NCERT Folder 10th History Chapter 2 : Nationalism in India

History

Class 10

Chapter 2

Nationalism in India

Contents

Revision Notes

Important Dates

  • 1885 : The first meeting of the Indian National Congress in Bombay.
  • 1905 : The Partition of Bengal officially came into existence.
  • 1906 : Formation of the Muslim League.
  • 1913 – 1918 : The war prices increased in double.
  • 1914 – 1918 : The First World War.
  • 1917 : Mahatma Gandhi organized Satyagraha Movement in Kheda District (Gujarat).
  • 1918 : Mahatma Gandhi organized Satyagraha Movement in Ahmedabad.
  • 1919 : Rowlatt Act was Passed (It gave the government enormous power to repress political activities, and allowed detention of political prisoners without trial for two years).
  • 10th April, 1919 : The police in Amritsar fired upon a peaceful procession. Martial law was imposed.
  • 1918-1919 & 1920-1921 : Crop failure.
  • March, 1919 : Khilafat Committee founded in Bombay.
  • 13th April, 1919 : Jallianwala Bagh Massacre took place.
  • September, 1920 : Congress Session in Calcutta- Decided to start a Non-Cooperation Movement in support of Khilafat as well as for Swaraj.
  • 1920 : Mahatma Gandhi leads the Congress; Non-Cooperation Movement launched.
  • December, 1920 : Congress Session at Nagpur—A compromise was worked out and the Non-cooperation programme was adopted.
  • 1920 : The peasant movement in Awadh spread, but the Congress Leader were not happy with them.
  • 1921 : Famines and the epidemic.
  • 1921 : A militant Guerrilla movement spread in the Gudem Hills of Andhra Pradesh. Movement started by Alluri Sitaram Raju.
  • 1921-1922 : The Import of foreign cloth halved. June,1920 Jawaharlal Nehru going around the village in Awadh.
  • February, 1922 : Mahatma Gandhi decided to Withdraw Non-Cooperation Movement. Establishment of Swaraj Party by Motilal Nehru and C.R.Dass.
  • 1924 : Raju was captured and executed.
  • 1927 : The Federation of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI).
  • 1928 : Simon Commission arrived in India.
  • 1928 : Foundation of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA).
  • October, 1929 : A vague offer of ‘Dominion Status ‘ for India offered by Lord Irwin.
  • October, 1929 : Oudh Kisan Sabha was set up headed by J.L. Nehru.
  • December, 1929 : Lahore Session of the Congress- Demand for Purna Swaraj.
  • January 26,1930 : Celebrated as the Independence day.
  • January 31,1930 : Gandhiji sent a letter to Viceroy Irwin stating 11 demands.
  • April, 1930 : Abdul Ghaffar Khan was arrested.
  • April 6, 1930 : The salt march reached Dandi, Gandhiji violated the Salt Law.
  • 1930 : Civil Disobedience Movement continues; Salt Satyagraha: Gandhi’s Dandi March; First Round Table Conference.
  • 1930 : Dr. B. R. Ambedkar established Depressed Classes Association.
  • March 5, 1931 : Gandhi Irwin Pact was signed.
  • December, 1931 : Gandhiji went for Second Round Table Conference.
  • 1931 : Second Round Table Conference; Irwin-Gandhi Pact; Census of India.
  • 1932 : Suppression of the Congress movement; Third Round Table Conference.
  • September, 1932 : Poona Pact between Gandhiji and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.
  • 1934 : Civil Disobedience Movement called off.
  • 1934 : Civil Disobedience Movement lost its momentum.
  • 1935 : The Government of India Act receives Royal Assent.
  • 1937 : Election held for Provincial Assemblies.
  • 1939 : Outbreak of the Second World War.

Important Terms

  • Nationalism : It is a system created by people who believe their nation is superior to all others.
  • Satyagraha : The policy of passive political resistance inaugurated by Mohandas Gandhi during his stay in South Africa. It is based on the ideals of truth and non-violence.
  • Khalifa : The spiritual head of the Islamic World.
  • Begar : Labour that villagers were forced to contribute without any payment.
  • Forced Recruitment : A process by which the colonial state forced people to join the army.
  • Rowlatt Act : It was an Act which gave the government enormous power to repress political activities. It allowed that government could arrest anybody without a trial for two years.
  • Jallianwala Bagh Massacre : The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar massacre, took place on 13 April 1919 when troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer fired rifles into a crowd of Baishakhi pilgrims, who had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab.
  • Non-Cooperation Movement : Began in January 1921. The main aim of this movement was not to cooperate with the British made goods. It included surrendering of government titles, boycott of civil services, army, police, courts and legislative councils, school, and foreign goods; and a full civil disobedience campaign would be launched.
  • Swadeshi : The Swadeshi movement involved boycotting British products and the revival of domestic made products and production technique.
  • Boycott : A boycott is a form of consumer activism involving the act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying or dealing with a person, organization or country as an expression of protest usually for political reason.
  • Picket : A form of demonstration or protest by which people block the entrance to a shop, factory or office.
  • Civil Disobedience : During Civil Disobedience Movement people were asked not only to refuse cooperation with the British but also to break the colonial laws.
  • Swaraj : “Swaraj” means freedom or self-rule. In 1920, “Swaraj” meant “Self-Government” within the empire if possible and outside if necessary.
  • Simon Commission : The New Tory government in Britain constituted a statutory Commission under Sir John Simon . The Commission was sent to India to look into the functioning of the constitutional system in India and suggest changes. It arrived in India in 1928.
  • Salt Law : Salt is consumed by both the poor and the rich, and is one of the most essential items of foods everywhere in the world. The British government had the monopoly on the production of salt in India. By imposing a ‘salt tax’ the government hit both the rich and the poor, specially the poor. Gandhiji thought it was the most repressive Act of the British government and chose to defy it by breaking the “Salt Law”.
  • Gandhi Irwin Pact : When British government responded with a policy of brutal repression against the Civil Disobedience Movement, Mahatma Gandhiji decided to call off the movement. He entered into a pact with Lord Irwin on 5th March 1931. Under this pact, Gandhiji consented to participate in a Round Table Conference in London.
  • Folklores : The traditional beliefs, customs and stories of a community that are passed through the generations by word of mouth. Many nationalist leaders took help of folk tales to spread the idea of nationalism. It was believed that the folk tales revealed the true picture of traditional culture.
  • Reinterpretation of History : Many Indians felt that the British had given a different interpretation of the Indian history. They felt that it was important to interpret the history from an Indian perspective. They wanted to glorify the rich past of India so that the Indians could feel proud of their history.

Summary

  • Effects of First World War : The First World War led to a huge increase in defence expenditure. This was financed by war loans and by increasing taxes. Custom duties were raised and income tax was introduced to raise extra revenue. Prices of items increased during the war years. The prices doubled between 1913 and 1918. The common people were the worst sufferers because of price rise. Forced recruitment of rural people in the army was another cause of widespread anger among people.
  • Crop failure in many parts of India resulted in acute shortage of foods. Influenza epidemic further aggravated the problem. According to 1921 census, about 12 to 13 million people died because of famines and epidemic.
  • The Idea of Satyagraha
    • Mahatma Gandhi returned to India in January, 1915. His heroic fight for the Indians in South Africa was well known. His novel method of mass agitation known as Satyagraha had yielded good results.
    • The idea of Satyagraha emphasized the power of truth and the need to search for truth. In 1916, Gandhi travelled to Champaran in Bihar to inspire the peasants to struggle against the oppressive plantation system.
    • Mahatma Gandhi advocated a novel method Delhi of mass agitation; called Satyagraha. This method Delhi was based on the idea that if someone is fighting for a true cause, there is no need to take recourse to physical force to fight the oppressor. Gandhiji believed that a satyagrahi could win a battle through non-violence, i.e., without being aggressive or revengeful.
  • Some early Satyagraha movements organized by Gandhiji :
    • Peasants’ Movement in Champaran (Bihar) in 1916.
    • Peasants’ Movement in Kheda district (Gujarat) in 1917.
    • Mill workers’ Movement in Ahmedabad in 1918.
  • The Rowlatt Act (1919) :
    • The Rowlatt Act was passed by the Imperial Legislative Council in 1919. The Indian members did not support the Act, but it was passed; nevertheless. The Act gave enormous powers to the government to repress political activities. It allowed detention of political prisoners without trial for two years.
    • On 6th April, 1919; Gandhiji launched a nationwide Satyagraha against the proposed Rowlatt Act. The call of strike on 6th April got huge response. People came out in support in various cities, shops were shut down and workers in railway workshops went on strike. The British administration decided to clamp down on the nationalists. Several local leaders were arrested. Mahatma Gandhi was barred from entering Delhi.
  • Jallianwalla Bagh :
    • On 10th April 1919; in Amritsar; the police fired upon a peaceful procession. This provoked widespread attacks on government establishments. Martial law was imposed in Amritsar and the command of the area was given to General Dyer.
    • The infamous Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre took place on 13th April; the day on which Baisakhi is celebrated in Punjab. A crowd of villagers came to participate in a fair in Jallianwalla Bagh. This was enclosed from all sides with narrow entry points.
    • General Dyer blocked the exit points and opened fire on the crowd. Hundreds of people were killed in the incident. Public reaction to the incident took a violent turn in many north Indian towns. The government was quite brutal in its response. Things took highly violent turn. Mahatma Gandhi called off the movement as he did not want violence to continue.
  • Khilafat Movement : The Khilafat issue gave Mahatma Gandhi an opportunity to bring the Hindus and Muslims on a common platform. The Ottoman Turkey was badly defeated in the First World War. There were rumours about a harsh peace treaty likely to be imposed on the Ottoman emperor; who was the spiritual head of the Islamic world (the Khalifa). A Khilafat committee was formed in Bombay in March 1919 to defend the Khalifa. This committee had leaders like the brothers Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali. They also wanted Mahatma Gandhi to take up the cause to build a united mass action. At the Calcutta session of the Congress in September 1920, the resolution was passed to launch a Non-Cooperation movement in support of Khilafat and also for swaraj.
  • Non-Cooperation Movement : In his famous book Hind Swaraj (1909), Mahatma Gandhi declared that British rule was established in India with the cooperation of Indians, and had survived only because of this cooperation. If Indians refused to cooperate, British rule in India would collapse within a year, and swaraj would come. Gandhiji believed that if Indians begin to refuse to cooperate, the British rulers will have no other way than to leave India.
  • Some of the proposals of Non-Cooperation Movement :
    • Surrender the titles which were awarded by the British government.
    • Boycott of civil services, army, police, courts, legislative councils and schools.
    • Boycott of foreign goods.
    • Launch full civil disobedience campaign, if the government persisted with repressive measures.
  • Differing Strands within the Movement : The Non-Cooperation-Khilafat Movement began in January 1921. Various social groups participated in this movement, each with its own specific aspiration. All of them responded to the call of Swaraj, but the term meant different things to different people.
  • Awadh : The peasants’ movement in Awadh was led by Baba Ramchandra. He was a sanyasi who had earlier worked in Fiji as an indentured labourer. The peasants were against the high rents and may other cesses, which were demanded by talukdars and landlords. The peasants demanded reduction of revenue, abolition of begar, and social boycott of oppressive landlords.
  • Tribal Peasants : Tribal peasants gave their own interpretation of Mahatma Gandhi and the idea of swaraj. The tribals were prevented from entering the forests to graze cattle, or to collect fruits and firewood. The new forest laws were a threat to their livelihoods. The government forced them to do begar on road construction.
    • Many rebels from the tribal areas became non-violent and often carried guerrilla warfare against the British officials.
  • Swaraj in the Plantations : The plantation workers were not permitted to leave the tea gardens without permission; as per the Indian Emigration Act of 1859. When the news of Non-Cooperation Movement spread to the plantations, many workers began to defy the authorities. They left plantations and headed towards their homes. But they got stranded on the way because of a railway and steamer strike. They were caught by the police and brutally beaten up.
  • Simon Commission
    • The British government constituted a Statutory Commission under Sir John Simon. The Commission was made to look into the functioning of the constitutional system in India and suggest changes. But since all the members in the Commission were British, the Indian leaders opposed the Commission.
    • The Simon Commission arrived in India in 1928. It was greeted with the slogan ‘Go back Simon’. All parties joined the protest. In October 1929, Lord Irwin announced a vague offer of ‘dominion status’ for India but its timing was not specified. He also offered to hold a Round Table Conference to discuss the future Constitution.
  • Salt March (Beginning of Civil Disobedience Movement)
    • Mahatma Gandhi believed that salt could be a powerful symbol to unite the whole nation. Most of the people; including the British scoffed at the idea. Abolition of the salt tax was among many demands which were raised by Gandhiji through a letter to Viceroy Irwin.
    • The Salt March or Dandi March was started by Gandhiji on 12th March 1930. He was accompanied by 78 volunteers. They walked for 24 days to cover a distance of 240 miles from Sabarmati to Dandi. Many more joined them in the way. On 6th April 1930, Gandhiji ceremonially violated the law by taking a fistful of salt.
    • The Salt March marked the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement. Thousands of people broke the salt law in different parts of country. People demonstrated in front of government salt factories. Foreign cloth was boycotted. Peasants refused to pay revenue. Village officials resigned. Tribal people violated forest laws.
  • Response of British Rulers : The colonial government began to arrest the Congress leaders. This led to violent clashes in many places. Mahatma Gandhi was arrested about a month later. People began to attack the symbols of British rule; such as police posts, municipal buildings, law courts and railway stations. The government’s repression was quite brutal. Even women and children were beaten up. About 100,000 people were arrested.
  • Round Table Conference : When things began to take a violent turn, Mahatma Gandhi called off the movement. He signed a pact with Irwin on 5th March 1931. This was called the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. As per the Pact, Gandhiji agreed to participate in the Round Table Conference in London. In lieu of that, the government agreed to release the political prisoners. Gandhiji went to London in December 1931. The negotiations broke down and Gandhiji had to return with disappointment. When Gandhiji came back to India, he found that most of the leaders were put in jail. Congress had been declared illegal. Many measures were taken to prevent meetings, demonstrations and boycotts. Mahatma Gandhi relaunched the Civil Disobedience Movement. By 1934, the movement had lost its momentum.
  • Farmers : For the farmers, the fight for swaraj was a struggle against high revenues. When the movement was called off in 1931; without the revenue rates being revised; the farmers were highly disappointed. Many of them refused to participate when the movement was re-launched in 1932. The small tenants just wanted the unpaid rent to the landlord to be remitted. They often joined the radical movements which were led by Socialists and Communists. Congress did not want to alienate the rich landlords and hence, the relationship between the poor peasants and Congress was uncertain.
  • Businessmen : The Indian merchants and industrialists could grow their business during the First World War. They were against those colonial policies which restricted their business activities. They wanted protection against imports and a Rupee-Sterling Foreign Exchange ratio which would discourage imports. The Indian Industrial and Commercial Congress was formed in 1920 and the Federation of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) was formed in 1927. These were the results of attempts to bring the common business interests on a common platform. For the businessmen, Swaraj meant an end to oppressive colonial policies. They wanted an environment which could allow the business to flourish. They were apprehensive of militant activities and of growing influence of socialism among the younger members of the Congress.
  • Industrial Workers : The industrial workers showed lukewarm response to the Civil Disobedience Movement. Since industrialists were closer to the Congress, workers kept a distance from the movement. But some workers selectively participated in the Movement. Congress did not want to alienate the industrialists and hence preferred to keep the workers’ demands at bay.
  • Women’s Participation : Women also participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement in large numbers. However, most of the women were from high-caste families in the urban areas and from rich peasant households in the rural areas. But for a long time, the Congress was reluctant to give any position of authority to women within the organization. The Congress was just keen on the symbolic presence of women.
    The Sense of Collective Belonging
    • Nationalist Movement Spreads when people belonging to different regions and communities begin to develop a sense of collective belongingness. The identity of a nation is most often symbolized in a figure or image.
    • This image of Bharat Mata was first created by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1870 when he wrote ‘Vande Mataram’ for our motherland. Indian folk songs and folk sung by bards played an important role in making the idea of nationalism. In Bengal, Rabindranath Tagore and in Madras, Natesa, Sastri collection of folk tales and songs, this led the movement for folk revival.
    • During the Swadeshi Movement, a tri-color (red, green and yellow) flag was designed in Bengal. It had eight lotuses representing eight provinces and a crescent moon representing Hindus and Muslims.
    • Means of creating a feeling of nationalism was through reinterpretation of history. The nationalist writers urged the readers to take pride in India’s great achievements in the past and struggle to change the miserable conditions of life under British rule.

Intext Questions

Question.1. Read the text carefully. What did Mahatma Gandhi mean when he said Satyagraha is active resistance?1-intext-history-10th-chap-02-01Ans.

  • 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.

Question.2. The year is 1921. You are a student in a government-controlled school. Design a poster urging school students to answer Gandhiji’s call to join the Non-Cooperation Movement.
Ans. Wake up call Throw the British rule in 1921!
Dear students,
Our Motherland India is suffering badly at the hands of Britishers, who are exploiting our countrymen socially and economically.
Gandhiji has full faith upon the students of the country that they will fight for their motherland and make India an independent country.
Join your hands with our beloved Bapu and immediately stop cooperating with the British government.
The success of the non cooperation movement depends on you.

Question.3. If you were a peasant in Uttar Pradesh in 1920, how would you have responded to Gandhiji’s call for Swaraj? Give reasons for your response.
Ans. 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.

Question.4. Find out about other participants in the National Movement who were captured and put to death by the British. Can you think of a similar example from the national movement in Indo-China (Chapter 2)?
Ans. There were many participants in the National Movement who were captured and put to death or otherwise killed by the British. These included Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Chandrashekhar Azad, Lala Lajpat Rai, Khudiram Bose and Madan Lal Dhingra.

Question.5. Why did various classes and groups of Indians participate in the Civil Disobedience Movement?
Ans. 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.

Question.6. Read the Source D carefully. Do you agree with Iqbal’s idea of communalism? Can you define communalism in a different way?2-intext-history-10th-chap-02Ans. No, I do not agree with Iqbal’s idea of communalism as it was based upon the thought 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.

Question.7. Look at Figs. 12 and 14. Do you think these images will appeal to all castes and communities? Explain your views briefly.intext-history10th--chap-02-03intext-history-10th-chap-02-04Ans. 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 biasness to the image. It should be avoided. The image should reflect the nationalist idea of unity of all castes and communities.

NCERT Solution

Write in brief:
Question.1. Explain:
(a) Why the growth of nationalism in the colonies is linked to an anti-colonial movement?
Ans. In India, as in other colonial countries like Vietnam, the growth of nationalism is totally linked with anti-colonial movement. In their fight against colonialism, people began to discover their unity. They found out they had a common oppressor and had common complaints, so it created a bond among different groups. They realised they were fighting for the same causes — against poverty, discrimination, high taxes, begar, crop failures, forced recruitment to the army during the First World War etc. These shared hardships created a feeling of unity, and aroused nationalism against the common colonial ruler. Though the aims of each group were not similar, now they had a common demand “Swaraj”.

(b) How the First World War helped in the growth of the National Movement in India?
Ans.

  1. It created new economic and political problems. The war had led to huge expenditure which was financed by heavy loans and increase in taxes. Customs duties were raised and income tax was introduced.
  2. The prices had doubled between 1913-18 and the common people underwent great hardships.
  3. Crops had failed between 1918-19 and 1920-21 leading to famine and disease. There were epidemics killing between 12-13 million people (Census, 1921).
  4. People’s hope that the end of war would bring an end to their goals were belied, and this led to their support to the national movement.
  5. The Muslims were antagonised by the British ill-treatment of the Khalifa, after the First World War.
  6. Indian villagers were also incensed by the British Government’s forced recruitment of men in the army.
  7. The Congress and other parties were angry with the British for not consulting them before making India a party on their side against Germany.
  8. Taking advantage of the First World War, many revolutionary parties cropped up and they incited the people to join the anti-colonial movement in India (i.e. the National Movement).

(c) Why Indians were outraged by the Rowlatt Act?
Ans.

  1. Rowlatt Act was passed through the Imperial Legislative Council on a report of the Sedition Committee, headed by Justice Rowlatt.
  2. It was the black act which gave the government and the police to repress political activities and allowed detention of political prisoners without tried for two years..
  3. The Act was passed despite the united opposition of the Indian members of the Council.
  4. This Act became one of the factors due to which Gandhiji launched the Non-Cooperation Movement.

(d) Why Gandhiji decided to withdraw this Non-Cooperation Movement?
Ans. In February 1922, Gandhiji decided to withdraw the Non-Cooperation Movement due to the following reasons:

  1. The movement was turning violent. At Chauri-Chaura in Gorakhpur, a peaceful demonstration in a Bazar turned into a violent clash in which more than 20 policemen were killed.
  2. Gandhiji felt that the Satyagrahis needed to be properly trained before they would be ready for mass struggle.
  3. Within the Congress, some leaders were tired of mass struggles and wanted to participate in elections to the provincial councils, which were set up under the Government of India Act, 1919.
  4. Industrialists, workers, peasants etc. interpreted the term ‘Swaraj’ in their own way. At many places like that of Andhra Pradesh, leaders like Alluri Sitaram Raju asserted that India could be liberated only by the use of force. But their values were not approved by the Congress.

Question 2. What is meant by the idea of Satyagraha?
Ans.

  1. It was a non-violent method of mass agitation against the Oppressor.
  2. It emphasized the power of truth and the need to search the truth.
  3. It suggested that if the cause was true if the struggle was against injustice, there is no need for physical force to fight the oppressor.
  4. People-including the oppressors had to be persuaded to see the truth instead of being forced to accept truth through the use of violence.
  5. By this struggle, the truth was bound to be victorious.

Question.3. Write a newspaper report on:
(a) The Jallianwala Bagh massacre
Ans.

  • April 13, 1919 will be a date never forgotten by Indians — those who were present and those who will come later. Generations will talk about the infamous, brutal massacre at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. Hundreds of villagers had come to Amritsar to celebrate Baisakhi and attend a fair. They were totally unaware of the martial law, which General Dyer had imposed on the city because of the ‘hartal’ observed on April 6 against the Rowlatt Act. On 10 April the police had fired upon a peaceful procession, which had provoked widespread attacks on banks, post offices and railway stations.
  • General Dyer entered the area where a peaceful meeting was going on in Jallianwalla Bagh. He blocked all the exit points and ordered his troops to fire upon the unarmed people. His object was to create terror and awe in the minds of the satyagrahis and produce a “moral effect”. Hundreds of innocent people were killed, some were drowned as they jumped into a well to escape bullets.
  • The mass murder was not enough; the government used brutal repression to crush people who rose in anger after this massacre. The satyagrahis were forced to rub their noses in the dirt, crawl on the streets and “Salaam” all “Sahibs”. People were mercilessly flogged and in some villages bombs were also used (Gujranwala in Punjab).
  • It was the most shameful act in the history of British rule in India.

(b) The Simon Commission
Ans.

  • In 1927, the British Government appointed a seven-member commission under the chairmanship of Sir John Simon. It was to report about the extent to which the Act of 1919 had worked out successfully. It was to examine the functioning of the constitutional system in India. This Commission was boycotted by the Indians as it had not a single Indian member.
  • It was welcomed with black flags and slogans of “Simon go back” when it landed in India. At Lahore, a procession taken out under the leadership of Lala Lajpat Rai was lathi-charged and he was fatally wounded in 1928.
  • The Simon Commission led to Jawaharlal Nehru demanding “Poorna Swaraj” at the Lahore Session of the Congress. The Nehru Report was also a reaction to this Commission and it gave Gandhiji an opportunity to start his Civil Disobedience Movement in India.

Question 4. Compare the images of Bharat Mata in this chapter with the image of Germania in Chapter I?
Ans.

  1. There are two images of Bharat Mata one by Abanindranath Tagore and the second by another artist. In the image by Tagore, Bharat Mata is portrayed as an ascetic figure. She has been shown as calm, composed, divine and spiritual. She is shown also as dispensing learning food and clothing. Abanindranath Tagore tried to develop a style of painting that could be seen as truly Indian.
    In the second figure, Bharat Mata is shown with a trishul, standing beside a lion and an elephant both symbols of power and authority. This figure is a contrast to the one painted by Abanindranath Tagore.
  2. On the other hand, the image of Germania by Philip Veet wears a crown of oak leaves which stands for heroism. Thus, there is one similarity between Bharat Mata and Germania – both have an element of bravery i.e., power, authority, and heroism.

Discuss:
Question.1. List all the different social groups which joined the Non-Cooperation Movement of 1921. Then choose any three and write about their hopes and struggles to show why they joined the movement.
Ans. The social groups of India that joined the Non- Cooperation Movement of 1921 were as under:

  • Middle – classes people (students, headmasters, teachers, lawyers, etc.)
  • Political parties, except the Justice Party of Madras, the party of non-Brahmins.
  • Merchants and traders.
  • Peasants of Awadh led by Baba Ramchandra.
  • Tribals of Andhra Pradesh led by Alluri Sitaram Raju.
  • Plantation workers in Assam.

Let know why some of these social groups joined the Non-Cooperation Movement.
Peasants of Awadh:

  1. The poor peasants of Awadh had tough times. They didn’t have land, therefore, they had to cultivate the landlord’s fields.
  2. The latter asked for rents, which if not paid at times led to the confestication of the rented land as well as crops.
  3. This incurred credit to the poor peasants, and they got trapped into the debt cycle. They had to do beggar and work at landlords farms without any payment.
  4. But Baba- Ramchandra, a Sanyasi led the poor peasants movement and with the help of Jawahar Lal Nehru established “Oudh Kisan Sabha”in 1920.
  5. This movement was later merged with the Non- Cooperation – Khailafat Movements of 1921.

Tribals of Andhra Pradesh:

  1. The tribals of Andhra Pradesh were a disturbed lot. They could not enter the forests as those were reserved by the colonial government.
  2. Tribals could not collect fuelwood from forests. Also tribal people depended upon cattle which grazed in the Jungles. But this activity ended as soon as forests were reserved. Therefore the lives of tribals came to a standstill.
  3. Led by Alluri Sitaram Raju, who firmly believed in Gandhi except his non – violent methods of attaning freedom tribals rebelled against the oppressive British government. They joined the Non-Cooperation – Khailafat movements, but violently.

Plantation Workers:

  1. They assumed that non-Cooperation movement meant that they could reunite with their families, by overruling the terms and conditions of their contracts.
  2. Therefore many of them defied the authorities, left the plantations and headed home.
  3. They believed that Gandhi Raj was coming and everyone would be given land in their own villages.
  4. But their plans failed as they could not reach their destinations due to railway and steamer strikes and were caught by the police and brutally beaten up.

Question.2. Discuss the Salt March to make clear why it was an effective symbol of resistance against colonialism. OR
Why did Mahatma Gandhi perceive ‘Salt’ as a powerful symbol to unite the nation? OR
Describe the main events leading to Salt March and Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930.
Ans.

  • Mahatma Gandhi found in salt a powerful symbol that could unite the nation. On 31 January, 1930, he sent a letter to the Viceroy Lord Irwin, making eleven demands. Some of these demands were of general interest, some were specific demands of different classes from industrialists to peasants. The idea was to make the demands all-embracing and wide-ranging, so that all classes within Indian society could identify with them and work together in a united campaign. He made the “Salt tax” his target and called it the most repressive Act of the British government. This tax hit both the poor and the rich as salt was used in every household. The British had the monopoly in producing salt and they misused their power.
  • Gandhi started his famous “Salt March” on March 12, 1930 from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, a small coastal village in Gujarat. He started with 78 followers and thousands joined him on his 240-miles route.
  • It took him 24 days of 10 miles walking per day. On April 16, 1930 he broke the Salt Law by boiling sea water and extracting salt. Newspapers carried day-to-day reports of his march and the speeches he made on the way. It is reported that about 300 Gujarat village officials resigned their posts and joined Gandhiji.
  • His Salt March led to violation of Salt Law all over the country. It also led to boycott of foreign goods and picketing of liquor shops. Students and women played a significant role in this movement. Peasants refused to pay taxes, forest people broke forest laws and grazed their cattle, collected wood in prohibited forest areas. There was an uprising against the government everywhere in India and the British had to use brutal force to suppress it.

Question.3. Imagine you are a woman participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement. Explain what the experience meant in your life. OR
What was the role of women in the Civil Disobedience Movement?
Ans. Women entered the National Movement in large numbers for the first time by participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement. During Gandhiji’s ‘Salt March’, thousands of women came out of their homes to listen to him. They participated in protest marches, manufactured salt, picketed foreign goods and liquor shops. They came in the urban areas from high caste families. In the rural area they were from the rich peasant households. They took part in the movement as their sacred duty. They stood by their men and suffered physical blows also. They included old women, women with babies in their arms, and young girls. It did not win them any new status. Even Gandhiji thought women’s place was at home, as good mothers and good wives. The Congress did not give them any position in the organisation — but the women made their presence felt. Women who had never stepped out of their homes, women in purdah could be seen marching side by side with their men.

Question.4. Why did political leaders differ sharply over the question of separate electorates?
Ans. By separate electorates we mean a system in which people of one religion vote for a candidate of their own religion. The British used this system to divide the people of India and thus to weaken the National Movement. This would make their position strong in India and make them rule for a long time. They succeeded in driving a wedge between the Hindus and Muslims which finally led to the partition of the country in 1947. The different political leaders did not agree with this policy and held different opinions.

  1. Congress : It opposed tooth and nail the British policy of separate electorates. It understood the mischief created by the divide and rule policy. It was in favour of joint electorates.
  2. Muslim leaders like Muhammad Iqbal and M.A. Jinnah wanted separate electorates to safeguard the political interests of the Muslims. They were afraid, as a minority religious group, that they would never be able to win elections in a joint electorate and the Hindus would always dominate them.
  3. The leaders of the Depressed Classes under Dr B.R. Ambedkar also wanted a separate electorate, because they were also afraid of Hindu dominance in a joint electorate. After Gandhi’s fast unto death, the Poona Pact was signed between him and Dr. Ambedkar. Gandhiji saw it as a blow to national unity and feared that the Dalits would never become one with the Hindu society, under separate electorate. Dr Ambedkar agreed to a joint electorate provided the Depressed Classes had reserved seats in the Provincial and Central Legislative Councils.

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