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Political History of India- Before and After Independence

Political History of India: The political history of India spans thousands of years, characterized by diverse dynasties, empires, and colonial rule. From the ancient Mauryan and Gupta empires to the Mughal dynasty and British Raj, India’s political landscape witnessed significant transformations. The struggle for independence led by Mahatma Gandhi and the subsequent formation of the Indian National Congress laid the foundation for modern Indian politics.

Political History of India

India’s political history dates back to the ancient Indus Valley Civilization in the 3rd millennium BCE. It has been ruled by various dynasties and empires, including the Maurya Empire, Gupta Empire, Mughal Empire, and British Raj. The Indian independence movement led by figures like Mahatma Gandhi resulted in India gaining independence from Britain in 1947. Since then, India has been a democratic nation, facing challenges but also making significant progress in terms of economic development and global influence. Here are some of the most important figures in the political history of India:

  • Chandragupta Maurya (340-297 BCE): The founder of the Maurya Empire, which was the first major political unification of India.
  • Ashoka the Great (304-232 BCE): The third emperor of the Maurya Empire, who is best known for his conversion to Buddhism and his promotion of non-violence.
  • Chanakya (350-275 BCE): A political advisor and strategist who served under Chandragupta Maurya. He is considered one of the greatest political minds in Indian history.
  • Gupta Empire (4th-6th centuries CE): A golden age of Indian civilization, known for its cultural and economic prosperity.
  • Akbar the Great (1556-1605): The third Mughal emperor, who is considered one of the greatest rulers in Indian history. He was a tolerant ruler who promoted religious freedom and interfaith dialogue.
  • Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948): The leader of the Indian independence movement, who is best known for his nonviolent protests. He is considered the father of modern India.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964): The first prime minister of India, who led the country through its early years of independence. He was a strong advocate for democracy and social justice.
  • Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945): A revolutionary leader who fought for Indian independence. He formed the Indian National Army, which fought against the British in World War II.

These are just a few of the many important figures in the political history of India. The country has a long and rich history of political thought and activism, and its future is full of promise.

Political History of India Before Independence

The political history of India before independence is a rich tapestry of dynasties, empires, and colonial rule that spanned centuries. It began with the Maurya Empire, founded by Chandragupta Maurya in the 4th century BCE, which achieved its zenith under the rule of Ashoka the Great. The Gupta Empire, from the 4th to 6th centuries CE, witnessed a golden age of cultural and economic prosperity. Subsequently, the Mughal Empire emerged as a powerful force from the 16th to the 18th centuries, with rulers like Babur and Akbar the Great leaving lasting legacies.

However, in 1757, the British East India Company’s victory at the Battle of Plassey marked the beginning of British colonial rule, known as the British Raj, which lasted for over 200 years. This era saw significant changes in India, including the introduction of new technologies, industries, and modern infrastructure, albeit at the cost of exploitation and discrimination. The Indian National Congress, founded in 1885, became the leading force in the struggle for independence, with prominent figures such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Subhas Chandra Bose playing instrumental roles.

Finally, in 1947, India achieved independence, albeit with the partition that led to the creation of Pakistan and the painful displacement of millions of people. The political history of India before independence laid the foundation for the nation’s future as a democratic and diverse country.

Electoral Reforms in India

Key Events in the Political History of India Before Independence:

  1. 1757: The British East India Company defeats the Mughal Empire at the Battle of Plassey.
  2. 1857: The Indian Rebellion, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny, takes place.
  3. 1885: The Indian National Congress is founded.
  4. 1905: The British partition Bengal, sparking widespread protests.
  5. 1919: The Amritsar Massacre takes place, killing hundreds of unarmed Indian civilians.
  6. 1920: Mahatma Gandhi launches the Non-Cooperation Movement.
  7. 1930: Mahatma Gandhi launches the Salt March.
  8. 1932: The British government grants limited self-government to India.
  9. 1942: Mahatma Gandhi launches the Quit India Movement.
  10. 1947: India gains independence from Britain.
  11. 1947: The British Indian Empire is partitioned into India and Pakistan.

Political History of India After Independence

The political history of India after independence is marked by the establishment of a democratic nation and the challenges and progress it has encountered. India’s first years as an independent country were shaped by the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, who served as the Prime Minister from 1947 to 1964. Nehru laid the foundation for a secular and socialist India, focusing on economic development, industrialization, and the promotion of education and social welfare.

However, the country also faced significant challenges, including partition-induced violence, the integration of princely states, and the building of a unified nation. Over the years, India witnessed the rise of various political parties, coalitions, and leaders, shaping the country’s political landscape. Indira Gandhi, Nehru’s daughter, played a pivotal role as Prime Minister, implementing controversial measures such as the nationalization of banks and the declaration of a state of emergency. The liberalization reforms of the 1990s, under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, opened up India’s economy and led to significant economic growth.

In recent years, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has come to the forefront with its emphasis on economic reforms, national security, and cultural nationalism. India’s political history after independence reflects a complex interplay of democracy, diversity, regional dynamics, economic development, and social challenges as the nation strives to achieve its full potential on the global stage.

What is the Indian Political System?

India is a parliamentary secular democratic republic in which the President of India is the head of state & first citizen of India and the prime minister of India is the head of government. It is based on the federal structure of government, although the word is not used in the Constitution itself. India follows the dual polity system, i.e. federal in nature, that consists of the central authority at the center and states at the periphery. The Indian political system is divided into three branches:

  • The Executive branch is headed by the prime minister, who is the head of government. The prime minister is appointed by the president but is typically the leader of the majority party in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament. The prime minister’s cabinet is composed of other ministers who are responsible for different portfolios, such as defense, finance, and home affairs.
  • The Legislature is bicameral, consisting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament. The Lok Sabha has 545 members, who are directly elected by the people of India. The Rajya Sabha has 250 members, who are indirectly elected by the state legislatures. The legislature is responsible for making laws and approving the budget.
  • The Judiciary is headed by the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in India. The Supreme Court has the power to strike down laws that it finds to be unconstitutional. It also has the power to hear appeals from lower courts.

India has a multi-party system, with a number of political parties competing for power. The two largest parties are the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC). The BJP is a right-wing party that is generally seen as being more favorable to business interests. The INC is a left-wing party that is generally seen as being more favorable to social welfare programs.

Who is the Father of Indian Politics?

The title of “Father of Indian Politics” is often attributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi. He played a pivotal role in India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule and left an indelible mark on the political landscape of the nation. Gandhi advocated for nonviolent civil disobedience and led various mass movements, such as the Salt March and the Quit India Movement, which mobilized millions of Indians against British rule.

He championed principles of truth, nonviolence, and self-reliance, becoming an iconic figure who inspired not only Indians but people around the world. Gandhi’s philosophy of Satyagraha (truth force) and his emphasis on swaraj (self-rule) became guiding principles for India’s political movement. His unwavering commitment to justice, equality, and the welfare of the marginalized continues to shape Indian politics and serves as an enduring inspiration for future leaders and movements. As the Father of Indian Politics, Gandhi’s legacy is synonymous with the struggle for freedom, democracy, and social justice in India.

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Who write politics in India?

Academic Books. Rajni Kothari (1970). Politics in India.

Who is the first leader of India?

On January 26, 1950, the Constitution of independent India was ratified and he was elected the nation's first President. Dr. Prasad transformed the imperial splendor of Rashtrapati Bhavan into an elegant “Indian” home.

Who is the father of politics?

Aristotle is regarded as the father of political science.

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