Write short notes on Foundation of the Indian national congress and Gandhi’s contribution over it.

In 1885, the educated elite class formed the Indian National Congress with the support of retired British official A.O. Hume. Its leaders were Surendra Nadi Banerji, Dada Bhai Naoroji, Ramesh Chandra Dutta, Pheroz Shah Mehta and Gopal Krishna Gokhale etc. They were mild leaders and believed in pursuation, holding yearly sammelan and in passing resolutions demanding senior Government posts for Indians and more representation. Consequently Act of 1891-92 was passed but it does not satisfy them.

As new extremist class emerged under the leadership of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal which believed in pressure and agitation and opposed policy of petition and pursuation. But from 1885 to 1905. Congress was dominated by mild leaders and followed policy of petitions and pursuation.

In 1905, partition of Bengal annoyed Congress leaders, who encouraged people to boycott. British goods and oppose partition by agitation. Tilak said “Freedom is our birth right and we will have it.” Thus policy of petition and pursuation failed, British Government followed policy of divide and rule and of prosecuting extremists and of appeasement to mild leaders.

Due to policy of divide and rule and appeasement, Act of 1909 was enacted, based on communal representation and to appease mild Congress leaders more constitutional rights were given and Muslim League was encouraged. In 1895, Dr. Annie Besant founded Home Rule League which was supported by some Congress leaders including Tilak.

During First World-War of 1914-18, leaders and people supported Britishers as President Wilson announced we are fighting to make world safe for democracy. In 1917, Secretary of State Montague announced to confer constitutional powers, but in 1919, Jalianwala Bagh episode happened which annoyed people of India.

The Congress came under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. In 1921, he launched non-cooperation movement and in 1925, All Parties Conference under him prepared a Constitution of India Bill as they were not satisfied by Act of 1919, conferring dyarchy to Indian provinces.

In 1928, Motilal Nehru Committee demanded rights of Cabexs Corpus and non discrimination on the basis of race, religion and creed etc. In 1935, Government of India Act was passed which gave more representation and powers which enabled Congress, Muslim League and other parties to form their ministries in provinces. Act of 1935 became basis of Indian Constitution.

GANDHI’S CONTRIBUTION

Gandhiji became undisputed leader of Congress in 1921, he believed in truth, ahimsa (non-violence) and simple living and high thinking. He initiated satyagralta at Champaran in Bihar against British indigo planters and Khaira in Gujarat against heavy revenue demands of Government and Dandi March against salt tax. In 1921, he launched Khilafat Movement non co¬operation movement and in 1931, non obedience movement and in 1942 Quit India Movement.

He changed elite educated Congress and made it mass movement with the support of masses; Gandhiji became greatest leader of India and under his leadership, India got independence on 15th August, 1947. As such Mahatina Gandhi is considered one of the greatest leaders of the world.

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