The Indian Independence Movement, which lasted from 1757 until independence from colonial rule was granted in 1947, began with resistance to the rule of the British East India Company. British company officials came into conflict with the Indian people due to their discriminatory employment practices and attempts to convert Hindus and Muslims to Christianity. A major example of cultural and religious conflict between the British and the Indians was the use of pork and cow fat in rifle cartridges used by Indian men in the British army, which was sacrilegious to both Hindus and Muslims. The indifference of the British to Indian cultural practices led to the Indian rebellion of 1857, a nationwide series of revolts which was later suppressed by the British army.
In the 20th century, the development of Indian nationalism led to political calls for emancipation from foreign rule, and the entry of Gandhi as a political leader caused an increase in nonviolent protest against the British government. Responses to British rule included the self-rule movement created by autonomous Indian parliamentary organizations and the mass non-cooperation movements led by Gandhi, which promoted passive resistance to British rule. The first half of the 20th century in India was characterized by multiple civil disobedience movements, strikes, and other demonstrations. In 1947, England rushed the Indian Independence Act through Parliament, which declared India an independent sovereign nation and divided the former British India into the independent states of India and Pakistan.