History : Modern India

Modern India

During the late 16th and the 17th Centuries, the European trading companies in India competed with each other ferociously. By the last quarter of the 18th Century the English had outdone all others and established themselves as the dominant power in India. The British administered India for a period of about two centuries and brought about revolutionary changes in the social, political and the economic life of the country. The British imperialism reached its zenith between the middle of the nineteenth century and the First World War. The exploitative policies of the British in India saw the birth of nationalist agitation against it. With increasing intrusion of aliens in their lives, a group of middle class Indians formed the Indian National Congress (1885).The anti British struggle became truly a mass movement with the arrival of Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948). It was followed by numerous movements against the British rule. With the passage of time and stubbornness of the Indians the British had come to realize that the day was not far off when they will have to quit India. Successive campaigns had the effect of driving the British out of India in 1947, but with independence came the independence of the country into Pakistan.

Chapter-1- British Conquest in India and Consolidation of it's Power

With the disintegration and decay of Mughal Empire, a fallout of Marathas in the third battle of Panipat, the intercenary fight for supremacy of regional power, the Britishers, who came as a merchant, became dominant colonial power and subsequently the real ruler of the land. They not only dominated the other colonial powers like the French, the Dutch or the Portuguese, but with the battle of Plassey, British conquest in India and its consolidation brought a new dimension in the field of administration, land revenue and in education.

Chapter-2 - Social Awakening and Sepoy Mutiny

With the spread of modern education and with the visionary approach of statesman and social reformers, social awakening was witnessed in the society and among the masses. People came forward to eradicate their social evils with the support of British Administration. The impact of social awakening and the subjugation by alien rule brought a new sense of nationhood to the people across the length and breadth of the country. At once, it was felt that the yoke of British rule will be no more, but the tact and might of Britishers prevailed over the limited impact of social awakening. And, in post 1857, the country witnessed a massive change in the policy adopted by British and consequent changes in administration.

Chapter-3- Nationalist Movement

Sepoy Mutiny 1857, was in fact "the First Battle for Independence" surged a way for nationalist movement across the nation. The inception of Indian National Congress in 1885 was though a 'safety valve' to give an outlet of aggravating discontent among the people, it paved the way for rapid growth of social awakening, legal reforms and proved a forum for nationalist movement. 

Chapter-4- Swadeshi Movement

The Nationalist Movement moved to a new height under the aegis of Bal, Pal, Ghosh etc and many others. Swadeshi and Home Rule was in air. Both liberal and militant wanted to bring changes in the way they were administered. 

Chapter-5-Struggle for Swaraj


After the First World War (1914-18) the Britishers became adept in their startegy of ‘Represssion and Conciliation’ to rule the heterogenous, multi-culture diverse Indian Population. The repression by Rowlatt Act, the massacre of Jaliawalabagh and conciliation by Montague –Chelsford Reforms etc. could be countered by the invincible strategy of the Great statesman Mahatma Gandhi, who could forsee that Khilafat Movement and Hindu-Muslim unity is the answer to the British evil design of colonial administration. 


Chapter-6- Freedom Movement- the Last Phase

With Simon Commission a new phase of political struggle statrted in India. There was growth of socialist ideas in the freedom struggle. The Round table Conferences etc were not a solace to growing nationalist aspirations.The Second World War brought much changes in the geo-political set-up of the world, and conditions were becoming favourable to pave the way for Indian Inpendence. The Quit –India Movement was the culmination and Independence was a culmination of the long cherished struggle for freedom but India, too paid the price in the form of Separation and truncated land- i.e.creation of Pakistan. 

Chapter-7 Governance under British Rule and People's Movement

In this chapter we will discuss about- A critical analysis of British Policies in India, Economic drain from India, Evolution and Development of Education in India, Peasants Movement, Working class Movements etc.