20 March 2014

Rise of National Consciousness

Rise of National Consciousness

Rise of National Consciousness:

Indian National movement starts with the rise of national consciousness among Indians. There are many factors and happenings that made our people to think, so that we can be free. Literally, this consciousness emerged in 1858, after the 1857 revolt. Though the revolt was a failure, it injected confidence and courage into the people of India, and the same made the Britishers to think that, Indians are powerful.

Some Nationalism awakening acts:

  • Benal - Annual Hindu Mela - Gopal Mitra
  • Maharashtra - Ganapati fest and SHivaji utsav - Tilak
  • Swami Dayanda Saraswati - Patriotic feeling among his followers
  • Vivekanada' triumphant tour to USA - 1894 - Chicago - created self confidence among Indians.

The real organized effect to achieve the political, social and economic liberty was felt only after the emergence of Indian National Congress.

Now, let's see those a little more expanded.

Chief Factors of Influence:

There are many factors that led to the emergence of National consciousness among the Indians. If you pick out the chief factors, they get listed as follows:
  • Political unification of the country.
  • Introduction of English into the educational system.
  • Economic exploitation.
  • Reform Movements of the  19th century.
  • Development of transport, communication and infrastructure.
  • Growth of Indian press and Vernacular language printing.
  • Role of early Indian political associations.

Political Unification:

Before British ruled India, our country was just comprised of some hundreds and hundreds of small and individual kingdoms ruled by selfish kings and rulers. A collage of selfish kingdoms.
But when outsiders came to our land and started ruling us, they started realizing that we all belongs to the same land.
  • After the revolt of 1857, political unification was achieved in 1858.
  • That is the time when India came under the center authority of the crown.
Like at present, when India is under the central authority, the system of administration, the rules and laws to be followed, and the practices of the government will be the same to every part and each person in the country. This uniform of system of administration brought Indians under a common surface.

Education and English:

Education has its marked role in the emergence of national consciousness among the Indians. 
During the crown rule in India, many changes were brought in the educational, administration, transport and communication systems in India.

  • One such change is Introduction of English int the educational institutions.
  • This made a common medium for the Indians and the Britishers.
  • By the introduction of English, it became easy to share ideas and aspirations for liberty.
  • English also formed a bridge among Indians from different language backgrounds, thus uniting them for the rise of national movement.
  • And with the introduction of English, communications among Indians and others also increased.

Communication, Transport and Press:

Communication, Transport, Press are some three important things on this earth, without which life becomes impossible. It is also the fact that these three played the major role in the Indian national movement and gain India's independence. It is no surprise, if we say without these, India will never be independent. Yes, it is true!!
  • Modern infrastructure into India was brought by the British, to assist their own needs and interests.
  • They brought communication and transport to India, to serve their own economic ease.
  • The modern infrastructure introduced was Railways, Telegraph, Postal system, development of roads and motor transport.
  • Railways began in 1853.
  • Railways brought economic integration.
  • By the communication and transport methods, different places and different villages in India were interconnected. This reduced isolation and abandoning of villages and far away places.
  • With the introduction and increase in transport, there resulted in the increase in the national trade in India.

Press: In the national movement, press and printing of literature in vernaculars gave a boost to the patriotism among the Indians. Spiritual unity by the reformers also showed a great binding force on the minds of the people.

Economic Awareness among Indians:

Economic awareness is a crucial part among Indian, that made them realize the economic exploitation of the British, and think for self rule and struggle for freedom. The work of some Prominent Indians is to be remembered, that brought about economic consciousness among the Indians.
  • This economic consciousness was brought about in the second half of the  19th century. 
  • It truly started to began after 1860.
  • Economic criticism of British rule of the Indian intellectuals made people realize the selfish character of the colonial domination.
  • Ruins caused by the worst famines from 1866 to 1901 made the people of India to understand deep about the progress and success of the British rule and their exploitation towards Indians. This made people of India to starve and suffer misery.
  • There came economic analysis by the prominent Indians, who carried out extensive study of British rule during 1875-1905. They focused especially on economic development. They include –
    • Dadabhai Naororji – studied extensively on poverty and brought up his Drain of wealth theory.
    • RC Dutt – formulated three themes. Studied in depth about the economy during the colonial rule from 1757. His three themes include –
      • Destruction of handicrafts
      • Hindrances to modern Indian industry
      • Excessive land revenue burdens
    • Justice Mahadev Ranade – need for modern Indian development.
    • All together with GV Joshi, Subramaniya Iyer, GK Gokhale, and PC Ray –  traced the process of colonization of the Indian economy and concluded that colonialism was the main hurdle to India’s economic development.

Political Consciousness:

  • In the administration system, there were no Indian officers, all the power vested with the British. 
  • In 1861, few Indians were nominated to the supreme councils, but their powers were reduced.
  • Lord Ripon introduced local self government, with an idea to divide the power and decentralize it.
  • Indians suffered, despite of higher education, they landed up into work that are below their proficiency.
  • Almost all the posts in Indian Civil Services were occupied by Europeans.
  • Indians in the army were never promoted to a higher rank.
  • Thus, Indians faced political suppression during the British rule.
And During the time of Rise of national consciousness among the Indians, this is also the time for the British to suppress the consciousness and continue their domination and rule over Indians. So they started the policy of divide and rule. They created hatred among people of India in the name of caste, religion and region. 
In spite of all the efforts of the British, Now we are Independent. India is a free country under the hands of no one.

Phases of National Movement:

The Indian National movement is divided into three phases.
  • First - After evolution of Indian national congress - moderates movement; realization of national goals.
  • Second - using political weapons - boycott; resistances; demonstrations.
  • Third - Gandhian ideology; non violence; non co-operation; civil disobedience.
Freedom in 1947.


  • 1858 - crown rule
  • railways in 1853
  • Bakim chandra Chatarjee - Anandmath in 1882 -Vandemataram hymn
  • 1866 to 1901 - devastating famines
  • Dadabhai Naoroji - Drain of wealth
  • RC Dutta - Destruction of handicrafts; Hindrances to modern Indian Industry; Excessive land revenue burdens.
  • Justice Mahadev Ranade - Industrial development.
  • Local self government - Lord Ripon.

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