Today, lets talk about at he Indian History during the late 18th and early 19th century; when India was under the British rule.
Remember, the idea of complete independence didn’t yet come to the minds of Indian Leaders.
First of all, WHY DID THE INDIANS SUDDENLY START TAKING INTEREST IN POLITICS?
Indians were now educated in English, even English Education remained confined to the middle and rich sections of the society, they read about the various nations who gained freedom recently and over thew the imperialistic powers. The introduction of the printing press in 1778 in Calcutta, gave new dimensions to the press and the newspapers let people know about the current political happenings in and outside India. Now, people were well informed about the intentions of the British.
WHY AND HOW DID THE BRITISH RULE DIS-SATISFY PEOPLE?
- India was brought under the direct administration of the British Crown after the Revolt of 1857. Every Indian was unhappy as all the sections of the society were exploited.
- Peasants and artisans were burdened with taxes. British revenue policies destroyed indigenous industries. The influx of British goods ruined the Indian artisans and the discriminatory trade policies discouraged Indian industrialists to establish themselves.
- British forcefully cultivated cash crops in Indian fields. This caused lack of food grains. This in turn, caused famines. Many examples of such famines are there.
- The educated Indians were deprived of higher posts in government offices even if they were worthy of it.
- Indians were considered inferior to the British. They followed a system of racial discrimination against the Indians. Railway compartments, parks and restaurants were strictly reserved for the British. British subjected Indians to verbal abuse and humiliation.
- The Vernacular Act of 1878 censored Indian newspapers for spreading rebellious news.
- The Arms Act of 1879 forbade Indians to possess arms.
WHAT STEPS WERE TAKEN TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF INDIAN PEOPLE?
Before the rise of INC many regional political parties were present whose effect was limited.
Some of them were:-
- Indian Association (founded by Surendranath Banerjea) in 1851
- Madras Native Association (founded by G Subramania Iyer and Ananda Charlu) in 1852
- Poona Sarvajanik Sabha (founded by Justice Ranade) in 1870
- Bombay Presidency Association(founded by Pherozeshah Mehta and Badruddin Tyabji)
The Indian National Congress was formed in December 1885 by Allan Octavian Hume. Its first session was presided by Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee. Dadabhai Naoroji, Pherozeshah Mehta, Surendranath Banerjea and Badruddin Tyabji.
Chief aims of Indian National Congress:-
- To promote and consolidate the feeling of national unity
- To formulate and present popular demands before the government
- To unite the Indian leaders.
- To remove racial, religious and caste prejudices
- To create public opinion in the country