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The history of the Indian National Congress (INC) from 1885 to 1950 is truly a remarkable journey that symbolizes India’s relentless fight for independence from British colonial rule. Established in 1885, the INC emerged as a pivotal entity in shaping the course of the Indian subcontinent’s history, leaving an indelible mark on the nation’s struggle for freedom. Led by iconic figures such as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Subhas Chandra Bose, the INC transformed into a formidable force that united the masses in their quest for independence. These visionary leaders brought together people from all walks of life to stand against colonial oppression and envision a free and sovereign India.


The INC’s journey was marked by significant milestones that reverberated across the nation and inspired generations to join the freedom movement. The Non-Cooperation Movement, spearheaded by Gandhi, encouraged Indians to boycott British goods and institutions, showcasing the power of nonviolent resistance in challenging colonial authority. The Civil Disobedience Movement further galvanized the Indian populace, urging them to peacefully protest unjust laws and policies imposed by the British regime. This movement not only demonstrated the strength of unified civil disobedience but also highlighted the resilience and determination of the Indian people in their fight for self-governance.


The Quit India Movement, a clarion call for complete independence, echoed the sentiments of millions of Indians yearning to break free from colonial shackles. Led by stalwarts like Gandhi, Nehru, and Bose, this movement ignited a spirit of defiance and patriotism that reverberated throughout the nation, inspiring countless individuals to join the struggle for liberation. The INC’s unwavering commitment to the cause of independence and its ability to mobilize the masses through peaceful resistance and civil disobedience played a pivotal role in India’s journey towards freedom. The organization served as a platform for diverse voices and ideologies to converge in a unified effort to secure India’s sovereignty and self-determination.

As the INC navigated through challenges, internal conflicts, and external pressures, it remained steadfast in its mission to uphold the values of democracy, equality, and justice. The legacy of the Indian National Congress from 1885 to 1950 stands as a testament to the resilience, courage, and unwavering spirit of the Indian people in their quest for independence and self-rule.


History of Indian National Congress 1885 – 1950 Download

Allan Octavian Hume, a retired British Indian Civil Service (ICS) officer, laid the foundation of the Indian National Congress (INC) with the vision of providing a platform for civil and political discourse among educated Indians. The INC, initially established as a political party in British India, played a crucial role in shaping the trajectory of India’s independence movement. Following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the governance of India transitioned from the East India Company to direct rule under the British Empire. This period marked the beginning of the British Raj, a term used to refer to British-controlled India. The Raj sought to legitimize its rule by engaging with English-educated Indians who were more aligned with British culture and political ideologies.


Interestingly, the Congress’s growth and survival during an era dominated by British authority can be attributed to several factors. The support and patronage of British officials, along with the emergence of a class of Indians and Anglo-Indians educated in the English language and British traditions, played a significant role in the Congress’s resilience and expansion. The Congress’s ability to navigate the complex landscape of British colonial rule while advocating for Indian interests showcased its adaptability and strategic acumen. By fostering dialogue and collaboration between English-educated Indians and British authorities, the Congress positioned itself as a bridge between differing perspectives and ideologies, paving the way for a unified movement towards independence.


The symbiotic relationship between the INC and British authorities, though nuanced and complex, served as a catalyst for political awakening and mobilization among Indians striving for self-governance. The Congress’s evolution from a platform for dialogue to a formidable force in the fight for independence underscores its enduring legacy and pivotal role in India’s journey towards freedom. The legacy of Allan Octavian Hume’s vision, coupled with the Congress’s resilience in the face of British hegemony, exemplifies the power of collaboration, dialogue, and strategic alliances in driving social and political change. The INC’s journey from its inception to becoming a cornerstone of India’s independence movement is a testament to the enduring spirit and determination of the Indian people in their quest for self-rule and sovereignty.