Coupon Accepted Successfully!


The Emergence of Nationalism

As the Nationalist movement spread the adage that ‘India was for the people of India’ became popular. India, its resources and systems were for all the people of India, irrespective of class, colour, caste, creed, language, or gender.

  • Indians became aware that the British were exercising control over the resources of India and the lives of its people.

  • They realized that until this control ended India could not be for Indians.

  • Political associations formed in the 1870s and 1880s mostly by Indian lawyers educated in Britain.

Some of these Associations were:

  • The Indian National Congress
  • The Poona Sarvajanik Sabha
  • The Indian Association
  • The Madras Mahajan Sabha
  • The Bombay Presidency Association
  • These associations functioned in different parts of the country, with a common goal for all the people of India.

  • The common goal was an independent India, empowered to take decisions regarding its own governance.

The dissatisfaction with British rule intensified in the 1870s and 1880s. Two Acts was passed by the British to quell the upheaval:

  • The Arms Act, 1878

  • The Vernacular Press Act, 1878

The Arms Act disallowed Indians from possessing arms and the Vernacular Press Act allowed the government to confiscate the assets of newspapers including their printing presses if the newspapers published anything that was found "objectionable".

  • The Ilbert Bill, 1883

The Ilbert Bill was a bill introduced in 1883 for British India by Lord Ripon. The Bill gave Indian judges and magistrates the power to try British offenders in criminal cases at the District level. The introduction of the bill led to intense opposition in Britain and from British settlers in India. The Bill played on racial tensions. White opposition forced the government to withdraw the bill. This enraged the Indians. The bitter controversy deepened antagonism between the British and Indians and was a prelude to the formation of the Indian National Congress the following year.

  • The event highlighted the racial attitudes of the British in India.

  • The need for an all-India organisation of educated Indians seemed necessary after the Ilbert Bill controversy.

  • In December 1885 the Indian National Congress was established when 72 delegates from all over the country met at Bombay.


At this time the leaders of the Indian National Congress were from Bombay and Calcutta. They were …

  • Dadabhai Naoroji

  • Pherozeshah Mehta

  • Badruddin Tyabji

  • W.C. Bannerji

  • Surendranath Bannerji

  • Romesh Chandra Dutt

  • S. Subramania Iyer

First Leaders of the Indian National congress


  • Naoroji was a businessman and publicist settled in London. He was a member of the British Parliament. He guided the younger nationalists.

A.O. Hume

  • A.O. Hume was a retired British official who played an important role in bringing Indians from the various regions together.

Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name