India's Struggle for Independence - Revolt of 1857 to Quit India Movement

With the advent of Europeans in India, a struggle for independence dawned upon India and its people. East India Company officially started dictating India with Regulating Act of 1773. India’s struggle for independence is known to masses and makes an important chapter in the evolution of India as a free nation. Hence, this topic is important for IAS Exam as aspirants should know the significant struggle movements that led India to independence.

This topic will mention all the movements that are part of India’s struggle for independence. Aspirants can also download the notes PDF from the link provided below.

India’s Struggle for Independence – UPSC Notes:-  Download PDF Here

Revolt of 1857

The British expansionist policies, economic exploitation and administrative innovations over the years had adversely affected the positions of all—rulers of Indian states, sepoys, zamindars, peasants, traders, artisans, pundits, maulvis, etc. The simmering discontent burst in the form of a violent storm in 1857 which shook the British empire in India to its very foundations.

The following links will help you to better understand an important India’s struggle for the independence movement:

Introduction to Revolt of 1857 Political & Economic Factors of Revolt of 1857
Social Causes of Revolt of 1857 NCERT Notes on Revolt of 1857

Swadeshi Movement

This movement started against the British’s move for the partition of Bengal. In 1903, the British announced their decision to part Bengal. They wanted to get two provinces out of Bengal:

  1. Bengal comprising Western Bengal as well as the provinces of Bihar and Orissa
  2. Eastern Bengal and Assam

The Swadeshi movement is another chapter in India’s struggle for independence. You can read more about it in the links provided below:

Revision Points – Swadeshi Movement Partition of Bengal 1905

Home Rule League Movement

India’s response to the First World War was seen in the Home Rule Movement. It was an effective way to show discontent in British rule. There were two Indian Home Rule Leagues that were organised on the lines of the Irish Home Rule Leagues.  Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak were the pioneers of this new trend.

Read about Home Rule Movement as a part of India’s struggle for independence from the links provided below:

Home Rule Movement  Important Points on Home Rule Movement for UPSC


During 1917 and 1918, Gandhi was involved in three struggles—in Champaran, Ahmedabad and Kheda—before he launched the Rowlatt Satyagraha.

Read about the three Satyagraha movements, a part of India’s struggle for independence, from  the links provided below:

Champaran Satyagraha Mahatma Gandhi and India’s Freedom Struggle

Non-Cooperation Movement

In India’s struggle for Independence, the Non-Cooperation movement is one of the important movements. On August 31, 1920,  the Khilafat Committee started a campaign of non-cooperation and the movement was formally launched. The aim was to boycott major social programmes, events, offices and schools to resonate with India’s struggle for independence.

To read more about the Non-Cooperation Movement as a part of India’s struggle for independence, check the linked article.

Civil Disobedience Movement – Salt Satyagraha

After the Nehru Report was approved in December 1928 during Calcutta session of the Congress, younger elements led by Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhash Bose and Satyamurthy expressed their dissatisfaction with dominion status as the goal of Congress. They demanded that Congress adopt purna swaraj or complete independence as its goal. Following that, Gandhi’s 11 demands put forward to Lord Irwin to attend round table conference turned futile.

The Congress Working Committee invested Gandhi with full powers to launch the Civil Disobedience Movement at a time and place of his choice. By February-end, Gandhi had decided to make salt the central formula for the movement.

To read more about Salt Satyagraha, (a part of India’s struggle for independence) read the linked article.

Quit India Movement

The Cripps Mission arrived in India in March 1942. After Cripps returned, Gandhi put forward a resolution calling for British withdrawal and a non-violent non-cooperation movement against any Japanese invasion. The Congress Working Committee meeting at Wardha on July 14, 1942, accepted the idea of a struggle for India’s independence.

To read more about this movement as a chapter of India’s struggle for Independence, check the links below:

NCERT Notes – Cripps Mission Quit India Movement

In the end, three upsurges in the winter of 1945-46, led to the Cabinet Mission plan and finally to the independence of India.

To prepare for such interesting and important topics, aspirants should get hold of useful UPSC Books. Some of the important books that aspirants can read for Modern Indian History are given below:

  1. India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipin Chandra
  2. Spectrum – Rajiv Ahir
  3. India After Independence – Bipin Chandra

Related Links:

Peasant Movements & Tribal Uprisings Indigo Rebellion
Politico-Religious Movements in 18th-19th Century Post-Independence Land Reform Movements

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