Here we are providing Class 12 History Important Extra Questions and Answers Chapter 13 Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement: Civil Disobedience and Beyond. Important Questions for Class 12 History are the best resource for students which helps in class 12 board exams.
Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement: Civil Disobedience and Beyond Movement Class 12 Important Extra Questions History Chapter 13
Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement Important Extra Questions Very Short Answer Type
When and from where Mahatma Gandhi came back to India?
Mahatma Gandhi came back to India from South Africa in 1915 A.D.
When was the Swadeshi movement started in India and who started it?
During 1905-1907 by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal.
Who was the political mentor of Mahatma Gandhi?
Gopal Krishna Gokhale.
Where was Mahatma Gandhi’s first public appearance when he came back from South Africa?
At the opening of the Banaras Hindu University in Feb. 1916.
Which three movements Gandhi started before joining active politics?
Champaran, Kheda, and Ahmedabad.
Which Satyagraha Gandhi announced after the passing of the Rowlatt Act?
When was Non-Cooperation started?
In January 1921.
Why did Mahatma Gandhi withdraw Non-Cooperation movement?
Due to violence occurred at Chauri Chaura in U.P.
When and why was Mahatma Gandhi arrested after the withdrawal of the Non-Cooperation movement?
In March 1922 on the charges of sedition.
Which symbols Mahatma Gandhi used during the freedom struggle?
Dhoti and Charkha.
When and where was the revolution of Poorna Swaraj adopted?
At Lahore session of Congress in 1929 A.D.
When was Dandi March started?
On 12th March 1930.
When was the Quit India movement launched?
In August 1942 A.D.
Distinguish between the policies of moderates and Assertive Nationalists.
The moderates were peace-loving who preferred a gradual and persuasive approach towards the British. On the other hand, the assertive nationalists advocated strong opposition to the British Rule in India and wanted to oust the foreign rule by all means.
On what two things did the Satyagraha emphasize?
- Belief in the power of truth.
- Search for truth and non-violent protest.
At which three places Gandhiji initiated his Satyagraha after his return from South Africa? When were these movements launched?
- In the Champaran region of Bihar (1916)
- In Kheda District of Gujarat (1917)
- In Ahmedabad of Gujarat (1918).
Why did Mahatma Gandhi want to adopt the policy of Non-Cooperation against the British in India?
Gandhiji believed that the British rule in India depended on the cooperation of the local people. He felt that the foreign rule still existed due to the cooperation of a few natives. Mahatma Gandhi launched the policy of Non-Cooperation so that he may end the foreign rule and introduce self-rule.
When and where was the Policy of Non-Cooperation approved?
The Indian National Congress approved the program of Non-Cooperation in 1920 at its Nagpur Session.
Name any two moderate leaders. How were they associated with Gandhiji?
Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Mohammad Ali Jinnah were two prominent moderate leaders. Gopal Krishna Gokhale was the acknowledged political mentor of Gandhiji and Mohammad Ali Jinnah and was a lawyer, like Gandhiji, in Gujarat.
Which events marked out Gandhiji as a nationalist and a true national leader?
- His initiatives at Champaran, Ahmedabad, and Kheda marked him out as a nationalist who had great sympathy for the poor.
- Rowlatt Satyagraha made him a true national leader.
Write the importance of the Non¬Cooperation movement from two aspects.
- This movement was training for self-rule.
- For the first time, since 1857, the foundation of British rule was shaken.
When and where was ‘Poorna Swaraj’ formally proclaimed?
The demand for Poorna Swaraj was formally proclaimed by Indian National Congress at its Lahore Session in December 1929. This session was presided over by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.
What important decision was taken about ‘Poorna Swaraj’ in the Lahore Session of the Indian National Congress held in December 1929?
In the session of the Indian National Congress held in December 1929 at Lahore, it was decided to celebrate 26 January 1930 as Independence Day. On that day, all the people were to take an oath for the complete independence of the country.
With which motive had Gandhiji started his Sabarmati Ashram?
Gandhiji established his Sabarmati Ashram in 1916. He wanted to teach his pupils the path of truth and non-violence. He also taught them to behave in a truthful and non-violent manner and practiced his ideology of truth and non-violence in this Ashram.
Why and when did the Simon Commission come to India?
The Simon Commission visited India in 1928 to enquire about the conditions that prevailed in India.
Why was the Simon Commission opposed?
The Simon Commission was opposed as it had all members from the white community and had no members from India which was quite insulting to the Indians. So, all the people of India opposed the Simon Commission.
What steps were taken by the government to control the Civil Disobedience Movement?
- The government put all the important leaders behind the bars. They included Sardar Patel, Dr. Rajinder Prasad, and Subhash Chander Bose.
- The Indian National Congress was declared as an illegal organization.
What do you mean by Movement for Praja Mandals?
Mahatma Gandhi wanted to broaden the basis of nationalism in India. So Indian National Congress started a series of Praja Mandals. It promoted the nationalist movement in the princely states and led nationalism to the farthest corners of the country.
When did the communal politics start?
The communal politics started in 1906 C.E. when the Muslim League was established. The British adopted the policy of Divide and Rule to increase the hatred between the Hindus and the Muslims.
Name any four leaders who associated themselves with Gandhiji between 1917 and 1922.
- Sarojini Naidu
- Vallabh Bhai Patel
- Jawaharlal Nehru
- Subhash Chandra Bose
What was the attitude of the Indian National Congress towards the Second World War?
The Indian National Congress was critical of both Hitler and the Nazis. So it decided to help the British Government during the Second World War on the condition that India would be granted freedom after the end of this war. When the British government refused this demand, all the Congress ministers resigned.
What did Gandhiji seek to obtain for the security of the peasants of Champaran in 1917? C.B.S.E. 2011 (D))
Gandhiji went on a fast to provide security to peasants of Champaran in 1917. As a result, peasants got the freedom to grow crops of their choice.
Why was Salt March notable? Mention two reasons. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (O.D.))
Salt March was notable because of the given below reasons:
- It was this event that first brought Mahatma Gandhi to world attention. March was widely covered by the European and American press.
- It was the first nationalist activity in which women participated in large numbers.
Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement Important Extra Questions Short Answer Type
What was the significance of the campaigns initiated by Gandhiji in Champaran, Ahmedabad and Kheda?
In 1917, Mahatma Gandhi spent most of his time in Champaran. He sought the security of tenure for the peasants. He also wanted that the peasants should be free to cultivate the crops of their choice.
1. In 1918, Mahatma Gandhi went to Ahmedabad. He intervened in a labor dispute and demanded better working conditions for the workers of the textile mills.
2. In 1918, Mahatma Gandhi was again involved in another campaign at Kheda in Gujarat. He supported the cause of peasants and sought the remission of taxes from the state as the harvest of crops had failed.
Thus, Gandhiji carried out various campaigns in Champaran, Ahmedabad, and Kheda. These campaigns had made him a true nationalist. They also showed the sympathetic attitude of Gandhiji toward the poor.
What methods were adopted to oppose the British rule during the Non-Cooperation Movement?
The Non-Cooperation Movement was launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920. It had a definite program for the people to follow. It included the following methods to oppose British rule:
- The students were asked not to attend their schools and colleges.
- The lawyers were asked not to attend law-courts.
- The ordinary people were asked to renounce voluntary association with the British Government.
- There were strikes by the working class in many towns and cities. There were 396 strikes in different cities in 1921. It involved six lakh workers which caused a loss of seven million workdays.
- The Hill-tribes in the Northern part of Andhra Pradesh violated the forest laws.
- The farmers did not pay taxes in Awadh. They refused to carry loads for colonial officials in Kumaun.
Though the aforesaid methods were laid down for all the protestors, yet, many of them adopted the methods which better suited their interests.
Find out similarities between Salt Satyagraha (Civil Disobedience Movement) and Non-Cooperation Movement. Give any five points.
The similarities between the Civil Disobedience Movement and Non-Cooperation movement were as follows:
- In both the movements, the peasants had participated whole-heartedly. Most of the peasants hated the colonial forest laws as they and their cattle could not enter the forest.
- At many places, the factory workers went on strike.
- The lawyers boycotted the British courts.
- The students did not attend their classes in the government-run educational institutions.
- All the ordinary people participated in both of these movements in one way or the other. They in their own way expressed their discontent with the British rule.
- Many people even left their government jobs and joined the freedom struggle.
- Some people even refused to pay the taxes.
The Salt March of Gandhiji was notable for at least three reasons. What were they?
The Salt March (Dandi March) of Gandhiji was notable because of the following three reasons:
- By leading the Salt March. Mahatma Gandhi became very popular in the world. He got world attention as his march was widely covered by the European and American Press.
- This Salt March was the first nationalist activity in which women had participated enthusiastically. They joined the march in large numbers. In fact, Gandhiji had allowed the women to participate in his Dandi March on the persuasion of Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, a socialist activist.
- The Salt March made the British realize for the first time that their rule in India would not last forever. They had understood that they would have to decentralize their power by involving Indians in the administration.
Describe the events that led to the Non-Cooperation Movement.
Gandhiji started the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920 because of the following reasons:
1. Rowlatt Act: After the First World War, the Rowlatt Act was passed in 1919. In accordance with this law, the government could imprison anyone without a trial. Gandhiji was not content with this Act and launched the Non-Cooperation Movement.
2. Jallianwala Bagh Massacre: A meeting was held in Jallianwala Bagh at Amritsar to protest against the Rowlatt Act. General Dyer appeared on the scene and started shooting bullets on the gathered people. Gandhiji was moved at this bloody climax of the meeting in which more than four hundred people were killed and therefore started the Non-Cooperation Movement against the British rule.
3. Khilafat Movement: The Sultan of Turkey was known as the Caliph of all the Muslims. But the British had snatched his empire. The Indian Muslims could not bear this insult and joined hands with Gandhiji and started Non-Cooperation Movement.
When was Civil Disobedience Movement launched? What were its reasons?
Mahatma Gandhi started his Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930 because of the following reasons:
1. Arrival of the Simon Commission: In 1928, the Simon Commission visited India under the leadership of Sir John Simon. All the members of this Commission were English men. No member from India was included in this Commission. So the Indians opposed it everywhere. They raised the slogans “Simon: Go Back.” Even then, this commission published its report. So, Gandhiji was compelled to start the Civil Disobedience Movement.
2. Nehru Report: In August 1928, Nehru Committee submitted its report highlighting the demands of the Indian British Government refused to accept this report. Feeling depressed, Gandhiji started the Civil Disobedience Movement.
3. Atrocities on Revolutionaries: The British Government had hanged Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru, and Sukhdev till death. It generated discontentment among the Indians.
4. Impact of the Bardoli Movement: A peasant Satyagraha was organized at Bardoli under the leadership of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. The success of these peasants had emboldened Gandhiji to start Civil Disobedience Movement.
What do you mean by Non-Cooperation Movement?
The Non-Cooperation Movement was started by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920. It was against the British Government. It meant not to have any association with the British Government. The Declaration for this movement was made by Congress at its Nagpur Session. Gandhiji made an appeal to the people not to cooperate with the British Government in any way. He also chalked out its detailed program. Under this movement, many people gave up their jobs and titles. The students stopped going to their classes in the government educational institutions.
The foreign goods were also discarded. The people started using goods manufactured in their own country. It was necessary for all the participants in this movement to adhere to truth and non-violence. It was carried out very effectively and made the people aware of the misdeeds of the colonial rulers. According to Louis Fischer, “Non-Cooperation became the name of an epoch in the life of India and of Gandhiji. Non-Cooperation was negative enough to be peaceful but positive enough to be effective. It entailed denial, renunciation, and self¬discipline. It was training for self-rule.”
What is the importance of the opening ceremony of Banaras Hindu University in the Indian National Movement?
State the significance of Gandhiji’s speech at Benaras Hindu University. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (O.D.))
Explain the ideas expressed by Gandhiji in his address at the time of the opening of Benaras Hindu University in February 1916. Did he put his precepts into practice? Give examples. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
The first important public appearance of Gandhiji was at the opening of the Banaras Hindu University in February 1916. Before this, Indian National Movement was confined only to the rich or elite class. But through his speech over here, Gandhiji advocated making a national movement a mass movement. He said that the establishment of Banaras Hindu University was certainly the most gorgeous show. But he showed his worry about the presence of rich bedecked noblemen and the absence of millions of poor Indians.
To these privileged invitees, Gandhiji told that salvation of India is not possible unless they strip themselves of jewelry and keep it in trust for their countrymen in India. He said that there is no meaning of self-rule until laborers or peasants could not be given full profit of their produce. Our salvation is possible only through the farmers. Neither the doctors, lawyers, or the rich landlords can secure it.
Taking percepts into Practice: In the same year, in December, Gandhiji got the chance to bring his precepts into practice. This year, Congress’s annual session was held at Lucknow. Here, one peasant of Champaran told him about the exploitation of Indigo planters by the Britishers. So, most parts of 1917 were spent by Gandhiji in helping the peasants of Champaran.
Next year, Gandhiji remained busy in two campaigns in Gujarat. First of all, he demanded better working conditions for workers of Ahmedabad’s mill. After that, he joined peasants in Kheda in asking the state for the remission of taxes due to the failure of their harvest.
“Gandhiji was as much a social reformer as he was a politician.” Clarify the statement.
There is no denying the fact that the Gandhiji was as much a social reformer as he was a politician. As a politician, he transformed Indian National Movement into a broad mass movement. He was arrested in 1922 and was released from jail in February 1924. He then devoted his attention to encourage the homespun cloth (Khadi) and to eradicate untouchability from society.
Gandhiji believed that Indians need to remove social evils like child marriage and untouchability in order to be worthy of freedom. He was of the view that we must prepare an atmosphere of harmony among different religious communities. That is why he stressed on Hindu-Muslim harmony. He also believed that Indians had to learn to become self-reliant on the economic front. That is why he stressed using Khadi instead of cloth imported from overseas.
What was Khilafat Movement? Describe briefly.
The British had fought against the Sultan of Turkey in the First World War. They had also sought the cooperation of the Indian Muslims in this war. The Muslims of India had cooperated with the British on the condition that the Sultan of Turkey would be given fair treatment by the British after the war is over. But after the end of the war, the British maltreated the Sultan who was considered as the Caliph (religious leader). So they felt annoyed and started a vehement movement against colonial rule. This movement was known as the Khilafat Movement. The Muslims carried on this movement with the cooperation of Gandhiji.
Why did the Simon Commission visit India? Why was it opposed in India?
In 1927, the Government of England appointed a Commission which was headed by Sir John Simon. That is why it was called the Simon Commission. This Commission came to India in 1928 with the objective of examining the results of the reforms of 1919. It was an all-white Commission having no Indian member. So people in India opposed it wherever it went. It was welcomed with black flags. Everywhere slogans like “Simon: Go Back” were raised. But the British Government adopted all repressive measures to crush this peaceful protest.
In Lahore, the protestors were Lathi-charged by the police in which Lala Lajpat Rai was wounded. He suffered a blow of Lathi on his forehead which proved fatal and died a few days afterward. All the political parties of the country severely criticized these repressive measures of the British Government. Gandhi himself did not participate in the protests against the Simon Commission but however, had blessed all the peaceful protestors.
Explain the Civil Disobedience Movement. What was its effect on our struggle for freedom?
The Civil Disobedience Movement was started by Mahatma Gandhi in 1930. He wanted to oppose colonial rule by breaking the laws framed by it. This movement started with the Salt Satyagraha (Dandi March) organized by Mahatma Gandhi. He began walking on 12 March 1930 from his Sabarmati Ashram. He was accompanied by thousands of people on his way. He reached his destination, that is, Dandi at the sea-coast within twenty-four days. He made a fistful of salt to break the salt laws.
He intentionally made himself a criminal in the eyes of the law. The British Government took all stringent measures to crush this Civil Disobedience Movement. Thousands of patriots were put behind bars all over the country. Gandhiji was arrested but even after his arrest, the Movement went on as before. Therefore, the Civil Disobedience Movement left a deep impact on our national struggle for freedom.
Question 13. Discuss the Quit India Movement.
In what way did Gandhiji’s ‘Quit India Movement’ transform the nature of the national movement? Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (O.D.))
“Quit India Movement genuinely a movement bringing into its ambit hundreds of thousands of ordinary Indian.” Analyze the statement. (CBSE2019)
When the Cripps Mission had failed, Mahatma Gandhi gave a call for Quit India Movement, his third major movement against British Rule. It started in 1942 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. The Congress had passed a resolution for this movement on 9 August 1942 and challenged the British to Quit India. Soon this movement too became a mass movement. In many districts like Satara and Medinipur, independent governments were proclaimed.
The whole country resonated with the slogans “Englishmen: Quit India”. The British responded with force to crush this movement. Most of the leaders of the Indian National Congress were arrested. It enraged the people who then started plundering government offices, post offices, and railway stations. The government became adamant and put thousands of people behind bars. The whole country was, in fact, turned into a jail. At last, the Quit India Movement shook the foundation of British rule in India.
Discuss the formation and role of the Azad Hind Fauj.
The Azad Hind Fauj was organized by Subash Chandra Bose. He had set up this army with the help of Japan and Germany. The objective of this army was to get India freed from the clutches of the British. Subash Chandra Bose had instilled national spirit among all his soldiers. As a result, this army witnessed a few successes at different places in the country. But as Japan and Germany were defeated in the Second World War, this army lost its ground. The British arrested a few prominent leaders of this army and charged them with treason and rebellion. But owing to the pressure of the people, they were released later on.
What were the main recommendations of the Cripps Mission?
The Cripps Mission was sent to India by the British Government under the leadership of Sir Stafford Cripps in 1942. It made the following recommendations:
- It recommended making India a dominion state after the end of the Second World War.
- To frame the Constitution for India, a Constituent Assembly would be established consisting of all elected members.
- The provinces which did not agree to the Constitution would retain their present position.
- In the new Constitution, there would also be a provision to enable the princely states to participate. However, these states would not be bound by the new Constitution.
- After the formation of the Constitution, there would be a treaty between Britain and India to chalk- out a framework for the transfer of political power.
- The British also ensured the protection of the minorities in the new system.
Discuss the attitude of the Indian National Congress towards the Second World War. Also, discuss the failure of the Cripps Mission and its consequences.
England was losing ground in the Second World War. So it needed cooperation from the people of India. But the people of India were inimical towards the British due to their wrong and harmful policies. They were not willing to extend any cooperation to the British. To resolve this tangle, the British Government had sent the Cripps Mission in 1942 under the leadership of Sir Stafford Cripps.
It put forward its plan before the leaders of different political parties in India. It stated that India would be declared a dominion state if its people extended their cooperation to the British in the Second World War. Gandhiji compared this plan to a post-dated cheque drawn on the bank that was doomed to fail in the coming days. In this way, all the leaders of India rejected the recommendations of the Cripps Mission. Feeling distressed, the Cripps Mission went back.
Discuss the significance of the Quit India Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi.
The Quit India Movement was the third major movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942. It was genuinely a mass-movement in which almost all sections of society participated. Strikes and acts of sabotage were organized all over the country. The rebellion against the British was so intense that it took nearly a year to suppress this movement. This movement was very significant as it made the British realize that there was widespread discontent all over the country against their rule. They also came to know that Indian people wanted salvation and freedom from colonial rule. Consequently, they had to free India just after five years from the beginning of this movement.
Write a critical note on the Rowlatt Act.
The Rowlatt Act was passed in 1919. It was also called the Black Law passed to crush a national movement. Due to the First World War, the British Government in India faced many hardships. At this time, the spread of the freedom movement against British rule could be detrimental to the colonial interests. So the Government decided to crush the national upsurge for freedom.
Under this Act, the magistrates were empowered to send any revolutionary behind the bars even without trials. Such a law had snatched the freedom of the Indian. The Rowlatt Act was passed on 18 March 1919. This Act also clarified that any evidence given before a policeman would not be valid in the court. So the Rowlatt Act denied the freedom to the IndianThey could be arrested any time. So it was natural for them to oppose this Act with tooth and nail.
Write a note on the resolution on ‘the rights of minorities’ passed by Congress.
Congress passed a resolution on ‘the rights of minorities’ which was initiated by Gandhiji and Nehru. Congress never accepted the ‘two-nation theory’. When it had to accept the division of the country against its will; it still believed that “India is a country of many religions and races and must remain so.” Whatever the situation in Pakistan, India would be a “democratic and secular country where all citizens will get full rights and are equally entitled to the protection of the state, irrespective of the religion to which they belong.” Congress also assured that the human rights of the minorities will be protected in every possible manner.
What did Gandhiji do after his release from prison in 1924? (C.B.S.E. 2011 (D))
Mahatma Gandhi was arrested in 1922 and was released from prison in 1924. Now he devoted his attention to encouraging the homespun cloth (Khadi) and eradicating untouchability from society. He believed that Indians need to remove social evils like child marriage and untouchability in order to be worthy of freedom. He wanted to prepare an atmosphere of harmony among different religious communities. He also believed that Indians had to learn to become self-reliant on the economic front. That is why he emphasized using Khadi instead of cloth imported from overseas.
“Many historians still remain skeptical of oral history.” Examine the statement. (C.B.S.E. 2012 (O.D.))
Many historians still remain skeptical of oral history. They dismiss it because oral data at times lacks correctness and the chronology they yield may be imprecise. Historians argue that the uniqueness of personal experience makes generalization difficult. A large picture cannot be built from such micro evidence and one witness is no witness. They also think that oral accounts are related to tangential issues and that the small individual experiences which remain in memory are irrelevant for the unfolding of a larger process of history.
Describe how Gandhiji knitted Non-Cooperation Movement as a popular movement. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (O.D.))
To widely spread the program of the Non¬Cooperation Movement, Mahatma Gandhi visited many parts of the country along with the Muslim leaders like Dr. Ansari, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, and Ali brothers. As a result, this movement shook the foundations of the British Raj for the first time since the Revolt of 1857. The students did not attend their classes in the educational institutions run by the British Government. The foreign garments were burnt at the crossroads.
Rabindranath Tagore had relinquished his title of ‘Sir’. Similarly, Mahatma Gandhi surrendered his title of ‘Kesri Hind. But in February 1922, a group of peasants attacked a police station and set it on fire at Chauri Chaura, a village in Uttar Pradesh. As several constables were burnt alive in this fire, Gandhiji was shocked at this violent incident and therefore called off his Non-Cooperation Movement.
Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement Important Extra Questions Long Answer Type
What were the reasons for the beginning of the Khilafat Movement? What was the contribution of this movement to the freedom struggle of India?
Khilafat is associated with the Caliphate who was the religious head of all the Muslims. The Sultan of Turkey was accepted as the head of the Muslim world. After the war, the Indian Muslims were unhappy with the British because they had ill-treated the Sultan of Turkey and even divided the Ottoman Empire and snatched Three, a part of Turkey. This was all contrary to the War Declaration made by Lloyd George, the then British Prime Minister.
He had openly declared that the British had no intention to devoid Turkey of Asia Minor and Three. The main population of these areas was of Turkish origin. The Muslims wanted that the Sultan of Turkey should not be shown a bit of insult in any way. When the white rulers acted contrary to their avowed statements, the Muslims started a severe struggle against the British.
Contribution to National Movement For Independence: The Khilafat Movement had strengthened the national struggle for freedom. Due to the Lucknow Pact of 1916, the unity between the Hindus and the Muslims strengthened. Due to the Khilafat Movement, many other nationalist leaders had plunged into the freedom struggle. It is clear from the following points:
1. A Khilafat committee was constituted to start a nation-wide struggle against British rule.
2. An All India Khilafat Conference was held in Delhi in November 1919. A resolution was passed in the conference which exhorted the British to accept the demands of the Muslims, failing which a struggle against the foreign rule would be launched.
3. The Muslim League supported every movement started by the Indian National Congress.
4. The Congress supported the Khilafat Movement. This action of the Congress strengthened the Hindu-Muslim unity. It also inspired the Muslims for the national struggle to attain freedom from the alien rule.
5. Gandhiji went to the extent of declaring that the issue raised by the Khilafat Movement was much more important than the issue of social reforms initiated by him.
6. Gandhiji expressed his desire to start the Non-Cooperation Movement if the British failed to satisfy the Muslims of India. It enabled Gandhiji to emerge as a great leader of India.
7. The Khilafat Movement accelerated the pace of the national struggle for freedom. Mahatma Gandhi soon started his Non-Cooperation Movement. It was the first step towards the end of British rule in India.
What was the Rowlatt Act? What steps were taken by the British to repress to Satyagraha started by Gandhiji?
Rowlatt Act was passed by the British Government in March 1919 in the Central Legislative Council. It was passed to repress the nationalists.
The Rowlatt Act had such provisions that annoyed all the nationalists. It empowered the British Government in the detention of revolutionaries without trial. It was not necessary to present the concerned person in the court. In brief, it was such a law that had no argument, no lawyer, and no appeal. So the nationalists considered it a black law as it was a strong blow on individual liberty.
Satyagraha against Rowlatt Act: Gandhiji, like other nationalist leaders, was shocked to hear about the Rowlatt Act. So he laid down the foundation of a Satyagraha Committee in February 1919. All the members of the committee pledged not to adhere to this Act. They offered their arrests and went to jails. It was a new kind of struggle. Till then, the British had seen movement where big assemblies were held and processions were taken out. In such national movements, the people often refused to cooperate with the government.
There was a boycott of foreign goods and government schools. But Satyagraha gave new but elevated stature to the national movement. It provided all nationalists a chance to show their might to the alien rulers.
In March 1919, there was an unprecedented national upsurge in India. Almost every Indian was filled up with new vigor and strength. There were strikes, bandhs, campaigns, processions, and demonstrations. The slogans of Hindu-Muslim unity also rented the air. The people of India were no longer ready to face humiliation and insult.
Repression of the Satyagraha: The Government wanted to crush the Satyagraha. It lathi-charged the unarmed protestors in Bombay, Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Delhi, and a few other cities. The bullets were also hurled at them. So Gandhiji gave a nation-wide call for strike on 6 April 1919. The people followed the directive of Gandhiji with verve and vigor. In Punjab, a large number of people gathered at Jallianwala Bagh at Amritsar on 13 April 1919.
Their intention was to oppose the repressive measures adopted by the British Government. They were also against the Rowlatt Act. But General Dyer reached on the spot with his soldiers who started shooting at the protestors. Hundreds of men, women, and children were killed in this massacre.
Discuss the nature of the Civil Disobedience Movement. Discuss its spread in all parts of the country along with its failures. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (O.D.))
Write an essay on Civil Disobedience Movement started by Mahatma Gandhi.
Examine why did Gandhiji start the Salt Sathyagraha. Why was Salt Satyagraha a rotatable event? (C.B.S.E. 2017 (D.))
The Salt Satyagraha was one of the most successful campaigns in Gandhiji’s non-violent struggle against Britishers.” Analyze the statement. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (D))
The Civil Disobedience Movement was started by Mahatma Gandhi in 1930. It was a mass movement based on truth and non-violence. It was the first important step taken towards complete independence from British rule after the Revolt of 1857. We can discuss its various aspects as under Causes:
1. The Simon Commission visited India in 1928. It was an all-white commission. In other words, it had no member from India. So the people opposed Simon Commission wherever it went. They raised the slogans of “Simon: Go Back” before the Simon Commission. In spite of this, the report of the commission was published. It spread discontent among the people.
2. The British Government did not accept the recommendations of the Nehru Report.
3. The Peasants Movement of Bardoli had succeeded which inspired Gandhiji to start a national movement against British rule.
4. Gandhiji put forward a few conditions before the British Government but the Viceroy did not accept any of them. Under these circumstances, Gandhiji had no option other than to start a Civil Disobedience Movement against British rule.
The Progress of Movement: The Civil Disobedience Movement started with Dandi March. Mahatma Gandhi started his journey from Sabarmati Ashram on 12 March 1930 and reached Dandi, a place near sea-coast on 6 April 1930. He made a fistful of salt from the seawater and broke the salt laws. From there, this movement spread to each nook and corner of the country. In many places, the people defied the government laws.
To crush this movement, the British adopted repressive measures. Many people along with Gandhiji were put behind the bars. But it did not dampen the vigor of the people and the pace of the movement. However, a compromise was reached between Gandhiji and the Viceroy. According to this agreement, Gandhiji accepted to suspend the Civil Disobedience Movement and take part in the Second Round Table Conference. In this way, the Civil Disobedience Movement came to a halt for some time.
End of the Movement: The Second Round Table Conference was organized in London in 1931. Gandhiji participated in it on behalf of the Congress. But even at this conference, no solution could be found for the redressal of Indian problems. Gandhiji felt depressed and returned to India. He again started the Civil Disobedience Movement. On the other hand, the British Government also initiated repressive measures to control this movement. Because of the atrocities of the government, the movement lost a bit of its momentum. In 1933, Congress officially suspended this movement. It was at last withdrawn in May 1934.
Causes for Failure: The following reasons were responsible for the failure of the Civil Disobedience Movement.
- Some scholars felt that this movement could not utilize the enthusiasm of the common people. It was suspended in between which dampened its pace.
- Congress did not put forward any social and economic programs. As a result, a new party emerged which was named as Congress Socialist Party.
- This movement did not benefit the farmers in any way.
- Some scholars felt that the leadership of this movement was in the hands of the rich. Besides, it had limited objectives.
Significance: In spite of a few short-comings, the Civil Disobedience Movement yielded some good results:
- Because of the boycott of foreign cloth, the import of such cloth declined.
- Because of picketing at wine shops, the collection of government revenue was reduced.
- The Indians were permitted to make salt near the sea-coast.
- An awakening was seen among the farmers, laborers, tribal people, and women. All these people had become an inseparable part of the national movement.
- Because of the atrocities committed by the British, the people were determined to attain freedom.
- The British Empire got a severe jolt.
Briefly describe the progress (events) of the Indian National Movement from March 1940 till 1945.
1. Demand of Pakistan: In March 1940, the Muslim League passed a resolution for the creation of a separate nation called ‘Pakistan’ and declared it as its objective. The political situation of the country was now complicated. Now, this struggle was no longer between Indians and the British. Instead, now it had become a three-way struggle, i.e., between the Congress, the Muslim League, and the British. Britain, at this time, had an all party government, and the Labour party was part of it. Members of the Labour Party had- sympathetic views about Indian aspirations. But Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, was a diehard imperialist and was of the view that he was not appointed by the king to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.
2. Cripps Mission: In 1942, Churchill sent one of his ministers, Sir Stafford Cripps, to India to find a way regarding the resumption of talks with Congress. While negotiating with Cripps, Congress stressed the fact that if the British wanted its support in the war then first of all the Viceroy should appoint any Indian as the Defence Member in his Executive Council. But talks broke down on this issue.
3. Quit India Movement: After the failure of the Cripps Mission, Mahatma Gandhi decided to launch his third major movement against British rule. This movement was launched in August 1942 which was given the name of ‘Quit India Movement’. Although Gandhiji was arrested at once, even then young activists organized strikes all over the country. Socialist members of Congress like Jayaprakash Narayan played a great role in it.
In many districts like Medinipur in the east and Satara in the West, Independent governments proclaimed. British adopted a very strict attitude towards this movement. Even then it took the government more than a year to suppress the rebellion.
Quit India Movement was a mass movement which was participated by hundreds of thousands of IndianThis movement attracted a large number of young people. They left their colleges and took the path of jail.
4. Efforts of the Muslim League to expand its Influence: When Congress leaders were in jail, Jinnah and other members of the Muslim League were busy expanding their influence. During these years, the League got a chance to make a mark in Punjab and Sindh where it had no or very little presence at all.
In June 1944, World War was on the verge of an end, Gandhiji was released from prison. In June 1944, Gandhiji talked many times with Jinnah to bridge the gap between the Congress and the Mulsim League.
5. Government of Labour Party in Britain: In June 1945, elections were held in Britain and the Labour party came to power. This government was in favor of giving independence to India. Meanwhile, in India, Lord Wavell held a number of meetings with representatives of Congress and the Muslim League.
Discuss the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi in the freedom struggle of India.
Discuss the political life and works of Mahatma Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi attained a supreme place in the history of modern India. Under his leadership, the national movement got such a way that led directly to the independence of India in 1947. He challenged the authority of British rule with the weapons of truth and non-violence. He forced the Englishmen to quit India. We can discuss the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi in the freedom struggle as given below:
Political Life: The political life of Mahatma Gandhi started in South Africa. When he came back from England, he started practicing as a lawyer in India. But then he went to South Africa.
Life in South Africa: When Gandhiji reached South Africa, the condition of Indians there was pitiable due to maltreatment by the white government. Gandhiji could not bear this insult and started his Satyagraha against the white government of South Africa. He helped the people in getting their rights.
Life in India: Gandhiji returned to India from South Africa in 1916. The First World War had already started. The British Government was fighting this war against the Axis Powers. So it needed both men and money. Therefore Gandhiji appealed to the people to cooperate with the British. He wanted to win the hearts of the white men by helping them. He was convinced that the British would free India after the end of the war. But when the First World War ended, the British did not do anything concrete to free India. Contrary to the expectations of the people, it passed the Rowlatt Act. Gandhiji was shocked to see this drastic law and made up his mind to start the Non-Cooperation Movement against British rule.
Non-Cooperation Movement: Gandhiji started this movement in 1920. The people fully supported this movement and whole-heartedly participated in it. However, Gandhiji called off this movement when violent incidents took place at Chauri Chaura in Uttar Pradesh.
Civil Disobedience Movement: This movement was launched by Gandhiji in 1930. He took out his Dandi March and symbolically broke the Salt Laws by making a fistful of salt from the sea-water. The government was taken aback by this action of Gandhiji. At last, it allowed the Indians to make salt near the coast. An important Act was also passed in 1935.
Quit India Movement: Gandhiji wanted to seek freedom for the country. So in 1942, he started the Quit India Movement. Lakhs of followers joined the movement of Gandhiji. The British felt shocked at such a mass movement and made up their mind to free India. At last, India was set free on 15 August 1947. The credit for Indian independence obviously goes to Mahatma Gandhi.
Other Works: Gandhiji did a lot of work to enhance the prestige of the Indian remove poverty of the Indians, he exhorted all the people to wear Khadi. For the upliftment of the untouchable, Gandhiji called them ‘Harijans’. Similarly, he preached fraternity to get the people rid of communal riots.
Death: Gandhiji was shot dead on 30 January 1948 by Nathu Ram Godse, a youth. He recited thrice “Hey Ram” and died. His death was mourned all over the country. The Indians cannot forget Gandhiji and still remember him as the ‘Father of the Nation’.
Explain how the coming of Mahatma Gandhi broadened the base of the Indian National Movement. (C.B.S.E. Sample Paper 2011)
Mahatma Gandhi broadened the base of the national movement of India in the following way:
1. Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the national movement did not merely remain a movement of intellectuals and professionals. Thousands of farmers, laborers, and artisans started participating in it.
2. Gandhiji lived a simple life that was liked by the common people. He wore clothes like a poor farmer or a worker. His way of living was also like a common man.
3. Gandhiji himself worked on the spinning wheel. He also inspired others to operate the spinning-wheel. The job of spinning cotton helped Gandhiji to break the wall of distinction between mental and physical labor prevalent in the traditional caste system.
4. Gandhiji tried to mitigate the sufferings of the farmers and other poor people.
5. The rumors that spread about the miracles of Gandhiji made him very popular. He had become a household name due to which most of the people jumped in the struggle for freedom and whole-heartedly participated in the national movement for freedom.
6. Under the leadership of Gandhiji, many branches of the Indian National Congress were opened in different cities. He established panchayats and Praja Mandals to instill nationalist feelings in the royal rulers.
7. Gandhiji emphasized the spread of the nationalist message in the mother tongue of the people and not in English.
8. Gandhiji emphasized the Hindu-Muslim unity to strengthen the base of the national movement of India.
9. Because of the impact of Gandhiji’s majestic personality, many leaders from different sections and regions of the country, had become an inseparable part of the freedom struggle.
10. He emphasized the fact that the defective society was essential to seek freedom.
Explain three different kinds of sources through which we can know about Gandhiji. Give any two problems faced while interpreting them. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (D))
How do autobiographies Government records and newspapers help us knowing about Gandhiji? Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
Explain the source from which we can reconstruct the political career of Mahatma Gandhi and the history of the National Movement of India. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (O.D. 2012, 2014 CD))
Historians have used different kinds of sources in reconstructing the political career of Gandhiji and the history of social and nationalist movements. Substantiate the statement with examples. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (D))
1. Autobiographies: Autobiographies give us a peep in the rich and illustrious past. But we must remember how do we study the autobiographies and how do we comprehend and explain them. After reading an autobiography, we come to know what the writer remembered and what things were important from his point of view. We also become aware of the facts that the writer intended to remember.
In fact, writing an autobiography is a means of leaving the impact of one’s personality on the minds of others. Consequently, while reading an autobiography, we must try to find out the unrevealed truth. There are many things that the author does not want to share with its readers.
2. Government Records: The colonial rulers always kept a strict vigilance on issues that they considered against them. So the Government records are also an important source of information. At that time, the reports penned down by policemen and other officials were confidential. But now these documents are available in the museums where anybody can see and study them. In the 20th century, many fortnightly reports were written. Such reports were prepared after every two weeks.
They were based on the information received from policemen and other officials. They reflected what the officials intended to see and what not to see. Keeping the possibility of revolt and treason in mind, these rulers tried to give the impression that these reports were baseless. If you look at the reports prepared during the Dandi March where Mahatma Gandhi broke the Salt Law, you will come to know that the home ministry was not ready to acknowledge that Gandhiji enjoyed mass-support.
These reports termed the Dandi March a drama that was aimed to get support from unwilling and luxury-loving people against British rule. There are many other sources by which we can know a lot about the political life of Gandhiji and the national freedom struggle.
3. Public Voice and Personal Writings: There were many who were in favor of Gandhiji. There were also many who opposed him for one thing or the other. The speeches depict the objective on the basis of which they were written. For example, we can hear the public views of the speaker in his speech. But his personal letters reflect his personal and private views. These letters make us acquainted with the anger and anguish, restlessness and dissatisfaction, hopes and frustration of the writer.
Many of the things cannot be made public by them. But many times there is no gap between private and public views. Many letters are written to individuals. It is possible that they may sometimes be got published. For the fear of being published someday, sometimes the writer hesitates to pen down any letter freely. Mahatma Gandhi used to publish the letters that he got from the people in his newspaper entitled ‘Harijan’. Nehru prepared a compilation of letters addressed to Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle. He got them published under the head ‘A Bunch of Old Letters’.
Why was the state monopoly in the manufacture and sale of salt un-popular among the masses? Also, explain how the Salt March of Mahatma Gandhi was notable. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (O.D.))
During the British rule, the salt laws had given the state a monopoly to manufacture and sell salt. Most of the Indians abhorred these laws as salt was indispensable in every Indian household. The British had forbidden the people from making salt even for domestic use. They compelled all the people to buy salt from shops at high rates. The people could not do anything as the State enjoyed a monopoly over the manufacturing and sale of the salt.
Gandhiji had keen practical wisdom. He understood that the people disliked the salt law. So he targeted this law. As the people were discontent against the British rule, they gathered around Mahatma Gandhi who mobilized their strength and energy to give a boost to his struggle for complete independence of the country. So the salt law had become an important issue in the freedom struggle of India.
1. The Salt March (Dandi March) of Gandhi became very popular in the world. He got world attention when his march was widely covered by the European and American Press.
2. This Salt March was the first nationalist activity in which women had participated enthusiastically. They joined the march in large numbers. In fact, Gandhiji had allowed the women to participate in his Dandi March on the persuasion of Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, socialist activities.
3. The Salt March made the British realize for the first time that their rule in India would not last forever. They had understood well that they would have to decentralize their power by involving Indians in the administration.
Assess the significance of Salt March in India’s Freedom Struggle. How did the British Government react to it? (C.B.S.E. 2011 (D))
“The Salt March of 1930 was the statement that brought Mahatma Gandhi to world attention.” Explain the significance of this movement for Swaraj. (C.B.S.E. 2015 (O.D.))
The Salt March. On March 12, 1930, Mahatma Gandhi started his historic Salt March from the Sabarmati Ashram with 78 other members to break the Salt Law. Mahatma Gandhi selected the Salt Law knowing fully that salt tax affected all sections of the society, especially the poor. Dandi was a small village on the sea-coast in Gujarat about 375 km from Sabarmati Ashram. It took 24 days to complete this march. Thousands of villagers cheered and garlanded Gandhiji on his way. Gandhiji addressed many meetings all along his march to Dandi and told the people about the objectives of the Movement.
The triumphant Salt March reached Dandi at sunset on April 5. The next morning i.e., on 6th April 1930, Gandhiji, after his morning prayer broke the Salt Law by collecting salt from the beach. It was a signal for the whole country to start the Civil Disobedience Movement.
Salt Law was one of the most widely hated laws in British India. It gave the British Government a monopoly in the manufacture and sale of salt. Therefore, Gandhiji’s picking on the salt monopoly was another illustration of his tactical wisdom. Salt was obligatorily used in every Indian household. Yet the people were forbidden from making salt even for domestic use. Thus, the Indians were compelled to buy salt from shops at a high price. The salt tax affected all sections of society, especially the poor. It caused great resentment among them against the British rule. Therefore, by making salt his target, Gandhiji hoped to mobilize a wider discontent against the British rule.
Importance of Salt March:
- It was the event that first brought Mahatma Gandhi to world attention. The march was widely covered by the European and American press.
- It was the first nationalist activity in which women participated in large numbers.
- It was the Salt March which forced upon the British the realization that their Raj would not last forever.
Civil Disobedience Movement: This movement started with the Salt March undertaken by Gandhiji.
Progress of the Movement:
- Peasants in a large part of the country broke the repressive colonial laws because of which they were not allowed to take their cattle to forests.
- Factory workers in certain towns went on strike.
- Lawyers boycotted the British courts.
- Students refused to study in government educational institutions.
In fact, during the movement, Gandhiji appealed to everyone to organize and join the movement.
The reaction of the British Government: To end this, the British government convened a series of Round Table Conferences in London. The first meeting was held in November 1930 but without the pre-eminent political leader of India.
The Second Round Table Conference was held in London in the latter part of 1931. Here Gandhiji represented the Congress. However, his claims that his party represented all of India came under challenge from other parties. This conference was inconclusive, so Gandhiji returned to India and resumed the Civil Disobedience Movement.
Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement Important Extra Questions HOTS
South Africa made Gandhiji a ‘Mahatma’. Give arguments in favor of this statement.
Mahatma Gandhi went to South Africa as a lawyer and came back to India as a Mahatma. According to Chandran Devanesan, a historian, South Africa was “the making of the Mahatma”. This statement is corroborated with the following arguments:
- In South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi adopted a distinctive technique of non-violent protest. It was called as the Satyagraha.
- Mahatma Gandhi promoted harmony among people belonging to different religions. He exhorted the upper-caste Indians not to look down upon the lower castes and women.
Who was Lal-Bal-Pal?
Lal-Bal-Pal were the prominent leaders of the Swadeshi Movement. They were Bal Gangadhar Tilak of Maharashtra, Bipin Chandra Pal of Bengal, and Lala Lajpat Rai of Punjab. They advocated militant opposition to colonial rule.
Who was invoked as the ‘Father of the Nation’ and why?
Mahatma Gandhi was invoked as the Father of the Nation. It was so because he was the most influential and revered leader of all those leaders who participated in the freedom struggle.
Who gave the slogan ‘Do or Die’? Why was it given?
The slogan ‘Do or Die’ was given by Mahatma Gandhi during the Quit India Movement which began in August 1942. At that time, the Second World War was in full swing. It was a sensitive situation for England. Gandhiji realized that the time was ripe for compelling the British to quit India and so he gave the slogan of‘Do or Die’ and to the people.
What was the Direct Action Day?
When the talks of the Congress and the Muslim League had failed with the Cabinet Mission, Mohammad Ali Jinnah gave a call for ‘Direct Action Day’ to emphasize his demand for the creation of Pakistan. He fixed 16 August 1946 as the Direct Action Day. But on the designated day, bloody riots broke out in Calcutta. This violence, later on, engulfed Bengal, Bihar, United Provinces, and Punjab. In some places, the Hindus suffered the agony. At other places, the Muslims faced heavy casualties and losses. In other words, it increased the differences between the Hindus and the Muslims.
What did Gandhiji tell the upper castes of a village to do, during his Salt March, if they wanted to get Swaraj? (C.B.S.E. 2011 (O.D.))
Gandhiji told the upper castes, “if you want Swaraj, then you must serve lower caste people. You won’t get Swaraj only by the repeal of the salt taxes or other taxes. For Swaraj, you must amend for the wrongs which you did to the lower castes.”
How did Gandhiji succeed in strengthening the basis of nationalism in India?
Gandhiji had brought a great transformation in the Indian nationalism. He’ gave it a mass base. When Gandhiji came to India from South Africa, nationalism in India was a movement of professionals and intellectuals. But Gandhiji ensured the involvement and participation of peasants, workers, and artisans. Rather than standing aloof from the common people, Mahatma Gandhi identified himself with them. He lived like the common people; dressed and ate like them, and also spoke the language which the common people spoke. He wore a simple dhoti or loin-cloth and worked on a Charkha (spinning wheel). He also encouraged other nationalists to do the same. He did all these things to strengthen the nationalist movement in India.
Mahatma Gandhi had a mass appeal. He broadened the basis of nationalism in Indian politics. For this, he took up the following steps:
- He suggested the Indian National Congress set up its new branches in various parts of the country.
- He suggested the establishment of a series of Praja Mandals to promote the nationalist creed in the princely states.
- He did not use the language of the rulers. He conveyed his message in the mother tongue.
Thus, Gandhiji took nationalism to distant corners of the country. He broadened its base to include all social groups. He also strengthened it so that it could be the path to achieve complete independence from the colonial rule
“The India that Mahatma Gandhi came back to in 1915 was rather different from the one that he had left.” Give five reasons in favor of the comment.
1. Although India was still a British colony now it was more active from a political point of view. Now, most of the Indian towns and cities had branches of the Indian National Congress.
2. Through the Swadeshi Movement of 1905-07, Congress had broadened its base among the middle class.
3. Swadeshi Movement had thrown up some great leaders which included Bal Gangadhar Tilak of Maharashtra, Bipin Chandra Pal of Bengal, and Lala Lajpat Rai of Punjab. These three leaders were also known as ‘Lai, Bal, and Pal’. Collection of all these three was a symbol of all—Indian character of their struggle because basically, they belonged to far off places.
4. These leaders advocated the militant opposition of colonial rule but on the other hand, there was a group of moderates that was completely in favor of a gradual and persuasive approach.
5. These moderate leaders included Gopal Krishna Gokhale, who was the acknowledged political mentor of Gandhiji and Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
Give a brief description of the struggle done by Gandhiji for communal harmony after few months of independence.
The freedom, for which Gandhiji struggled so long, came at an unacceptable price, i.e., division of the country. The nation was divided and Hindus and Muslims wanted to cut the throats of each other. Gandhiji appealed to Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs of riot-hit areas that they should forget the past and extend their hands of fellowship to each other and to determine to live in peace.
After working for bringing peace to Bengal, Gandhiji came back to Delhi. He then wanted to move on to the riot-hit districts of Punjab. But his meetings in the capital were disrupted by refugees. How could he go to Punjab when he was unable to promise the Muslims of Delhi about their protection? The end result of this struggle of Gandhiji came on 30th January 1930 when he was shot dead by a young man. It was a great sacrifice for the country.
Discuss the progress of the Quit India Movement. What was its importance in the history of the national movement for independence in India?
How was Quit India Movement genuinely a Mass Movement? Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (D))
Examine why Quit India Movement was started and how do you think the Quit India Movement was genuinely a mass movement. (C.B.S.E. 2017 (D))
The Quit India Movement started on 9 August 1942. The main reason for its beginning was that during the Second World War, Japan had occupied Burma. It was feared that Japan might attack India to harm the British interests. At this time, Congress passed a resolution to start the Quit India Movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. This resolution was passed as many leaders of the Congress felt that Japan would not attack India if the British left it. Besides the resolution for Quit India Movement, the Congress also resolved not to accept anything less than complete independence for India.
Beginning and Progress of the Movement: The Civil Disobedience Movement was started on 9 August 1942 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. He challenged the British to quit India. Soon after there were slogans of ‘Quit India’ all over the country. The British put their full might to repress this movement. Most of the political leaders were arrested. It infuriated the people who started plundering government offices, railway stations, and post offices.
The British became more adamant and put innumerable people behind the bars. The whole country was turned into a prison. Till February 1943, the Quit India continued with success. But after that, it lost its momentum because of the repressive policy of the government. It came to an end slowly and steadily.
Significance: Quit India was a mass movement that had the participation of lakhs of ordinary people. The British officials had also realized how wide was the discontent among the people against them and their rule. They came to know that the ultimate goal of all the Indians was complete independence from British rule. No doubt the British crushed the movement but it failed to crush the spirit for freedom inherent in the hearts of the common people. The impact of this movement was so intense that the British had to free India within three years from the end of this historic movement.
Explain how Gandhiji’s mass appeal was undoubtedly genuine in the context of Indian politics and how it contributed to his success in broadening the basis of nationalism. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (O.D.))
Gandhiji had brought a great transformation in the Indian nationalism. He gave it a mass base. When Gandhiji came to India from South Africa, nationalism in India was a movement of professionals and intellectuals. But Gandhiji ensured the involvement and participation of peasants, workers, and artisans rather than standing aloof from the common people, Mahatma Gandhi identified himself with them. He lived like the common people. He wore a simple dhoti or lion-cloth and also worked on a Charkha (spinning- wheel). He also encouraged other nationalists to do the same. He did all these things to strengthen the nationalist movement in India.
Mahatma Gandhi had a mass appeal. He broadened the basis of nationalism in Indian politics. For this, he took up the following steps:
- He suggested the Indian National Congress set up its new branches in various parts of the country.
- He suggested the establishment of a series of Praja Mandals to promote the nationalist creed in the princely states.
- He did not use the language of the rulers and conveyed his message in the mother tongue.
Thus, Gandhiji took nationalism to the distant corners of the country. He broadened its base to include all social groups. He also strengthened it so that it could be the path to achieve complete independence from the colonial rule.
Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement Important Extra Questions Source-Based
Read the following passages and answer the questions that follow:
Question 1. Charkha
Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly critical of the modern age in which machines enslaved humans and displaced labor. He saw the charkha as a symbol of human society that would not glorify machines and technology. The spinning wheel, moreover, could provide the poor with supplementary income and make them self-reliant.
What I object to, is the craze for machinery as such. The craze is for what they call labour¬saving machinery. Men go on “saving labor”, till thousands are without work and thrown on the open streets to die of starvation. I want to save time and labor, not for a fraction of mankind, but for all; I want the concentration of wealth, not in the hands of few, but in the hands of all. Young India, 13 November 1924 Khaddar does not seek to destroy all machinery but it does regulate its cause and check its weedy growth. It uses machinery for the service of the poorest in their own cottages. The wheel is itself an exquisite piece of machinery.
Young India, 17 March 1927
(i) Why was Mahatma Gandhi critical of machines?
Mahatma Gandhi was critical of the machines because they enslaved human-beings and displaced labor.
(ii) Why did Mahatma Gandhi give so much importance to Charkha (spinning wheel)?
Mahatma Gandhi gave much importance to Charkha (spinning wheel). He considered Charkha as a symbol of a self-reliant society. According to Gandhiji, Charkha diminished the glory of machines and technology. It signified manual labor. It also provided the poor with supplementary income.
(iii) In the views of Gandhiji, what would be the impact on the poor if the machines saved labor? How it will benefit the rich (capitalist)? Why was this solution not acceptable to Gandhiji?
Gandhiji was against the craze for machinery. He did not consider machines justified on the plea that they saved labor. He was critical of machines because they left thousands of people without work. They made many people die of starvation. Not only this, the machines will lead to the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few capitalists. In fact, Gandhi wanted that wealth should go into the hands of all. So the introduction of machines and technology was not acceptable to Gandhiji.
(iv) According to Gandhiji, what is the relation between Khaddar and machinery.
According to Gandhiji, Khaddar does not destroy any machinery. On the other hand, it regulates the use of machinery. It checks the weedy growth of machines. It encourages cottage industry. In other words, Gandhiji considered Charkha as a beautiful piece of machinery.
Ambedkar on Separate Electorates
In response to Mahatma Gandhi’s opposition to the demand for separate electorates for the Depressed Classes, Ambedkar wrote:
Here is a class that is undoubtedly not in a position to sustain itself in the struggle for existence. The religion, to which they are tied; instead of providing them an honorable place, brands them as lepers, not fit for ordinary intercourse. Economically, it is a class entirely dependent upon the high-caste Hindus for earning its daily bread with no independent way of living open to it. Nor are all ways closed by reason of the social prejudices of the Hindus but there is a definite attempt all through our Hindu Society to bolt every possible door so as not to allow the Depressed Classes any opportunity to rise in the scale of life.
In these circumstances, it would be granted by all fair-minded persons that as the only path for a community so handicapped to succeed in the struggle for life against organized tyranny, some share of political power in order that it may protect itself is a paramount necessity…
(i) What were the arguments of Mahatma Gandhi against the Separate Electorates? Give any two arguments.
(a) Mahatma Gandhi stated that the provision of a Separate Electorate would permanently segregate the depressed classes from the mainstream of the society.
(b) Being a fragmented society, there would be a threat to national unity.
(ii) How has Dr. B.R. Ambedkar described the social and economic condition of the Dalits?
According to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the depressed classes were not in a position to sustain themselves. They do not have an honorable place in society. They are hated like lepers. They are dependent on the upper castes to earn their daily bread. They have no independent way of living. In other words, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar considered the depressed classes as handicapped both socially as well as economically.
(iii) What did he want for the protection of the Dalits? For it, what did he propose?
He sought some share in the political power for the depressed classes. It would help them get protection. So he moved a resolution in Constituent Assembly seeking separate electorates for the depressed people of India.
The Problem with Separate Electorates
At the Round Table Conference Mahatma Gandhi stated his arguments against separate electorates for the Depressed Classes:
Separate electorates to the “Untouchables” will ensure them bondage in perpetuity …..
Do you want the “Untouchables” to remain “Untouchables” forever? Well, the separate electorates would perpetuate the stigma. What is needed is the destruction of “Untouchability”, and when you have done it, the bar sinister, which has been imposed by an insolent “superior” class will be destroyed. When you have destroyed the bar sinister to whom will you give the separate electorates?
(i) Where and why were the Round Table Conferences held?
The Round Table Conferences were held in London because the British had realized that their rule in India could not last long.
(ii) Why was Gandhi against separate electorates for the untouchables?
Mahatma Gandhi felt that separate electorates to the untouchables would enslave them forever. So they would perpetuate the stigma of untouchability.
(iii) What alternative did he want and why?
Gandhiji suggested destroying untouchability. There should be no sinister bar of the superior class on the inferior one.
(iv) Name any one leader who demanded separate electorates for the untouchables and the depressed classes.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar demanded separate electorates for the untouchables.
“Tomorrow we shall break the salt tax law”
On 5 April 1930, Mahatma Gandhi spoke at Dandi:
When I left Sabarmati with my companions for this seaside hamlet of Dandi, I was not certain in my mind that we would be allowed to reach this place. Even while I was at Sabarmati there was a rumor that I might be arrested. I had thought that the Government might perhaps let my party come as far as Dandi, but not me certainly. If someone says that this betrays imperfect faith on my part, I shall not deny the charge. That I have reached here is in no small measure due to the power of peace and non-violence: that power is universally felt.
The Government may, if it wishes, congratulate itself on acting as it has done, for it could have arrested every one of us. In saying that it did not have the courage to arrest this army of peace, we praise it. It felt ashamed to arrest such an army. He is a civilized man who feels ashamed to do anything which his neighbors would disapprove of. The Government deserves to be congratulated on not arresting us, even if it desisted only from fear of world opinion.
Tomorrow we shall break the salt tax law. Whether the Government will tolerate that is a different question. It may not tolerate it, but it deserves congratulations on the patience and forbearance it has displayed in regard to this party …
What if I and all the eminent leaders in Gujarat and in the rest of the country are arrested? This movement is based on the faith that when a whole nation is roused and on the march no leader is necessary.
(i) Where and how did Gandhiji break the Salt Law?
Gandhi broke the Salt Law at Dandi on the coast of the sea. He made a fistful of salt from seawater.
(ii) What was the mental condition of Gandhiji before the Dandi March? Was he proved right?
Gandhiji felt uncertain if he would be allowed to reach Dandi. There was a rumor that he might be arrested.
(iii) Why did Gandhiji praise the British Government?
Gandhiji praised the British Government because it was refined and civilized. It did not have the courage to arrest Gandhi’s army of peace. Therefore, Gandhiji compared the British Government to a civilized gentleman who felt ashamed to do anything that his neighbors did not approve of.
(iv) According to Gandhiji, on what principle was the Salt Movement-based?
According to Gandhiji, his movement was based on the faith that when a whole nation is roused against injustice, no leader is necessary.
Why the Salt Satyagraha?
Why was salt the symbol of protest? This is what Mahatma Gandhi wrote:
The volume of information being gained daily shows how wickedly the salt tax has been designed. In order to prevent the use of salt that has not paid the tax which is at times even fourteen times its value, the Government destroys the salt it cannot sell profitably. Thus it taxes the nation’s vital necessity; it prevents the public from manufacturing it and destroys what nature manufactures without effort.
No adjective is strong enough for characterizing this wicked dog-in-the-manger policy. From various sources, I hear tales of such wanton destruction of the nation’s property in all parts of India. Maunds if not tons of salt are said to be destroyed on the Konkan coast. The same tale comes from Dandi. Wherever there is the likelihood of natural salt being taken away by the people living in the neighborhood of such areas for their personal use, salt officers are posted for the sole purpose of carrying on destruction. Thus valuable national property is destroyed at the national expense and salt is taken out of the mouths of the people.
The salt monopoly is thus a fourfold curse. It deprives the people of a valuable easy village industry, involves wanton destruction of property that nature produces in abundance, the destruction itself means more national expenditure, and fourthly, to crown this folly, an unheard-of tax or more than 1,000 percent is exacted from a starving people.
This tax has remained so long because of the apathy of the general public. Now that it is sufficiently roused, the tax has to go. How soon it will be abolished depends upon the strength of the people.
(i) Why did the British Government destroy salt?
The tax on salt was fourteen times its real value. So the British Government destroyed that salt which it could not sell profitably. So it prevented the people from manufacturing salt. On the other hand, it destroyed that salt that nature had manufactured without any effort.
(ii) Why did Gandhiji consider it as an unjust policy?
According to Gandhiji, salt was the gift of nature to man. But the British Government did not allow people to manufacture salt. As salt was indispensable for domestic use, the people were compelled to buy it from shops at a high price. It was an unjust policy.
(iii) By which four arguments, Gandhiji proved that the salt monopoly was a four¬fold curse?
According to Gandhiji, the salt monopoly was a four-fold curse because of the following:
(a) It would lead to an extinction of village industry in India.
(b) It destroyed what nature produced without any effort.
(c) It would incur more national expenditure.
(d) It imposed a 1000% tax on the starving people.