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The Road to Independence. An epilogue of sorts. Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs, Oh My!. Hinduism (Hindus): the majority religion in India; followed by Gandhi and most members of Congress.

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the road to independence

The Road to Independence

An epilogue of sorts

hindus muslims and sikhs oh my
Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs, Oh My!

Hinduism (Hindus): the majority religion in India; followed by Gandhi and most members of Congress

Islam (Muslims): the majority religion in present-day Pakistan; followed by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and most members of the Muslim League

Sikhism (Sikhs): the majority religion in the Punjab (a province in northwest India); concerned with protecting their political power and religious freedom

some key terms
Some Key Terms
  • Congress Party
    • Formed 1885; Gandhi takes over in 1920
    • Primarily Hindu political party dedicated to independence
    • Unified Indians across castes, backgrounds, and (sort of) religions in the name of independence
  • Muslim League
    • Formed 1906
    • Primarily Muslim political party aimed at advancing the interests of Muslims in British India
    • Successfully advocated the partition of India and Pakistan into separate states
two conflicts
Two Conflicts
  • British vs. Indians
    • Political independence + repressive rule
    • Economic independence
  • Hindus vs. Muslims (and Sikhs)
    • Muslims are a minority in British India, but heavily concentrated in a few areas
    • Initial demand: more powerful local government  more power for Muslims
    • Eventual demand: Pakistan as homeland for Muslims
satyagraha and other hard to spell terms
Satyagraha, and other hard-to-spell terms
  • Satyagraha: Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent non-cooperation; literally “truth-force”
  • Ahimsa: non-violence (according to Gandhi, absence of violent thought as well as violent actions)
  • Swadeshi: strategy of achieving economic independence from the British Empire by refusing to buy British-made goods
    • Khadi: a hand-spun, hand-woven cloth that replaced British-made, imported clothing
  • Swaraj: “self-rule,” or strategy of achieving political independence from foreign domination
world war i
World War I
  • 1914: World War I begins
  • 1.4 million soldiers of the British Indian Army (both British and Indian) fight in the war
  • 1917: Britain announces plan to give Indians more rights
  • 1918: WWI ends
  • 1919: Government of India Act gives Indians power in local government, but keeps national affairs in British hands
you re halfway through
You’re halfway through!
  • Here are some hamsters dressed as dinosaurs
the amritsar massacre
The Amritsar Massacre
  • April 13, 1919
  • British army fires on a nonviolent, defenseless crowd of protesters and pilgrims, killing hundreds
  • Galvanizes Indian resistance and the first non-cooperation movement under Gandhi
  • British failure to punish General Dyer further angers Indians
the salt march
The Salt March
  • March-May 1930
  • 240-mile march to illegally produce salt, followed by a raid on the Dharasana Salt Works
  • Significance
    • Sparked large-scale resistance against the salt tax and British rule
    • Drew international attention to the Indian independence struggle
    • Did not lead to major concessions from the British
world war ii
World War II
  • Britain joins WWII in September 1939
  • British Governor-General brings India into war
    • Muslim League supports war
    • Congress debates whether to support war
  • March 1942: Cripps Mission – failed attempt to convince Congress to support the war
  • India sends over 2 million volunteers to fight in the war
quit india
Quit India
  • August 1942 through roughly 1944
  • Campaign led by Congress Party to force the British out of India by massive, nonviolent resistance
  • British respond harshly
    • 60,000 Congress leaders imprisoned immediately after start of movement
    • Mass arrests and public flogging of demonstrators
  • Ultimately failed to change much
the end of the raj
The End of the Raj
  • WWII ends in 1945; Britain is economically devastated
  • July 1945: Labour Party wins elections in Britain and rapidly moves toward independence
  • Ongoing dispute between Congress and Muslim League over how to achieve independence
    • Mohammed Ali Jinnah: calls for separate Muslim state
  • Hastily drawn borders between India and Pakistan
  • August 14 and 15, 1947
  • Two components:
    • Independence of the British Indian Empire
    • Division of India (mostly Hindu) and Pakistan (mostly Muslim)
  • Represented a victory for both Congress and the Muslim League
  • Mass migration, riots, and deaths – 10 million migrants
  • Left border disputes unsettled