10 Important places In Indian Independence Movement
The story of struggle of Indian Independence Movement one of the longest in the world. It took nearly 90 years to persuade British out of India although small skirmish, revolts and fights were already started prior to 1857. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 sprouted the dream of Independence among the common people of India and after that Independence movement was carried on a large scale. Throughout these 90 years many historical and unforgettable incidents happened which are still remembered by Indian people. The place associated with these incident were also famous and today also the incident is remembered by the place where it happened. Here we are presenting you the list of some important places without which the story of Indian Independence Movement is incomplete.
1: Barrackpore (West Bengal) – As we all say “It started from here”. The famous rebellion of 1857 started from Barrackpore when Sepoy Mangal Pandey declared that he would rebel against his commanders. Mangal Pandey was angered by the recent changes in British Army and especially by the introduction of paper cartridges that were used in 1953 Enfield Rifles. To load the rifle, sepoys had to bite the cartridge and it was rumoured that the grease used on these cartridges were derived from beef, which was offensive to Hindus. When British Lt. Henry Baugh came to see the unrest, Pandey opened fire. When British regiment officers ordered manhunt of Mangal Pandey the entire quarter guard and sepoys refused to obey the order. Mangal Pandey was later caught, court-martialed (6th April) and hanged on 8th of April 1857. Barrackpore is also the oldest cantonment in India.
2: Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) – The city of Jhansi, also known as the City of Rani Lakshmi Bai
served as another place where the spark of Sepoy mutiny reached and later turned into war. Britishers annexed the princely state of Jhansi under the policy of Doctrine of Lapse thereby refusing to accept the adopted son of Rani as an heir to the throne. When the war broke out Jhansi became the center of the rebellion in central India. Rani Lakshmi Bai successfully saved the kingdom from the armies of the neighboring Rajas of Datia and Orchha who were loyal to British. She was defeated by the Company forces under the command of Sir Hugh Rose. Afterwards Rani with the help from Marathas captured the city of Gwalior and she died during the Battle of Gwalior (17th June 1858). Many British commanders compared her with “Joan of Arc” for her fearless fight for kingdom.
3: Bombay (Now Mumbai, Maharashtra):- Bombay was an important place during the Independence movement of India. Congress (now Indian National Congress) was founded in Bombay by Allan Octavian Hume. The first session of congress took place in Bombay from 28th -31st December 1885 and it was attended by 72 delegates. Womesh Chandra Banerjee presided over the first session of Congress. During initial days its main aim was “obtaining a greater share in government for educated Indians and to create a platform for civic and political dialogue of educated Indians with the British Raj”.
4: Calcutta (now Kolkata, West Bengal) – Calcutta, also known as the cultural capital of
India, remained the center of Indian Nationalism throughout the Indian Independence struggle. Indian National Association was the first nationalist organization that was founded in Kolkata by Surendranath Banerjee (Teacher of the Nation) and Anandamohan Bose. Many famous poets, writers, social reformers and nationalist were directly or indirectly associated with Calcutta. They through their writings, speeches and work spread the demand for Independent India. It was the fear of growing Nationalism in Calcutta that Britishers had to shift the capital from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911. Important personalities from Calcutta during freedom struggle include: Rabindranath Tagore, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Aurobindo Ghose, Rash Behari Bose, Khudiram Bose and the list goes on.
5: Champaran (Bihar) – Mahatma Gandhi when came to India, Champaran Satyagraha was his first successful achievement. Britishers at that time forced Indian farmers to cultivate Indio, used for dying cloths and not the food crops that was necessary for survival. Cultivation of Indigo caused many deaths in the area and many more people were starving. Raj Kumar Shukla, a money lander persuaded Gandhi to visit Champaran and see the condition of farmers. Initially British crown asked Gandhi to leave Champaran but he refused to do so and he was supported by prominent leaders. Finally Champaran Agraria Law was passed and Britishers has to lift the ban. Champaran Satyagraha was the first successful Satyagraha on Indian soil.
6: Jallianwala Bagh (Punjab) – Jallianwala Bagh is known for Jallianwala Bagh
Massacre that took place on 13th April 1919. British Army Commander Reginald Dyer ordered his troops to fire on crowd of Baishakhi Pilgrims and non-violent protesters, protesting against the arrest of two leaders, Dr. Satyapal and Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew. General Dayer arrived at Jallianwala Bagh with sixty-five Gurkha and twenty-five Balochi and Pathan soldiers. Though he also brought two Machine Gun armored cars but due to narrow entrance they were left outside. The Bagh had high walls and the main entrance was relatively wide but Dyer guarded the wall by his troops. Dyer, without warning the crowd to disperse ordered his troops to fire. Firing continued for nearly 10 minutes and it was stopped when ammunition supplies were exhausted. Approximately 1650 round were fired on innocent crowd leading to 379 deaths and 1200 wounded (British Government data). Other sources including Indian National Congress estimated the death count to be 1000 and more. The Jallianwala incident is regarded as an episode when a decisive step towards the end of British rule in India started. Udham Singh, an Indian revolutionary assassinated Michael O’Dwyer in 1940 who approved Reginald Dyer firing on innocent crowd.
7: Chauri Chaura (Uttar Pradesh) – Chauri Chaura is a small town in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh. It is famous for Chauri Chaura Incident, in which first the police killed several peaceful demonstrators and angry mob in retaliation set the police Chowki (Police Station) on fire thereby killing 22 policemen. Mahatma Gandhi, after Jallianwala Bagh incident called for nationwide Non-Cooperation Movement. Its aim was to resist British rule in India through nonviolence and Satyagraha. After Chauri Chaura incident Gandhi called of the movement because he thought that the movement had lost its non-violent nature. Gandhi was criticized for calling off the movement and many leaders who backed Gandhi now lost faith in him.
8: Kakori (Uttar Pradesh) – Kakori is a small town situated in Lucknow district of Uttar
Pradesh. This place is famous for Kakori Conspiracy that took place on 9th August 1925. Indian revolutionaries required money to carry out their activities and to create a positive image of (Hindustan Republican Association). They looted the train carrying money-bags belonging to the British Government Treasury. They looted some 8000 INR and one passenger was killed accidently making it a murder case. This incident shook the British Government as it was first case in history when British property was looted. Intense manhunt was ordered and over a period of time nearly 40 revolutionaries were arrested. After trial of nearly 2 years, main accused Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, Thakur Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqullah Khan were sentenced to death. Remaining conspirators were given life sentences or long prison terms varying from 3 years to 14 years.
9: Lahore (now in Pakistan) – City of Lahore was one of the important center of Indian Independence movement. Though after independence of India it became part of Pakistan but many important decision, event and activities happened in the city of Lahore. Congress session of 1929 was held at Lahore and it was for the first time that Declaration of the Independence of India was passed on 31st December. In Lahore session, Indian National Flag (The Tricolour) was adopted as the national flag and 26th January was selected as Independence Day of India. Lahore also hosted many important session of Muslim League and the Two-Nation Theory by Jinnah was proposed in Lahore. Sardar Bhagat Singh, one of the most famous martyrs in the history of Indian independence was hanged here.
10: Dandi (Gujrat) – Dandi is a village in Navsari district of Gujrat. It is famous for Dandi
March, also known as Salt Satyagraha started by Mahatma Gandhi. Due to increased tax on Indians, Gandhi started Satyagraha to revolt against British. He used salt as a medium and said “next to air and water, salt is perhaps the greatest necessity of life.” Gandhi started Salt Satyagraha on 12 March 1930 from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad and after a 24 day journey of 390 km he reached Dandi to produce salt without paying tax. Dandi March was one of the biggest movement that started after Non-Cooperation Movement and large number of Indians joined Gandhi along his way. Dandi March has significant impact on changing the attitude of British and rest of the world towards Indian Independence movement.
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