Ilbert Bill

In 1883 Lord Ripon tried to pass a law which gave Indian magistrates the right to try Europeans in criminal cases. Backed by the Anglo-Indian press the Europeans in India organized a vehement agitation against the Ilbert Bill. The government of India ultimately bowed before the Europeans and withdrew the bill. The Indians were horrified at the racial bitterness displayed by the critics of the bill. Their own perceptions of the degradation of foreign rule became sharpened.

Nationalist Indians realized that they too should organize themselves on a national scale and agitate continuously and unitedly to get their demands accepted. These developments paved the way for the organization of the Indian National Congress. The Congress became the chief organization representing the will of the Indian people and led the Indian people in their struggle for freedom.