By Jyoti Bhusan Das Gupta (auth.)

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In 1906, the Indian National Congress, a political party of the Indians founded in 1885, adopted swarai or self-government as the goal to be attained. World War I quickened the pace of the national movement, 36 THE DEMOCRATIC STRUGGLE and Mrs. Annie Besant in co-operation with Tilak: started a movement for Home-Rule. Partly in response to this, a historic announcement of His Majesty's Government was made on 20 August 1917, which visualized the progressive realization of responsible Government in India.

Instead, the British Government was content with sending Mr. Alexander Cunningham to Ladakh to carry out a survey of the region. This he did with such consummate skill that Gulab Singh had him removed before long. The pressure continued with the British insistence on its right to control the frontier policy of the Kashmir Government, but subsided temporarily with the outbreak of the second Sikh war. Meanwhile the Great Revolt took olace in 1857, and Gulab Singh died in the same year. Ranbir Singh, Gulab Singh's son, helped the British Government during the uprising of 1857.

I1), 757-8. 6 Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, The History of the Indian National Congress, Vol. n, (Bombay, 1947), 5. 3 4 38 THE DEMOCRATIC STRUGGLE with the British Cabinet Mission on behalf of the Congress in 1946. The leadership of the Congress was, however, of middle-class origin, and was, religiously speaking, predominantly Hindu. This was the result of a strange twist of history - the British came to India through the seas, and not by the usual land routes of the northwest; the first contacts they made with indigenous population were in regions where the Muslim influence was the least.

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