Freedom is our birthright

In 1890’s many Indian leaders began to explore more radical objectives and methods of Nationalism. This was the Extremist phase of Indian Nationalism. The extremist leaders such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bepin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai criticized the Moderates for their politics of prayers and emphasized the importance of self-reliance and constructive work.

They asked people to rely on their own strength and fight for Swaraj. Viceroy Curzon partitioned Bengal in 1905 for administrative convenience. But whose convenience? Surely the convenience of the British related to the interest of British officials and businessmen.

Perhaps the main motive behind partitioning Bengal was to curtail the influence of Bengali politicians and to split Bengali people. This partition infuriated people all over India and everyone opposed it. Public meetings and demonstrations were held. The struggle that unfolded came to be known as the Swadeshi movement. This movement opposed British rule and encouraged the ideas of self-help, swadeshi enterprise nationaleducationand use of Indian languages.

ALL INDIA MUSLIM LEAGUE: The All India Muslim League was formed at Dacca in 1906 by a group of Muslim landlords and nawabs.

The League supported the partition of Bengal and desired separate electorates for Muslims. In the year 1916, the Muslim League united with Congress and signed a pact known as the Lucknow Pact and decided to work together for representative government in the government.

ADVENT OF MAHATMA GANDHI: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born at Porbandar, Gujarat in the year 1869. He was an advocate by profession and practiced law at South Africa. He returned to India in 1915 and emerged as a mass leader. He was a respectable leader as he led Indians in South Africa in non-violent marches against racist restrictions.

After his return to India he spent his first year travelling throughout the country, understanding the people, their needs and the overall situation. In 1919, Mahatma Gandhi gave a call for satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act( an Act which curbed the freedom of expression of the Indian people and strengthened police powers). He asked the Indian people to observe 6th April 1919 as a day of non-violent opposition to this Act, as a day of humiliation and prayer and strike. The Rowlatt Satyagraha turned out to be the first all-India struggle against the British government.