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Journey Through the Indian Revolution

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From Wikipedia

Blazing Trail: A Journey Through the Indian Revolution

The term Indian independence movement incorporates various national and regional campaigns, agitations and efforts of both nonviolent and militant philosophy. The term encompasses a wide spectrum of political organizations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending the British British Colonial Authority as well as other colonial administrations in South Asia. The initial resistance to the movement can be traced back to the very beginnings of Colonial Expansion in Karnataka by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the British East India Company in Bengal, in the middle and late 1700s. The first organised militant movement was in Bengal, but it later took political stage in the form of a mainstream movement in the then newly formed Indian National Congress, with prominent moderate leaders seeking only their basic rights to appear for civil services examinations and more rights, economic in nature, for the people of the soil.

They used moderate methods of prayer, petition and protest (3p's). The beginning of the early 1900s saw a more radical approach towards political independence proposed by leaders such as the Lal Bal Pal and Sri Aurobindo. Militant nationalism also emerged in the first decades, culminating in the failed Indo-German Pact and Ghadar Conspiracy during the World War I.

The end of the freedom struggle saw the Congress adopt the policies of nonviolence led by Mohandas Gandhi. Other leaders, such as Subhash Chandra Bose (called Netaji), later came to adopt a military approach to the movement. Yet there were others like Swami Sahajanand Saraswati who along with political freedom wanted economic freedom of peasants and toiling masses of the country. The World War II period saw the peak of the movements like INA movement led by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose from East Asia and Quit India movement.

India remained a Dominion of The Crown until 26 January 1950, when it adopted its Constitution to proclaim itself a Republic. Pakistan proclaimed itself a Republic in 1956 but faced a number of internal power struggles that has seen suspensions of democracy. In 1971, the Pakistani Civil War culminating in the 1971 War saw the splintering-off of East Pakistan into the nation of Bangladesh.

The independence movement also served as a major catalyst for similar movements in other parts of the world, leading to the eventual disintegration and dismantling of the British Empire and its replacement with the Commonwealth of Nations. Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolent resistance inspired the American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) led by Martin Luther King, Jr., the quest for democracy in Myanmar led by Aung San Suu Kyi and the African National Congress's struggle against apartheid in South Africa led by Nelson Mandela. However not all these leaders adhered to Gandhi's strict principle of nonviolence and nonresistance.

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