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The end of the British empire - India
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Extracts from the Independence Day Resolution passed by the Indian National Congress in 1930
(By permission of The British Library: T672, John Lane, Jawaharlal Nehru: An Autobiography, 1936)
  • This document was written in 1930 and issued to all branches of the Indian National Congress in India. The Congress was the main organisation that led the campaign for independence for India.
  • The Congress leader, Jawaharlal Nehru, ordered that the document should be translated into the languages of the different provinces that made up India and circulated as widely as possible.
  • The Congress began in 1885 when middle class, educated Indians began to feel that they should have more say in how India was run. At the time they ran the day-to-day workings of the government as clerks and administrators. However, they had little or no real power or influence.
  • In the early 1900s the movement for Indian independence became increasingly strong. Nehru organised the Indian National Congress. However, much of the success and publicity achieved in the campaign for independence came from the actions of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Gandhi was responsible for the methods of non-violent protest used in the campaign for independence. These proved to be very effective in influencing public opinion in India, the wider world and even in Britain in favour of independence.
  • Despite the large support for independence, the British were reluctant to let go of India. There were reforms that gave increasing amounts of power to Indians. However, this document shows that Indian nationalists were frustrated with British rule by 1930 and wanted full independence.
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