Indian National Congress (1885 CE - Present)

The colors of our flag are representative of our values: saffron for courage and sacrifice, white for truth and peace, and green for faith and chivalry. The one below is an earlier version that is the model for the flag of independent India.
The colors of our flag are representative of our values: saffron for courage and sacrifice, white for truth and peace, and green for faith and chivalry. The one below is an earlier version that is the model for the flag of independent India.

external image history_flag06.jpg

The First Indian National Congress, 1885
The First Indian National Congress, 1885

Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948), an influential leader who transformed our party into an effective, national organization
Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948), an influential leader who transformed our party into an effective, national organization

Friends

Haitians
Hindus
India
Sepoys
Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fists
Vijayanagara Empire

Technology

Such a blessing and such a curse! With the knowledge that the British are bringing in, such as telegraphs and railroads, India is integrating itself into the global economy as well as unifying its far-flung lands. Yet, that same technology prevents India from becoming an independent nation. Britain's military technology can overpower and subjugate our people while its rapid communication systems allow the quick mobilization of forces to quell any uprisings against their authority. Furthermore, Britain's hegemony in India enables them to undermine our industries and reduce our land to a supplier of raw materials for British goods that are then sold back to us. Make no mistake, we are grateful to the British for providing us with the initial means for industrialization and thus modernization; however we feel that returning to our old ways of manual labor and cottage industries is the best method to obtain independence. As a result, we propose a boycott of British items and the production our own goods. Not only will this method demonstrate our protest against British domination, it will also encourage the need for hard work in order to attain self-reliance. Independence is within our grasp. Simply follow Gandhi's example: Weave your own clothes. Weave your nation's future.

Culture

India is for Indians! We strongly encourage nationalism and pride in our Indian heritage. Traditions such as classic Indian garb and our cherished Hindi language must be revived and embraced. In order to achieve complete Indian independence, we must eradicate the British influences that have demoted the status our land to that of a servant for others. Yet, we mush obtain our goal through respectable, moral methods; we refuse to construct a nation our of lies and deceit. Instead, a return to the concepts of simplicity and hard work will spread righteous values that are favorable for the future of India after independence. Moreover, since we support the Hindu non-violence principle of ahimsa, we strive toward democracy through peaceful civil disobedience. Our satyagrahas are extremely effective in inspiring Indians to fight as hard as they can against the British; they display the sagacity and sophistication of our people in our struggle against an aggressive sovereign empire.

Religion

external image hinduism.gifWe are predominately Hinduism and promote its teachings of ahimsa or non-violence as the best form of protest against British hegemony. Although we are fairly tolerant of other religions, our relations with Muslims are rather rocky. Both Hindus and Muslims have a history of oppressing the other, which has resulted in mutual mistrust and fear of the other group's rise to power. Against Gandhi's wishes, the Muslims, led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, insist on forming a state separate from India called Pakistan. Since our goal is an independent India in which Indians identify themselves as part a single, unified nation, we must prevent the Muslims from partitioning our land to their liking. Furthermore, we can only see increased violence and bloodshed if India were divided along religious lines. However, concerning our Hindu relations to the Muslims, we and the Muslims are capable of temporarily overlooking our differences to unite against British rule. As demonstrated by the joining of our organization with the All-India Muslim League in 1916, we are willing to disregard centuries of religious tensions for the sake of independence.

Blog

Gandhi collecting salt in an act of civil disobedience
Gandhi collecting salt in an act of civil disobedience

Blog Entry #1: 1930
Never has the smell of the sea been more fragrant than it is right now! We have just completed the Salt Satyagraha led by the eminent Mahatma Gandhi in protest against the British salt tax. Our journey has been long and weary but worthwhile. Many of our numbers will be arrested and jailed, but it is a consequence we all will gladly accept. The march began in Sabarmati Ashram with Gandhi and seventy-eight chosen followers. Now it ends a little less than a month later with thousands of marchers crowded on this beachhead in Dandi. Watching the great Gandhi disregard British law and pick up the first lump of salt is an extremely moving sight. His action gives us hope that others will be inspired and also participate in acts of civil disobedience for the sake of Indian independence.
Blog Entry #2: 1937
Though we credit Britain for trying to give us greater autonomy, the Government of India Act is a miserable failure. While the refusal of India's princes to cooperate contributes to the act's failure, the main reason for its ineffectiveness is the tensions and grudges between us Hindus and the Muslims of the All-India Muslim League. The Muslims fear Hindu domination and claim that we exploit them economically. As tenant farmers, many are already poor, and the added disaster of the Great Depression further prevents them from repaying their debts to their Hindu landlords. Even though we see where they are coming from, it's still frustrating that a prime opportunity to attain some self-governance was wasted.
Blog Entry #3: 1947
Independence at last! We are finally free from the clutches of Britain and have achieved our goal of an Indian nation! (Though Britain does seem resentful of our success; they're awfully discriminating in their news coverage of our independence). Yet our victory is bittersweet. Our hope for India to become independent as a unified state is not to be since Hindus and Muslims still are incapable of setting aside their differences and coexisting peacefully. Out of fear that they would be subjugated by Hindus, Muslims petitioned for and succeeded in creating their own state called Pakistan. Horrible fighting between the two groups is now occurring as the members of each migrate into their respective state. Bloodshed is everywhere, and countless lives have been lost. We pray that the violence marking our first year of independence is not an omen of the years to come.

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Bibliography

Bentley, Jerry H., and Herbert F. Ziegler. Traditions and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past. 3rd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2006.

"Celebrating 75 years of The Salt March 1930-2005." Celebrating 75 years of The Salt March 1930-2005. Mahatma Gandhi Foundation. 29 Apr 2008 <http://www.saltmarch.org.in/home.html>.

"Indian National Congress - History." Indian National Congress. Indian National Congress. 28 Apr 2008 <http://www.aicc.org.in/history.php>.

Images:

First flag: http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/images/i/in%7Dinc.gif
Second flag: http://campus.udayton.edu/~isa/images/Photos/Independance%20Day%202006/history_flag06.jpg
Party members: http://www.bl.uk/collections/images/independence/congress.jpg
Gandhi: http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/PHO/AAHD066_8x10~Mohandas-K-Gandhi-Posters.jpg
Gandhi picking up salt: http://onyourmarks.free.fr/images/gandhisaltmarch01.jpg
Hinduism symbol: http://www.icgr.org/images/hinduism.gif

Video

http://youtube.com/watch?v=mKJSDYvxHzw