Indian aspirations to remain as an independent entity has always remained scattered till the second half of the 19th century. These could always be subdued owing to the lack of an organised effort against the well organised masters.  The real organised effort to achieve the political social and economic liberty was felt only after the formation of the Indian National Congress. The first reason for evolving a feeling of nationalism was the political unification of India. Before the advent of the British the subcontinent presented a collage of selfish kingdoms under rival chiefs and rulers.

The coming of the British brought western influence which inspired western education. The liberal and radical ideas of Europe influenced the Indian and created a new educated class. The use of western education and English as a language for communication brought closer the population in various region. Thus it helped in exchange of ideas and aspirations for liberty from the foreign rule. 

The socio- religious movements brought forth by various social reformers all over the country inspired national consciousness to improve their social condition and invoked the spirit of patriotism in the Indian masses.

The promotion of vernacular language and its use in the Indian and Vernacular papers infused a feeling of nationalism in the people.

Throughout the British rule in India there was a section of Indians who were discontented and exploited politically, socially economically and spiritually. They took up the mission of subduing the British diplomacy and hoped to revive self-rule. The development of the means of communication eased traveling and exchange of ideas that inspired freedom. 

The Indian nationalism witnesses a development in phases. In the First Phase ever since the evolution of Indian National Congress, a moderate movement with the will to co-operate for the grant of a better living atmosphere prevailed. They believed in the gradual realization of their national goals. The Dandi Salt March

In the second phase owing to the repression of the moderate policy of the Congress  by the  the rise of extremism resulted. Steered by a young and vigorous  they resorted to  reaction and conflict for achieving their goals. Boycott, resistances and demonstrations were their political weapons. 

The third phase of the Indian national movement was dominated by the Gandhian ideology; non-violence, non co-operation and civil disobedience movement. All these, at that period of time worked or failed, but were revoked and modified and reapplied ultimately resulting in the freedom in 1947.