan and Ramabai Ranade founded Sevasadan. The 'Bharat Mahila Parishad' and the 'All India Women's Conference' were also founded.

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Discuss about the socio-religious reform movements

 In the social sphere, these movements worked for the abolition of caste system, child marriage, dowry system, purdah system, sati and infanticide. In the religious sphere, these reform movements combated religious superstitions, attacked idolatry, polytheism and hereditary priesthood. These movements fought for individual liberty and social equality.

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Describe the aims of the Indian National Congress (INC)

The aims of the INC were:
i) To promote friendly relations between nationalist political workers from different parts of the country.
ii) To develop the feelings of national unity irrespective of caste, religion or province.
iii) To formulate popular demands and present them before the government.
iv) To train and organise the public opinion in the country.

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Dalit Movement

The social structure in India was based on inequality. Social reformers like Mahatma Phule, Narayan Guru brought about the awakening of the people. Periyar Ramaswamy started a movement for the eradication of untouchability in Tamilnadu. Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj did substantial work for the abolition of caste distinction. Under the leadership of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, the Dalit struggle acquired the dimension of a broad movement.

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Discuss about the rediscovery of India's past

Some reformers pointed out the richness of Indian culture and heritage and the political achievements of rulers like Ashoka, Chandragupta and Akbar. They were helped by European scholars like Sir Charles Wilkins, Sir William Jones, Max Mueller and John Marshall. The rediscovery of India's glorious past helped-
i) to restore people's self-confidence and self-respect; and
ii) to counter the western propaganda that Indians had never been able to rule themselves and that they were destined to be ruled by the foreigners. 

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Sessions of the Congress

The first session of the Congress was held under the presidentship of W.C. Bonnerjee and was attended by 72 delegates from all parts of India at Mumbai from December 28 to 31, 1885. Thereafter, the INC met every year in December in different parts of the country.

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Discuss about the influence of Western education

The introduction of western education by the British in India provided opportunities for absorption of modern western ideas of democracy and nationalism. Through the study of European history, political thought and economic ideas, educated Indians came across ideals of liberty, nationality, equality, rule of law and self-government.

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State the role of press during 1857

Large number of newspapers were started in the later half of the 19th century. Some of the prominent newspapers were Amrit Bazar Patrika, The Bengal, The Times of India in English. Newspapers were also printed in vernacular language. The newspapers spread the message of patriotism. The press criticised the unjust British policies. People could exchange their views. It made the Indians aware of what was happening in the world.

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Development of rapid means of transport and communication

The British developed modern means of transport and communication in India. Roads were constructed which linked provinces. The first railway line connecting Mumbai with Thane was laid down in 1853. Telegraph and postal system was also introduced which enabled the Indians to come in contact with one another and discuss the problems faced by the country.

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Discuss about the Ilbert Bill controversy

In 1883, the controversial 'Ilbert Bill' incident took place. This bill provided that a British or European in India could be tried by an Indian judge. Earlier, an Indian judge was not allowed to try cases in which the convict was a British or European. The bill raised a great outcry within the European community. As a result of this opposition, it was amended.  

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Common code of law and administrative unity

The British brought the whole of India under their control. They established uniform law and administration throughout the country. This created political unity in the country. People saw themselves as part of the same country. 

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Racial arrogance and racial discrimination of British rulers

The British officers were rude and arrogant towards the Indians. They believed that they were superior to Indians and followed a policy of contempt towards them. Indians were barred from reaching higher positions in the administration and the army were humiliated even though they were qualified.