The history of the Indian National Congress falls into two distinct eras:
* The pre-independence era, when the party was at the forefront of the struggle for independence and was instrumental in the whole of India;
* The post-independence era, when the party has enjoyed a prominent place in Indian politics, ruling the country for 48 of the 60 years since independence in 1947.
In the pre-independence era, the congress was divided in two groups, moderate and activist. The moderates were more educated and wanted to win people's faith to lead the nation to independence without bloodshed.the activists however wanted to follow a revolutionary path and make it a militant organization.
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