Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence – UPSC Strategy

Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence – An Overview

Bipin Chandra

Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence is the most comprehensive and well written book on Indian freedom struggle. The size of the book may appear to be scary, but if read in a strategic way, the reading not only becomes easy but also the comprehension of India’s freedom struggle becomes easy. In this article we are going to deal precisely with this aspect. Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence book has covered all the aspects of freedom struggle, the growth of ideologies, socio-religious and reform movements, peasant and tribal movements, freedom of press, revolutionary terrorism and communalism etc. in meticulous and detailed manner. Other aspects of freedom struggle covered in Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence book can be seen as:

  • How a prolonged political struggle based on moral, political and ideological underpinnings seized power from the mighty colonial power.
  • In what innovative ways constitutional space offered by the existing colonial structure was used to nurture and achieve political objectives and ends.
  • Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence book explains how a broad movement with diverse political and ideological undercurrents can co-exist.
  • The book highlights the broad socio-economic and political vision of the leaders who based the movement on modern values and ideals. This vision was hinged upon democratic, liberal and secular India. This vision is also reflected in the self reliant and egalitarian social order and an independent foreign policy.
  • Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence book also explains how the movement popularized democratic ideas and institutions in India. Nationalists demanded representative government with elections based on adult franchise. For this the Indian National Congress itself was based on a democratic basis and in the form of a parliament.

Other Points

  • In this book there is a clear explanation of the development of an economic ideology that was to dominate the views of independent India.
  • The book Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence highlights how the national movement had a pro poor orientation especially since the advent of Gandhi. The role of leftists who struggled to make the movement adopt a socialist outlook is also well explained.
  • There is a good explanation for how the leaders fought hard to inculcate secular values among the people and opposed the growth of communalism. To do this the national movement right since its inception was fully committed to secularism.
  • Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence provides for a clear perspective that India’s freedom struggle was basically a result of a fundamental contradiction between the interests of Indian people and that of British colonialism.
  • Thus the main approach of Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence is of:
    • Location of issues of the nature of the contradictions in colonial India. 
    • The relationship between the primary and the secondary contradictions.
    • Class character of the movement.
    • The relationship between the bourgeoisie and other social classes and the Indian National Congress and its leadership, i.e., the relationship between class and party.
    • the relationship between forms of struggle (including non-violence) and class character, ideology, strategy and mass character of the movement.

Areas Covered in Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence

 The book Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence covers events and the story of freedom struggle from the Revolt of 1857 till 1947. Thus the book can be categorized in various sections and read accordingly to have a comprehensive understanding. The sections can be seen as:

  • Political: The book covers separate chapters on all the political events that occurred in the span of almost 100 years. E.g. Revolt of 1857, Formation of Indian National Congress, Safety Valve theory, Partition of Bengal, Swadeshi movement, Morley Minto Reforms, Home Rule League, Montagu Chelmsford Reforms, Non Cooperation Movement, Civil Disobedience movement, Quit India movement, Freedom and partition etc.
  • Peasant Movements & Tribal Uprisings: Indigo Revolt, Agrarian outbreak in Maharashtra, Mappila outbreak, Kisan Sabha, Eka movement, Karshaka Sangams in Malabar, Santhal Rebellion etc.
  • Socio Religious Reforms: Brahmo Samaj, Prarthana Samaj, Rehnumai Mazdeyasan Sabha, Ahmadiya and Aligarh movements, Akali movement etc.
  • Rise of Left: Growth of Communist ideology and working class movement.
  • Communalism: Rise and growth of communalism, Jinnah, Golwalkar and communal ideology.
  • Miscellaneous: Indian Capitalists, Movement in Princely States, Long term strategy of National Movement, Ideological dimension of National Movement.

How To Read Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence

  •  In order to understand the book Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence in a comprehensive way, it is very important to read its chapters in a proper sequence
  • If the book is read from chapter 1 to chapter 39 in a continuous manner then one wont get a proper knack of events in a chronological manner. 
  • To understand history the political part should be read in a chronological manner first and then all the subsidiary topics and events should be read later. 
  • Thus in this article an attempt has been made to divide all the chapters of Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence in various sets. 
  • The first set i.e. the political section should be read first and then other sets can be read in any order.

Sets For Comprehensively Reading The Book 

  Set 1 – Political part

Kindly read the chapters that cover the political part in the sequence given below. This is the main part of the book. By this the reader will have a clear understanding of the historical events in a chronological order. By reading the chapters in this order there shall be a good connectivity with the events and history is all about connectivity. Also more importantly the reader will develop an interest in the freedom struggle as explicitly mentioned in the book Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence.

1. The First Major Challenge: The Revolt of 1857

4. Foundation of the Congress: The Myth

5. Foundation of the Indian National Congress: The Reality

7. An Economic Critique of Colonialism

9. Propaganda in the Legislatures 

10. The Swadeshi Movement-1903-1908. Partition of Bengal

11. The Split in the Congress and the Rise of Revolutionary Terrorism

12. World War I and Indian Nationalism: The Ghadar 

13. The Home Rule Movement and Its Fallout

14. Gandhiji’s Early Career and Activism

15. The Non-Cooperation Movement-1920-1922 

19. The Years of Stagnation-Swarajists, No-Changers and Gandhiji 

20. Bhagat Singh, Surya Sen and the Revolutionary Terrorist

21. The Gathering Storm-1927-1929

22. Civil Disobedience-1930-1932 

23. From Karachi to Wardha: The Years from 1932-1934

26. Twenty-eight Months of Congress Rule

34, The Crisis at Tripuri to the Cripps Mission

35. The Quit India Movement and the INA

36. Post-War National Upsurge 

37. Freedom and Partition

Set 2 – Peasant Movements and Tribal Uprisings

 Kindly read the following chapters in this set:

2. Civil Rebellions and Tribal Uprisings

3. Peasant Movements and Uprisings after 1857

16. Peasant Movements and Nationalism in the 1920s

27. Peasant Movements in the 1930s and 40s 

Set 3 – Socio Religious Reforms

6. Socio-Religious Reforms and the National Awakening

18. The Struggles for Gurdwara Reform and Temple Entry

Set 4 – Rise of Left

17. The Indian Working Class and the National Movement

24. The Rise of the Left-Wing

Set 5 – Communalism

31. The Rise and Growth of Communalism 

32. Communalism-The Liberal Phase

33. Jinnah, Golwalkar and Extreme Communalism 

Set 6 – Miscellaneous

8. The Fight to Secure Press Freedom

28. The Freedom Struggle in Princely India

29. Indian Capitalists and the National Movement

30. The Development of a Nationalist Foreign Policy

38. The Long-Term Strategy of the National Movement 

39. The Indian National Movement: The Ideological Dimension

Thus by reading the book Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence, in this manner the reader will properly understand the national movement in an interesting manner.

UPSC Prelims Strategy For Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence

If the reader reads the book in the above mentioned manner then an overall understanding of the national movement will be a cake walk. If the reader is reading the book for UPSC prelims then the following things should be kept in mind.

  • Revise each chapter after reading it once otherwise you’ll forget it.
  • Try to make crisp micro notes of each chapter.
  • Try to extract all the factual information chapter wise e.g. dates, names, books, organizations, laws, acts etc. 
  • Try to solve as many previous year questions as possible not only of UPSC prelims but also other competitive exams.

UPSC Mains Strategy For Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence

  • Since UPSC mains is all about writing good answers, one must read the book Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence in a manner that is explained above.
  • The book is written in a very lucid and comprehensible English. There is a lot to learn from that.
  • For writing mains answers a candidate must identify the keywords from each chapter and note them down in a register. A good answer can be written by using these keywords and an overall understanding of the national movement.
  • Use the factual information in your answers to create value. 
  • Remember that you have to take an edge over others by using the factual information in your answers and constructing an answer in your own words.
  • Practice a lot of questions from previous years and from question banks. 
  • In every answer you write, you must make an optimum utilization of the keywords from each chapter in order to make them marks fetching.

Bipin Chandra History Book – Modern India

There is another Bipin Chandra History Book i.e. ‘Modern India’. This book covers the period of advent of British rule in India along with the freedom struggle. The strategy to read Bipin Chandra Modern History shall be  dealt with in another blog. It must be kept in mind that only the first 6 chapters of this Bipin Chandra History Book are important as they deal with the advent of British rule in India. The rest of the chapters deal with freedom struggle related aspects which can be read from the book  Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence, in the manner explained above.


On the whole the book Bipin Chandra India’s Struggle For Independence is an extremely well written book and perhaps the best book ever written on India’s struggle for Independence. At the outset the size of the book may appear a little scary, but if read in a categorized way as explained above then the reading becomes a cake walk. Also the comprehension of history becomes streamlined which is perhaps the most important aspect of studying history.


Is India’s struggle for independence good for UPSC?

It is perhaps the best book ever written on India’s freedom struggle. If read in a systematic way, one gets a fuller understanding of all aspects related to India’s freedom struggle in an interesting way.

Is India since independence by Bipin Chandra important for UPSC?

If one is preparing for UPSC then the book by Bipin Chandra is perfect because it outlines all the details of events that happened after independence.

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