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INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT NOTES PART 1
We will be providing you all the theory notes of Indian National Movement in the Modern History. Today we are providing you the part 1 of the notes.
The Indian National Congress
- Formed in 1885 by A.O.Hume, an Englishman and a retired civil servant.
- First session in Bombay under W.C.Banerjee in 1885 (72 delegates attended it).
- In the first two decades (1885 – 1905), quite moderate in its approach.
- But the repressive measures of the British gave rise to extremists within Congress like Bipin Chandra Pal, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai (Lal, Bal, Pal).
Partition of Bengal:
By Lord Curzon on Oct 16, 1905, through a royal Proclamation, reducing the old province of Bengal in size by creating East Bengal and Assam out of rest of Bengal.
The objective was to set up a communal gulf between Hindus and Muslims.
Swadeshi Movement (1905):
Lal, Bal, Pal, and Aurobindo Ghosh played the important role.
INC took the Swadeshi call first at the Banaras Session, 1905 presided over by G.K.Gokhale. Bonfires of foreign goods were conducted at various places.
Formation of Muslim League (1906)
In December, 1906, All India Muslim League was set up under the leadership of Aga Khan, Nawab Salimullah of Dacca and Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk at Dacca. The League supported the partition of Bengal, opposed the Swadeshi movement and demanded special safeguards for its community and a separate electorate of Muslims.
Calcutta Session of INC (1906)
In Dec. 1906 at Calcutta, the INC under the leadership of Dada Bhai Naoroji adopted ‘Swaraj’ as the goal of Indian people. Naoroji in his presidential address declared that the goal of the INC was ‘self government of Swaraj like that of United Kingdom’.
Surat Split (1907)
The INC split into the two groups i.e. the extremists and the moderates at the Surat session in 1907. The extremists were led by Tilak, Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal while the moderates were led by G.K. Gokhale.
Alipore Bomb Case 1908
In 1908 a revolutionary conspiracy was intrigued to kill the Chief Presidency Magistrate D.H. Kingford of Muzaffarpur. The task was entrusted to Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki. They threw the bombs on a vehicle coming out of the magistrate’s home on April 30, 1908.
Morley-Minto Reforms (1909)
Morley-Minto Reforms were introduced in 1909 during the period when Lord Minto was the Viceroy of India while Morley was the secretary of the state. The reforms laid the foundation of institutionalized communalism as per the policy of divide and rule by introducing the separate electorates for Muslims. As per the provisions of the reform Muslims could only vote for Muslim candidates.
Arrival of Lord Hardinge 1910
From 1910 to 1916, Lord Hardinge served as India’s Viceroy. The important event during his tenure was the Delhi Durbar of 1911.
Delhi Durbar of 1911
In 1910, there was a succession in England where King George V ascended the throne. In 1911 he paid a visit to India. Darbar was held to commemorate the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary as Emperor and Empress of India. In this Darbar, the King declared that Capital of India will be transferred from Calcutta to Delhi. In the same Darbar it was also declared the Partition of Bengal is cancelled.
Delhi conspiracy case 1912
It is said that the Delhi Conspiracy was hatched by Ras Bihari Bose, but was never proved. On 23 December 1912, a Bomb was thrown at the Viceroy Lord Hardinge when his procession was moving from Chandni Chowk. The Viceroy wounded in the attempt, but his Mahavat (driver and keeper of an elephant) was killed.
Ghadar Party (1913):
Formed by Lala Hardayal, Taraknath Das and Sohan Singh Bhakna. HQ was at San Francisco.
Home Rule Movement (1915-16)
B.G Tilak was released from the Mandlay jail in the year 1914. In 1915 he reentered INC. B.G. Tilak founded Indian Home Rule League at Pune on 28 April, 1916. Annie Besant, inspired by the Irish rebellion, started Home Rule Movement in India in Sep., 1916. She started two newspapers i.e. Young India and Commonwealth. The leagues advocated passive resistance and civil disobedience.
Arrival of Lord Chelmsford 1916
On April 4, 1916, Lord Chelmsford took over as next Viceroy of India.
Lucknow Pact-Congress-League Pact (1916)
An important step forward in achieving Hindu- Muslim unity was the Lucknow Pact (1916). Anti- British feelings were generated among the Muslims following a war between Britain and Turkey which opened way for Congress and Muslim League unity. Both the Congress and the Muslim League held session at Lucknow in 1916 and concluded the famous Lucknow pact. The congress accepted the separate electorate and both organizations jointly demanded ‘dominion status’ for the country.
Montagu Declaration (August Declaration of 1917)
Montague made the landmark statement in the context of self rule in India in 1917. He said that the control over the Indian government would be transferred gradually to the Indian people. This was the result of Hindu-Muslim unity exhibited in Lucknow pact.
The Champaran Satyagraha of 1917 was Mahatma Gandhi’s first Satyagraha. Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha were the events which later put Gandhi on the front seat of Indian National Revolution and made Satyagraha a powerful tool.
Kheda Satyagraha 1918
In 1918, Gujarat as a whole suffered a severe
epidemic of Plague and in Kheda alone around 17000 people lost their lives. Further, cholera also broke out locally. This was the immediate reason of the revolt. The revolt was against the taxes. The government said that if the taxes are not paid, the property would be seized. This revolt gave India a robust leader in Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and his colleagues organized this major tax revolt, which was able to mobilize all the castes and creeds of the region.
INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT NOTES PART 2
We will be providing you all the theory notes of Indian National Movement in the Modern History. Today we are providing you the part 2 of the notes.
Rowlatt Act (March 18, 1919)
This gave unbridled powers to the govt. to arrest and imprison suspects without trial for two years maximum.
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (April 13, 1919):
People were agitated over the arrest of Dr. Kitchlu and Dr. Satyapal on April 9, 1919. General O’ Dyer fires at people who assembled in the Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar on 13th April 1919. As a result hundreds of men, women and children were killed and thousands injured. Rabindranath Tagore returned his Knighthood (title) in protest. Sir Shankaran Nair resigned from Viceroy’s Executive Council after this. Hunter Commission was appointed to enquire into it.
On March 13, 1940, Sardar Udham Singh killed O’Dyer when the later was addressing a meeting in Caxton Hall, London.
Hunter Committee Report
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre was followed by establishment of a non-official enquiry committee the Government established a committee headed by Lord Hunter a Senator of the “College of justice of Scotland”.
Khilafat Movement (1919-20):
Muslims were agitated by the treatment done with Turkey by the British in the treaty that followed the First World War.Two brothers, Mohd.Ali and Shaukat Ali started this movement.
Non cooperation movement (1920-22)
The Non cooperation was the first mass movement launched under the leadership of Gandhi.
The program of non-cooperation included:
- Surrender of titles
- Boycott of government affiliated educational institutions
- Boycott of courts of law
- Boycott of foreign cloth
- Nonpayment of taxes
Chaura Chouri incidence (1922)
On 5th February 1922, the Non Cooperation Movement was called off by Gandhi because of an unfortunate incidence at Chauri Chaura in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh. In this incidence the crowd participating in the Non Cooperation and Khilafat procession indulged into the violence with the police. As a result the crowd burnt a Police station and in the incidence 22 policemen were killed.
The Sawraj party (1922)
During this time a new political strategy; to carry forward the struggle against the colonial rule; was advocated by C.R. Das and Motilal Nehru. C.R. Das and Motilal Nehru put forward the changed strategy in Gaya session (1922) of the Congress. There were leaders in Congress like Vallabhbhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad and C.Rajgopalacharya who opposed these changes of council entry. C.R. Das and Motilal Nehru resigned from the Congress and formed the Swaraj Party.
Simon Commission (1927):
Constituted under John Simon, to review the political situation in India and to introduce further reforms and extension of parliamentary democracy. Indian leaders opposed the commission, as there were no Indians in it. At Lahore, Lala Lajpat Rai was severely beaten in a lathi charge. He died in 1928.
Nehru’s Report (1928)
Lord Birkenhead, the Conservative Secretary of the State challenged Indians that they were not capable to formulate a concrete scheme of the constitutional reforms which had the support of wide section of political parties. He was of the view that a scheme of constitutional reform made by one political party in India would be opposed by the others and Indian political parties lacked the capabilities to form a consensus. To meet this challenge All Parties Conferences were held in 1928. A scheme was finalized which is popularly called “Nehru Report” as Motilal Nehru was its chief architect.
14 Points of Jinnah (March 9, 1929)
Jinnah, the leader of Muslim League, did not accept the Nehru Report. Jinnah thereafter drew up a list of demands, which was called ’14 points of Jinnah’.
At its annual session held in Lahore in Dec. 1929, under the presidentship of Jawaharlal Nehru, the Indian National Congress passed a resolution declaring ‘Poorna Swaraj’ (Complete Independence) to be the goal of the national movement. On Dec. 31, 1929, the newly adopted tricolor flag was unfurled and Jan 26 fixed as the Independence Day which was to be celebrated every year, pleading to the people not to submit to British rule any longer.
Civil Disobedience Movement
Phase “I” of Civil Disobedience Movement
In 1929 at Lahore Session, Congress made the “Purna Swaraj” or the complete independence as the aim of the Congress. On 31st January 1930, Gandhi gave his ultimatum to Lord Irwin with his 11 point demand. The Gandhi asked Irwin either to accept the 11 point demands else the Congress will launch Civil Disobedience. The demands were ignored by the British government. Thus Gandhi launched the Civil Disobedience Movement with the Dandi march. It was from Sabarmati to Dandi. Gandhiji along with his 78 followers broke the Salt Act.
First Round Table conference (1930):
It was the first conference arranged between the British and Indians as equals. It was held on Nov.12, 1930 in London to discuss Simon commission.
Boycotted by INC, Muslim League, Hindu Mahasabha, Liberals and some others were there.
Gandhi Irwin Pact (1931):
The two (government represented by Irwin and INC by Gandhiji) signed a pact on March 5, 1931. In this the INC called off the civil disobedience movement and agreed to join the second round table conference. The government on its part released the political prisoners and conceded the right to make salt for consumption for villages along the coast.
Second Round Table Conference(1931):
Gandhiji represented the INC and went to London to meet British P.M. Ramsay Macdonald. However, the session was soon deadlocked on the minorities issue and this time separate electorates was demanded not only by Muslims but also by Depressed Classes, Indian Christians and Anglo – Indians.
Phase “II” of CDM
After the failure of Second Round Table Conference, the working committee of the Congress resumed Civil Disobedience in.
The Communal Award (Aug 16,1932):
Announced by Ramsay McDonald. It showed divide and rule policy of the British.
Envisaged representation of Muslims, Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo Indians, women and even Backward classes. Gandhiji, who was in Yeravada jail at that time, started a fast unto death against it.
Poona Pact (September 25, 1932):
After the announcement of communal award and subsequent fast of Gandhiji, mass meeting took place almost everywhere. Political leaders like Madan Mohan Malviya, B.R.Ambedkar and M.C.Rajah became active. Eventually Poona pact was reached and Gandhiji broke his fact on the sixth day (Sept 25, 1932). In this, the idea of separate electorate for the depressed classes was abandoned, but seats reserved to them in the provincial legislature were increased.
Third Round Table Conference (1932):
Proved fruitless as most of the national leaders were in prison. The discussions led to the passing of the Government of India Act, 1935.
The Government of India Act, 1935
The Simon Commission report submitted in 1930 formed the basis for the Government of India Act, 1935. The new Government of India Act received the royal assent on Aug. 4, 1935. The continued and extended all the existing features of earlier constitutional reforms. But in addition there were certain new principle introduced. It provided for a federal type of government. Thus, the act:
- Introduced provincial autonomy.
- Abolished dyarchy in provinces
INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT NOTES PART 3
We will be providing you all the theory notes of Indian National Movement in the Modern History. Today we are providing you the part 3 of the notes.
Pakistan Resolution/Lahore Resolution (March 24, 1940)
It was 1930 that Iqbal suggested the union of the Frontier Province, Baluchistan, Sindh and Kashmir as Muslim state within the federations. The idealist Chaudhry Rehmat Ali developed this conception at Cambridge, where he inspired a group of young Muslims and invented the term ‘Pakstan’ (later ‘Pakistan’) in 1935. The ideology of Iqbal, the vision of Rehamat Ali, and the fears of Muslims were thus united by the practical genius of Jinnah to blind Muslim together.The Lahore session of the Muslim League, held on March 24, 1940, passed Pakistan Resolution and rejected the Federal scheme an envisaged in the government of India Act, 1935.
The August Offer (1940)
In order to win the public opinion in India, Linlithgow put up an offer to get the support of the nationalist in the World War “II”.
A promise of Dominion Status in an unspecified future
A post war body to be created to enact a constitution, however this was to happen only after the approval from the British Parliament
Immediate expansion in the Viceroy’s executive council.
Formation of a war advisory council.
The August offer shocked nationalists, and the Congress launched the individual Satyagraha. Vinobha Bhave was the first Satyagrahi while Nehru was second.
The Cripps Mission – 1942:
In Dec. 1941, Japan entered the World War – II and advanced towards Indian borders. By March 7, 1942, Rangoon fell and Japan occupied the entire S E Asia.
The British govt. with a view to getting cooperation from Indians sent Sir Stafford Cripps, leader of the House of Commons to settle terms with the Indian leaders.
He offered a draft which proposed dominion status to be granted after the war
Rejected by the Congress as it didn’t want to rely upon future promises.
Gandhiji termed it as a post dated cheque in a crashing bank.
Quit India Movement
The causes for the launch of Quit India Movement were:
The failure of the Cripp’s Mission was an eye opener for the nationalist.
The news of Allied reverses in World War and British withdrawal from South-East Asia and Burma leaving local people at the mercy of Japanese.
Course of Events
Quit India resolution was passed on 8th August 1942 at Bombay.
The Congress envisaged a “mass struggle on the non-violent lines on the widest possible scale.
It was made clear that if Congress leadership gets removed by arrest, “every Indian who desires freedom and strives for it must be his own guide”.
Gandhi and all the leaders of the Congress working committee were arrested on the early hours of August 9, 1942.
There was a three month strike in Ahmedabad, the Stalinguard of India
Usha Metha ran an illegal radio station
Rajgopalacharya and Communists opposed the Quit India Movement
The three parallel governments were formed at:
- Ballia under Chittu Pandey
- Tamkul- Jatia Sarkar of Satish Samant
- Satara- Prati Sarkar under Nana Patil.
Gandhiji’s Fast (Feb. 10 – March 7, 1943)
Gandhiji undertook a 21-day fast in jail. His condition deteriorated after 13 days and all hopes of his surviving were given up.However, as a result his moral strength and spiritual stamina, he survived and completed the 21-day fast. This was his answer to the government which had been constantly exhorting him to condemn the violence of the people in the Quit India Movement.
C.R. Formula (1944)
In 1944, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (C.R.) proposed to appoint a commission to separate the district in North-West and East where Muslims were in majority.In such areas, a voting to be held on the basis of adult suffrage to decide the issue of separation. They would be given freedom in case they favoured a sovereign state. In case of acceptance of partition, agreement to be made jointly for safeguarding defence, commerce,communications etc.
Muslim League was to endorse Congress demand for independence and cooperate in formation of provisional government. Jinnah objected, as he wanted Congress to accept two-nation theory and wanted only Muslims of the North-West and East of India to vote. Hindu Leaders led by V.D. Savarkar condemned the plan.
Wavell Plan & Shimla Conference (June 14 – July 14, 1945)
After consultations with the British Government on the Indian problem, Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India, issued a statement known as Wavell Plan. The Plan,
which chiefly concerned Viceroy’s Executive Council, proposed certain changes in the structure of the council. One of the main proposals was that the Executive Council would be constituted giving a balanced representation to main communities in it, including equal representation to Muslims and Hindus. Soon after the Wavell Plan was issued the members of the Congress Working Committee were released from jails. A conference of 22 prominent Indian leaders called at Shimla to consider the Wavell Plan, reached no decision. What scutted the conference was Mr. Jinnah’s unflinching stand that Muslim approved only by the Muslim League should be included in the Executive Council. Communalism thus again became a stumbling block. For the Britishers, however, the dissension between the Congress and the Muslim League was a source of happiness.
The first trial of INA prisoners took place at Red Fort.
P.K. Seghal, Shah Nawaz and Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon were made accused.
The counsels for defense were Bhulabhai Desai, Tej Bhadur Sapru, K.N. Kataju, J.L. Nehru and Asaf Ali. Even though the Court Martial held the INA prisoners guilty, the Government felt it expedient to set them free. The question of guilt was not the issue, however it was Britain’s right to decide the matter concerning Indians.
The revolt of Royal Indian Navy (RIN)
In Feb. 1946, Bombay Ratings of HMIS Talwar revolted against British and struck work.
The racial discrimination and bad food was the immediate cause of the revolt.
B.C Dutta scrawled Quit India on the ships
The HMIS Hindustan in Karachi also mutinied.
By the end of February the strike had spread to naval bases all over the country involving about 20000 ratings.
The Cabinet Mission Plan (1946):
The struggle for freedom entered a decisive phase in the year 1945–46. The new Labour Party PM.Lord Attlee, made a declaration on March 15, 1946, that British Cabinet Mission (comprising of Lord Pethick Lawrence as Chairman, Sir Stafford Cripps and A.V. Alexander) will visit India.
The mission held talks with the INC and ML to bring about acceptance of their proposals.
On May 16, 1946, the mission put towards its proposals. It rejected the demand for separate Pakistan and instead a federal union consisting of British India and the Princely States was suggested.
Both Congress and Muslims League accepted it.
Direct Action Campaign (Aug, 16, 1946):
Provoked by the success of the Congress (in the voting for Constituent Assembly), the Muslim League launched a ‘direct action’ campaign on Aug. 16, 1946, which resulted in heavy communal riots in the country.
Interim Government (Sept, 2, 1946):
On Sept. 2, 1946, an interim government was formed. Congress members led by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru joined it but the Muslim League did not as it withdrew its earlier acceptance of the Cabinet Mission Plan.
Formation of Constituent Assembly (Dec. 9, 1946):
This Constituent Assembly met on Dec. 9, 1946, and Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected its President. The Muslim League did not join the
Attlee’s Announcement (Feb. 20, 1947): On Feb. 20, 1947, British Prime Minister Attlee announced that the British would withdraw from India by June 30, 1948 and that Lord Mountbatten would replace Wavell.
Mountbatten Plan (June 3, 1947):
On June 3, 1947, Lord Mountbatten put forward his plan which outlined the steps for the solution of India’s political problem.
The outlines of the Plan were:
India to be divided into India and Pakistan.
Bengal and Punjab will be partitioned and a referendum in NEFP and Sylhet district of Assam would be held.
There would be a separate constitutional assembly for Pakistan to frame its constitution.
The Princely states would enjoy the liberty to join either India or Pakistan or even remain independent.
Aug.15, 1947 was the date fixed for handing over power to India and Pakistan.
The British govt. passed the Indian Independence Act of 1947 in July 1947, which contained the major provisions put forward by the Mountbatten plan.
Partition and Independence (Aug 1947):
All political parties accepted the Mountbatten plan.
At the time of independence, there were 562 small and big Princely States in India.
Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, the first home minister, used iron hand in this regard.
By August 15, 1947, all the States, with a few exceptions like Kashmir, Hyderabad and Junagarh had signed the Instrument of Accession. Goa was with the Portuguese and Pondicherry with the French.
The Imperial Guptas Ashoka’s death left a vacuum in India for the next 600 years, during which, several foreign tribes overran India.
With the ascent of the Gupta power, the northern States were merged into a single empire.
This national revival yielded an excellent administration and trade, all-round development with prevailing order and peace. The tax-burden was low compared to the Mauryan rule and the State provided for safe roads for trade. The period saw the revival of religion, Sanskrit literature, art and architecture too.
- After the Mauryas, the two main powers were the Satavahanas in the Deccan and the Kushanas in the north. They carried on brisk trade with the Roman empire. These powers were replaced in the middle of the 3rd century A.D. by the Guptas.
The Guptas were Vaishyas by caste and followed Vaishnavism.
- The main centres of Gupta activity were Magadha (Pataliputra), Prayag (Allahabad), Ujjain (M.P., considered as their second capital), Saket (Ayodhya, U.P.), and Sarnath (Benaras, Varanasi, U.P.).
- 3. Sri Gupta and his son Ghatotkacha Gupta were the first definite rulers of this dynasty, who also used the term ‘Maharaja’. However, no definite place is assigned to them over which they ruled.
- Chandragupta-I is considered “real founder”. He started the Gupta Era (320 A.D.). His marriage alliance with the Licchavi (North Bihar) princess Kumaradevi enhanced his status and he ruled over Oudh, Magadh and Prayag.
- Samudra Gupta’s campaigns have been mentioned by his court poet Harisena in the Prayag Prasasti, which is a valuable source of information for the various States, tribes and their rulers. His victory over the Nagas, Hunas, Vakatakas, etc gave him the title of “Indian Napoleon” (for his conquests), especially the Vakataka ruler Pravarasena (of Berar, Deccan) and Tamralipti (Bengal).
- The Guptas were secular rulers and offered religious freedom to the society.
- Chandra Gupta-II (“Vikramaditya”) defeated his elder brother Ramagupta and the Saka chief Basana, because Ramagupta had agreed to offer his wife
Dhruvadevi to save the kingdom from Basana. To strengthen his position further, he married his daughter Prabhadevi, by his wife Kuber Naga, to the Vakataka king Rudrasena II. The Vakatakas helped him to end the power of the Sakas of Western India.
- Vikramaditya is identified with king Chandra of the iron pillar inscription near Qutab Minar, Delhi.
- The reign of Vikramaditya also saw the visit of the Chinese monk Fahien, who wanted to secure some copies of Buddhist manuscripts from India.
- Skanda Gupta is famous for saving the empire from the Huna tribe, which had overran Asia and Europe. They suffered a terrible defeat in India.
- Skanda Gupta appointed Parnadatta as governor to the Sakas at Saurashtra. The famous Junagarh rock inscription in Girnar hills, Kathiawar, refer to the repair of the embankment of theSudarshan Lake by Parnadatta and his son Chakrapalita.
- The last important Gupta ruler was Vishnu Gupta.
- Archaeological sources of Gupta history are available as “prasastis” (charters recording land grants, etc). They are called Tamra sasanas or Tamrapatras (copper plates).
- Gupta coins were first issued by Samudra Gupta, as the golden “Dinara”. He also issued Chandragupta and Kumaradevi type coins to commemorate his father’s marriage to the Licchavi princess.
- The first silver coins were issued by Chandragupta- II, on imitation of the western Satraps. Copper coins were also issued.
- 16. Brahmanical faith,which had been eclipsed for long by the new sects of Buddhism and Jainism, achieved immense splendour under the Vaishnavite Guptas, who also encouraged to reviveuse of Sanskrit.
- Devi worship in various forms achieved importance during Gupta period.
Lakshmi was worshipped as consort to Vishnu and Parvati to Shiva.
- 18. Emergence of Bhakti cult, stressing on worship, devotion and love towards a personal God, gained importance during the Gupta period.
- 19. Literature and intellectual progress also manifested unparalleled progress.
Sanskrit was honoured as the State language.
- Some important scholars/works of the period are:
( a ) Vishnusharma— wrote Panchatantra, a collection of moral stories.
(b) Harisena—author of Prayag (Allahabad) prasasti (inscription)—gives account of Samudragupta’s campaigns.
(c) Vishakhadutta— wrote Mudra Rakshas (on Mauryas and Nandas) and
Devichandragupta (on Chandragupta-II and Dhruva Devi).
(d) Shudraka—wrote Mricchakatika (a drama on a Brahmin merchant Charudutt and a courtesan Vasantsena, portrays city life).
(e) Bharavi—epic poem Kirtarjuneya (Arjuna and the disguised hunter Shiva).
(f) Dandin—Dasaku-maracharita (stories of 10 princes).
(g) Subandhu—Vasavdatta (story of prince Kandarpketu and princess Vasavdatta).
(h) Banabhatta—a later date writer—wrote Harshacharita and Kadambari—he was court poet of Harsha Vardhana.
(i) Amarsimha—a lexicographer— he wrote Amarakosa, he listed various metals and alloys.
(j) Kamandaka—Nitisara (on Chandragupta-I’s polity and administration)—is parallel to Kautilya’s Arthasastra.
(k) Puranas—religious literature was made more appealing. Puranas were finally written down.
(l) Kalidasa—greatest literary scholar—wrote the dramas Abhijnanasakuntalam (Shakuntala), Vikramorvasiya, Malvikagnimitra; The epics Raghuvamsa and Kumarasambhava; The poetries Meghaduta and Ritusamhara.
- Nalanda (Rajagriha, Bihar) was founded by Kumaragupta (A.D. 450) and was famous for its tests. There was free education. It had 10,000 students, 1,500 teachers and 300 classrooms, a big three-storeyed library. Huen Tsang who came later, during Harsha, studied here for five years.
Itsing (A.D. 675) records a donation by Sri Gupta, for the University.
- Guptas started using bricks for temples (E.g. Bhitargaon temple, Kanpur). The Dasavatara temple, dedicated to Vishnu, at Deogarh, Jhansi shows a transitory State from flat roof temples to theshikhara style.
- In sculpture, purely indigenous patterns were adopted—instead of the
Kushana period Buddha with shaven head, we have the Buddha with curly hair now, and transparent drapery was used along with various mudras (postures). The main centres were Sarnath (Benaras), Mathura, Pataliputra (Patna).
- Some famous sculptures of Gupta period are:
—The seated or preaching Buddha, giving his first sermon, discovered in sandstone, at Varanasi.
—The standing Buddha, at Mathura, in red sandstone.
—The great boar—as Vishnu’s incarnation—Udaigiri caves.
- The art of painting reached its zenith during the Gupta period and is manifested at Bagh caves (Gwalior, M.P.) and Ajanta caves (Maharashtra).
- Aryabhatta—mathematician and astronomer of Gupta period—wrote Aryabhattiya and Surya Siddhanta.
He explained the eclipses, shape of earth, its rotation and revolution and gave important results in maths too.
- Brahmagupta—of Ujjain—had an observatory.
- Varahmihir wrote Jyotishsastra and Pancha siddhantika on astronomy.
- Vagabhatta—Physician— wrote Astangasangraha.
- The central administrative system of the Gupta era comprised the
–Mantri/Sachiv (modern Chief Minister),
–Bhatasvapati (commander of infantry and cavalry),
–Kataka (commander of elephants),
–Dandapasadhikaran (police chief),
– Kumaramatyas and Ayuktas (provincial heads).
- Each province was called bhukti and was under such officials as uparikas, bhojikas, goptas, rajasthaniyas, etc.
- The provinces were divided into vishyas, under charge of Vishyapatis. The lowest division (village) was under the gramika (village headman).
- Land was properly classified into kshetra (cultivable), khila (wasteland), donations for Brahmins (agrahara grants), donations for religious purposes (Devagrahara land grants) and so on.
- The land revenue system was put in charge of Dhruvadhikaranika. The pustapala was an officer especially appointed to record various land transactions.
- The receivers of land grants had the right to enjoy land revenue from the farmers. They could even punish and try thieves. Thus, there was serfdom (forced work) and oppression of the peasantry.
- A number of taxes had to be paid to the king.
Bhaga (1/6th of produce).
Bhoga (taxes in kind fruits, wood, flowers, etc.).
Kara (periodic tax on farmers).
Uparikara (extra taxes).
Udianga (probably water tax).
Sulka (modern customs tax).
Klipta and Upaklipta (purchase and sales taxes).
- There were two classes of merchants—settled (sresthi) and caravan traders (Sarthavaha). The group of merchants called as “puga” constituted the advisory council in cities. Its president was the Nagarsresthi.
Town mayor was called Purupala.
- The Guptas spread Indian culture to the S.E. Asian countries, especially Mahayana Buddhism and Hinduism.
- The Srenis (traders unions or guilds) had immense powers. Not only did they perform economic functions but also judicial and executive ones. Some of them even issued seals and coins and had their own militia (called Srenibala, in the Kalachuri inscriptions).
- Narada and Brihaspati smritis lay down the rules for merchants. The normal rate of interest was 15% per annum.
- The most important metal of the Gupta age was iron.
- The blacksmith acquired the second most important place in the village economy. The iron pillar (of Chandra Gupta-II) is a fine example of iron workers of Gupta period.
- The term golden age can be applied mainly for the economically upper classes, and that too in Northern India only. Though art and architecture flourished, it was confined as a “State art”.There was flourishing trade with the southeast, but, on the whole, there was decline of trade centres and towns. Sanskrit literature, undoubtedly, made immense progress, but it was more of a state language, limited to the learned ones.
- The caste-system became rigid during this period. Manu, for instance, had put several restrictions on the woman and the shudras.
In no way was the taxburden on the common man low. The flourishing money—economy during their predecessors (Kushanas and Satvahanas)—also slowly broke down. Fahien mentions use of “cowries” (shells) as the “common medium of exchange”, indicating shortage of coins.
THE GUPTA EMPIRE
The Gupta Empire. Territories added by the emperors and the Hun invasions that ultimately destroyed the empire
- The Gupta Empire c.320 CE to c. 550 CE covered much of the Indian subcontinent.
- It was founded in c.320 CE by Sri Gupta.
- Important rulers of the Gupta empire were Chandra Gupta I, Samudra Gupta and Chandra Gupta II.
- The Gupta period is known as the Golden Age of India due to scientific and artistic achievements made possible by the sustained peace and prosperity.
- The Gupta Empire is also known for the poet Kalidasa, the writing of the Puranas and the astronomers Varahamihira and Aryabhata.
- The Empire collapsed in the 6th century CE following sustained invasions of Huns from Central Asia.
- The Chinese travellers Fa Hsien and Yijing visited India during the reign of the Guptas.
IMPORTANT GUPTA EMPERORS
- Chandra Gupta I
- The Gupta dynasty first rose to eminence under Chandra Gupta I.
- He ruled c. 319 CE – c. 335 CE.
- Chandra Gupta rose to prominence with his marriage to Kumaradevi, a Licchhavi princess (who were the main power in Magadha)
- Chandra Gupta established a realm stretching from Pataliputra to Prayaga (Allahabad).
- The Gupta Era, which commenced on 26 Feb 320 CE is attributed to the accession of Chandra Gupta I
- Samudra Gupta
- Samudra Gupta succeeded his father Chandra Gupta I.
- He ruled c 335 CE – 380 CE.
- His kingdom stretched from the Himalayas in the north to the Narmada in the south and the Brahmaputra in the east to the Yamuna in the west.
- Samudra Gupta is known as the Napoleon of India. He is considered to be the one of the greatest military geniuses in Indian history.
- Samudra Gupta granted permission to the Ceylon king Meghavarman to build a Buddhist monastery in Bodh Gaya.
- Samudra Gupta performed the Ashvamedha Yaga to underline the importance of his conquests.
- The Samudra Gupta Prashasti, inscribed on the Asoka Pillar, was authored by Harisena. It is an important source of information regarding his reign.
- Important scholars at his court were Harisena, Vasubandu and Asanga.
- Chandra Gupta II
- Chandra Gupta II succeeded the Gupta throne after his father Samudra Gupta.
- He ruled 380 CE – 413 CE.
- Chandra Gupta expanded the empire westwards by defeating the Western Satraps (Sakas).
- The Gupta Empire achieved its greatest extent under Chandra Gupta II, stretching up to the Indus in the west.
- The court of Chandra Gupta II was graced by the Navaratnas – a group of nine literary experts, including Kalidasa and Varahamira.
- The Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hsien visited India during the reign of Chandra Gupta II
- Chandra Gupta II is also known as Vikramaditya.
- The Vikram-Samvat calendar marks the coronation of Chandra Gupta II.
- The iron pillar near the Qutub Minar (Delhi) was erected by Kumara Gupta, in memory of Chandra Gupta II. Made of 98% wrought iron, it has stood more than 1600 years without rusting or decomposing.
SOCIETY IN THE GUPTA EMPIRE
- The division of society into the four classes was formalized
- However, marriage rules were elastic
- There were multiple types of marriages
- Brahma marriage: a duly dowreyed girl given in marriage to a man of the same class
- Prajapatya marriage: marriage without dowry
- Arsa marriage: token price of a cow and bull is given instead of dowry
- Daiva marriage: girl given to priest in lieu of his fees
- Asura marriage: marriage by purchase
- Rakshasa marriage: marriage by capture
- Paisacha marriage: marriage by abduction
- Gandharva marriage: love marriage
CULTURAL LEGACY OF THE GUPTA EMPIRE
The iron pillar at Delhi erected by Chandra Gupta II has defied corrosion for over 1600 years
- Aryabhata came up with the concept of zero, and postulated that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and determined the cause of eclipses
- The works of Kalidasa marked the highest point of Sanskrit literature
- Chess originated in the Gupta period
- Indian numerals, the world’s first base 10 numeral system, originated in the Gupta Empire
- The Kama Sutra was written by Vatsayana in the Gupta period
- Varahamihira postulated that moon revolves around the sun
- Arybhata (476-550 CE) was the first in a line of great mathematicians-astronomers in India
- His famous works are the Arbhatiyam and the Arya-Siddhanta
- His discoveries in mathematics include
- Value and irrationality of Pi
- Area of a triangle, concept of sine
- Sum of series
- Intermediate equations
- His discoveries relating to astronomy include
- Postulated Heliocentrism i.e. planets revolve around the Sun
- Calculated sidereal rotation (24 hrs) and sidereal year (365 days)
- Computed earth’s circumference
- Discovered cause of eclipses
THE NAVARATNAS IN VIKRAMADITYA’S COURT
|Person||Author of||Famous for|
|Dhanvantari||One of the world’s first surgeonsDiscovered antiseptic properties of turmeric and preservative properties of saltPioneer of plastic surgery|
|Amarasimha||Amara-Kosha||Thesaurus of Sanskrit|
|Varahamihira||Pancha-SiddhantikaBrihat-Samhita||Postulated that the moon revolves around the Sun|
|Kalidasa||Three plays, four poems including Abhijanashakuntalam, Malavikagnimitram, Kumarasambhava, Raghuvamsa||One of the most famous literary figures in Sanskrit|
- Trade and Commerce in the pre- Gupta and Gupta period
- Metallurgy is as old as pre-historic times. Mining of metals was known even in pre-Vedic period and during the Harappa period various metals like copper, lead, silver were in use.
- During Vedic period, metal (ayas) was chiefly of two kinds—krishna ayas (black metal or iron) used during later Vedic period and loh ayas (copper).
- The Jatakas refer to eighteen important handicrafts and industries.
- The Vaishyas developed institutions like Sreni, Nigama and Puga to regulate trade and avoid intrusion by other varnas and develop monopoly.
- Proper rules of conduct of trade were laid by the head of trade guilds, known as Sarthavaha or Srenipramukha. The rules were called Samay and Srenidharma.
- Taxila, Pushkalavati, Kapisa and Vidisha prospered as trade centres, under the Indo-Greek rulers.
- Kautilya asked the king to develop measures to stop obstruction of the trade routes by his favourite men (vallabhas).Frontier guards (Antapalas) were also appointed.
- The close contacts between the commercial classes and the king’s court is very clear from the rules of the settlement layout of the historic city of Patliputra.Here, people lived in various parts,according to their social status.
- Kautilya looked upon artisans and traders as big thieves and held them under suspect. He demanded strict control over them, as also with the often indisciplined frontier guards (antapalas).
- Guilds of merchants were properly registered and even served as banks.
- During Mauryas, most important trade route was from Taxila to Patliputra.
- Ships in ancient period were usually of the two-masted type. In the 2nd century A.D., a regular sea-route was in operation for the quest for gold (swarna).
- Monsoons (Arabic: Mausam) were discovered by Hippalus (Greek captain) and this discovery in 45 A.D. that monsoons could sail ships from Alexandria to Western India in just a 40-days period, tremendously increased the Roman seatrade, due to shortening of trade-route.Muziris (Cranganore, Kerala) and Puhar (in Cholamandalam) were major sea-ports and foreign settlements.
- Among land-routes, the silk-route was very often in use till Kushan period.
Later period saw it becomming unsafe, due to robbers.
- The Periplus of Erythrean Sea is a travellers’ handbook (Erythrean Sea—Red sea). It mentions more than 20 trade ports like: Barygaza (Broach), Suppara (Soparal), Kalliena (Kalyana), Muziris (Pondicherry), Soptama (Madras), Puhar (Orissa), Masalia (Masulipatnam).
- The important exports from India were: Fine textiles from Varanasi, Malabathrum (spicy leaves) from Tamralipti (Tamluk, R. Ganges, Bengal), muslins (Pondicherry), pepper (Muziris), ivory (Puhar, Orissa).
- Pepper was a very valuable export till 13th century A.D. Marco Polo (Italy) mentions that a ship was measured by the number of pepper baskets contained in it.
- Trade suffered a setback in 3rd century A.D. But in the 4th century A.D., silk trade increased and silk was brought within reach of the common man. The decline in the westward trade towards the 2nd-3rd century A.D. was later compensated for by the prospering trade now developed with the south-east Asian States like the Suvarnabhumi, Kambuja (Kampuchea),Champa (Annam).
- During Guptas, there was no material change in the previous traderoutes, trade practices, organisation, currency system, etc. The one note-worthy change was a decline in the Roman trade and the three major ports of Muziris, Arikamedu and Kaveripattinam.
- In his plays, Kalidas potraits a good view of the town markets and trade transactions. The internal trade now expanded to several inland trade centres.
- Roman emperor Aurelian declared Indian silk to be its worth in gold. Indians acted as intermediaries to the Chinese silk trade and the Western States.
- Among spices, pepper always held the first place and was declared passion of the Yavanas (Romans).
- The demand for Roman goods was smaller than that of Indian goods abroad and it suffered an adverse trade balance of trade. To make up this balance, the Romans supplied gold and silver coins to India. This ever-increasing drain of wealth was once complained by the emperor Tiberious (22 A.D.). The author Pliny also laments such losses.
- The Kushanas remoulded the Roman coins so that they could be used as currency.
- Among imports, there were singing boys, virgins for the rulers’ harem, slaves and valuable corals (Mediterranean Red Variety), dates, Italian vases and wines, sweet clovers, glass, tin (Spain), emeralds, etc.
- The Divyavadana refers to the science of testing gems. The merchants’ sons were trained in 64 Angavidyas or finearts, according to Vatsyayana.
- Rome, the Chief importer of Indian muslin, once banned it, due to the rising loss of morals of its females.
- Narada, Katyayana and Brihaspati gave specific instructions towards the rights and duties of guild members, in their smritis. Gupta sites of Basarh (Vaisali) and Bhita (Allahabad) bear the names Nigama and Sreni Sarthavaha Kulika Nigama at Vaisali.
- India obtained brass, lead and gold from foreigners, whereas Indian iron and steel (saikya ayas) was very advanced in quality and was exported.
- Milindpanho mentions 75 trades, 60 related to crafts, 8 to metals.
- Charaksamhita (on Indian traditional medicine and surgery) recommends the use of saikya ayas for operations.
- Nasik cave inscription tells that srenis often acted as law providers also.
(Sresthis, are now called as Seths, Settis in South India and also Chettiyars).
- Rate of interest fluctuated greatly, but was usually near 15% (higher for loans for sea-trade).
- The common coins were: Nishka and Pala of Gold, Shatmana of silver, Kakini of copper and brass. The most common coin Karshapana was made of various metals.
- The major source of revenue for Guptas was land revenue.
- Textiles formed a major industry in this period. Rock cutting also evolved as another important occupation due to the rapid rise in use of statues for prayers.
- India imported horses from Arabia, Iran and Bactria.
- Ujjain was the most flourishing trade centre in and around the Gupta period.
Agrarian Structure in Post-Guptaperiod
- A lot of confusion about agrarian structure of post-Gupta period exists, due to the contradictory picture provided by several Smriti writers and other sources.
- There were several land grants, both secular and religious in nature. The secular grants were mostly towards the high officials while religious grants were towards the Brahmins and the temples.
- The practice of land grants finally developed feudalism. The peasant, who was initially free was now under severe burden. There were several intermediate classes of land owners.
- There was an increase in the forced labour, Vishti, due to the emergence of a “landed aristocratic class”.
- The peasants were mostly sudras. In fact, peasants were thought of as sudras.
- All land was supposed to be under the State ownership, but in practice individuals were owners of land.
- Various categories of ownerships existed, like Sakta (land owned by individuals), Prakrsta (tilled by certain individuals), Kaustambakshetra (fields owned by cultivators themselves).
- In a few land grants, villages are described as also carrying with them the right towards all traders living in it. The grants were rent-free.
- Aprada, Sasana, Chaturvaiya-grama, Brahmadeya, etc are names of land grants. The rights were hereditary.
- The Kashmiri ruler Shankaravarman used to usurp lands from grant holders.
- During Harsha, cash payments were usually for military services only.
- Agrahara land was granted only to brahmins.
- Rig Vedic society was chiefly pastoral and semi-nomadic. Their chief wealth was the gau (cow) and a wealthy person was called gomat, the king or head was called gopati or gopa.
- Vedic society in early period had no such serving class like the shudras.
- Early literature of the Buddhists provides a picture of a settled agricultural economy and an emerging commerce in urban centres.
- Mauryas saw a tremendous increase in trade.
- The Gupta period saw changes in agrarian structure due to system of land grants.
- Varna Samkara denotes mixed castes, considered ritually impure, included tribes or descendants of intercaste marriages.
- A child born out of brahmin and vaishya combination was called ambastha and that of brahmin and sudra as nisada, vaishya and sudra as ugra, brahmin and sudra as parsava.
- In the later vedic period, there were as many as 17 kinds of priests looking into various sacrifices. The Brahmin was one such priest, who gradually surpassed them and became their representative.
- Besides the four varnas, there was a Panchamvarna (5th varna), comprising the untouchables.
- The principal tax-payers were the vaishyas.
- The social transformation of vaishya and sudras was under crisis in the 3rd century A.D., due to refusal to stick to their occupations and pay taxes. The practice of land grants was started by a few rulers to relax the tax collections, now entrusted to grant holders.
- The term Rajanya, existing in literary sources as well as in coins, signifies kshatriyas.
- In the Buddhist texts, the social order is denoted as: kshatriya, brahmin, vaishya and sudra (i.e. brahmins at 2nd place, not first). Vaishyas are called grahapatis or householders.
- The samskaras were important religious sacraments for the human body.
They are generally 16 in number.
- There are eight forms of marriage, according to the Dharmasastras. The approved ones are: Brahma, Prajapatya, Daiva and Arsa. Divorce was severely condemned.The unapproved ones were: asura, paisacha, rakshasa and andharva (love marriage). Re-marriage was allowed by the Brahmanical law givers as well as by Kautilya.
- 66. Polygamy was generally practiced by the socially upper classes.
- 67. Intercaste marriages were generally in Anuloma system (marriage of high caste male with low caste female).
- There were several mixed caste also, arising out of tribals and foreigners.
- The asura form of marriage (marriage by purchase) was quite prevalent, even though not approved by the shastras.
- 70. The position of women declined during the pre-Gupta and Gupta times and further more in later periods.
- The use of veils (purdah) by women can be noticed near Harsha’s times (his sister Rajyasri used it) and increased during the advent of Muslims.
- Some smritis encourage the practice of sati. The first definite historical incident of sati is recorded in 510 A.D., in the case of wife of Goparaja (a general of Bhanu Gupta). It existed mostly in Deccan and Central India.
- Smritis recommend an austere life for widows. The skanda purana advocates the shaving of heads of widows.
- During post-Gupta period, Vaishnava Dharma was prevalent in India.
Lalitaditya of Kashmir, Sens of Bengal, Chandels and Chauhans were mostly Vaishnavites. However, the epicentre of Vaisnavism was the Tamil region.
- Alwar saints brought the worship of Vishnu to new heights, mainly in the 9th and 10th centuries. Two famous female Alwar saints were Andal and Namallalwar.
- Among Hindus, Shaivites were most numerous. The Pala rulers of Bengal were Buddhists, but their inscriptions begin with Om Namah Shivaya.
- 77. Ganesha became a popular deity of the Hindus in the 10th century A.D., especially in the western States, where Ganapati cult arose and held Ganesha as higher than other deities.Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations (mentioned in Agni Purana) are believed to originate somewhere around 9-10th century A.D.
- 78. Huen Tsang, speaks of a flourishing Buddhist faith, even in the 7th century A.D., besides other faiths, especially in U.P., Bihar and Bengal.
- The Kayastha caste was also born somewhere during Gupta period. They were usually scribes under State service. First mention of Kayasthas is made by Yajyavalkya. During Guptas, they existed only as a social class and later they got converted into a caste.
- Antayajas were a class of people living outside the town, as they were considered untouchables. The synonym Chandala has also been used for them.
They were considered even lower than the sudras.
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2. ஹென்றி விவியன் டெரோசியோ
3. ஆத்மராம் பாண்டுரங்
4. சுவாமி தயானந்த சரஸ்வதி
5. பிளவாட்ஸ்கி மற்றும் ஹென்றி எஸ்.ஆல்காட்
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7. பண்டித ஈஸ்வர சந்திர வித்யாசாகர்
8. ஜோதிபா கோவிந்தா பூலே
9. சர் சையது அகமதுகான்
10. இராமலிங்க அடிகள்
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