Dates in History
Freedom Movement

Dates

Profiles

Trials of freedom

Essays

Ganesh Festival

India in 1970s


1885-1947
For most of the 19th century, Indian leadership was seized with the issue of foreign rule, and social and political reforms processes. Right from Raja Ram Mohun Roy to Jyotiba Phule, Dayanand Saraswati, Vivekananda, M. G. Ranade, and many others had begun the process of changing the Indian society and awakening the masses to the iniquitous situation that had slowly taken over the country – that of increasing British presence in the Indian subcontinent.


The struggle for freedom from the British rule acquired a special significance in 1885 when the Indian National Congress was formed and met in Mumbai. This is not to say that the freedom struggle began with the formation of the Congress. It just became far more focussed and became an organisation that channelled the energies of the Indian masses towards attainment of political swaraj.


We trace some of the more significant events between the years 1885 to 1947 – a period of 62 years. Six decades that changed India, Indians and brought an end to the British rule, about which it used to be said that the sun never sets on the British Empire. The information in this section is based on S. B. Bhattacharje’s Encyclopaedia of Indian Events and Dates



1885-1900
1885:
On December 28, at the Tejpal Hall of Mumbai. Allan O. Hume, a Scotsman, along with some important leaders of the nationalist movement met at Mumbai and started the Indian National Union (later to be known as the Congress). Wyomesh Chandra Banerjee was the first president of this assembly, attended by 72 delegates. Viceroy Lord Dufferin supported this effort.

1886:
On August 16 at Dakshineshwar temple, banks of Hoogly. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, the last of the mystics, dies at the age of 40. Ramakrishna was the spiritual teacher of Swami Vivekananda, who changed the world’s perception of India, the Hindu religion and started the movement to awaken the spirit of the Indian youth.

1887:
Manabendra Nath Roy – M. N. Roy – is born. Roy went on to propagate the philosophy of radical humanism, and influenced the course of political and social debate in independent India in a significant manner. Roy was also instrumental (along with Lenin and others) in forming the Comintern (Communist International).

1888:
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad is born in Mecca on November 11. He went on to become one of the important leaders of the freedom movement, and a champion of Hindu-Muslim unity. Ironically, in the same year, Sir Sayed Ahmed Khan, the founder of the Aligarh Muslim University, postulated, for the first time, that the Hindus and the Muslims constituted separate qaum (nations).

September 5. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the second president, is born near Madras. His birthday is celebrated as Teachers’ Day in India.

1889:
Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India is born in Allahabad on November 14. Nehru is, unarguably, the tallest leader of the Indian independence movement after Mahatma Gandhi. He shaped the destiny of India and became one of the most respected figures of the 20th century.

Acharya Narendra Dev is born. Dev went on to become an important figure of the socialist movement in India and formed the Praja Socialist Party (PSP).

1890:
Jyotiba Phule dies at 63. Phule revolutionised the Indian society by championing the cause of the dalits and started the first school in India for girls and those belonging to the socially backward castes. Phule’s efforts earned him the honorific of the Mahatma, at an age when Mahatma Gandhi was about to begin his career as a barrister.

1891:
Bhimrao Ramji Ambdekar is born in Mahu (Maharashtra). Ambedkar became the biggest champions of the dalits in India. He was one of the authors of the Constitution of free India. It was his famous tussle with Gandhi that led to reservations for the dalits in the Constitution. Ambdekar’s importance has grown significantly after his death and he has become an icon for the dalits across India. His influence parallels that of Gandhiji.

1892:
The British in the three presidencies of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay introduce the principle of indirect election. Popularly elected representatives were introduced only in 1909, when for the first time elected representatives found a place in the legislatures.

Swami Vivekananda goes to Kanyakumari, where the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal meet the Indian Ocean. Vivekananda’s sojourn to the rock lasted for three days – December 25, 26, 27.

1893:
The Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav (the public celebration of the Ganapati festival) begins in Mumbai at the Keshavji Naik Chawl in Girgaon, and Pune. Lokmanya Tilak turned around the Ganapati festival into a public event with a view to forge unity amongst the Hindus, who were caste-ridden and perennially divided. He festival became a focal point for political activity, and provided a forum for the concepts of swadeshi (nationalistic), swaraj (freedom), swavalamban (self-reliance) and sikshan (education).

Swami Vivekananda attends the World Religion of Congress in Chicago and delivers the famous speech which began with “Brothers and Sisters”, instead of the usual “Ladies and Gentleman”. This unusual beginning brought an instantaneous ovation. He was called the ‘Cyclonic Hindu’ by the American press.

1894:
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay dies on April 8. His contribution to the reawakening of the masses is unparalleled. His song Bande Matram (written in 1876) remains the most important nationalist song of the freedom movement. Even today, despite it not being the national anthem, Bande Matram is unfailingly soul stirring, both in its traditional interpretation and in its post-modern A. R. Rahman version.

1895:
Vinoba Bhave is born in Gogoda (Maharashtra) on September 11. Bhave was Gandhiji’s true disciple and played a significant role in independent India in the land redistribution movement – the Bhoodan, and the Sarvodaya movement. Gandhiji selected him in 1940 to lead the individual satyagraha. Bhave was close to Indira Gandhi and gave legitimacy to her rule, especially during the Emergency (1975-77).

1896:
Morarji Desi is born on February 29. Morarji became India’s fourth and first non-Congress prime minister. He is among those leaders who, despite their brilliance, were completely over-shadowed by the searing heat of Nehru’s charisma. Desai had serious political differences with Indira Gandhi and succeeded in forming the first non-Congress government in 1977, when the Congress was routed in the elections after the Emergency.

1897:
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is born in Calcutta on January 23. Bose took a radically different line of action in his fight against the British. After being a part of the Congress for many years, he quit following differences with Gandhiji, and started the Azad Hind Fauj. During World War II, his army fought the English. In 1941 he escaped from India, and subsequently died mysteriously. Had he remained alive, he would have easily rivalled Nehru in popularity and charisma.

1898:
Damador Hari Chepakar is hanged at Yerwada Jail near Pune on April 18. Chapekar brothers (Damador, Balkrishna and Vasudev) were the first terrorists of the freedom movement. Damodar shot Chares Rand, the Plague Commissioner and Ayerest, the District Magistrate of Pune. Ayerest died immediately, and Rand a few days later. All the three brothers were sent to the gallows.

Annie Besant establishes the Central Hindu College at Varanasi. The college became the nucleus around which the Benaras Hindu University was formed.

1899:
Bengali poet Nazrul Islam is born in Churulia. Along with Rabindranath Tagore, Nazrul Islam became the voice of Bengal’s poetry and nationalism.

Birsa Munda leads the last uprising of the Mundas of south Bihar against the British. It was crushed.

Kamala Nehru, Jawaharlal’s wife and Indira’s mother, is born on August 1.

 

1901-1920
1901:
Mahadeo Govind Ranade dies on January 16. Ranade was among the tallest leaders of Bombay Presidency and consistently advocated the need to initiate social reforms in the Indian society. He was also among the first Indian leaders to realise the economic exploitation of the Indians because of the British rule. He was the political guru of Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

For the first time Gandhiji attends a session of the Congress in Calcutta. He formally joins the Congress in 1915.

Rabindranath Tagore starts the Barahamacharya Ashram that becomes the core of the Visva Bharati University.

1902:
Swami Vivekananda dies at the age of 39.

Jayaprakash Narain is born in Sitabdiara (Bihar). J.P. as he became known later, was one of the most important political leaders to emerge in India in the post-Nehruvian era. J.P. remained a maverick socialist and bitterly fought Indira Gandhi’s Emergency. J.P. played an important role in the underground movement during the 1942 Quit India movement and clandestinely operated a radio, at a time when the British imprisoned most of the senior and important leaders.

1903:
Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay is born on April 3. She became one of the most prominent personalities on Indian arts and crafts. She was also famous for her radical views (in those days) on women and a woman’s place in the society.

Gandhiji starts his legal practice in South Africa.

King Edward VII was declared the Emperor of India. Lord Curzon staged the Delhi Durbar.

1904:
Jamshedji N. Tata, the founder of the house of Tatas, dies on May 19. Jamshedji’s pioneering efforts led to the setting up of the first steel mills in India. The Tata name became synonymous with industrialisation of India.

Lal Bahadur Shastri is born on October 2. Shashtri became the second prime minister of the country. This diminutive leader led India to a decisive victory over Pakistan in the 1965 war. He died at Takshent in the former Soviet Union.

1905:
Lord Curzon partitions Bengal. The Congress postulated, for the first time officially, the concept of swadeshi, leading to a boycott of British goods. The protest against the partition of Bengal led to the Congress activating itself into a mass movement.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale formed the Servants of India Society, the first secular organisation for the welfare of the underprivileged, rural and tribal people.

Lord Curzon proposed to build the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta (the British version of the Taj Mahal) in the memory of Queen Victoria.

Sheikh Abdullah is born on December 5 in Soura, Kashmir. Abdullah played an important role in Kashmir remaining with India after the partition in 1947.

1906:
The All India Muslim League is formed under the leadership of Aga Khan. Nawab Salimullah Khan of Dhaka became its founder president. The Muslim League was formed as a socio-cultural organisation primarily meant to divert the attention of the Muslims away from the nationalist movement. However, in the following years, it became an active political entity and played an important role during the last days of the British rule.

1907:
Bhagat Singh is born on September 27 in Punjab. He is perhaps the first one to raise the slogan of Inquallib Zindabad, the slogan that became the war cry for the freedom movement.

Gandhiji is imprisoned in Johannesberg jail. There he is made to wear a cap specifically meant for non-White prisoners. He continued to wear it later, and the cap came to be known as the Gandhi cap. It became the symbol of the struggle for independence during the colonial rule, and a symbol of power after freedom was attained.

The Congress witnesses its first split at the Surat session. The moderates manage to sideline the extremists led by Lokmanya Tilak. Tilak and his followers walked out of the Congress.

1908:
Khudiram Bose of Midnapur becomes the first political prisoner to be hanged to death in the 20th century. Bose and his friend Prafulla Chaki threw bombs in Muzaffarpur of Bihar to kill District Magistrate Kingsford. However, the bomb was aimed at a carriage that had Mrs. and Miss Kennedy. Both were killed. Bose was arrested and hanged. He was the youngest person (19) to die on the gallows for India’s freedom.

1909:
The Morley-Minto reforms were introduced by the British administration. This was the first step to introduce direct democratic norms in administration of the Indian sub-continent. The reforms, however, became controversial because they gave separate electorates to Muslims.

The Alipore bomb case suspects were departed to Andaman Cellular jail (the dreaded kalapani).

Two important leaders – who had a major role to play in Indian society in the post-independence era – are born. E. M. S. Namboodripad, the Communist leader from Kerala, and Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai, the Dravida movement leader from Tamil Nadu. Namboodripad became the first Communist chief minister in India, when he led the Communist Party of India to power in Kerala in 1957. Annadurai started the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in 1949, paving way for genuine federalism in independent India.

1910:
Rabindranath Tagore publishes Gitanjali. It wins him the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913.

Sri Aurobindo leaves politics and reaches Pondicherry to start his ashram. Aurobindo was among the young radicals who changed the public perception about British rule, especially on issues like the partition of Bengal.

1911:
“Jana Gana Mana”, the song that later became the national anthem of India is first sung on December 27 at the session of the Indian National Congress session at Calcutta.

King George V and Queen Mary land in Bombay. To commemorate this occasion, the British government starts the construction of the Gateway of India, which gets completed in 1924. The second Delhi Durbar is held.

1912:
The capital of India is shifted to Delhi, the British build the eighth city. New Delhi is built later. Calcutta, which had been the capital of British India since the time Clive won the Battle of Plassey, became the capital of Bengal, but a truncated Bengal. Bengal’s partition had been annulled, but the regions of Bihar and Orissa were separated from the state.

1913:
Rabindranath Tagore wins the Nobel Prize for Literature for the English version of Gitanjali. He became the first Asian to win the prize.

Indian immigrants for Indian independence start the Ghadar movement at San Francisco.

1914:
The Ghadar movement began its first agitation against the colour bar practiced in Canada. Gurjeet Singh, a leader of the Ghadar movement. The ship S. S. Komagata Maru sailed from Hong Kong to Vancouver with 351 Sikhs and 21 Punjabi Muslims. It was not allowed to berth at Vancouver, and had to sail back to Calcutta. The British administration shot dead 17 youth and sent the rest to jail for challenging the British Raj.

McMahon line is created demarcating the borders between India and China in the northeast.

1915:
Gandhiji is awarded the Kaiser-e-Hind medal by the British government for his work in South Africa for the British Empire in World War I.

Gandhiji returns from South Africa to Mumbai, becomes a member of the Congress. Starts the Satyagraha Ashram (better known as the Sabarmati Ashram) in Ahmedabad.

Tagore is knighted.

1916:
Annie Besant, Lokmanya Tilak, Mohammed Ali Jinnah and others form the Home Rule League. Dadabhai Naoroji is its first president.

Benaras Hindu University opens under the guidance of Madan Mohan Malaviya.

1917:
Gandhiji launches the Champaran agitation in Bihar for the indigo peasants. Gandhiji defies section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The agitation succeeds. This is the first satyagraha initiated by Gandhiji.

Indira Gandhi, the third prime minister of India is born. Indira became one of the most important and controversial leaders of the second half of the 20th century, and ruled India for a decade-and-half.

Annie Besant becomes the first woman president of the Congress.

The Justice Party – formed for the dalits – is formed in Chennai.

1918:
Montagu-Chelmsford reforms of the Indian Constitution usher in a new era in British-Indian relations.

The Rowlatt Act (prepared on the basis of a report made by Sidney Rowlatt) is passed ushering in strict administrative reforms.

The influenza epidemic kills five million people in India.

The first labour union starts in Madras. It is called the Madras Labour Union.

1919:
Gandhiji starts his satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act. On the baisakhi day (April 13), Brig R. E. H. Dyer opens fire against an unarmed assembly of people at Jallianwala Bagh of Amritsar, protesting against Rowlatt Act. While 1,650 bullets were fired in six minutes, 379 people were killed and 1,208 were injured. Rabindranath Tagore returned his knighthood in protest against the massacre.

Gandhiji’s Navajivan and Young India are launched.

M. N. Roy establishes the first Communist party outside Russia, in Mexico.

Scindia Steam Navigation Company’s ‘Liberty’ makes its maiden voyage.


1920:
Lokmanya Tilak dies on August 1. Orthodox Brahmins don’t allow Gandhiji to hold the bier, saying he is from the bania caste. Gandhiji brushes aside these Brahmins anyway.

Gandhiji takes charge of the Congress by preaching the doctrine of ‘Swaraj within a year’, and non-cooperation movement started formally on August 1. He also starts his work against untouchability.

The Congress boycotts elections under the new reforms of the Government of India Act, 1919, (ushered in by the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms).

The All-India Trade Union Congress is launched in Mumbai on October 31.

The Khilafat movement led by Ali Brothers is launched to restore the Khalif of Turkey, the notional and denominational head of all Islamic world. Gandhiji advises the Congress to support the movement. Muhammad and Saukat Ali, the two brothers, come in close contact with Gandhiji. Hindu-Muslim relations reach a pinnacle of amity. Subsequently, however, on the movement’s failure, the Ali Brothers turn against Gandhiji.

1921-1947
1921:
The Chamber of Princes is inaugurated. Out of 562 states, rulers of 108 states were members of Chamber of Princes. 12 nominees represented rulers of 127 states. The third category of 327 was really landlords and remained unrepresented.

The Indian National Congress’s flag is adopted and hoisted for the first time at the Vijaywada conference. Congress observes an all-India strike when Prince of Wales lands in Mumbai.

Satyajit Ray is born. He became the greatest film maker India produced in the 20th century.

The Mopla revolt occurs in Kerala. Historians are yet to agree whether this was a spontaneous peasants’ revolt or a political uprising or a fanatical outburst of communalism.

Gandhiji makes a bonfire of foreign clothes. He also discards most of his clothes following a meeting with students in Madurai who complain that khadi clothes are expensive. The solutions, he states, is to wear less clothes, and from that day on, just wears a loincloth.

1922:
Gandhiji intensifies the non-cooperation and escalates it to civil disobedience. However, as the entire country is getting organised against the British, the Chauri Chaura incident occurs in Uttar Pradesh, where a mob attachs a police station and kills 22 policemen. Gandhiji withdraws the agitation. Gandhiji is arrested on the orders of Lord Reading.

1923:
Singaravelu Chettiar observes May Day for the first time in India. May Day celebrations had begun in Chicago in 1886, when workers had asked for 8 hours working shifts, 8 hours of social and cultural activities and 8 hours of rest.

1924:
Satyabhakta, a left wing Congressman, establishes the Communist Party of India in Kanpur. The first all_India Communist Conference is held in Kanpur where Singaravelu Chettiar is the president.

Radio broadcasting begins in Madras.

1925:
The first electric train service starts between Bombay’s Victoria Terminus and Kurla station.

K. B. Hedgewar founds the Rashtriya Swayemsevak Sangh (RSS). The Dravida movement also starts in the same year, and the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak committee is constituted by law to look after the Sikh Gurudwaras.


1926:
The All India Women’s Conference is established. It played a leading role in emancipation of women in India. It really started in 1917 with the deputation led by Sarojini Naidu to Lord Montagu, the then secretary of state for India.

The Trade Union Act is passed to confer a legal and corporate status of a registered workers’ union.

First Public Service Commission is established as provided by the Government of India Act of 1919.

1927:
Lord Irwin announces to Gandhiji, S. Shriniwas Iyengar and M. A. Ansari the impending visit of John Simon.

Vinayak Damador Sarvarkar establishes the Hindu Mahasabha.

Regular radio broadcasting begins in Mumbai.

1928:
Gandhiji revives satyagraha in Bardoli. Sardar Patel leads the agitation of the farmers.

Lala Lajpat Rai dies following head injuries sustained in a cane charge by police on protestors against the Simon Commission.

C. V. Raman discovers the Raman Effect, this earns him the Nobel Prize.

1929:
At the stroke of midnight hour on December 31, Gandhiji leads the Congress to declare Purna Swaraj (complete freedom) as its ultimate goal. Nehru is the president of the Congress.

Bhagat Singh shoots at Saunders, a head constable of police on December 17. Singh mistakes him for Scott, the officer responsible for the blow on Lala Lajpat Rai’s head that killed the latter. Saunders dies of bullet wounds.

Commercial aviation reaches the subcontinent.

Mother Teresa comes to India. She makes Calcutta her home.

1930:
Gandhiji starts the Dandi March from Sabarmati Ashram to defy the salt tax. The Salt Satyagraha covered a distance of 388 kilometres and 78 members of the ashram accompanied Gandhiji. This turned the world’s attention on India, and as a political strategy, this was a masterstroke.

January 26 is observed as Swaraj Day. It later becomes the Republic Day in independent India.

The Chittagong Armoury raid occurs on April 18. Sixty-two men of the Indian Republican Army, under the leadership of Surya Sen participate in the raid.

Simon Commission report is published. The Congress rejects it.

Khan Abdul Gafar Khan in support of Gandhiji starts the Red Shirts movement.

1931:
The capital is shifted to New Delhi, the ninth city built by Edward
Lutyens.

The Gandhi-Irwin Pact is signed with the understanding that the Civil
Disobedience Movement will be called off, and the Congress would attend the Round Table Conference.

Winston Churchill describes Gandhiji as the “half-naked seditious fakir”. Gandhiji takes it as a compliment.

Chandrashekhar Azad kills himself in an encounter with the police.

Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru are hanged to death for Saunders’ murder.

1932:
Pritilata Waddedar is the first woman terrorist to commit suicide. She consumes poison after leading an armed raid on the European Club in Chittagong.

The last round of the Round Table Conference gets concluded. The Congress decides to re-launch the Civil Disobedience Movement.

Gandhiji starts the All India Harijan Sevak Sangh for social reforms and education of the backward castes.

J. R. D. Tata starts the Tata Sons Ltd’s commercial airliner.

1933:
Rahmat Ali Chaudhuri, a graduate student at Cambridge, advocated the
bifurcation of India into two nations – for Hindus and Muslims. For the first time, the word Pakistan was used. It means the land of pure. P was for Punjab, A for Afghania, K for Kashmir, S for Sind and tan for Baluchistan.

Gandhiji starts the Harijan Weekly. Gandhiji went to Sabarmati Ashram and left it never to return till India attains independence. He wanted it dismantled. The British arrested him at the ashram. At Gandhiji’s suggestion the ashram was named the Harijan ashram.

Annie Besant dies at the ripe age of 87.

1934:
Jayaprakash Narian forms the Congress Socialist Party.

The Monghyr (Bihar) earthquake kills 20,000. Congress activists are in the forefront.

All India Village Industries Association, with Gandhiji as its patron, was launched on October 26.

1935:
Reserve Bank of India is established.

The Government of India Act gets the royal assent. The main principles of the act – which continue have some relevance in modern India – included an all India federation, a provincial autonomy and responsibilities with safeguards.

Gandhiji retires from active politics to devote himself to the task of harijans (dalits) and village welfare. He continues to guide the Congress from behind the scenes.

1936:
The Vaikom satyagraha led to the throwing open of all government temples in the state to all Hindus irrespective of the caste.

Vijayalakshmi Pandit becomes the first woman minister in the cabinet of the United Provinces.

1937:
Federal Court of India is created. It is the highest judicial authority. In 1950, when the country becomes a republic, it is turned into the Supreme Court.

The administration of India’s provinces comes under the new Government of India Act 1935 from this year. For the first time, the Congress participates in the provincial and central legislatures.

Burma (Mynmar) is separated from India.

1938:
Two of pre-independence era’s greatest writers – Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay and Muhammad Iqbal – died this year.

Subhas Chandra Bose constitutes the first National Planning Commission.

K. M. Munshi starts the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

1939:
Ramkrishna Mission Institiute of Culture is founded. The Mission created a controversy in the 1980s when it went to the court seeking the status of a minority institution.

Rabindranath Tagore launches Subhas Chandra ose’s Mahajati Sadan.

1940:
Udham Singh (Muhammad Singh Azad) shoots dead Michael O’Dwyer, the Governor of Punjab when the Jallianwala Bagh massacre occurred, in London. Udham Singh is hanged to death.

Muslim League adopts the resolution of Pakistan.

Subhas Chandra Bose differs strongly with Gandhiji, but has complete support from the party cadres. However, Gandhiji makes this into a major issue (by declaring that Pattabhi Sitarammiya’s defeat in the elections for Congress’ president to Bose, was his personal defeat). Bose moves out of the Congress and forms the Forward Block.

Vinoba Bhave is chosen by Gandhiji to start the individual satyagraha. More than 23,000 people are arrested in the individual satyagraha.

M. N. Roy forms the Radical Democratic Party.

1941:
Subhas Chandra Bose escapes from Calcutta and disguised, makes his way through Afghanistan to Berlin. Bose raises the Azad Hind Fauj. The army addressed him as Netaji. “Jai Hind” became the national slogan for the Fauj and Jana Gana Mana the national anthem.

Rabindranath Tagore dies on August 7.

1942:
Stafford Cripps arrives on a mission to India. The Congress rejects the proposals made by the mission.

World War II reaches Indian shores, Japanese ships reach Port Blair, and Vishakapatnam is bombed.

The Congress launch the Quit India movement. Gandhiji gives the slogan “Do or Die”. Ithin 24 hours, almost the entire top leadership of the ongress is jailed. But the spark is strng, the young leaders take charge of the agitation, and the country is in turmoil. Totally 1,028 people were killed in police firing and 3,125 were seriously wounded. More than 60,000 people were arrested, 26,000 convicted and 18,000 detained under the draconian Defence of India Act. The Quit India movement gave a clear signal to the British that their days in India were numbered.

Dr Dwarkanath Kotnis dies in China. Later, V. hantaram makes an epic film based on Dr. Kotnis’ life.

1943:
Subhas Chandra Bose leaves Germany and reached Tokyo. Rash Behari Bose at Singapore hands over the Azad Hind Fauj to Bose. Japan hands over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the Azad Hind Fauj. The Fauj declares war on the U.K. and the U.S.A. Japan aircrafts bomb Calcutta.

The Communist Party of India forms the Indian Peoples’ Theatre Association (IPTA).

1944:
Kasturba Gandhi dies in Pune. Gandhiji is released from the Aga Khan palace where he was under house arrest. This turns out to be his last term in jail. Altogether, Gandhiji has spent 2,089 days in Indian jails and 249 in South African jails. Bose addresses Indians (from Rangoon, it is believed) on this occasion and seeks Gandhiji’s blessings. He calls him the Father of the Nation.

Azad Hind Fauj crosses over to Indian border and hoists the national flag on Indian mainland. But they could not move beyond Imphal.

Master Tara Singh gives a call for an independent Sikh nation.

1945:
Lord Wavell seeks a meeting with the Indian leaders. All political prisoners, inside the jail since the 1942 movement, are released without a trial. Nehru, during the internment, writes the Discovery of India for is daughter Indira.

Subhas Chandra Bose is badly injured in a plane crash and is believed to have died in a Japanese hospital.

India, despite being under the British rule, is made one of the original members of the United Nations.

1946:
The trails of the Azad Hind Fauj army men turns into a major issue for the Indian masses. Shah Nawaz Khan, G. S. Dillon and P. K. Shegal have to be released because of mounting public pressure. Nehru fights their case in the court.

The Naval mutiny begins in Bombay. More than 1,000 naval ratings of the Royal Indian Navy on HMIS Talwar went on strike in protest against low pay. Soon they were joined by ratings from other units. British administration had to call in the soilders, but the armymen refused to fire upon the naval ratings. The Congress leaders had to intervene before the ratings surrendered.

Jawarhalal Nehru becomes the prime minister of the interim government of undiided India.

Muslim League starts Direct Action (for Pakistan). This leads to the great Calcutta killing, resulting in more than 5,000 people’s death, 15,000 injured and more than a lakh people rendered homeless.

Clement Attlee, the British Prime Minister, calls Indian leaders to London for talks about independence.

The Telangana uprising starts in Andhra Pradesh region of the then Madras state.

1947:
The Congress accepts the partition of India.

Lord Mountabatten arrives in India. His brief is to end the British rule in the sub-continent.

August 14, Pakistan is a new country.

August 15, India becomes Independent. Nehru delivers his famous speech: “At the stroke of the midnight hour…India awakes to its destiny.”