Reflection Paper #3
After watching Freedom from the documentary The Story of India, I learned a lot more about what India went through as a country in the 19th century. During this time period India was going through a lot of changes while they pushed for their freedom. The rebellion of 1857, gaining their independence, and the Partition of the South Asian subcontinent in 1947 all made up the story of India’s freedom. I believe that the partition could not be avoided, however the violence could have.
There are several reasons that caused the Rebellion of 1857. The three main reasons were the EIC political policies, the economic policies, and the belief that Indian religions were under attack. The rebellion broke out on May 10, 1857 at Meerut when Indian soldiers rebelled and killed the British colonel because he had ordered the execution of Indian soldiers who refused to use the new rifles that were created. The soldiers marched to Delhi and they declared Bahadur Shah Zafar the revolt leader. Hindu and Muslim soldiers fought against the British soldiers that came. In the end, this rebellion failed miserably. The EIC had important allies, which is the reason that the Hindus and Muslims failed. This rebellion did have important impacts though. Rebellion leaders were punished, the EIC was banned from ruling India, and the Queen’s Proclamation was created.
Through several movements India worked towards gaining their independence, even though it was a lot harder than expected. In 1885, Indian liberal nationalists formed the Indian National Congress. Their first meeting was held in Bombay and the Indian National Congress organized religious festivals to make nationalism popular. Mohammed Ali Jinnah created the Muslim League in 1906 and they aimed to protect Muslims interests in India. When World War I occurred both of these groups opposed the war and demanded that they have rule over themselves. After the Jallianwada Bagh Massacre in 1919, Gandhi became a new leader in India who came up with satyagraha, which is a concept of being truthful in everything that you do and he aimed for nonviolence. Gandhi organized the non-co-operation movement and the Salt March to boycott the British. The non-co-operation movement boycotted British textiles, educational institutions, and boycotted elections and the Salt March was a protest against the British salt tax. In 1940, Mohammad Ali Jinnah lead the Lahore Resolution, which is when he asked Muslims to fight for their homeland. Soon after all of this movements happened World War II occurred and everyone had different opinions. The Indian National Congress resigned from office, Jinnah supported the British, and Gandhi led a movement called ‘Quit India.’ After Britain won WWII things began to change for India.
A man named Louis Mountbatten was appointed at British India’s last viceroy. His job was to “preside over the partition and transfer of power, a transfer that...