What were the major political, economic and social developments in the world which motivated the anti-colonial struggle in India?

Sample Answer


Global political, economic, and social developments had a significant impact on the anti-colonial struggle in India. These international events and ideologies provided both a backdrop and impetus for India’s quest for independence.


Political Influences:

  • World Wars:
    • Drain of Resources: Both World Wars diverted colonial attention, creating spaces for Indian dissent.
    • Ideals of Freedom: The wars, especially World War II, championed democracy and self-determination, resonating with colonized nations.
  • Rise of Global Nationalism:
    • Inspiration from Other Movements: The Irish struggle for independence and the Suez Canal crisis exemplified resistance against colonial powers, motivating Indian leaders.

Economic Factors:

  • Great Depression:
    • Economic Strain: The global economic downturn exacerbated India’s colonial economic woes, intensifying anti-British sentiments.
  • Capitalist Exploitation:
    • Drain Theory: Eminent leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji highlighted the systematic draining of India’s wealth, leading to widespread poverty and resentment.

Social Developments:

  • Pan-Africanism and the Harlem Renaissance:
    • Quest for Racial Equality: These movements against racial discrimination showcased the hypocrisy of colonial powers.
  • Socialist Ideologies:
    • Influence of the Russian Revolution: The rise of socialism post-1917 offered a framework for anti-imperialist ideologies, influencing leaders like Nehru.
  • International Solidarity:
    • Global Advocacy: Figures like U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and institutions like the League of Nations, with its principle of self-determination, indirectly supported decolonization.


The anti-colonial struggle in India was a confluence of internal determination and global influences. These international events not only shaped the strategies and ideologies of Indian leaders but also provided moral and intellectual solidarity. Together, they paved the way for India’s eventual independence in 1947.

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