Two Centuries of trifles for freedom fight - How we got Independence: 

In the year 1757, East India Company won the Battle of Plassey, and in 1764, Battle of Buxar in Bihar. The two wins gave the company the power to collect revenues and appoint its first Governor-General, Warren Hastings. The company then started expanding its dominions in Mumbai (then Bombay) and Chennai (then Madras). After 1765, the company was facing opposition from Marathas, Tipu Sultan and the Sikhs. East India Company subjugated all these powers to get control over India.

Haider Ali rose to power in Mysore and went on to extend his kingdom up to the Krishna River. He was such a threat to the British that from the year 1767 to 1799, the company compensated four wars to destroy his powers.

After the first Mysore war, a treaty was signed between the company and Haider Ali which said that the company will help Haider Ali if somebody else attacks him in future. However, the company did not help him when Marathas declared a war on him. This event resulted in more Mysore wars.

The involvement of English in the internal politics of the Marathas resulted in the first Anglo-Maratha war. The early years of 1800, the British power grew when the Maratha chief got involved in a bitter strife with one another. The defeat of the Marathas in the Anglo-Maratha wars was the result of the Marathas failing to unite with each other. In 1845, after Ranjit Singh's death in Punjab, Englishmen attempted to extend their powers at the borders. This resulted in the first Anglo-Sikh war. 

Mountbatten On Parade (28th March 1947):

Lord Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900-1979), takes the salute from the Governor General's bodyguard at Viceroy House in New Delhi, as he takes up his position as Viceroy of India. 

In the year 1848, Lord Dalhousie arrived in India as the Governor-General. Two other developments in the 1800s led to growing unrest among Indians. One was the growing number of Christian missionaries coming to India to preach Christianity, which clashed with the beliefs of the Hindus and the strong beliefs of Indian Muslims.

The 1857 Great India Mutiny came to a head at this time. Muslim troops thought pig grease was being used in the bullet cartridges, while Hindu troops thought the British were using grease from cows, which they hold sacred. This resulted in a serious rebellion.

A scene from the 1857 Indian Rebellion

Britain ruled about 60 per cent of Indians directly and the other 40 percent indirectly through native princes who followed British policies. With time the East India Company increased its powers and started to administer the country. In 1940, they set up Tata Iron Works which was the world's largest Iron factory. They continued developing India with railroad and telegraph lines. However, its policies were disliked by Indians and together they revolted against the company. This led to the downfall of the company and the administration of India went directly under the Queen. By mid-nineteenth century, the British introduced the railways, telegraph and postal service in India.

The British passed many acts but every time they passed a bill, it was met with dissatisfaction from the Indians. It was then the leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and others rose to protest openly against the British rule in India. World War I and World War II pushed India's chances for Independence since the British relied heavily on Indian forces. Two years after the World War II ended, the British granted India its Independence on August 15, 1947.


Let us salute our tricolour national flag with pride and remembrances of all the freedom fighters and martyrs who sacrificed their precious lives to win us freedom from the British rule.

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