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The Indian independence movement is important for understanding the region. This movement launches various political campaigns and works out methods which establish political principals lasting to the present.

The Indian National Congress is the major agent of this movement. It was formed in 1885. By that time, the British crown had been the emperor of India. Since 1906, the British government develops various constitutional negotiations and reforms and passes corresponding acts. In this context, the Muslim League becomes another important agent in India.

In 1919, the Indian National Congress turns into a mass movement against the British colonial state. Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, its struggle is based on non-violence, also non-cooperation with the British administration. Against the growth of the Indian independence movement and the Government of India Act 1935, the idea of the partition of India and the creation of a Muslim majority nation, i.e. Pakistan, develops. Sindh Provincial Muslim League takes up this scheme for the first time in October 1938. The All India Muslim League passes the historic resolution in Lahore in March 1940. Mohammed Ali Jinnah argues that “Muslim rights (are usurped) by the majority community.”

On 15th August 1947, India achieves independence by a compromise, i.e. the founding of Pakistan one day earlier. Muslim League’s campaign is based on constitutional methods and confirmed in elections. As India and Pakistan emerge out of one political movement and people of all communities live in every country, both countries are fixated on each other. In 1971, the idea of the national unity of Muslims takes a step back. West and East Pakistan separate from each other and Bangladesh is founded.

British Library

Timeline of Indian Freedom Struggle (UPSC Guide)


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