Activity (Page 31)
Mahatma Gandhi on Satyagraha
‘It is said of “passive resistance” that it is the weapon of the weak, but the power which is the subject of this article can be used only by the strong. This power is not passive resistance; indeed it calls for intense activity. The movement in South Africa was not passive but active …
‘Satyagraha is not physical force. A satyagrahi does not inflict pain on the adversary; he does not seek his destruction … In the use of satyagraha, there is no ill-will whatever.
‘Satyagraha is pure soul-force. Truth is the very substance of the soul. That is why this force is called satyagraha. The soul is informed with knowledge. In it burns the flame of love… Nonviolence is the supreme dharma …
‘It is certain that India cannot rival Britain or Europe in force of arms. The British worship the war-god and they can all of them become, as they are becoming, bearers of arms. The hundreds of millions in India can never carry arms. They have made the religion of non-violence their own …’
Q.1. Read the text carefully. What did Mahatma Gandhi mean when he said satyagraph is active resistance?
- Satyagraha does not mean to inflict pain on the adversary rather it is the source of soul.
- Truth is the substance of soul and so it is the substance of satyagraha.
- It does not mean destruction but it means to clear the minds of adversaries and convert destructive thoughts into constructive by showing them love, compassion and truth.
Hence satyagraha is active resistance.
Activity (Page 35)
Q.2. If you were a peasant in Uttar Pradesh in 1920, how would you have responded to Gandhiji call for swaraj? Give reasons for your response.
Answer: I would have responded to Gandhiji call for swaraj in a positive non – violent manner. His way of truth and non- violence was the most potent way to attain swaraj, therefore, I would have followed him.
Discuss (Page 43)
Q.3. Why did various classes and groups of Indian participate in the Civil Disobedience Movement?
Answer: The various classes and groups of Indian participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement due to their own, limited motives. To them “swaraj” meant something they carved for. For example.
- To businessmen, swaraj meant a time when colonial restrictions on business would no longer exist and trade and industry would flourish without constraints.
- Similarly to rich peasant classes, swaraj was a struggle against high land revenue.
- Women took swaraj as the attainment of elevated status and equality with men in Indian society.
- Poor peasants considered swaraj as the time when they would have their own land, would not have to pay rents or do beggar.
- Working class dreamed for high wages and excellent working conditions.
Hence, swaraj was different for different classes and group of Indians.
Discuss (Page 45)
In 1930, Sir Muhammad Iqbal, as president of the Muslim League, reiterated the importance of separate electorates for the Muslims as an important safeguard for their minority political interests. His statement is supposed to have provided the intellectual justification for the Pakistan demand that came up in subsequent years. This is what he said:
‘I have no hesitation in declaring that if the principle that the Indian Muslim is entitled to full and free development on the lines of his own culture and tradition in his own Indian home-lands is recognised as the basis of a permanent communal settlement, he will be ready to stake his all for the freedom of India. The principle that each group is entitled to free development on its own lines is not inspired by any feeling of narrow communalism … A community which is inspired by feelings of ill-will towards other communities is low and ignoble. I entertain the highest respect for the customs, laws, religions and social institutions of other communities. Nay, it is my duty according to the teachings of the Quran, even to defend their places of worship, if need be. Yet I love the communal group which is the source of life and behaviour and which has formed me what I am by giving me its religion, its literature, its thought, its culture and thereby its whole past as a living operative factor in my present consciousness ….
‘Communalism in its higher aspect, then, is indispensable to the formation of a harmonious whole in a country like India. The units of Indian society are not territorial as in European countries … The principle of European democracy cannot be applied to India without recognizing the fact of communal groups. The Muslim demand for the creation of a Muslim India within India is, therefore, perfectly justified …
‘The Hindu thinks that separate electorates are contrary to the spirit of true nationalism because he understands the word ìnationî to mean a kind of universal amalgamation in which no communal entity ought to retain its private individuality. Such a state of things, however, does not exist. India is a land of racial and religious variety. Add to this the general economic inferiority of the Muslims, their enormous debt, especially in Punjab, and their insufficient majorities in some of the provinces, as at present constituted and you will begin to see clearly the meaning of our anxiety to retain separate electorates.’
Q.4. Read source D carefully. Do you agree with Iqbal’s idea of communalism? Can you define communalism in a different way?
- No, I do not agree with Iqbal’s idea of communalism as it was based upon the though that India is a land of racial and religious variety.
- That does not really mean that India needed any type of communal settlement or division on the basis of community.
- According to me, communalism believes in the government of a specific community. It does not have any element of nation in it, which was the motive of nationalist struggle for India’s freedom.
Discuss (Page 48)
Q.5. Look at Figs. 12 and 14. Do you think these images will appeal to all castes and communities. Explain your views briefly.
- No, I do not think that these images would appeal to all castes and communities of India.
- Because, these images of “Bharat Mata” show her in the incarnation of a Hindu Goddess.
- This gives a religious biases to the image. It should be avoided. The image should reflect the nationalist idea of unity of all castes and communities.