what was india's situation during 1857-1914?
I think that around the time period in question one of the major elements happening in India was that British control over the nation was increasing. It was becoming cleare that the British wanted to ensure that they would maintain control over India in a long term fashion. The East India Company which had been primarily responsible for overseeing India's place in the collection of British colonies had become obsolete. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 had made it clear that increased British control was needed. While the rebellion did not immediately grant independence, one of the results was that India began to see itself in stark division with the British. The formation of the Indian National Congress, a group that would go on to play a defining role in achieving independence in the 20th Century was formed in 1885.
At the same time, India had become a staging ground through which British institutional constructs could find a home in India. For example, it was during this time period when a Parliamentary style government had become adopted in India, along with other British reforms such as changes in education, and taxation, which would prove to be extremely unsettling to Indian land owners. The end of the 19th Century and the early part of the 20th featured a familiar narrative in that the British were exacting much in way of taxes and control over Indians, resulting in economic and social hardships and creating much in way of discontent and anger amongst Indians. This was only added to with the outbreak of World War I, when the British turned to India for nearly a million in troop fortifications.