Revision Notes History Class 10 Chapter 2 Nationalism in India

Important Dates to Remember

  • 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 Personalities

  • Lord Irwin : He was a senior British Conservative politician of the 1930s and the Viceroy of British In- dia from 3 April 1926 – 18 April 1931.
  • Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: He is the father of the Indian Constitution, was an ambitious leader, journalist, economist and social reformer who fought for discrimination against the untouchables.
  • Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay: He wrote ‘Vande Mataram’ and created the image of Bharat Mata.
  • Rabindranath Tagore: He was a poet, writer, playwright, composer, philosopher, social reformer and painter.
  • Natesa Sastri: He published a massive fourvolume collection of Tamil folk tales.

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.
  • Guerrilla Movement: This movement generally related to irregular warfare in which small group of combatants. Such as armed civilian, paramilitary personnel use military tactics which includes raids, hit and run tactics etc., to fight a larger and less mobile conventional military.
  • Martial Law: Martial Law indicates the impose of direct military control of normal civilian functions of government, particularly in relation to a temporary emergency like intrusion or major disaster in an occupied region.
  • ICCI: Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), association of Indian business organizations, dedicated to promoting the growth and global competitiveness of Indian businesses.
  • Poona Pact: It was an agreement between Hindu leaders in India granting new rights to Dalits.
    Dominion status: It meant giving a semi autonomous status to India and not full independence where India would still accept the British sovereignty and the British monarch as the head of the state.
  • The Peasant’s Movement: It was a social movement involved with the agricultural policy, aiming to protect peasants’ rights.
  • Inland Emigration Act of 1859: Under the Inland Emigration Act of 1859, without permission, plantation labourers were not allowed to leave tea gardens.


After the First World War: –

  • Huge increase in defense expenditure after I World War.
  • Start war loans and increasing taxes.
  • Custom duties were raised and income tax introduced.
  • Prices increased.
  • Forced recruitment in rural areas.
  • Resulting in acute shortage of food.
  • Spread influenza epidemic.
  • According Census of 1921, 12 to 13 million people died as a result of famines and epidemic.

The idea of Satyagraha: –

  • Gandhiji returned to India in January 1915.
  • The idea of Satyagraha emphasized the power of truth and the need to search for truth.
  • It suggested that if the cause was true, if the struggle was against injustice, then physical force was not necessary to fight the oppressor.
  • Without seeking vengeance or being aggressive, a satyagrahi could win the battle through non-violence.
  • Gandhiji believed that this dharma of non-violence could unite all Indians.
  • In 1917- Satyagraha for peasants of Champaran (Bihar), who struggle against the oppressive plantation system.
  • In 1918- Satyagraha for peasants of Khera (Gujarat), who affected by crop failure and a plague epidemic. The peasants could not pay the revenue and were demanding that the revenue collection be relaxed.
  • In 1918- Satyagraha for cotton mill workers of Ahmedabad.

The Rowlatt Act- 1919: –

  • Passed by Imperial Legislative Council in 1919.
  • According to this Act government repress political activities and allowed detention of political prisoners without trail for two years.
  • On 10th April police fired upon a peaceful procession in Amritsar.
  • After that widespread attacks on Banks, offices and railway stations by public.
  • Martial Law was imposed and General Dyer took command.

The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre: –

  • On 13th April 1919, a large crowd gathered to attend the Annual Baisakhi fair in the closed ground of Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar.
  • Some people gathered for protest against the government’s new repressive Act.
  • General Dyer entered the area, blocked the exit points and opened fire on the crowd.

Khilafat Movement: –

  • The First World War had ended with the defeat of Ottoman Turkey.
  • Public thought that a harsh peace treaty was going to imposed on the Ottoman Emperor- the spiritual head of the Islamic World (the Khalifa).
  • To defend the Khalifa’s temporal powers, a khilafat committee was formed in Bombay in March 1919.
  • It was against British for the ill-treatment with Turkey after First World War.
  • Main leaders were Ali brothers- Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali.

Non-Cooperation: –

  • Non-Cooperation Programme was adopted in December 1920 at the Congress Session in Nagpur.
  • The movement began in January 1921.
  • It was first major movement of Gandhiji.
  • It was a mass movement in which different section of people were involved.
  • Non-Violence was the basic difference of this movement.
  • It boycotted British institutions and commodities.
  • Students and teachers gradually returned from schools.
  • The movement was withdrawn in 1922 due to the violence in Chauri-Chaura near Gorakhpur.

Simon Commission: –

  • It was appointed in 1927 in the leadership of Sir John Simon.
  • It was appointed to look into the functioning of the constitutional system in India and suggest changes.
  • It arrived India in 1928.
  • It was greeted with the slogan “Simon go back”, because the Commission did not have a single Indian member. They were all British.

Towards Civil Disobedience: –

  • In December 1929, under the presidency of Jawahar Lal Nehru, the Lahore Congress formalized the demand for ‘Purna Swaraj’ or full independence for India.
  • It was declared that 26 January 1930, would be celebrated as Independence Day.
  • But the celebration attracted very little attention.

The Salt March and the Civil Disobedience Movement: –

  • Mahatma Gandhi started his famous Salt March with his 78 trusted volunteers.
  • The march was over 240 miles, from Gandhiji’s Ashram in Sabarmati to the Gujarati coastal town of Dandi.
  • The volunteers walked for 24 days about 10 miles a day.
  • On 6th April 1930, he reached Dandi and ceremonially violated the law, manufacturing salt by boiling seawater.
  • This marked the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement.
  • As the movement spread, foreign clothes were boycotted and liquor shops were picketed.
  • Peasants refused to pay revenue taxes.
  • After the government began arresting the Congress leaders one by one.
  • Mahatma Gandhi was arrested in April 1930.
  • Peaceful Satyagrahis were attacked, women and children were beaten and about 1 lakh people were arrested.
  • In such situation, Mahatma Gandhi once again decided to call off the movement and entered into a pact with Irwin on 5th March 1931.
  • By this Gandhi-Irwin pact, Gandhiji consented to participate in a Round Table Conference in London and the government agreed to release the political prisoners.
  • In Dec.1931 Gandhiji went to London for the conference, but the negotiations broke down and he returned disappointed.
  • Gandhiji re-launched the Civil Dis-obedience Movement but by 1934 it lost its momentum.

The limits of Civil Disobedience: –

  • Limited participation of Dalits.
  • The industrial working classes did not participate in the movement in large numbers.
  • Poona Pact of 24 September 1932 between Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and Gandhiji.
  • Limited participation of Muslims.

Sense of collective belonging: –

  • Nationalism gives feelings of same nation for all communities.
  • Role of cultural factors history and fiction, folklore and songs, popular prints and symbols played their part in national struggle.
  • Representations the idea of Bharatmata.
  • Role playing by bards, for collecting songs in popularization of folklore.
  • Use of Tricolour during swadeshi movement.
  • Role of reconstruction of India’s past history.
  • Writings on art, religion, law, philosophy in building pride of nation.
  • Emerging many voices wanting freedom from colonial rule.

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