Indian Independence Movement
The Indian Independence Movement was started in 1857, however it did not gain large traction until the main figure head that truly led to India’s independence joined; Mahatma Gandhi and post-World War II happened. He was recruited by, at the time one of the leaders of the Indian National Congress (INC) Gopal Krishna Gokhale which asked Gandhi in 1915 to lead the movement that would lead to India’s independence. In December during the year 1929, the INC officially announced it will start a movement to eradicate Britain’s rule over the country; which they were successful to complete in 1947.
A strong leading force for Indian’s wanting to break free from Britain’s grasp was the ever-rising wave of nationalism. In the beginning upper class Indians enjoyed the fact that Britain wanted to rule India. This meant that with the help of the British these upper class were able to learn English, go to good schools, and rule the lower-class Indians for exchange in helping the British take control of the country. However, once “rich” India saw that the British were starting to become an unwanted guest in India they decided to start movements, albeit unsuccessful, to expunge British control.
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India, outside of Britain itself, did not have many opposing conflicts in terms of gaining independence from outside forces. The main conflict that did not allow India to unite and win their independence were the constant quarrels within the society itself; mainly being religious. The Muslims and Hindu Indians did not like each other, and their time and efforts were too busy fighting one another and deciding what India’s religion should truly be. Because of this conflict it was relatively easy for Britain to come in and persuade upper class from both sides to allow them their control over India as a whole.
They say timing and luck plays a large role in outcomes of important historic events. India’s independence was largely due to the fact of Britain’s attitude towards controlling India post World War II. There is a misconception that Gandhi was the sole reason India gained their independence, however this could not be far from the truth. In fact, scholarly articles have stated if it were not for Britain’s self-debilitating events that led the Labour Party, which supported Indian self-rule and won the election in 1945, they would still have grasps on India. This is not to say we should throw away Gandhi’s efforts in independence, however the true cause of India’s independence is mainly due to the fact that Britain’s new party had views different than the party before it and essentially granted India their independence.
This case study reveals how the conflicts within Britain and their devastation post WWII affected their grasp on India and possibly other countries as well. Prior to doing this case study I was always taught how India gained their independence because of Gandhi, although it was really because of post war Britain, their new political ideologies, and their views on power because of the shift to the Labour Party in 1945.