Indian Independence

"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 august 1947.

Now, as we are about to celebrate 67 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.

Freedom Struggle

Jawaharlal Nehru
The freedom struggle had various stages, in the form of many rebellions and armed revolts. There were many rebellions, throughout the nation during the first 100 years of British rule. This traditional opposition finally culminated in the revolt of 1857, in which princely rulers, soldiers as well as peasants, alike took part. The revolt was a product of the accumulated grievances of all these people towards British imperialism.Though a failure, it produced many heroes and also created unity among all Indians.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 Sahib. The revolt shook the very foundations of British rule in India. Finally, it led to the power of India to be transferred from the British East India Company to the British crown.

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 widespread national campaign against the Rowlatt Act, under the leadership of Lala Lajpat Rai and others, in which he was injured fatally.

Bhagat Singh
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 conspiracies. There were other revolutionary groups like the Chittagong group led by Surya Sen.

It was at this time that Gandhi appeared on the scene. His main contribution was his non-violent revolution and Satyagrah. He believed in truth, non-violence and love for fellow human beings. Gandhi launched the Salt Satyagraha, starting his march from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi. During the Second World War, Subhash Chandra Bose turned out to be one of the dynamic leaders of the time. He gave his leadership to the Ajad Hind Fauz.

There were many women who took part in the freedom struggle during this period. Some important women freedom fighters were Aruna Asaf Ali, Sarojini Naidu, Bhikaji Cama and Sucheta Kripalani.

The Quit India resolution was adopted in 1942, urging the British to quit India at the very earliest. By June 1947, Lord Mountbatten announced his plans for partition of India. By August 1947, India was divided into two nations, the Muslim Pakistan and a secular India. British left India and there was freedom at midnight.

Impact and aftermath of Partition

Mahatama Gandhi
The Partition of India has been one of the most tragic of all political events to affect India. The British left, dividing India into two. The nation was divided along religious lines, Pakistan as an Islamic state and India a secular one.

But the question still arises, whether the Partition was wise and was it inevitable? The partition left both the nation devastated. The subsequent migration of the people led to endless sufferings and miseries. Not only was the country divided, but provinces of Punjab and West Bengal were also partitioned, which caused many riots and claimed many lives. Hindus and Muslims used women as instruments of power. Many were raped and looted.

India and Pakistan are still healing their wounds of partition. Boundary issues have caused many wars between the two nations. Even the imposition of an official boundary has not resolved these conflicts. They are deadlocked over the issues of possession of Kashmir. In recent times too, they have fought over issues of L.O.C. in the Kargil war. Both the nations are still in a state of constant hostility.

India Today

India has come a long way since its days of Independence. It has made wide scale progress and development in many fields. Be it in the field of science and technology, information technology or in any other field like health care, education etc., India has achieved great heights. India has made substantial progress in the health sector. The birth rates and death rates have come down considerably in the entire country. The literacy rate of the nation has also increased over the years.

India has made great progress in the field of nuclear power. In today's world scenario, India is one of the major nuclear powers. Besides, India has achieved a lot of success in information technology. Indian I.T. sector is in great demand these days all over the world. India is also one the few countries to have launched various satellites.

India has achieved a lot since it became independent. But there is still a long way to go. India is yet to become one of the most advanced countries in the world. It is poised to make some great advancement in the future.

Last Updated on : 01/07/2013