India's independence

India's path to independence from British rule was long and difficult. The early efforts to drive away the British through the Indian Rebellion of 1857 proved unsuccessful, and it would take almost a century more before the country truly achieved the goal of independence.

The final struggles towards independence involved two major political groups - the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League. Though both groups agreed on the end goal of independence, there were significant political and religious differences between them, and they did not at all agree about the form that an independent India should take.

Mahatma Gandhi become heavily involved in the work of the Indian National Congress in the early 20th century, organising a number of peaceful protests against British rule. Though Gandhi eventually stepped down from his leadership position, his influence on the struggle for independence was significant. 

Following World War II, the British parliament finally decided to grant India independence in 1947. However, the political and religious tension between the National Congress and the Muslim League - which frequently resulted in violent clashes between the different groups - also convinced the British government to partition the Indian colony into two separate, independent nations: India and Pakistan. 

You can get a more detailed overview of India's struggle for independence on the following pages.