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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

some famous personality in Indian freedom struggle


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatama Gandhi)
Mahatama Gandhi was born on the second of October 1869, in Porbandar, Gujarat. He would become one of the nationalists instrumental in achieving India's freedom, and is often referred to as the father of the Indian nation. Mahatama Gandhi went to London, and studied law and was admitted into the British bar in 1891. He returned to India and tried to set up a law practice but met with little success. An Indian firm with interests in South Africa hired him and posted him to Durban, South Africa. Mahatama Gandhi was disappointed when he arrived in South Africa, for he found that he was treated as a member of an inferior race. The appalling denial of basic rights to the native African and immigrant Indian citizens by the ruling Europeans troubled Mahatama Gandhi and he launched a struggle against this oppression. Mahatama Gandhi would spend 20 years in South Africa in which time he would learn valuable lessons on the effectiveness of non- violence as a means of overpowering one's opponent. On his return to India, he took full charge of the nationalist movement and transformed it into a mass movement, which eventually made India a free country.
Mahatama Gandhi, the symbol of the Indian nationalist movement was an extremely simple and principled man. He followed the routine of an ascetic, frugal eating, praying and meditation. He was able to hold such tremendous influence over the masses for he integrated himself with them, wearing the same type of clothes and eating the same type of food. His ideas of ahimsa (non-violence) won him international acclaim and were instrumental in the success of the freedom struggle.
Mahatama Gandhi stressed on using non violent methods in the struggle against the British. It was under his leadership that the national movement was extended to the masses and the brought new direction to the Indian National Congress. He introduced new techniques of fighting the foreign rule, techniques which he had used in his struggle in South Africa. He advocated the disobedience of unjust laws, peaceful demonstrations, boycott of foreign goods and the peaceful picketing of shops selling foreign goods. His ideas eventually found shape in a non-cooperation launched later. His aim was to make the British administration come to a standstill, a point from which they would have to negotiate. He believed that a peaceful struggle was far more productive then a violent one. A peaceful struggle cannot be suppressed easily and is always sustainable in the long run. Mahatama Gandhi was able to take the freedom struggle to the masses and was a major advocate of social justice and unity amongst all sections of the Indian people. His contribution to the freedom struggle was truly commendable and he is rightly known as the father of the nation. His ideas would live on long after his time, and the US civil rights movement under Martin Luther King, would draw inspiration from the ideas of Mahatama Gandhi.
On the 30th of January 1948, he was assassinated by a fundamentalist. An ironically violent end, to a non-violent existence.
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of Independent India. Jawaharlal Nehru was born on the 14th of November h 1889 and departed for England at the age of 16 to complete his education. On returning to the country he practiced law for several years before joining the Indian National Congress in 1919, along with his father Motilal Nehru. Jawaharlal Nehru was an active participant in the struggle for India's freedom and served as president of the Indian National Congress for a number of years. While a supporter of Mahatma Gandhi he was a bit more radical in his approach, believing that short of violence, all possible means of removing the British from India should be followed. By the early 1940's he had emerged as the leader of the Indian National Congress and when the country won Independence was asked to be the interim Prime Minister. The British handed power over to him on the 15th of August 1947, the ceremony in which he made his famous "Tryst with Destiny" speech. In the first general elections, the congress was elected with a resounding majority, which made its leader Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister. He continued to win successive elections and remained the Prime Minister till his death in 1964, of a heart attack. Jawaharlal Nehru was a charismatic leader who was instrumental in forming the early foreign and economic policy of India. One of the key figures behind the Non Alignment movement, he also carried forward India's tradition of peace, and was a ardent supporter of the United Nations.
Dadabhai Naorji
Dadabhai Naorji was born to a Parsee family in Bombay in the year 1825 AD. He was one of the earliest leaders of the nationalist movement and followed the moderate school of thought. Popularly known as the grand old man of India he was one of the most respected leaders of the early nationalist movement. Dadabhai Naorji began his career as a professor of Mathematics and he taught for ten years at the Elephinstone College in Bombay. He then went to England, where he joined a firm as a partner. Dadabhai Naoroji did some notable work for the nationalist cause during his years in England. In 1866 he set up the East Indian Association in London through which he tried to create public opinion amongst the British people about India issues. With the support of S.N. Banerjee he also set up the London India Society which also worked on similar issues. Dadabhai Naoroji attempted to build interaction between the British and the Indian people on a social level and attempted to instill the idea that Asians and Europeans were equal. Dadabhai Naoroji also became a member of the British parliament, on a Labor party ticket. During his years as a member of parliament he brought to the notice of British parliamentarians the plight of the Indian people.
Dadabhai Naorji's contribution in establishing the nationalist movement in India is noteworthy. He founded the Bombay association and was the editor of the a newspaper called the Rast Goftar (speaker of the truth). He was also an active supporter of social reformers like SS Bergalee and Rustomi Furdonji who were endeavoring to remove the social evils that had crept into Parsee society. When the Indian National Congress was established in 1885 he played an important role in the organization, serving as its president thrice in the years 1886, 1893 and 1906. He would take an active interest in the affairs of the Indian National Congress for a long time. During the rift between the moderates and the extremists after the partition of Bengal, he took up the post of Indian National Congress president and was able to temporarily halt the split, although even he was not able to avert the split. His third term as president of the Indian National Congress in 1906, saw the passing of some important resolutions. The nationalist movement entered the second phase during that period, one in which Indian nationalists grew more vocal and radical in their demands. The Indian National Congress set itself on the road of Swaraj (self government), boycott and national education. Dadabhai Naoroji moved away from the moderate policy of petitions and a conciliatory attitude to the British, and instead pressed for more direct action. As he himself said "We do not ask favors, we want only justice". However his philosophy remained that of the early nationalist, he was not opposed to the British and to some extent supported their rule in India for he felt that they had had a civilizing effect on India. He considered the British as just and fair people, and believed that the nationalist demand for Swaraj could be achieved by constitutional reforms.
Dadabhai Naoroji was one of the first nationalists to realize the adverse effects of the British economic policy in India and published a book called Poverty and UnBritish Rule In India which talked about how the economy of India was exploited and its wealth drained away by the British. A true patriot and a great political worker Dadabhai Naoroji died in 1917, at the age of 92. Gopal Krishna Gokhale, one of Dadabhai Naoroji contemporaries said this about him, "If ever there was divine in man, it was in Dadabhai Naoroji".
Gopal Krishna Gokhale
Gopal Krishna Gokhale was another respected moderate leader of the early nationalist movement. H e was born in Kholapur, Maharashtra in the year 1866AD. Like Dadabhai Naoroji he started his career as a professor, a professor of history and economics at Fergusson College and later rose to become the principal of the college. He would later become a popular leader of the early nationalist movement.
Gopal Krishna Gokhale was greatly influenced by Justice M.G. Ranade and looked up to him as his political mentor. He joined the Deccan Education Society founded by the Justice and it was here that his political career began. On behalf of the society he went to England to propagate Indian views and appeared before the Welby commission. On his return to India, he set up the Servants of India society in 1905, which involved people dedicated to working for the upliftment of the Indian people. He also edited a quarterly journal called the Sudharak .
Gopal Krishna Gokhale entered the Indian National Congress at the Allahabad session. He became the general secretary of the party in the year 1897, and was elected the president of the International Congress in 1905. When the partition of Bengal was announced Gopal Krishna Gokhale condemned the government action and fully supported the boycott movement. In 1902 he entered the Imperial legislative council, and he delivered some of his finest speeches here. He sincerely tried to reform the British administration though he was not very successful. In 1906 he was sent to England as a representative of the Indian National Congress with the aim of making the British people more aware of the plight of the Indian people. His eloquent speeches won him many admirers. Gopal Krishna Gokhale like the early nationalist remained essentially a moderate leader. He believed that reforms could be achieved through constitutional agitation. He like the early nationalists trusted the British and believed that once the Indians were ready to govern themselves the British would grant them self government. He was instrumental in ensuring that the Morley Minto reforms were passed. Gopal Krishna Gokhale worked for the material and moral improvement of the Indian people and did some useful work in the fields of education, sanitation and agriculture.
In 1912 Gopal Krishna Gokhale went to South Africa, where he helped Mahatma Gandhi in his struggle against racism. Gopal Krishna Gokhale became the political mentor of Mahatma Gandhi, and was instrumental in persuading Mahatma Gandhi to return to India and take part in the freedom struggle. Gopal Krishna Gokhale was a courageous man and a leader of great integrity. A nation builder, who was neither weak nor fiery. The extremists called him a 'faint hearted moderate' while the British called him a 'seditionist in disguise'. He can perhaps best be described as a practical idealist. He died on the 15th of February 1915, at the young age of forty nine.
Surendranath Bannerjee
Surendranath Bannerjee was born in the year 1848 in Bengal and graduated in the year 1868, doing extremely well in his examinations. He was appointed the district magistrate of the Sylhet district, but was dismissed a few years later on flimsy grounds.
Surendranath Bannerjee started out as a propagator of nationalist feelings amongst college students. He became a professor of English at the Metropolitan college. He would go on to set up his own school six years later. He also edited a newspaper called the 'Bengali' which was used as a medium through which he could raise awareness and mobilize public opinion. He was one of the founding members of a pre-Congress organization, called the Indian Association. He served on the Calcutta commission for two years, as well as being elected to the Legislative council many times. In 1883 he set up another pre-Congress association called the Indian National Conference but merged it later with the Indian National Congress as he realized that both organizations shared similar aims. He remained an important leader in the Congress party. He became the president of the party twice, in 1895 and 1902. Surendranath Bannerjee belonged to the moderate section of the nationalist, and focused more on reforming the British rule in India rather then removing it. His philosophy was "opposition where necessary, cooperation where possible". When the partition of Bengal took place however, he joined the leaders of the extremist movement in championing swadeshi and boycott. He left the Indian National Congress in 1918 over differences regarding the Government of India act of 1919.
Surendranath Bannerjee was a combination of a orator, author and political thinker and was influenced by Burke, Mill and Spencer. He had the ability to move audiences with his oratory and his literary works are also creditable. Surendranath Bannerjee died in 1925. Lala Lajpat Rai
Lala Lajpat Rai was born on the 28th of January 1865 at Jagroan, Punjab. He attended college in Lahore and graduated with his degree in law in 1885. He began his career as a lawyer first at Hissar and later shifted to Lahore. Lala Lajpat Rai was greatly influenced by his father Radha Krishan who was a follower of Swami Dayanand.
While at Lahore he joined the Arya Samaj, and worked for the DAV colleges and other educational institutions run by the Arya Samaj. In 1914 he established an education trust and laid the foundation of the Radha Krishan High School at Jagraon. He was also a prolific writer and journalist and wrote frequently on topics concerning social and political matters. He also started many newspapers like the Punjabi, Vande Mataram and People. He also wrote various books like Young India, England's debt to India, Political Future of India and Unhappy India . He also wrote biographies of Mazzini, Garibaldi, Swami Dayanand, Shivaji and Pandit Gurudatta. When the British arrested and exiled him to Mandalay, he wrote The story of my deportation.
Lala Lajpat Rai joined the Indian National Congress in 1888, but his political career would only reach its peak in 1905 with the partition of Bengal. He soon joined the extremist movement and was associated with leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal. In 1905, he also went to England with Gopal Krishna Gokhale to mobilize British public opinion for the Indian cause. They both made eloquent speeches to convince British leaders about the disastrous consequences of the partition of Bengal. Lala Lajpat Rai returned disappointed to India and launched a movement amongst the Indian youth to fight the British on their own, without any external help. In 1907, he led an agitation against the 'Colonization Bill' and was imprisoned and deported to Mandalay for six months without a trial. In 1907 Bal Gangadhar Tilak proposed his name for the post of the president of the Indian National Congress but after Gopal Krishna Gokhale opposed the move Lala Lajpat Rai withdrew his name to prevent a split. In 1914 he went abroad again, first to England as a member of an Indian National Congress delegation and then to America where he stayed for about five years. He returned to India at the end of First World War. In 1926 he went to Geneva to participate in the eighth International Labor Conference. In 1920 he was elected the president of the Indian National Congress. When Mahatma Gandhi proposed the Non Co-operation movement he opposed it, but once the movement was launched he gave Mahatma Gandhi his full support. When the movement was suddenly withdrawn he was one of those who criticized the decision. In 1922 he joined the Swaraj Party with several congress leaders and was elected to the legislative council in 1923. He however left the Swaraj Party because of differences with some of the leaders and joined Madan Mohan Malviya in organizing the Nationalist Party.
On the 20th of October 1928 when he was leading a procession in Lahore to protest against the all-white Simon Commission he was severely wounded by a police officer called Saunders. He died a month later on the 17th of November 1928. The entire country mourned his death, for India had lost one of its greatest leaders. He was known as Sher-e-Punjab (Lion of Punjab).
Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Bal Gangadhar Tilak was born in 1856 to a Brahmin Family in Maharashtra. He would become one of the leading leaders of the extremist faction of the nationalist movement. He grew up during the time of the Revolt of 1857, a time that was full of revolutionary ideas.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak began his career as a lawyer, though later he began working for the betterment of the people of India. In 1890 he started a school called the Poona New English school to provide an affordable education to boys and girls. He also was one of the founder members of the Deccan Education Society and Fergusson College. To inculcate courage, self defense and patriotism amongst the Indian people he set up many akharas and lathi clubs where physical training was given. In 1893 and 1896 he revived two Indian festivals, Ganapti and Shivaji to infuse nationalist and patriotic feelings amongst the Indian people. Bal Gangadhar Tilak started two newspaper, Mahratta and Kesari which he used to propagate his ideas. Many people read these newspapers and inspired by Bal Gangadhar Tilak they started their own struggle against the British. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a revolutionary from the beginning who was enraged with the foreign domination of India and the injustice it inflicted on the citizens of the country. In 1897 a famine hit Maharashtra and Bal Gangadhar Tilak set up a relief organization and started 'no-rent' campaigns to oppose the British rule. He wrote many articles which criticized the thoughtless and callous policies of the British government. Bal Gangadhar Tilak entered the Indian National Congress and a new phase of more radical thought within the organization. He put forth new ideas and methods of opposing the imperialist rule. He did not agree with the moderate nationalist and advocated stronger action like the boycott of foreign goods and the policy of swadeshi (self reliance). While not against the concept of petitions, he believed that they would be ineffective unless backed by a strong movement. Unlike his moderate contemporaries he did not believe that the British rule was beneficial and instead felt that their rule was extremely harmful. He introduced the idea of Swaraj (complete independence) way back in 1897 with his famous statement, "Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it". After the partition of Bengal he emerged as an important leader of the extremist faction. In the 1906 session he was able to get his ideas of swaraj, swadesh i and boycott adopted despite the opposition of the moderates. After the split of the Indian National Congress in 1907, the British began cracking down on extremist leaders. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was imprisoned and deported to Mandalay for six years. During this time he wrote two book, Gita Rahasya and the Artic Home in the Vedas. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was released in 1914 and started the home rule league two years later in 1916, which inspired the youth to fight against the foreign occupation of the country. He returned to the Indian National Congress in the same year and criticized the Montague-Chelmsford reforms.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak was one of the most popular leaders of the early nationalist movement, and was known as a man of action. The British feared him, Sir Valentine Chirol described him as one of the most dangerous pioneers of disaffection and truly the father of Indian unrest. He died on the 1'st of August 1920, which was a great loss for the freedom struggle.
Bipin Chandra Pal
Bipin Chandra Pal was born in the year 1858 in the Sylhet district of Assam. He began his career as a teacher and later became the headmaster of a school in Cuttack. He joined the Brahmo Samaj in 1876 and was sent to Oxford to study comparative theology. He would however leave the organization.
Bipin Chandra Pal joined the Indian National Congress in 1887 and became a popular extremist leader. A year after joining the Indian National Congress he gave a forceful speech against the Arms Act (under this act Europeans could own firearms but Indians could not). He travelled across the country and spread his message of swaraj and freedom from the British. When the partition of Bengal along communal lines was done in 1905, he played an active role in spreading the ideas of swaraj, swadeshi and national pride. In 1907 he was given a six month prison sentence for sedition, when he refused to give evidence against another fellow nationalist, Aurobindo Ghosh. Bipin Chandra Pal considered Surenderanath Bannerjee his political mentor during the early part of his political career but drifted away and was inspired by the ideas of Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai as an extremist nationalist. He understood that the efforts of the moderates would not take the freedom struggle very far, and early on supported the views of the extremists.
In 1908 he visited England and wrote several books. He also started many newspapers like the New India in 1901. He also contributed regularly to several newspapers like The Englishman, the Statesman and the Modern Review. Bipin Chandra Pal returned to India in 1911 and became an active participant of the extremist movement. He visited England again in 1918 with Bal Gangadhar Tilak as a part of a delegation of the Home Rule league. Bipin Chandra Pal left the Indian National Congress when Mahatma Gandhi launched the non-cooperation movement as he felt a more aggressive strategy was required.
Bipin Chandra Pal worked throughout his life for the upliftment of the Indian people. He advocated industrial reforms, by giving workers a forty eight hour week. He was a very good orator and was able to move people who listened to him. He died in 1932. ist. He understood that the efforts of the moderates would not take the freedom struggle very far, and early on supported the views of the extremists.
In 1908 he visited England and wrote several books. He also started many newspapers like the New India in 1901. He also contributed regularly to several newspapers like The Englishman, the Statesman and the Modern Review. Bipin Chandra Pal returned to India in 1911 and became an active participant of the extremist movement. He visited England again in 1918 with Bal Gangadhar Tilak as a part of a delegation of the Home Rule league. Bipin Chandra Pal left the Indian National Congress when Mahatma Gandhi launched the non-cooperation movement as he felt a more aggressive strategy was required.
Bipin Chandra Pal worked throughout his life for the upliftment of the Indian people. He advocated industrial reforms, by giving workers a forty eight hour week. He was a very good orator and was able to move people who listened to him. He died in 1932.

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