Indian History Study Notes

 

Introduction

The history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens, as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectus from about 500,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent from 3300 to 1300 BCE in present-day Pakistan and northwest India, was the first major civilization in South Asia. A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture developed in the Mature Harappan period, from 2600 to 1900 BCE.

This Bronze Age civilization collapsed at the start of the second millennium BCE and was later followed by the Iron Age Vedic Civilization, which extended over much of the Indo-Gangetic plain and which witnessed the rise of major polities known as the Mahajanapadas. In one of these kingdoms, (Magadha), Mahavira and Buddha were born in the 6th or 5th century BCE and propagated their Shramanic philosophies.

Most of the subcontinent was conquered by the Maurya Empire during the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. Various parts of India ruled by numerous Middle kingdoms for the next 1,500 years, among which the Gupta Empire stands out. Southern India saw the rule of the Chalukyas, Cholas, Pallavas, and Pandyas. This period, witnessing a Hindu religious and intellectual resurgence, is known as the classical or “Golden Age of India”. During this period, aspects of Indian civilization, administration, culture, and religion (Hinduism and Buddhism) spread to much of Asia, while kingdoms in southern India had maritime business links with the Roman Empire from around 77 CE.

Muslim rule started in some parts of north India in the 13th century when the Delhi Sultanate was established in 1206 CE. During the reign of Alauddin Khilji and Muhammad bin Tughluq the Delhi Sultanate ruled the major part of northern India in the early 14th century and raids were conducted into southern India. After the death of Muhammad bin Tughluq the Delhi Sultanate declined and its territories were confined to some parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. The 15th century saw the emergence of several powerful Hindu kingdoms like the Vijayanagara Empire in south India, the Gajapati Kingdom in eastern India and Rajput kingdoms in northwestern India. The northern Deccan was ruled by the Bahmani Sultanate and parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain was still ruled by the Delhi Sultanate. Mughal rule came from Central Asia to cover most of the northern parts of the subcontinent in the 16th century. Mughal rulers introduced Central Asian art and architecture to India. In addition to the Mughals and various Rajput kingdoms, several independent Hindu states, such as the Vijayanagara Empire, the Maratha Empire, Eastern Ganga Empire and the Ahom Kingdom, flourished contemporaneously in southern, western, eastern and northeastern India respectively. The Mughal Empire suffered a gradual decline in the early 18th century, which provided opportunities for the Maratha Empire to exercise control over large areas in the subcontinent. Beginning in the late 18th century and over the next century, large areas of India were annexed by the British East India Company. Dissatisfaction with Company rule led to the Indian Rebellion of 1857, after which the British provinces of India were directly administered by the British Crown and witnessed a period of both rapid development of infrastructure and economic decline. During the first half of the 20th century, a nationwide struggle for independence was launched by the natives irrespective of caste, creed or religion, the leading party being Indian National Congress which was later joined by Muslim League as well. The subcontinent gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, after the British provinces were partitioned into the dominions of India and Pakistan and the princely states all acceded to one of the new states.

 

Ancient History

Ancient Indian history (3000 BC to 1200 AD) broadly consisted of the Indus Valley Civilization, the rule of Indo-Aryans, Pre-Mauryan period, Mauryan Dynasty, Post-Mauryan period, the Gupta period, the rule of Harshavardhana, and other kingdoms consisting of the Pratiharas, the Palas, the Senas, and the Chauhans.

3000/2500–1500 BC

Mohenjo-daro and Harappa flourished in the Indus Valley
This  civilization  puts  India  at  par  with  other  ancient  civilization  of  the world. Indian sub continent can be traced to the Paleolithic and Neolithic Human  inhabitation in  the  Indian  subcontinent.  Archaeological  remains have been found at Sind and Punjab in current day Pakistan. Traces were also  found  in  parts  of  Ambala,  Saurashtra,  Rajasthan,  and  West  Bengal. This  civilization  is  found  to  have  used  copper  extensively  and  remains suggest  that  there  was  good  town  planning  and  efficient  administrative

structure. Especially known for World class city planning, with excellent drainage systems, Great Bath and Granary.

1500 BC

Aryan tribes immigrated from the northwest. Their merger with the existing Dravidian inhabitants led to the evolution of classical Indian culture.

The tribe  was  known  to  be  semi-nomadic  with  a  possible  place  of  origin assumed  to be  from  Poland  to  Central  Asia,  but  experts  usually  differ. Most famous theorist Max Mueller calls them European or Central Asian Tribe who knew the use of Bow and Arrow. Since Aryans immigrated to a  lot  of  places,  the  ones  who  came  to  India  are  referred  to  as  the  Indo-Aryans.  Their  superiority  resulted  in  the  submission  of  the  Dravidian (Dasuyas)  of  Indus  Valley  civilization  and  their  retirement  to  the  south.

They  are  found  to  have  practised  both  social  and  political  organization. Aryan-Dravidian divide theory has since late been strongly challenged.

Pre-Mauryan period

This period consisted of various empires, and emergence of Magadha as Important power and social centre, and establishment of Greek settlement in India. This period lacks written records.
The   vedic   /   epic   period   of   India   saw   the   rise   of   various   kingdoms between   1000   and   600   BC.   The   greatest   epics   such   as   Ramayana, Mahabaratha, and the Upanishads are credited to this epic age. The 16 Mahajanapadas (including 1st Republic), the 16 powerful kingdoms, rose   before   the   start   of Buddhism   around 600 BC. Four important  kingdoms  of  this  period  were  the  Magadha,  the  Avadh,  the

Vatsa,  and  the  Malwa  with  Magadha  being  the  most  powerful,  which started  around  4th century  BC  through Saisunga  Dynasty  founded  by Saisunga in 642 BC. Most popular rulers of the dynasty were Bimbisara, the  5th King  and  his  son Ajatasatru,  during  whose  rule  Mahavira  and Buddha  were  patronized,  and  the  first  Buddhist  council  was  held  after Buddha s death in 478 BC. The  period  between  decline  of  Magadha  Dynasty  and  establishment  of Mauryan saw the establishment of Nanda dynasty under Nandivardana.

326 BC

Alexander the Great invaded India
Even   though   invasion   of   Alexander   the   Great   belonged   to   the   pre-Mauryan  period,  the  invasion  holds  a  lot  of  significance  in  the  Indian history. It resulted in the establishment of Greeks, better awareness about disciplined  army,  enhanced  road  and  sea  trade,  and  exchange  of  art  and literature,  and  restructure  of  Indian  state  affairs  and  society.  Indo-Greek conflict and collaboration enriched the culture for a long time.

322 –182 BC

Mauryan dynasty, the first historical dynasty in the Indian history
The  Mauryan  dynasty  marked  a  glorious  era  of  integration  of  territories, flourishing  art,  trade,  commerce,  and  contact  with  rest  of  the  world.  The famous   rulers   of   the   era   were   Chandragupta   Maurya,   its   founder, followed    by    his    son    Bindusara,    known    as    Slayer    of    enemies (Amitrachates)  by  the  Greek,  and  the  most  famous  of  the  rulers  Ashoka, Son  of  Bindusara,  and  the  last  capable  ruler  of  the  Mauryan  Dynasty. After his conversion to Buddhism, religion got a new life and travelled to

other  countries  beyond  Indian  Boundaries.  This  period  saw  Buddhism emerging as the major national religion. Chanakya  or  Kautiliya  was  another  marked  personality  of  the  era,  who was   the   able   minister   and   was   known   for   his   treatise   on   statecraft

Arthashastra . The period promoted art and architecture widely, the most striking monument being the pillar with four lions that continues to be the Indian emblem.

Post Mauryan Period

This period again saw the emergence of various kingdoms until the stablishment of Gupta Dynasty in the 4th century AD.

The prominent kingdoms of this period include: the Sunga Dynasty, founded        by Pushyamitra, who ruled for over 100 years. This was followed by           the Kanavas, a Brahman      dynasty  founded by Vasudeva Kanva,  the  minister  of  Devabhuti,  the  last  Sunga  king,  who  ruled  for  the next  45  years.  The  other  prominent  kingdom  was  the  Satavahanas,  after whom the kingdoms disintegrated into various territories.

320 AD – 480 AD

Gupta Period
Lichchavis of Vaishali, one of the important independent kingdoms of the period  merged  with  the  state  of  Maghada,  ruled  by  Chandragupta I, through  the  marriage  of  Lichchavi  Princess  with  Chandragupta I.  This marked  the  emergence  of  Gupta  Dynasty,  followed  by  other  prominent kings  Samudragupta,  Chandragupta  II,  Vikramaditya,  Kumaragupta,  and Skandagupta.  .  Samudragupta  in  particular  was  known  as  Napolean  of India    and    possessed    an   extremely   strong   Navy.    Chandragupta II-Vikramaditya  was a  great king in  league  of Ashoka. Apart from Militray

conquests, culture was at its pinnacle with famous Kalidas and Varahamir being in his court. The Gupta Period is referred to as the Golden age. This  was the time when   Ancient   Vaishanv   and   Shaiv   sects   again   became   popular   and replaced Budhism and Jainism as dominant religions This  period  saw  the  renaissance  of  Hinduism.  Art,  sculpture,  painting, literature,  and  science  flourished,  along  with,  sound  diplomatic  ties  with many  countries  including  China,  Greece,  South  Asia.  The  Non  Rusting

Iron pillar at Delhi belongs to this period.



606 AD – 647 AD

Rule of Harshavardhana
The  rule  of  Harshavardhana  is  of  eminence  in  the  Indian  history.  During his  rule,  his  was  the  only  consolidated  Hindu  kingdom  after  the  Gupta period; it marked the emergence of Muslim rule.

647 AD – 1200 AD

Other Kingdoms
The  major  kingdoms  of  this  period  are  said  to  have  been  the  Pratiharas, the   Palas,   the   Senas,   and   the   Chauhans,   prominent   of   them   being Prithviraj  Chauhan,  who  fought  the  battle  of  Tarain  I  and  II  in  the  year 1191 and 1192. The death of Prithviraj Chauhan in the second battle saw the end of Chauhans and the emergence of Muslim rule in India.

Kingdoms of the South


The Satavahanas is one of the earliest southern kingdoms founded by Simuka in the 65BC. Gautamiputra Satakarni was one of the most important kings. They constructed many Buddhist worshipping sites – the important ones being at Amaravati and Nagarjuna Konda.

There were three major Southern Kingdoms namely, the Cholas, Cheras, and Pandyas.

The Cholas, The Chola dynasty was founded by Vijayalaya in 850 AD, ruled with the emblem of Tiger. Rajaraja Chola and Rajendra Chola were 2 of the greatest Indian Kings. Earlier the capital was situated at Uraiyar. Later the capital was shifted to Tanjore. Raja Raja I (985 AD – 1014 AD) was an important king. He constructed the Siva Temple at Tanjore which is also famous as Raja Rajeshvar Temple. Its generally accepted to be the most beautiful temple in India. Rajendra I (1014 AD- 1044AD) was called the Napolean of South India. The Cholas were famous for naval power and for their village administration. Their influence went beyond Indian Shores to Sri Lanka and even South East Asian Archipelagoes. Kamban’s Ramayan was a literary master piece. Sangam Literature had blessings of Chola clan.

Administrative Units of the Cholas

  • Mandlam  the provinces
  • Valanadusnadus the districts
  • Taniyur the large villages

The Village Assembly was constituted of:

  • Urs the assembly of common people
  • Abha  the assembly of brahmins
  • Nagaram the assembly of merchants.

The Cheras, with the capital at Vanji, Karur, ruled with the emblem of Bow. Udiyanjeral was one of the important kings.

The Pandyas, with the capital at Madurai, ruled with the emblem of Carp. Nedunjdiyan was one of the important kings.

The Chalukyas (6th – 7th Century AD): Pulkeshin I founded the Chalukya dynasty and established its capital at Vatapi. Pulkeshin II (609 AD – 642 AD) was the most important king of this dynasty. He defeated Harshvardhana on the banks of river Narmada in 619 AD. Most of the Buddhist cover at Ajanta and Ellora was structured during the reign of the Chalukyas. Aihole was the temple town of this period.

The Pallavas (560 AD – 903 AD): The Pallava dynasty was founded by Simhavishnu in 560 AD. Their Capital was at Kanch. Mahendranarman I was defeated by Pulkeshin II. Narasimhavarman I was the greatest king of the dynasty, and because he defeated Pulkeshin II and captured Badan, he was known as Vatapi-Konda. Narasimhavarman II constructed the shore temple of Mahabalipuram and the Kailashnath Temple of Kanchi. He was also a worshipper of Vishnu. He built the Vaikunthaperumal Temple at Kanchi. Aparajita Pallav was the last ruler and was defeated by Aditya Chola.

The Rashtrakutas: Founded by Dantedurga in Deccan, their capital was located at Manyakhet or Malkhed. Greatest kings of the Rashtrakuta dynasty were Govind III (796 AD – 814 AD) and Amoghavarha I (814 AD – 978 AD) – He had written the first Kannada book – Kabirajamarga.  and Ratnamalika in Kannada. Kailash I built the Kailash Temple at Ellora (in 9th century).

Administrative Units of the Rashtrakutas

  • Rashtras                            the provinces
  • Visaya                                the districts
  • Bhukti                                the villages

Medieval Period

The medieval Indian history consists of the Delhi sultanate, Mughals, and Europeans in India

1175 AD– 1525

Delhi Sultanate and Arrival of Portuguese

This period consists of the later part of the Hindu kingdoms and was prior to the arrival of the Mughals in India. The period saw a series of Muslim rulers, whose main motive seems to have been the spread of Islam and plundering the vast wealth. The first prominent consolidation of Muslim rule happened under Mahmud Ghazni and then by Mohammad Ghori, whose victory over Prithviraj Chauhan saw the end of Hindu Kingdom. Qutab-ud-din-Aibek, the slave of Mohammad Ghori, who was made the incharge in India, laid the foundation for the Slave Dynasty in 1206 AD after the death of Ghori. Another important ruler of the Slave Dynasty was Iltutmish, son-in-law of Aibek, who also constructed the Qutub Minar during his time. In due course, disintegration of the slave dynasty led to the establishment of Khilji Dynasty by Jalaluddin Khilji, which started in 1290 AD and continued till 1340 AD. Victory of Ghazi Malik Tughluq, a Turkish noble, over the last Khilji ruler, Khusru, saw the end of Khilji Dynasty and the emergence of Tughluq Dynasty. Tughluq Dynasty s fate was sealed by the invasion of Timur, which paved way for the establishment of rule by Sayyids and Lodhis, who were later overthrown by Babur in 1525 and 1526 in the battle of Panipat, that later established the Mughal rule in India.

With increased military might, Islam became one of the dominant religion with mass conversion being a way to gain the favour of the ruler and to increase ones social standing. Many conversions happened due to coercion as well. The caste system crept into Islam with Arabic Muslims being called Ashraf and those who converted to Islam from other religions called as Ajlaf. Ashrafs were considered racially superior to Ajlaf and garnered all the top posts of administration. Ajlaf were generally responsible for smaller or less important roles and suffered rigid discrimination from upper class Muslims due to their converted status.

1498

Vasco-da-Gama lands at Calicut.

Even  though  India  had  flourishing  foreign  trade  from  time  immemorial,  it was  enhanced  from  the  time  of  Alexander  with  established  trade  routes through   Afghanistan,   Central   Asia,   Persia,   and   Syria.   However,   rise   of Arabs in India blocked this route forcing Europeans to explore different sea routes. Portugal, known for its sea-faring experience and love for navigation and  exploration,  brought  Portuguese  to  India  with  Vasco-da-Gama s  arrival at  Calicut  in  1498  and  further  establishment  of  trading  centers  and  rule  in India. Almeida was the first Portuguese Governor in India.

1510 – 1590

Expansion and Decline of Portuguese
The    second    Portuguese    Governor    Albequerque    expanded    Portuguese occupation  with  capture  of  Goa  in  1510,  Bassein  in  1534,  and  Daman  in 1538.  After a  century of rule, the  Portuguese  rule started  declining with  the combined    effect    of    defective    administration    by    successors,    religious intolerance,  resistance  from  the  Mughals,  instability,  and  lack  of  financial support   from  homeland,  and  emergence  of   other   European  competition. Strong portugese influence can still be found in Goan Culture

1526 – 1707

Mughal rule in India
Mughal,  chagatai turks,  rule  in  India  started  with  Babur  after  he  defeated Ibrahim  Lodi  in  the  Battle  of  Panipat  in  1526.  Humayun  succeeded  Babur, after  his  death  in  1530.  Humayun  faced  opposition  from the  Sher  Shah  and Sur Dynasty and had to abandon his throne in 1540. After 15 years he ended the   second   Afghan   rule   and   came   to   power   in   1555.   Akbar,   the   most successful Mughal king, came to power in 1556 after the death of his father, Humayun. Hemu, a King from Vaisya clan, threatened to uproot the Mughal

empire  and  almost  succeeded  before  he  was  defeated  by  Bairam Khan  who was Akbar s mentor Akbar  followed  a  policy  of  reconciliation  with  the  Rajputs  and  religious

tolerance,  and  he  was  successful  in  consolidating  the  states  and  raised  the Mughal  empire  to  glory.  Muhammad  Salim  also  known  as  Jahangir,  who ruled from 1605 to 1627, until his death, succeeded Akbar. Shah Jahan, who ruled from 1627 to 1658, succeeded Jahangir. He is well known for building the Taj Mahal, in memory of his Queen, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1931. Aurangzeb,  the  ablest  son  of  Shah  Jahan,  succeeded Aurangzeb.  Unlike  his predecessors,  Aurangzeb  followed  religious  fundamentalism.  He  was  the

last  great  Mughal  ruler  who  took  Mughal  empire  to  its  greatest  glory  and made  it  the  biggest  of  the  empires  existing  then.  The  succession  of  rulers after   Aurangzeb   proved   incompetent   to   maintain   the   Mughal   kingdom. Other factors that led to the decline of the Mughals were the role played by other   independent   kingdoms   and   rulers   such   as   the   Sayyid   Brothers, Rajputs,   Jats,   Sikhs,   and   the   Marathas.   Plagued   by   inexperience,   petty quarrels,  intrigues,  and  conspiracies,  British  East  India  Company  marked the foundation of British rule in India through the Battle of Plassey in 1757 and consolidated with Battle of Buxar in 1764.

Modern Indian History

It broadly consists of India s struggle for Independence and carries through to the current day.

1600

East India Company constituted
The East India Co. s presence in India started in 1600 with the grant of free trade by the Queen. Initially the British had to struggle with the Portuguese and  the  Dutch  and  found  it  difficult  to  exercise  influence  in  the  Mughal court.  From  time  to  time,  they  succeeded  in  gaining  concession  for  the company.  Disintegrating  Mughal  kingdom  and  superior  naval  power  and support from home helped them to establish their rule from 1757 onwards. At  the  turn  of  the  19th century,  Governor-General  Wellesley  began  what went  on  to  become  2  decades  of  accelerated  expansion  by  way  of  either alliances with local rulers or military occupation.

1602

Coming of East India Company (EIC)
The East India came to India.

1608

First Officer of EIC to visit India

The  first  officer  of  EIC,  Captain  Hawkins,  came  to  India  in  1608  in  the court of Jahangir, the then Mughal ruler in throne.

1613

First factory of EIC
The first factory of East India Company was established in Surat.

1615

First English Ambassador
Sir  Thomas  Roe,  the  first  English  Ambassador,  came  to  India  during  the rule of Emperor Jahangir.

1757

Battle of Plassey
Siraj-ud-Daulah,  the  Nawab  of  Bengal  was  defeated  by  East  India  Co., under  the  leadership  of  Lord  Clive,  the  first  governor  of  Bengal.  It  is  also referred to as the Black hole episode of the Indian History.

1760

Battle of Wandiwash
It  was  the  decisive  battle  fought  between  the  French  and  English,  which saw the end of French rule in India, except Pondicherry

1764

Battle of Buxar
The  joint  army  of  Mir  Quasim,  former  Nawab  of  Bengal  Suja-ud-Daulah, Nawab  of  Awadh  and  Shah  Alam  II  was  defeated  by  the  English  army under the leadership of Hector Munro.

1773

The Regulating Act
In1773,   the   British   Parliament   initiated   a   series   of   administrative   and economic  reforms  in  India.  The  post  of  Governor  General  for  Bengal  was created.  Warren  Hastings  became  the  first  Governor  General  of  Bengal. The   Governor   General   and   his   council   had   all   the   legislative   powers. Supreme  Court  was  established  at  Calcutta  and  Sir  Elijah  Impey  became the Chief Justice of India.

1857

First War of Independence
It  is  also  known  as  the  Sepoy  Mutiny,  where  sepoy  from  the  Company  army rebelled  against  the  Company  rule  on  the  10th May  1857  in  Meerut  that  soon spread  to  other  areas  and  civilian  mutiny.  It  took  more  than  a  year  to contain  the  rebellion  after  gaining  military  support  from  home.  This  is  a very important turning point in Indian history, as this saw the end of Company rule in  India.  India  came  under  direct  rule  of  the  British  crown  after  failed Indian mutiny from 1858 to 1947. Mangal  Pandey  was  a  prominent  figure.  He  killed  two  British  Sepoys at Barrackpore.

1858

Government of India Act

Direct Governance of British Crown over India.

1867

Formation of East India Association
Dadabhai  Naoroji,  a  Parsi  intellectual,  educator,  cotton  trader,  and  early political  leader,  formed  this  association. He  was  the  first  Asian  to  be  a British  MP  between  1892  and  1895.  He  is  also  credited  to  be  the  co-founder of Indian National Congress.

1885

Indian National Congress founded

A. O. Hume, William Wedderburn, Dinshaw Wacha, and Dadabhoi Naoroji founded  this  organization  also  called  the  Congress  Party  or   INC.   It   is referred  to  as  the  true  representation  of  Indians,  and  was  the  strongest political  and  revolutionary  organization  in  the  pre-independence  era  with over 15 million members and 70 million participants in the struggle against British   rule.   It   was   initially   formed   for   obtaining   greater   share   of participation  in  the  government  for  the  educated  Indians.  However,  with constant opposition from the government, its demand became more radical with  the  party  having  two  factions  consisting  of  moderates  and  extremists by  1907.  The  party  was  in   many  ways   an   umbrella   organization   with members  drawn  from  radical  socialists  to  traditionalists  and  other  Hindu /Muslim conservatives. The organization has produced many great leaders.

1905

First partition of Bengal
Lord   Curzon,   Viceroy   and   Governor-General   (1899-1905)   ordered   the partition  of  Bengal  for  improvement  in  administrative  efficiency,  where Bengali  Hindu  intelligentsia  exerted  considerable  influence  on  local  and national  politics.  This  led  to  wide  spread  agitation  and  boycotting  British products under the „Swadeshi’ movement.

1906

Formation of Muslim League
The  All  India  Muslim  league  (AIML)  was  founded  in  Dhaka  that  later became the driving force behind the creation of Pakistan as a Muslim state in  the  Indian  sub-continent.  M.A.  Jinnah,  who  was  initially  a  member  of INC   and   later   became   the   president   of   AIML   in   1916,   negotiated   the Lucknow    Pact    with    Congress    for    separate    electorate    and    weighted representation for Muslim community. Jinnah broke from congress in 1920 following launch of Non-cooperative movement by Gandhiji, which Jinnah disapproved.  Later,  the  party  put  forward  the  demand  for  separate  Muslim

state.    On    23    March,    1940,    through    Lahore    Resolution,    the    league recommitted  itself  to  creating  independent  Muslim  state  called  Pakistan consisting  of  Sindh,  Punjab,  North-West  Frontier  Province,  and  Bengal. The   resolution s   principles   formed   the   foundation   for   Pakistan s   first constitution.

1909

Morley – Minto Reforms

Under  these  reforms,  a  separate  electorate  was  made  for  Muslims  during the   leadership   of   Lord   Minto.   A   series   of   constitutional   reforms   were announced,  which  then  was  followed  by  visit  of  King  George  V  in  1911 who  announced  the  reversal  of  the  partition  of  transfer  of  capital  from Calcutta to newly planned city, later came to be known as New Delhi.

1915-16

Home Rule Movement, Lucknow Pact

Annie   Besant   started  the  movement   in   September   1916.   Congress   and Muslim  league  held  their  sessions  at  Lucknow,  which  strengthened  the Hindu-Muslim unity.

1919

The massacre at Jalianwallabagh

Also  referred  to  as  the  “Amritsar  Massacre,”  this  happened  on  13  April, 1919  on the  day of  Harvest festival,  Baisakhi, and Sikh  religious  new year at  Jalianwala  bagh  near  Golden  Temple,  Amritsar.  Under  the  command  of British  Brigadier-General  Reginald  Dyer,  the  British  Indian  Army  opened fire  on  an  unarmed  gathering  of  men,  women,  and  children.  Since  the entrance  to  the  Garden  was  narrow  and  was  bounded  all  sides  with  walls, the people could not escape the firing, which lasted for 10 minutes. Official sources place the death toll at 379, yet private sources place the fatalities to be  over   1000  and  more  than  2000  wounded.  This  marked   a  catalyzed

freedom  movement  in  Punjab  and  also  paved  way  for  Gandhiji s  Non-Cooperation  movement  in  1920  and  motivation  for  revolutionary  leaders such as Bhagat Singh. Rabindranath Tagore returned his knighthood to the King-emperor   in   protest   against   the   massacre.   It   eventually   played   a significant   means   of   freedom   movement   in   the   Indian   Independence movement.

Rowlatt Act

It   gave   unstoppable   powers   to   the   government   to   arrest   and   imprison suspects, without even having a trial.

1920

Non-Cooperation Movement
Condemning    Jalianwalla   Bagh    Massacre    and    retaliatory    violence    of Indians,  Gandhiji  launched  the  Non-cooperation  campaign.  In  December 1921,  Gandhiji  was  invested  with  executive  authority  on  behalf  of  INC with  reorganized  constitution  with  the  goal  of  swaraj.  The  movement  saw

the  opening  of  party  membership,  formation  of  committees  for  improving

discipline  and  mass  national   appeal.  The  movement   included  swadeshi policy  –  boycott  of  foreign  goods,  British  educational  institutions,  courts, to   resign   from  government   employment,   and   forsake   British   titles   and honors.  However,  the  movement  was  called  off  in  February  1922  after violent clash in Chauri Chaura, fearing the movement to take a violent turn.

Khilafat Movement

This  was  an  anti-British  movement  started  by  two  brothers  Shaukat  and Muhammad Ali.

1927

Simon Commission
For  assessing  the  extent  of  forming  a  representative  government  in  India, Britishers sent back Simon Commission, which was furiously boycotted by Indians  and  Lala  Lajpat  Rai  (a  Prominent  Indian  leader)  who  died  due  to lathi charge in a procession against the commission.

1929

Declaration of Poorna Swaraj
In the Lahore session of the Indian National Congress under the presidency of   Jawaharlal   Nehru,   a   resolution   was   adopted   calling   for   complete independence  from the  British  under  the  “Poorna  Swaraj”  and  26  January, 1930 was declared as “Poorna Swaraj Diwas”, Independence Day. It was to commemorate   this   date   particularly   that   the   Indian   Constitution   was formally adopted on 26 January 1950.

1930

Salt Satyagraha
After   the   declaration   of   Poorna   Swaraj,   Gandhiji   launched   the   Salt Satyagraha against the tax on salt in March 1930. It was highlighted by the famous  Dandi  March  from  12  March  to  6  April,  marching  400  kilometers from Ahmedabad  to  Dandi,  in  which  thousands  of  people  participated  and forced  the  British  to  imprison  60000  people,  leading  the  movement  to  be one of the most successful campaigns against the British rule.

1935

Government of India
Passed  on  the  basis  of  the  Simon  Commission  report,  it  envisaged  the structure  of  the  government  under  the  direct  governance  of  the  „British Crown .

1942-43

Quit India movement

This  was  the  civil  disobedience  movement  launched  in  August  1942  in response    to    Gandhiji s    speech    calling    for    immediate    independence. Gandhiji  hoped  to  bring  the  British  Government  to  the  negotiation  table

that  led  to  the  arrest  of  Gandhiji  and  many  other  leaders.  The  movement though  found  mass  support,  the  INC  members  themselves  were  divided, and   it   failed   to   achieve   the   immediate   independence,   which   was   its purpose.

1946

Cabinet Mission Plan

This envisaged forming an interim government in India.

1947

India gains freedom
On  15  August  1947,  Jawaharlal  Nehru  was  sworn  in  as  the  first  Prime Minister   of   independent   India   and   Muhammad   Ali   Jinnah,   founder   of Pakistan,   was   sworn   in   as   the   first   Governor-General   of   Pakistan   at Karachi.