The Freedom Struggle – Part 1


The Indian National Congress was founded on 28 December 1885 by Allan Octavian Hume.

The first meeting was scheduled to be held in Pune but due to a plague outbreak there, the meeting was later shifted to Bombay.

Womesh Chandra (W.C.) Bonnerjee was the first President of the INC.

The first session of the INC was held from 28–31 December 1885, and was attended by 72 delegates.

The decision to effect the Partition of Bengal was announced in July 1905 by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon.

The partition took place in 16 October 1905 and separated the largely Muslim eastern areas from the largely Hindu western areas.

Bengal was reunited in 1911.

Surat Split is mainly known for separation of Congress party men into moderates and extremists at the Surat session of Congress in 26 December 1907.

The extremists were led by Lokmanya Tilak, Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal, and the Moderates were led by Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Pheroze Shah Mehta and Surendranath Banerjee.

The divided Congress re-united in the crucial Lucknow session of Congress in 1916.

The Indian Councils Act 1909, commonly known as the Morley-Minto Reforms, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that brought about a limited increase in the involvement of Indians in the governance of British India.

The act was formulated by John Morley, secretary of state for India (1905–10).

Lord Minto was the Viceroy of India (1905–10).

The Act amended the Indian Councils Acts of 1861 and 1892.

The Swadeshi movement started with the partition of Bengal by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, 1905.

It was the most successful of the pre-Gandhian movements. Its chief architects were Aurobindo Ghosh, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai, V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, Babu Genu.

The All-India Muslim League was founded on 30 December 1906.

The founding president of Ghadar Party was Sohan Singh Bhakna and Lala Hardayal was the co-founder of this party.

The members of this party were the immigrant Sikhs of US and Canada.

In 1914, after the Komagata Maru tragedy, Lala Hardayal fled to Europe following an arrest by the United States government for spreading anarchist literature.

In 1916, two Home Rule Movements were launched in the country: one under the leadership of Bal Gangadhar Tilak and the other under Annie Besant.

The objectives of the Home Rule League were: Establishment of self-government for India in British Empire.

Lucknow Pact, (December 1916), agreement made by the Indian National Congress headed by Maratha leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak and the All-India Muslim League led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

The pact dealt both with the structure of the government of India and with the relation of the Hindu and Muslim communities.

August Declaration (1917)

After the Lucknow Pact, the British policy was announced which aimed at “increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration for progressive realisation of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British empire”. This came to be called the August Declaration.

The Montague–Chelmsford reforms or the Act of 1919 was based on this declaration.

The Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act, 1919 popularly known as the Rowlatt Act.

The Rowlatt Act was passed by the Imperial Legislative Council in Delhi on March 21, 1919.

This act effectively authorized the government to imprison any person suspected of terrorism living in the Raj for up to two years without a trial, and gave the imperial authorities power to deal with all revolutionary activities.

Two leaders of the Congress, Dr. Satya Pal and Dr.Saifuddin Kitchlew, were arrested and taken to an unknown place.

On April 13, 1919 people from neighbouring villages gathered for Baisakhi Day celebrations in Amritsar, which led to the in famous Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919. On the orders of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer,the army fired on the crowd for ten minutes.

On 13 March 1940, at Caxton Hall in London, Udham Singh killed Michael O’Dwyer.