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Indian nationalism developed as a concept during the Indian independence movement fought against the colonial British Raj. Indian nationalism is an instance of territorial nationalism, inclusive of all its people, despite their diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. It continues to strongly influence the politics of India and reflects an opposition to the sectarian strands of Hindu nationalism and Muslim nationalism.
The Indian independence movement was a series of activities whose ultimate aim was to end the British Raj and encompassed activities and ideas aiming to end the East India Company rule (1757–1857) and the British Raj (1857–1947) in the Indian subcontinent. The movement spanned a total of 90 years (1857–1947) considering movement against British Indian Empire. The Indian Independence movement includes both protest and militant (violent) mechanisms to root out British Administration from India.
The British Raj was the rule by the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947. The rule is also called Crown rule in India, or direct rule in India. The region under British control was commonly called British India or simply India in contemporaneous usage, and included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, which were collectively called British India, and those ruled by indigenous rulers, but under British tutelage or paramountcy, and called the princely states. The whole was also informally called the Indian Empire. As India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, a participating nation in the Summer Olympics in 1900, 1920, 1928, 1932, and 1936, and a founding member of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945.
Territorial nationalism describes a form of nationalism based on the belief that all inhabitants of a particular territory should share a common national identity, regardless of their ethnic, linguistic, religious, cultural and other differences. Depending on the political or administrative status of a particular territory, territorial nationalism can be manifested on two basic levels, as territorial nationalism of distinctive sovereign states, or territorial nationalism of distinctive sub-sovereign regions.
India has been unified under many emperors and governments in history. Ancient texts mention India under emperor Bharata and Akhand Bharat, these regions roughly form the entities of modern-day greater India. The Mauryan Empire was the first to unite all of India, and South Asia (including much of Afghanistan).In addition, much of India has also been unified under a central government by empires, such as the Gupta Empire, Rashtrakuta Empire, Pala Empire, Mughal Empire, British Indian Empire etc.
Akhand Bharata or Akhand Hindustan are irredentist terms literally meaning "Undivided India".
The term Greater India is most commonly used to encompass the historical and geographic extent of all political entities of the Indian subcontinent, and the regions which are culturally linked to India or received significant Indian cultural influence. These countries have to varying degrees been transformed by the acceptance and induction of cultural and institutional elements of India. Since around 500 BCE, Asia's expanding land and maritime trade had resulted in prolonged socio-economic and cultural stimulation and diffusion of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs into the region's cosmology, in particular in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka. In Central Asia, transmission of ideas were predominantly of a religious nature.
Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east; Iran in the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north; and in the far northeast, China. Its territory covers 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi) and much of it is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range, which experiences very cold winters. The north consists of fertile plains, while the south-west consists of deserts where temperatures can get very hot in summers. Kabul serves as the capital and its largest city.
India's concept of nationhood is based not merely on territorial extent of its sovereignty. Nationalistic sentiments and expression encompass that India's ancient history,as the birthplace of the Indus Valley Civilization and Vedic Civilization, as well as four major world religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Indian nationalists see India stretching along these lines across the Indian Subcontinent.
Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life, widely practised in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder. This "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the end of the Vedic period, and flourished in the medieval period, with the decline of Buddhism in India.
Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana.
Jainism, traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is an ancient, non-theistic, Indian religion. Followers of Jainism are called "Jains", a word derived from the Sanskrit word jina (victor) and connoting the path of victory in crossing over life's stream of rebirths through an ethical and spiritual life. Jains trace their history through a succession of 24 victorious saviours and teachers known as tirthankaras, with the first being Rishabhanatha, who according to Jain tradition lived millions of years ago, twenty-third being Parshvanatha in 8th century BC and twenty-fourth being the Mahāvīra around 500 BCE. Jains believe that Jainism is an eternal dharma with the tirthankaras guiding every cycle of the Jain cosmology.
India today celebrates many kings and queens for combating foreign invasion and domination,such as Shivaji of the Maratha Empire, Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi, Kittur Chennamma, Maharana Pratap of Rajputana, Prithviraj Chauhan and Tipu Sultan who fought the British. The kings of Ancient India, such as Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka of the Magadha Empire, are also remembered for their military genius, notable conquests and remarkable religious tolerance.
Shivaji Bhonsle was an Indian warrior king and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Maratha Empire. In 1674, he was formally crowned as the chhatrapati (monarch) of his realm at Raigad.
The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was an Indian power that dominated large portion of Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. The empire formally existed from 1674 with the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji and ended in 1818 with the defeat of Peshwa Bajirao II. The Marathas are credited to a large extent for ending Mughal rule in India.
Jhansi is a historic city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It lies in the region of Bundelkhand on the banks of the Pahuj River, in the extreme south of Uttar Pradesh. Jhansi is the administrative headquarters of Jhansi district and Jhansi division. Also called the Gateway to Bundelkhand, Jhansi is situated between the rivers Pahuj and Betwa at an average elevation of 285 metres (935 feet). It is about 415 kilometres (258 mi) from New Delhi and 99 kilometres (62 mi) south of Gwalior.
Akbar was a Mughal emperor, was known to have a good relationship with the Roman Catholic Church as well as with his subjects – Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains.He forged familial and political bonds with Hindu Rajput kings. Although previous Sultans had been more or less tolerant, Akbar took religious intermingling to new level of exploration. He developed for the first time in Islamic India an environment of complete religious freedom. Akbar undid most forms of religious discrimination, and invited the participation of wise Hindu ministers and kings, and even religious scholars to debate in his court.
Abu'l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbarابو الفتح جلال الدين محمد اكبر, popularly known as Akbar I, also as Akbar the Great, was the third Mughal emperor, who reigned from 1556 to 1605. Akbar succeeded his father, Humayun, under a regent, Bairam Khan, who helped the young emperor expand and consolidate Mughal domains in India. A strong personality and a successful general, Akbar gradually enlarged the Mughal Empire to include nearly all of the Indian Subcontinent north of the Godavari river. His power and influence, however, extended over the entire country because of Mughal military, political, cultural, and economic dominance. To unify the vast Mughal state, Akbar established a centralised system of administration throughout his empire and adopted a policy of conciliating conquered rulers through marriage and diplomacy. To preserve peace and order in a religiously and culturally diverse empire, he adopted policies that won him the support of his non-Muslim subjects. Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic state identity, Akbar strove to unite far-flung lands of his realm through loyalty, expressed through an Indo-Persian culture, to himself as an emperor who had near-divine status.
Rajput is a large multi-component cluster of castes, kin bodies, and local groups, sharing social status and ideology of genealogical descent originating from the Indian subcontinent. The term Rajput covers various patrilineal clans historically associated with warriorhood: several clans claim Rajput status, although not all claims are universally accepted.
The consolidation of the British East India Company's rule in the Indian subcontinent during the 18th century brought about socio-economic changes which led to the rise of an Indian middle class and steadily eroded pre-colonial socio-religious institutions and barriers.The emerging economic and financial power of Indian business-owners and merchants and the professional class brought them increasingly into conflict with the British Raj. A rising political consciousness among the native Indian social elite (including lawyers, doctors, university graduates, government officials and similar groups) spawned an Indian identity and fed a growing nationalist sentiment in India in the last decades of the nineteenth century. The creation in 1885 of the Indian National Congress in India by the political reformer A.O. Hume intensified the process by providing an important platform from which demands could be made for political liberalisation, increased autonomy, and social reform. The leaders of the Congress advocated dialogue and debate with the Raj administration to achieve their political goals. Distinct from these moderate voices (or loyalists) who did not preach or support violence was the nationalist movement, which grew particularly strong, radical and violent in Bengal and in Punjab. Notable but smaller movements also appeared in Maharashtra, Madras and other areas across the south.
The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC) or the British East India Company and informally as John Company, Company Bahadur, or simply The Company, was an English and later British joint-stock company. It was formed to trade in the Indian Ocean region, initially with Mughal India and the East Indies, and later with Qing China. The company ended up seizing control over large parts of the Indian subcontinent, colonised parts of Southeast Asia, and colonised Hong Kong after a war with Qing China.
The middle class is a class of people in the middle of a social hierarchy. The very definition of the term "middle class" is highly political and vigorously contested by various schools of political and economic philosophy. Modern social theorists - and especially economists - have defined and re-defined the term "middle class" in order to serve their particular political ends. The definitions of the term "middle class" therefore are the result of the more- or less-scientific methods used when delineating the parameters of what is and isn't "middle class".
The Indian National Congress(
The controversial 1905 partition of Bengal escalated the growing unrest, stimulating radical nationalist sentiments and becoming a driving force for Indian revolutionaries.
Mohandas Gandhi pioneered the art of Satyagraha , typified with a strict adherence to ahimsa (non-violence), and civil disobedience. This permitted common individuals to engage the British in revolution, without employing violence or other distasteful means. Gandhi's equally strict adherence to democracy, religious and ethnic equality and brotherhood, as well as activist rejection of caste-based discrimination and untouchability united people across these demographic lines for the first time in India's history. The masses participated in India's independence struggle for the first time, and the membership of the Congress grew over tens of millions by the 1930s. In addition, Gandhi's victories in the Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha in 1918–19, gave confidence to a rising younger generation of Indian nationalists that the British Raj could be defeated. National leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, Mohandas Gandhi, Rajendra Prasad and Badshah Khan brought together generations of Indians across regions and demographics, and provided a strong leadership base giving the country political direction.
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Indian nationalism is as much a diverse blend of nationalistic sentiments as its people are ethnically and religiously diverse. Thus the most influential undercurrents are more than just Indian in nature. The most controversial and emotionally charged fibre in the fabric of Indian nationalism is religion. Religion forms a major, and in many cases, the central element of Indian life. Ethnic communities are diverse in terms of linguistics, social traditions and history across India.
An important influence upon Hindu consciousness arises from the time of Islamic empires in India. Entering the 20th century, Hindus formed over 75% of the population and thus unsurprisingly the backbone and platform of the nationalist movement. Modern Hindu thinking desired to unite Hindu society across the boundaries of caste, linguistic groups and ethnicity. In 1925, K.B. Hedgewar founded the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in Nagpur, Maharashtra, which grew into the largest civil organisation in the country, and more potent, mainstream base of Hindu nationalism.[ citation needed ]
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar coined the term Hindutva for his ideology that described India as a Hindu Rashtra , a Hindu nation. This ideology has become the cornerstone of the political and religious agendas of modern Hindu nationalist bodies like the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Hindutva political demands include revoking Article 370 of the Constitution that grants a special semi-autonomous status to the Muslim-majority state of Kashmir, adopting a uniform civil code, thus ending a special legal framework for Muslims. These particular demands are based upon ending laws that Hindu nationalists consider as offering special treatment to Muslims.[ citation needed ]
In 1906–1907, the All India Muslim League was founded, created due to the suspicion of Muslim intellectuals and religious leaders with the Indian National Congress, which was perceived as dominated by Hindu membership and opinions. However, Mahatma Gandhi's leadership attracted a wide array of Muslims to the independence struggle and the Congress Party. The Aligarh Muslim University and the Jamia Millia Islamia stand apart – the former helped form the Muslim league, while the JMI was founded to promote Muslim education and consciousness upon nationalistic and Gandhian values and thought.
While prominent Muslims like Allama Iqbal, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan embraced the notion that Hindus and Muslims were distinct nations, other major leaders like Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, Maulana Azad and most of Deobandi clerics strongly backed the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian independence struggle, opposing any notion of Muslim nationalism and separatism. The Muslim school of Indian nationalism failed to attract Muslim masses and the Islamic nationalist Muslim League enjoyed extensive popular political support. State of Pakistan was ultimately formed following Partition of India
The political identity of the Indian National Congress, India's largest political party and one which controlled government for over 45 years, is reliant on the connection to Mohandas K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, and the Nehru-Gandhi family which has controlled the Congress since independence. The Congress Party's fortunes up till the 1970s were single-handedly propelled by its legacy as the flagship of India's Independence Movement, and the core platform of the party today evokes that past strongly, considering itself to be the guardian of India's independence, democracy and unity. Muslims have remained loyal voters of the Congress Party, seen as defender of Nehruvian secularism.In contrast, the Bharatiya Janata Party employs a more aggressively nationalistic expression. The BJP seeks to preserve and spread the culture of the Hindus, the majority population. It ties nationalism with the aggressive defence of India's borders and interests against archrivals China and Pakistan, with the defence of the majority's right to be a majority.
Religious nationalist parties include the Shiromani Akali Dal, which is closely identified with the creation of a Sikh-majority state in Punjab and includes many Sikh religious leaders in its organisation. In Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena uses the legacy of the independent Maratha kingdom under famous figures like Shivaji to stir up support, and has adopted Hindutva as well. In Assam, the Asom Gana Parishad is a more state-focused party, arising after the frustration of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) as a benevolent expression of Assamese nationalism. In Tamil Nadu came the first of such parties, the Dravidar Kazhagam (DK). Today the DK stands for a collection of parties,with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK). Caste-based politics invite the participation of the Bahujan Samaj Party and the party of Lalu Prasad Yadav, who build upon the support of poor low-caste and dalit Hindus in the northern, and most populated states of India like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Almost every Indian state has a regional party devoted solely to the culture of the native people of that state.
Military history, both past and present, serves as a source of nationalist sentiment in India. The first reference to armies is found in the Vedas and the epics Ramayana and Mahabaratha. There were many powerful dynasties in India such as the Maha Janapadas, Shishunaga Empire, Gangaridai Empire, Nanda Empire, Maurya Empire, Shunga Empire, Kharavela Empire, Kuninda Kingdom, Chola Empire, Chera Empire, Pandyan Empire, Satavahana Empire, Western Satrap Empire, Kushan Empire, Vakataka Empire, Kalabhras Kingdom, Gupta Empire, Pallava Empire, Kadamba Empire, Western Ganga Kingdom, Vishnukundina Empire, Chalukya Empire, Harsha Empire, Shahi Kingdom, Eastern Chalukya Kingdom, Pratihara Empire, Pala Empire, Rashtrakuta Empire, Paramara Kingdom, Yadava Empire, Chaulukya kingdom, Western Chalukya Empire, Hoysala Empire, Sena Empire, Eastern Ganga Empire, Kakatiya Kingdom, Kalachuri Empire, Delhi Sultanate, Deccan Sultanates, Ahom Kingdom, Vijayanagar Empire, Mysore Kingdom, Mughal Empire, Maratha Empire, Sikh Empire etc.
The modern Army of India was raised under the British Raj in the 19th century. Today the Republic of India maintains the world's third largest armed forces with over a million troops strong. ₹1,644,151.9 million (US$23 billion) but the actual spending on the armed forces is estimated to be much higher. The army is undergoing rapid expansion and modernisation with plans to have an active military space program, missile defence shield, and nuclear triad capability.The official defence budget stands at
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahātmā was applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa – is now used worldwide. In India, he was also called Bapu, a term that he preferred and Gandhi ji, and is known as the Father of the Nation.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, abbreviated as RSS, is an Indian right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organisation that is widely regarded as the parent organisation of the ruling party of India, the Bharatiya Janata Party. The RSS is one of the principal organizations of the Sangh Parivar group. Founded on 27 September 1925, it claimed a commitment to selfless service to India. The organisation is the world's largest voluntary missionary organization.
Hindutva ("Hinduness") is the predominant form of Hindu nationalism in India. The term was popularised by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in 1923. It is championed by the Hindu nationalist volunteer organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Hindu Sena. Some left-leaning Indian social scientists have described the Hindutva movement as far-right, adhering to the concept of homogenised majority and cultural hegemony but some other Indian social scientists dispute this description. In 2017, related to a plea to minimize electoral malpractices in terms of religion, the Supreme Court of India declined to reconsider its 1995 judgment that defined Hindutva as "a way of life and not a religion".
The Partition of India was the division of British India in 1947 which eventually accompanied the creation of two independent dominions, India and Pakistan. The Dominion of India became, as of 1950, the Republic of India (India), and the Dominion of Pakistan became, as of 1956, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Pakistan) In 1971, the People's Republic of Bangladesh (Bangladesh) came into being after Bangladesh Liberation War. The partition involved the division of three provinces, Assam, Bengal and Punjab, based on district-wide Hindu or Muslim majorities. The boundary demarcating India and Pakistan came to be known as the Radcliffe Line. It also involved the division of the British Indian Army, the Royal Indian Navy, the Indian Civil Service, the railways, and the central treasury, between the two new dominions. The partition was set forth in the Indian Independence Act 1947 and resulted in the dissolution of the British Raj, as the British government there was called. The two self-governing countries of Pakistan and India legally came into existence at midnight on 14–15 August 1947.
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as Veer Savarkar, was an Indian politician, lawyer and writer,savarkar popularized the term Hindutva (Hinduness), previously coined by Chandranath Basu, to create a collective "Hindu" identity as an essence of Bharat (India). Savarkar was also a pragmatic practitioner of Hindu Philosophy. He insisted for validating religious myths/blind faith against the test of modern science. In that sense he also was a rationalist and reformer.
Maulana Sayyid Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin Ahmed bin Khairuddin Al-Hussaini Azad
The Quit India Movement, or the August Movement, was a movement launched at the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee by Gandhiji on 8 August 1942, during World War II, demanding an end to British Rule of India.
The Pakistan Movement or Tehrik-e-Pakistan was a religious political movement in the 1940s that aimed for and succeeded in the creation of Pakistan from the Muslim-majority areas of the British Indian Empire.
The Khilafat movement, also known as the Indian Muslim movement (1919–24), was a pan-Islamist political protest campaign launched by Muslims of British India led by Shaukat Ali, Mohammad Ali Jauhar and Abul Kalam Azad to restore the caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate, who was considered the leader of Sunni Muslims, as an effective political authority. It was a protest against the humiliating sanctions placed on the caliph and the Ottoman Empire after the First World War by the Treaty of Sèvres.
The Hindu Mahasabha is a right wing Hindu nationalist political party in India.
The history of the Republic of India begins on 26 January 1950. The country became an independent nation within the British Commonwealth on 15 August 1947. Concurrently the Muslim-majority northwest and east of British India was separated into the Dominion of Pakistan, by the partition of India. The partition led to a population transfer of more than 10 million people between India and Pakistan and the death of about one million people. Indian National Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India, but the leader most associated with the independence struggle, Mahatma Gandhi, accepted no office. The new constitution of 1950 made India a democratic country.
Muslim nationalism in South Asia is the political and cultural expression of nationalism, founded upon the religious tenets and identity of Islam, of the Muslims of South Asia.
From its foundation on 28 December 1885 by A.O. Hume, a retired British officer, until the time India gained its independence on 15 August 1947, the Indian National Congress was considered to be the largest and most prominent Indian public organization, as well as the central and defining influence of the long Indian Independence Movement.
Pakistani nationalism refers to the political, cultural, linguistic, historical, [commonly] religious and geographical expression of patriotism by the people of Pakistan, of pride in the history, heritage and identity of Pakistan, and visions for its future.
The Hindu Revolution is a term in Hindu nationalism referring to a sociopolitical movement aiming to overthrow the secular Republic of India and replace it with a Hindu State.
Hindu nationalism has been collectively referred to as the expression of social and political thought, based on the native spiritual and cultural traditions of the Indian subcontinent. Defenders of Hindu nationalism have tried to avoid the label "nationalism" by arguing that the use of the term "Hindu nationalism" to refer to Hindū rāṣṭravāda is a simplistic translation and is better described by the term "Hindu polity".
Anti-Pakistan sentiment or Pakistan-phobia also known as Pakophobia refers to hatred or hostility towards Pakistan, Pakistanis and Pakistani culture, ranging from criticism of public policies, to fear or an irrational fixation. The opposite of anti-Pakistan sentiment is pro-Pakistan sentiment.
Opposition to the partition of India was widespread in British India in the 20th century and it continues to remain a contentious issue in South Asian politics. Most individuals of the Hindu and Sikh faiths were opposed to the partition of India, as were many Muslims in that country.