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- REFORM & RESISTENCE
INTRODUCTION The Revolt of 1857 was a significant rebellion in India between 1857 and 1858 against the government of the British East India Company, which acted as a sovereign power on behalf of the British Crown. The uprising began on May 10, 1857, with a mutiny of Company army sepoys at the garrison town of Meerut, 40 miles northeast of Delhi. It eventually burst into further mutinies and civilian rebellions, primarily in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, though there were also incidents of insurrection in the north and east. Revolt of 1857 - Background Following the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the British took the first step toward gaining control of northern India. And in 1857, there was a great 'Revolt,' which was a result of the character and practices of colonial administration after 1757, and which resulted in significant changes in British policy toward India. Over time, the cumulative effect of British expansionist tactics, economic exploitation, and administrative innovations had harmed all—rulers of Indian states, sepoys, zamindars, peasants, traders, craftsmen, gurus, maulvis, and so on. In 1857, the simmering anger erupted in a violent storm that rocked the British empire in India to its very core. However, there were intermittent public eruptions in the form of religiopolitical violence, tribal movements, peasant uprisings, agrarian riots, and civil rebellions between 1757 and 1857. Even in famine years, increased revenue expectations sparked resentment. Because the moneylenders had the protection of the police, many protests against local moneylenders escalated into rebellions against the Company's control. Interference by the British in native religious/traditional rituals sparked discontent and led to rebellions. Rebellions and uprisings happened almost from the beginning of the East India Company's reign, for various reasons in various places. Even after the 1857 Revolt, some of the movements persisted. Major revolts broke out in the south, east, west, and north-eastern districts, which the Company brutally repressed. Revolt of 1857 - Causes The origins of the 1857 revolt, like those of previous uprisings, arose from all facts - sociocultural, economic, and political - of the Indian population's everyday existence, cutting across all sectors and classes. Economic Causes The East India Company's colonial practices shattered Indian society's conventional economic foundation. Due to severe taxes, peasants were forced to take out loans from moneylenders/traders at exorbitant interest rates, with the latter frequently evicting the former from their property for non-payment of debt dues. While the issue of landless peasants and rural indebtedness has plagued Indian society to this day, these moneylenders and businessmen emerged as the new landlords. The zamindari system, which had been in place for a long time, had to be dismantled. The artists and handicrafts people suffered during the British administration as well. Furthermore, British policies discouraged Indian handicrafts while emphasizing British items. At the same time, imports of British products into India were subject to cheap duties, which encouraged their admission. Cotton and silk textile exports from India had virtually ceased by the mid-nineteenth century. With the frequent use of a status quo by the state, Zamindars, the traditional landed nobility, had their property rights confiscated. The sepoy revolution provided a chance for these dispossessed taluqdars to confront the British and reclaim what they had lost. The collapse of Indian industry exacerbated the burden on agriculture and land, which could no longer sustain all of the country's inhabitants; the country's uneven development led to pauperization in general. Political Causes Through policies like 'Effective Control,' 'Subsidiary Alliance,' and 'Doctrine of Lapse,' the East India Company's greedy policy of aggrandizement accompanied by broken pledges and promises resulted in contempt for the Company And the loss of political prestige, as well as caused suspicion in the minds of almost all the ruling princes in India. Hindu princes were denied the right of succession. The Mughals were mortified when, following Prince Faqiruddin's death in 1856, Lord Canning declared that, in addition to the renunciations agreed to by Prince Faqiruddin, the next prince on succession would have to surrender the royal title and the ancestral Mughal palaces. The fall of rulers - the old aristocracy - had a negative impact on those sectors of Indian society that relied on cultural and religious pursuits for their livelihood. Administrative Causes Corruption was rampant in the Company's administration particular among the police, minor officials and subordinate courts, which was a major source of dissatisfaction. Many historians believe that the current levels of corruption in India are a result of the Company's control. Furthermore, the nature of British rule gave it a distant and alien appearance in the view of Indians: a form of absentee sovereignty. Socio-Religious Causes The British administration's attitude toward the native Indian population had racial overtones and a superiority mentality. Indians viewed the activity of Christian missionaries in India who flew the British flag with distrust. A considerable segment of the populace saw initiatives at socio-religious change, such as the elimination of sati, support for widow-marriage, and women's education, as outsiders interfering in the social and religious spheres of Indian culture. These fears were exacerbated by the government's decision to tax mosque and temple lands and the passage of laws like the Religious Disabilities Act of 1856, which altered Hindu customs by declaring, for example, that a change of religion did not prevent a son from inheriting his 'heathen' father's property. Influence of Outside Events The revolt of 1857 occurred during the First Afghan War (1838–42),the Punjab Wars (1845–49), and the Crimean Wars (1854–56), all of which cost the British a lot of money. These have clear psychological ramifications. The British were perceived as being weak, and it was thought that they might be vanquished. Dissatisfaction Among the Sepoys The sepoys' religious views and biases increasingly clashed with the circumstances of duty in the Company's Army and cantonments. Indian sepoys who were generally conservative by nature, interpreted restrictions on wearing caste and sectarian marks, as well as secret rumors of chaplains proselytizing activities(often maintained at the Company's expense, which meant at Indian expense) as interference in their religious affairs. Crossing the seas meant losing one's caste to the devout Hindus of the period. The General Service Enlistment Act, passed by Lord Canning's administration in 1856, compelled all future recruits to the Bengal Army to submit a promise to serve wherever the government wanted their services. There was animosity as a result of this. In comparison to his British colleague the Indian sepoy was equally dissatisfied with his pay. The edict that they would not be awarded the foreign service allowance (Bhatta) when serving in Sindh or Punjab was a more immediate source of displeasure for the sepoys. The acquisition of Awadh, the home of numerous sepoys, aggravated their emotions even more. At every turn, the Indian sepoy was treated as a second-class citizen, discriminated against ethnically and in issues of advancement and privileges. The sepoys' unhappiness was not restricted to military problems; it expressed a broader dissatisfaction with and hostility to British authority. In truth, the sepoy was a peasant in uniform whose mindset was not separated from the revolt The Revolt The incidence of greased cartridges finally sparked the Revolt of 1857. There was a rumor that the new Enfield rifles' cartridges were lubricated with cow and pig fat. The sepoys had to nibble off the paper on the cartridges before loading these guns. They were rebuffed by both Hindu and Muslim sepoys. Lord Canning attempted to right the wrong by withdrawing the problematic cartridges, but the harm had already been done. There was rioting in several locations. The revolt began on May 10, 1857, at Meerut, 58 kilometers from Delhi, and quickly spread across a large territory, encompassing Punjab in the north and the Narmada in the south, as well Bihar in the east and Rajputana in the west. There were rumblings of dissatisfaction in many cantonments even before the Meerut tragedy. In February 1857, the 19thNative Infantry at Berhampur(West Bengal), which refused to use the newly imported Enfield rifle and mutinied, was dissolved. Mangal Panday, a young sepoy in the 34th Native Infantry, went a step further and shot at his unit's sergeant major at Barrackpore. On April 8, he was overcome and hanged, and his unit was dissolved in May. Then there was the blast in Meerut. The lubricated cartridges were declined by 90 troops of the 3rd Native Cavalry on April 24. On May 9, 85 of them were found guilty, condemned to ten years in jail, and placed in shackles. The Indian soldiers stationed at Meerut erupted in a widespread mutiny as a result of this. They liberated their imprisoned friends the next day, May 10, executed their superiors, and raised the insurrection flag. After sunset, they left for Delhi. The greased cartridges did not establish a new source of dissatisfaction in the Army; rather, they provided the catalyst for long-simmering resentment to surface. Bahadur Shah - Head of the Revolt The Great Revolt's epicenter would soon be Delhi, and Bahadur Shah would be its emblem. This spontaneous elevation of the last Mughal ruler to the throne of India was a recognition that the Mughal dynasty's lengthy reign had become the traditional emblem of India's political unity. The sepoys had turned a military mutiny into a revolutionary war with this one deed, and all Indian chiefs who took part in the insurrection rushed to declare their allegiance to the Mughal emperor. It also implied that the insurgents were acting for political reasons Though religion had a role, the rebels' overall worldview was shaped more by their image of the British as the common enemy than by their religious identity. Leaders of the Revolt and Storm Centres The uprising expanded over the whole region, from Patna's outskirts to Rajasthan's borders. Kanpur, Lucknow, Bareilly, Jhansi, Gwalior, and Arrah in Bihar are the primary centers of insurrection in these areas. Lucknow was the capital of the Awadh state. Begum Hazrat Mahal, one of the ex-king of Awadh's Begum, assumed command of the insurrection. Nana Saheb, the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II, led the mutiny at Kanpur. He joined the insurrection largely because the British had taken away his pension. The victory was fleeting. After further forces came, the British were able to regain Kanpur. The uprising was put down with fury. Nana Saheb managed to flee, but his superb leader Tantia Tope fought on. Tantia Tope was defeated, jailed, and hung in the end. When the British refused to acknowledge her adopted son's claim to the kingdom of Jhansi, the twenty-two-year-old Rani Lakshmi Bai commanded the rebels. She battled valiantly against the British army, but the English eventually overpowered her. After Rani Lakshmi Bai fled, she was joined by Tantia Tope, and the two marched to Gwalior, where they were arrested. There was a fierce battle, and the Rani of Jhansi fought like a tigress till she perished, battling until the last. The British were able to retake Gwalior. Contributions of Civilians The sepoy revolt was accompanied by a civil populace uprising, mainly in the north-western regions and Awadh. Their long-held complaints were quickly expressed, and they rose in force to voice their resistance to British authority. The farmers, craftsmen, shopkeepers, day laborers, zamindars, religious mendicants, priests, and public servants all participated in the insurrection, giving it actual power and the appearance of a popular uprising. Peasants and petty zamindars vented their frustrations here by assaulting the moneylenders and zamindars who had evicted them from their land. They took advantage of the uprising to destroy the accounts and debt records of the moneylenders. They also targeted law courts, revenue offices (tehsils), tax records, and police stations, all of which were founded by the British. Within a month after the rebels captured Delhi, the uprising had spread to other regions of the country. Suppression of the Revolt After a lengthy and bloody battle, the British finally took Delhi on September 20, 1857, and the uprising was eventually put down. The siege's commander, John Nicholson was severely wounded and died as a result of his injuries. Bahadur Shah was apprehended and imprisoned. The royal princes were apprehended and killed on the spot by Lieutenant Hudson, who shot them at point-blank range. In 1862, the emperor was banished to Rangoon, where he died. As a result, the mighty Mughal dynasty was ultimately and totally destroyed. All of the revolt's major leaders fell one by one. The military operations to retake Kanpur were intertwined with those to reclaim Lucknow. British control over India was largely restored by the end of 1859. The British government had to send massive amounts of soldiers, money, and guns into the nation, albeit the Indians had to pay for it all afterward by suppressing themselves. Causes of Failure of the Revolt All-India participation was absent - One cause was the revolt's limited geographical extension. It lacked an all-India veneer; India's eastern, southern, and western regions were mostly unharmed. This was most likely due to the Company's harsh suppression of previous uprisings in those areas. All classes did not join - Even Awadh talukdars backed off after pledges of land restoration were spelled out, and big zamindars served as storm breakers.' Moneylenders and merchants were particularly vulnerable to the mutineers' rage, and their interests were better safeguarded under British patronage. Educated Indians saw the insurrection as backward-looking, pro-feudal, and a backlash to modernity by old conservative forces; these individuals had great hopes that the British would usher in a period of modernization. The majority of Indian kings declined to join and frequently aided the British. Poor Arms and Equipment -The Indian forces were inadequately armed, fighting mostly with swords and spears, with few cannons and muskets. European soldiers, on the other hand, were armed with cutting-edge weaponry such as the Enfield rifle. The electric telegraph kept the commander-in-chief up to date on the rebels' movements and plans. Uncoordinated and Poorly Organized - The uprising was poorly organized, with no central leadership or coordination. In terms of generalship, the main rebel commanders - Nana Saheb, Tantia Tope, Kunwar Singh, and Laxmibai- were no match for their British opponents. The East India Company, on the other hand, was lucky to have persons of remarkable ability such as the Lawrence brothers, John Nicholson, James Outram, Henry Havelock, and others. No Unified Ideology- The mutineers lacked a thorough knowledge of colonial control, as well as a future-oriented agenda, a cohesive philosophy, a political vision, and a sociological alternative. The insurgents represented a variety of forces with varying grievances and political ideologies. At this point in Indian history lack of unity among Indians was probably inescapable. In India, modern nationalism was unheard of. In reality, the insurrection of 1857 was essential in drawing the Indian people together and instilling in them a sense of belonging to a single country. Nature and Consequences of the Revolt The uprising of 1857 was a watershed moment in Indian history. It resulted in significant changes in the British government's administrative system and policy. The revolt was described by British historians as a sepoy mutiny. The British historians believed that the sepoys, as well as some landholders and princes with vested interests, organized the insurrection, ignoring the local people's concerns and involvement in the movement. Self-interested reasons, according to a recent study in 1857, did not play a significant role prior to the concerted opposition to the unpopular British administration. The Revolt of 1857 is considered by some historians to be the first struggle for Indian independence. Those who disagree with this perspective say that the rebel leaders did not try to create a new social order. The dissatisfied devotion and intentions were shattered, and they frequently looked back to society and policies that were no longer feasible." As a result, it was a restoration rather than a revolution. Rural peasants, in addition to sepoys and Taluqdars, took part in the revolution in considerable numbers. In the instance of Awadh, it has been shown that the attack was undertaken jointly by taluqdars and peasants. Peasants continued to relocate even after taluqdars made peace with the British in several locations. The sepoys had ties to their kinsmen in the countryside and their insurrection inspired the civilian populace to air their concerns against British authority. As a result, the 1857 Revolt took on the appearance of a popular revolt. Significance of the Revolt Even though the British were able to put down the uprising, they were aware of the intensity of the people's discontent. The events of 1857 forced the British to reconsider their stance toward India in the aftermath of the uprising; as a result, they devised a plan to prevent future revolts. The British issued a pledge that they would not extend their existing geographical conquests in order to regain the trust of local princes. The loyal princes received special honors. To check troops' cohesion, community, caste, tribal, and regional loyalty were fostered during army recruiting. By subtly exploiting the caste, religious, and regional identities of Indians, the British used the divide and rule strategy. The proclamation of Royal Proclamation in 1858was another key result of the Revolt of 1857. The British Crown took complete control of India's government with this proclamation, thereby ending the East India Company's dominion. Even though the rebels were defeated, their valiant fight against the British Raj made a lasting impact on the public. This Revolt had a significant impact on the spirit of Indian nationalism during its formative years in the second half of the nineteenth century. Hindu - Muslim Unity At all levels of the revolt - people, troops, and leaders - there was the perfect collaboration between Hindus and Muslims. All rebels recognized Bahadur Shah Zafar, a Muslim, as emperor, and the Hindu sepoys in Meerut immediately began marching to Delhi, the Mughal imperial capital. "Two things stand out plainly in the middle of the complex tale of the Rising of 1857," Maulana Azad writes. The first is the incredible sense of oneness that existed in India during this time between Hindus and Muslims. The other is the people's great devotion to the Mughal Crown." Both Hindus and Muslims, rebels and sepoys acknowledged each other's feelings. Once the insurrection was successful in a given location, an immediate ban on cow slaughter was imposed. Both Hindus and Muslims were well-represented in the leadership; for example, Nana Saheb had Azimullah, a Muslim who specialized in political advertising, as an advisor, while Laxmibai had Afghan warriors on her side. Thus, the events of 1857revealed that, prior to 1858, India's people and politics were not fundamentally communal or sectarian. Social and Religious Movement in India The 19th Century socio reform movement in India was reformist, revivalist, and other issuebased social movements. They systematically eliminated the evil practices of society. While a few movements focused on modernization, others worked to protect the ancient Indian culture. The 19th-century socio religious Reform Movement eradicated some of the worst evils of Indian society. Some of these prominent movements were the Aligarh movement, Brahmo samaj, and Young Bengal Movement. Numerous leaders fought for and influenced positive change. The most important of those were: Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda, Jyotirao Phule etc. Many of the 19th Century's Social and Religious Reform Movements faced initial resistance from conventional thinkers. But the founders were educated, intelligent, and forward-looking. Social and Religious Reform Movements in the 19th Century Social reform Movement in India Brahmo Samaj 1828 The 19th Century socio reform movement in India was reformist, revivalist, and other issue based social movements. Aligarh Movement 1875 Prarthana Samaj 1863 The Theosophical Movement 1875 Deoband Movement 1866 1866 Ramakrishna Mission 1897 Satyashodhak Samaj 1873 Young Bengal Movement 1820 Widow Remarriage Association 1860 Brahmo Samaj It is one of the Socio Religious Reform Movements in India founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in 1828. The movement came into action to oppose unnecessary rituals, idol worship, belief in more than 1 god, caste pressure, and other social evils like Sati, polygamy, the purdah system, child marriage, etc. The society also aimed to promote women's education and widow remarriage. The Brahmo Samaj was also against following old Hindu superstitions. Traditionalists like Raja Radhakant Deb, who organized the Dharma Sabha to combat Brahmo Samaj propaganda, strongly opposed Rammohan Roy's progressive beliefs. Rammohan Roy claimed that the Vedas and Upanishads, two ancient Hindu writings, supported the monotheistic philosophy. He translated the Vedas and the five Upanishads into Bengali to support his argument. In 1823, he hosted a community banquet to commemorate the success of the Socio Religious Reform Movement in Spain. Aligarh Movement The Aligarh movement was another crucial Socio Religious Reform Movement in the 19th century. Sayyid Ahmed Khan founded it in 1875 at Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College. The movement got established in the city of Aligarh. The college later became Aligarh Muslim University. The main desire of launching this movement was to offer modern education to Muslims. The Socio Religious Reform Movement tried to harmonize Islam with contemporary liberal culture. Their worldview was founded on a liberal interpretation of the Quran. They aimed to give Muslims a distinctive sociocultural identity that followed contemporary norms. He feared that being actively involved in politics at the time would encourage hostility from the government toward the Muslim population. He disapproved of Muslim political activity as a result. Unfortunately, he let himself be utilized by the colonial government's offensive divide and-rule approach to further Muslims' educational and employment interests. Later, he spread the idea that Muslims and Hindus have different interests. Through the publication of Tahdhib-ul-Akhlaq, Syed's progressive social ideas were disseminated (Improving Manners and Morals) Prarthana Samaj The third Socio Religious Reform Movement in India is Prarthana Samaj. The movement was established by Keshub Chandra Sen In 1863. The reform movement orated believing in only one god (monotheism) and condemned the domination of priests and caste supremacy in Bombay. Veeresalingam, a Telugu reformer, spread the movement's activities in South India. Another social reformer was a philosopher known as Chandavarka, who encouraged Prarthana Samaj. This Social and Religious Reform Movement in India opposed child marriage and the purdah system, advocated widow remarriage, and strongly emphasised female education. It also targeted the caste system and the Brahmin majority. Ranade founded the Deccan Education Society and the Widow Remarriage Association to reform Hinduism. Ranade established the National Social Conference in 1887 to bring about social reforms across the nation. One of the founding members of the Indian National Congress was Ranade. Ramakrishna Mission The next Socio Religious Reform Movement in the 19th century was the Ramakrishna Mission, founded in 1897 by Swami Vivekananda. The main motive of this movement was to spread the teachings of Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Vivekananda's Guru, in Belur near Calcutta. The mission aimed to resist untouchability and the caste system. It propagated Vedanta and concentrated on the fact that all religions are universal.. This culture worked hard to eradicate caste systems, rituals, priesthood, animal sacrifice, idolatry, and polytheism. Additionally, it promotes the transfer of western scientific knowledge. The Socio Religious Reform Movement fought for social equality, improved women's conditions, and opposed untouchability and caste rigidities. Satyashodhak Samaj On September 24, 1873, in Maharashtra, Jyoti Rao Govind Rao Phule described the idea of the Socio Religious Reform Movement, also known as Satyashodhak Samaj. The caste system and idol worship were both targets of the reform movement's campaigns. It defended using reason rather than blindly following the priesthood. Govind Rao Phule specifically used the term "Dalit" to refer to those from lower castes. Young Bengal Movement Henry Louis Vivian Derozio founded the Young Bengal movement in the 1820s. Louis was an Anglo-Indian professor in college in Calcutta. He inspired his students to think freely and analytically. Derozio spread the spirit of freedom, equality, and liberty among all. This Socio Religious Reform Movement was the one to criticize the dominant practices of religion and interrupted changing the Hindu orthodox beliefs. Derozian's ideas significantly impacted the Socio Religious Reform Movement, or Bengal Renaissance, in early nineteenth-century Bengal. This movement was loud and logical but could not acquire any traction. Nevertheless, it was a significant advancement since it motivated and produced a generation of activists and reformers. Widow Remarriage Association Another Socio Religious Reform Movement was the Widow Remarriage Association. It was started by Pandit Vishnu Shastri, founded in 1860. The most well-known campaigner for the cause was Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. He sent a petition to the Legislative Council, but Radhakanta Deb and the Dharma Sabha responded with a counterpetition that had nearly four times as many signatures. But despite the opposition and the measure being deemed a flagrant violation of then prevailing norms, Lord Dalhousie finished it. Causes of Social and Religious Reform Movements in India English and other contemporary concepts were introduced to India by the British when they arrived. These concepts, which had a significant influence on Indian society, were liberty, social and economic equality, democracy, fraternity, and justice. Indian culture in the nineteenth century was entangled in a web of social obscurantism and religious superstition. The study of the history, philosophy, science, religions, and literature of ancient India began in the late 19th century by several European and Indian academics. The Indian people felt a sense of pride in their civilization due to their expanding understanding of India's former splendor. Additionally, it aided the Socio Religious Reform Movement in its fight against all kinds of barbaric customs and superstitions. Impact of Social and Religious Reform Movements in India The scientific, and intellectual assault of the Social and Religious Reform Movement rebels was unacceptable to the orthodox segments of society. So, the reactionaries insulted, persecuted, issued fatwas against the reformers, and even attempted to kill them. Despite the opposition, these organizations were able to aid in the liberation of the person from frightened submission and uncritical submission to the exploitation by priests and other classes. With the translation of religious texts into everyday languages, the emphasis on each person's right to interpret the scriptures, and the simplicity of ceremonies, worship became a more intimate experience. The Socio Religious Reform Movement placed a strong emphasis on the capacity of human reason and intelligence. By eliminating corrupt elements, religious beliefs, and practices, the reformers gave their followers a chance to respond to official criticism that their religions and cultures were decadent and inferior. The Socio Religious Reform Movement gave the developing middle classes the much needed cultural roots they could cling to and a way to lessen the humiliation they felt from being annexed by a foreign force. Recognizing the peculiar demands of modern times, notably scientific knowledge, and supporting a contemporary, this-worldly, secular, and rational mindset was essential to these reform initiatives. Socially, this mindset was reflected in a significant change in the ideas of "purity and pollution." Although the reformers' criticisms primarily targeted old beliefs and customs, the reformers desired modernization rather than complete westernization based on the mindless replication of foreign Western cultural norms. Rise of New Middle Class in India During British rule, India witnessed the introduction of new law courts, government officials and commercial agencies. The Britishers also created a new professional and service-holding middle class, apart from those with landed interests. The middle class in India grew at the intersection of colonialism, democratic state and (capitalist) economic development. The first moment of middle class development can be located in the colonial period. The impetus for this came from the British colonial rule. Over the two centuries of their rule, they introduced modern industrial economy, secular education and a new administrative framework. The British opened schools and colleges in different parts of India, particularly in the colonial cities of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. Over the years, a new class emerged in India. Apart from those employed in the administrative jobs of the British government, they included professionals such as lawyers, doctors, teachers and journalists. They came from relative- ly privileged backgrounds, mostly upper-caste, and from families which were financially comfortable, but not rich enough to not have to earn a living. This was one factor which distinguished them from the richest strata of Indian society, such as the large hereditary landlords or the remnants of an indigenous aristocracy. It also clearly put them well above the vast majority of India’s poor. The incipient middle class that had acquired modern education in India and abroad was influenced by the new ideas of liberalism and democracy, which had become popular in the West after the French Revolution. They initiated “social reform movements” in their own communities and mobiliized Indians for freedom from the colonial rule. However, though this class was “modern”, it also participated in identity movements and played an active role in strengthening boundaries across religions and communities. Education system in British India Before the British rule in India, gurus provided education to all Hindus without any restrictions. The gurus have given the utmost priority as they teach them how to attain Moksha. Also, the Mughal empire influenced Muslim education. The young students were educated through Maktabs, Madrasas, Tols, and Pathshalas about their respective religious texts and ancient kinds of literature, along with a bit of awareness of scientific advancement. After the arrival of the British, a new western education system came into existence. They came up with specific educational policies. The history of British education policies in India can be divided into two sections: 1. Under the East India Company, i.e., before 1857, 2. Under the British Crown, i.e., after 1857. Development of Education in British India before 1857 Initially, the East India Company wanted some educated Indians to assist them with land administration. Also, they wanted to learn about the local customs, traditions, and laws to understand the country better. The development of British education system in India before 1857 is as follows: 1781 - Warren Hastings, Governor-General of Bengal, established the first educational institution, Calcutta Madrasa in Calcutta for Islamic Law Studies. 1784 - William Jones founded the Asiatic Society of Bengal to understand and study the culture and history of India. At the same time, Bhagwat Gita was translated into English by Charles Wilkins. 1791 - The Sanskrit College was established by Jonathan Duncan, a resident of Benares, to study and understand Hindu philosophies and laws. 1800 - Fort William college was founded by Richard Wellesley, governor-general, in Calcutta for training the EIC's civil servants in Indian languages. However, the college was shut down in two years as the British government (in England) disproved the appointment of Indians as English Civil Servants. The Charter Act of 1813: The first noted step taken by the British government towards modern education in India was the Charter Act 1813. According to the act, an annual sum of Rs. 1 Lakh was decided to be utilized for educating Indian Subjects. During this period, the Christain missionaries were active in education, and however, they primarily focused on conversions and religious teachings. The English Education Act of 1835: Macauley's minutes, or the English Education Act of 1835, has the following gists: As per this act of the British education system in India, the government should focus on spending resources for teaching literature and modern sciences only in English. The medium of education in all schools and colleges should be English. The schools at the elementary level were not significant. They emphasized opening the district schools and colleges. It neglected mass education. Downward filtration theory- The small section of middle-class and upper-class Indians were educated to become the connecting link between the government and the masses. Also, the Calcutta Medical College and the Elphinstone College of Bombay were established in 1835. The defects in the system of vernacular education were pointed out in Adam's report on vernacular education in Bihar and Bengal in 1835, 1836, and 1838. 1843-53 As an experiment, James Jonathan introduced one model school in each tehsil of North West province. It was suggested that vernacular language should be used for teaching. Also, the teachers were trained in separate schools for these vernacular schools. Wood's Dispatch (1854) Wood's Dispatch, also known as the Manga Carta of British Education in India, was the first attempt to envisage mass education in India. Following were the recommendations of Wood's Dispatch: It demanded regularizing the education system on all levels, i.e., from the primary to the university level. Indians must be educated in their native language and English. Every province must hold its own education system. At least one government school should be established in every district. Women should be educated. • University of Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras was established in 1857. The University of Punjab was set up in 1882, and the University of Allahabad in 1887. As per Wood's Dispatch, it was asked that government should take charge of people's education. Development of British Education System in India after 1857 After 1857, Rajkot College of Kathiawar and Mayo College of Ajmer was established in 1868 and 1875, respectively. These colleges focused on Indian princes and elites; political training. The commissions like Saddler, Raleigh, and Hunder, established under the British Crown, etc., mainly recommended the establishment of reforms in the British education system in India. The significant developments in education under British rule are as under: Hunter Commission on Indian Education in 1882: The Hunter Commission on Indian Education of 1882 asked for an increase in government efforts to achieve the aim of mass education through vernacular languages. It includes: It recommended dividing secondary education into two categories, i.e., vocational and literary education. It emphasized female education outside of the presidency towns. The control of primary education should be transferred to municipal boards and new districts. Raleigh Commission in 1902: Viceroy Curzon believed that universities have students with revolutionary ideologies. He recommended the commission review the education system of universities in India, which led to the universities act of 1904. Indian Universities Act of 1904: As per the Indian Universities Act of 1904, all universities came under the government's control. It includes- More emphasis on research and study instead of revolutionary activities in universities. The act reduced the number of fellows, and the government nominated them. Against the University senate decisions, the government acquired the veto power. It came up with stricter affiliation rules. Compulsory primary education was introduced in all the territories of Baroda's princely state in 1906. In 1913, the government took a new resolution on Education Policy. Saddler University Commission (1917-19): Because of the poor performance of students at Calcutta University, the Saddler University Commission was set up. Perhaps, lately, it ended up reviewing all the universities in India. The critical points of the Saddler University Commission are as follows- It focused on secondary education. It follows the ideology that for the improvement of education in universities, there should be an improvement in secondary education. According to the Commission, the school should be completed in 12 years. It came up with the idea of creating separate boards for secondary and intermediate education. It focused on educating females, training teachers, providing technical education, and applying scientific knowledge. It emphasizes that all universities should function autonomously as centralized resident teaching bodies. 1916-21 Universities of Osmania, Lucknow, Dacca, Aligarh, Benares, Patna, and Mysore were set up. In 1929 Hartog Committee was set up that focused on primary education in British India and believed there was no need for a compulsory education system. Wardha Scheme of Basic Education by INC in 1937: In 1937, the Indian National Congress organized a conference in Wardha to discuss education. It developed a scheme focused on practical education, i.e., learning through activities based on Gandhi's ideas. It includes- The syllabus should consist of basic handicrafts. Free and compulsory education should be for the first seven years of schooling. Everyone should educate students in Hindi till class 7 and English after class 7. However, it was not implemented as many ministers from INC started after World War II Sergeant Plan of Education by the Central Advisory Board of Education: In 1944, the Sergeant plan of education by the central advisory board of education was introduced. It includes- There was free education for students belonging to the age group of 3-6 years. Compulsory education for students for 6-11 years. • A student from 11-17 years of age was given higher education. It focused on improving artistic, commercial, and technical education. Also, it emphasized the teaching of physically and mentally disabled students. Impact of British Education in India Englishmen wanted to spread western education in India for their sake as there was a massive demand for lower-class workers, clerks, and other administrative roles in the East India Company's functioning. During that period, they found it easy to get Indian workers at cheaper rates than Englishmen from England. The literacy rate was relatively low among Indians; still, the women were deprived of education. Also, they ignored scientific and technical education. The illiteracy rate in British India was 94% in 1911 and reduced to 92% in 1921. Conclusion On the surface, it may seem that the British rule in India that transformed its society for the better. But upon closer examination, these benefits were purely coincidental, if not self-serving. Economic improvements were only enacted in order to better plunder the Indian economy. Even societal changes would have come out on their own without the need for British intervention. In the end, the negative effects of British Imperialism far outweigh the benefits.
- NATIONALIST POLITICS AND EXPANSION OF ITS SOCIAL BASE
INTRODUCTION Phases of Nationalist Movement: Liberal Constitutionalists (MODERATES PHASE) Congress politics during the first twenty years since its inception was moderate in nature. Congress: members were mostly part-time politicians who were successful professionals in their personal life; members from upper class and had been thoroughly anglicized. The moderates were influenced primarily by Utilitarian theories as JS Mill and Edmund To the moderates, British rule seemed to be an act of providence destined to bring in modernization. Indians needed some time to prepare themselves for self-government, and till that time British parliament could be trusted. The politics of the moderates was limited in goals and methods. Although they were aware of the exploitative nature of British rule, they wanted its reform and not its expulsion. The moderates never visualized a separation from the British empire. They wanted limited self-government within the imperial framework. Initial Demands: i. Broaden Indian participation in the legislature through an expansion of central and provincial legislatures. ii. New councils for the North-Western Provinces and Punjab. iii. Two Indian members in the Viceroy’s Executive Council. iv. The budget should be referred to the legislature which will have the right to discuss and vote on it. They initially demanded democratic rights only for the educated members of the Indian society who would substitute for the masses. Their expectation was that full political freedom would come gradually and India would be ultimately given the self-governing rights. In return, they merely received the Indian Councils Amendment Act of 1892 which only provided for marginal expansion of the legislative councils at the centre and the provinces which was to be constituted through selection by the viceroy at the centre and the governors at the provinces rather than election. The Government of India was given the power to legislate without referring to the legislature. Therefore, very few of the constitutional demands of the moderates were fulfilled by this act. 6.Reformation of the Administrative System Moderates demanded an Indianization of the services as an Indianized civil service would be more responsive to the Indian needs. 7. They demanded a simultaneous civil service examination both in India and London and raising the age limit for appearing in such examinations from 19 to 23. 8. Charles Wood, the president of the Board of Control, opposed this on the premise that there is no institution that could train the boys in India for the examination. 9.Although in 1892, 93, a resolution in the House of Commons was passed for simultaneous examination, the maximum age for the exam was further lowered to the disadvantage of the Indians. 10. Military Expenditure i. The British Indian army was being used in the imperial wars in all parts of the world. ii. This put a very heavy burden on the Indian finances. iii. The moderates demanded that the military expenditure should be shared evenly by the British government; the Indians should be taken in the army as volunteers and appointment of more Indians in higher ranks. iv. These demands were rejected. v. The idea of volunteer service was abhorred because it was feared that Maratha and Bengali volunteers because of their nationalism would find their way in the army and subvert its integrity. 11. The idea of appointing Indians in commissioned ranks was also despised as no European officer would like being ordered by an Indian commander. 12. The British government agreed to only share a small fraction of military expenditure and the burden on Indian finances remained the same. 13. The moderates also demanded the extension of the Permanent Settlement, abolition of salt tax and a campaign against the exploitation of the indentured labour at the Assam tea gardens. These demands represented a plea for racial equality. But, none of these demands were even considered by the colonial administration. Economic Critique of Colonialism Most significant historical contribution of the moderates. This is often referred to as economic nationalism and was further developed in the subsequent period of Indian nationalist movement. Three main names: i) Dadabhai Naroji – a successful businessman ii) Justice MG Ranade iii) R.C Rutt, a retired ICS officer who published The Economic History of India in two volumes (1901-03) The main focus of this economic nationalism was on Indian poverty created by the application of the classical economic theory of free trade. This turned India into a supplier of agricultural raw materials and foodstuffs to and a consumer of manufactured goods from the mother country. India was thus reduced to the status of a dependent agrarian economy and a field for British capital investment. Investment of foreign capital meant a drainage of wealth through expatriation of profit. This, known as the drain theory, was central to economic nationalism. It was argued that direct drainage of wealth took place through military charges, home charges etc. Rise of Extremists and The Swadeshi Movement By the end of the nineteenth century, the failure of moderate politics became apparent. Ergo, a reaction set in from within the Congress, referred to as the Extremist trend. The moderates – criticized – for being too cautious. Extremist politics developed in three mains regions under the leadership of three important individuals: Bipin Chandra Pal in Bengal Bal Gangadhar Tilak in Maharashtra Lala Lajpat Rai in Punjab Reasons of the Rise of Extremism A. Factionalism: Historians observed a good deal of faction fighting at almost every level of organized public life in India. Bengal : division within the Brahmo Samaj and the faction fighting between Aurobindo Ghosh on the one hand and Bipin Chandra Pal and Brahmabandhab Upadhyay on the other, over the editorship of Bande Mataram. Maharashtra : competition between Gokhale and Tilak for controlling the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha. In 1895, Tilak captured the organization and Gokhale in 1896 started a rival organization, the Deccan Sabha. Punjab : Arya Samaj divided after the death of Dayanand Saraswati, between the more moderate and radical revivalist group. B. Frustration with Moderate Politics Major reason behind the rise of extremist politics. The social reformism of the moderates, inspired by Western liberalism, also went against popular orthodoxy. Moderate politics had reached a dead end, as most of their demands remained unfulfilled and this was a major reason behind the rise of extremism. This increased the anger against colonial rule and this anger was generated by the moderates themselves through their economic critique of colonialism. C. Role of Lord Curzon He initiated a number of unpopular legislative and administrative measures, which hurt the susceptibilities of the educated Indians. For example, the Indian Universities Act of 1904 placed Calcutta University under the most complete governmental control and the Indian Official Secrets Amendment Act of 1904 further restricted press freedom. His Calcutta University convocation address wherein he described the highest idea of trust as a Western concept hurt the pride of educated Indians. Last in the series was the partition of Bengal in 1905, designed to weaken the Bengali nationalists who allegedly controlled the Congress. But instead of weakening the Congress, the Curzonian measures revitalized it as the extremist leader now tried to take over Congress in order to commit it to the path of more direct confrontation with colonial rule. Swaraj The goal of the extremists was swaraj which different leaders interpreted differently. Tilak: Swaraj = Indian control over the administration, but not a total severance of relations with Great Britain. Bipin Chandra Pal: Swaraj = As no self-government was possible under British paramountcy, so for him swaraj was complete autonomy, absolutely free of British control. Aurobindo Ghosh: Swaraj = absolute political independence. Change in the forms of agitation The radicalization was manifested in the change in the method of agitation with a shift from the old methods of prayer and petition to passive resistance. This meant opposition to colonial rule through its violation of unjust laws, boycott of British goods and institutions, and development of their indigenous alternatives - swadeshi and national education. The inspiration for this new politics came from the new regional literature which provided a discursive field for defining the Indian nation in terms of its distinct cultural heritage. A) This was a revivalist discourse as it invoked an imagined golden past and used symbols to arouse nationalist passions. B) This was also a response to the gendered discourse of colonialism that had stereotyped the colonized society as effeminate, and therefore unfit to rule, which created a psychological condition for the subject state to recover their virility in Kshatriyahood in an imagined Aryan past. C) Historical figures that represented velour were now projected as national heroes. D) Tilak started the Shivaji festival in Maharashtra in April 1895. E) The Marathas, Rajput's and Sikhs were now placed in an Aryan tradition and appropriated as national heroes. The Indian political leaders also looked back to Indo-Aryan political traditions as alternatives to Anglo-Saxon political systems. The Indian traditions were described as more democratic with strong emphasis on village self-government. The concept of dharma was also evoked which restricted the arbitrary powers of the king. This was directly to counter the colonial logic and moderate argument that British rule was an act of providence to prepare Indians for self-government. a. This was the central problem of Indian nationalism. b. The moderates wanted the Indian nation to develop through a modernistic course, but the extremists that sought to oppose colonial rule, talked in terms of a non-Western paradigm. c. They tried to define the Indian nation in terms of distinctly Indian cultural idioms, which led them to religious revivalism invoking a glorious past – sometimes even unquestioned acceptance and glorious fixation of that past. d. The English-educated Indians also felt proud of the achievements of the Vedic civilization. e. This was essentially an “imaginary history” with a specific historical purpose of instilling a sense of pride in the minds of a selected group of Indians involved in the process of imagining their nation. Swadeshi Movement The Swadeshi movement launched in the early 20th Century was a direct fallout of the decision of the British India government to partition Bengal. Use of Swadeshi goods and boycott of foreign made goods were the two main objectives of this movement. A Boycott Resolution was passed in Calcutta City Hall on August 7, 1905, where it was decided to boycott the use of Manchester cloth and salt from Liverpool. In the district of Barisal, the masses adopted this message of boycott of foreign-made goods, and the value of the British cloth sold there fell sharply. Bande Mataram became the boycott and Swadeshi movement theme song. Among the movement’s various forms of struggle, it was the boycott of foreign-made goods that encountered the greatest visible success on the practical and popular level. Boycott and public burning of foreign clothes, picketing of shops selling foreign goods, all became common in remote corners of Bengal as well as in many major cities and towns across the country. Another form of mass mobilization widely used by the Swadeshi movement was the corps of volunteers (samitis). Ashwini Kumar Dutt, a school teacher, set up the Swadesh Bandhab Samiti in Barisal was the best – known volunteer organization of all of them. The Shivaji and Ganapati festivals in Western India (Maharashtra) were organized by Lokmanya Tilak to spread the swadeshi message and boycott movements among the masses. The Swadeshi and boycott movements placed great emphasis on ‘ Atmasakti ‘ or self – reliance as a means of reasserting national dignity in different fields. In the field of national education, this emphasis on self – reliance was most evident. The National College of Bengal was founded as its principal with Aurobindo. Numerous national schools have been established throughout the country in a short period of time. The National Education Council was established in August 1906. In Indians entrepreneurial zeal, self – reliance was also evident. The period saw an explosion of textile mills, factories of soap and match, tanneries, banks, insurance companies, shops, etc. While most of these Swadeshi companies were set up and run as a result of patriotic fervor than any real business interest and were unable to survive for a long time, some others like Acharya P.C. Ray In the field of culture, Amar Sonar Bangla, written by Rabindranath Tagore in protest against Bengal’s partition, became a rallying point for the Swadeshi and boycott movements and later inspired Bangladesh’s liberation struggle. Reasons behind Swadeshi Movement Government suppression: Realizing the revolutionary potential, the government came down with a heavy hand. Most of the important leaders of the movement were either imprisoned or deported between 1907 and 1908. Any mass movement cannot be sustained endlessly at the same pitch of militancy and self-sacrifice, especially when faced with severe repression. Congress split: The internal squabbles, and especially, the split in 1907 in the Congress, the apex all-India organization, weakened the movement. Organization structure: It lacked the effective organization and party structure. The movement failed to create an effective organization or a party structure. It threw up an entire gamut of techniques that came to be associated with Gandhian politics like non-cooperation, passive resistance, filling of British jails, social reform and constructive work but failed to give these techniques a disciplined focus. Reach limited: The movement largely remained confined to the upper and middle classes and zamindars, and failed to reach masses especially the peasantry. It was not able to garner the support of the mass of Muslims and especially of the Muslim peasantry. Hindus and Muslims were divided along class lines with the former being the landlords and the latter constituting the peasantry. Though the Swadeshi Movement had spread outside Bengal, the rest of the country was not as yet fully prepared to adopt the new style and stage of politics. Ideas failed: The movement aroused the people but did not know how to tap the newly released energy or how to find new forms to give expression to popular resentment. Leadership issues: The movement was rendered leaderless with most the leaders either arrested or deported by 1908 and with Aurobindo Ghosh and Bipin Chandra Pal retiring from active politics. Tilak was sentenced to six years imprisonment, Ajeet Singh and Lajpat Rai of Punjab were deported and Chidambaram Pillai was arrested. Formation of Muslim League The All-India Muslim League (popularized as the Muslim League) was a political party established in 1906 in British India It was found as an alternative political group to the Indian National Congress It was created with the aim of representing the interests of Indian Muslims. The formation of a Muslim political party on the national level was seen as essential by 1901. The first stage of its formation was the meeting held at Lucknow in September 1906, with the participation of representatives from all over India The Simla Deputation reconsidered the issue in October 1906 and decided to frame the objectives of the party on the occasion of the annual meeting of the Educational Conference, which was scheduled to be held in Dhaka. Meanwhile, Nawab Salimullah Khan published a detailed scheme through which he suggested the party to be named All-India Muslim Confederacy. From their inception, the Muslim League continually called for unity in an independent India but began to fear that it would be dominated by Hindus, who made up the majority of the population. Following the First World War (1914-18) the Muslim League joined forces with Congress to advocate for Home Rule within the British Empire Further, in the late 1920s and early 1930s Jinnah consolidated the views of Muslims in India into 14 points. These included proposals to form a federal government and to have a one third representation of Muslims in the central government. When Britain declared war with Germany in 1939 it did so on behalf of India as well. The Congress refused to support this declaration because their representatives hadn’t been consulted. In contrast, whilst the Muslim League remained critical of British rule, they agreed to support India’s participation in the war in the hope of gaining a better vantage to negotiate independence. In 1940, in what became known as the ‘two-nation theory’, Jinnah began to demand for the creation of a separate Muslim state from territories that were currently in British India. Further, the idea of a separate state of Pakistan began to gain popularity with Muslims across India. Gandhi & Mass Mobilization 1. The Khilafat Agitation: The Indian Muslims Community launched the Khilafat Agitation. Its two important leaders were Mohammad Ali and Shaukat Ali. It was launched against the Britishers’ imposition of a harsh treaty (Treaty of Sevres) on the Turkish Sultan or Khalifa. 2. Non-Cooperation Movement It was a significant phase of the Indian independence movement from British rule. It was led by Mahatma Gandhi after the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. It aimed to resist British rule in India through nonviolent means. The programmed of non-cooperation included within its ambit the surrender of titles and honors. Boycott of government affiliated schools and colleges Boycott of law courts Picketing of shops selling foreign cloth was also a major form of the Boycott could be extended to include resignation from government service and mass civil disobedience including the non-payment of taxes. National schools and colleges were to be set up Panchayats were to be established for settling disputes Hand-spinning and weaving was to be encouraged People were asked to maintain Hindu- Muslim unity, give up untouchability and observe strict non-violence. 3. Kisan sabhas In the Avadh area of U.P., where kisan sabhas and a kisan movement had been gathering strength since 1918 and with Non-cooperation propaganda it became difficult to distinguish between a Non cooperation meeting and a kisan meeting. In Malabar in Kerala, Non cooperation and Khilafat propaganda helped to arouse the Muslims tenants against their landlords. Charkhas were popularized on a wide scale and khadi became the uniform of the national movement. Defiance of forest laws became popular in Andhra. Peasants and tribals in some of the Rajasthan states began movements for securing better conditions of life. 4. Akali movement In Punjab, the Akali Movement for taking control of the gurudwaras from the corrupt mahants (priests) was a part of the general movement of Non-cooperation, and the Akalis observed strict non-violence in the face of tremendous repression. The most successful item of the programmed was the boycott of foreign cloth. Volunteers would go from house to house collecting clothes made of foreign cloth, and the entire community would collect to light a bonfire of the good. The value of imports of foreign cloth fell from Rs. 102 crore in 1920-21 to Rs. 57 crore in 1921-22. 5. Picketing of toddy shops Government revenues showed considerable decline on this count. The educational boycott was particularly successful in Bengal, where the students in Calcutta triggered off a province-wide strike to force the managements of their institutions to disaffiliate themselves from the Government. Movement was spread almost to all parts of India. It was a truly mass movement where lakhs of Indians participated in the open protest against the government through peaceful means. It shook the British government who were stumped by the extent of the movement. It saw participation from both Hindus and Muslims thereby showcasing communal harmony in the country. This movement established the popularity of the Congress Party among the people. As a result of this movement, people became conscious of their political rights. They were not afraid of the government. Hordes of people thronged to jails willingly. The Indian merchants and mill owners enjoyed good profits during this period as a result of the boycott of British goods. Khadi was promoted. 6. The Chauri Chaura Incident Gandhiji was against the use of violent methods and movements. He called off the Non-Cooperation Movement abruptly due to the Chauri Chaura incident in which 22 policemen were killed when a crowd of peasants set fire to the police station in February 1922. 7. The Rowlatt Satyagraha In 1919, Gandhiji launched an anti-Rowlatt Satyagraha, which received a countrywide response. April 6, 1919 was observed as the day of “humiliation and prayers” and hartal (strike). Satyagraha Sabhas were held throughout the country. 8. The Rowlatt Act The Britishers passed the Rowlatt Act in India, under which people could be imprisoned without trial. This act was called the ‘Black Act’. This strengthened the power of the police. 9. Civil Disobedience Movement Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal of a citizen to obey certain laws, demands, orders or commands of a government In India, Civil disobedience movement was a landmark event in the Indian Nationalist movement. In many ways, the civil disobedience movement is credited for paving the way for freedom in India. The Lahore Congress (1929) left the choice of the precise methods of non-violent struggle for Purna Swaraj to Gandhi It was resolved that a Manifesto or pledge of Independence would be taken all over India by as many people as possible on 26 January 1930. On this day Civil disobedience was supposed to commence and It was declared Independence Day 10. Dandi March Gandhi took the decision to start the movement. On 12 March 1930 Gandhi started the Historic Salt March from his Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi beach accompanied by his 78 selected followers. There Gandhi and his followers broke the law by manufacturing salt from the sea. The Programmed of the movement was as follows: a) Salt law should be violated everywhere. b) Students should leave colleges and government servants should resign from service. c) Foreign clothes should be burnt. d) No taxes should be paid to the government. e) Women should stage a Dharna at liquor shops, etc. Thus, the historic march, marking the launch of the Civil Disobedience Movement, began on March 12, and Gandhi broke the salt law by picking up a lump of salt at Dandi on April 6. 11. Quit India Movement Mahatma Gandhi decided to initiate a new phase of the movement against the British in the middle of the Second World War. The British must quit India immediately, he told them. To the people, he said, do or die in your effort to fight the British but you must fight non-violently. Gandhiji and other leaders were jailed at once but the movement spread. It especially attracted peasants and the youth who gave up their studies to join it. Communications and symbols of state authority were attacked all over the country. In many areas, the people set up their own governments. August Kranti, or August Movement, is another name for the Quit India Movement. Mahatma Gandhi launched the Bharat Chhodo Andolan, or Quit India movement, on August 8, 1942, with the rallying cry "do or die." The Cripps mission failed in April 1942. In less than four months, the Indian people's third great mass struggle for independence began. The Quit India movement is the name given to this struggle. During World War II, Mahatma Gandhi's All India Congress Committee in Bombay passed a resolution supporting the Quit India Movement on August 8, 1942. This resolution stated that the immediate end of British rule in India was necessary for the sake of India and the success of the cause of freedom and democracy, which the UN countries were fighting against fascist Germany, Italy, and Japan for. Communalism in Indian Politics Communalism in India is result of the emergence of modern politics, which has its roots in partition of Bengal in 1905 and feature of separate electorate under Government of India Act, 1909. Later, British government also appeased various communities through Communal award in 1932, which faced strong resistance from Gandhi ji and others. All these acts were done by the British government to appease Muslims and other communities, for their own political needs. This feeling of communalism has deepened since then, fragmenting the Indian society and being a cause of unrest.(by Communal award colonial government mandated that consensus over any issue among different communities (i.e. Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and others) is precondition for any further political development) Communal consciousness arose as a result of the transformation of Indian society under the impact of colonialism and the need to struggle against it. Stages in Indian Communalism and how it spread India is a land of diversity. And it is known for lingual, ethnic, cultural and racial diversity. As, we have discussed above, communalism in India is a modern phenomenon, which has become threat to India’s Unity in Diversity. We will see the various stages:- First stage was rise of nationalist Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, etc. with only first element of communalism as discussed above. Roots of this were led in later part of 19th century with Hindu revivalist movement like Shuddhi movement of Arya Samaj and Cow protection riots of 1892. On the other hand movements like Faraizi movement started Haji Shariatullah in Bengal to bring the Bengali Muslims back on the true path of Islam, was one of the religious reform movement which had bearing on communalism in 19th century. Later people like Syed Ahmed Khan, who despite of having scientific and rational approach, projected Indian Muslims as a separate community (qaum) having interest different from others. Second stage was of Liberal communalism, it believed in communal politics but liberal in democratic, humanist and nationalist values. It was basically before 1937. For example organisations like Hindu Mahasabha, Muslim League and personalities like M.A. Jinnah, M M Malviya, Lala Lajpat Rai after 1920s Third was the stage of Extreme Communalism, this had a fascist syndrome. It demanded for separate nation, based on fear and hatred. There was tendency to use violence of language, deed and behaviour. For example Muslim League and Hindu Mahasabha after 1937. It spread as a by-product of colonialism, economic stagnations and absence of modern institutions of education and health. These factors caused competition, people started using nepotism (patronage bestowed or favouritism shown on the basis of family relationship, as in business and politics), paying bribes to get job, etc. Short term benefits from communalism started giving validity to communal politics. Later on, spread of education to peasant and small landlords gave rise to new middle class, as agriculture was becoming stagnant. So, these people started demanding communal representation and this way, social base for communalism widened. Middle class oscillated between anti-imperialism and communalism. Communalism, started rooting deeply, as it was an expression of aspiration and interest of middle class for less opportunity. From very beginning upper caste Hindus dominated colonial services as they adapted early to colonial structure. Because of Mughal rule and 1857 revolt, colonial government was suspicious towards Muslims and they patronized Hindus. This resulted in resentment in Muslims in late 19th century and they then formed a pressure group under Sir Sayed Ahmed Kahn to bargain as a separate community. In contrast Congress standpoint was always focused on ‘rights and freedom of individual’ not on a particular community. Communalism represented a struggle between two upper classes / strata for power, privileges and economic gain. For Example- In western Punjab at that time, Muslim landlord opposed Hindu moneylenders. In eastern Bengal, Muslim jotedars opposed Hindu zamindars. Later on, communalism developed as weapon of economically and politically reactionary social classes and political forces. Divide and Rule Communalism was a channel for providing service to colonialism and the jagirdari class (land officials). British authorities supported communal feelings and divided Indian society for their authoritative ruling. As we have already discussed above about separate electorate, like that official patronage and favor having communal biasness was very common. Communal press & persons and agitations were shown extraordinary tolerance. Communal demands were accepted, thus politically strengthening communal organizations. British started accepting communal organizations and leaders as the real spokesperson of communities and adopted a policy of non-action against communalism. In fact, for the same reasons even the communal riots were not crushed. Separate electorate started in 1909 to communal award in 1932 fulfilled the wishes of British authorities of ruling India by dividing the societies on communal lines. The Two-Nation Theory, Negotiations over Partition The two-nation theory is an ideology of religious nationalism which significantly influenced the Indian subcontinent following its independence from the British Empire. The plan to partition British India into two states was announced on 3rd June 1947. These two states would be India and Pakistan. According to this theory, Indian Muslims and Indian Hindusare two separate nations, with their own customs, religion, and traditions; therefore, from social and moral points of view, Muslims should be able to have their own separate homeland outside of Hindu-majority India. The ideology that religion is the determining factor in defining the nationality of Indian Muslims was undertaken by Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The partition of Bengal in 1905 served as the first act of the British towards breaking Hindu Muslim unity. The later introduction of the Morley Minto reforms in 1909 proved to be a critical juncture in struggle against colonial domination in India. The reforms introduced a system under which separate electorates were formed, where in only Muslims could vote for Muslim candidates in constituencies reserved for them. By so doing the British wanted to promote the idea that the political, economic and cultural interests of the Muslims and Hindus were separate. Then, the Montagu Chelmsford reforms or the Government of India Act 1919 in addition to the reserved seats for Muslims. Later, Hindu-Muslim unity began to bond with the coming of Non-cooperation Movement in 1919, by rallying on the Khilafat issue. However, Following the Chauri Chaura incident(1922) where some British policemen were killed due to some action initiated by the participants of the Non-Cooperation movement, the movement itself was called off by Gandhiji. So, now the Muslim leaders felt betrayed since their cause of revolting against the removal of the Caliphate was left unfinished due to the calling off of the movement. From that time on, the differences between the Hindus and the Muslims only increased over a period of time and eventually became irreconcilable. In 1930, Muhammad Iqbal became the leader of the Muslim League in 1930 and for the first time articulated a demand for a separate Muslim state. He argued that Muslims and Hindus constituted two different nations in themselves and were incompatible. At this time, the congress rejected this theory and argued in favour of a united India, based on unity between different religious groups. Further, the policy of the British to divide and rule got exemplified in the Communal Award of 1932. This policy further strengthened the provisions for separate electorates. The Cripps Mission in 1942 suggested that India be granted a Dominion status under the British Empire. The Mission did not accept the demand for Pakistan but allowed for a provision whereby provinces could secede from the Indian Union. But, the Congress and the Muslim League interpreted this in their own unique ways. Eventually, on the 16th August 1946 Jinnah declared Direct Action Day and the Muslim League raised the demand for an independent Pakistan. There were communal tensions amongst the Hindus and the Muslims in places including Calcutta, Madras, Bombay, Bihar, Punjab In 1947, Mountbatten agreed with the Muslim League’s demand for an independent Pakistan but he also saw merit in the Congress’s demand for unity. He was asked by the British government to explore options of creating a united India or the option of partition However, the unity signs did not find place, and as a result India and Pakistan dominions were created in 1947. The British Colonial state chose to strengthen its power in India by adopting the strategy of dividing social groups and pitting them against each other The British said that in order to deal with the problem of Hindu-Muslim discord and in order to avert the threat of Hindu majoritarianism, it was critical to give special representation rights to the minorities. As a result, the colonial policies led to communal practices in following ways: Firstly, communities were separated and defined on grounds of religious affiliation. This meant that Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs etc. were treated as separate communities and were given representational rights accordingly. Further these communities were believed to be completely different and hostile to each other. Thus, it was argued that only the representatives of each community could represent the interests of that community. Thirdly, the British readily accepted the communal spokespersons as the sole representatives of their communities. Towards the end of the British rule, Jinnah was seen as the sole spokesperson of the Muslims in Colonial India, in spite of the fact that other Muslim leaders were present within the Muslim League and in the Congress who were opposed to the idea of Partition. Thus, it is evident that Communalism could not have flourished the way it did, without the support of the British Colonial state. Thus, the policy of Divide and Rule lead to communalism and further, extreme communalism led to Partition. The dilemmas and decisions of the Congress The Indian national movement succeeded in forming an alliance between some classes and communities and in acquiring independence from the British, but it failed to create unity which could have prevented Partition. So, what happened in 1947 was a result of the collapse of negotiations between the Congress and the Muslim League. Essentially the Congress did not vouch for Partition of India. Congress leaders wanted the British to transfer power to a united India. One of the reasons for accepting the demand for Pakistan was that the Congress leaders came to the conclusion that the demand was based on ‘popular will’ Also, the Congress leadership agreed to Partition was also because they saw it as a sort of temporary measure It was thought by some that after passions subsided, people would see the futility of Partition and would want to re-unite. Further, the Congress accepted the proposal for Partition in the hope that it would finally help in ending the wide spread communal violence prevalent in Colonial India in 1946-47 The Congress could have opted to oppose the demand for Partition through use of force but this was against its democratic ideals. So, When dialogue and negotiations with the Muslim League failed and the Interim government didn’t succeed, the Congress accepted the demand for Pakistan Still, the Congress tried to pressurize the British to transfer power to a united India but didn’t succeed in the endeavor primarily because of its inability to forge a united front with the Muslim League representatives. Eventually, inevitable circumstances led to partition of India into two dominions. However, it all didn’t end here. It was followed by a serious aftermath of communal tensions across the two regions, disturbing peace and stability soon after Independence from British in 1947.
- SOCIAL MOVEMENTS DSE-3 NOTES
Introduction There are three types of social movements: Redemptive or Transformative: this Movement aims to change the personal consciousness of its members. An example of this would be alcoholic anonymous. It seeks to help an alcoholic overcome his addiction to drinking. Reformist Movement: these types of movements strive to change the existing political and social arrangements gradually. Some examples of these types of Movement would be Arya Samaj and Brahmo Samaj. Revolutionary Movement: These types of movements are radical. A revolutionary movement attempts to transform social relations by capturing state power radically. An example of this would be the Bolshevik Revolution of May 1920 that dethroned the Tsar to create a communist state. In India, the Naxalite Movement can be counted as a revolutionary movement. Peasant Movements 1. Indigo Revolt (1859-60) Indigo was recognized as a chief cash crop for the East India Company’s investments. It is also known as ‘Nil Bidroho’ All categories of the rural population, missionaries, the Bengal intelligentsia and Muslims. This indigo revolt gave birth to a political movement and stimulated national sentiment against the British rulers among Indian masses. 2. Rangpur Dhing (1783) Rangpur uprising took place in Bengal It is called the first tough peasant rebellion against the rule of the East India Company. It evidently uncovered the evils like Ijaradari scheme related to the system of colonial exploitation. It paved the way for formulating a land settlement that would be permanent in nature The rebellion spread over a significant area, including Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Palamau and Manbhum. After two years of strong confrontation, they lost to modern weapons of the British. 3. Kol Rebellion (1832) The Kols and other tribes enjoyed independence underneath their chiefs but the British entry threatened their independence. The handover of tribal lands and the encroachment of moneylenders, merchants and British laws generated a lot of pressure. The Kol tribal planned an insurgency in 1831-32 which was engaged primarily against Government officers and private money-lenders. 4. Mappila Rebellion in Malabar (1841-1920) Mappila uprising was sequences of rebellions by the Mappila Muslims of Malabar region of Kerala. The main causes were, increase in land tax, the security of tenure and exploitation of the poor peasantry by the landlords. The revolt goes fell into the trap of Hindu-Muslim riot. During this period there was Khilafat movement was raised for the fulfilment of freedom for Muslims. The 1921 uprising was a manifestation of long-lasting agrarian dissatisfaction, which was only strengthened by the religious and ethnic uniqueness and by their political alienation. 5. Santhal Rebellion (1855) It was a native rebellion in present-day Jharkhand against both the British colonial authority and zamindari system by the Santhal people It was planned by four Murmu brothers -Sidhu, Kahnu, Chand and Bhairav The rebellion was suppressed thoroughly and largely shadowed by that of the other rebellions. 6. Deccan Uprising (1875) Along with the Permanent Settlement, the British extended their presence beyond Bengal. Ryotwari Settlement was the revenue system that was introduced in the Bombay Deccan region The revolt started in Poona and henceforth it spread to Ahmednagar. This uprising also involved a social boycott of the moneylender. 7. Munda Ulgulan (1899- 1900) Birsa Munda-led this movement in the region south of Ranchi The Mundas conventionally enjoyed a special rent rate as the original clearer (Khuntkatti) of the forest. But this was eroded by the jagirdars and thikadars arrived as traders and moneylenders. As a result of this rebellion, the government enacted the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act 1908, recognized Khuntkatti rights, banned Beth Begari (forced labour) 8. Narkelberia Uprising (1782-1831) Led by Titu Mir/ Mir Nithar Ali In West Bengal against landlords, mainly Hindu, who imposed a beard-tax on the Faraizis, and British indigo planters merged into the Wahabi movement 9. The Pagal Panthis Led by Karam Shah To fight the oppression of the zamindars. 10. Telangana Movement (1946-52) The Telangana Movement (1946-52) of Andhra Pradesh was fought against the feudal oppression of the rulers and local landowners. The agrarian social structure of Hyderabad emerged to be very oppressive in the 1920s and thereafter. In rural Telangana’s political economy, the jagirdars and deshmukhs, locally known as dora, played a dominant role. Consequences The impact of peasant movements in India are discussed briefly below: Though these revolts were not aimed at uprooting the British rule from India, they created awareness among the Indians. The peasants developed a strong awareness of their legal rights and asserted them in and outside the courts. Peasants emerged as the main force in agrarian movements, fighting directly for their own demands. Various Kisan Sabhas were formed to organize and agitate for peasant’s demands during Non-Cooperation Movement. These movements eroded the power of the landed class, thus adding to the transformation of the agrarian structure. Peasants felt a need to organize and fight against exploitation and oppression. These rebellious movements prepared the ground for various other uprisings across the country. Workers Movement Rise of Working Class: The modern working class arose in India with the introduction of capitalism in the 19th century under colonial dispensation. It was a modern working class in the sense of relatively modern organization of labor and a relatively free market for labor. This development was due to the establishment of modern factories, railways, dockyards and construction activities relating to roads and buildings. Plantations and railways were the initial enterprises to herald the era of colonial capitalism in Indian subcontinent. Industrialization in India: Port cities Bombay, Calcutta and Madras became the centers of the capitalist economy. Cotton mills in Bombay, jute mills in Calcutta, and several factories in Madras were set up in the late 19th century. Similar developments took place in the cities of Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Solapur and Nagpur. The first jute mill of India was set up in Calcutta in 1854 by a Scottish entrepreneur. The ownership of the cotton mills was with the Indian entrepreneurs, while that of jute was with the foreigners for a long time. Workers’ Movement in Pre-Independence India Initial Attempts to Improve Workers’ Conditions: Attempts were made in 1870-1880 to better the working conditions of the workers by legislation. Till the Swadeshi surge of 1903-08, there was no concerted effort to better the working conditions of the labor. Again between 1915-1922, there was resurgence of workers’ movement along with the Home Rule Movement and the Non-Cooperation Movement. The earlier attempts to improve the economic conditions of the workers were in the nature of philanthropic efforts which were isolated, sporadic and aimed at specific local grievances. Workers’ Movements before the Emergence of Trade Unions: 1. Plantation and Mine Workers The plantation and mine workers were heavily exploited but their conditions did not attract much attention initially as they were away from the notice of early social reformers, journalists and public activists. Despite this isolation, the plantation workers, on their own, registered their protests against the exploitation and oppression by the plantation owners and managers. Industrial Workers: The cotton and jute industry workers were more in the public gaze. The early social workers and philanthropists were also involved with them facilitating better organizational work as well as better reporting and public support. 2. Formation of Organizations: In Bengal, Sasipada Banerjee founded the ‘Working Men’s Club’ in 1870 and started publishing a monthly journal in Bengali entitled ‘Bharat Shramjibi’ in 1874. The Brahmo Samaj formed the ‘Working Men’s Mission’ in Bengal in 1878 to impart moral education among the workers. It also established the ‘Working Men’s Institution’ in 1905. In 1890 in Maharashtra, N.M. Lokhandey established the ‘Bombay Millhands’ Association’, and in 1898, he started publishing a journal entitled ‘Dinbandhu’ in Marathi. The Bombay Millhands Defense Association formed by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1908. However, these bodies were primarily interested in welfare activities and did not have much organizational base among the workers. Emergence and Growth of Trade Unions: Cause of Emergence: The trade unions emerged in India after World War I. The main factors that led to the emergence of trade unions include: Rising prices of essential commodities. Decline in the real wages of workers. Increase in the demand for the industrial products resulting in the expansion of Indian industries. Gandhi's call for the Non-Cooperation Movement. The Russian Revolution. Formation of Trade Unions The Madras Labor Union, formed in April 1918, is generally considered to be the first trade union in India. B.P. Wadia, a nationalist leader and an associate of Annie Besant, was instrumental for its organization. The Textile Labor Association, also known as Majur Mahajan Sangh, was established in Ahmedabad in 1920. The union was formed following the agitation of mill workers of Ahmedabad demanding for a bonus to compensate for the rise in prices. This union worked along Gandhian lines and became very strong over the years. Workers’ Movement in Post-Independence India Formation of New Unions: The post-independence period saw the formation of a number of trade unions such as Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) and Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU ) CITU was formed by Communist Party of India (Marxist), splitting from AITUC. Legislations Framed: The Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 and Labor Relations Bill and Trade Unions Bills, 1949 were introduced. Decline in Strikes: Between 1947-1960, the condition of the working class improved and there was a decline in the number of strikes. Economic Recession: The period of late 1960s saw decline in the wages of the working class; as a result, disputes in the industrial front increased. New Economic Policy, 1991: It introduced LPG (Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization). Liberalization deteriorated the bargaining position of the workers vis-à-vis capital. The policy provided no statutory minimum wages for labor. It gave the employers the complete right to hire and fire. Tribal Movement The following three phases are used to categories tribal movements: The First Phase (1795-1860): It happened at the same time as the British Empire’s emergence, growth, and establishment. The top class of tribal society, led by the traditional group whose privileges had been curtailed by colonialism in India, produced the leadership. Major tribal uprisings in this phase were: the Kols Uprising, Santhal uprising, Khond uprising and Early Munda uprising. The Second Phase (1860-1920): It includes the Koya Rebellion and the Birsamunda-led Munda Uprising. The Third Phase (1920-1947): It comprises the Chenchu tribal movement, the Rampa rebellion, and the Tanabhagat/Oraon Movement. 1. Bhil Uprising (1818-1831) Bhils belonged to the Khandesh region of Maharashtra. In 1818, the British made their way into the area and began encroaching on the Bhil territories. The native Bhil Tribe was in no way prepared to accept any British changes made on their land. As a result they revolted against the foreigners on the land. The reason for the uprising was the brutal treatment of the Bhils at the hands of the East India Company who denied them their traditional forest rights and exploited them. The British responded by sending a force to suppress the rebellion. But the revolt was not in vain, as the British gave concessions to various taxes and returned forest rights as part of the peace settlement. 2. Ramosi Uprising (1822- 1829) Ramosis were hill tribes of the western ghats. They resented the British policy of annexation and rose against the Britishers under the leadership of Chittur Singh. The new British Administration system, which the tribal people thought to be extremely unfair to them and left them with no other option than to rise against the Britishers for, was the primary cause of this insurrection. They plundered the regions around the Satara. The revolt continued till 1829, after which the British restored order in the region. Britishers followed a pacifist policy towards the Ramosis and some of them were recruited in the hill police. 3. Kol Rebellion (1832) Kol uprising is one of the most well-known revolutions against the British government. The Kols were one of the tribes inhabiting the Chhotanagpur area. They lived in complete autonomy under their traditional chiefs but this changed when the British came. Along with the British came the outsiders. The colonial government also introduced the concept of non-tribal moneylenders, zamindars and traders. The Kols then lost their lands to farmers from outside and also had to pay huge amounts of money in taxes. This led to many becoming bonded laborer's. To this the British judicial policies also caused resentment among the Kols. There was an insurrection in 1831-32 which saw the Kols organize themselves under Buddho Bhagat and revolt against the British and the moneylenders. They killed many outsiders and burned houses. This armed resistance went on for two years after which it was brutally suppressed by the British with their superior weaponry. The Kol Rebellion was so intense that troops had to be called in from Calcutta and Benares to crush it. 4. Santhal Uprising (1855- 1856) The Khonds inhabited the mountainous regions that ran from Bengal to Tamil Nadu as well as the central provinces. Due to the impassable hilly terrain, they were entirely independent before the British arrived. Between 1837 to 1856, they rose against the British for their exploitation of forest practices, led by Chakra Bisoi, who adopted the name “Young Raja.” Tribal people from the Ghumusar, Kalahandi, and Patna regions took part in the uprising. The British attempt to outlaw the practice of “Mariah” (Sacrifice) and the subsequent introduction of new taxes, as well as the influx of Zamindars and Sahukars (Moneylenders), were the main causes of their uprising. Using bow-and-arrows, swords, and axes, the Kols rose up in rebellion against the British-created “Maria Agency.“ Additionally, some local militia clans led by Radha Krishna Dand Sena helped them. The insurrection finally came to an end in 1955 when Chakra Bisoi was taken, prisoner. 5. Munda Rebellion (1899- 1900) One of the most well-known revolutions against the pervasive British Rule in the nation was the early Munda revolt. The Mundas inhabited the Chotanagpur area. This uprising is also known as the Ulgulan revolt which means “great commotion”. Between 1789 and 1832, the Mundas revolted around seven times against the oppression brought on by moneylenders and the British Government. The Khuntkatti system, which was a joint holding of land, prevailed among the Mundas. But the advent of the British and the outsider Zamindars replaced the Khunkatti with the Zamindari system. This caused indebtedness and forced labour among the tribals. Its movement was known as Sardariladai, or “War of the Leaders,” and their main goal was the eviction of outsiders, or “dikus.” Many Mundas joined the “Evangelical Lutheran Mission” after 1857 in the hopes of a brighter future. However, as they realised that these missionaries couldn’t give them any long-term benefits, many apostates rebelled against this mission and became even more hostile. They sought to establish the Munda traditional chiefs’ dominance over their domains. But, every time they were without a charismatic leader, their movement waned. However, the Mundas were able to get an able and charismatic leader in Birsa Munda who proclaimed a rebellion in 1894. He organised his people to revolt openly against the government. He urged people to stop paying debts and taxes. He was arrested and spent 2 years in jail before being released in 1897. In December 1899, he launched an armed struggle against the landlords and the government. The Mundas torched police stations, houses of the landlords, churches and British property. In 1900 Birsa Munda was caught. He died in jail due to cholera aged just 25. 6. Koya Uprising (1879- 1880) Assisted by Khonda Sara commanders, the Koyas of the eastern Godavari track (now Andhra) revolted in 1803, 1840, 1845, 1858, 1861, and 1862. They rose once again under Tomma Sora in 1879–1880. They complained about being persecuted by the police and moneylenders, new limitations and the denial of their historical rights to forest areas. Following the passing of Tomma Sora, Raja Anantayyar led a new uprising in 1886. 7. Khasi Uprising (1830) The hilly areas between the Garo and Jaintia Hills were occupied by the British when the Burmese war was ended. The colonial government planned to construct a road that would cross the entire country and connect the Brahmaputra valley with the Sylhet region, Khasi area. The Khasis rebelled under the leadership of a Khasi chief named Tirut Singh as a result of the conscription of laborer's for road building. They were joined by the Garo. The four-year-long, battle with the Khasis was eventually brutally put an end to in the early months of 1833. Women Movements The women’s movements in the colonial period are mainly of two different concerns: Social reform movements Nationalist movements The colonial intervention in the 19th century intruded into the areas of our culture and society and this affected transformation in our social fabric. This potential threat was sensed by the Indian intellectual reformers, exposed to western ideas and values. At this juncture, the Indian intellectual reformer sensitive to the power of colonial domination and responding to Western ideas of rationalism and liberalism sought ways and means of resisting this colonial hegemony. 1. BRAHMO SAMAJ The brahmo samaj was founded in Calcutta in 1828. It is based on the belief in one omniscient god. RAJA RAM MOHAN ROY was the founder of Brahmo samaj. Brahmo samaj has contributed to India’s contemporary renaissance. There were 3 distinct groups in Bengal in 1880s; radicals, reformers, and conservatives. Raja Ram Mohan Roy saw the dreadful conditions of women unnecessary rituals like sati purdah system child marriage widow remarriage education for women fought against prevailing superstitions among Hindus 2. Widow Remarriage Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagr worked towards propagating widow remarriage. The child marriage evil resulted in large numbers of young girls ending up a