Indian Freedom Struggle

Topics: Indian independence movement, Indian National Congress, British Raj Pages: 13 (4383 words) Published: November 18, 2010

Arrival of East India Co in India
Shift from traders to Lords
Revolt of 1857
Transfer of power from EIC to British Rule
Rise of Organized Movement
Rise of Indian Nationalism
Divide and Rule (Partition of Bengal)
Formation of Indian National Congress
Jallianwala Baug Massacre
Non Co-operation Movement
Simon Commission
Civil Disobedience Movement
Quit India Movement (Second World War and consequences)

The East India Company had the unusual distinction of ruling an entire country. Its origins were much humbler. On 31 December 1600, a group of merchants who had incorporated themselves into the East India Company were given monopoly privileges on all trade with the East Indies. The Company's ships first arrived in India, at the port of Surat, in 1608. Sir Thomas Roe reached the court of the Mughal Emperor, Jahangir, as the emissary of King James I in 1615, and gained for the British the right to establish a factory at Surat. Gradually the British eclipsed the Portuguese and over the years they saw a massive expansion of their trading operations in India. Numerous trading posts were established along the east and west coasts of India, and considerable English communities developed around the three presidency towns of Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras. In 1717, the Company achieved its hitherto most notable success when it received a firman or royal dictat from the Mughal Emperor exempting the Company from the payment of custom duties in Bengal.

- Social and Religious
- Political
- Military
- Immediate cause

There is enough evidence to support the fact that the Uprising had been planned for months before the actual outbreak. What did the revolutionaries in, apart from the fact that they failed to spread the word beyond Central India and Delhi, was that the Uprising did not go according to plan. It broke out before the appointed date! If D-day had gone as per schedule, the uprising would have broken out in many areas simultaneously and would have been very difficult for the British to control. However as things turned out, trouble broke out sporadically in various places in May 1857 and there was little, if any, coordination happening. So, the British were able to curb it with relative ease.

It is true that the old poet-king in Delhi, Bahadur Shah Zafar and his cohorts, Tatia Tope of Gwalior (Gwalior itself did not rebel, Tope was merely a general), the Rani of Jhansi and so on had very narrow and selfish aims to achieve – their petty kingdoms, money and power. None of them would have rebelled if the British had not snapped their purse-strings, the ‘compensation’ they were paid by the British in return for a share in government. The common people - of Delhi, Lucknow, Gwalior and so on - however had nothing to gain. Except independence. A place to call their own. Their war was not for a small kingdom, they were fighting for freedom. Which is why, while admitting that 1857 was limited in its scope, one cannot just dismiss it as a mutiny. Far too many emotions and resentments were involved which the British had long ignored.

1857 convinced the British that they could no longer just sponge off India, getting rich at its expense without giving anything back. That was what led the Crown to formally relieve the East India Company of its charge and take over itself.

Reasons for Failure of REVOLT OF 1857


It made the rulers of Britain realize the intense disaffection of Indians against the English rule. They were convinced that the power of the British in India wasn't safe in the hands of the Company. Hence, the British parliament made a law in 1858 dissolving the East India Company and taking over the administration of India directly into their hands. 

Consequent to the failure of the Revolt of 1857 rebellion, one also saw the end of the East India Company's rule...
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