UPSC Mains General Studies Paper – 1 Mains 2020The Freedom Struggle- Its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
Structure of the Question
- In Introduction,
- Cite briefly how movements were different from post-1920’s – different ideological strands.
- In Body,
- Elaborate new ideologies and mass penetration.
- Discuss about Marxist ideology, RSS and CPI emergence, participation of labor class, peasantry, women, and backward classes to attest the expanding social base.
- Conclude by comparing the earlier social base and change in the ideology of Indian National Congress.
Indian Freedom Movement which initially signified disorganization and irregular protests, after its expansion and addition of different ideological strands took the form of a structure with different ideological bodies competing and complementing each other in the process to achieve ultimate goal of freedom .The events and changes which manifested in the decade were seminal as they remarkably changed the course of the freedom struggle.
Ideologies that influenced freedom struggle
- The revolutionaries wanted complete independence and envisioned the State as what it would be after freedom.
- They put in great efforts to mobilise students, workers and peasants to be the driving force behind a mass struggle with a specific endeavour.
- Funds were raised through different ventures, for instance, the Kakori train robbery.
- Bhagat Singh’s Punjab Naujawan Sabha, Sachin Sanyal and Jogesh Chandra Chatterji stirred up the youth.
The working class participated in the movement with a definite intention to realize social equality.
- MN Roy was the driving force behind the ideology which attracted many Indian intellectuals and thus Communist party of India was founded in 1925.
- It brought the Freedom struggle to the International Arena and garnered the support of world Organizations.
Post-1922, communalism reared its ugly head and the country was repeatedly plunged into communal riots. Old communal organizations were revived and fresh ones were founded. The Muslim League and Hindu Mahasabha began to further their vested interests.
The Labour Ideology
- People belonging to this ideology participated in the Non-Cooperation movement through the Cotton Mill workers strike in Bombay during 1919 and 1920.
- The legalization of labour unions by the Indian Trade Union Act in 1926 gave thrust to their activity.
- The Labour strike during the Civil Disobedience Movement and strike of Great Indian Peninsular Railway in 1930 was a major blow to the British.
- Women participation has been improved with Gandhian methods and organizations like All Indian Women’s association came to the popular front.
- Active participation was seen in Non-cooperation and civil disobedience.
The failure of peaceful mediums had frustrated the youth. They began to mobilise with secret organisationslikeHindustan Republican Association (1923) andHindustan Socialist Republican Association (1928). RamPrasad Bismil, Ashfaqull Khan, Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh among others actively engaged in anti-colonial activities and encouraged youth to join the cause.
- Between 1920 and 1940, peasant organizations arose.
- The first organization to be founded was the Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha (1929) and in 1936 the All-India Kisan Sabha.
- The peasants organized by the Sabha demanded freedom from economic exploitation for peasants, workers, and all other exploited classes.
- At the time of Independence, the two most classical cases of peasant movements, namely the Tebhaga movement (1946-47) and the Telangana movement (1946-51).
Expansion of Social Base
Gandhiji for the first time made the national movement a mass movement. People from every background began to participate in the protests. Peasants (Eka movement), tribal (Alluri Sitaram Raju) vigorously engaged in challenging the authority of British rule. Due to this new awakening, the suppressed social classes asserted their right in society. Movements like Vaikom Satyagraha of Kerala (1924), Adi-dharma movement of Punjab (1926) were the outcome of the aspirations of the suppressed and Dalits.
Earlier, the freedom struggle, with a narrow social base, was largely confined to the middle-class and elites. The 1920s witnessed the expansion of the social base and people from every stratum began to associate themselves with it through different ideological dimensions. The participation of masses made the struggle more vibrant and inclusive.
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