Indian Freedom Struggle

The Indian freedom struggle began with the 1st war of Indian independence. Later on, Indian National Congress was established in 1885 when 72 delegates from all over the country met in Bombay. Indian National Congress played a very important role in the Indian freedom struggle. This article will provide interesting snippets about the Indian freedom struggle.

Indian Freedom Struggle – Moderate Approach

In the first 20 years, the Indian National Congress (INC) was moderate in its approach. They began by demanding a greater voice for Indians in the administration and government. It called for conducting civil services examinations in India. INC demanded that the Legislative councils be introduced in provinces where they did not exist and more power be given to the Legislative councils to make them more representative.

  • INC demanded freedom of speech and expression.
  • They wanted to repeal the arms laws and separate the judiciary from the executive.
  • The INC also demanded the British reduce the economic woes of the Indians by seeking more funds for irrigation, reducing the military expenditure, reducing land revenue, etc.
  • The INC passed many resolutions on the sufferings of forest dwellers, treatment of Indian labourers abroad and on the subject of the salt tax.
  • The moderate leaders of the INC tried to increase the awareness of the general public about the unjust British rule by giving speeches, writing articles, publishing newspapers, and sending their representatives to different parts of the country to mobilise the opinion of the public.

Indian Freedom Struggle – Rise of Radicals

  • By the 1890s, Lala Lajpat Rai in Punjab, Bipin Chandra Pal in Bengal, and Bal Gangadhar Tilak in Maharashtra were unhappy with the political style of Congress.
  • They tried to explore more radical objectives and methods.
  • They were unhappy with the “politics of prayers”.
  • The radicals emphasised constructive work and self-reliance.
  • Tilak raised the slogan, “Freedom is my birthright and I shall have it!”
  • Radicals wanted people to fight for their swaraj by relying on their own strength and not based on good intentions of the British government.

Mahatma Gandhi

The Indian freedom struggle is always incomplete without understanding the contributions of Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi played a very pivotal role. He led the Non-Cooperation Movement, Civil Disobedience Movement, Salt Satyagraha, and Quit India Movement.

  • He was born in Porbandar, located in Gujarat.
  • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is the full name of Mahatma Gandhi. He was born on 2nd October 1869.
  • Mahatma Gandhi died on 30th January 1948.
  • Mahatma Gandhi is known as the Father of the Nation.

Salt Satyagraha – Dandi March

  • Gandhi led a large group of people from Sabarmati Ashram on 12th March 1930 to Dandi, a coastal village in Gujarat, to break the salt law by producing salt from seawater.
  • The British Government in India had imposed a salt tax, hence Mahatma Gandhi started the Salt Satyagraha. It was a Civil Disobedience Movement.
  • The Salt Satyagraha march lasted for 24 days from 12 March 1930 to 5 April 1930.
  • When Mahatma Gandhi started the Salt Satyagraha, he was accompanied by 80 satyagrahis, all of whom were inmates of his ashram.
  • As they kept moving from village to village, the length of the procession kept increasing.
  • Mahatma Gandhi reached Dandi on 6th April, manufactured salt from the seawater and violated the Salt law made by the British.

Related Links

Quit India Movement – 1942 (Modern Indian History NCERT Notes)

Salt Satyagraha – History, Facts & Cause of Salt March

Non-Cooperation Movement (1920) – Indian Freedom Struggle

Difference between Moderates and Extremists

Gandhi-Irwin Pact – Modern Indian History NCERT Notes for UPSC

India’s Struggle for Independence – Revolt of 1857 to Quit India Movement

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Who started the freedom struggle in India?

The first war of Indian independence took place in 1857. Later on, the Indian National Congress tried to take forward the momentum of freedom. Many radical leaders emerged. Many revolutionary leaders emerged. Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, played a pivotal role in the Indian freedom struggle.

Who are the 5 most famous freedom fighters of India?

It would be difficult to name a universally agreed list of five from the hundreds of leaders India had at the forefront of the freedom struggle. But one could say that five of the foremost freedom fighters of India were Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Subash Chandra Bose, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Bhagat Singh.

Who is the best freedom fighter in India?

It is not possible to conclude on who is the best freedom fighter in India. Various scholars will have various opinions. However, India would not have attained its independence without the contribution of each and every freedom fighter of India. Due to the contributions of Mahatma Gandhi, he went on to be known as the Father of the Nation.

What was Bhagat Singh’s slogan?

Inquilab Zindabad was the slogan of Bhagat Singh.

What was Subhash Chandra Bose’s slogan?

’Give me blood, I shall give you freedom’ was the slogan of Subash Chandra Bose.