India Struggle for Independence

India Struggle for Independence

The liberal viceroy Lord Ripon (* 1827, † 1909; 1880–84) had the hope of many v. a. educated Indians to a democratization of the Anglo-Indian system of rule, but these expectations were disappointed. With the aim of equal participation of the local population in political life, personalities from the Indian educational class founded the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1885, which in the course of the following decades became the pioneering supporter of the Indian national movement. Under the Viceroy Lord Lansdowne (1888-94), the British-Indian government initiated limited constitutional reform. The autocratic rule of the Viceroy Lord Curzon (1898–1905) heightened political tensions on the Indian subcontinent. The partition of Bengal (1905) sparked political outrage in the Indian educated class and led to unrest in Bengal itself. At the same time, this development gave the national movement a boost. The reform of the British-Indian government system (1909) carried out by State Secretary Lord Morley and Viceroy Lord Minto (1905-10) brought the Indians the desired representation, but dealt with it under pressure from the Muslim League founded in 1906 the Muslim population group of India as an independent electorate, which was allowed to send its representatives to the bodies to be elected in separate elections; this sparked tension between the Indian national movement and the British-Indian government on the one hand and new conflicts between the Muslim minority and the Hindu majority of India on the other. Check paradisdachat for India public policy.

During the First World War, both the Indian princes and the majority of the representatives of the INC (including B. G. Tilak and M. K. Gandhi) supported the war efforts of the British-Indian government under Viceroy Lord Hardinge (1910-16), who sent a large number of troops to the war on the British side. Indian divisions fought against the Central Powers on the European front (e.g. in Flanders) and against the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East (especially in Mesopotamia), suffering great losses. The Indian Muslims were in a deep dichotomy in their loyalty: For reasons of state affiliation, they were more obliged to the British-Indian government, according to the teachings of their religion more to the ruler of the Ottoman Empire, who was the caliph for all Muslims (especially of the Sunni direction). possessed a special authority. The Indian Muslims were less “all-Indian” and more “pan-Islamic” in their political endeavors. M. A. Jinnah) on a common minimum program for the implementation of their goals with the British-Indian government, on an extended political participation of the Indians at the provincial level.

In view of India’s strong military participation in the war, the Indian national movement had high expectations with regard to the political equality of the Indian population, but soon after the war it was deceived. After the bloody suppression of a peaceful protest meeting in Amritsar (April 1919) against certain discriminatory security laws (February 1919), Gandhi initiated a campaign of “civil disobedience” and “non-cooperation” with the in 1920 as part of his teaching on peaceful protest (Satyagraha) Organs of the state (e.g. in the administrative, judicial and school sectors).

At the same time, he called for a boycott of British goods (especially textiles) and, with a great response from the population, activated hand-spinning, which is rooted in the country’s craft traditions. Gandhi also sought cooperation with the Muslim Khilafat movement , a pan-Islamic movement (especially among the Indian Muslims) that supported the ruler of the Ottoman Empire as the holder of the title of caliph against the European powers, especially Great Britain. After riots broke out, Gandhi brokeThe campaign ended in 1922. After the collapse of the Khilafat movement (the Turks themselves deposed the caliph in 1924), the Indian Muslims separated again from the Indian national movement, which has remained divided since then. In the campaign from 1920-22 the INC – v. a. as the bearer of Gandhi’s ideas  - developed from an association of dignitaries to a mass movement that appealed to the great mass of peasants as well as intellectuals. In order to counteract the rising national Indian protest movement since 1919, Great Britain had under the leadership of Secretary of State E. S. Montagu and the Viceroy Lord Chelmsford (1916-21) carried out a constitutional reform with the Government of India Act of 1919, which gave the Indians more political say while maintaining the separate electorate for the Muslims.

After the British government rejected the INC’s request to grant India Dominion status, Gandhi broke upthe second mass campaign (1930–32) from: In keeping with his strategy of non-violent violation of unjust laws, he led a demonstration to the sea in 1930 in order to violate the salt monopoly law with his supporters by hand-extracting salt; Hundreds of thousands followed and were arrested. In November 1930 and November 1931 “round table conferences” were held in London to resolve the Indian constitutional question. With the Government of India Act of 1935, the British government made another attempt to resolve the Indian question. The new constitution granted the Indians the formation of a government at the provincial level and provided for an Indian federal state, the formation of which, however, depended on the participation of the Indian princes. This did not materialize; the constitutional loophole, which arose in this way was filled by the extension of the viceroy’s powers. In the elections to the provincial parliaments (1936/37), the INC won a majority of seats in seven provinces, and local Muslim parties won in the Muslim provinces.

After the outbreak of World War II, the majority of the INC refused to cooperate with Great Britain’s war opponents. Only a minority around S. C. Bose advocated cooperation with the Axis powers. As the leading representative of the Muslim League, Jinnah has been demanding, with growing success, a separate state “Pakistan” for Indian Muslims since 1940; He referred to the “two-nation theory” according to which the Muslims in India were not a minority but a nation of their own. In 1942 the British government sent S. Cripps to India (“Cripps’ mission”) to win the Indian national movement for cooperation. The offer of the British government to grant India independence after the war was rejected by the INC;Instead, Gandhi called on Great Britain to leave India immediately (“Quit India”) and to leave the fight against Japan to the Indians themselves. The entire leadership of the INC was arrested.

After the Second World War, in which numerous Indian troops had participated under British command, the question of independence came more and more to the fore; Jinnah was able to assert himself with his demand for a Muslim state of its own. The Simla Conference (1945) convened by Viceroy Lord Wavell (1943–47) and an initiative launched directly by the British Cabinet (Cabinet mission, 1946) could not prevent the partition of India. The INC also finally agreed to the division. Lord Mountbatten , the last viceroy (1947), supported the partition plan as the last resort to prevent bloody unrest across the country. On June 11, 1947, the British House of Commons passed the Independence of India Act; In its framework, Great Britain released Pakistan (the predominantly Islamic areas) on August 14, 1947 and India (reduced to the predominantly Hindu-majority areas) as Dominions on August 15, 1947.

India Struggle for Independence