Topics: British Raj, Governor-General of India, British Empire Pages: 2 (507 words) Published: December 3, 2013

Between 1858 and 1947 the British ruled over India. The system of governance was instituted in 1858 when the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria, who was also called Empress of India, and lasted until 1947, when the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two sovereign states.

Gandhi went to South Africa at the age of 24 and worked there as a legal representative for the Muslim Indian Traders. He spent there 21 years. In South Africa Gandhi had to face discrimination, for example being thrown off of first class on a train because he was Indian. This event and some others made him protest against the inequality of Indian citizens in South Africa. As a symbol of non-violent resistance he burned his registration card and encouraged others to do so. The government wanted to repress the Indian protestors but outcry over the harsh treatment of peaceful Indian protesters forced the South African leader to negotiate with Gandhi. As a result of this negotiation the concept of “Satyagraha” (“Insistence on Truth”) was born.

After the South African success Gandhi was invited back to India, where he was celebrated as a national hero, and he was urged to take up the fight for the Indian independence. To be able to do so, he first travelled across India to get to know the life of the Indian peasants. He saw that the peasants, who were ruled by the British landlords, have nothing to eat and they were suffering. The peasantry was forced to grow indigo but its demand was declining and they were forced to sell it to the planters on a fix prise which led to famine. With Gandhi’s help they became free to grow crops of their own choice, got a rebate on rents paid, they also had a commission, part Indian, to hear grievances.

On 13 April 1919, the British military commander Reginald Dyer ordered his soldiers to fire into an unarmed crowd of some 15,000 men, woman and children. Many people injured or...
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