Indian people or Indians are people who are citizens of India, which forms a major part of South Asia, containing 17.31% of the world's population. The Indian nationality consists of many regional ethno-linguistic groups, reflecting the rich and complex history of India. India, in its current boundaries, was formed out of a number of predecessors. Because he thought he had found a sea route to India instead of discovering the Americas, Christopher Columbus was mistaken when he thought Native Americans were Indians.
Populations with Indian ancestry, as a result of emigration, are somewhat ubiquitous, most notably in Southeast Asia, South Africa, Australia, United Kingdom, Middle East and North America. Population estimates vary from a conservative 12 million to 20 million diaspora.
This is a listing of people who campaigned against or are considered to have campaigned against foreign domination and cultural imposition on the Indian sub-continent. In India and the rest of South Asia such individuals are often referred to as freedom fighters. The Indian independence movement consisted of efforts by Indians to obtain political independence from British, French and Portuguese rule; it involved a wide spectrum of Indian political organizations, philosophies, and rebellions.
The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide range of areas like political organizations, philosophies and movements which had the common aim of ending the company rule (East India Company), and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia. The independence movement saw various national and regional campaigns, agitations and efforts, some nonviolent and others not so.
The first organised militant movements were in Bengal, but they later took to the political stage in the form of a mainstream movement in the then newly formed Indian National Congress (INC), with prominent moderate leaders seeking only their basic right to appear for Indian Civil Service examinations, as well as more rights, economic in nature, for the people of the soil. The early part of the 20th century saw a more radical approach towards political independence proposed by leaders such as the Lal, Bal, Pal, Aurobindo Ghosh and V. O. Chidambaram Pillai.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (pronounced [ˈmoːɦənd̪aːs ˈkərəmtʃənd̪ ˈɡaːnd̪ʱi] ( listen); 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahatma (Sanskrit: "high-souled," "venerable")—applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa,—is now used worldwide. He is also called Bapu (Gujarati: endearment for "father," "papa.") in India.
Born and raised in a Hindu, merchant caste, family in coastal Gujarat, western India, and trained in law at the Inner Temple, London, Gandhi first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women's rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, but above all for achieving Swaraj or self-rule.
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre (also known as the Amritsar massacre), was a seminal event in the British rule of India. On 13 April 1919, a group of non-violent protesters, along with Baishakhi pilgrims, had gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh garden in Amritsar, Punjab. On the orders of Brigadier-General Reginald E.H. Dyer, the army fired on the crowd for ten minutes, directing their bullets largely towards the few open gates through which people were trying to run out. The dead numbered between 10,000 to 20,000. The "brutality stunned the entire nation", resulting in a "wrenching loss of faith in Britain’s good intentions". The ineffective inquiry and the initial accolades for Dyer by the House of Lords fueled widespread anger, leading to the Non-cooperation movement of 1920-22.
On Sunday, 13 April 1919, Dyer was convinced of a major insurrection and he banned all meetings, however this notice was not widely disseminated. That was the day of Baisakhi, the main Sikh festival, and many villagers had gathered in the Bagh. On hearing that a meeting of 35,000 to 40,000 people including women, children and the elderly had assembled at Jallianwala Bagh, Dyer went with fifty Gurkha riflemen to a raised bank and ordered them to shoot at the crowd. Dyer continued the firing for about ten minutes, until the ammunition supply was almost exhausted; Dyer stated that 1,650 rounds had been fired, a number which seems to have been derived by counting empty cartridge cases picked up by the troops. Official British Indian sources gave a figure of 379 identified dead, with approximately 11,100 wounded. The casualty number estimated by the Indian National Congress was more than 1,500, with approximately 1,000 dead.