Indian Independence and unrevised memory of armed struggle | Business Upturn

Indian Independence and unrevised memory of armed struggle


The role of armed struggle in Indian independence sometimes overshadowed by non-violent movement led by congress party under stalwart leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. As British colonialism established through number of wars, it was expelled through as series of violent mutinies, rebellions and insurgencies along with non-violent struggle.

Here are three important armed struggles which helped India to get freedom from British colonial rule:

1. 1857: First war of independence

Despite being called by despicable words by British historians, like “Mutiny”, “Rebellion” and “Insurgency”, 1857 war signifies an unified effort of Indians to fight against foreign rulers. In 1909, V. D. Savarkar called it as a war of independence. Benjamin Disraeli described it as a ‘National Revolt’.

2. Ghadar Movement

Ghadar party’s contribution to Indian Independence cannot be denied although they failed to achieve their objective, but they were an inspiration to youth fighting against unjust rulers. In February 1915, revolutionaries of Ghadar party attempted to overthrow British rule through an ambitious uprising across northern India. This was led by visionary revolutionary Rash Behari Bose, who had personally attempted to assassinate the Viceroy of India in 1912, the revolutionaries tried to convince the Indian Army to mutiny by disseminating propaganda in Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Meerut.
The plot was foiled by British spy prompting a huge crackdown in which hundreds of revolutionaries were detained. Bose was forced to flee India, escaping to Japan where he would live out the rest of his life in exile.

3. Indian National Army struggle

First Indian national Army raised under Captain Mohan Singh in 1942 in Japan with a chief objective to secure Indian Independence from despotic British rulers. It got new vigour in 1943, When Subhash Chandra Bose took over INA. The Indian national army got initial successes as they were victorious and freed Singapore Malaya and Burma from British control. But Subhash Chandra Bose’s martyrdom in 1945 plane crash caused huge setback to INA.
After Allied forces became victorious in second world war in 1945, British Government in India initiated trials of INA officers. The first to be tried were Colonel (Captain) Shah Nawaz, Colonel (Captain) PK Sahgal and Colonel (Lieutenant) GS Dhillon. British had to bow down as INA received immense support from every nook and corner of country.

To sum up…
There are two misconceptions still prevalent in society – one that Gandhiji was solely responsible for India achieving Independence and the other that it was achieved by peaceful means. Lord Clement Atlee who was British Prime Minister when India got independence mentioned in his letter to the then governor of Bengal that British had to leave India not because of Quit India movement spearheaded by Gandhi but Because of incessant revolts under ranks of Indian Army which made them difficult to control India.
Every freedom fighter fought for Indian Independence as per their capabilities and contributed to it at his best. After all it was a mass struggle with common objective and gamut of numerous ideologies, thoughts and aspirations. So, on this Independence Day we shall not forget the contribution of valiant beings who sacrificed their most precious life for this land without giving a second thought.