Historic events that accelerated Indian freedom from the British


August15, 2021 Independence day.newslivetv.com

Today we are celebrating India's independence  (15 August 1947). India that had been under the British yoke for more than two centuries at last gained freedom  from British colonists to whom India had been a milch cow since the middle of 18th century. In the late 1700s Robert Clive of the East India Company took control of the entire Bengal region through   outright cheating.  From the middle of 1700s till early 1940s, India had suffered a lot far beyond imagination  racial discrimination, exploitation of lands and resources  under a repressive rule. The great Bengal famine artificially created by none other than PM Winston Churchill,  a Conservative party leader and a well-known India baiter. 

Our independence day takes us back to those  hardscrabble oppressive colonial rule  both under the English company and under the British Crown (after 1858). Till the last days colonists looted India as much as they could and finally departed from our land  leaving behind a divided India - Democratic India and Theocratic Pakistan  On this day we must remember with gratitude those dedicated freedom fighters and patriots who fought for freedom with  velour  and vigor and laid down their lives  so that the future generation would breathe fresh air of freedom and run the country effectively. The first PM of India Nehru on  this day, in 1947, hoisted the national flag at the Lahori Gate of Red Fort in New Delhi.

.Quote from Swami Vivekananda,quotemaster.org

Let us briefly look at the historical events that accelerated India's freedom struggle,

Champaran Movement and Staygrah; April 1917, Bihar:

Soon after his return to India from South Africa Gandhji on Balgangadar Tilak's advice,  was trying hard to  get acquainted with Indian natives' problem by way of touring  across India. Later he became an active member of INC (Indian National Congress founded by such people  as  Octovian Hume, Dadabhai Nourooji, et al.. Having been quite satisfied with civil disobedience protest  that he introduced in S. Africa, the Champaran village, Bihar became a testing ground for him.

Champaran Satyagraha, Bihar, Gandhiji initiated it.tmesofindia.indiatimes.com

The Indigo farmers in Bihar had suffered untold miseries under white planters since the 19th century. By the time Gandhi arrived in Champaran in 1917, they were forced to cultivate indigo (which brought them extremely poor income) ,

On a hot April morning in 1917, Mahatma Gandhi arrived in Patna by train from Calcutta. and the purpose of his visit was  to champion the cause of indigo farmers in Champaran and alleviate their sufferings. When a prominent Indigo agriculturist   Rajkumar Shukla met Gandhiji earlier at the INC conference and sought his help Gandhiji  had neither any idea about  Indigo cultivation, nor was he familiar with the geographical position of Champaran.

According to an ICS British officer  “not a chest of indigo reached England without being stained with human blood.”  When Gandhiji  was there for the first time the indigo farmers were in the grip of fear  because of  unfriendly  tinkathia system  being followed there. It meant they  had to set aside three out of 20 parts of their land to the cultivation of indigo and it was done under force. 

No sooner had he arrived there than Gandhiji  began to mobilize the farmers after understanding the root cause and their predicament. IChamparan, he  came up with a forceful political ideology  for the first time, it was that of non-cooperation with the government agencies. He also demonstrated that he was going to use this political weapon in his future plans to deal with the British government in regard to India's freedom. Being action-oriented and charismatic he showed to the world that he had an  innate ability to  mobilize  millions of people for a common cause, not thru violence, but through silent protest.  

Offering passive resistance or civil disobedience to an unjust order was novel and Gandhiji expounded this political weapon  of organized non-violent  public protest  to deal with the British Raj; great leaders like Tilak agreed with him and obliged. Gandhiji took up the cause of Indigo farmers and successfully handled it despite set back like arrest, imprisonment, etc. Thus Champaran became an experimental ground for him to test the impact of civil disobedience, later called ''Satyagraha''. In the words of his biographer DG Tendulkar, the fact that Gandhi “forged a weapon by which India could be made free''.

Gaandhiji's new avatar in Madurai, Tamil Nadu 1921:

Just like Champaran that gave  birth to Stayagraha movement to solve government related social issues, the city of Madurai gave Gandhiji  a spiritual dimension to his personality and attitude.  Gandhiji likeed Madurai city very much and  one  particular visit to Madurai in 1921 assumed much importance because on this  visit he emerged with a new, but different attire - his famous loin cloth after discarding his traditional Gujarati attire. No doubt  that Madurai played a crucial role in Gandhiji's tirade against the oppressive British rule and change of his persona - more subdued than ever before.  Gandhiji said about his new dress, “All the alterations I have made in my course of life have been affected by momentous occasions, and they have been made after such a deep deliberation that I have hardly had to regret them''.

On 22 September 1921 Mohan Das K. Gandhi came out of the house  where he stayed at Madurai wearing loin cloth in order to be identified with the Indian  poor mass. This avatar  made  Gandhiji  more spiritually rejuvenated with better and more focused vision to carry on his struggle to free India from the British yoke. This simple dress  grabbed the attention of the international media as well. The loin cloth   nationally became a symbol of India's common man and personally his spiritual prowess

His Chamapran (Bihar) visit  made him develop a soft corner for the farmers who formed the backbone of India. So his simple attire is symbolic of their  poverty and helplessness. This attire made Churchill call him ''a half-naked fakir''  when he attended the second Round table conference (September -December 1931) being the sole representative of Indian National Congress ''to champion the cause of  people rendered poor by the British''.. 


Jalianwalla Bagh Massacre, Amritsar, Punjab

13 April 1919

Gen. Reginald Dyer. Butcher of Jallianwalla bagh massacre. Hindustan Times

Jallianwalla Bagh massacre, Punjab.  SlideShare

When the massacre of innocent people, including children and women at the Jallianwalla Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab   was committed on April 13, 1919, by trigger-happy  Brigadier General Dyer on orders from Michael O' Dwyer, the Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, the whole of India was in shock.  The British people did not know the true story of this massacre. When the details were leaked out of Raj by some honest British journalists, the sympathetic British and the western countries were saddened  as Gen. Dyer trespassed the norms of human tolerance and military discipline.

Amritsar  massacre. bullet holes on the walls. todayinhistoryblog.WordPress.com

The day the mass murder was committed by Dyer and his cronies, it was a religious holiday  for The Sikhs and others were celebrating  - Baisakhi Day at a  park surrounded by building with a few gates called Jallianwall Bagh in Amritsar city.  There were about  more than 10,000 innocent people, unharmed.  It was a religious meeting, not a political one. the people had no idea about 144 that was in force at that time.   Around 5 pm  a powerful automatic rifle was placed near the only exit gate. In a jiff, the entire ground looked like a battle ground with piles of dead and seriously injured people fighting for their lives.  

The premeditated firing  lasted for just 10 minutes till the army ran out of ammunition (1650 rounds had been fired at the people). Brig. Gen Reginald Dyer's men on his order used powerful  .303 Lee–Enfield rifles  and committed the massacre. without any mercy. 

Countless  panic-stricken people died due to stampede  near the exit gate  and equally a large number of people inside the park faced death by   jumping into the wells there.  As bullets were raining on them they faced enormous mental stress and in the melee did not know what they were doing. Despite trampling they moved to the gate and faced the flying bullets. Their wailing and cry vented the air with no one around to help them. No first aid was available to the injured people, not even ambulance services. Relatives of the victims were not allowed to enter the bagh. 

To add more insults to the natives Brig. gen Dyer gave a "Crawling Order" an act of vigilantism and wanted the Indian to  crawl. He did it  with a view to revenging the Indians who  assaulted  a Christian worker a few days prior to this incident.  From 19 April until 25 a curfew was in force  in a particular place /street  where Ms. Marcella was assaulted. Dyer also  had day-time pickets placed on either side of the street. 

The most disgusting thing was  a section of British in London headed by local Tory's pro-imperialistic  News Paper Morning Post  collected a benefit fund over £26,000 to be given as reward for Brig Gen Dyer for saving the British Lady Ms. Marcella and extolled him as a hero  and a savior of British women's honor. 

The Hunter commission (1920 report) found his action unacceptable, and later he was removed from the British military.  The unacceptable fact is he was not given any serious punishment  for the massacre he committed on the unarmed innocent people of Punjab,  
Gen. Dyer died in 1927 after a series of strokes. 

The (Liberal) Westminster Gazette gave a different  opinion: "No British action, during the whole course of our history in India, has struck a severer blow to Indian faith in British justice than the massacre at Amritsar."
The Jallianwalla Bagh massacre  changed the perception of   Indian leaders and  impacted their aspiration for ''free India''. Indian leaders'   trust in the British government  got a big blow and they began to think in terms  of Poorna swaraj - complete independence from the British yoke and their oppressive rule and double game.  The only solution was free India, nothing but free India. This horrific incident  changed the course British Indian history


Salt March to Dandi to collect salt. March-April 1930;

Gujarat and Tamil Nadu (Vedaranyam): 

Salt march by Gandhiji. thequint.com

Freedom struggle. Salt march by Gandhiji. thequint.com

The other  event that angered the Indian natives and the Indian  leaders  was the introduction of salt taxes. Salt protests and salt marches also  accelerated India's demand for freedom. 

The Salt Satyagraha Memorial has come  up in the  coastal place at Dandi, Gujarat  where  Mahatma Gandhi concluded the historical salt march in April 1930  in protest against the British Raj which vehemently introduced tax on  cooking salt as if they were not content with centuries of exploitation of Indians and their natural resources.  

Gandhiji collecting salt at Dandi shore, Gujarat.en.wikipedia.org

Above image: Gandhi picked up grains of salt at the end of his march. Behind him is his second son Manilal Gandhi and Mithuben Petit.

The salt padayatra/March was an arduous one, as it happened in the hot summer time - a long  stretch of  241 mile journey  from Ahmedabad  through semi- arid terrain to the coastal town of Dandi.  On March 12, 1930, Gandhi set out  along with 80 satyagrahis, unmindful of button-wielding police force who wanted to stop them. Being defiant as he was, Gandhiji  concluded the 24-day March in Dandi village, and on April 6, picked up a handful of salt, thus breaking the salt law. The simple act became a sensational news across the world and the foundation of the empire had developed more cracks, by then. The British realized that India's freedom was not far off. 

Apr.13, 1930 Vedaranyam Salt march, Rajaji & others..mindstick.com

Vedaranyam salt march memorial, TN.en.wikipedia.org

In Southern India C. Rajagoplachari (Rajaji; later he became the  first Gov. General of India and CM of Madras state) repeated the same act and undertook padayatra  toward the end of April 1930 from Tiruchirapalli city to coastal village of Vedaranyam in Tamil Nadu. He collected a handful of salts along with great leaders like Kamaraj Nadar, Kakkan, Sardar Vedaratnam pillai and others. The British collector of Tanjore (Thanjavur) announced severe punishment to those who would provide the marchers with food, etc. The salt march was a great success because the natives refused to cooperate with the British. The patriots got food and water secretly (hidden in selected location on their path). Janitor refused to clean the toilet and laundrymen refused to wash the white men's clothing, etc. The Englishmen were in the soup.

The Bengal famine of 1943 orchestrated by Churchill:

Churchill www.coventry

 Bengal famine: of 1943: Between 12 to 15  million people starved to death in the famine in the Bengal region artificially created by the British and the main culprit was none other than Churchill. He instructed his officers in India not to allow Australian ships laden with food to dock at Calcutta harbor and ordered the ships to proceed to destinations in Europe  to improve the buffer stocks  to meet war needs in the future.


Bengal famine 1943 and PM Churchill, you tube.com

No doubt Winston Churchill is one of the evil rulers of the 20th century sharing the rogue's gallery with maniacs like   Hitler, Mao, Mussolini  and Stalin.   In reality, his almost strangled neck in the face of Hitler's pounding (September 1940 until May 1941) of England in the WWII was saved by the  superior war strategies and  t bravery of Americans and Russians at the right time. The impact of WWII was so much on Britain's economy, at last, it loosened its tight grip on the Indian subcontinent. As the Indians woke up, there was no question of any further exploitation of India and her resources.  The Indians had begun to see the flickering light at the end of the tunnel after the Bengal famine that exposed Britain's evil face; but,  there was no end to Winston's mad continuous  blabbering about India. 
In his homeland,  Churchill’s  supposedly vital  contribution to saving his people from Hitler' onslaught  eclipses other leaders real contribution and he was  voted as  the greatest Briton of all time.  Till his death Churchill's  superiority complex and  obdurate attitude toward people of other races  kept surfacing then and there for the simple reason - his strong ingrained  belief in the hegemony of the world by  Anglo-Saxon peoples.”