Nationalist Movement in India (1905-1918) PDF Download

Nationalist Movement in India (1905-1918)

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  • The Nationalist Movement in India represents one of the most remarkable and influential chapters in the country’s history. Rooted in the ideals of freedom, self-determination, and social justice, this movement played a pivotal role in shaping India’s destiny as an independent nation. Spanning several decades, the movement was characterized by diverse strategies, leaders, and events, all of which contributed to the eventual ousting of British colonial rule and the birth of modern India.

Nationalist Movement in India (1905-1918) – Lec 7


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Emergence of the Indian National Movement

The Indian National Movement stands as a watershed moment in India’s history, marking a significant turning point that reflects the emergence of Indian consciousness and a fervent sense of nationalism. This mass movement gained momentum in the latter part of the 19th century and played a crucial role in orchestrating the first successful resistance against British colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent.

Fragmented Quest for Independence:

  • Before the Indian National Movement took center stage, the quest for independence was characterized by fragmented, localized efforts that were scattered across the vast expanse of the subcontinent. These fragmented endeavors were hampered by regional, cultural, and linguistic differences, making it challenging for them to sustain themselves against the formidable British colonial apparatus. At this time, India appeared less as a unified nation and more as a conglomeration of distinct kingdoms and regions, all grappling with the same oppressive British presence.

Diverse Identities and Unity Challenge:

  • To the colonizers, the Indian subcontinent represented a singular entity ripe for exploitation. However, beneath this exterior, people identified themselves in diverse ways, often rooted in their regional affiliations and cultural backgrounds. This fragmented and diversified identity posed a significant challenge to the unity required for a successful resistance against British rule.

Transformation into a Cohesive Force:

  • The Indian National Movement played a pivotal role in transforming this mosaic of identities into a cohesive force. It fostered a shared vision of independence that transcended linguistic, cultural, and regional boundaries. This movement sowed the seeds of a united India, where diverse groups from various corners of the subcontinent came together under the common banner of freedom and self-determination. It was this unity that ultimately led to the successful culmination of India’s long and arduous struggle for independence from British colonial rule. The Indian National Movement not only freed the nation from foreign domination but also laid the foundation for a modern, democratic, and pluralistic India, where diversity is celebrated as one of its greatest strengths.

Seeds of Awareness and Intellectual Opposition

The history of the Indian National Movement traces its origins to a period of burgeoning awareness and intellectual enlightenment. In the late 19th century, the expansion of English education, particularly in major urban centers such as Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay, played a pivotal role in sowing the seeds of consciousness among the Indian populace. This educational expansion became a catalyst for change, empowering intellectuals of the time to vocalize their opposition against the injustices and duplicities inherent in the prevailing societal structure.

Focus on British Rule and Critique of Policies:

  • With the increasing awareness, the focus of the movement sharpened, honing in on the concept of British colonial rule and its profound impact on India. Informed Indians, bolstered by their education and intellectual acumen, progressively became more critical of the policies imposed by the British authorities on the Indian subcontinent. This critique was not merely confined to academic circles but permeated society at large, sparking discussions and debates among diverse social groups.

Uniting Diverse Social Groups:

  • One of the remarkable aspects of the Indian National Movement was its ability to serve as a unifying force, transcending the barriers of caste, creed, and class. Diverse social groups, including intellectuals, peasants, workers, and students, found common ground in their shared discontent with British rule. The movement acted as a catalyst, bringing together people from various walks of life, and forging a sense of solidarity and shared purpose. Together, they challenged the oppressive colonial regime, advocating for India’s self-determination and independence.

Cohesive Nationhood in the Making:

  • In essence, the history of the Indian National Movement paints a picture of a nation in the making. It reflects the collective awakening of a diverse populace, bound together by a common aspiration for freedom and self-governance. The movement not only served as a platform for dissent but also laid the foundation for a cohesive nation, where people from different backgrounds and social strata stood united in their pursuit of a common goal. This historical epoch paved the way for India’s eventual independence, leaving an indelible mark on the country’s identity and shaping its future trajectory.

3 Phases of the Indian National Movement

The Indian National Movement, spanning from 1885 to 1947, can be divided into three distinct phases based on the Time-period, leadership, objectives, methods employed, and social base.

Moderate Phase (1885-1905)

During the Moderate Phase of the Indian National Movement, spanning from 1885 to 1905, prominent leaders such as Dadabhai Naoroji and Gopal Krishna Gokhale played pivotal roles. The primary objective of this phase was to secure Dominion Status within the British Empire. Moderate leaders advocated for political reforms through constitutional means and petitions. This phase saw the formation of the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1885, marking the inception of the movement.

  • Leaders focused on attaining greater Indian representation in government and civil service, addressing economic issues, and advocating for social reforms. Their methods included petitions, negotiations, and appeals to the British government for increased Indian involvement in decision-making processes.

Here is a complete table outlining the key aspects of the Moderate Phase (1885-1905) of the Indian National Movement:

Aspect Details
Leadership Dadabhai Naoroji, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, and others
Objective Attaining Dominion Status within the British Empire
Formation of INC Indian National Congress (INC) founded in 1885
Goals Greater Indian representation in government and civil service, addressing economic issues, and advocating for social reforms
Methods Petitions, negotiations, and appeals to the British government for increased Indian involvement in decision-making processes
Key Events – Formation of INC in 1885
– Emphasis on political reforms through constitutional means
– Focus on economic and social issues
Outcome Laid the groundwork for future phases of the independence movement, fostering political awareness and unity among Indians

This table summarizes the essential details of the Moderate Phase (1885-1905) of the Indian National Movement, including its leadership, objectives, methods, key events, and overall impact.

Extremist Phase (1905-1919)

The Extremist Phase of the Indian National Movement, spanning from 1905 to 1919, witnessed the emergence of leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, and Lala Lajpat Rai. During this phase, the movement’s objective shifted from Dominion Status to Swaraj, signifying complete self-government. Extremist leaders advocated more radical approaches, encouraging mass protests, non-cooperation, civil disobedience, and the boycott of foreign goods.

  • The catalyst for this phase was the partition of Bengal in 1905, leading to widespread protests and boycotts. Leaders like Tilak emphasized cultural pride and self-reliance, shaping the movement’s assertive stance and mass mobilization efforts.

Here is a complete table outlining the key aspects of the Extremist Phase (1905-1919) of the Indian National Movement:

Aspect Details
Leadership Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai, and other prominent leaders
Objective Shifting from Dominion Status to Swaraj (Complete self-government)
Catalyst Partition of Bengal in 1905, leading to mass protests and boycotts
Methods Non-cooperation, civil disobedience, Swadeshi (boycott of foreign goods), mass mobilization, and assertive stance
Emphasis Cultural pride, self-reliance, and assertiveness against British rule
Key Events – Mass protests and boycotts following the partition of Bengal
– Emphasis on indigenous products through the Swadeshi movement
– Advocacy for self-governance and non-cooperation with the British authorities
Outcome Increased assertiveness in the freedom struggle, paving the way for further mass mobilization and nationalist fervor

This table provides a summary of the key aspects of the Extremist Phase (1905-1919) of the Indian National Movement, including its leadership, objectives, catalyst events, methods, emphasis, key events, and overall impact on the movement for independence.

Gandhian Phase (1919-1947)

The Gandhian Phase of the Indian National Movement, spanning from 1919 to 1947, was characterized by the central leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, supported by figures like Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel. The main objective of this phase was complete independence from British rule. Gandhi introduced the philosophy of non-violence (Satyagraha) as the cornerstone of the movement. Major campaigns, including the Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-1922), Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-1934), and Quit India Movement (1942), marked this phase. Gandhi’s emphasis on non-violent resistance and self-sufficiency, symbolized by Khadi (handspun cloth), became iconic aspects of the movement.

  • The Quit India Movement, in particular, represented a significant turning point, leading to mass arrests and intensified pressure on the British. Post-World War II negotiations ultimately resulted in India gaining independence on August 15, 1947, marking the triumphant culmination of the Indian National Movement.

Here is a complete table outlining the key aspects of the Gandhian Phase (1919-1947) of the Indian National Movement:

Aspect Details
Leadership Mahatma Gandhi, supported by leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel
Objective Achieving complete independence (Swaraj) from British rule through non-violent resistance (Satyagraha)
Major Campaigns – Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-1922)
– Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-1934)
– Quit India Movement (1942)
Philosophy Emphasis on non-violence, truth, and civil disobedience (Satyagraha) as core principles of the movement
Symbolic Representation Use of Khadi (handspun cloth) as a symbol of self-reliance and non-cooperation with British-made goods
Key Events – Non-Cooperation Movement saw massive participation and withdrawal of support from British institutions
– Civil Disobedience Movement involved widespread nonviolent resistance and defiance of British laws
– Quit India Movement marked a significant turning point, leading to mass arrests and intensified pressure on the British authorities
Outcome Intensified pressure on British authorities, fostering mass participation, and ultimately leading to India’s independence on August 15, 1947
Legacy Gandhi’s principles of non-violence and civil disobedience continue to inspire movements for social and political change worldwide

This table summarizes the key aspects of the Gandhian Phase (1919-1947) of the Indian National Movement, including its leadership, objectives, major campaigns, philosophy, symbolic representation, key events, outcomes, and enduring legacy in inspiring similar movements globally.

Post-World War II negotiations with the British resulted in India gaining independence on August 15, 1947, marking the culmination of the Indian National Movement and the beginning of a new chapter in India’s history as a sovereign nation.


Nationalist Movement (1905-1918)

The period between 1905 and 1918 marked a significant phase in the Indian Nationalist Movement, characterized by various events that fueled the struggle for independence. This era witnessed the rise of fervent nationalism and unity among Indians, leading to transformative movements and political developments.

1. Partition of Bengal (1905)

Here is a complete table for the “Partition of Bengal (1905)”:

Event Partition of Bengal (1905)
Year 1905
Location Bengal, British India
Background The British colonial administration divided the province of Bengal into two separate entities, West Bengal and East Bengal, along religious lines (Hindu-majority West Bengal and Muslim-majority East Bengal). The official rationale for the partition was administrative efficiency, but it was widely perceived as an attempt to create religious divisions among the Indian population and weaken nationalist sentiments.
Objective The primary objective, as stated by the British authorities, was to facilitate better administrative control. However, the real intent was to counter the growing nationalist movement by sowing divisions along religious lines.
Key Figures The decision was made by Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India, and was met with resistance from various Indian leaders and intellectuals, including Rabindranath Tagore, Surendranath Banerjee, and Aurobindo Ghosh.
Response and Impact The partition of Bengal provoked strong opposition and led to widespread protests and boycotts, especially by Indian nationalists who saw it as a deliberate British strategy to divide and rule. This event gave rise to the Swadeshi Movement, emphasizing self-reliance and boycotting of British goods. The movement played a crucial role in unifying the Indian population against British policies and promoting a sense of national identity. As a result of sustained protests and public pressure, the partition was eventually revoked in 1911. However, the legacy of the partition and the Swadeshi Movement continued to influence the Indian nationalist movement, strengthening the resolve for independence.
Outcome The partition was reversed in 1911, reuniting Bengal into a single province. However, the impact of the Swadeshi Movement and the spirit of resistance it generated persisted and contributed significantly to the broader Indian Nationalist Movement, ultimately leading to India’s independence in 1947.

Please note that the information provided here is a summary and may not cover all aspects of the Partition of Bengal in detail.

2. Swadeshi & Boycott Movement

Here is a complete table for the “Swadeshi & Boycott Movement”:

Event Swadeshi & Boycott Movement
Years Late 1905 onwards
Location British India
Background The Swadeshi & Boycott Movement was a response to the Partition of Bengal in 1905, which had created widespread resentment and anger among Indians. This movement sought to promote self-reliance and protest British colonial rule.
Objective The movement had two primary objectives:
1. Promotion of Swadeshi (Self-Reliance): Encouraging the use of Indian-made products and indigenous industries to reduce dependence on British imports and stimulate the Indian economy.
2. Boycott of British Goods: Urging Indians to boycott British-manufactured products and institutions, symbolizing their opposition to colonial rule and British exploitation.
Key Figures Prominent leaders and activists, such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai, Annie Besant, and Mahatma Gandhi, played significant roles in propagating and leading the movement.
Methods & Activities The movement involved various forms of protest and resistance, including:
1. Public Meetings and Demonstrations: Mass gatherings and processions to raise awareness and mobilize support.
2. Boycott of British Goods: The most prominent symbol of resistance, encouraging Indians to stop buying British-manufactured products.
3. Promotion of Swadeshi Products: Advocating the use of Indian-made goods and reviving indigenous industries.
4. Nationalist Literature: The movement used publications and nationalist literature to spread its message and mobilize support.
5. Bonfires of Foreign Cloth: Public bonfires of foreign cloth as a symbolic act of defiance.
6. Non-Cooperation: Encouraging non-cooperation with British authorities and institutions.
7. Formation of Swadeshi Committees: The establishment of local committees and organizations to coordinate and propagate the movement’s activities.
Impact The Swadeshi & Boycott Movement played a pivotal role in:
1. Fostering a sense of national pride and unity among Indians.
2. Laying the foundation for future mass movements against British rule.
3. Contributing to the growth of indigenous industries and self-reliance.
4. Influencing the political discourse and strategies of the Indian Nationalist Movement.
5. Sowing the seeds for future nonviolent movements, including Mahatma Gandhi’s methods of non-cooperation and civil disobedience.
Outcome The movement led to a significant increase in political awareness and a sense of unity among Indians. It marked the beginning of mass mobilization and resistance against British rule in India. The ideas and methods of the Swadeshi & Boycott Movement later influenced the broader Indian Nationalist Movement and the quest for independence from colonial rule.

The Swadeshi & Boycott Movement was a transformative phase in India’s struggle for independence, and its impact extended far beyond the early 20th century.

3. Formation of Muslim League (1906)

Here is a complete table for the “Formation of Muslim League (1906)”:

Event Formation of Muslim League (1906)
Year 1906
Location Dhaka, British India
Background The All India Muslim League was established in 1906 as a political party to safeguard the political rights and interests of Muslims in British India. The founding of the Muslim League marked a significant development in Indian politics, creating a platform specifically focused on Muslim concerns within the broader context of the Indian Nationalist Movement.
Objective The primary objective of the Muslim League was to advocate for the political rights of Muslims in India. It aimed to provide a unified voice for Muslim interests and representation, emphasizing the need for separate electorates to protect Muslim identity and political influence.
Key Figures The formation of the Muslim League was led by prominent Muslim leaders, including Aga Khan, Nawab Salimullah Khan, and Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk. These leaders played key roles in articulating the demands of Muslims and establishing the party’s foundational principles.
Context & Significance The Muslim League’s formation was a response to the perceived marginalization of Muslim interests within the Indian National Congress, the principal political party advocating for India’s independence from British rule. Muslims, concerned about their representation and rights in the future self-governing India, found a platform in the Muslim League to address these issues. The establishment of the Muslim League laid the groundwork for later demands for a separate Muslim state, eventually leading to the creation of Pakistan in 1947.
Key Principles 1. Separate Electorates: The Muslim League advocated for separate electorates for Muslims, ensuring their distinct political representation in legislative bodies.
2. Safeguarding Muslim Rights: The party aimed to protect the social, cultural, and political rights of Muslims in a self-governing India.
3. Unity Among Muslims: The Muslim League emphasized the unity of Muslims across regions and communities, fostering a sense of common identity and purpose.
Impact 1. Advocacy for Separate Electorates: The Muslim League’s demand for separate electorates became a key negotiating point in later discussions about constitutional reforms and political representation in India.
2. Formation of Pakistan: The ideas and principles articulated by the Muslim League eventually culminated in the demand for an independent Muslim state, leading to the partition of British India and the creation of Pakistan in 1947.
3. Influence on Muslim Politics: The Muslim League significantly shaped the trajectory of Muslim political participation in India, leading to the creation of a distinct political identity for Muslims and influencing subsequent political movements in the region.

The formation of the Muslim League in 1906 had far-reaching implications for the political landscape of British India, shaping the contours of Muslim political representation and identity within the broader struggle for independence.

4. Surat Split (1907)

Here is a complete table for the “Surat Split (1907)”:

Event Surat Split (1907)
Year 1907
Location Surat, British India
Background The Surat Split refers to the internal division within the Indian National Congress during its annual session held in Surat. The split arose due to ideological differences and debates between the Moderates, led by leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji and Gopal Krishna Gokhale, advocating for constitutional methods, and the Extremists, led by leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal, who favored more radical approaches to gain independence from British rule.
Key Figures Prominent leaders from both factions were involved in the split. The Moderates were represented by leaders such as Dadabhai Naoroji and Gopal Krishna Gokhale, while the Extremists were led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, and Lala Lajpat Rai.
Issues and Debates The primary issues leading to the split included differences in approaches to attain independence. The Moderates preferred negotiation, gradual reforms, and constitutional methods, while the Extremists advocated for more direct action, mass mobilization, and self-reliance, aligning with the ideas of Swadeshi Movement and Boycott Movement.
Outcome The Surat Split resulted in a clear division between the Moderates and Extremists within the Indian National Congress. This ideological divergence laid the foundation for two distinct factions within the Congress party, each with its approach towards achieving independence. The split highlighted the diversity of strategies within the nationalist movement and shaped the future course of Indian politics, leading to different factions with distinct political ideologies.
Impact 1. Diversity in Approaches: The split showcased the ideological diversity within the Indian National Congress, highlighting different strategies and methods employed by leaders to achieve common goals.
2. Formation of Clear Factions: The split led to the emergence of clear divisions between the Moderate and Extremist factions, each pursuing its distinct political path.
3. Influence on Future Movements: The ideologies of both factions influenced the trajectory of subsequent independence movements in India, with Extremist ideas eventually gaining prominence in the struggle for freedom.
4. Historical Significance: The Surat Split remains a pivotal event in the history of the Indian Nationalist Movement, illustrating the internal debates and strategic differences that shaped the evolution of the independence struggle.

The Surat Split in 1907 had a lasting impact on the Indian National Congress, shaping the strategies and approaches of different factions within the party and influencing the broader trajectory of the Indian independence movement.

5. Indian Council Act, 1909

Here is a complete table of the “Indian Council Act, of 1909”:

Event Indian Council Act, 1909
Year 1909
Enacted by The Parliament of the United Kingdom
Background The Indian Council Act of 1909, also known as the Morley-Minto Reforms, was introduced by the British colonial authorities to address some of the demands of Indian nationalists and to provide a limited degree of political representation to Indians in the legislative councils. It was named after the then Secretary of State for India, John Morley, and the Viceroy of India, Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 4th Earl of Minto.
Key Provisions 1. Introduction of Separate Electorates: The Act formalized the concept of separate electorates, allowing Muslims to vote for Muslim candidates only, and similarly for other communities. This communal representation further emphasized religious divisions in Indian politics.
2. Expanded Legislative Councils: The Act increased the size of the legislative councils, both at the central and provincial levels. It introduced a system of indirect election, where some members were elected by special constituencies and others were nominated.
3. Limited Franchise: The Act expanded the franchise but limited it based on property, tax, education, and official nominations, ensuring a controlled electorate that favored British interests.
4. Separate Representation for Muslims: Muslims were granted a higher number of seats in the legislative councils, acknowledging separate electorates, and allowing them to safeguard their political interests.
5. Limited Powers of Legislative Councils: While the number of elected Indian members increased, real legislative powers remained with the British authorities. The Act did not grant the legislative councils control over the budget or the executive government.
Response and Impact 1. Limited Reforms: The Act was met with mixed responses. Some moderate nationalists saw it as a step towards political reforms, while others, notably the Extremists, considered it insufficient and demanded more substantial changes.
2. Communal Divide: The introduction of separate electorates deepened the communal divide between different religious communities, setting the stage for future religious tensions in Indian politics.
3. Limited Political Empowerment: Although it expanded the representation of Indians in legislative councils, the Act kept real political power firmly in British hands, leading to continued dissatisfaction and demands for further reforms.
4. Precursor to More Demands: The Act’s limited concessions fueled the demand for more comprehensive reforms and strengthened the resolve of Indian nationalists to push for complete self-governance and independence from British rule.

The Indian Council Act of 1909, while a response to growing demands for political representation, ultimately fell short of addressing the deeper issues concerning self-governance and political freedom, laying the groundwork for further political agitation and the demand for full independence.

6. Revolutionary Terrorism in India

Here is a complete table for “Revolutionary Terrorism in India”:

Event Revolutionary Terrorism in India
Timeline Late 19th century to early 20th century
Background Revolutionary terrorism in India refers to the militant activities undertaken by various secret societies and groups with the aim of overthrowing British colonial rule. These movements were characterized by acts of violence against British officials, institutions, and symbols of colonial power. Revolutionary terrorism emerged as a response to British oppression and exploitation of Indian resources.
Key Ideals 1. Independence: The central goal was to achieve independence from British rule and establish a sovereign Indian nation.
2. Direct Action: Revolutionary terrorists believed in using direct action, including assassinations, bombings, and armed attacks, to achieve their objectives.
3. Self-Reliance: Many revolutionaries promoted the idea of self-reliance and sought to revive indigenous industries and skills to reduce dependency on British goods.
Key Figures Leaders and activists associated with revolutionary terrorism included figures such as Khudiram Bose, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Surya Sen, and Rash Behari Bose, among others. These individuals played significant roles in organizing and executing acts of resistance against the British colonial regime.
Major Incidents 1. Alipore Bomb Case (1908): A failed attempt to assassinate a British judge, leading to the execution of Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki.
2. Kakori Conspiracy (1925): A train robbery planned by revolutionaries to fund their activities, resulting in the arrest and execution of several conspirators.
3. Chittagong Armoury Raid (1930): An attack on the British armoury in Chittagong, led by Surya Sen and his associates, aiming to seize weapons and incite a rebellion against British rule.
4. Assembly Bomb Incident (1929): Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw non-lethal bombs in the Central Legislative Assembly to protest repressive laws, advocating for complete independence.
Impact and Legacy 1. Inspiring Nationalism: Revolutionary activities inspired a sense of nationalism and resistance among Indians, motivating many to join the freedom struggle.
2. Heightened Political Awareness: These acts of resistance raised political awareness and contributed to the anti-colonial sentiment, fostering a desire for self-rule.
3. Influence on Later Movements: The spirit of revolutionary terrorism influenced future movements, including the armed struggle for independence and the fight against social and economic injustices.
4. Historical Legacy: While controversial, the role of revolutionary terrorism remains a significant aspect of India’s struggle for independence, symbolizing the courage and sacrifice of those who fought against colonial oppression.

Revolutionary terrorism, though marked by controversial methods, played a significant role in shaping the trajectory of India’s freedom struggle and left a lasting impact on the nation’s history.

7. Ghadar Movement

Here is a complete table for the “Ghadar Movement”:

Event Ghadar Movement
Timeline 1913-1918
Background The Ghadar Movement was a revolutionary anti-colonial movement initiated by Indian expatriates, primarily in the United States and Canada. The movement aimed to coordinate efforts to overthrow British colonial rule in India and establish an independent and democratic government. The term “Ghadar” means “rebellion” or “mutiny” in Urdu and Punjabi.
Key Figures Leaders and activists associated with the Ghadar Movement included Lala Har Dayal, Bhagwan Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Sohan Singh Bhakna, and others. These individuals organized and mobilized Indian immigrants in North America to support the movement.
Objectives 1. Overthrow British Rule: The primary goal was to overthrow British colonial rule in India and establish a democratic government based on principles of liberty and equality.
2. Promotion of Nationalism: The movement aimed to promote nationalism and inspire Indians, both within the country and abroad, to unite against British oppression.
3. Anti-British Propaganda: Ghadar activists spread anti-British propaganda through literature, newspapers, and pamphlets, urging Indians to rise against colonial rule.
Activities 1. Publication of Ghadar Newspaper: The movement published the “Ghadar” newspaper, which became a prominent platform for disseminating revolutionary ideas and encouraging Indians to revolt against British rule.
2. Recruitment and Mobilization: Ghadar activists recruited Indian soldiers and laborers working abroad, encouraging them to return to India and participate in the struggle for independence.
3. Armed Uprisings and Revolts: Ghadar members attempted to foment armed uprisings in various parts of India, leading to several revolts and conspiracies against British authorities.
4. Support from Indian Diaspora: The movement received support from Indian communities abroad, particularly in the United States and Canada, where Ghadar activists organized and raised funds for the cause.
Outcome and Impact 1. Suppression of Uprisings: Many Ghadar-led uprisings were suppressed by British forces, leading to the arrest, imprisonment, and execution of several activists.
2. Legacy of Resistance: Despite its limited success in the short term, the Ghadar Movement left a lasting legacy of anti-colonial resistance, inspiring future generations of freedom fighters in India.
3. Contribution to Independence Struggle: The movement contributed to the broader independence struggle by fostering a spirit of nationalism, unity, and resistance against British rule.
4. Symbol of Courage and Defiance: The Ghadar Movement remains a symbol of courage, defiance, and sacrifice, highlighting the determination of Indians to fight for their freedom from colonial oppression.

The Ghadar Movement, although relatively short-lived, played a significant role in galvanizing anti-colonial sentiments and inspiring Indians to actively participate in the struggle for independence.

8. Lucknow Pact (1916)

Here is a complete table of the “Lucknow Pact (1916)”:

Event Lucknow Pact (1916)
Year 1916
Location Lucknow, British India
Background The Lucknow Pact was an agreement between the Indian National Congress and the All-India Muslim League, signed during their joint session held in Lucknow. The pact aimed to present a united front demanding constitutional reforms from the British colonial government. This collaboration marked a significant moment of Hindu-Muslim unity in the Indian political landscape.
Key Figures Representing the Indian National Congress were leaders like Annie Besant, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Motilal Nehru. The All-India Muslim League was represented by leaders including Aga Khan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and Fazl-ul-Haq.
Objectives 1. Constitutional Reforms: Both parties agreed to jointly demand self-governance, increased representation in legislative councils, and a more democratic form of governance for India.
2. Hindu-Muslim Unity: The pact aimed to strengthen Hindu-Muslim unity by addressing their common demands for political representation and rights within the British colonial framework.
3. Joint Electorates and Separate Electorates: The pact endorsed the idea of separate electorates for Muslims in provinces where they were in a minority while supporting joint electorates in provinces where they were in a majority.
Impact 1. Promotion of Unity: The pact promoted Hindu-Muslim unity, fostering a sense of cooperation and collaboration between the Indian National Congress and the All-India Muslim League.
2. Influence on Reforms: The demands presented in the Lucknow Pact influenced the Government of India Act of 1919, which introduced constitutional reforms, including increased representation and limited self-governance.
3. Strengthened Political Movement: The unity showcased in the Lucknow Pact strengthened the political movement against British rule, leading to more concerted efforts in the struggle for independence.
4. Symbol of Hindu-Muslim Cooperation: The Lucknow Pact stands as a symbol of successful cooperation between Hindus and Muslims, setting an example for future collaboration during the independence movement.
Outcome The Lucknow Pact resulted in greater political collaboration between the Indian National Congress and the All-India Muslim League. It presented a unified demand for constitutional reforms and played a significant role in shaping the course of the Indian freedom struggle by highlighting the strength of Hindu-Muslim unity in the fight against British colonialism. The pact’s impact was felt in subsequent political negotiations and reforms in British India.
Historical Significance The Lucknow Pact holds historical significance as a milestone in the Indian independence movement, showcasing the power of unity among diverse communities in India. It remains an important chapter in the narrative of Hindu-Muslim cooperation and collaboration during the struggle against British rule.

9. Home Rule League (1916-1918)

Here is a complete table for the “Home Rule League (1916-1918)”:

Event Home Rule League (1916-1918)
Timeline 1916-1918
Background The Home Rule League was a political movement in British India, advocating for self-governance or “Home Rule” within the British Empire. The movement gained momentum during World War I and was led by prominent Indian leaders. It aimed to mobilize public support for self-rule and increase political awareness among the masses.
Key Leaders The movement was led by two prominent leaders:
1. Annie Besant: A British socialist, theosophist, and supporter of Indian self-rule. She played a significant role in the Home Rule Movement, particularly in the southern parts of India.
2. Bal Gangadhar Tilak: A prominent nationalist leader, social reformer, and independence activist. Tilak led the movement in the western parts of India, especially in Maharashtra.
Objectives 1. Demand for Self-Governance: The primary objective was to demand self-governance for India within the British Empire, emphasizing the need for constitutional reforms and political representation.
2. Mobilization of Masses: The movement aimed to mobilize the masses, create political awareness, and foster a sense of nationalism and unity among Indians.
3. Promotion of Swaraj: Swaraj, meaning self-rule, was a key concept promoted by the Home Rule League, advocating for Indians’ right to govern themselves.
Activities 1. Public Campaigns and Speeches: Both Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak conducted extensive tours, delivering speeches and organizing public meetings to propagate the idea of Home Rule.
2. Publication of Newspapers: The movement used newspapers and publications to spread its message and reach a wider audience.
3. Mass Rallies and Demonstrations: Large-scale rallies, processions, and demonstrations were organized to garner public support and demonstrate the strength of the movement.
4. Civil Disobedience: While not as widespread as in later movements, instances of civil disobedience and non-cooperation with British authorities were observed during the Home Rule Movement.
Impact 1. Political Awareness: The Home Rule Movement significantly increased political awareness among the Indian masses, leading to a greater understanding of self-governance and political rights.
2. Unity and Nationalism: The movement fostered a sense of unity among Indians, transcending regional and cultural differences, and emphasized the common goal of independence.
3. British Response: The movement drew attention from the British colonial government, leading to certain restrictions and suppression of activities, but also contributing to the broader discourse on constitutional reforms in India.
Legacy 1. Precursor to Later Movements: The Home Rule Movement laid the groundwork for subsequent mass movements for independence, setting a precedent for mobilizing the public and demanding self-rule.
2. Inspiration for Leaders: The movement inspired future leaders and activists, shaping their strategies and methods in the fight against British colonialism.
3. Symbol of Unity: The Home Rule Movement remains a symbol of unity, national pride, and the early aspirations of Indians for self-governance, marking an important chapter in the history of India’s struggle for independence.

10. Gandhi before & after Coming back (1915 onwards)

Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India in 1915 marked a turning point in the nationalist movement. His adoption of nonviolent civil disobedience and Satyagraha as methods of resistance reshaped the course of the independence struggle. Gandhi’s philosophy emphasized passive resistance, appealing to the moral conscience of the oppressor.

  • His leadership inspired various movements, including the Non-Cooperation Movement and the Civil Disobedience Movement, uniting people across different backgrounds in the pursuit of independence. Gandhi’s approach transformed the nationalist movement into a mass movement, making it one of the most powerful and influential freedom struggles in history.

Here is a complete table summarizing the significant events and movements associated with Mahatma Gandhi before and after his return to India in 1915:

Period Before Gandhi’s Return to India (1915) After Gandhi’s Return to India (1915 onwards)
Background Gandhi lived in South Africa, where he led campaigns for civil rights for Indians. Gandhi returned to India as a seasoned activist, influenced by his experiences in South Africa.
Champaran Satyagraha (1917) Gandhi’s first major protest in India was against oppressive indigo farming practices. Marked the beginning of nonviolent resistance (Satyagraha) in India against British rule.
Kheda Satyagraha (1918) Protest against unfair taxation during a famine in Kheda district, Gujarat. Successfully advocated for farmers’ rights and suspension of land revenue, showcasing nonviolent resistance.
Ahmedabad Mill Strike (1918) Labor strikes for worker rights and better working conditions in textile mills. Demonstrated Gandhi’s commitment to social justice and workers’ rights, gaining him prominence.
Rowlatt Satyagraha (1919) Protests against the repressive Rowlatt Act, which allowed detention without trial. Widespread civil disobedience and nonviolent protests against British laws, leading to arrests and demonstrations.
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (1919) A tragic event where British troops killed hundreds of unarmed protesters. Deepened anti-British sentiments, galvanizing Indian support for the independence movement.
Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-1922) A nationwide campaign against British institutions, encouraging non-cooperation. Massive civil disobedience, boycotts of British goods, and withdrawal from British-run institutions, uniting Indians against colonial rule.
Chauri Chaura Incident (1922) A violent clash between protesters and police, leading Gandhi to suspend the Non-Cooperation Movement. Gandhi withdrew from the Non-Cooperation Movement, emphasizing nonviolence and discipline within the struggle.
Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-1934) Protest against salt tax and other British policies, symbolized by the Dandi March. Widespread disobedience of unjust laws, including the famous Salt March, increased public awareness and international attention.
Round Table Conferences (1930-1932) Gandhi represented Indian interests at the conferences, advocating for self-rule. Engaged in dialogues with British officials and Indian leaders, though disagreements persisted on key issues.
Individual Satyagraha (1940) Limited protest against British involvement in World War II, focusing on individual nonviolent resistance. Symbolic acts of civil disobedience by select individuals,  highlight the demand for complete independence.
Quit India Movement (1942) Mass protests demanded an end to British rule in India. Intense civil disobedience, widespread strikes, and protests, leading to mass arrests and suppression by British authorities.
Post-Independence (1947 onwards) Actively involved in nation-building, advocating for religious harmony and nonviolence. Continued advocacy for peace, communal harmony, and socio-economic development in independent India.

Gandhi’s return to India in 1915 marked the beginning of a new chapter in the country’s struggle for independence. His philosophy of nonviolence and civil disobedience played a central role in shaping the direction of the Indian independence movement and continues to inspire social and political movements worldwide.

Also Read: India Journalism

Table of Indian National Movement (Brief)

Here is the complete table summarizing the Indian National Movement:

Year Event Objective/Key Figures Outcome
1857 Revolt of 1857 (Sepoy Mutiny) Against British East India Company rule. End of East India Company rule, beginning of direct British Crown rule.
1885 Formation of Indian National Congress (INC) Establishment of a political party advocating for Indian self-rule. A political platform for Indian nationalist leaders.
1905 Partition of Bengal Protest against the partition of Bengal. Birth of the Swadeshi Movement, nationalism.
1906 Formation of Muslim League To represent Indian Muslims’ political rights. Advocacy for separate electorates for Muslims.
1907 Surat Split Disagreements between Moderates and Extremists within the Indian National Congress. Differentiation between Moderate and Extremist factions.
1909 Minto-Morley Reforms (Indian Councils Act) Introduction of limited elected representation for Indians in legislative councils. Communal representation for Muslims, separate electorates.
1913 Ghadar Party Movement The overthrow of British colonial rule. Propaganda against British rule through the “Ghadar” newspaper.
1914 Komagata Maru Incident Immigration of Indians to Canada. Return of the ship to India, tension between Indians and Canadians.
1916-1918 Home Rule Movement Demand for self-governance within the British Empire. Unification of Moderate and Extremist factions within the Congress.
1917 Champaran Satyagraha Protest against forced indigo cultivation. Champaran Agrarian Act 1918.
1917 Kheda Satyagraha Protest against unfair taxation during a famine. Suspension of tax for two years.
1918 Ahmedabad Mill Strike Labor strike for improved conditions. Improved labor conditions and workers’ rights.
1919 Rowlatt Satyagraha To suppress political agitation. Protests and Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.
1920 Khilafat And Non-Cooperation Movement Non-violent resistance, non-cooperation with British rule. Increased political awareness, and unity among Indians.
1921 Moplah Rebellion Rebellion against landlords and British rule. Post-rebellion Muslim reform movement.
1927 Simon Commission Review of the Indian constitutional system. Opposition due to the absence of Indian representation.
1930-1934 Civil Disobedience Movement Protest against salt tax and other British policies. Raised political awareness, led to negotiations.
1935 Government of India Act, 1935 Introduced provincial autonomy and federal structure. Paved the way for a more representative government.
1940 Individual Satyagraha Individual acts of nonviolent resistance against British rule. Protest against British policies.
1942 Quit India Movement Demanding an end to British colonial rule. Suppression of the movement, increased nationalist sentiment.
1946 Cabinet Mission Plan Framework for India’s independence and formation of constituent assembly. Preparations for India’s transition to independence.
1947 Partition of India Division of British India into India and Pakistan. Independence and creation of two separate nations.


Causes of Indian National Movement

The Indian national movement, a pivotal chapter in the country’s history, was shaped by a complex interplay of social, economic, and political factors. Several key elements contributed significantly to the growth of Indian nationalism, creating a robust foundation for the movement that eventually led to independence from British rule.

  1. Socio-Religious Reforms: One of the fundamental catalysts behind the rise of Indian nationalism was the surge of socio-religious reform movements in the 19th century. Visionaries like Jyotiba Phule, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar spearheaded these movements, advocating for the eradication of social and religious injustices. Their efforts focused on issues such as the abolition of Sati, the promotion of women’s education, and fighting against caste discrimination. By championing these causes, they instilled a sense of social justice and equality among the Indian populace, fostering a collective consciousness that played a crucial role in the nationalist movement.
  2. Rise in Western Education: The introduction of Western education, as outlined in Lord Macaulay’s “Minute on Indian Education” in 1835, aimed to create a class of Indians educated in the English language and loyal to British rule. However, this move inadvertently became a tool for Indians to unite and disseminate ideas of freedom, democracy, and equality. Exposure to Western thinkers and philosophers through English education broadened the intellectual horizons of Indians. They harnessed the power of English to articulate nationalist ideals, creating a platform for the dissemination of revolutionary ideas.
  3. Revival of Vernacular Languages: Simultaneously, there was a recognition of the importance of native languages. Vernacular languages gained prominence as vehicles for expressing nationalist sentiments. Writers and intellectuals started using regional languages to communicate ideas of freedom and liberty to a broader audience. This approach ensured that the ideals of nationalism resonated deeply with the masses, fostering a sense of unity rooted in linguistic and cultural identities.
  4. Effects of British Economic Policies: British economic policies, marked by exploitative practices, had a profound impact on Indian society. Peasants and farmers bore the brunt of these policies, facing widespread poverty, heavy debts, and economic hardships. The economic exploitation by the British administration fueled resentment and anger among the Indian population. The plight of the masses served as a powerful motivator for the mobilization of nationalist sentiments, uniting people in their struggle against economic oppression.
  5. Aftermath of the Revolt of 1857: The Revolt of 1857, often hailed as the First War of Independence, marked a turning point in the Indian freedom struggle. Despite its suppression, the revolt left an indelible mark on the collective psyche of the Indian people. It deepened the resentment towards British rule and heightened racial tensions between the Indian populace and the colonial rulers. The events of 1857 served as a catalyst, fueling the fires of nationalism and inspiring subsequent generations to fight for their independence.

In essence, the Indian national movement was a multifaceted phenomenon, shaped by the convergence of various historical forces. The socio-religious reforms, Western education, linguistic resurgence, economic exploitation, and the legacy of the Revolt of 1857 collectively laid the groundwork for a united and determined fight against colonial rule, paving the way for India’s eventual liberation.

Factors Responsible for the Indian National Movement

The Indian National Movement, a monumental struggle for India’s independence from British colonial rule, was propelled by a complex interplay of diverse factors that evolved over several decades. These factors, each significant in its own right, coalesced to shape the movement into a formidable force. Here are the key elements responsible for the emergence and progression of the Indian National Movement:

  1. Political Unity in the Country: Under British rule, India was brought under a centralized administrative and political system. Although designed to serve British interests, this unified governance inadvertently fostered a sense of unity among diverse regions of India. The shared experience of colonial oppression and exploitation laid the foundation for a nationalistic sentiment, uniting people from different corners of the country in their pursuit of freedom.
  2. Rise in the Network of Transport: The British, in their pursuit of efficient transportation of raw materials, developed an extensive network of roads and railways in India. While serving the colonial economy, this infrastructure allowed the movement of people and ideas across the nation. Indian leaders advocating for the cause of independence could travel more freely, disseminating the message of freedom and inspiring unity among regions.
  3. Increased Communication: The British established a comprehensive telegraph and postal network to meet their administrative needs. Indians cleverly utilized this communication infrastructure to exchange information about the freedom struggle, share news, and connect with like-minded individuals and groups throughout the country. This facilitated the coordination of efforts and the spread of nationalist ideals.
  4. Growth of the Modern Press: The proliferation of the modern press, both in English and regional languages, played a pivotal role in the success of the Indian National Movement. Newspapers, pamphlets, posters, and publications became powerful tools for propagating the idea of freedom from British rule. These publications were widely distributed, educating the masses and galvanizing support for the cause of independence.
  5. Policies of Lord Lytton: The oppressive policies implemented by Lord Lytton, such as the Vernacular Press Act of 1878 and the Arms Act of 1878, curtailed freedom of expression and individual rights. These policies provoked widespread anger and resentment among Indians, intensifying their opposition to British rule. The restrictive measures further fueled the fire of the nationalist movement.
  6. Racist Treatment: British colonial authorities exhibited racism and discrimination towards Indians, treating them as inferior beings. Events like the Ilbert Bill controversy highlighted the unequal treatment Indians faced solely based on race. Such incidents underscored the need for equality and justice, becoming a rallying point for nationalist sentiments and strengthening the resolve of the Indian National Movement.
  7. Inspiration from Foreign National Movements: Indians found inspiration in nationalist struggles unfolding in foreign countries, including the French Revolution and the American Civil War. These global events introduced new ideals of freedom, equality, and democracy, shaping the intellectual landscape of the Indian National Movement. Indian leaders and intellectuals drew valuable lessons from these movements, incorporating them into the fabric of India’s fight for independence.
  8. Economic Exploitation: The economic policies enforced by the British Raj resulted in the exploitation of Indian resources, leading to widespread impoverishment. The economic hardships faced by the masses stirred resentment and a fervent desire for economic independence. This desperation for economic stability became a driving force behind the mobilization of nationalist sentiments, as people sought liberation from the shackles of colonial economic exploitation.

In summary, the Indian National Movement was a culmination of various historical, social, and political factors that converged to create a powerful force advocating for India’s independence. The shared experiences of colonial oppression, coupled with the inspiration from global movements and the exploitation faced by the Indian populace, galvanized individuals and communities across the nation, propelling them towards a common goal: freedom from British colonial rule.

Important Centres of the Indian National Movement

The Indian National Movement was marked by numerous significant events, meetings, and activities that occurred in key centers and cities. These locations played pivotal roles in the fight for India’s independence. Here are some of the central hubs of the Indian National Movement:

City Significant Events and Leaders
Bombay (Mumbai) The hub of nationalist activities. Hosted Indian National Congress sessions in 1885, 1904, and 1915. Home to leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji and Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
Calcutta (Kolkata) The major center of nationalist activities. Hosted the first session of the Indian National Congress in 1885. Leaders like Aurobindo Ghosh and Bipin Chandra Pal were active here.
Delhi Witnessed the coronation of King George V in 1911, leading to the annulment of the partition of Bengal. Became the capital of India in 1912, symbolizing British control.
Ahmedabad Mahatma Gandhi established Sabarmati Ashram here, a base for non-violent movements including Salt Satyagraha and Non-Cooperation Movement.
Lucknow Center of political activities. Home to leaders like Motilal Nehru and Jawaharlal Nehru. Hosted the Congress session in 1916.
Nagpur Witnessed the historic Nagpur session of the Indian National Congress in 1920, launching the Non-Cooperation Movement.
Lahore Important center for political and cultural activities. Hosted the Lahore session of 1929, where the demand for complete independence (Purna Swaraj) was made.
Champaran Site of Mahatma Gandhi’s first major campaign in India, the Champaran Satyagraha, in 1917, addressing issues faced by indigo farmers.
Amritsar Known for the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919, where British troops fired on a peaceful gathering, leading to widespread outrage.
Dandi Endpoint of the Salt March led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1930, protesting against the British monopoly on salt production and distribution.
Jhansi Played a role in the revolt of 1857, with Rani Laxmi Bai leading her troops in resisting British forces.

These cities and centers were crucial in shaping the course of the Indian National Movement, witnessing significant events and activities that contributed to India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule.


  • The Nationalist Movement in India stands as a testament to the resilience, unity, and determination of the Indian people. It was a collective struggle that transcended regional, religious, and linguistic differences, bringing together millions in the pursuit of a common goal: freedom. Today, the legacy of the nationalist movement continues to inspire people worldwide, reminding us of the power of determination, unity, and unwavering belief in the pursuit of justice and liberty.

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