painting depicting the Sepoy Rebellion
Early Indian Nationalistic movements began in the nineteenth
century, starting with the Sepoy Rebellion, in which both Muslim and Hindu
troops rebelled against their British superiors’ insensitivity to their
culture. Various other movements, soon sprang up all across the Indian
subcontinent, all of them demanding freedom from British rule.
controversy behind the Indian independence movement relied on several factors.
The first being that India provided considerable financial means to Britain,
with its abundance of raw materials and agricultural products (cotton, tea,
etc.), and they were very reluctant to lose such a valuable asset to them. Second,
many Indians, discontented by the social injustices brought on by imperialism
and colonialism, finally voiced their opinions effectively, leading them to mobilize
in order to make their dreams a reality. Finally, the Indian Independence
movement signaled the beginning of the end of British imperialism, as many
other countries under British control soon followed their example by demanding autonomy.
Indians marching in support of the 'Quit India Movement'
Gandhi addressing a crowd of followers
Mahatma Karamchand Gandhi, a key player in the Indian Independence movement, led a campaign against British imperialism in India, all the while promoting peace between Hindus, Muslims and British people living there. He zealously supported strict adherance to nonviolent tactics of protest to his followers, such as satyagraha (a form of passive resistance) and civil disobedience.
In the early 1940s, Gandhi called upon Great Britain to completely withdraw, thereby granting India complete autonomy. While he ardently supported keeping Indian into a unified nation, his efforts ultimately failed. The "Quit India" movement that he had envisioned would bring freedom to his people, divided them into "religious camps", causing much tension and conflict.
Some of Gandhi's many supporters that joined him in the 240 mile long Salt March