Indian Civil Services Examination Handbook/The Freedom Struggle

The Freedom Struggle ‐ its various stages and important contributors/contributionsEdit


Previous years questionsEdit

2013 onwardsEdit

Defying the barriers of age, gender and religion, the Indian women became the torchbearer during the struggle for freedom in India. Discuss. (200 words) [2013]

Several foreigners made India their homeland and participated in various movements. Analyze their role in the Indian struggle for freedom. (200 words) [2013]

In what ways did the naval mutiny prove to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India? (150 words) [2014]

What were the major political, economic and social developments in the world which motivated the anti-colonial struggle in India? (150 words) [2014]


Discuss the major social reform movement of the second half of the 19th century. In what way did they contribute to the rise and growth of Indian National Movement? (Not more than 200 words)

Explain briefly the importance of the following: (About 30 words for each) (i) Ghadar Party (ii) The Deccan Education Society (iii) National Archives of India.

Who were the following and why are they so well-known? (Not more than two sentence for each) (i) Sir William Jones (ii) M.R. Jaykar (iii) Pandita Rama Bai (iv) K. Kamraj (v) M.N.Roy

What were the motives which led to the partition of Bengal? What were its consequences? Why was it annulled? (About 250 words)

Who wrote our National Anthem? When, where and on what occasion was it sung for the first time? When was it accepted as our National Anthem?

Why did salt emerge as the central issue for launching the Satyagraha? (About 100 words)

What was the Gandhi Irwin pact ? Why was it signed and what were its consequences ? (About 150 words)

Describe Nehru attitude towards Russia in the pre-1947 period. (About 50 words)

Why did Gandhi launch the No-violent Non-cooperation Movement on the Khilafat question? How were other issues joined to it later on? Discuss the constructive program me of the Non-cooperation Movement.

What was Cabinet Mission plan? How was the grouping clause fundamental to it? What was its impact on the attitude of the Congress and the League? (About 250 words)

The recruitment of Indians to civil service was the most important question in the last quarter of 19th century. Explain.

How was Jawaharlal Nehru influenced by socialist ideas? How did the Socialist thinking of Nehru and other leaders influence the Congress before 1942?

Analyse briefly the contribution of religious reform movements to the growth of extremist nationalist movement.

The trial of INA officers did more harm than good to the British rule in India. Explain

Why have the following become famous? (i) Subrahamania Bharati (ii) Chanipur (iii) Damansky Brothers (iv) Khudiram Bose (two sentence on each)

Trace the origin of the Swaraj Party. What was the manifesto of the Swaraj Party? What were the Swarijists demands and the reactions of the British?

What was the attitude of the Indian National Congress towards the Second World War? What was the August Offer? What were the factors that led the British to change its negative policy and send Cripps to India? (About 250 words)

What was Gandhi’s concept of socialism? How did it differ from Marxian socialism?

What were the main features of the Act of 1935? What was Jawaharlal Nehru’s reaction to the Act? Why did he conduct the elections of 1937 and with what effect?

How did Lala Lajpat Rai and Bal Gangadhar Tilak champion the cause of militant nationalism in India?

If Aurobindo was the high priest, Rabindranath, was the great poet of the Swadeshi movement. Elucidate.

When and why did the revolt of the ratings of the Royal Indian Navy take Place? Why did they suspend the movement? What were the attitudes of Gandhi and Patel towards the movement? (About 50 words each)

Narrate the phase of the India’s freedom movement especially from the beginning of 1947 till independence?

Discuss the growth of revolutionary terrorism with special reference to its ramifications in Maharashtra, Bengal and Punjab till the first decade of the twentieth century.(About 250 words)

What was Harijan Movement? Why and with what effect did Gandhi launch individual Satyagraha?

Dr. Ambedkar’s versatile career went through various phases. State briefly the various facets of his life.

State the various regulations imposed by the British Government to curtail the freedom of the press.

What do you know about the following movements? (i) Swadeshi Movement (ii) Khilafat Movement (iii) Namdhari Movement

'The Viceroyalities of Lord Lytton and Lord Ripon formed an important landmark in the history of the Indian National Movement'. Examine the truth of the statement.

How far was the Swadeshi Movement linked with Boycott? Analysis the nature of mass participation in the Movement. (About 250 words)

Analyse Jawaharlal Nehru's views on Independence and Dominion Status. How far these reflected in the policy enunciated by the Lahore Congress?

Why did Mahatma Gandhi launch Civil Disobedience Movement? Analyse the intensity of the movement in different parts of India.

What do you know about the following movements? (i) Wahabi Movement (ii) Indigo Movement (iii) Quit India Movement

Why have the following become famous? (i) M.A. Ansari (ii) P.C. Joshi (iii) Indulal Yagnik (iv) Lord Pethwick Lawrence (v) Sree Narayan Guru (vi) Nandlal Bose

"Mahatma Gandhi's succession, during 1916-20, in getting the 'technique of non-violent satyagraha accepted by the nation as a weapon of struggle against the British was phenomenal." Elucidate.

Why was Bengal partitioned in 1905? How did it lead to the growth of extremist and terrorist schools of nationalism? Why was it annulled and with what consequences? (About 250 words)

"From August offer of Mountabatten Plan was a logical Revolution." Discuss.

What was the Macdonald Award? How was it modified and with what results?

Analyse the main differences between the approaches of Tilak and Gokhale on social and political issues. (About 150 words each)

"The Minto-Morely Reforms did not and could not provide an answer to Indian problems." Explain.

"The Lucknow Pack of 1916 was signed without regard for its consequences." Elucidate.

What do you know about the following? (i) Home Rule Movement (ii) Temple Entry Programme (iii) Mass Contact programme of Nehru (iv) Sikander-Jinnah Pact

Why did the following places become famous during the freedom struggle? (i) Dandi (ii) Haripura (iii) Surat (iv) Bardoli

Why have the following become famous? (i) C.Ilbert (ii) John Simon (iii) Ramsay Macdonald (iv) Wavell

How did the outbreak of the Second World War affect India's political scene? Did the Cripps Mission resolve the political crisis in India? (About 250 words)

Trace the emergence of Gandhiji in Indian political scene till the Champaran Satayagraha of 1917. What was the basic philosophy of Satyagraha enunciated by him? (About 250 words)

Discuss the outstanding Tribal uprising against the British rule during the nineteenth century.

What is meant by 'un-British' rule in India? How did the Indian nationalists react against it? Evaluate the role of Dadabhai Naroji in exposing the evils of British rule in India.

What were the contributions of the Moderates in the formative stage of the Indian National Congress?

Explain the part played by Annie Besant in the Home Rule Movement.

In what way did the international events in the late twenties of the present century influence Jawaharlal Nehru's radical views?

In what way did the Civil Disobedience Movement affect the different provinces of India? How did it foster peasant movement in India? (About 250 words)

Trace the emergence of Indian nationalism till the foundation of the Indian National Congress. (About 75 words)

How did the British illustrate Lord Canning's policy in treating the Indian Princes as 'Breakwaters in the storm'?

What were the reasons that changed Gandhiji's attitude of responsive cooperation to non-cooperation in 1920? What were its consequences?

The policies of the British Indian Government during 1858-1905 were aimed at preventing another revolt of the masses. Eludicate. (About 250 words)

Bengal was partitioned in 1905 not for administrative reasons but for political purposes. Elucidate.

What was the Masterly Inactivity Policy? Why was it abandoned?

What was the Macdonald Award? How was it modified? (About 150 words)?

What are Tilak's contribution towards shaping the course of the nationalist movement in India?

Why has Nehru in his Autobiography been so critical of the liberals?

What do you know about the following: (i) Butler Committee Report (ii) August Offer, 1940 (iii) Theosophical Society of India

Why have the following been famous? (i) Bhartendu Harish Chandra (ii) C. Rajagopalachari (iii) A.O. Hume (i) Birsa Munda (About 20 words each)

Examine the causes and nature of extremism in Indian politics in the early part of the present century.

What were the salient features of Gandhi-Irwin Pact?

What do you know about the following? (i) Poona Sarvajanik Sabha (ii) Rowlatt Act (iii) August Declaration, 1917

Did Jawaharlal Nehru really 'speak' the 'language' of Gandhi? Locate the points of their agreements and departures.

How did economic nationalism mirror the work of the early nationalist leadership in India?

Why did the moderates lose appeal with the Indians and failed to elicit desired response from the British?

Trace the origins of the R.N.I. Mutiny and evaluate its impact on the political situation in India

How did the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal influence the nationalist politics?

What was the significance of the Prajamandal movements in the Indian States in the decade preceding India's independence?

Assess the role of C. Rajagopalachari during the pre-partition years of Indian public life.

What do you know about the following: (About 20 words on each) (i) Nil Darpan (ii) Sarda Sadan (iii) Sabarmati Ashram (iv) Hunter Commission (v) Bandi Jiwan

Why have the following become famous? (i) Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan (ii) Seth Jamanlal Bajaj (iii) S. Satyamurti (iv) Udham Singh (v) Sarojini Naidu

What were the proposals of the Cabinet Mission ? Analyse there actions of the Congress and the League to the proposals.

Trace the formation of the Swaraj Party. What were its demands.

'What began as a fight for religion ended as a war of independence, for there is not the slightest doubt that the rebels wanted to get rid of the alien government and restore the old order of which the king of Delhi was the rightful representative.' Do you support this viewpoint?

Why have the following become famous? (i) Rammanohar Lohia (ii) C. Y. Chintamani (iii) Henry Cotton (iv) Tej Bahadur Sapru (v) Veeresalingam P.K. (vi) Bhulabhai Desai (vii) Kamladevi Chattopadhyay

Trace the origin of the Swadeshi Movement. How did it involve the masses?

What was Mountbatten Plan ? Discuss the reactions of Gandhi and Azad to the Plan.

Who established the Arya Samaj? What was its goal?

How did the terrorist movement gather strength in countries other than India?

Answer the following: (About 20 words each) (i) William Jones (ii) C.F. Andrews (iii) Narayan Guru (iv) Tantia Tope (v) Sayyid Ahmad (vi) Margaret Noble (vii) Fort William College (viii) Lala Amarnath (ix) Florence Nightingale

Discuss the main objectives of the Indian national movement up to 1905. What were its basic weaknesses during this period?

What administrative changes were introduced in India after 1858? What were the objectives of these changes?

How did the movement for the liberation of women receive a great stimulus from the rise and growth of the nationalist movement in India?

Write about the following (About 20 words each): (i) Ghadar Party (ii) Jamnala Bajaj (iii) Mohammad Iqbal (iv) T. Prakasam (v) Champaran Satyagraha (vi) Ali Brothers

What was the Butler Committee Report? Discuss the reactions on the report in India.

Why did Jinnah reject C.R. Formula?

Trace the growth of the Indian Home Rule Movement in Britain.

Evaluate the attitudes of different political parties towards Quit India Movement.

Review the Dickie Bird Plan

Write about the following (not exceeding 20 words each): (i) Anandmath (ii) Chamber of Princes (iii) Divide et impera (iv) Dandi March (v) Satyagraha

The reforms of 1909 introduced a cardinal problem and ground of controversy are every revision of Indian electoral system. Comment

The mainstay of Gandhi’s movements was rural India. Elucidate.

Discuss the character of major tribal uprisings in British India in the nineteenth Century.

Bring out the ideological basis of the Moderate-Extremist divide in the Indian National Congress.

Answer the following: (about 20 words ) i) The Jatiya Sarkar of Tamluk ii) Punnapra-Vayalar iii) Al-Hilal iv) Har Dayal v) Khudai Khidmatgar vi) W.W. Hunter vii) Indu Lal Yajnik viii) Achhut Patwardhan ix) Sir William Jones x) James Wilson xi) Ghulam-giri.

Discuss the major regulations enacted by the British rulers to curb the freedom of Press in India.

Form a critical assessment of the Non-cooperation Movement.

What led to the partition of Bengal in 1905?

Discuss the main findings of the Hartog committee (1929).

Write about the following (not exceeding 20 words each): (i) Sohan Singh Bhakna (ii) Alluri Sitaramaraju (iii) Canjeevaram Natrajan Annadurai (iv) Nazir Hasan

Examine the policy of Union towards Princely States. Account for shift from the policy of Subordinate Isolation.

In the Motague Chelmsford Report communal representation and reservations were not only retained but considerably extended. Comment

Evaluate Subhas Chandra Bose’s contribution to India’s freedom

Why and how did the Congress come to accept the partition of the country?

Write about the following not exceeding 20 words each): (a) Baba Ram Chandra (b) Moplah Rebellion

Regardless of distance in time, there were lots of similarties between Lord Curzon and Jawaharlal Lal Nehru. Discuss.

How did the Government of India Act, 1935 mark a point of no return in the history of constitutional development in India?

What was the attitude of Indian Industrialists towards the Indian National Congress in the Pre-independent era?

Critically assess Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru’s view on Indian nationalism?

Write about the following (not exceeding 20 words each): a) Aruna Roy

The crisis of the colonial order during 1919 and 1939 was directly linked to the constitutional reforms, disillusionment and militant anti-colonial struggles. Elucidate.

What are the salient features of the Government of India Acts of 1858 and 1909?

Do you think Mahatma Gandhi's support to Khilafat Movement had diluted his secular credentials? Give your argument based on the ssessment of events.

Evaluate the contribution of revolutionary terrorism represented by Bhagat Singh to the cause of India’s struggle for Independence

Non-Cooperation Movement gave new direction and energy to the national movement. Explain

Write about the following (not exceeding 20 words each): (a) Lakshmi Bai, Rani of Jhansi (b) Ilbert Bill (c) Lala Hara Dayal (d) Vaikam Satyagraha (e) Indian States Commission

Write about the following not exceeding 20 words each): Poona Sarvajanik Sabha

"Many Englishmen honestly consider themselves the trustees for India and yet to what a condition they have reduced our country". Comment

Write about the following (not exceeding 20 words each): Kiang Nongbah

Write brief notes on each of the following, in about 20 words each: (a) Contributions of Latika Ghosh to the freedom struggle (b) Bhai Maharaj Singh as a freedom fighter.

Trace the salient sequence of events in the popular revolt that took place in February 1964 in the then Royal Indian Navy and bring out its significance in the freedom struggle. Do you agree with the view that the sailors who took part in this revolt were some of the unsung heroes of the freedom struggle?

In the context of the freedom struggle, write short notes (not exceeding 50 words each) on the following: (a) Benoy-Badal-Dinesh Martyrdom (b) Bharat Naujawan Sabha (c) Babbar Akali Movement

"The Indian independence movement was a mass-based movement that encompassed various sections of the society. It also underwent the process of constant ideological evolution." Critically examine.

The significance of Patharughat in the Indian freedom struggle