History NCERT Based Test- 2


25 Questions MCQ Test History for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims | History NCERT Based Test- 2


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This mock test of History NCERT Based Test- 2 for UPSC helps you for every UPSC entrance exam. This contains 25 Multiple Choice Questions for UPSC History NCERT Based Test- 2 (mcq) to study with solutions a complete question bank. The solved questions answers in this History NCERT Based Test- 2 quiz give you a good mix of easy questions and tough questions. UPSC students definitely take this History NCERT Based Test- 2 exercise for a better result in the exam. You can find other History NCERT Based Test- 2 extra questions, long questions & short questions for UPSC on EduRev as well by searching above.
QUESTION: 1

Match the following:

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • Option (d) is correct:

Supplementary notes:

Newspapers & their Editors

  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak helped in the establishment of New English School in the 1880s; which later became the Ferguson College. He also established newspapers like Mahratta (in English) and Kesari (in Marathi). From 1889, he edited Kesari and preached nationalism in its columns and taught people to become courageous, self-reliant and selfless fighters in the cause of India’s independence.
  • The Comrade was a weekly English language newspaper that was published and edited by Maulana Mohammad Ali between 1911 and 1914.
  • The Al-Hilal was a weekly Urdu language newspaper established by the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and used as a medium for criticism of the British Raj in India.
  • Both Al-Hilal and Comrade were suppressed by the British Government during the First World War to curb the revolutionary activity during the war.
QUESTION: 2

Who among the following opposed raising the minimum age of marriage for girls from 10 to 12 years as embodied in the Age of Consent Act, 1891?

Solution:

The Age of Consent Act, 1891 Bill was opposed by many orthodox leaders who believed it as an interference in the Hindu religion but B. G. Tilak opposed this because he was of the view that change in society should come from within, it should not to be dictated by the authorities.

QUESTION: 3

Which of the following events gave impetus to the Indian National Movement?
1. World War One.
2. Russian Revolution.
3. Nationalist agitations in Afro-Asia world.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • All statements are correct

Supplementary notes:

Indian National Movement

  • Nationalism had gathered its forces during the war years (1914-18) and the nationalists were expecting major political gains after the war.
  • The economic situation in the post-war years had taken a turn for the worse. There was a rise in prices and then a depression in economic activity. Indian industries, which had prospered during the war because foreign imports of manufactured goods had ceased, now faced losses and closure. The Indian industrialists wanted the protection of their industries through the imposition of high customs duties and grants of government aid; they realized that a strong nationalist movement and an independent Indian Government alone could secure these. The workers, facing unemployment and high prices and living in great poverty, also turned actively towards the nationalist movement.
  • The First World War gave a tremendous impetus to nationalism all over Asia and Africa as the people of Asia and Africa were suddenly plunged from high hopes into deep despair.
  • A major impetus to the national movements was given by the impact of the Russian Revolution.
  • The Russian revolution brought home to the colonial people the important lesson that immense strength and energy resided in the common people. It was the common people who had not only overthrown the mighty Czarist government, the most despotic and one of the most militarily powerful regimes of the day but also defended the consequent military intervention against the revolution by Britain, France, the United States, and Japan.
  • The nationalist movement in India was also affected by the fact that the rest of the Afro-Asian world was also convulsed by nationalist agitations after the war. Nationalism surged forward not only’ in India but also in Turkey, the Arab Countries of Northern Africa and West Asia, Iran, Afghanistan, Burma, Malaya, Indonesia, Indo-China, the Philippines, China, and Korea.
QUESTION: 4

Who among the following wrote “Manucharita” which gives a detailed account of the Vijaynagar Empire?

Solution:

Allasani Peddana was a famous Telugu Poet and was ranked the foremost of the Ashtadiggajalu, the title for the group of eight poets, in the court of King Krishna Deva Raya.

QUESTION: 5

Consider the following statements regarding revolutionary terrorism in British India:
1. The revolutionaries tried to organize a mass revolution after all avenues of peaceful protest were blocked by the British.
2. Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose were involved in an incident of throwing bomb at Viceroy Hardinge.
3. Sandhya and Kal were the prominent newspapers advocating revolutionary terrorism.
Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

Solution:
  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The revolutionaries didn’t try to organize a mass revolution but instead copied the methods of Irish and Russian Nihilists.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect:  Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki threw a bomb at a carriage which they believed was occupied by Kingsford, the unpopular Judge at Muzzaffarpur.

Supplementary notes:

Growth of Revolutionary Terrorism

  • Government repression and frustration caused by the failure of the political struggle ultimately resulted in revolutionary terrorism. The youth of Bengal were angered by official arrogance and repression and were filled with burning hatred for foreign rule. They found all avenues of peaceful protest and political action blocked and out of desperation they fell back upon the cult of the bomb. They no longer believed that passive resistance could achieve nationalist aims.
  • The revolutionary young men did not try to generate a mass revolution. Instead, they decided to copy the methods of the Irish terrorists and the Russian Nihilists, that is, to assassinate unpopular officials.
  • A beginning had been made in this direction when in 1897 the Chapekar brothers assassinated two unpopular British officials at Poona.
  • In 1904, V.D. Savarkar had organized the Abhinava Bharat, a secret society of revolutionaries. After 1905, several newspapers had begun to advocate, revolutionary terrorism. The Sandhya and the Yugantar in Bengal and the Kal in Maharashtra were the most prominent among them.
  • In December I907 an attempt was made on the life of the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, and in April 1908 Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki threw a bomb at a carriage which they believed was occupied by Kingsford, the unpopular Judge at Muzzaffarpur.
  • Soon terrorist societies became active in the rest of the country also. They became so bold as to throw a bomb at the Viceroy Lord Hardinge, while he was riding on an elephant in a state procession at Delhi.
  • The terrorists also established centres ‘of activity abroad. ‘In London the lead was taken by Shyamji Krishnavarma, V.D. Savarkar, and Har Dayal, while in Europe Madam Cama and Ajit Singh were the prominent leaders.
QUESTION: 6

With reference to the Kisan Sabha, Consider the following statements :
1) The All-India Kisan Congress was established in Lucknow in 1936 which later changed its name to All India Kisan Sabha
2) The first session of the Kisan Sabha was held along the Faizpur session of Indian National Congress
3) The Faizpur session of the All-India Kisan Congress presided over by Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Select the correct answers from the code given below :

Solution:

The All-India Kisan Congress was established in Lucknow in 1936 which later changed its name to All-India Kisan Sabah. Swami Sahajanand, the militant founder of the Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha (1929) was elected the President, and N.G. Ranga, the pioneer of the Kisan movement in Andhra and a renowned scholar of the agrarian problem, the General Secretary. The first session was greeted in person by Jawaharlal Nehru. At Faizpur, in Maharashtra, along with the Congress session, was held the Second session of All India Kisan Congress presided over by N.G. Ranga.

QUESTION: 7

​The Indian National Congress met in a special session at Bombay in August 1918 under the presidentship of _____________ to consider the _____________. Fill in the blanks using the code given below:

Solution:
  • Option (d) is correct

Supplementary notes:

Montford reforms 

  • Indian nationalists were not satisfied with the advancement of constitutional rights under the Montford reforms.
  • They were no longer willing to let an alien government decide their fitness for selfgovernment, nor would they be satisfied with the shadow of political power.
  • The Indian National Congress met in a special session at Bombay in August 1918 under the presidentship of HasanImam to consider the reform proposals. It condemned them as “disappointing and unsatisfactory” and demanded effective self-government instead.
QUESTION: 8

The Nair Service Society was founded by :

Solution:

NSS is an organization created for the social advancement and welfare of the Nair community that is primarily found in South India.

QUESTION: 9

Who among the following resigned from their membership of the central legislative council against the passage of Rowlatt Act 1919?
1. Motilal Nehru
2. Mohammad Ali Jinnah
3. Madan Mohan Malviya
4. Abul Kalam Azad

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • Statement 1 and 4 are incorrect: Three of the legislative council members resigned in protest to the act. They were Mohommed Ali Jinnah, Madan Mohan Malaviya and Mazhar-ul-Huq.

Supplementary notes:

Rowlatt Act of 1919

  • British government enacted the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act of 1919, popularly known as the Rowlatt Act. The act was against the basic principle of the rule of law.
  • The act was hurriedly passed in the Imperial Legislative Council despite the united opposition of the Indian members.
  • It gave the government enormous powers to repress political activities and allowed the detention of political prisoners without trial for two years.
  • The Act would thus also enable the Government to suspend the right of habeas Corpus which had been the foundation of civil liberties in Britain.
  • Three of the legislative council members resigned in protest to the act. They were Mohommed Ali Jinnah, Madan Mohan Malaviya and Mazharul-Huq.
QUESTION: 10

What was the reason for Gandhiji to organize a Satyagrah on behalf of the peasants of Kheda?

Solution:

The Bombay Presidency increased the taxes in 1917-18 by 23%. In 1918, Gujarat as a whole suffered in a severe epidemic of Plague; in Kheda alone, around 17000 people lost their lives. The immediate reason for the revolt was against the taxes. The government said that if the taxes are not paid, the property would be seized. The result of the Satyagraha was that the Government reached an agreement for both the parties. Taxes for the current year and the next year were suspended and all the confiscated property was returned.

QUESTION: 11

Consider the following pairs:

Which of the above-given pairs is/are correctly matched?

Solution:
  • Pair 1 and 3 are incorrectly matched: Widow Remarriage Association is associated with Vishnu Shasstri Pandit and Prarthana Samaj is associated with Atmaram Pandurang

Supplementary notes:

Social Reform Organization

  • Gopal Hari Deshmukh became famous by the pen·name of ‘Lakahitawadi’. He urged people to be self-reliant and seek Western learning. These were, in his view, tools for cultivating a rational outlook and for solving the co country’s pressing problems.
  • Prarthana Samaj was founded by Dr. Atmaram Pandurang in 1867. In I870, Justice Mahadev Gobind Ranade joined this society and much of the work of this society was done by zeal and dedication of Ranade only.
  • The two main planks of the Prathana  Samaj were worship and social reforms.
QUESTION: 12

Which of the following methods were used by Lord Wellesley for expanding British Empire in India?
1. Subsidiary Alliance
2. Outright wars
3. Assumption of territories of previously subordinated rulers
4. Doctrine of Lapse

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • Statement 4 is incorrect: Doctrine of Lapse was followed by Lord Dalhousie.

Supplementary notes:

Expansion under Lord Wellesley (1798-1805)

  • Large-scale expansion of British rule in India occurred during the Governor-Generalship of Lord Wellesley who came to India in 1798 at a time when the British were locked in a life and death struggle with France all over the world.
  • Till then, the British had followed the policy of consolidating their gains and resources in India and making territorial gains only when this could be done safely without antagonizing the major Indian powers.
  • Lord Wellesley decided that the time was ripe for bringing as many Indian states as possible under British control. According to him, the political conditions of India were apt for a policy of expansion and aggression was easy as well as profitable.
  • Moreover, the trading and industrial classes of Britain desired further expansion in India.
  • To achieve his political aims Wellesley relied on three methods: the system of Subsidiary Alliances, outright wars, and assumption of the territories of previously subordinated rulers.
QUESTION: 13

Which among the following events-related to Rammohan Roy happened earliest?

Solution:

Option (b) is correct: In 1809 Rammohan Roy wrote in Persian his famous work Gift to Monotheists.

Supplementary notes:

Raja Rammohan Roy

  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy was an Indian socioeducational reformer who was also known as Father of Modern India’ and ‘Father of the Bengal Renaissance’.
  • In 1809  Rammohan Roy wrote in Persian his famous work Gift to Monotheists.
  • Atmiya Sabha was started in 1815. It was a philosophical discussion circle in India where people used to conduct debate and discussion sessions on philosophical topics such as Hindu Vedantism and also used to promote free and collective thinking and social reform.
  • Brahmo Samaj was established in 1828, whose purpose was to purify Hinduism and to preach theism or the worship of one God. The society was to be based on the twin pillars of reason and the Vedas and Upanishads.
  • From 1818, he started a long crusade against the evils of Sati custom. He set out to rouse public opinion on the question by citing the authority of the oldest sacred books that the Hindu religion right from its origin is opposed to the practice of Sati.
QUESTION: 14

Consider the following statements regarding the Champaran Satyagraha:
1. This was Gandhi’s first civil disobedience struggle in India.
2. It was fought against the rising commercialization of cotton crops.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: It was fought against the oppressive Indigo planters.

Supplementary notes:

Champaran Satyagraha

  • Champaran was Gandhi’s first experiment in satyagraha in India.
  • The peasantry on the indigo plantations in the district was excessively oppressed by the European planters. They were compelled to grow indigo on at least 3/20th of their land and to sell it at prices fixed by the planters.
  • Having heard of Gandhi’s campaign in South Africa several peasants of Champaran invited him to come and help them. Accompanied by Rajendra Prasad, Mazharul-Huq, J B. Kriplani, and Mahadev Desai, Gandhi reached Champaran in 1917 and began to conduct a detailed inquiry into the condition of the peasantry.
  • The infuriated district officials ordered him to leave Champaran, but he defied the order and was willing to face trial and imprisonment. This forced the government to cancel its earlier order and to appoint a committee of inquiry on which Gandhi served as a member. Ultimately, the disabilities from which the peasantry was suffering were reduced and Gandhi won his first battle of Civil Disobedience in India.
QUESTION: 15

Which of the following constituted the NonCooperation Movement?
1. Surrender of government titles.
2. Boycott of schools, courts, and councils.
3. Boycott of foreign goods.
4. Promotion of arbitration courts.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • All statements are correct

Supplementary notes:

Non-Cooperation Movement

  • The Non-Cooperation Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi on August 1, 1920, was the first mass movement organized nationwide during India’s struggle for freedom.
  • Features of the Non-Cooperation Movement:
    (i) The movement was essentially a peaceful and non-violent protest against the British government in India.
    (ii) Indians were asked to relinquish their titles and resign from nominated seats in the local bodies as a mark of protest.
    (iii) People were asked to resign from their government jobs.
    (iv) People were asked to withdraw their children from government-controlled or aided schools and colleges.
    (v) People were asked to boycott foreign goods and use only Indian-made goods.
    (vi) People were asked to boycott the elections to the legislative councils.
    (v) Efforts were made for the encouragement of national schools, arbitration of courts and khadi.
    (vi) The non-cooperation movement was a decisive step in the independence movement because, for the first time, the INC was ready to forego constitutional means to achieve self-rule.
QUESTION: 16

Which of the following were the reasons for the popular discontent that led to the revolt of 1857?
1. Economic exploitation by the Britishers
2. Destruction of the traditional economic fabric
3. Land revenue policies
4. The disappearance of Indian states
5. Activities of Christian missionaries

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • All statements are correct

Supplementary notes:

Revolt of 1857

  • It was a product of the accumulated grievances of the people against the Company’s administration and of their dislike for the foreign regime. For over a century before 1857, the British had been conquering the country bit by bit, popular discontent and hatred against foreign rule had been gaining strength among the different sections of Indian society. It was this discontent that burst forth into a mighty popular revolt.
  • The most important cause of the popular discontent was the economic exploitation of the country by the British and the complete destruction of its traditional economic fabric; both impoverished the vast mass of peasants, artisans, and handicraftsmen as also a large number of traditional zamindars and chiefs.
  • A large number of peasant proprietors lost their lands to traders and money-lenders and found themselves hopelessly involved in debt because of the British land revenue policies and the systems of law and administration.
  • Indian rulers who had been patrons of arts and literature and had supported religious preachers and divines were displaced by the East India company. This caused impoverishment of those who depended on patronage, for e.g. Pandits and Maulvis.
  • Various activities of the Christian missionaries especially conversion created fear among ordinary people as it endangered their religion.
QUESTION: 17

Which of the following were the reasons of Stagnation and Deterioration of Agriculture under British Rule?
1. Overcrowding of agriculture
2. Excessive land revenue demand
3. Growth of landlordism
4. Increasing indebtedness

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • All statements are correct

Supplementary notes:

Stagnation and Deterioration of Agriculture

  • Overcrowding of agriculture, excessive land revenue demand, growth of landlordism, increasing indebtedness, and the growing Impoverishment of the cultivators were few reason which led to stagnation and deterioration of agriculture.
  • Indian agriculture began to stagnate and even deteriorate resulting in extremely low yields per acre.
  • Overcrowding of agriculture and an increase in subinfeudation led to subdivision and fragmentation of land into small holdings most of which could not maintain their cultivators.
  • The extreme poverty of the overwhelming majority of peasants left them without any resources with which to improve agriculture by using better cattle and seeds, more manure and fertilizers, and improved techniques of production. Nor did the cultivator, rack-rented by both the Government and the landlord, have any incentive to do so.
  • After all, the land he cultivated was rarely his property and the bulk of the benefit which agricultural improvements would bring was likely to be reaped by the horde of absentee landlords and money-lenders. Subdivision and fragmentation of land also made it difficult to effect Improvements.
QUESTION: 18

Which of the following events related to the Non-Cooperation Movement happened earliest?

Solution:
  • Option (a) is correct

Supplementary notes:

Non-Cooperation Movement

  • The Non-Cooperation Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi on August 1, 1920, was the first mass movement organized nationwide during India’s struggle for freedom.
  • In July 1921, the All-India Khilafat Committee passed a resolution declaring that no Muslim should serve in the British Indian army.
  • The Khilafat meetings in Malabar incited communal feelings among the Moplahs and it became a movement directed against the British as well as the Hindu landlords of Malabar. From August 1921 till about the end of the year, the rebels had under their control large parts of Malabar.
  • The British government arrested Mahatma Gandhi on 10 March 1922 and charged him with spreading disaffection against the Government.
  • In November 1921 huge demonstrations greeted the Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne, during his tour of India. He had been asked by the Government to come to India to encourage loyalty among the people and the princes. In Bombay, the Government tried to suppress the demonstration, killing 53 persons and wounding about 400 more.
QUESTION: 19

Lord Cornwallis brought into existence the civil service in India. Which of the following were the reforms undertaken by him to ensure the efficiency of civil services in India?
1. Ban on private trade and acceptance of presents and bribes by officials.
2. Setting up college of Fort William for education of young recruits to the services.
3. Promotion based on seniority.
4. Rigid and complete exclusion of Indians from service.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: Lord Wellesley in 1800 established a college of Fort William at Calcutta for education of young recruits to the Civil Service.

Supplementary notes:

Civil Services in India

  • The civil service was brought into existence by Lord Cornwallis.
  • He was determined to purify the administration, but he realized that the Company’s servants would not give honest and efficient service so long as they were not given adequate salaries. He therefore enforced the rules against private trade and acceptance of presents and bribes by officials with strictness. At the same time, he raised the salaries of the Company’s servants.
  • In fact the Company’s Civil Service became the highest paid service in the world.
  • Cornwallis also laid down that promotion in the Civil Service would be by seniority so that Its members would remain independent of outside influence.
  • In 1800, Lord Wellesley pointed out that even though civil servants often ruled over vast areas, they came to India at the immature age of 18 or so and were given no regular training before starting on their jobs. They generally lacked knowledge of Indian languages. Wellesley therefore established the College of Fort William at Calcutta for the education of young recruits to the Civil Service. The Directors of the Company disapproved of his action and in 1806 replaced it by their own East Indian College in England.
  • Till 1853 all appointments to the Civil Service were made by the Directors of the East India Company who placated the members of the Board of Control by letting them make some of the nominations. This changed in 1853 when the Charter Act decreed that all recruits to the Civil Service were to be selected through a competitive examination.
  • A special feature of the Indian Civil Service since the days of Cornwallis was the rigid and complete exclusion of Indians from it.
QUESTION: 20

Which of the following statements are incorrect regarding Civil Disobedience Movement?
1. It was started with Dandi March by Mahatma Gandhi on 12th March, 1930.
2. North-East India remained unaffected by this movement.
3. In the north-west the most famous leader was Abdul Gaffar Khan, nick-named as “Frontier Gandhi”.
4. During it, the Maratha soldiers refused to fire on the unarmed crowd at Peshawar.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: North-East India was also affected. Manipuris took a brave part in it and Nagaland produced a brave heroine in Rani Gaidilieu.
  • Statement 4 is incorrect: During it, a section of Garhwal Rifles soldiers refused to fire on an unarmed crowd in Peshawar.

Supplementary notes:

Civil Disobedience Movement

  • On March 2, 1930, Gandhi informed the viceroy of his plan of action. According to this plan, Gandhi, along with a band of seventyeight members of Sabarmati Ashram, was to march from his headquarters in Ahmedabad through the villages of Gujarat for 240 miles.
  • On reaching the coast at Dandi, the salt law was to be violated by collecting salt from the beach. The historic march, marking, the launch of the Civil Disobedience Movement, began on March 12, and Gandhi broke the salt law by picking up a handful of salt at Dandi on April 6.
  • North-East India was also affected. Manipuris took a brave part in it and Nagaland produced a brave heroine in Rani Gaidilieu, who at the age of thirteen responded to the call of Gandhi and the Congress and raised the banner of rebellion against foreign rule. She was captured in 1932 and sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • In the north-west the most famous leader was Abdul Gaffar Khan, nick-named as “Frontier Gandhi”. Gaffar Khan, also called Badshah Khan had started the first Pushto political monthly ‘Pukhtoon’ and had organised a volunteer brigade ‘Khudai Khidmatgars’, popularly known as the ‘Red-Shirts’, who were pledged to the freedom struggle and non-violence.
  • During it, a section of Garhwal Rifles soldiers refused to fire on an unarmed crowd in Peshawar. This upsurge in a province with 92 per cent Muslim population left the British government nervous.
QUESTION: 21

Consider the following pairs:

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • Pair 1 and 2 are incorrectly matched:

Supplementary notes:

Different leaders Associated with the Revolt of 1857

QUESTION: 22

Arrange the following organisations Predecessors of the Indian National Congress in chronological order:
1. Madras Native Association
2. Bombay Presidency Association
3. East India Association
4. Bengal British Indian Society

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • Option (b) is correct:

4. Bengal British Indian Society
1. Madras Native Association
3. East India Association
2. Bombay Presidency Association

Supplementary notes:

Predecessors of the Indian National Congress

  • The Indian National Congress, founded in December 1885, was the first organised expression of the Indian National Movement on an all India scale. It had, however, many predecessors.
  • The earliest public association in modern India was the Landholders’ Society-an association of the landlords of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa, founded in 1837 with the purpose of promoting the class interests of the landlords.
  • Then, in 1843, was organised the Bengal British Indian Society to protect and promote general public interests. These two organisations merged in 1851 to form the British India Association.
  • The Madras Native Association and the Bombay Association were established in 1852. 
  • Lesser-known clubs and associations, such as the Scientific Society founded by Sayyid Ahmad Khan, were established in different towns and parts of the country. All these associations were dominated by wealthy and aristocratic elements called in those days: prominent persons’-and were provincial or local in character.
  • In 1866, Dadabhai Naoroji organised the East India Association in London to discuss the Indian question and to influence British public men to promote Indian welfare. Later he organised branches of the association in prominent Indian cities in 1870’s.
  • The Madras Mahajan Babha was started in 1881 and the Bombay Presidency Association in 1885.
QUESTION: 23

Which of the following statements regarding Morley-Minto Reforms is/are correct?
1. All the elected members of Imperial Legislative Council were elected directly by the provincial council.
2. It introduced an element of direct elections for the first time.
3. It introduced separate electorate for depressed classes.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: The elected members to the imperial and provincial legislative councils were indirectly elected.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: It introduced a separate electorate for Muslims.

Supplementary notes:

Morley-Minto Reforms/Indian Councils Act of 1909

  • The British Government played the game of ‘Divide and Rule’ and tried to win over moderate nationalist opinion so that the militant nationalists could be isolated and suppressed.
  • To placate the moderate nationalists it announced constitutional concessions through the Indian Councils Act of 1909 which are known as the Morley-Minto Reforms of 1909.
  • Features of the act are:
    (i) It increased the number of elected members in the Imperial Legislative Council and the provincial councils.
    (ii) But most of the elected members were elected indirectly, by the provincial council in the case of the Imperial Council and by municipal committees and district boards in the case of provincial councils.
    (iii) Some of the elected seats were reserved for landlords and British capitalists in India.
    (iv) The reformed councils still enjoyed no real power, being merely advisory bodies. The reforms in no way changed the undemocratic and foreign character of British rule or the fact of foreign economic exploitation of the country.
    (v) The Reforms also introduced the system of separate electorates under which all Muslims were grouped in separate constituencies from which Muslims alone could be elected. This was done in the name of protecting the Muslim minority. But in reality, this was a part of the policy of dividing Hindus and Muslims and thus maintaining British supremacy in India.
  • The moderate nationalists did not fully support the Morley-Minto Reforms. They soon realized that the Reforms had not really granted much. But they decided to cooperate with the Government in working the reforms.
QUESTION: 24

Who among the following said that “the fight that was commenced in 1920 is a fight to the finish, whether it lasts one month or one year or many months or many years?”

Solution:
  • Option (b) is correct

Supplementary notes:

Mahatama Gandhi

  • The non-cooperation movement was launched on 1st August 1920 by the Indian National Congress (INC) under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. It signified a new chapter in the history of Indian freedom struggle. 
  • The Indian people had lost their sense of fear. The brute strength of British power in India no longer frightened them. They had gained tremendous self-confidence and selfesteem, which no defeats and retreats could shake. This was expressed by Gandhiji when he declared that “the fight that was commenced in 1920 is a fight to the finish, whether it lasts one month or one year or many months or many years.”
QUESTION: 25

Consider the following statements regarding the revolt of 1857:
1. There was a clear vision of creating a republican state after the revolt of 1857.
2. It was highly inspired by the idea of modern nationalism.

Which of the statements given above is/are incorrect?

Solution:
  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The rebels did not know what sort of power to create after overthrowing British forces from an area.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: Modern nationalism was unknown in India during the revolt of 1857.

Supplementary notes:

Limitations of the Revolt of 1857

  • The Revolt of 1857 was localized and poorly organized. Due to the lack of communication facilities, the sepoys of the widely dispersed cantonments could no act simultaneously in a concerted manner. The revolt did not spread to wider regions of the country.
  • The modern educated Indians also did not support the Revolt. They were repelled by the rebels appeals to superstitions and their opposition to progressive social measures.
  • Rebels were also short of modern weapons and other materials of war. Most of them fought with such ancient weapons as pikes and swords. They were also poorly organized. The sepoys were brave and selfless but they were also ill-disciplined. Sometimes they behaved more like a riotous mob than a disciplined army.
  • The rebel units did not have a common plan of action, or authoritative heads, or centralised leadership. The uprisings in different parts of the country were completely uncoordinated. The leaders were joined together by a common feeling of hatred for the alien rule but by nothing else. Once they overthrew British power from an area, they did not know what sort of power to create in its place. They failed to evolve the unity of action. They were suspicious and jealous of one another and often indulged in suicidal quarrels.
  • The absence of a modern progressive program enabled the reactionary feudal princes and zamindars to seize the levers of power of the revolutionary movement.
  • Modern nationalism was yet unknown in India. Patriotism meant love of one’s small locality or region or at most one state. Common all-India interests and the consciousness that these interests bound all Indians together were yet to come.