History

The Earth is nearly 4000 million years old as supported by many evidences. The evolution of its crust shows four stages. The fourth stage is called the Quaternary, which is divided into Pleistocene (most recent) and the Holocene (the present); the former lasted  between 1, 000,000 and 10000 years before the present and the latter began about 10000 years ago. Man appeared on the Earth on the continent of Africa about 2.6 million years ago.

The story of man’s evolution can be easily studied under three headings:

THE PALEOLITHIC AGE

It refers to the stone-age when stone was the chief source of making implements and instruments. The special feature of this age is the use of hand-axes, cleavers and choppers, flakes, blades etc. The rock-shelters and caves at Bhimbetka near Bhopal are major sites of physical evidence from this age.  Globally, the upper or the last Paleolithic age marks the appearance of the modern man (Homo sapiens) on the earth.

THE MESOLITHIC AG

The Mesolithic Period is a transitional phase between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic ages. It is marked by warmer climates, hunting, fishing and food gathering and domestication of animals. The peculiar tool of the people was the microlith,  found in Bogor in Rajasthan.

THE NEOLITHIC AGE

The New Stone Age began around 9000 BC. The people of these times used tools made of polished stone. The domestication of animals became a major economic activity. The only neolithic settlement in India is found in Mehergarh in Rajasthan.

THE CHALCOLITHIC CULTURES

The end of the neolithic phase saw metals, of which copper was the first to be used. Several cultures were based on the use of stone and copper implements. Such a culture is referred to as a Chalcolithic culture, referring to both copper and stone. Technologically, it is the pre-Harappan phase because the Harappan civilization was based on bronze. They domesticated animals and practiced agriculture (wheat, rice and bajra).

THE HARAPPA CULTURE: THE BRONZE AGE

MAJOR HARAPPAN FEATURES

The Harappan Civilization flourished on the banks of the river Indus, now in Pakistan. That’s why it is also called the Indus Valley Culture. The Harappan culture is older than the chalcolithic cultures but is far more developed from a technological viewpoint. It is called Harappan culture because it was discovered first in Harappa in the West Punjab, Pakistan by DR Sawhney and RD Banerjee from the Archeological Survey of India in 1921. Another prominent excavated site is the Mohanjo-daro (the mound of the dead people) in Sindh. These two are the most important civilizational sites which show its typical features in a mature form. Some other places with such remains are Kalibangan (Rajasthan), Dholavira and Lothal (Gujarat), Banawali (Hissar), Chanhu Daro (Sindh) and Sanghol (Panjab).

By far, the most distinguishing feature of the civilization is its town-planning and architecture. Burnt bricks are used widely for the first time here. The towns are built on scientific lines, with roads cutting each other at right angles and having covered drains with an impressive drainage system. Each house had its own courtyard and a bathroom.

Of the excavations so far, two stand out – The Great Bath and the Great Granary of Mohenjo-daro. The Great Bath is an impressive structure, most probably used for ceremonial bathing. The Great Granary is the largest building in Mohanjo-daro. The Indus people produced wheat, barley, rai, peas etc. Rice has been found in Lothal (Gujarat), which was used as a port also. They were the first to produce cotton, that is why the Greeks refer to it as Sindon (derived from Sindh).

Elephants, rhinoceros were quite well-known to them. Some evidence of the use of the horse is also found.

People used many tools made of stone also, but they were quite well-acquainted with bronze. The goldsmiths made jewellery of silver, gold and precious stones. Mercantile activities or trade was the most important economic activity in those times. Numerous seals, weights and measures prove it. However, they did not use metal money. They did their businesses by a barter system. From records, it seems that the Harappans carried on international business in the Persian Gulf region and long-distance trade in lapis lazuli, a precious stone.

RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND PRACTICES

The Harappans greatly respected Mother Goddess, whose terracotta figurines have been found. She was thought to be the originator and the goddess of fertility. The worship of the Pashupati Maharaj (later named Shiva in the Hindu mythology) was also quite prevalent. He is depicted as sitting in the centre of a seal with an elephant, a tiger and a rhinoceros and a buffalo. Of animals and trees, they worshipped the bull and the pipal the most.

ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENTS

We find many seals and figurines made of terracotta. We also find a metal image of a dancing girl. They are the biggest artistic achievements of these people.

ORIGIN, MATURITY AND END

The Indus Valley Culture existed between 2500 BC and 1800 BC. The two major cities disappeared around the 18th century BC, but the rest continued in run-down phases elsewhere. So far, the reasons for the decline and disappearance of the Indus Valley are unclear. Historians cite the desertification of the region, floods and earthquake as possibilities.

THE RIGVEDIC TIMES

THE ARYANS

We know about the Aryans from the Rig Veda, the earliest specimen of the Indo-European languages. It is a set of prayers devoted to different gods Agni, Indra, Mitra and Varuna by different poets. It consists of ten mandalas or chapters, which give us valuable information about them. 

The word Aryans literally means the best or shreshtha. On their arrival in India, they conflicted with the locals, called dasas. Since they got victorious, they called themselves Aryans. The Aryan civilization flourished on the banks of river Sindhu, repeatedly mentioned in the Rigveda. The Aryans appeared here a little after 1500 BC. The use of horses helped them significantly in their successful conquest.  The Aryans always led a nomadic life and never settled. Thus agriculture was not possible for them. Their major occupation was pastoral (animal-rearing) in nature. The cow was the chief animal they domesticated. So many references to cow are found in the Rigveda that it seems their entire life revolved around it.

The Aryans continually had two types of conflicts — first, they fought with the pre-Aryans and secondly, they fought amongst themselves. The Aryans were divided into five tribes called panchajana. The Bharatas and Tritsu were the ruling Aryan clans supported by priest Vashishta. The battle between them gave victory to the Bharatas and that’s how our country was named Bharata. Finally, the Bharatas joined hands with the Purus and formed a new ruling tribe Kurus. The Kurus later joined the Panchalas and they jointly established their rule in the Gangetic plains where they played an important role in the later Vedic times.

Mostly, the Aryans fought for cows. A war is called gavishti in vedic literature, which means a search for cows.

THE TRIBAL POLITY

We find two very important types of political assemblies in these times: The Sabha and The Samiti. Apart from these, vidhata and gana also find mention as political assemblies. We find evidence of election of the king (rajan) by the samiti. The samitis were so powerful that the kings were eager to win their support. The king was assisted by some key functionaries, the most important being the purohita. The two well-known priests were Vashishta and Vishwamitra. The tribal chiefs got voluntary offerings, called bali (tax) from the people.

The king had no standing army and used to muster an army in need. A fighting unit was called a grama and its chief was gramini. The word gramini later became synonymous with a village chief, when agriculture became a major occupation with a settled life. People paid utmost loyalty to their clan or tribe, known as jana in these times.

Though divisions based on occupations had started, the Rig Vedic society was quite a democratic one, with no sharp discrimination against any particular class. Women were held in high esteem and could participate in political assemblies.

RIG VEDIC GODS

They personified natural forces and worshipped them. For instance, their chief gods were Indra (The Rain God), Agni (The Fire God), Varuna (The Protector of the Universe), Usha (The God of The Morning Sun), Marut (The Wind God) and Soma (The God of Plants). The dominant mode of worship was prayers and sacrifices to some extent. In these prayers, they mainly asked for praja (children) and pashu (cattle).
LATER VEDIC CIVILIZATION: 1500 BC – 600 BC

THE LATER VEDIC TIMES (1000 BC – 600 BC)

The Rig Vedic hymns were later set to music, and this collection of musical hymns was called the Sama Veda. In addition, the later Vedic period also saw the compilation of the Yajur Veda (containing rituals and ceremonies) and the Atharva Veda (containing charms and spells). These were followed by the Brahamanas, which contain rituals and explain their social and religious meaning. All these later Vedic texts were compiled during BC 1000 – BC 600.

The use of iron became very popular at this time, called Shyama or Krishna ayas. Although not many iron tools are found, agriculture flourished in these times. The Shatapatha Brahmana explains the rituals of ploughing, done with a wooden ploughshare. Rice and wheat became their chief crops (rice is referred to as vrihi). Copper was used commonly in making ornaments, implements etc. Agriculture became a primary livelihood and the peasants produced enough for themselves and something for taxes. Overall, we notice a marked improvement in material life.

POLITICAL ASSEMBLIES

In later Vedic times, popular assemblies lost their importance and royal power increased at their cost. The sabha and samiti continued, but they changed a lot. Women were no longer permitted, and it was now dominated by nobles and brahmanas. Tribal authority became confined to a territory, and the term rashtra appears for the first time during this period.

Traces of the elections of the chief or the king appear in later Vedic books. The one thought to be the best in physical and other terms was elected the raja. In course of time, the kingship became hereditary.

SOCIAL ORGANIZATION

The later Vedic society was sharply divided into four varnas called the brahamins (the teachers and preachers), kshatriyas or rajnyas (warriors and rulers), vaishyas (the farming and mercantile class) and the shudras (menial servants). Since rituals were a central feature of this age, the brahmins gained great social prestige and dominance. They conducted rituals and sacrifices for their clients and also performed duties at the festivals associated with agriculture.

The major tax-paying class was the vaishyas, who were mainly farmers, merchants and artisans. The kshatriyas generally became warriors and rulers while the shudras were generally farmhands and domestic servants.

RELIGIOUS BELIEFS

Rig Vedic gods, Indra and Agni lost their earlier importance. Prajapati (The Creator) was worshipped as the supreme god. Some later Vedic gods include Rudra (The God of Animals) and Vishnu who was thought to be the protector of the universe.

However, the mode of worship changed considerably. Sacrifices, instead of prayers, became more important. Sacrifices involved the killing of animals, mainly cows and gradually, it led to their declined numbers. Goghan (one who feeds on the cow) is the term used for a guest. Sacrifices were accompanied by ritualistic formulae which had to be pronounced carefully by the sacrificer.

Towards the end of this period began a strong reaction against priestly domination, cults and rituals. The Upanishads, the philosophical commentaries on the Vedas compiled around 600 BC, criticized the rituals and stressed the value of right belief and knowledge. They stressed that the knowledge of self or atman should be acquired and its relation with Brahma properly understood. Brahma emerged as the supreme deity at this time. The later Vedic period also saw territorial kingdoms and the famous Mahabharata War is attributed to this period. However, a state system was not yet in place due to the farmers’ inability to pay regular taxes.
BUDDHISM AND JAINISM

Many religious sects arose in the middle Gangetic plains in the 6th century BC. Of these, Buddhism and Jainism were the most powerful religious reform movements. The society had four sharp divisions – varnas and this varna-dominated society created great social tensions. The brahmins enjoyed great social prestige and privileges from the kshatriyas, while the shudras paid taxes.  All these classes were known as dwija (twice-born) in those times. A dwija could wear the sacred thread and study the Vedas, which the shudras could not. The shudras were meant to serve the higher varanas and along with women, were barred from Vedic studies. The kshatriyas reacted strongly against this brahiminical dominance and led a movement to dislodge the existing social order. The two important religious movements during this period – Buddhism and Jainism – were led by Gautama Buddha and Vardhmana Mahavira, both of whom were kshatriyas.
JAINISM

Mahavir Jain, the most important religious teacher of the Jains was born in 540 BC in Vaishali. Mahavira, like Gautam, had a royal background. Initially, Mahavira was a householder, but soon left home at the age of 30 in search of truth. He wandered for 12 years. It is said that he never changed his clothes during those twelve years, and abandoned them at 42 when he gained complete knowledge (kaivalya). Because of this conquest, he is known as Mahavira or jina (The Great Hero). He propagated his religion for 30 years and his mission took him to many places. He passed away at 72 in 468 BC at Pavapuri near modern Rajgir.

DOCTRINES OF JAINISM

  1. Do not commit violence
  2. Do not speak a lie
  3. Do not steal
  4. Do not acquire property
  5. Observe continence (brahmcharya)

Mahavira had 23 predecessors before him known as tirthankaras of which the first was Rishabhdev and the 23rd was Parshavnath. It is said that that Mahavira gave only the fifth doctrine, the rest were taken by him from previous teachers. Jainism attached utmost importance to ahimsa or non-violence. Mahavira’s predecessor Parshav had asked his followers to cover their bodies while Mahavira asked them to discard the clothes altogether. On account of this, in later times, Jainism split into two sects: Shwetambara (white clothes) and Digambara (wearing no clothes).

Jainism mainly aims at freedom from worldly bonds, which can be done by having right knowledge, right belief and right conduct. These three make up the Three Jewels of Jainism. Since it prohibits war and even agriculture because both involve killings of animals, most Jains today are confined to mercantile activities.

To spread his teachings, Mahavira organized an order of his followers. Since Jainism does not criticize casteism as severely as Buddhism and does not mark out itself clearly from brahiminism, it failed to have mass appeal. Despite this, it gradually spread in South and West India.

Jainism made the first-ever serious attempt to mitigate the evils of the varna order. The Jain writings are mostly in Prakrit, a language not used in brahiminical texts.
BUDDHISM

Gautam Buddha (563 BC-483 BC) or Siddhartha belonged to the ruling Shakya kshatriya family of Kapilvastu, Nepal. He was married to Yashodhra, but married life did not interest him. He was moved by the miseries of people and looked for a solution. So, one midnight, he left home at the young age of 29 and started searching the ultimate truth which he found at 35 in Bodh Gaya.  Thereafter, he came to be known as the Buddha (The Enlightened One).

Gautam Buddha delivered his first sermon in Sarnath near modern Varanasi. He undertook long journeys during his tours. Braving grave physical dangers, he spread his mission far and wide, disregarding the rich and the poor, friends and opponents. He passed away at a place called Kusinara, U.P.

DOCTRINES OF BUDDHISM

The Buddha was a practical reformer who, considering the prevailing social conditions, didn’t have fruitless discussions on atman and Brahma, popular in those se days. Instead, he focused on worldly problems.

Gautam Buddha recommended an Eight-fold Path for eliminating human miseries. It comprises right observation, right determination, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right exercise, right memory and right meditation. Gautam Buddha also taught the Middle Path, recommending the avoidance of both luxury and austerity. The major Buddhist books are The Jataka (regarding the previous births of Buddha), The Mahavastu and The Vinaya (Buddha’s teachings).

He laid down a Code of Conduct for his followers:

  1. Do not covet the property of others
  2. Do not commit violence
  3. Do not use intoxicants
  4. Do not speak a lie
  5. Do not indulge in corrupt practices

Buddhism advocated a practical path of achieving salvation, thus it appealed to the common man. Buddhism also does not talk of God, a kind of revolution in the evolution of Indian religions. Further, it does not recognize casteism. Consequently, Buddhism gained huge popularity and people embraced it, especially the shudras and women, who had been denied all these privileges earlier. Unlike brahminism, it was more liberal and democratic. Buddha’s personality and his preaching also contributed a lot to its spread. The use of Pali, the common language, helped its spread. Since Buddha was a royal, many kings came forward to support Buddhism.

Two hundred years after Buddha’s death, Ashoka, the famous Mauryan king, adopted it as a state religion, marking a watershed event in Buddhist history. His agents spread Buddhism far and wide in Central Asia, West Asia, Sri Lanka, and thus made it a world religion.
THE MAURYAN EMPIRE

From 6th century BC onwards, we find widespread use of iron in eastern Uttar Pradesh and western Bihar, thus creating conditions for the creation of large territorial states. The new iron implements enabled the farmers to have surplus produce, some of which could be spared for taxes, thus enabling the kings to organize a state and a standing army. Some of these were Magadha, Koshala, Vatsa and Avanti.

The Magadhan Empire became prominent under Bimbisara, who was a contemporary of Buddha. He started the policy of conquest which ended with the Kalinga war of Ashoka. The earliest capital of Magadh was Rajgir, surrounded by five hills, making it virtually unassailable.

The Nandas were very rich and powerful. So great was their power that Alexander did not dare move towards them when he came to India. However, the later Nandas proved to be weak rulers and their reign was supplanted by the Mauryas under which the Magadhan empire reached its zenith.

The Maurya dynasty was founded by Chandragupta Maurya. He took advantage of the unpopularity of the later Nandas and with Chanakya’s help, overthrew the Nandas and set up his rule. Chandargupta was a powerful and able ruler. He liberated north-western India from Selucus and thus built a vast empire which excludes only today’s Kerala and Tamilnadu.

The Mauryas had an elaborate administrative machinery and Magasthenes’ Indica and Kautilya’s Arthshastra tell us a lot about it. Magasthenes was a Greek ambassador sent to the Mauryan court by Selucus of Greece. He lived in the Mauryan capital of Pataliputra. His writings describe the Mauryan society, economy and administration of those days. Even Arthshastra written by Kautilya (Chanakya) gives us valuable insights into statecraft and the society then. Chandargupta Maurya had a large army, a most distinguishing feature of his rule.

Chandragupta Maurya was succeeded by Bindusara, who in turn, was succeeded by Ashoka (273-232 BC), the greatest Mauryan ruler.  After his accession in 261 BC, he fought only one major battle – the Kalinga War. The Kalinga War is found inscribed on the 13th Rock Edict (A royal order, and there are many by Ashoka addressed to his people and inscribed on rocks throughout his empire). The king was greatly moved by the sufferings of the people, and therefore, decided to give up war for ever.  He converted to Buddhism thereafter and also sponsored the 3rd Buddhist Council where missionaries from distant lands had come.

Ashoka calls himself priyadasin in his inscriptions and was the first ruler to address his subjects directly. The language was Prakrit in the Brahmi script. Ashoka had a vast empire and he exercised strict control over it. He had appointed rajukas, or judicial officers to reward and punish, wherever appropriate.

The Mauryas had a vast bureaucracy. Important functionaries were called tirthas. Most of them were paid in cash. Pana was a term for silver coins during this time. Samharta was the officer for the assessment of taxes. Punch–marked silver coins (without the king’s or dynasty’s name) was the imperial currency.

However, the growing weakness of the Mauryas, especially after Ashoka, caused their decline and ultimate fall. The Maurya empire was finally destroyed by Pushyamitra Shunga in 185 BC.

THE INDO-GREEKS

A series of invasions began in about 200 BC. The first to cross the Hindukush were the Greeks, who ruled Bactria in Afghanistan. That is why they are called the Indo-Greeks. The most famous Indo-Greek ruler was Menander (165-145 BC), also known as Milinda. He was converted to Buddhism by Nagasena. Menander asked him many questions regarding Buddhism before his conversion and his dialogue can be found in the Milinda Panho.

The Indo-Greeks were the first rulers in India to issue coins which can be definitely attributed to a king or a dynasty, unlike the punch-marked coins, which cannot be definitely credited to a king or dynasty. Further, they were the first to issue gold coins in India. The Greeks introduced many features of Hellenistic art in India. This fusion of two art forms is quite common and Gandhara Art is the best example of this fusion.

The Indo-Greeks were followed by the Shakas of whom the most famous ruler was Rudradaman I (AD 130-150). Although a foreigner, he was a great lover of Sanskrit and issued the first-ever long inscription in pure Sanskrit. The Shakas were followed the Parthians. Gondophernes was their most celebrated king in whose reign Thomas came to India.

After the Parthians, we see two successive Kushan dynasties. The first was founded by Kadphises who ruled for 28 years from AD 50. The Kadphises were followed by the Kushans. Kanishka was their most famous king, who had two capitals, Mathura and Peshawar (Purushupura). He, like Ashoka, was a strong champion of Buddhism and held a Buddhist Council in Kashmir, where the principles of Mahayana Buddhism (Hinayana Buddhism is the second sect) were finalized. Kanishka also started a new calendar known as the Saka Samvat in 78 AD. His empire was quite vast, extending up to parts of the modern-day Afghanistan and even Russia.

Kanishka was a great patron of art and literature and the great Sanskrit writer Ashvaghosh, who wrote the Buddhacharita, lived in the Kushan court. Vatsyayan’s Kamasutra is a classic on sexuality. The science of Ayurveda took shape during these times. Charak, the founder of ayurvedic medicine and Susruta, the founder of ayurvedic surgery lived at this time and wrote two classic treatises Charaksamhita and Susrutasamhita respectively. The Indians learnt a lot from the Greek art and science. A large number of foreigners were absorbed into the Indian way of life.

THE SATVAHANAS

The Mauryas were followed in the Deccan and the central India by the Satvahanas. The early Satvahanas were in modern Maharashtra where most of their inscriptions have been found. Their most famous king was Gautamiputra Satkarni (AD 106-130) who regained the Satvahana kingdom taken away by the Shakas. His immediate successor Vashishtiputra Pulumayi (AD 130-154) issued many coins and inscriptions which are found in Andhra Pradesh.

The Satvahanas are noted for several things –

  1. Lead coins, possibly the only such example.
  2. First rulers to make land grants to the Brahmins regularly
  3. Many examples of land grants made on copper plates.
  4. Their society shows traces of the matrilineal system, wherein the mother is the chief of the family.
  5. The Satvahanas are also noted for achievements in art and architecture. During this period, many Buddhist chaityas and viharas were carved out. Many Buddhist stupas are found, especially in Amravati and Nagarjunkonda.

THE PANDYAS, THE CHOLAS AND THE CHERAS

The southern end of the Indian peninsula was divided into three kingdoms — Chola, Pandya and Chera. Even Magasthenes mentions the Pandyas, who were renowned for pearls. The Pandyas had their capital in Madurai.

The Pandyas had flourishing business with the Roman empire and even sent an embassy to the Roman emperor Augustus. The brahmanas enjoyed considerable influence with and performed many sacrifices.

The Cholas, were based in Cholamandalam (Coromandel). Karikala was a celebrated Chola king who founded Puhar, identical with Kaveripatnam, the Chola capital. It was a great business centre and they had a flourishing trade in cotton. The Cholas maintained a very good navy also.

However, under Karakul’s successors, the Chola power declined rapidly and the two neighboring powers, the Cheras and the Pandyas expanded at their cost.

The Chera or the Kerala country included the narrow strip of land between the sea and the mountains and covered parts of both Kerala and Tamilnadu. Their story is marked by their constant conflicts with the Pandyas and the Cholas. Their greatest king was Senguttuvan, the Red or the Good Chera. Although their internecine and Sri Lankan wars weakened them, they profited a lot from natural resources and foreign business. All of them were fairly rich. They grew spices, especially pepper, pearls, silk. Uraiyar was well-known for cotton trade at this time.

All these details come to us from the Sangam literature. A sangam was an assembly of poets held in Madurai under royal patronage.
THE GUPTA EMPIRE

After the Kushans arose a new empire, which controlled a good part of the former Kushan and Satvahana empires. This was the Gupta empire, which had Prayag as its capital. Their basic strength was the use of horses. The Guptas enjoyed certain material advantages. The centre of their operations lay in Madhyadesh covering Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. They could exploit the iron ores of central India and south Bihar. Further, they benefited from silk trade in their proximity, which was carried with the Eastern Roman or the Byzantine Empire. Due to all these, the Guptas were able to expand fast and over time, theirs became an all-India empire.

CHANDARGUPTA

The first important king of the Guptas was Chandragupta I. He was a very powerful ruler and started an era called the Gupta Era (AD 319-20 ), which marks the date of his ascension.

SAMUDRAGUPTA (AD 335-380)

Samudragupta, Chandragupta I’s son enlarged the Gupta kingdom considerably. Samudragupta was a brave warrior and delighted in violence, just the opposite of Ashoka. His court poet Harisen, glowingly talks of his military adventures in the Allahabad Inscription, which he conducted using his powerful navy in India and Sri Lanka. It is said that Samudragupta never knew defeat and his influence was felt across the whole India and even outside. For these reasons, historians call him the “Napoleon of India”.

CHANDARGUPTA II

The reign of Chandragupta II (AD 380-412) saw the peak of the Gupta empire. He extended the empire with conquests and marital alliances. He conquered the western coast of India, which gave him important material advantages in terms of business. He made Ujjain his second capital and adopted the title Vikramaditya and his court had celebrated scholars including Kalidasa and Amarsimha. At this time, the Chinese pilgrim Fa-hsein visited India and wrote a detailed account of his reign.

The last important Gupta ruler Skandgupta’s successors could not meet the Huns challenge from Central Asia, leading to the Guptas’ fall. Although the Gupta rule lingered on until 550 AD, the imperial glory had vanished a century earlier.

The Guptas adopted high-sounding titles like parmeshwara maharajadhiraja, which indicates that they ruled over lesser kings. The Gupta bureaucracy was not as big as the Mauryas. A major part of the empire was governed by feudatory chiefs. Land grants, started by the Satvahanas became a regular feature. Since much royal administration was done by feudatories, they did not require as many officers.

The Guptas issued the largest number of gold coins (dinara) in ancient India. Brahiminical supremacy continued and the Guptas were staunch brahimnists, using Sanskrit as a court language. Bhagvatism or the worship of Vishnu received a tremendous boost in these times. It was marked by bhakti and ahimsa. It had overshadowed the Mahayana Buddhism by the Gupta Age. Idol worship in temples became quite common from this time.

This is known as the Golden Age of ancient India. Both Samudragupta and Chandragupta were great patrons of art and literature. Samudragupta himself was a talented accomplished veena player, as shown in his coins. Beautiful images of the Buddha were made in Mathura and Sarnath during this time. The Ajanta paintings, which depict the Jataka stories (earlier life of the Buddha) were made during the Gupta Age, though they did not patronize it. In the field of metallurgy, the Gupta Age is unparalleled. The Iron Pillar in Mehrauli is intact even today after  so many centuries.

The Gupta period is well-known for great Sanskrit literature. Kalidasa, Shudrak, Bhavbhuti, Patanajli and Panini belonged to this period. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata were also complied during this time (4th century AD). Many legendary scientists including Aryabhatta and Vrahimira lived at this time whose contributions to mathematics and astronomy remain significant even today.

HARSHVARDHANA AND HIS TIMES

The Guptas ruled over north and west India until 550 AD. Thereafter, the north India split into small principalities. Gradually, one of these dynasties headed by Harshvardhan ruling at Thanesar extended its authority over all other feudatories.

Harsha’s capital was Kannauj. Harsha’s history can be understood from his court poet Banbhatta’s writing Harshcharita. Harsha is often called the Last Great Hindu King of North India. But Harsha was neither a Hindu nor great.

Harsha tried to conquer the South, but his march was stopped on the Narmada river by the Chalukyan king Pulakesin. Harsha had a highly feudal administrative system, in which land was allocated to the feudatories, who contributed their quota of soldiers in war. Harsha continued and even furthered the system of land grants. In fact, the feudal practice of rewarding officers with land grants began under Harsha.

The Chinese Buddhist scholar Hsuan Tsang, who left China in AD 629 had come here to study the Mahayana Buddhism in Nalanda. Under his influence, Harsha became a great supporter of Buddhism. As a devout Buddhist, he convened a grand assembly in Kannauj which was widely attended, including by Hsuan Tsang. Such an assembly was held  later in Prayag also. Harsha is remembered not only for his patronage of Buddhism but also for his authorship of three dramas — The Priyadarshika, The Ratanavali, and The Nagananda.  

This phase is also marked by India’s wide-ranging contacts with foreign countries.  Indian culture spread to many foreign lands including Indonesia and Cambodia. The Pallavas had their colonies in Sumatra. Eventually, it led to the flowering of the Sri Vijaya kingdom. They became significant channels for radiating Indian culture in those countries, where even today the remains can be found as temples and paintings. The Indians also set up powerful kingdoms in Kamboja, identical with the modern Cambodia, in the 6th century AD and trading settlements in Champa, which is identical with modern Vietnam.

Borobudur in Java (Indonesia) has the biggest Buddhist temple worldwide and Angkor Vat has the biggest Hindu temple complex, both of which were built by Indians.

DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SOUTH

By the beginning of the 7th century AD, the Pallavas of Kanchi, the Chalukyas of Badami and the Pandyas of Madurai emerged as three major states. This entire phase is marked by land grants to the Brahmins on a wide scale. All of them were strong champions of brahminism and performed numerous Vedic sacrifices.

Construction of beautiful temples is another major feature of this era. The most famous of the Pallava temples was in Mahabalipuram, which  was built by Narsimhvarman. This city is also famous for its shore-temples. Kanchi, their capital was graced by the Kailashnath Temple, another well-known monument.

THE PALAS, THE PRATIHARAS AND THE RASHTRAKUTAS

The medieval history is distinguished by a feudal system. In both Europe and Asia, a landed aristocracy came to dominate the government. The government officers were paid increasingly in terms of land revenue assignments. The beneficiary was responsible for cultivation, land revenue collection and supplying troops to the state in need. This de-centralized administrative structure is a hallmark of the entire medieval history worldwide. It was called serfdom in Europe, while various names given in India to describe it — Jagirdari, Samanatvadi, Zamindari system etc. All of them basically imply the existence of a landed aristocracy.

Many powerful empires arose in north India and the Deccan between 750-1000 AD. The Palas, the Pratiharas and the Rashtarkutas were the most prominent. The Rashtrakuta empire lasted the longest and was also the most powerful of its times.

THE PALAS, THE PRATIHARAS AND THE RASHTRAKUTAS

THE PALAS

The Pala empire was founded by Gopala in 750 AD and was succeeded by his son Dharampala in 770 AD who ruled till 810 AD. Dhrampala was a powerful ruler and occupied Kannauj, where he held a grand durbar. Devpala, son of Dharmapal, who ascended the throne in 810 AD, extended his control over Prgayajyotishpur (Assam). Thus for about 100 years, the Palas dominated eastern India. The Palas were great patrons of Buddhism and Dhrampala had revived the defunct Nalanda University, which was world-famous as a centre of Mahayana learning. He also founded the Vikramshila University, considered next to Nalanda only. Many Buddhist ambassadors from Tibet were sent to the Pala court. The Palas maintained the biggest number of elephants in those days for military purposes.

THE PRATIHARAS

The Pratihars gained prominence due to their resistance to Arab invasions. The real founder and the greatest ruler of the dynasty was Bhoja. Bhoja\’s efforts for expansion eastwards were checkmated by the Pala ruler, Devpala. The Pratihars had the best cavalry in India. Bhoja was a great devotee of Vishnu and had adopted the title of ‘Adivraha’. It was the same Bhoja whose name is immortalized in many stories. Al-Masudi, an Iranian traveller, who visited them testifies to their great power and prestige. They were great patrons of art and learning. The great Sanskrit poet Rajashekhar, lived at their court. Between 915-918, Kannauj, the Pratihar capital was attacked by Indra III, the Rashtrakuta ruler. Another Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna III invaded north India in 963 AD and defeated the Pratihar ruler, thus leading to the rapid dissolution of the Pratihar empire.

THE RASHTRAKUTAS

The Rashratkutas were based in Deccan and produced remarkable warriors and rulers. The kingdom was founded by Dantidurga with capital at Manyakhet or Malkhed near modern Sholapur. They soon occupied the entire northern Maharashtra and came in conflict with the Pratihars for the dominance of Gujarat and Malwa.  The Rashtrakutas also fought constantly with the eastern Chalukyas, the Pallavas of Kanchi and the Pandyas of Madurai.

Possibly, Gobinda III and Amoghvarsh were the greatest rulers of this house. Amoghvarsh, a great scholar, wrote the first Kannada book on poetics. However, the Rashtrakuta empire soon declined due to internal rebellions and was finally destroyed by their rivals in 972 AD.

The Rashtrskutas were very tolerant and allowed the Muslims to practice their faith despite the fact they were Hindus themselves.
THE CHOLA EMPIRE

The Chola empire, which arose in the South in the 10th century AD, was founded by Vijayalya by capturing Tanjore. However, the greatest Chola rulers were Rajaraja Chola (985-1014 AD) and his son Rajendra Chola I. Rajendra carried forward the acquisition policy of his father by conquering the Pandyas, the Cheras and even Sri Lanka. He assumed the title Gangaikondchola (The Chola Conqueror of the Ganga). The Chola rule was known for a strong navy, village self-government and beautiful temples to commemorate victories. Rajraja I even sent a naval expedition against Malaya to overcome their interference in his trade with China. The Cholas also sent a number of embassies to China.

Temple architecture reached its climax in the South under the Cholas. The main feature of this style called the Dravida, was the building of storey upon storey above the chief deity room (garbhgriha). The entire structure was surrounded by high walls having lofty gates called gopurams. A fine example of this style is the Brihdeeshwara Temple at Tanjore built by Rajaraja I. This is also called the Rajraja Temple.

The art of sculpture attained a high standard during this phase. One befitting example is the Gomteshwara Statue at Shravanbelgola in Karnataka, the highest statue in India. Another aspect was the image-making, which peaked in the dancing figure of the Shiva, called the Natrajaja. Many popular Bhakti saints called the nayanars and alvars, devotees of Shiva, flourished in this area between the 6th – 9th centuries. The writings of these saints called Tirumurai, are considered sacred and are known as the Fifth Veda.  

 

BOOK                            AUTHOR / DETAILS 
Rigveda                       Different Poets / Prayers and Hymns
Samveda                      Musical Hymns
Yajurveda                    Rituals, Ceremonies
Atharvaveda                 Charms and spells
Upanishads                  Philosophical commentaries on Vedas
Jataka                          Stories on previous life of Buddha
Mahavastu                   Buddhist Teachings
Indica                          Magasthenes
Arthshastra                 Kautilya / Statecraft
Vishakhduttta               Mudrarakshasa
Ashtadhayayi               Panini
Mahabhashya                 Patanjli
Milinda Panho              Nagsena (Nagarjuna)
Buddhacharita             Ashavghosh
Charaksamhita           Charak /ayurvedic medicine
Susrutasamhita            Susruta / surgery
Sangam Literature        Different Poets
Mrichhkatikam             Shudraka
Maltimadhav                 Bhavabhuti
Amarkosh                      Amarsimha
Harshcharita                 Banbhatta
Brihattsamhita             Vrahimira / Encyclopaedia
Aryabhatia                      Aryabhatt / Astronomy
Raghuvansham, Abhijan Shakuntalam, KalidasaRaghuvansham,Meghdootam
Priyadarshini,Nagananda,                  HarshvardhanRatnavali

 

MAJOR ANCIENT MONUMENTS

MONUMENT                               DETAILS 
Sanchi Stupa                               Built by Ashoka
Borobudur Temple                    In Indonesia
Iron Pillar, Mehrauli                      Built by Samudragupta
Allahabad Pillar                          Erected by Ashoka and Samudragupta
Ashoka Pillar                                At Lauriya Nandangarh
Lomasrishi Caves                       Buddhist Caves
Bhimbetka (Bhopal)                     Stone-Age Caves
Stadium                                       At Nagarujunkonda
Kailashnath Temple                     In Kanchi
Dilwara Jain Temple                     In Mount Abu
Brihideeshwara Temple              At Thanjavur built by the Cholas
Angkor Vat Temple                      In Cambodia,                                                          the biggest Hindu temple worldwide
Rath Temple                                 Built by Narsimhvarman at Mahabalipuram

 

ANCIENT BOOKS AND THEIR AUTHORS

TITLE OF THE BOOK AUTHOR / DETAILS
Rigveda Different Poets / Prayers and Hymns
Samveda Musical Hymns
Yajurveda Rituals & Ceremonies
Atharvaveda Charms and spells
Upanishads Philosophical commentaries on Vedas
Jataka Stories on previous life of Buddha
Mahavastu Buddhist Teachings
Indica Magasthenes
Arthshastra Kautilya / Statecraft
Vishakhduttta Mudrarakshasa
Ashtadhayayi Panini
Mahabhashya    Patanjli
Milinda Panho  Nagsena (Nagarjuna)
Buddhacharita                                                      Ashavghosh
Charaksamhita                                                                                      Charak /ayurvedic medicine
Susrutasamhita Susruta / surgery
Sangam Literature                                                                                           Different Poets
Mrichhkatikam Shudraka
Harshcharita                                          Banbhatta
Brihattsamhita                           Vrahimira / Encyclopaedia
Aryabhatia         Aryabhatt / Astronomy
Raghuvansham,Abhijan Shakuntalam, Raghuvansham, Meghdotam Kalidasa
Priyadarshini, Nagananda, Ratnavali Harshvardhan

 

CHANGED ANCIENT NAMES

 

OLD NAME                                                NEW NAME            

 

1. Jambudweepa                                   Bharat (India)

 

2. Suwaranbhumi                                   Pegu (Burma)

 

3. Suwarndweep                                    Java (Indonesia)

 

4. Jaya / Bharata                                   The Mahabharata

 

5. Kamboja                                            Combodia

 

6. Gauda                                               Bengal

 

7. Kamrupa                                           Assam

 

8. Utkal                                                 Odisha 

 

9. Chera                                                Kerala  

 

 
 

 

 

ANCIENT TERM           MEANING            ANCIENT TERM           MEANING
 
Nishaka, Satmana           Gold medal / Coin Gram                                Fighting Unit
Gramini                            Village chief          Samudra                          Body of water
Goghan                            Guest                    Praja                               Children
Samhita                            Commentary        Sabha / Samiti                 Political Assemblies
Shyam Ayas                    Copper                  Dasa / Dasyu                  Indigenous people
Vrihi                                 Rice                        Gavishti                           War
Vishti                                Forced Labour      Ayas                                Copper / Bronze
Sangrihitri                         Tax Collector          Bali / Bhag                         Tax
Upnayan                          Sacred Thread Ceremony  Dwija                                Twice-born (all except shudras)
Kaivalya                           Complete Knowledge (Jainism)
Niravana                           Complete Knowledge (Buddhism)
Vihara                                Buddhist Monastry Bhojaka                               Village Chief
Mantrin                                Minister                  Basadi                               Jain Monastic Residence
Balisadhakas                    Tax-Officers            Parinirvana                        Leaving of home by Buddha
Dhramchakraparivartana     Buddha’s Nirvana    Stupa                            Monument housing Buddha’s relics
Pana                                  Silver Coin                Mahaparinirvana               Passing away of the Buddha
Gandhika                           Merchant                  Pitakas                               Buddhist Literature
Yavana                               Foreigner                 Yavanpriya                         Black pepper
Uparika                               Village chief            Aushdhi                              Plant
Gandhara Art                     Fusion art form combining features of Indian and Hellenistic art

 

MAJOR PHILOSOPHICAL SYSTEMS

PHILOSOPHICAL SCHOOL FOUNDER MAJOR EMPHASIS
Samkhya Kapila Non-Spiritualistic, materialistic thought
Yoga Patnajli Salvation through meditation
Nyaya …………… Analytical thinking
Vaisheshika Kanada Importance to materialism
Mimansa Gemini Importance to Vedic rituals
Vedanta Adiguru Shankracharya Vedas as fountainhead of all knowledge

 

FAMOUS ANCIENT MONUMENTS

MONUMENT DETAILS
Sanchi Stupa Built by Ashoka
Borobudur Temple In Indonesia
Iron Pillar, Mehrauli Built by Samudragupta
Allahabad Pillar Ashoka and Samudragupta
Ashoka Pillar At Lauriya Nandangarh
Lomarishi Caves Buddhist Caves
Bhimbetka (Bhopal) Stone-Age Caves
Stadium Nagarujunkonda
Kailashnath Temple Kanchi
Brihideeshwara Temple At Thanjavur By Cholas
Angkor Vat Temple       In Cambodia, biggest Hindu temple worldwide
Rath Temple Built by Narsimhvarman at Mahabalipuram
Dilwara Jain Temple Mount Abu

MEDIEVAL INDIA

Mohammed Ghani

Born in 971 AD, Mahmud Ghaznavi was the elder son of Subuktagin, the king of Ghazni (in present day Afganistan). When Subuktagin attacked king Jaipala of Punjab, Mahmud fought for his father in the battlefield.

  • Mahmud began a series of seventeen raids into northwestern India at the end of the 10th
  • His second expediation was against Jaipala, the Hindushahi king of Punjab whom he defeated in the First Battle of Waihind.
  • In his sixth expediation, Mahmud defeated Anandpala in the 2nd Battle of Waihind (1008).

He patronized 3 persons:

  1. Firdausi (Persian poet, known as Homer of the east) who wrote Shahnama.
  2. Alberuni (a brilliant scholar from Central Asia) who wrote Tahqiq-I-Hind-olool.

Muhammad Ghori

  • The real founder of the Muslim Empire in India was Shihab-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori or Muhammad of Ghur. It is true that Muhammad bi Qasim was the first Muslim invader of India but he failed to carve out a Muslim empire in India on account of his premature death.
  • Prithviraj Chauhan, who was the king of Delhi at that time, received contigents from other Rajput Kings and defeated him in the First Battle of Tarain (1191).
  • But he defeated Prithviraj in the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192. Captured Delhi and Ajmer and thus laid the foundation of Muslim Rule in India.
  • Ikhtiyar-ud-din Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, one of Ghori’s commanders, annexed Bihar and Bengal and destroyed Nalanda and Vikramshila University.
  • Died in 1206 AD, leaving Qutab-ud-Din Aibak the charge.

The Ilbari Dynasty or Slave Dynasty

Out of all the kings belonging to the so-called Slave Dynasty, only three, viz., Qutab-ud-din Aibak, Iltumish and Balban were slaves.

Qutab-ud-din Aibak (1206-1210)

  • Lahore and later Delhi were his capitals.
  • Famous for his generosity and earned the sobriquet of lakh-baksh (gives of Lakhs).
  • Laid the foundation of Qutab Minar after the name of the famous Sufi saint, Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki.

Iltumish (1210-36)

  • Shams-ud-din Iltumish was the son-in-law of Aibak. He is considered the greatest of the slave kings and the real consolidator of the Turkish conquest in India.
  • He got his authority (Sultanate of Delhi) recognized by the Caliph of Baghdad (Khalifa), as a member of world fraternity of Islamic states.
  • He formed Turkan-i-Chahalgani or Chalisa (a group of 40 powerful Turkish nobles to suppress nobles).
  • As his successor, declared Razia, thus deviating from the normal practice.

 

RAZIA SULTAN (1236-40)

  • She was the first and the last Muslim woman ruler of medieval India. She succeeded her brother in 1236 and ruled for 31/2 Years.
  • She disregarded purdah, began to adorn male attire and rode out in public on elephant back.
  • However, her rule was short-lived due to constant tussle with the nobles and her brothers. However, her rule began the struggle for power between the monarchy and the Turkish chiefs called “the forty” or the Iltutmish had great respect for these Turkish chiefs. They sought the same privileges from Razia, which she was declined.
  • She promoted Jamaluddin Yaqut, an Abyssinian, to the important office of superinterdent of the stables.

 

BALBAN (1266-86)

  • He declared the sultan as the representative of God on earth. He impressed upon the people that king was the deputy of God (Niyabat-i-Khudai) and the shadow of God (zil-i-illahi).
  • Introduced Sijdah or Paibos practice, in which the people were required to kneel and touch the ground with their head to greet the Sultan.
  • He was a liberal patron of Pesian literature and showed special favour to the poet, Amir Khusro.

THE KHALJI DYNASTY

Coming of Khaljis marked the end of monopolization of power by the Turkish nobility and racial dictatorship.

Jallaluddin Firuz Khalji (1290-1296)

  • The most important event of his reign was the invasion of Devgiri in 1294 by his nephew and son-in-law, Ali Gurshap or Ala-ud-din Khalji. Devagiri was the capiatal of the Yadava Kingdom in the Deccan and Ala-ud-din plundered the vast treasury.
  • Married his daughter to Ulugh Khan, a descendent of Chengiz Khan, to win their goodwill.

Alauddin Khalji (1296-1316)

  • He assassinated his uncle and proclaimed himself Sultan wining over the nobles and soldiers to his side by a lavish use of gold (accumulated from Devagiri).
  • His first conquest was the rich kingdom Gujarat, (ruled by the Vaghela king, Rai Kama Dev II). This conquest is notable for two reasons- first, he married the Raja’s wife, Kamla Devi and secondly there only he acquired Malik Kafur, a eunuch, who later on rose to become a great military general.
  • Adopted the title Sikander-i-Sani.

 

THE TUGHLAQ DYNASTY

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq (1320-25) (Ghazi Malik)

  • Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq was the founder of the Tughlaq Dynasty.
  • He was the first Sultan of Delhi who took up the title of Ghazi or slayer of the infidels.
  • Built the fortified city of Tughlaqabad and made it his capital.

Muhammad Bin Tughlaq (1325-1351)

  • Real name was Jauna Khan.
  • Regarded as the most controversial figure in Indian history, because of his five ambitious projects.
  • Shifted capital from Delhi to Devagiri in the Deccan, renaming that city Devagiri as Daulatabad.
  • He built the fortress of Adilabad and the city of Jahanpanah.

Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1351-1388)

  • He was Muhammad’s cousin. He was chosen the Sultan by the nobles.

Timur’s Invasion

  • He was a great Mongol leader of Central Asia. He became the head of the Chaghtai Turks at the age of 33.

Th Lodhi Dynasty

  • They were Afghans by race (considered the first Afghan Dynasty of India).
  • They were ruling over Sirhind when Sayyids were in India.
  • Founder – Bahlol Lodhi.

Sikander Lodhi (1489-1517)

  • Real name was Nizam Khan. In 1504, he founded the city of Agra and made it his capital.

Ibrahim Lodhi (1517-1526)

  • Repressive ruler.
  • Was defated and killed by Babur in the I Battle of Panipat in 1526.
  • With this the Sultanate of Delhi ended.

Mughal Emperors

The Mughal era is the historic period of the Mughal Empire in India, it ran from the early sixteenth century, to a point in the early eighteenthcentury when the Mughal Emperors power had dwindled. It ended in several generations of conflicts between rival warlords.

Babar (1526-1530)

  • Was a descended of Timur on his father’s side and Chengiz Khan on his mother’s side. His family belonged to the Chaghtai section of the Turkish race and were commonly known as Mughals.
  • Originally ruled over Ferghana (Afghanistan). He became the Sultan at the early age of 12, when his father Sultan Umar Shaikh Mirza died.
  • He was invited to attack India by Daulat Khan Lodhi (Subedar of Punjab), Alam Khan (uncle of Ibrahim Lodhi) and Rana Sanga. Defated Ibrahim Lodi in the first battle of Panipat in 1526.

Humayun (1530-40 and 1555-56)

  • He was born to Mahim Begam and Babur. The throne inherited by Humayun was not a bed of roses.
  • Died in 1556, due to a fall from his library building stairs.

 

                                                   SURI DYNASTY

Sher Shah Suri (1540-1545)

  • Real name was Farid. Given the title Sher Khan by Babar Khan Lohani (Governor of Bihar) who appointed him Vakil (deputy)
  • Became the master of Delhi after the exit of Humayun
  • Died in 1545 while campaigning against Kalinjar Fort.
  • The roads built by Shershah are called ‘the arteries of the empire’.
  • Sarais were built on roads. He restored the old imperial road called Grand Trunk Roat, from the IUndus River to Sonargaor, in Bengal.
  • Built his tomb at Sasaram in Bihar.
  • Built a new city on the bank of Yamuna River (present day Purana Qila).

Akbar (1556-1605)

  • Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar was the son of Humayun and Hamida Banu Begam. He was born at Amarkot in 1542.
  • Bairam Khan coronated him at Kalanaur when he was 14 year old.
  • Won Gujarat in 1572. It was in order to commemorate his victory of Gujarat that Akbar got the Buland Darwaza constructed at Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Fought Battle of Haldighati with Mewar forces on 18 Jun, 1576. Mughals were represented by Raja Maan Singh and Rajputs by Rana Pratap Singh. Rajputs were defeated.
  • Formulated an order called Din-i-Ilahi in 1581. Birbal, Abul Fazi and Faizi joined the order.
  • His Land Revenue System was known as Todar Mal Bandobast or Zabti System.

Jahangir (1605-1627)

  • Akbar’s eldest son Salim assumed the title of Nuruddin Muhammad Jahangir and ascended the throne.
  • But soon, his eldest son Khusro revolted, which was suppressed.
  • The fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjun Dev, had helped Khusro. So he was executed after 5 days of torture.

The most important event in Jahangir’s life was his marriage to Mehr-un-Nisa, the widow of Sher Afghani in 1611. The title of Nur Jahan was conferred on her.

  • Captain Hawkins (1608-11) and Sir Thomas Roe (1615-1619) visited his court. Due to the efforts of Sir Thomas Roe English Factories were established at Surat and some other places.
  • Pietra Valle, famous Italian traveler came during his reign.
  • Tobacco growing started during his reign. It was brought by the Portuguese.

Shahjahan (1628-1658):

  • Able general and administrator.
  • Had to face revolts in Bundelkhand (Jujjhar Singh Bundela of Orchcha) and in the Deccan (Khan-i-Jahan Lodi) in the initial years.
  • Shahjahan also expelled the Portuguese from Hughli, as they were abusing their trading privileges.
  • Made his son, Aurangzeb, the Viceroy of Deccan in 1636.

Aurangzeb’s first tenure was till 1644.

  • His reign is considered the ‘Golden Age of the Mughal Empire’.

Aurangzeb Alamgir (1658-1707)

  • At the time of Shahjahan’s illness, Dara was in Delhi and the other brothers were in different places, Shuja in Bengal, Murad in Gujarat and Aurangzeb in Deccan.
  • Under him, the Mughal Empire reached its greatest extent, and the largest single state ever known in India from the dawn of history to the rise of British Power was formed.
  • He was called a ‘Darvesh’ or a ‘Zinda Pir’.
  • He also forbade Sati.

Decline of Mughal Empire

The empire lost power after Aurangzeb’s rule. His successors were weak and incapable rulers

COMMUNAL AND REGIONAL UPRISINGS

The Sikhs History

  • Belongs to a religious sect founded by Guru Nanak (1469-1539). His main teachings were the faith in one true Lord, the worship of the Name and the necessity of a Guru in the worship of the name.
  • After his death, Guru Angad (1539-52) became his successor. He invented the Gurumukhi script for the Punjabi Language.
  • Guru Amardas (1552-74) was the next guru. He reformed the institution of langar and gave more importance to it. He divided his spiritual empire into 22 parts called Manjis. Each Manjis was put under the charge of a Sikh.
  • IV guru, Guru Ramdas (1575-81) had very cordial relations with Akbar. He laid the foundation of Amritsar city. He dug a tank (sarovar) and it exists at Amritsar. In the midst of the tank, the Harmandir Sahib (Temple of God) was constructed.
  • V Guru, Guru Arjun Dev (1581-1606) compiled the Adi Granth. He also completed the construction of Amritsar and founded other cities like Taran Taran and Kartarpur. He was executed by Jahangir for helping his rebellious son, Khusro.
  • Guru Har Rai (1644-61) and Guru Har Kishan (1661-64) were the VII and VIII gurus respectively.
    • IX Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur (1664-75) revolted against Aurangzeb but was executed by him. He was beheaded at Delhi’s Chandni Chowk in November 1675. The Sis Ganj Gurudwara marks the site of his martyrdom.
    • X and last guru, Guru Gobind Singh (1675-1708) (born in Patna) organized Sikhs as a community of warriors and called them as Khalsa (Baisakhi Day, 1699). He summoned a big assembly of Sikhs at Anandpur and selected 5 persons who came to be known as Panj Piaras. They took the water of immortality.

    The Sikhs were given a distinct dress and they were required to keep on their person five things beginning with K, viz., Kesh, Kripan, Kachha, Kanga and Kara. He also compiled a supplementary Granth called ‘Dassm Granth’.After the death of Aurangzeb, Guru Gobind Singh had cordial relations with his son Bahadur Shah I. He even agreed to accompany the new king to Deccan. But the Guru was stabbed to death by a Pathan in 1708. At his death, he declared that henceforth, the Guru shall be in Khalsa and the Khalsa in the Guru. He declared that from now on Granth Sahib should be treated as the Guru.FIVE TAKHTS OF THE SIKHSSri Akal Takht Sahib                   – AmritsarTakht Sri Patna Sahib                 – PatnaTakht Sri Keshgarh Sahib           – AnandpurTakht Sri Hazoor Sahib               – NandedTakht Sri Damdama Sahib           – Talwandi Sabo (Bathinda)
    The Marathas

    • Rose to prominence under Shivaji.
    • He was born to Shahji Bhonsle and Jijibai in 1627 at fortess of Shivner in Poona. Shahji was a military officer in the state of Bijapur and he owned the territory of Poona as a jagir.
    • After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, the Mughals tried to divide the Marathas. Shahu was released by Aurangzeb’s successor, Bahadur Shah I, now he claimed the government.

    Mysore India

    • In the second half of the 18th centuary, the rise of Mysore under Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan and their alliance with the French was seen as a danger to the British power in India.
    • In the I Anglo-Mysore war (1767-1769), Haider Ali faced the triple alliance of the English, the Nizam and the Marathas. As Haider Ali was a great diplomat, he bought off the Marathas and won over the Nizam and thus broke the alliance. The war was brought to an end by signing of the Treaty of Madras (1769).
    • Hyder Ali died in 1782 during the II Anglo-Mysore war. His son Tipu Sultan carried on the war till 1784 when the two sides concluded peace by signing the Treaty of Mangalore.
    • Tipu planted a tree of liberty at Srirangapatnam.
    • He assumed the title of Padshah in 1797.
    • In the III Anglo-Mysore war (1789-1792), he was defeated by the triple alliance of British, Nizam and the Marathas and had to sign the Treaty of Srirangapatnam.
    • He was defeated and killed in the IV Anglo-Mysore war (1799) by Lord Wellesley.

     

    IMPORTANT VISITORS IN MEDIEVAL TIMES
    NAME                                   FROM                                      PLACE /TIME OF VISIT
    Nicolo Conti                        Italy                                   Vijaynagara Empire
    Nuniz                                   Italy                                   Vijayanagara Empire
    Barbosa, Paes                     Portugal                                Vijaynagar Empire
    Al-Bairuni                             Arab                                 Early Medieval Times
    Cpt Hawkins, Thomas Roe    England                             Jahangir
    Marco Polo                           Italy                                Kublai Khan in China, Malabar (Kerala)
    Monserrate                                                                           Akbar’s Court

    POPULAR MEDIEVAL TERMS 
    Samanata                                Landlord                                             
    Vimana                                   Southern temple architecture style
    Shreni / Sangh                           Trade Guild
    Amir-ul-umra                              Chief Commander
    Dravida                                     Southern style of temple architecture
    Chahalgani                                Forty Nobles
    Deewan-i-Arz                            Military Department
    Jauhar                                     Suicide (Self-immolation) by Rajput women
    Tanka                                       Copper Coin
    Dinara                                      Gold Coin
    Pana                                        Silver Coin
    Iqta                                          Land Revenue Assignment
    Wazir                                       Revenue Minister
    Ariz-I-Mumalik                            Head of Military Dept
    Vakil-i-Dar                                Protocol Officer
    Pargana                                   District
    Nauroz                                     Persian New Year
    Zawabit                                      Secular Orders
    Zimmis                                     Landlords
    Jihad                                       Religious fight
    Shahana                                  Market Officer
    Dagh                                       Branding of horses
    Farman                                      Royal order
    Chaugan                                  Polo
    Taccavi                                     Agricultural loan
    Bandobast, Dahsala                   Todar Mal’s revenue settlement
    Amir-i-Umda                               High-rank Mansabdar
    Khalisa                                     Cultivated land
    Mir Bakshi                                Chief of Military Department
    Mir-i-Saman                              Incharge of Royal Household
    Ulema                                      The Clergy
    Chauth, Sardeshmukhi               Revenue Rights

    IMPORTANT MEDIEVAL BOOKS N AUTHORS

     BOOK                                                             AUTHOR                         REIGN / TIME  
    Brihatakathakosh                                   Harisen
    Rajtarangini ( Sanskrit)               Kalahana (Kashmir)                   Zianul Abidin
    Akbarnama                                           Abul Fazl                                  Akbar
    Ain-i-Akbari                                           Abul Fazl                                  Akbar
    Shahnama                                             Firdausi                                    Mahmud of Ghazni
    Prithviraja Raso                         Chand Bardai                          Prithviraja Raso
    Tazuk-i-Babari (Turkish)              Babar                                       Autobiography
    Tazuk-i-Jahangiri                                    Jahangir                                    Autobiography
    Geet Govind                                          Jaidev                                   Bhakti Poetry
    Padmavat                                             Malik Mohammed Jaisi Shringar Ras Poetry
    Kitab-ul-Hind                                           Al-Bairuni
    Haqaiq-i-Hindi                                        Abdul Wahid Belgrami                Sufi Poetry
    Mitakshra                                              Vijyaneshwara                           Treatise On Law
    Manu Smriti                                           Manu                                        Treatise On Law
    Fatwat-i-Alamgiri                                                                                    Digest of Laws
    Zawabit-i-Alamgiri                                   Compilation of Aurangzeb’s secular decrees
    Leelawati                                               Bhaskara                                    Treatise on Mathematics

    IMPORTANT TITLES AND NICKNAMES

           TITLE                                             GIVEN TO
    Butshikan (Image Breaker)             Mahmud of Ghazni  
    Shiraz of the East                          Jaunpur
    Lakhbaksh (The Giver of Lakhs)     Qutbuddin Aibak
    Architect of Delhi Sultanate             Balban
    Zinda Pir (Living God)                     Aurangzeb
    Wisest Fool in Indian History             Mohammed Tughlaq
    The Ashoka of Medieval India           Akbar, The Great
    Bud Shah                                      Zainul Abidin

     

    POPULAR MEDIEVAL TERMS 
    Samanata                    Landlord
    Vimana                         Southern temple architecture style
    Shreni / Sangh              Trade Guild
    Amir-ul-umra                  Chief Commander
    Dravida                       Southern style of temple architecture
    Chahalgani                   Forty Nobles
    Deewan-i-Arz                Military Department
    Jauhar                         Suicide (Self-immolation) by Rajput women
    Tanka                          Copper Coin
    Dinara                          Gold Coin
    Pana                            Silver Coin
    Iqta                              Land Revenue Assignment
    Wazir                           Revenue Minister
    Ariz-I-Mumalik   Head of Military Dept
    Vakil-i-Dar                    Protocol Officer
    Pargana                       District
    Nauroz                         Persian New Year
    Zawabit                        Secular Orders
    Zimmis                        Landlords
    Jihad                           Religious fight
    Shahana                      Market Officer
    Dagh                           Branding of horses
    Chaugan                       Polo
    Taccavi                         Agricultural loan
    Bandobast, Dahsala      Todar Mal’s revenue settlement
    Amir-i-Umda                High-rank Mansabdar
    Khalisa                        Cultivated land
    Mir Bakshi                    Chief of Military Department
    Mir-i-Saman                  Incharge of Royal Household
    Ulema                          The Clergy
    Chauth, Sardeshmukhi   Revenue Rights

                              IMPORTANT MEDIEVAL BOOKS N AUTHORS

    BOOK                                                  AUTHOR                                    REIGN / TIME     
    Brihatakathakosh                                   Harisen
    Rajtarangini ( Sanskrit)               Kalahana (Kashmir)                     Zianul Abidin
    Akbarnama                                           Abul Fazl                                  Akbar
    Ain-i-Akbari                                           Abul Fazl                                  Akbar
    Shahnama                                             Firdausi                                    Mahmud of Ghazni
    Prithviraja Raso                         Chand Bardai                             Prithviraja Raso
    Tazuk-i-Babari (Turkish)              Babar                                        Autobiography
    Tazuk-i-Jahangiri                                    Jahangir                                     Autobiography
    Geet Govind                                          Jaidev                                      Bhakti Poetry
    Padmavat                                             Malik Mohammed Jaisi  Shringar Ras Poetry
    Kitab-ul-Hind                                          Al-Bairuni
    Haqaiq-i-Hindi                                        Abdul Wahid Belgrami
    Mitakshra                                              Vijyaneshwara                            Treatise On Law
    Manu Smriti                                           Manu                                        Treatise On Law
    Fatwat-i-Alamgiri                                                                                    Digest of Laws
    Zawabit-i-Alamgiri                                  Aurangzeb                              Secular decrees
    Leelawati                                               Bhaskara                                   Treatise on Mathematics

    SUFI SAINTS IN MEDIEVAL TIMES

    Ramanuj                          UP                             
    Ramanand                        UP 
    Kabir                                UP                             
    Guru Nanak Dev               Punjab 
    Namdev                           Maharashtra               
    Ravidas                           UP 
    Chaitnya Mahaprabhu       Nadia (Bengal)             
    Eknath                             Maharashtra 
    Meera Bai                        Rajasthan                   
    Tukaram                          Maharashtra  
    Gynaneshwar                   Maharashtra               
    Alvars and Nayanars         South India 

                                          MODERN HISTORYEuropean Invasion of India

    • Portuguese in India
    • The Portuguese voyager Vasco da Gama reached Calicut on May 17, 1498. The First Governor of Portuguese in India was Francisco Almeida.
    • He was followed by Alfonso de Albuquerque in 1503. He gave them new heights. He captured Goa in 1510 from Bijapur ruler. He also abolished Sati.

    Dutch East India Company

    • Dutch East India Company was formed in 1602.
    • They set-up their first factory at Masulipatnam in 1605. Their other factories were at Publicat, Chinsura, Patna, Balasore, Nagapattanam, Cochin, Surat, Karikal, Kasimbazar.

    English East India Company

    • The English East India Company was formed in 1599 and was given the royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1600 to trade in the east.
    • Captain William Hawkins stayed in Jahangir’s court from 1609-1611. But he failed to get the king’s permission to erect a factory at Surat. Captain Middleton succeeded in this effort in 1611.
    • An imperial Farman allowed the Company to set up a permanent factory at Surat in 1613. Sir Thomas Roe played an important role in this.
    • In 1616, the Company established its first factory in the south in Masulipatnam. In 1633, it established its first factory in east India in Hariharpur, Balasore (Orisa).
    • The Company got the lease of Madras in 1639 and built Fort St. George in Madras which acted as its headquarter on the Coromandal coast.
    • Bombay was made the Company’s main settlement on the west coast in 1668.
    • Aurangzeb gave the Company the Farman in 1667 to trade in Bengal. In 1690, a factory was set up at Sutanati village. In 1696, the company fortified the Calcutta factory into Fort William.
    • In 1717, John Surman obtained a farman from Farrukhsiyar which gave large concessions to the company. This farman is called the ‘Magna Carta’ of the Company.

    Danes in India

    • The Danish East India Company was formed in 1616.
    • They established settlements at Serampur (Bengal) and Tranquebar (Tamil Nadu).
    • The Danes sold their settlements to the English in 1845.

    French in India

    • The French East India Company was set in 1664, at the instance of a minister, Colbert, in the reign of Louis XIV.
    • The French Company was created, financed and controlled by the State and it differ from the English Company which was a private commercial venture.
    • They established their first factory at Surat in 1668 and at Masulipatnam in 1669.
    • The foundation of Pondicherry was laid in 1673 which afterwards, became its capital. They also developed a factory in Chandernagar.

     Governor Generals of IndiaBitish IndiaWarren Hasting 1772-1785

    • Brought the Dual Govt. of Bengal to an end by the Regulating Act, 1773.
    • Deprived zamidars of their judicial powers and Civil and Criminals courts were established.
    • Maintenance of records was made compulsory.
    • The First Anglo-Maratha War (1776-82), which ended with the Treaty of Salbai (1782), and the Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84), which ended with the Treaty of Mangalore (1784), were fought during Hasting’s period.
    • He founded the Asiatic Society of Bengal with William Jones in 1784. He wrote introduction to the first English transaction of “The Gita” by Charles Wilkins.

     Lord Cornwallis (1786-1793)

    • Did the Permanent Settlement of Bengal (also called Zamindary System).
    • First person to codify laws. The code separated the revenue administration from the administration of justice.
    • Police Reforms: Each district was divided into 400 sq. miles and placed under a police superintendent assisted by constables.
    • The civil service was brought into existence.

    Sir John Shore (1793-1798)Lord Wellesley in India (1798-1805)

    • Adopted the policy of Subsidiary Alliance a system to keep the Indian rulers under control and to make the British the paramount power.
    • He defeated the Mysore force under Tipu Sultan in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799.

     Subsidiary Alliance in India

    • The Subsidiary Alliance System was used by Wellesley to bring Indian States within the orbit the British political power. The system played a very important part in the expansion of II company’s dominions and many new territories were added to the Company’s possessions.
    • There were four stages in it.
    • The Indian states were to conduct negotiations with other states through the Company. The state has to accept a British Resident at its headquarters. The Alliance enabled the Company maintain a large standing army at the expense of Indian prices. It disarmed the Indian states and threw British protectorate over them.
    • The states that accepted this policy were the Nizam of Hyderabad, the ruler of Mysore, the Raja Tanjore, the Nawab of Awadh, the Peshwa, the Bhonsle Raja of Berar, the Scindia, the Rajputs Jodhpur, Jaipur, etc.

           Land Revenue System in IndiaPermanent Settlement (The Zamindari System)

    • Introduced in Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and districts of Banaras and Northern district of Madras by Lord Cornwallis in 1793.
    • John Shore planned this.
    • It declared the Zamidars as the owners of the land. Hence they could keep 1/11th of the revenue to themselves while the British got a fixed share of 10/11th of the revenue collected. The Zamidars were free to fix the rent.

     Royatwari System in India

    • Introduced in Bombay, Madras and Assam. Lord Munro and Charles Reed recommended it.
    • In this, a direct settlement was made between the government and the ryot (cultivator).
    • The revenue was fixed for a period not exceeding 30 years, on the basis of the quality of the soil and the nature of the crop. It was based on the scientific rent theory of Ricardo.
    • The position of the cultivator became more secure but the rigid system of revenue collection often forced him into the clutches of the money-lender.

     Mahalwari System in India

    • Modified version of Zmidari settlement introduced in the Gangas valley, NWFR parts of Central India and Punjab. Revenue settlement was to be made by village or estate with landlords. In Western UR a settlement was made with the village communities, which maintained a form of common ownership known as Bhaichara or with Mahals, which were groups of villages.
    • Revenue was periodically revised.

     Lord Minto I (1807-1813)

    • Concluded the treaty of Amritsar with Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1809).
    • Charter Act of 1813 was passed.
    • Lord Hasting (1813-1823)
    • The Anglo-Nepal War (1814-16) was fought during his reign which ended with the Treaty of Sagauli (1816).

    Lord William Bentinck (1828-35)

    • Carried out the social reforms like Prohibition of Sati (1829) and elimination of thugs (1830).
    • Made English the medium of higher education in the country (after the recommendation of Macaulay).
    • Suppressed female infanticide and child sacrifice.
    • Charter Act of 1833 was passed, made him the First Governor General of India. Before him, the designation was Governor General of Bengal.

    Sir Charles Mercalfe (1835-36)

    • Abolished all restrictions on vernacular press (called Liberator of the Press).

    Lord Auckland 1842 (1836-42)

    • The most important event of his reign was the First Afghan War, which proved to be a disaster for the English.

    Lord Dalhousie Reforms (1848-1856)

    • Opened the first Indian Railway in 1853 (from Bombay to Thane).
    • Laid out the telegraph lines in 1853 (First was from Calcutta to Agra).
    • Introduced the Doctrine of Lapse and captured Satara (1848), Jaipur and Sambhalpur (1849), Udaipur (1852), Jhansi (1854) through it.
    • Established the postal system on the modern lines through the length and breadth of the country, which made communication easier.
    • Started the Public Works Department. Many bridges were constructed and the work on Grand Trunk Road was started. The harbors of Karachi, Bombay and Calcutta were also developed.

    Lord Dalhousie’s Doctrine of Lapse

    • The Doctrine of Lapse was an annexation policy devised by Lord Dalhousie. According to the Doctrine, any princely state or territory under the direct influence (paramountcy) of the British East India Company, as a vassal state under the British Subsidiary System, would automatically be annexed if the ruler was either “manifestly incompetent or died without a direct heir”.
    • The Company took over the princely states of Satara (1848), Jaipur and Sambhalpur (1849), Nagpur and Jhansi (1854) and Awadh (1856) using the Doctrine. The Doctrine is thought to be one of the major driving forces behind the Revolt of 1857.
    • Made Shimla the summer capital.
    • Started Engineering College of Roorkee.
    • Encouraged science, forestry, commerce, mineralogy and industry.
    • In 1854, ‘Wood’s Dispatch’ was passed, which provided for the properly articulated system of education from the primary school to the university.
    • Due to Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s efforts, remarriage of widows was legalized by Widow Remmariage Act, 1856.

    Revolt of 1857 in IndiaCause of Revolt of 1857Political Cause of the revolt of 1857

    • Nana Sahib was refused pension, as he was the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II.
    • The policy of Doctrine of Lapse.

    Economic Cause of Revolt of 1857

    • Heavy taxation, evictions, discriminatory tariff policy against Indian products and destruction of traditional handicrafts that hit peasants, artisans and small zamidars.

    Military Discrimination

    • Indian soldiers were paid low salaries. They could not rise above the rank of subedar and were racially insulted.
    • They were also grieved because of the refusal of British to pay Foreign Service Allowance (batta) while fighting in remote regions such as Punjab and Sindh.

    Religious Discrimination

    • British social reforms (widow remarriage, abolition of Sati, education of girls, Christian missionaries).
    • The introduction of Enfield rifle, the cartridge of which was greased with animal fat, provided the spark.
    • Invention like railway and telegraphs spread of Western education also promoted the cause.

    Outbreak

    • On Mar 29, 1857, a soldier named Mangal Pandey attacked and fired at his senior at Barrackpur in Bengal (in 19th and 34th Native infantry).

    Important Persons

    • Bakht Khan (captured Delhi, was from the Barreily unit of the army).
    • Nana Sahib alias Dhondhu Pant (from Kanpur, along with Tantia Tope and Azimullah) Begum Hazrat Mahal of Awadh (declared her son as the Nawab of Awadh).

    Cause of Failure of 1857 Revolt

    • Scindia of Gwalior, the Holkar of Indore, the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Raja of Jodhpur, the Nawab of Bhopal, the rulers of Patiala, Sindh and Kashmir and Rana of Nepal provided active support to the British.
    • The military equipment of the rebels was inferior.
    • Comparative lack of efficient leadership.
    • The modern intelligent Indians also didn’t support the revolt.

     Impact of the Revolt of 1857

    • The revolt was mainly feudal in character carrying with it some nationalist elements.
    • The control of Indian administration was passed on to the British crown by the Govt. of India Act, 1858. The army was carefully recognized to prevent the recurrence of such an event.

     Social and Cultural UprisingsBrahmo Samaj Movement

    • Founde by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in 1828.
    • He earlier started Atmiya Sabha in 1814.
    • Criticized Sati Pratha, casteism and advocated widow remarriage.
    • He gave enthusiastic assistance to David Hare, who founded the famous Hindu College in Calcutta.
    • Establisahed a Vedanta College in which course both in Indian AND Western social and physical sciences were offered.
    • He was a gifted linguist. He knew more than dozen languages including Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, English, French, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.
    • He was opposed to Sanskrit system of education; because he thought it would keep the country in darkness.
    • Other important leaders were Devendranath Tagore (father of Rabindranath Tagore) and Keshab Chandra Sen.
    • Tagore dismissed Keshab Chandra in 1865.
    • Keshab started Sangat Sabha, Prarthana Samaj and Brahmo Samaj of India.
    • Tagore’s organization came to be known as Tattvabodhini Sabha and Adi Brahmo Samaj.
    • Anand Mohan Bose started the Sadharana Brahmo Samaj.
    • Justice M.G.Ranade founded the Prarthana Sabha.

    Arya Samaj

    • Founded by Swami Dyanand (or, Moolshankar) in 1857.
    • His motto was ‘Go back to the Vedas’ & ‘India for the Indians’. He disregarded Puranas, idol worship, casteism and untouchability. He advocated widow remarriage.
    • Dayanand’s views were published in his famous work, Satyarth prakash. He also wrote Veda Bhashya.
    • Established a large number of educational institutions in India viz. Gurukuls, DAV schools etc.
    • Also started the ‘Shuddhi’ movement to convert non-Hindus to Hinduism.

    Ramakrishna Mission

    • Founded by Vivekanand (earlier, Narendranath Dutta) (1863 – 1902) in 1897, 11 years after death of his guru Ram Krishna Paramhans.
    • Vivekanad attended the Parliament of Religion at Chicago in 1893.
    • He published two papers: Prabhudha Bharat in English and Udbodhana in Bengali.
    • Irish woman Margeret Noble (known as sister Nivedita) popularized Ramakrishna Mission after Vivekanand’s death.

    Young Bengal Movement

    • During the late 1820 and early 1830, there emerged a radical intellectual trend among the youth in Bengal, which came to be known as the ‘Young Bengal Movement’.
    • Founded by Henry Louis Vivian Derozio (1809-31). He was a teacher in Hindu College in Calcutta.
    • He also edited the papers, Hesperus and Calcutta Literacy Gazette and was connected with the Indian Gazette.

    Theosophical Society Annie Besant

    • Founde by Westerners who drew inspiration from Indian thought and culture.
    • Madam H P Blavatsky laid the foundation of the movement in US in 1875. Later, Col. M S Olcott of the US Army joined her.
    • In 1882, it was shifted to India at Adyar (Tamil Nadu).
    • Annie Basant was elected its President in 1907. She founded the Central Hindu College in 1898, which became Banaras Hindu University in 1916.
    • The society accepted Hindu Beliefs like re-incarnation, Karma and draws inspiration from Upanishads, Sankhya, Yoga and Vedanta schools.

    The Aligarh Movement

    • Started by Sir Syyed Ahmed Khan. He encouraged Muslims to accept the virtues of western education and urged them to apply the principle of enquiry to religion.
    • The school was made into the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1877. The College grew into the Aligarh Muslim University.

    VICEROYS OF INDIALord Canning (1856-1862)

    • The last Governor General and the first Viceroy
    • Mitiny took place in his time.
    • On November, 1858, the rule passed on to the crown.
    • Withdraw Doctrine of Lapse.
    • The University of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras were established in 1857.
    • Indian Councils Act was passed in 1861

    Lord Lawrence (1864-1869)

    • High courts were established at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in 1865.
    • Expanded canal works and railways.
    • Created the Indian Forest Department.

    Lord Mayo (1869-1872)

    • Started the process of financial decentralization in India.
    • Established the Rajkot college at Kathiarwar and Mayo College at Ajmer for the Indian princes.
    • For the first time in Indian History, a census was held in 1871.
    • Organized the Statistical Survey of India
    • Was the only Viceroy to be murdered in office by a Pathan convict in the Andamans in 1872.

    Lord Lytton (1876-1880)

    • Known as the Viceroy to reverse characters.
    • Organized the Grand ‘Delhi Durbar’ in 1877 to decorate Queen Victoria with the title of ‘Kaiser I Hind’.
    • Arms act (1878) made it mandatory for Indians to acquire license for arms.
    • Passed the infamous Vernacular Press act (1878)

    Lord Ripon (1880-1884)

    • Liberal person, who sympathized with Indians.
    • Repealed the Vernacular Press act (1882)
    • Passed the local self government act (1882)
    • Took steps to improve primary & secondary education (on William Hunter Commission’s recommendations).
    • The I factory act, 1881, aimed at prohibiting child labour.
    • Passed the libert Bill (1883) which enabled Indian district magistrates to try European criminals. But this was withdrawn later.

     Lord Dufferin (1884-1888)

    • Indian National Congress was formed during his tenure.

    Lord Lansdowne (1888-1894)

    • II Factory act (1891) granted a weekly holiday and stipulated working hours for women and children, although it failed to address concerns such as work hours for men.
    • Categorization of Civil Services into Imperial, provincial and subordinate.
    • Indian Council act of 1892 was passed.
    • Appointment of Durand Commission to define the line between British India and Afghanistan.

    Lord Curzon (1899-1905)

    • Passed the Indian Universities act (1904) in which official control over the Universities was increased.
    • Partitioned Bengal (October 16, 1905) into two provinces Bengal (proper) and East Bengal and Assam.
    • Passed the Ancient Monuments Protection act (1904). To restore India’s cultural heritage. Thus the Archaelogical Survey of India was established.
    • Passed the Indian Coinage and Paper Currency Act (1899) and put India on a gold standard.

    Lord Minto (1905-1910)

    • There was great political unrest in India. Various acts were passed to curb the revolutionary activities. Extremists like Lala Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh (in May 1907) and Bal Gangadhar Tilak (in July, 1908) werew sent to Mandalay jail in Burma.
    • The Indian Council act 1909 or the Morley Minto Reforms was passed.

    Lord Hardinge (1910-1916)

    • Held a durbar in December, 1911 to celebrate the coronation of King George V.
    • Partition of Bengal was cancelled (1911), capital shifted from Calcutta to Delhi (1911)
    • Gandhiji came back to India from South Africa (1915).
    • Annie Besant announced the Home Rule Movement.

    Lord Chelmsford (1916-1921)

    • August Declaration of 1917, whereby control over the Indian government would be gradually transferred to the Indian people.
    • The government of India act in 1919 (Montague Chelmsford reforms) was passed.
    • Rowlatt act of 1919; Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (April 13, 1919).
    • Non Cooperation Movement.
    • An Indian Sir S.P. Sinha was appointed the Governor of Bengal.
    • A Women’s university was founded at Poona in 1916.
    • Saddler commission was appointed in 1917 to envisage new educational policy.

    Lord Reading (1921-1926)

    • Rowlatt act was repealed along with the Press Act of 1910.
    • Suppressed non-cooperation movement.
    • Prince of Wales visited India in November, 1921.
    • Formation of Swaraj Party.
    • Vishwabharati University started functioning inh 1922.

    Lord Irwin (1926-1931)

    • Simon Commission visited India in 1927.
    • Congress passed the Indian Resolution in 1930.
    • Dandi March (March 12, 1930).
    • Civil Disobedience Movement (1930).
    • First Round Table Conference held in England in 1930.
    • Gandhi Irwin Pact (March 5, 1931) was signed and Civil Disobedience was withdrawn.

    Lord Willington (1931-1936)

    • Second Round Table Conference in London in 1931.
    • Civil Disobedience Movement was resumed in January, 1932.
    • Communal Awards (August 16, 1932) assigned seats to different religious communities. Gandhiji went on a epic fast in protest against this division.
    • Third Round Table Conference in 1932.
    • Poona Pact was signed.

    Lord Linlithgow (1936-1944)

    • Government of India act enforced in the provinces. Congress ministries formed in 8 out of 11 provinces. They remained in power for about 2 years till October 1939, when they gave up offices on the issue of India having been dragged into the II World War. The Muslim League observed the days as ‘Deliverance Day’ (22 December).
    • Churchill became the British PM in May, 1940.
    • Outbreaks of World War II in 1939.
    • Cripps Mission in 1942.
    • Quit India Movement (August 8, 1942).

    Lord Wavell (1944-1947)

    • Cabinet Mission Plan (16 May, 1946)
    • Elections to the constituent assembly were held and an Interim Government was appointed under Nehru.
    • First meeting of the constituent assembly was held on December 9, 1946.

    Lord Mountbatten (1947-1947)

    • Last Viveroy of British India and the first Governor General of free India.
    • Partition of India decided by the June 3 Plan.
    • Indian Independence Act passed by the British parliament on July 4, 1947, by which India became independent on August 15, 1947.
    • Retired in June 1948 and was succeeded by C. Rajagopalachari (the first and the last Indian Governor General of free India).

    Important National ActivitiesIndigo Revolt 1859-60

    • In this, the peasants were forced to grow indigo in their lands unwillingly by the European factory-owners.

    The Indian National Congress

    • Formed in 1885 by A.O.Hume, an Englishman and a retired civil servant
    • Hume’s main purpose was probably to provide a ‘safety valve’ to the growing discontent among the educated Indians.
    • Other important leaders during foundation were Dadabhai Naoroji, Badrudin Tyabji, Anand Mohan Bose, R.C.Dutt, Ferozshah Mehta, G.K.Gokhale, G. Subramaniyam Aiyyar, Dinshaw Vacha, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Madan Mohan Malviya.
    • First session in Bombay under W.C. Banerjee in 1885 (72 delegates attended it).
    • But the repressive measures of the British gave rise to extremists within Congress like Bipin Chandra Pal, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai (Lal, Bal, Pal), along with Aurobindo Ghosh.

    Partition of Bengal 1905

    • By Lord Curzon on October 16, 1905, through a royal Proclamation, reducing the old province of Bengal in size by creating East Bengal and Assam out of rest of Bengal.
    • Rabindranath Tagore composed the national song ‘Amar Sonar Bangla’ for the occasion which was sung by people everywhere. This song was adopted as national anthem by Bangladesh in 1971 after liberation from Pakistan.
    • The newspaper played a significant role in the movement. The main newspaper were K.K. Mitra’s Sanjeevani, S.N. Banerjee’s Bengali, Motilal Ghosh’s Amrit Bazar Patrika, B.B. Upadhyaya’s Yugantar, Bipin Chandra Pal’s New India, Aurobindo Ghosh’s Bande Mataram, Ajit Singh’s Bharat Mata, etc.

    Swadesh Movement

    • The Swadeshi Movement had its origins in the anti-partition movement which was started to oppose the British decision to partition Bengal.
    • Under the Viceroyalty of Lord Curzon, the British Government decided to partition Bengal  into two on the professed assumption that it was quite difficult to govern the large state. But the real reason lay somewhere else. In the proposed bifurcation of Bengal, one unit would have got a Hindu majority, while the other would have ended up a Muslim majority. Thus the British, in reality, wanted to divide the population along communal lines and to counter the growing nationalist movement, aided by strong Hindu-Muslim unity. In fact, the Partition plan became publicly known in 1903, which was immediately followed by strong protests by mass meetings, propaganda in the Press etc. This was done until 1905 when the proposal was formally announced by the British Government.  The movement now took a more focused and organized Shape mantle. The day when the partition took effect — 16 October, 1905 — was declared a day of mourning in Bengal. People fasted and hartals were observed in Bengal. Processions, bathing in the Ganga, singing of Vande Matram (which incidentally became the theme song of the movement) marked the anti-partition or the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal. The movement was taken to other parts of the country also. It was at this time that the differences between the Moderates and the Extremists came to the fore. While the Moderates favoured confining the movement to Bengal only and also advocated that the movement should not become a full-fledged mass struggle, the Extremists wanted just the opposite. In Bengal, however, after 1905, the Extremists took control of the movement. They redefined the techniques, programmes and policies. They proposed to start a Boycott of Foreign Goods, which was to cover the boycott of government schools and colleges, courts, titles and government services and even strikes.The boycott of foreign goods was the most successful at the popular level. Boycott and public burning of foreign cloth, picketing of shops selling these goods, all became quite common all of Bengal. An important aspect of the movement was the emphasis on self-reliance. This period saw the emergence of Indian entrepreneurs in many fields. The movement and its multi-faceted programme had huge mass participation in the first-ever organized campaign launched by the Congress. By mid-1908, the open movement had practically subsided. This was due to many reasons. First, the Government came down with a heavy hand on the protestors. Secondly, internal squabbles and especially the 1907 split in the Congress was greatly responsible for the weakening. Both these things strengthened the Government. During these years, many major leaders like Lajpat Rai, Tilak and Aurbindo Ghosh were arrested and in many cases jailed. In fact, Aurbindo Ghosh quit politics after acquittal in criminal cases during the movement. These things left the movement practically leaderless. Thirdly, the movement lacked an effective and organized party structure. The movement was unable to channelize the people’s energies. However, its decline by mid-1908 was closely followed by the rise of Revolutionary Terrorism.

    THE CONGRESS SPLIT AND REVOLUTIONARY TERRORISTS The Congress split in December 1907 at its Surat session. Simultaneously, revolutionary terrorism appeared in Bengal. And the two events were not unconnected.There was great public debate and disagreement among the Moderates and the Extremists in the years 1905-07, even while working together against the Bengal Partition. The Extremists believed that the battle for freedom had begun as the people had been awakened. They felt that it was the time for the big push and that, the Moderates were a big drag on them. Most of them felt that the time had come to part company with the Extremists. Most Moderates led by Pherozeshah Mehta were equally determined on a split. They feared suppression by the British if they continued with the Extremists ways. Major spokesmen for the Moderates were Gokhale, Pherozshah Mehta while Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra were its main protagonists on the Extremists side. The British themselves wanted to weaken the Congress by making it split. Nothing could be more auspicious for them.  The chain of events logically led to the split of the Congress in Surat in 1907.Both the groups failed to gauge its consequences and thus misjudged its importance. Each group had its own misconceptions against the other and regarded it as its worst enemy. The British had won, at least temporarily. Most Moderates withdrew, having lost the respect of the Indian youth, who had expected them to deliver the goods. And the vast majority of politically conscious Indians extended their support to Tilak and other Extremists. After 1908, the national movement suffered  a decline.However, the end of 1907 saw the emergence of another strand in the fabric of the nationalist movement. Young men of Bengal took recourse to individual heroism and revolutionary terrorism (the term has been used without any negative implications and for want of a better term). This rise of revolutionary terrorism was due to can be the inability of both the groups Moderates to provide an effective political programme to the youth who felt restless once their energies had been roused. That is when they took to assassinating unpopular British officials copying the methods of Russian and Irish nationalists. Such assassinations, they felt, would strike terror among the rulers and arouse the masses’ patriotism. All that was required was young people ready to make the supreme sacrifice at the altar of nationalism.Expectedly, it appealed to the idealism of the youth and many such young men joined them. Many examples of such individual heroic acts can be cited.  In 1904, VD Savarkar organized a secret society of revolutionaries called the Abhinav Bharat. In 1907, an unsuccessful attempt was made on the life of the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. In April 1908, Prafful Chaki and Khudiram Bose threw a bomb at a carriage, which they believed, was carrying Kingsford, the unpopular judge at Muzaffarpur. Unfortunately, they killed two English ladies instead. Prafful Chaki shot himself dead while Khudiram Bose was hanged to death. Two other notable examples are Madan Lal Dhingra who killed Curzon-Wylie in London and Ras Behari Bose and Sachindra Nath Sanyal who attempted to kill Lord Hardinge.Some revolutionaries established centres abroad also. Notable among such revolutionaries were Shyamji Krishan Verma, VD Savarkar and Hardyal in London and Madame Bhikaji Cama and Ajit Singh in Europe.Revolutionary terrorism gradually petered out. Lacking a mass base, despite individual heroism, the revolutionaries in secret groups, could not withstand opposition by the strong colonial state. But despite their small numbers and ultimate failures, they greatly contributed to nationalism. As a historian has put it,” they gave us back the pride of our manhood”.
    THE GHADAR MOVEMENT The start of the First World War in 1914 gave a new life to the nationalist movement, lying dormant since the heady days of the Swadeshi.  Britain’s difficulty was India’s opportunity. This opportunity was seized, in different ways, by the Ghadar revolutionaries in North America and by Lokmanya Tilak, Annie Besant and their Home Rule Leagues in India. The Ghadarites wanted to overthrow the British rule while the Home Rule Leagues launched a nationwide agitation for securing Home Rule or Swaraj.The West Coast of North America had abundant population of immigrant Punjabi workers by 1904. The crucial role here was played by Lala Hardyal, a political exile from India. Hardayal arrived in California in 1911, taught briefly at Stanford University, and soon immersed himself in political activities. Meanwhile the Indians on the West Coast were searching for a leader and had even thought of inviting Ajit Singh, quite famous in the Panjab agitation in 1907. With Hardayal’s help, a Hindi Association was set up in Portland in 1913.Among the prominent leaders were Sohan Sigh Bhakna, Harnam Singh “Tundilat” and Bhai Parmanand. The Association started a weekly newspaper The Ghadar and set up a headquarters Yugantar in San Francisco, which soon became a major centre of revolutionary activities. The Ghadar Movement had begun.The Ghadar militants immediately began an extensive propaganda, they toured extensively the areas where most Punjabis lived. The newspaper talked of revolting against the “enemy” and gained wide popularity. Opinion was crystallizing within the movement that this was the time for a second revolt to liberate the motherland from the foreign rule.Three major events influenced the Ghadar Movement: the arrest and escape of Hardayal, the Kamagatamaru episode and the start of the First World War. Lala Hardayal was arrested in 1914 for his alleged anarchist activities. Released on bail, he used the opportunity to escape. Thus came to an abrupt end his association with this movement.The outbreak of the First World War made the Ghadar revolution imminent. After all, this was the big time they had been waiting for. The Ghadar Party decided to act immediately and sent thousands of Ghadarites to India to mobilize the people in favour of a revolt. But the Ghadarites were frustrated and discouraged as the Punjabis were unwilling to support them.  Desperately, they tried to take the army help, but in vain. In fact, they lacked an organized leadership and command. Frantically, the Ghadarites attempted to find a suitable leader, and finally, they were able to persuade Ras Bihari Bose to lead them, who came to Panjab in January-1915 to take charge of the proposed struggle. Bose contacted different cantonments in India and sent emissaries. The emissaries came back with optimistic reports and the date for the revolt was set for 19th February. But unfortunately, the CID had penetrated the organization and the British succeeded in aborting the Ghadar’s attempts at the revolt. With most of the leaders arrested, the movement was crushed.The Ghadarites were marked by a strong belief in secularism, democracy and international outlook. A major weakness of the movement was its inability to organize itself and its acting hastily without judging the capabilities of the enemy, which finally led to its failure.
    THE HOME RULE MOVEMENT – II The romantic adventure of Ghadar was the response of the Indians abroad during the War, but at home the response was less charged but politically more effective Home Rule Leagues launched by Tilak and Besant. In June 1914, Tilak was released from jail. He initially focused his attention on gaining re-entry for himself and other Extremists into the Congress, but his efforts were frustrated by the Moderates led by Pherozshah Mehta. Consequently, Tilak decided to revive political activities on his own.Annie Besant, an Irish missionary, who had come to India in 1893 to work for the Theosophical Society, operating from Adyar, Madras, also thought similarly. She wanted to replicate the Irish experiment of Home Rule Leagues. The two Home Rule Leagues were set up in quick succession, Tilak’s in April, 1916 and Besant’s in September, 1916. Both focused on building a movement for limited self-rule or Home Rule. The reason behind two Home Rule Leagues was that some of Tilak’s followers did not like Besant while some of her followers did not like Tilak.Major propaganda activities by the Leagues were formation of local committees for propagating the self-rule demand, distribution of pamphlets and discussions. Many Moderate Congressmen dissatisfied with the inactivity of the Congress, joined the Home Rule movement. In meetings, speakers often contrasted India’s then economic status with her past. Montagu’s declaration in 1917 had boosted the Home Rule movement. Montagu had said in his declaration that the British policy was to ensure more Indian participation in institutions in India. The political significance of this decision was that from now, the demand for self-rule could not be called seditious by the Government.In line with the conciliatory attitude of the Montagu Declaration, Annie Besant was released in 1917 and was elected the Congress President, considering her popularity. This way, she was the first woman to grace the post.The tremendous achievement of the Home Rule movement was that it created ardent nationalists who played a key role in the national movement later, under Gandhi’s leadership. Further, they generated a widespread nationalist atmosphere by popularizing the idea of self-rule.By the end of the War, in 1918, the young nationalists, energized by the movement and impatient with its progress, were looking for effective political action. The stage was thus set for the entry of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who had already won great fame in South Africa by leading Indians politically, and by leading the Champaran, Ahmedabad and Khera peasants and workers. And in March, 1919, when he gave the call for Satygraha to protest against the draconian Rowlatt Act, he was the rallying point for all those who had been awakened by the Home Rule movement.  GANDHIIJI’S ACTIVISM – THE EARLY PHASE When Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi called for a nationwide Satyagraha to protest against the Rowlatt Act in 1919, he was already 50. As a 24-year old barrister, he had begun the struggle of Indians against racial discrimination in South Africa.Gandhi, the young barrister, had been engaged by a Gujarati businessman in 1893 to fight a legal case there. Before Gandhi’s arrival, many Indian indentured labourers were working on plantations there. The Indians there were used to racial discrimination as part of life. Even if they wanted to challenge it, they had little knowledge of how to do so for they knew little English, the language of the White rulers. But the young Gandhi was not used to racial insults to make a living. He was the son of a widely-respected Dewan (Minister) of Kathiawad. Further, he had studied law for 3 years in London. He had never seen the kind of racial discrimination which he did in South Africa.His journey from Durban to Pretoria was a series of racial humiliations. Apart from the famous incident in which he was bundled out of a first-class compartment by a White and left to spend the shivering night in the waiting room, he was made to sit in the driver cabin despite having a first-class ticket. On reaching Johannesburg, he found that all the hotels declined accommodation because he was a black, according to the “White” rulers.In Pretoria, where he had to begin work, he immediately called a meeting of all Indians. He raised his voice through the Press also. Even though he had no plans of settling there, he tried to rouse the Indians in Pretoria and persuade them to resist all racial discrimination.Having settled the legal suit, he prepared to leave for India. But on his departure, he raised the issue of the bill to disenfranchise Indians which was being passed by the Natal Legislature. The Indians there pleaded with him to stay back for a month and organize their protest as they were uneducated and knew little about those things. So, he gave into their pressure and agreed to stay for two months. But actually he stayed there for 22 years.His being the only Western-educated Indian put on his shoulders the great responsibility of leading the struggle against racial discrimination. Wealthy Indians appointed him their leader because he was the only one who knew the rulers’ language, who understood the legal intricacies, who could draft petitions, create their organizations to represent them before their rulers.From 1894-1906, he focused on petitioning, sending memorials in the belief that the British sense of justice and fair play would be aroused. He organized the Natal Indian Congress also and had started a newspaper called Indian Opinion. Having failed in this, he was convinced that these things would not lead anywhere.The second phase in 1906 was marked by passive resistance or civil disobedience, which he called Satyagraha. It was first used by him when the Government made compulsory for Indians to take out registration certificates with their finger-prints. It was essential to carry them on person always. The Government remained adamant and so was he. Gandhiji formed the Passive Resistance Association. Many passive resistors were jailed and the fear of jail had disappeared and it was popularly known as King Edward’s Hotel.General Smuts’ talks with Gandhiji yielded nothing. Another law on Indian immigrants was strongly opposed by Gandhiji. In 1909, Gandhiji set up the Tolstoy Farm there to support the families of Satyagrahis. Tolstoy Farm was the pre-cursor of the later Gandhian Ashrams that sprung up in many parts of India. Still another law made at that time made all non-Christian marriages illegal. This infuriated Indians and was obviously resisted.Finally in 1913, through talks with the White rulers, all major demands of the Satyagrahis were accepted. Non-violent civil disobedience had tasted its success in a distant land. It had forced the opponents to come to the negotiating table and accept the demands. This experiment was now to be repeated in India on a much wider scale. In a way, it prepared Gandhiji for the leadership of the Indian struggle. He had had the invaluable experience of leading poor Indian labourers and of seeing their capacity for sacrifice. South Africa provided him an opportunity to evolve his own brand of politics and leadership, try out new methods of struggle and lead the diverse masses for achieving political goals.He returned home in 1915 to a warm welcome. By that time, he had gained tremendous popularity in India and people flocked to have his darshan. However, he did not plunge into national politics immediately. Under Gokhale’s guidance, he spent his time studying the situation, travelling and organizing his ashram in Ahmedabad with his devoted followers. He was convinced that satyagraha was the only viable method for conducting political struggles in India.During 1917 and 1918, he led three localized but significant struggles — In Champaran (The Indigo or Tinkathia Movement) in Bihar, in Ahmedabad (The Textile Mills Case) and Khera (No Revenue Payment Case) in Gujarat. The common thread binding these three was that they were localized movements affecting peasants (Khera and Champaran) or industrial workers. Champaran, Ahmedabad and Khera served as demonstrations of Gandhiji’s style of politics to the country. He also earned the respect and commitment of many political workers, who were impressed by his identification with the problems of ordinary Indians, and his willingness to take up their cause.This goodwill encouraged him in February 1919 to call for a nationwide protest against the unpopular Rowlatt Act. The Act severely curtailed civil liberties in the name of curbing terrorist violence. The Act was hastily passed in the Legislative Council despite people’s protests. This was treated as an insult by the Indians, as it came at the end of the War when substantial concessions were expected.The constitutional methods having failed, Gandhiji decided to launch a satyagraha to compel the British to revoke the draconian law. A nationwide hartal accompanied by fasting and prayer was to be observed. The 6th April was fixed for the start of the satyagraha. But due to some confusion, Delhi observed a hartal on March 30. The country was up in flames and it was increasingly becoming difficult for the government to control the infuriated people.Events in Punjab took a tragic shape when on the Baisakhi Day, 13th April, the army opened fire on innocent, unarmed people in the Jallianwala Bagh, which had no escape route. Thousands of people had gathered there to attend a public meeting. General Dyer, enraged that his orders had been disobeyed, ordered his troops to fire on the gathering without any warning. The Government estimate of the dead was 379, while unofficial reports put the toll much higher.The incident stunned the entire nation. For now, no response would come. Repression was stepped up, Punjab put under martial law and people made to crawl on their bellies before Europeans. Gandhiji, overwhelmed by the violence, withdrew the movement on 18th April. But he had lost faith either in himself or his methods. A year later, he led a nationwide movement, much bigger and much more intense. The wrong inflicted on Punjab was a major reason behind it.

    The Mahatma’s “Indian Experiment” had begun.THE NON-COOPERATION MOVEMENT – 1920-22 The Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms in 1919 left Indians dissatisfied with the idea of dyarchy, adding fuel to the fire of the atrocities like the Rowlatt Act, the Jallianwala Massacre and the Martial Law in Punjab. The Indian Muslims were incensed when they found that their loyalty had been purchased during the war by false assurances of generous treatment after the War. The Muslims regarded the Caliph of Turkey as their spiritual head and were naturally upset when they found that he would retain no control over the holy places he was to protect as the Caliph.By the first quarter of 1920, all excuses for the British Government were running out. Gandhiji, who was in touch with the Khilafat leaders and sympathized with them, felt that it was a breach of trust for the British to not keep their promise. In 1920, the Khilafat Committee requested Gandhiji to launch and lead a non-violent non-cooperation movement.The Non-Cooperation Movement was launched on August 1, 1920, after the expiry of the notice Gandhiji had given to the Viceroy. The programme included the surrender of titles and honours, boycott of government schools and colleges, law courts, foreign cloth, spinning of charkha and observance of strict non-violence.The adoption of the Non-Cooperation Movement (initiated earlier by the Khilafat Conference) gave the Congress a new enthusiasm. Gandhiji, along with the Ali Brothers (Mohammed Ali and Shaukat Ali – the foremost Khilafat leaders)), toured the country, addressing hundreds of mass meetings. Thousands of students left schools and colleges in protest. Many leading lawyers including CR Dass, Motilal Nehru, MR Jayakar, Saifuddin Kitchlew, VB Patel, C Rajgopalachari, T Prakasam and Asif Ali gave up lucrative practices to join the movement and their sacrifices inspired many others too.But the most successful tactic was the boycott of foreign cloth. Foreign cloth was collected door to door and the entire community would gather to make a public bonfire. Prabhudass Gandhi, Gandhiji’s co-traveller on his tour, recalls how at many small stations, the train would stop for a few minutes. Gandhiji would persuade the crowd to at least discard the head dress at once. Immediately, a pile of caps, dupatas, and turbans would be collected and as they resumed journey, they saw the flames leaping upwards. Picketing of shops selling foreign cloth was also done.The Prince of Wales was received in 1921 with empty streets and downed shutters wherever he went. Encouraged by their successful defiance, the protestors became more aggressive. In September, 1920, when the movement had begun, the British chose to leave it alone. But by December, they felt that the things were really going too far and changed the policy. The Congress Volunteer Corps was declared illegal. Gandhiji was under considerable pressure to start a mass civil disobedience. Finally, after much deliberation, Bardoli in Gujarat was chosen for starting the mass phase.But before Bardoli could start the movement, another incident sealed its fate. In February, 1922, a mob in Chauri Chaura (UP) set fire to a police station. Many policemen were killed, and those who tried to escape were hacked and thrown into the fire. Gandhiji immediately withdrew the movement and thus on 12th February, 1922, the Non-Cooperation Movement suddenly stopped after ratification by the Congress Working Committee.Many Congress leaders like Motilal Nehru, CR Dass and Subhash Bose felt that the sudden withdrawal of the movement was a blow to the masses who had been agitating hard. But Gandhiji had his own reasons for doing so. Mass movements cannot be sustained for long because the masses do not have unlimited capacity, like leaders, for making sacrifices. The Non-Cooperation Movement was showing definite signs of fizzling out and weakness in many parts. Chauri Chaura was an honourable way to exit because a withdrawal could be understood as a defeat.
    THE REVOLUTIONARY TERRORISTS – II The sudden withdrawal of the Non-Cooperation Movement shattered the high hopes raised earlier. Many young people began to question the basic rationale of the leadership and its emphasis on non-violence and began looking for effective alternatives. Many took to the idea that only violent means could liberate India. Revolutionary terrorism became a romantic and attractive option and consequently, many took to this path. It is not accidental that most revolutionary terrorists during this period like Surya Sen, Jatin Dass, Chandershekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Bhagwati Charan Vohra, had been enthusiastic participants in the non-violent Non-Cooperation Movement.The revolutionaries in North India were the first to reorganize after overcoming their depression under the leadership of Ramprasad Bismil and Sachindranath Sanyal. They founded the Hindustan Republican Association in 1924 in Kanpur. The HRA was founded with to organize an armed revolution to overthrow the colonial rule and to replace it with a Federal Republic of India based on adult franchise. For this, they needed to conduct extensive propaganda and recruit men. All this needed money. The most famous “action” of the HRA was the Kakori Robbery in 1925. Ten HRA men stopped the 8-Down Train at Kakori near Lucknow, and looted its official railway cash. The Government was quick to respond and many were tried in the famous Kakori Conspiracy Case. Ashfaqullah Khan, Ramprasad Bismil and some others were hanged to death. Chandershekhar remained at large.The Kakori Case was a major setback to the HRA. Younger men like Bhagat Singh, Bhagwati Charan Vohra and Sukhdev in Punjab set out to reorganize the HRA under the leadership of Chandershekhar Azad. Finally, they created a new organization i.e. Hindustan Socialist Republican Association in 1928.The death of Lala Lajpat Rai, a much-respected leader of Punjab, due to the police lathi charge during anti-Simon demonstrations in Lahore,   which was seen by the HSRA as a direct challenge. And so, on 17th December, 1928, Bhagat Singh, Azad and Rajguru assassinated Saunders in Lahore. He was a police official involved in the lathi charge on Lala Lajpat Rai. The HSRA now decided to change its strategy of individual assassinations and focus on letting the masses know about their objectives.Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt were asked to throw a bomb in the Central Assembly Hall in 1929 against the passage of the Trade Disputes Bill and the Public Safety Bill which would reduce civil liberties. The aim was not to kill because the bombs were harmless but as the leaflet they threw in the Hall proclaimed, ‘to make the deaf hear’. The goal was to get arrested and used the trial Court as a forum for propaganda so that the people could know about their movement and ideology. Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt were tried in the Assembly Bomb Case. Later, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru and other revolutionaries were tried in a series of famous conspiracy cases.Displaying unstinted courage and fearlessness, they always entered the courts singing nationalist songs like” Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna Ab Hamare Dil Mein Hai”, “Mera Rang De Basanti Chola” and shouting slogans like “Inquilab Zindabad”. Naturally, this won them the sympathy and support of even those who believed in non-violence. Bhagat Singh became a household name in the country. He, along with Rajguru and Sukhdev, was hanged to death on 23rd March, 1931.In Bengal too, revolutionary terrorists reorganized themselves. The most prominent among them was Surya Sen, popularly known as Master Da. He conducted the famous Chittagong Armoury Raid. A remarkable aspect of the revolutionaries in Bengal was the participation of many women. Under Surya Sen’s leadership, they provided shelter, acted as messengers and fought hand in hand with them. The names of Pratilata Wadedar, Kalpana Dutt can be prominently mentioned in this context.The government action gradually decimated all revolutionary terrorists. With the death of Chandrasekhar Azad in a shooting encounter at Alfred Park, Allahabad in February, 1931, revolutionary terrorism virtually came to an end in Punjab, UP and Bihar. Surya Sen’s martyrdom in Bengal ended the prolonged saga of revolutionary terrorism there. A large number of revolutionaries later joined the Marxist and Communist movements.The revolutionaries’ politics had several limitations. Above all it could never be a mass-based movement, they failed to galvanize masses into similar action, which was understandable. All the same, they made invaluable contribution to the national movement. Their deep patriotism, courage and sense of sacrifice stirred the Indians. They helped spread nationalist consciousness; and in northern India, the spread of socialist consciousness owed a lot to them. THE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT After the Non Cooperation Movement, the flame of nationalism was kept alive in different ways. It was, however, from the latter part of 1927 that the mass anti-imperialist upsurge began to look upwards. As earlier, the stimulus was provided by the British by announcing an all-White commission to recommend on the future constitutional status of India. That no Indian should be there on a body that claimed to decide the political future of India was an insult none could tolerate. A boycott of the Simon Commission was announced and was endorsed by many organizations. However, the Congress soon turned the boycott into a national movement. The action began as soon as Simon and his friends landed in Bombay. They were greeted with a hartal and people participated in mass rallies, processions and black-flag demonstrations. It was during these anti-Simon demonstrations that the Sher-e-Punjab Lala Lajpat Rai fell to the lathi-charge in Lahore. It was his death that Bhagat Singh and associates tried to avenge later.The Simon boycott movement provided the first taste of politics to a new generation. They played an active role in this movement and also gave it a militant flavor. JL Nehru and Subhash Bose emerged as the leaders of this new wave and travelled across the country addressing youth conferences. The upsurge among youth also provided a useful ground for socialist ideas. JL Nehru had returned from Europe in 1927 after attending the Brussels Congress of the League against Imperialism. He also visited the erstwhile USSR and was deeply impressed with socialism. All these laid the foundations of the socialist trend which became quite strong within the Congress and also led to the formation of the Congress Socialist Party.The year 1929 saw the passing of the Purna Swaraj or the Complete Independence Resolution in the Lahore Congress session. Jawahar Lal Nehru did the most to popularize the idea of complete independence and it was under his Presidency that the Congress passed the Complete Independence Resolution. On the banks of the river Ravi in Lahore, at midnight on 31st December 1929, the Tricolor was unfurled amidst cheers and jubilation. Amidst the excitement, there was a grim resolve because the year to follow was to be one of hard struggle. On 26th January, 1930, Independence Pledges were read out and collectively affirmed at mass meetings all over.The Lahore Congress of 1929 had authorized the Working Committee to launch a programme of civil disobedience, including non-payment of taxes. In mid-February, the Working Committee invested Gandhiji with full powers to decide its timing and the manner. The expert on mass struggle was desperately in search of an effective formula. The plan was brilliant, though few realized its importance initially.Gandhiji, along with 78 members of the Sabarmati Ashram, was to march from Ahmedabad ashram through the Gujarat villages for 240 miles. On the Dandi coast, he would break the salt law by collecting salt from the beach. The seemingly simple move proved devastatingly effective. And in realty, when the movement  actually started, he had the entire nation behind him. On April 6, 1930, by picking a handful of salt, Gandhiji inaugurated the Civil Disobedience Movement, a movement that remained unparalleled in Indian history for mass participation.After the ritual start by Gandhiji at Dandi, it was followed by similar breach of salt laws in Tamil Nadu by C. Rajagopalachari and in Kerala by K. Kelappan. In the North West Frontier Province, the Khudai Khidmatgars (The Red Shirts Movement) led by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan played extremely active role. The government’s gamble of non-interference in the movement had not paid off. In fact, it was puzzled over what to do. “If we do much, Congress will cry repression, if we do too little, Congress will cry victory” was the government line.Eastern India became the scene of a new no-tax campaign —– refusal to pay the chowkidara tax. Chowkidars, paid out of the tax levied on the villages, were guards who supplemented the small police force in the rural areas. They were particularly hated because they were spies for the Government and often retainers for the local landlord. The movement was against this tax and for resignation of chowkidars. In Gujarat, in Khera district, a determined no-tax campaign was launched —- refusal to pay land revenue. Defiance of forest laws assumed a mass character in Maharashtra, Karnataka and the Central Provinces, especially the tribal areas which had been the worst affected by restrictive forest laws.Uttar Pradesh was the setting of movement —- a no-revenue, no-rent campaign. It called upon the zamindars to refuse to pay land revenue to the government, the no-rent was a call to the tenants not to pay rent to the zamindars. The movement also popularized new forms of mobilization — Prabhat Pheris, Patrikas or illegal newssheets, magic lanterns, Vaanar Senas of small boys and Manjari Senas of girls etc.The Government’s response to the movement was ambivalent. Gandhiji’s arrest came after much vacillation. Thereafter, ordinances curtailing civil liberties were issued and civil disobedience organizations were banned in several states. Meanwhile, the Simon Commission Report, which did not mention the Dominion Status( which had been demanded in the Motilal Nehru Report) and was also a regressive document otherwise, further upset even the moderate political opinion.After much deliberation, a Round Table Conference was held between the Congress and the British in London. Thereafter, the discussions between Lord Irwin, the Viceroy and Gandhiji resulted in the Gandhi-Irwin Pact which provided for the release of all political prisoners, the return of confiscated lands, and leniency towards government employees who had resigned. The Government also conceded the right to make salt for consumption to villages on the coast, and also the right to peaceful and non-aggressive picketing. The Congress, in return, agreed to discontinue the movement. It was also clear that the Congress would participate in the next Round Table Conference.The Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930-31 was a critical phase in nationalist movement. Around 90000 people were jailed, thrice that of the number Non Cooperation Movement. Imports from England had fallen by half. Many diverse social groups had been politicized, it was a movement that engulfed all socio-economic classes, making it a truly mass movement.However, the Muslim participation was nowhere close to what it was during Non Cooperation Movement. The appeals of communal leaders to stay away, combined with active government encouragement to communal politics, were to blame. The support that the movement had got from the poor and the literate was remarkable. The IGP of Bengal, EJ Lowman, noted with bewilderment,” I had no idea that the Congress could get the sympathy and support of such ignorant and uncultivated people….” . For the Indian women, the Civil Disobedience Movement was the most liberating experience and can be truly said to have marked their entry into the public space. THE YEARS FROM 1931- 1935 Gandhiji went to England in September 1931 to attend the 2nd Round Table Conference. But in spite of his powerful advocacy, the British Government refused to concede the basic nationalist demand of freedom based on the Dominion Status. Meanwhile, peasants were restless in many parts as they found that the fall in prices of farm products due to depression had made the burden of land revenue and rent unbearable. With all-round repression, the Civil Disobedience Movement gradually waned and was discontinued in 1934. Many leaders including Subhash Bose and VB Patel felt that the Mahatma had failed as a leader. A true measure of the real impact of the movement was the heroes’ welcome given to political prisoners on their release in 1934.In 1932, Ramsay McDonald announced the Communal Award which provoked all Indians and the Congress to protest against it. The Communal Award aimed at dividing the Indians along communal lines. It provided for a system just like separate electorates. Gandhiji felt that all his work among the harijans would come to zero if this award was implemented. He sat on a fast in Poona, as a result of which the British had to revoke the step.A powerful left-wing group emerged in India in the late 1920s and 1930s. It made the movement radical and the goal of independence could now be stated in clear socio-economic terms. Socialist idea became an accepted creed of the youth symbolized by JL Nehru and Subhash Bose, who did the most to popularize these ideas. Jawahar Lal Nehru visited Russia and was quite impressed with the progress it had made under socialism He wanted to duplicate that kind of model in India after independence. In 1928, he joined hands with Bose to form the Independence For India League to fight for complete independence. In 1934, a separate party within the Congress, called the Congress Socialist Party took shape to propagate and fight for socialist ideas. Its prominent leaders were Acharya Narendra Dev, Jai Prakash Narain, Minu Masani, Ram Manohar Lohia, Asaf Ali etc.Many Indians, on the other hand, worked abroad in this direction. The most notable among them was MN Roy who evolved the policy of the Communist International. Most of these Indians met in Kanpur in 1925 and founded an all-India Communist Party of India (CPI). Later, these two parties did a lot to bring the peasants, workers and trade unions into the national movement.In 1935, the British Parliament passed the Government of India Act, 1935. The Act provided for Provincial Autonomy, a Federation of India and transference of some powers to provinces while retaining the others with the Governor-General. The Act was thoroughly condemned by all and the Congress demanded, instead, a convening of the Constituent Assembly to frame a Constitution for independent India.After much internal wrangling, the Congress decided to contest the Assembly elections in 1937. The Congress got a majority in most provinces. This changed the whole political atmosphere in the country. The people felt as if they were breathing the air of victory and could foresee what independence would mean in practice. In the limited framework and time, the Congress ministries did a positive job of alleviating the people’s difficulties.During this decade, a strong wave of communal propaganda unleashed by both the Muslim League and the Hindu Mahasabha, surfaced. The Muslim side was spearheaded by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who later gave the theory of Pakistan and MS Golwalkar, a prominent RSS leader. It contributed much to a communal atmosphere later, which ultimately led to the tragic event of India’s partition.THE CRIPPS MISSION Subhash Bose was a unanimous choice as the Congress President in 1938. He decided to contest for the post in 1939 too. He had many ideological differences with Gandhiji and other moderates. This time, he spoke for radical groups in the Congress. Since the post of Congress President was only nominal and he had no role in policy-making, Gandhiji and other leaders felt that the talk of programmes and policies by Bose was irrelevant. Gandhiji and others put up Pattabhi Sitaramayya as a rival candidate against Bose. Of course, Bose was elected with a small margin.Bose believed that the Congress was strong enough to launch an immediate struggle, while Gandhiji felt otherwise and wanted to mobilize masses before launching a full-scale movement. The Bose-Gandhi debate ultimately resulted in the resignation of Bose from the Presidency in 1939. Bose left the Congress and founded the Forward Bloc, a communist outfit within the Congress.World War II broke out on September 1, 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. The Congress decided not to support the British in the war and called upon its ministries to resign in protest. The patience of both the Congress and the masses was getting exhausted. Near the end of 1940, Nehru asked Gandhiji to take command again. Gandhiji decided to start the Individual Satygraha in 1940 in which each satyagrahi would preach against participation in war, and if he was not arrested, he would repeat the performance in villages and start a trek towards Delhi, thus participating in “Delhi Chalo” movement. Vinoba Bhave was the first individual satyagrahi and Nehru the second one under this programme. By 1941, 25000 satyagrahis had been convicted by the British for offering individual civil disobedience.A major change occurred in international political situation in December, 1941. Japan, after overrunning the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaya, occupied Rangoon. The Indian leaders were now worried regarding the safety of India. To secure the Indians’ help in the war, the British Government sent in 1942 a mission called the Cripps Mission. Even though Cripps had announced that the British policy in India was to give self-government in India, the declaration he brought was disappointing. The declaration promised Dominion Status to India after the war. The demand for Pakistan, first made by the Muslim League in 1940 in Lahore, was accepted implicitly in the declaration. Negotiations between the Congress and the Cripps Mission soon broke down because the Congress wanted complete independence instead of Dominion Status. The British Government also declined the demand for immediate transfer of power to Indian hands and an effective share in political control in India. THE QUIT INDIA MOVEMENT The Cripps failure in 1942 made clear that Britain was unwilling to offer an honourable settlement. This convinced even the hardcore moderates that the time was now ripe for the final struggle. Therefore, the Wardha Congress meeting decided to launch a struggle for independence. The historic August 8 meeting at Gowalia Tank in Bombay was unprecedented in the popular enthusiasm it generated. Huge crowds waited outside as the leaders deliberated. Gandhiji’s speech, delivered in his usual, serious style, had an electrifying impact. The famous slogan of “Do or Die” was given by Gandhiji and it became a rallying cry for the Quit India Movement, which began with the arrest of all prominent leaders on 9th August, 1942. The Quit India Movement had begun.
    The movement included all possible forms of civil disobedience and non-cooperation. The sudden attack by the government produced an instantaneous reaction among the people. Major towns observed hartals, had public demonstrations and processions in defiance of the government orders to crush the movement. The brutal, all-round repression succeeded within six months in halting the mass phase of the movement. Meanwhile, underground networks were being consolidated in various parts of India. An all-India underground network led by Achyut Patwardhan, Aruna Asaf Ali, Sucheta Kriplani, Biju Patnaik, Ram Manohar Lohia, RP Goenka and Jaiprakash Narain emerged. They provided a line of command to the workers and also collected money and materials and distributed them among workers. Lohia regularly broadcast on the underground Congress Radio to disseminate his messages.The outbreak of the movement also gave a fillip to the Indian National Army, which commanded by Subhas Bose in 1943 in Singapore. He set up the Provisional Government of Free India in October, 1943 there. Bose set up the headquarters in Rangoon and began to reorganize the INA (Azad Hind Fauj). In 1944, the INA decided to wage an open war on the British in India with the help of the Japanese army. But the discriminatory treatment given by the Japanese demoralized the INA men. The subsequent capture of their most prominent commanders Prem Kumar Sehgal, Shah Nawaz and Gurdial Dhillon in the NEFA sector, quashed all hopes of liberating India. All the three were tried in the famous INA Red Fort Trials in 1945, which generated unprecedented sympathy for them, and considering this, they were let off by the British despite having been found guilty of sedition.The end of World War II marked a dramatic change. From then till the dawn of freedom in 1947, the political stage saw a spectrum of popular mass participation. Expectant and restless people greeted the Congress leaders on their release from jail. The Labour Party, which had assumed power in England after the war was in hurry to settle the Indian problem. As a result, the ban on Congress was lifted and elections declared. The growing nationalist sentiment which peaked around the INA trials developed into violent confrontation with the authority in 1945-46. There were two major upsurges, one in Calcutta over the INA trials and the other was the strike by the Royal Indian Navy Ratings (RIN).The growing nationalist upsurge and many other factors —- demoralized army, bureaucracy and police, growing international pressure —- compelled the British to announce the Cabinet Mission in 1946, charged with evolving a scheme for transfer of power to India. The scheme given by the mission did not mention a separate Pakistan, but the plan given was misinterpreted by both the Congress and the Muslim League in their own ways. Jinnah was firmly determined on a separate Pakistan. With the battle cry Lekar Rahenge Pakistan, the Muslim communal groups provoked communal frenzy in Calcutta on 16th August, 1946. The Hindu communal groups retaliated in equal measure and the toll was 5000 lives. The British were worried that they had lost control over monster they had helped unleash.The League never joined the Interim Government headed by JL Nehru, as per the mission plan. Earlier, it had refused to join the Constituent Assembly also. It was almost certain that Jinnah would not be content with anything less than a separate Pakistan.The British Premier Clement Attlee tried to resolve the crisis by announcing in the British Parliament that the British had decided to withdraw from India on 30th June, 1948. Lord Mountbatten was appointed the new Viceroy, who had the task of winding up the British Raj and transferring power. The anticipation of freedom dispelled the air of gloom in India. The statement was enthusiastically received in the Congress circles. The partition of the country was implied in the condition that if the Constituent Assembly was not fully representative (i.e. if the Muslim majority provinces did not join it), power would be transferred to more than one Central Government. Mountbatten had a clear directive from His Majesty’s Government to explore all possibilities of unity and division of India till October, 1947 after which he had to advise on the manner of transfer of power.The Mountbatten Plan, as the 3rd June, 1948 Plan came to be known, sought to make an early transfer of power on the basis of Dominion Status to two successor states — India and Pakistan. However, India woke up to the dawn of freedom much earlier on 15th August, 1947 and Pakistan a day earlier. The rationale for the early transfer of power was securing the Congress agreement to Dominion Status. Another benefit was that the British could escape the responsibility for the worsening communal situation. The Punjab massacres that accompanied the Partition were the final indictment of the British policy. The Boundary Commission, chaired by Cyril Radcliffe could not give its decision in such a short time. The result was all-round confusion and chaos. In fact, the people in India had been given the choice of moving either to Pakistan or staying back. In the migration that followed, massacres of the worst kind were perpetrated by the communal elements on both sides. All this could have been avoided, had the British acted with some foresight and statesmanship.On the day of the Partition, Gandhiji was in Naokhali, pacifying crowds, alleviating fears and dispelling myths. Despite the tragic partition, at last India had won freedom from the clutches of a tyrannical ruler and the people raptly listened to Nehru’s electrifying Tryst With Destiny…. speech on the intervening night of 14th and 15th August, “Long, long ago, we had made a tryst with destiny. Today the time has come when we shall reaffirm that pledge not partially or wholly, but very substantially. Today, when the while world sleeps, India shall wake to freedom…….” Despite the tragedy of Partition, the people came out on streets, and danced in sheer joy and gay abandon.

    IMPORTANT TITLES AND THEIR HOLDERS 
      TITLE                                                       REAL NAME 
    Lokmanya                                       BG Tilak
    Mahatma                                         M K Gandhi (Given by Tagore)
    Bapu                                                   MK Gandhi (Given by Subhash Bose)
    Chacha                                JL Nehru
    Bharat Kokila                                  Sarojini Naidu
    Plato of Jat Tribe                            Sooraj Mal
    The Best Parliamentarian               G K Gokhale
    Mahatma Gandhi’s Political Guru  GK Gokhal
    Sardar                                             Vallabh Bhai Patel
    Sher-i-Punjab                                  Lajpat Rai
    Friend of the Indian People             Lord Rippon
    Deenbandhu                                    C F Andrews
    Deshbandhu                                    C R Dass
    Chakravarti                                      C. Rajgoplachari

     

    GOVERNOR-GENERAL                      STEP / INITIATIVE 
    Lord Cornawallis                                     Permanent Settlement introduced
    Lord Macaulay                                       Introduced English education
    Lord Dalhousie                           Railways started, Indians’ Entry to ICS opened, Lapse Theory
    William Bentick                           Abolition of Sati, Thugee and Female Infanticide
    Lord Canning                                       1857 Revolt occurred during his term
    Lord Rippon                                         Local Self-Government initiated
    Lord   Wavell                                         Shimla Plan
    Lord Wellesley                                       Subsidiary Alliance

               POPULAR BOOKS AND NEWSPAPERS DURING FREEDOM STRUGGLE

    BOOK / NEWSPAPER                       AUTHOR / EDITOR 
    A Gift to Monotheists                      Raja Ram Mohan Roy
    Satyarth Prakash                           Swami Dayanand
    The Hindu                                      G Ramaswamy Aiyar
    The Tribune                                   Dyal Singh Majithia
    Amrit Bazar Patrika                        Moti Lal Ghosh
    Al-Hilal                                           Abul Kalam Azad
    Kesari, Mahratta                           Bal Gangadhar Tilak
    Sudharak                                        Gopal Krishan Gokhle
    Harijan, Young India, Navjeevan       M K Gandhi
    Philosophy of the Bomb                     Bhagwati Charan Vohra
    Why I Am An Atheist?                     Bhagat Singh
    Poverty and Un-British Rule In India Dadabhai Noroji
    First War of Indian Independence      VD Savarkar

     MISCELLANEOUS FACTS

    First Martyr of 1857 Revolt                                                          Mangal Pande
    First Muslim President of Indian National Congress                   Badruddin Tayabji
    First Female President of Indian National Congress                   Sarojini Naidu
    First Jailed Journalist                                                                   SN Banerjee
    President of Indian National Congress in 1947                           JB Kriplani
    British Premier in 1947                                                                Clement Attlee
    First Woman Chief Minister in Independent India                        Sucheta Kriplani
    First Woman Cabinet Minister                                                     Rajkumari Amrit Kaur
    Revolutionary who died in jail after 64 days of fasting                 Jatin Dass
    REGIONAL AND TRIBAL UPRISINGS                                                   
    Sanyasi Rebellion          Bengal
    Nai-Dhobi Band            Prataprgarh (UP)
    Mopillahs Struggle        Malabar (Kerala)
    Mundas Struggle           Bihar
    Santhal Movement         Bihar
    Kuka Movement            Punjab
    SOCIAL REFORM & OTHER ORGANIZATIONS DURING FREEDOM STRUGGLE 
    ORGANIZATION                           FOUNDER 
    Brahma Samaj                            Raja Rammohan Roy
    Prathrna Samaj             M G Ranade
    Satya Shodhak Samaj                Jyotiba Phule
    Arya Samaj                                Swami Dayanand
    Ramakrishna Mission                Swami Vivekanand
    Gurudwara Reform Movement Master Tara Singh
    Temple Entry Movement         E. Ramaswamy Naicker
    Theosophical Society                Annie Besant
    Young Bengal Movement       Henry Dorazio
    Widow Remarriage Asso         MG Ranade
    Aligarh Movement                    Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
    Abhinav Bharat              V D Savarkar
    Hindu Mahasabha                     V D Savarkar
    East India Association                Surender Nath Banerjee
    Congress Swaraj Party  ML Nehru, CR Dass
    Communist Party of India          P C Joshi
    All-India Depressed Classes Federation                                                       Dr. B R Ambedkar
    All-India Harijan Sewak Sangh    M K Gandhi