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INDIA’S
STRUGGLE FOR
INDEPENDENCE
1857-1947
BIPAN CHANDRA
MRIDULA MUKHERJEE
ADITYA MUKHERJEE
K N PANIKKAR
SUCHETA MAHAJAN
Penguin Books
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
1. THE FIRST MAJOR CHALLENGE: THE REVOLT OF 1857
2. CIVIL REBELLIONS AND TRIBAL UPRISINGS
3. PEASANT MOVEMENTS AND UPRISINGS AFTER 1857
4. FOUNDATION OF THE CONGRESS: THE MYTH
5. FOUNDATION OF THE INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS: THE
REALITY
6. SOCIO-RELIGIOUS REFORMS AND THE NATIONAL AWAKENING
7. AN ECONOMIC CRITIQUE OF COLONIALISM
8. THE FIGHT TO SECURE PRESS FREEDOM
9. PROPAGANDA IN THE LEGISLATURES
10. THE SWADESHI MOVEMENT— 1903-08
11. THE SPLIT IN THE CONGRESS AND THE RISE OF
REVOLUTIONARY
TERRORISM
12. WORLD WAR I AND INDIAN NATIONALISM: THE GHADAR
13. THE HOME RULE MOVEMENT AND ITS FALLOUT
14. GANDHIJI‘S EARLY CAREER AND ACTIVISM
15. THE NON-COOPERATION MOVEMENT— 1920-22
16. PEASANT MOVEMENTS AND NATIONALISM IN THE 1920’S
17. THE INDIAN WORKING CLASS AND THE NATIONAL MOVEMENT
18. THE STRUGGLES FOR GURDWARA REFORM AND TEMPLE ENTRY
19. THE YEARS OF STAGNATION — SWARAJISTS, NO-CHANGERS
AND GANDHIJI
20. BHAGAT SINGH, SURYA SEN AND THE REVOLUTIONARY
TERRORISTS
21. THE GATHERING STORM — 1927-29
22. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE— 1930-31
23. FROM KARACHI TO WARDHA: THE YEARS FROM 1932-34
24. THE RISE OF THE LEFT-WING
25. THE STRATEGIC DEBATE 1935-37
26. TWENTY-EIGHT MONTHS OF CONGRESS RULE
27. PEASANT MOVEMENTS IN THE 1930s AND ‘40s
28. THE FREEDOM STRUGGLE IN PRINCELY INDIA
29. INDIAN CAPITALISTS AND THE NATIONAL MOVEMENT
30. THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NATIONALIST FOREIGN POLICY
31. THE RISE AND GROWTH OF COMMUNALISM
32. COMMUNALISM-THE LIBERAL PHASE
33. JINNAH, GOLWALKAR AND EXTREME COMMUNALISM
34. THE CRISIS AT TRIPURI TO THE CRIPPS MISSION
35. THE QUIT INDIA MOVEMENT AND THE INA
36. POST-WAR NATIONAL UPSURGE
37. FREEDOM AND PARTITION
38. THE LONG-TERM STRATEGY OF THE NATIONAL MOVEMENT
39. THE INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT: THE IDEOLOGICAL
DIMENSION
1 |Introduction
INTRODUCTION
The Indian national movement was undoubtedly one of the
biggest mass movements modern Society has ever seen, It was a
movement which galvanized millions of People of all classes and
ideologies into political action and brought to its knees a mighty
colonial empire. Consequently, along with the British, French,
Russian, Chine, Cuban and Vietnam revolutions, it is of great
relevance to those wishing to alter the existing political and social
structure.
Various aspects of the Indian national movement, especially
Gandhian political strategy, are particularly relevant to these
movements in societies that broadly function within the confines
of the rule of law, and are characterized by a democratic and
basically civil libertarian polity. But it is also relevant to other
societies. We know for a fact that even Lech Walesa consciously
tried to incorporate elements of Gandhian strategy in the
Solidarity Movement in Poland.
The Indian national movement, in fact, provides the only
actual historical example of a semi-democratic or democratic type
of political structure being successfully replaced or transformed.
It is the only movement where the broadly Gramscian theoretical
perspective of position was successfully practiced a war in a
single historical moment of revolution, but through prolonged
popular struggle on a moral, political and ideological level; where
reserves of counter hegemony were built up over the years
through progressive stages; where the phases of struggle
alternated with ‘passive’ phases.
The Indian national movement is also an example of how
the constitutional space offered by the existing structure could be
used without getting co-opted by it. It did not completely reject
this space; as such rejection in democratic societies entails heavy
costs in terms of hegemonic influence and often leads to isolation
2 | India’s Struggle for Independence
but entered it and used it effectively in combination with nonconstitutional struggle to overthrow the existing structure.
The Indian national movement is perhaps one of the best
examples of the creation of an extremely wide movement with a
common aim in which diverse political and ideological currents
could exist and work and simultaneously continue to contend for
overall ideological political hegemony over it. While intense
debate on all basic Issues was allowed, the diversity and tension
did not weaken the cohesion and striking power of the movement;
on the contrary, this diversity and atmosphere of freedom and