Vallabhbhai Patel led the Kheda Satyagraha


Vallabhbhai Patel led the Kheda Satyagraha. The government agreed to negotiate with Patel and decided to suspend the payment of revenue for the year, even scaling back the rate. Patel emerged as a hero to Gujaratis and admired across India. In 1920, he was elected president of the newly formed Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee—he would serve as its president till 1945.

When Gandhi was in prison, Sardar Patel was asked by Members of Congress to lead the satyagraha in Nagpur in 1923 against a law banning the raising of the Indian flag. He organised thousands of volunteers from all over the country in processions hoisting the flag.

Continue reading..

Social Reforms of India - Short Notes


Veerasalingam Pantulu
Veeresalingham Pantulu (1848–1919) was a social reformer of Andhra Pradesh. Born in an orthodox Brahmin family, he is widely considered as the man who first brought about a renaissance in Telugu people and Telugu literature. He was influenced by the ideals of Brahmo Samaj particularly those of Keshub Chunder Sen. He got involved in the cause of social reforms. In 1876 he started a Telugu journal and wrote the first prose for women. He encouraged education for women, and started a school in Dowlaiswaram in 1874. He started a social organisation called Hitakarini (Benefactor). He was called the Vidyasagar of the south. 

Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain
Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain (1880–1932) was a feminist, prolific writer and a social worker in undivided Bengal in the early 20th century. She is most famous for her efforts on behalf of gender equality and other social issues. She established the first school at  Bhagalpur aimed primarily at Muslim girls. Later the school was moved to Culcutta. It remains one of the city's most popular schools for girls and is now run by the state government of West Bengal.

Continue reading..

Robert Clive in Indian History

Robert Clive (1725-1774), was one of the creators of British power in India. In his first governorship (1755–60) he won the Battle of Plassey and became master of Bengal. In his second governorship (1764–67) he reorganized the British colony.
Bengal had been ruled by Nawabs (Mughal viceroys) of the Mughal emperor, and it was under their protection that the British East India Company carried on its trade. In 1756 a dispute with the British about fortifying Calcutta caused the new nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Dawlah, to attack and capture the fort there. Clive was in Madras at that time and was given command of the relief expedition in Bengal. With 900 Europeans and 1,500 Indians Clive captured Calcutta on Jan. 2, 1757, and forced the nawab to restore the company’s privileges, pay compensation, and allow the British to fortify Calcutta. Clive then contacted Mir Jafar and some others in the Court of Nawab and offered him the throne if he deceives Siraj Ud-Dawlah. Then Clive along with Mir Jafar defeated Siraj ud-Dawlah and his french suppoters in the famous Battle of Plassey on June 23, 1757.Siraj Ud Daulah fled from the field on a camel, securing what wealth he could. But he was soon captured by Mir Jafar's forces, and later executed. Clive established Mir Jafar as Nawab, the price which had been agreed beforehand for his treachery. The victory in Battle of Plassey made Clive the virtual ruler of Bengal.

Continue reading..

Carnatic Wars | First Carnatic War | Second Carnatic War | Third Carnatic War

The Carnatic Wars were a series of military conflicts in the middle of the 18th century  between the French East India Company and the British East India Company, including numerous nominally independent rulers. They were mainly fought on the territories in India which were dominated by the Mughal Empire up to the Godavari delta. The First and Third Carnatic Wars were essentially the Indian Colonial front in two international wars - War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), and the Seven Year's War (1756-1763) respectively. As a result of these military contests, the British East India Company established its dominance among the European trading companies within India. The French company was pushed to a corner and was confined primarily to Pondicherry.

Continue reading..

Indian Independence Struggle | Revolutionary movement

The Revolutionary movement for Indian independence is often a less-highlighted aspect of the Indian independence movement. These revolutionary groups believed in armed revolt against the British. They were the true heroes of Indian Independence struggle and most of them threw away life’s for their motherland. Apart from a few incidents, the revolutionary struggle against the British rulers was not organized before the beginning of the 20th century. The revolutionary philosophies and movement made its presence much stronger during the 1905 Partition of Bengal. Below mentioned are the major revolutionary groups aimed for the independence of India through armed rebellion.

Continue reading..

Associations in British India

Landholders’ Society - 1831
The Zamindari Association, which was later renamed Landholders’ Society, was established in 1831 by Dwarkanath Tagore and other major landlords of Bengal. It has been described as “the first organisation of Bengal with distinct political object.” The society virtually became defunct after the death of Dwarkanath Tagore.

British India Society - 1839
The British India Society was set up in 1839 in England primarily as a result of the efforts of William Adam, who was a counterpart of Ram Mohan Roy. In 1841, it started publishing a newspaper named British Indian Advocate, edited by William Adam.

Continue reading..

Ilbert Bill of 1883 | Ilbert Bill Controversy

The Ilbert Bill was a bill introduced in 1883 by Viceroy Ripon that proposed an amendment for existing laws in India. The bill allow Indian judges and magistrates the jurisdiction to try British offenders in criminal cases at the District level, something that was disallowed at the time. The bill wa proposed by Sir Courtenay Ilbert who was the legal adviser to the Viceroy of India's Council. The introduction of the bill led to intense opposition in Britain and from British settlers in India that ultimately played on racial tensions. Finally in 1884, the bill was amended as Criminal Procedure Code Amendment Act in which jurisdiction to try Europeans would be conferred on European only. The bitter controversy deepened antagonism between the British and Indians and was a prelude to the formation of the Indian National Congress the following year.

Continue reading..

Arya Samaj - A Hindu Reform Movement


Arya Samaj is a Hindu reform movement founded by Swami Dayananda in1875. It has around 3–4 million followers worldwide. In 1875 Swami Dayananda published a  voluminous work of manuscript under the title Satyarth Prakash or The Light of Meaning of Truth which deals with wide range of subjects like God, the Vedas, Dharma, the soul, science, philosophy, childrearing, education, government and the possible future of both India and the world. This work proved to play a central role in the establishment and  growth of the organization which would come to be known as the Arya Samaj.  Arya Samaj, unequivocally condemns idol worship, animal sacrifice, ancestor worship, pilgrimages, offerings made in temples, the caste system, untouchability, child marriages and discrimination against women on the grounds that all these lacked Vedic sanction. 

Continue reading..

Santhal rebellion (1855 - 1856) in India


The Santhal rebellion (1855-1856) was a native rebellion in present day Jharkhand, in eastern India against both the British colonial authority and corrupt upper caste zamindari system by the Santal people. The Santal tribes were turned into slaves by the zamindars and the money lenders who first appeared to them as businessmen and traders and had allured them first by goods lent to them on loans. However hard a Santal tried to repay these loans, they never ended. the Santali women who worked under labour contractors were sexually disgraced and used as concubines and comfort women by the money lenders, zamindars and agents of the Raj. This loss of freedom and respect that the Santals enjoyed turned them into rebels and finally they took oath to launch an attack on the most visible symbol of authority, i.e., the British Raj.

Continue reading..

Vernacular Press Act of 1878

Right after the revolt of 1857, Lord Canning passed a “Gagging Act”, making it mandatory for newspaper publishers to obtain licences and submit material for vetting prior to publication. The Act also held that no licensed press should publish printed material impugning the motives of the British Raj, tending to bring it hatred and contempt and exciting unlawful resistance to its orders. When the British Government found that the Gagging Act was not potent enough to repress all Nationalist sentiments, it went on to create a more forcible law, which came as the Vernacular Press Act of 1878. It was passed under the Governor Generalship of Lord Lytton, for ‘better control” of Indian language newspapers. The purpose of the Act was to control the printing and circulation of seditious material, calculated to produce disaffection against the British Government in India in the minds of the ignorant, uneducated and largely illiterate masses. The viceroy Lord Lytton strongly denounced newspapers published in the vernacular languages as "mischievous scribblers preaching open sedition". He remarked that the whole purpose of most of the vernacular newspapers was an end to the British raj. The Act was intended to prevent the vernacular press from expressing criticism of British policies—notably, the opposition that had grown with the outset of the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878–80). The act excluded English-language publications.

Continue reading..

Indigo Revolt of 1859

The Indigo revolt was a peasant movement and subsequent uprising of indigo farmers against the indigo planters that arose in Bengal in 1859. The British provided loans called dadon at very high interest rate. Once farmer took such a loan he remained indebted forever and passed it on to his successors. The price paid by the planters for this cash crop was ridiculously low, just 2.5% of the market price. The farmers were forced to sell at this price lest the planters would destroy their mortgage property. Government rules also favored the planters.

Continue reading..

Leaders of Revolt of 1857 in India

Bahadur Shah Zafar
As the Indian rebellion of 1857 spread most rebelling Indian kings and the Indian regiments accepted Bahadur Shah Zafar as the Emperor of India under whom the smaller Indian kingdoms would unite until the British were defeated. Zafar was the least threatening and least ambitious of monarchs, and the legacy of the Mughal Empire was more acceptable a uniting force to most allied kings than the domination of any other Indian kingdom. When the victory of the British became certain, Zafar took refuge at Humayun's Tomb and hid there. British forces surrounded the tomb and compelled his surrender. The next day British shot his sons and grandson at the Khooni Darwaza (the bloody gate) near Delhi Gate. After a show trial, Zafar himself was exiled to Rangoon, Burma in 1858 along with his wife Zeenat Mahal and some of the remaining members of the family. His departure as Emperor marked the end of more than three centuries of Mughal rule in India.

Continue reading..

Revolt of 1857 | Revolt of 1857 in India - Causes


The 1857 revolt is considered as the first serious attempt by Indians to end the British rule in India.It started as a movement in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, but continued long 90 years till India got her freedom. The Indian historian, Vir Savarkar was the first one to mention the revolt of 1857 as the first war of Indian Independence. Lets discuss about the causes, nature and people who involved in this revolt,which is considered as the first freedom struggle movement of India. 

Places in focus
The revolt of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of the East India Company's army on 10 May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon erupted into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to present-day Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, northern Madhya Pradesh, and the Delhi region.Other regions of Company-controlled India—Bengal province, the Bombay Presidency, and the Madras Presidency—remained largely calm. In Punjab, the Sikh princes backed the Company by providing both soldiers and support. The large princely states, Hyderabad, Mysore, Travancore, and Kashmir, as well as the smaller ones of Rajputana did not join the rebellion.

Continue reading..