Popular slogans raised during Indian independence movement

  • IASbaba
  • August 12, 2022
  • 0
History and Art and Culture
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Context: The history of popular slogans raised during Indian independence movement.

‘Jai Hind’ by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose

  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose popularised ‘Jai Hind’ as a salutation for soldiers of his Indian National Army (INA), which fought alongside Netaji’s ally Japan in the Second World War.

‘Tum mujhe khoon do, main tumhe aazadi doonga’ by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose

  • The slogan had origins in a speech Netaji made in Myanmar, then called Burma, on July 4, 1944.

‘Vande Mataram’ by Bankim Chandra Chatterji

  • The term refers to a sense of respect expressed to the motherland.
  • In 1870, Bengali novelist Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote a song which would go on to assume a national stature.
  • Written in Bengali, the song titled ‘Vande Mataram’ would not be introduced into the public sphere until the publishing of the novel Anandamath in 1882, of which the song is a part.
  • Vande Mataram would soon be at the forefront of sentiments expressed during the freedom movement.
  • The novel Anandmath, set in the early 1770s against the backdrop of the Fakir-Sannyasi Rebellion against the British in Bengal, came at a time of the Bengal agrarian crisis when the region was hit by three famines one after another.
  • After the British rule ended, the song was in contention for being the national anthem, but was criticised by some and ended up becoming the national song instead.

‘Inquilab Zindabad’ by Maulana Hasrat Mohani

  • ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ (Long live the revolution) was first used by Maulana Hasrat Mohani in 1921.
  • Hasrat was his pen name as a revolutionary Urdu poet, which also became his identity as a political leader.
  • Hasrat Mohani was a labour leader, scholar, poet and also one of the founders of the Communist Party of India in 1925.
  • Along with Swami Kumaranand — also involved in the Indian Communist movement — Mohani first raised the demand for complete independence or ‘Poorna Swaraj’, at the Ahmedabad session of the Congress in 1921.
  • He was later elected a member of the Constituent Assembly and was also a member of the drafting committee of the Constitution along with Dr B R Ambedkar.
  • His stress on Inquilab was inspired by his urge to fight against social and economic inequality, along with colonialism.
  • It was from the mid-1920s that this slogan became a war cry of Bhagat Singh and his Naujawan Bharat Sabha, as well as his Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).
  • Bhagat Singh also wished for a social revolution to break age-old discriminatory practices.
  • This slogan got major traction when he and B K Dutt dropped bombs in the Assembly on April 8, 1929, and shouted it.

‘Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna’ by Bismil Azimabadi

  • “Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil men hai, dekhna hai zor kitna bazu-e-qatil men hai” (Our hearts are now longing to die for a good cause, that we shall see what strength the arms of killers possess), are the first two lines of a poem written by Bismil Azimabadi, a freedom fighter and poet from Bihar, after the Jallianwalah Bagh Massacre of 1921 in Amritsar, Punjab.
  • In the poem, the line ‘Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil men hai’ is repeated, and the two lines have been used often in Hindi movies with patriotic themes.
  • The lines were popularised by Ram Prasad Bismil, another revolutionary.
  • They convey a deep longing to take on an enemy, a spirit seen in the way Bismil, an Urdu poet and revolutionary, was part of major events that raised the spirits of fellow freedom fighters at the time.
  • He was a part of the Kakori train robbery, a successful and ambitious operation in which a train filled with British goods and money was robbed for Indian fighters to purchase arms.

‘Do or Die’ by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

  • In 1942, with the Second World War commencing and the failure of Stafford Cripps Missions – which only promised India a ‘dominion status’ where it would still have to bear allegiance to the King of England – it was realised that the movement for freedom needed to be intensified.
  • On August 8, 1942, the All-India Congress Committee met in Gowalia Tank Maidan (August Kranti Maidan) in Bombay.
  • Gandhi addressed thousands after the meeting to spell out the way forward.
  • He told the people what they must do: “Here is a mantra, a short one, that I give you. Imprint it on your hearts, so that in every breath you give expression to it. The mantra is: ‘Do or Die’.
  • We shall either free India or die trying; we shall not live to see the perpetuation of our slavery.”

‘Quit India’ by Yusuf Meherally

  • While Gandhi gave the clarion call of ‘Quit India’, the slogan was coined by Yusuf Meherally, a socialist and trade unionist who also served as Mayor of Mumbai. A
  • few years ago, in 1928, Meherally had also coined the slogan “Simon Go Back” to protest the Simon Commission.

Must Read: Quit India Movement

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Who among the following is associated with ‘Songs from Prison’, a translation of ancient Indian religious lyrics in English? (2021)

  1. Bal Gangadhar Tilak
  2. Jawaharlal Nehru
  3. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
  4. Sarojini Naidu


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