Early times the Indian subcontinent appears to have provided an attractive habitat for human occupation. Toward the south it is effectively sheltered by wide expanses of ocean, which tended to isolate it culturally in ancient times, while to the north it is protected by the massive ranges of the Himalayas, which also sheltered it from the Arctic winds and the air currents of Central Asia. Only in the northwest and northeast is there easier access by land, and it was through those two sectors that most of the early contacts with the outside world took place.
Within the framework of hills and mountains represented by the Indo-Iranian borderlands on the west, the Indo-Myanmar borderlands in the east, and the Himalayas to the north, the subcontinent may in broadest terms be divided into two major divisions: in the north, the basins of the Indus and Ganges (Ganga) rivers (the Indo-Gangetic Plain) and, to the south, the block of Archean rocks that forms the Deccan plateau region. The expansive alluvial plain of the river basins provided the environment and focus for the rise of two great phases of city life: the civilization of the Indus valley, known as the Indus civilization, during the 3rd millennium BCE; and, during the 1st millennium BCE, that of the Ganges. To the south of this zone, and separating it from the peninsula proper, is a belt of hills and forests, running generally from west to east and to this day largely inhabited by tribal people. This belt has played mainly a negative role throughout Indian history in that it remained relatively thinly populated and did not form the focal point of any of the principal regional cultural developments of South Asia. However, it is traversed by various routes linking the more-attractive areas north and south of it. The Narmada (Narbada) River flows through this belt toward the west, mostly along the Vindhya Range, which has long been regarded as the symbolic boundary between northern and southern India.
India’s movement for Independence occurred in stages elicit by the inflexibility of the Britishers and in various instances, their violent responses to non-violent protests. It was understood that the British were controlling the resources of India and the lives of its people, and as far as this control was ended India could not be for Indians.
On 28 December 1885 Indian National Congress (INC) was founded on the premises of Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit School at Bombay. It was presided over by W.C Banerjee and attended by 72 delegates. A.O Hume played an instrumental role in the foundation of INC with an aim to provide Safety Valve to the British Government.
A.O Hume served as the first General Secretary of INC.
The real Aim of Congress is to train the Indian youth in political agitation and to organise or to create public opinion in the country. For this, they use the method of an annual session where they discuss the problem and passed the resolution.
The first or early phase of Indian Nationalism is also termed as Moderate Phase (1885-1905). Moderate leaders were W.C Banerjee, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, R.C Dutt, Ferozeshah Mehta, George Yule, etc.
Moderates have full faith in British Government and adopted the PPP path i.e. Protest, Prayer, and Petition.
Due to disillusionment from Moderates’ methods of work, extremism began to develop within the congress after 1892. The Extremist leaders were Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, and Aurobindo Ghosh. Instead of the PPP path, they emphasise on self-reliance, constructive work, and swadeshi.
With the announcement of the Partition of Bengal (1905) by Lord Curzon for administrative convenience, Swadeshi and Boycott resolution was passed in 1905.
ONE INDIVIDUAL MAY DIE; BUT THAT IDEA WILL, AFTER HIS DEATH, INCARNATE ITSELF IN A THOUSAND LIVES.-Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose