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Anticolonial Nationalism in British India

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Gandhi became famous in the world for fighting for independence in India from the British colonialists in the early 20th century. The emergence of the communal consciousness between the Muslims and the Hindus was as a result of the British colonial rule, particularly the colonial legislation and administrative division of Indians into religious classes. During the colonial period, communalism and separatism were restricted only to certain regions and groups. Politics of the Indian National Congress, anti colonial nationalists’ parties, the Muslim League and the British legislation brought about the thought that the interests of the Muslim community were different from those of the Hindu community in India (Khan 234). The anti colonial struggle in India took place in three different stages, which is the proto-nationalism stage as the first stage, the rise of new leadership as the second stage and finally mass movement as the third stage. Proto-nationalism is the earliest period of anti-colonial struggle in British India. The local people did not have any knowledge about their rights and their independence during this era. The local people accepted the colonial rule of the British during this period. However, political movements and social groups demanded reforms within the British colonial rule system. When the National Congress of India was established in 1885, it was not anti British colonial rule because it believed that the British colonialists had some sense of justice and fair play in their ruling (Guha 102). The rise of new leadership in India was regarded as the second stage of anti colonial struggle. New patriotic and dedicated leaders in India took control of the movements. During this stage, leaders such as Gokhale, Mahatma Gandhi, Lala Lajpat Rai, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Maulana Azad emerged (Guha 78). The third and final stage of anti colonial struggle in British India was mass movements. These national movements dominated in India in that the British colonialists were forced to use brutal force in order to maintain their power. The movements took their information to the locals in remote areas of India under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. This final stage started with civil disobedience movements whose main aim was to sensitive the locals to disobey some of the rules of the British colonialists that were unjust. The British colonialists in turn arrested the leaders of the movements sending them to jail (Guha 34). With the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, peaceful non-violent struggles were adopted as a method of anti colonial struggle. National Congress of India was established in 1885 as a platform for the educated Indians to express their aspirations and was generally received by the British. The Congress later became anti British. Among the leaders of the Congress included Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Surendra Nath Banerjee who sought for reforms that would allow some Indians to participate in the Legislative Councils but after approximately two decades, it became anti British. The main objective of the Congress was the defeat of the British raj. In India, the freedom movement was split into two factions, that is, a less militant faction and a more militant faction. The less militant faction was represented by Gokhale and later by Mahatma Gandhi whose main