9 thoughts on “Indian Freedom Struggle”

  1. The INC was founded by A.O.Hume in 1885 to form a platform for public dialogues. The aim was to consolidate the feeling of national unity irrespective of caste, religion and province. Most importantly, to train and organise public opinion in the country.
    However, it has been argued that the INC was formed to provide a ‘safety valve’ to the growing discontent among the educated Indians. And to avoid any incidence like that of 1857 revolt.
    However, opponents of safety valve theory, argues that no one man or group of men can be given credit for creating this movement. Moreover INC represented the urge of politically conscious Indians to set up national organisation. Active role played by INC and its leader substantiate this argument. Had this been just a safety valve, INC would not have turned pain in the neck for Britishers.

  2. The Indian national Congress was founded in 1885 by 72 members under the auspices of retired British civil servant A.O. Hume. Duty to the ambiguous nature of its inception and the controversial steps leaders took while incharge a popular theory was propounded the safety valve theory. It had its origins in wedder’s autobiography of Hume it was used by nationalists radicals leftists right wing all to attack the Congress for various reasons however there is no concrete evidence to support the theory. The other important theory is of Congress leaders like W.C.bannerjee and others who believed that Congress was necessary to bring different regional like minded groups like poona sarvajanik sabha , madras association, bombay association and indian association under one umbrella to express demands infront of the British officials. Due to its activities British doubted the nature of the Congress as early as 1886 “dufferin’s letter to secretary of india” to him it was a microscopic minority of bengali babus and maratha brahmins.

  3. Formation of Indian National Congress ( INC ) was not instant but preceded by orderly events that demand attention. These events gave rise to theoretical perspectives that provided solid ground for setting up of first all india level organization in 1885.

    1. Theory that explains triggering events prior to formation of INC : 1857 revolt had shook britishers who had realized strength of united Indians. Western educated middle class intelligentsia had recognized denial of basic rights to Indians unlike their british counterparts who enjoyed freedom along with both economic and political rights. British knew that it would be wise to engage with educated Indians to address their grievances lest they would mobilize masses which would otherwise threaten british rule. Different Pre Congress associations formed in Bengal, Bombay and Madras had met with partial success. To illustrate political demands of British India Association and Indian Association of Calcutta were met with partial success. Poorna sarvajanik sabha tried to act as a bridge between government and people. Thus atmosphere of political consciousness was set up.

    2. Safety Valve Theory : A.O. Hume ( retired civil servant ) is credited with this theory whereby he acknowledged need for an all india organization which could provide political platform to educated indian leaders to deal with britishers within constitutional like framework. “Valve” meant relieving frustration and discontentment among Indians and “safety” meant that this platform was a solution that provided for continued safer british rule thus avoiding escalation of tensions. A.O. Hume engaged with indian leaders ( during formation of INC ) who considered him a man of greater political acumen. Hence A.O. Hume was considered to be a ” lightening conductor ” ( catalyst ) to formation of INC.

    INC once formed laid down its objectives demanding indianisation of civil services, support to Illbert’s bill ( right of indian judges to try Europeans ) and repeal of arms act and vernacular press act to name few. Hence INC became a logical platform for discussions that instilled confidence among it’s members to deal with britishers following renewed approach.

  4. The formation of INC in 1885 was not a singular event . It was backed by various previous movements which prompted the people to put up a united all India Front against British government ..
    Below are the theories that explain the formation of INC :
    1. Safety Valve Theory : It is believed that Congress was formed by A.O Hume (retired civil servant ) to use it as safety valve to drain away the discontent ranging among the Indians against British rule . The British didnot want another face of Indian anguish like during 1857.So gave Indians a platform to vent off their frustration and Britishers would also remain informed of the impulse of masses.This theory was supported by 7 secret volumes read by AO HUME containing the reports of large scale discontent .But the source of volume is unknown.R.Plame Durt says that theory is a staple of Left Wing opinion.
    WC Bonnerji says that Congress was started by Hume to discuss the social matters but Dufferin instructed political matters to be included so as to know the discontent among Indian and their opinion.
    2. Another theory which more widely believed , falsifies this assumption of British involvement.According to other theory ,various associations like East India Association ,Indian Association etc served as the precursor for the formation of such all India Association .
    However the formation of INC led to unified approach for struggle for independence.

  5. INC I.e., Indian National Congress was not formed in day or so. It is result of series of events from the start of with century. It was formed in 1885 by retired civil servant A.O.HUME. Its first session held in mumbai, under the chairmanship of W.C. Benerjee. The theories which were behind the formation of INC are as follows:-
    1) Safety valve theory:- It is believed that the INC was formed to drain out discomfort among Indians against Britishers. The revolt of 1857 has proved very costly to Britishers, which nearly swept away their rule. Britishers can use INC as a political subject when discomfort among Indians is at its peak and do the same in opposite way. Thus, they can use INC as a valve to divert the issues.
    2) Lightening conductor theory:- This theory is quite opposite to safety valve theory. This theory falsify the Britishers assumption. In this theory the members in the INC can use the INC as a lightening conductor to fight for the independence and continue the national movement. In short according to delegates in INC, congress would be a platform to them to raise their voice and fight against the Britishers.
    However later on, the assumption of delegates proved satisfactory and made a key role in achieving Independence.

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