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Indian nationalism is what allowed for India’s freedom today. Though the amount of nationalistic pride changed drastically between the mid-19th and mid-20 centuries when it got its independence. The Indian populace overall will build up a strong sense of nationalism over the course of the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century. This evolution of Indian nationalism with the help of Gandhi would be the sole reason for the freedom of India.
During the mid-19th century Britain had control over India and called it their “jewel in the crown”. Though they simply used it to make money for their own country and treated its citizens as inferiors (which doesn’t sound like the way someone would treat a very valuable gem). The British treated the Indians like second class citizens and there would be a long build-up of stress because of the way they were treated. The long tension of anger towards the British and need for freedom finally snapped with the Sepoy Rebellion. The Sepoy rebellion (being the first of many more protests to the tyrannical British rule) was in 1857 and consisted of recruited Indian soldiers under the British army known as Sepoys. This marked the beginning of Indian Nationalism and would be the first stepping stone on a long 90 year rise of Indian nationalism.
The Indian national congress was brought together in the 1880s to give the people more voice in the country and have less control from the British. The Muslim league also would be created after the Indian national congress was created. The Muslim minority thought their voices would not be heard because there were more Hindus than there were Muslims. Though the league and Indian national congress still made the amount of nationalism rise as the Indians began to detest the British and gain more power over their own country. The one person who truly brought about the drastic rise in Indian nationalism was Gandhi. Gandhi was born in 1869 and went to a university in London in 1888 (when he was 19). When he came back from London he saw the Indian people being treated as though they were inferior to the British and knew something had to be done. Gandhi protested the Indian populace backed Gandhi. He first protested the 1906 British act that forced Indians to have a registration pamphlet with them at all times so that the British could identify who they were and that they were a colored minority. He protested this by burning his and other Indian registration pamphlets at a public gathering. Gandhi Takes serious leadership in the 1910s through his famed methodology of civil disobedience. Through Gandhi’s leadership the Indian people grew an even stronger sense of nationalistic values.
Originally the Indian populace simply wanted home rule. They were ok with British control as long as they could run their country as they wanted to. This was what they were originally shooting for but never actually received. The final straw was the Amritsar massacre. That changed the want for home rule to a need for independence. The British mercilessly slaughtered Indians at a public gathering in 1919. The crime they committed was having a public meeting which apparently to the British commander at the time was enough of a reason to bring a full regiment of troops and an armored car to stop. This outraged the people and they called for independence from British rule. After this massacre and the need for independence rose Gandhi went on a famous salt march. He walked miles to the Indian Ocean in 1930 to collect salt and protest the British sale of salt. Gandhi also wanted the people to not buy any British made goods and simply make their own and be more self-sufficient. He was willing to do anything to cut off power from the British and be a free nation. This was one of the reasons why People backed behind Gandhi. The people hated the British and Gandhi would be the ones to lead the protests against the British. Nationalism rose drastically because of him.
Indian Nationalism was on the rise and continued to grow all the way until 1947. All of the events thus far have led to a stronger nation and stronger nationalistic pride because of the nation’s newfound strength. This is completely ruined whenever the nation breaks up due to religious disputes. The country was divided into three different countries: Pakistan, India, and East Pakistan. Muslims fled from India to Pakistan and Hindus fled from Pakistan to India. Mass chaos and slaughter would break out because of the disputes between the groups. The sense of nationalism weakened drastically because of this and because of the assassination of Gandhi just one year later. Nationalism went down severely but was still higher than that of what it was in the mid-19th century (not by a lot though). The leader that brought about that high sense of nationalism was killed and the country was split apart because of religious affairs. This utterly shut down the Nationalistic pride and few would still have it.
If a line graph were to be drawn representing Indian nationalism and 1850-1949, the graph would steadily increase until the country is torn apart in 1947. Ultimately though nationalism increased and through this sense of nationalism the country found its independence. Through the leadership of Gandhi and the tyrannical rule of the British it is easy to see how that nationalistic pride rose so quickly. Without this pride the people surely would not have had the will to fight and the country would still be Britain’s “Jewel in the crown”.
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