Q.1. What what the main issue behind the Khilafat Movement? Why did Gandhiji support this.
Why did Gandhiji decide to join the Khilafat Movement? Describe his association with the movement and its importance.
Ans. Gandhiji wanted to make his ‘Satyagraha’ movement more broad-based. He realised that this could be possible only if Hindus and Muslims came closer and joined it. He found the Khilafat issue as one that could bring about this unity. The First World War had given a death blow to the Ottoman Empire of Turkey. The British had promised a generous treatment to the Khalifa, but they did not keep up the promise. The Khalifa was considered the spiritual head of the Muslims and a protector of their holy places. By 1920, the British had totally dismembered the Turkish Empire.
To defend the Khalifa’s powers, a Khilafat Committee was organised in Bombay under the Ali brothers — Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali — in March 1919. Gandhiji was invited by the Ali brothers to join them. At the Calcutta session of the Congress in 1920, Gandhiji convinced other leaders to support the Khilafat Movement and start a Non-Cooperation Movement for Swaraj. Along with the Ali brothers he toured India and gathered support for the movement. Inspired by them, about 30,000 people courted arrest. All Congress Committees adopted the Khilafat resolutions in 1921, and supported its four-point programme. The Khilafat Movement ended when Turkey came under Kamal Pasha and he brought in a lot of reforms. The importance of Khilafat Movement is that it brought Hindus and Muslims under one cause. The Muslims also became a part of the National Movement and made it more broad-based.
Q.2. Why did Gandhi choose “Non-Cooperation” as a method of fighting the colonial rule? Explain his method.
Ans. His idea was very simple. The British were ruling India because the people had allowed them to do and cooperated with them. They had survived because the Indians did not throw them out. If the Indians refused to cooperate with the British, their rule would collapse and India would win active “Swaraj.”
He wanted the movement to unfold in stages and take various steps one by one. First was the surrender of all titles granted by the government, second, to boycott all services under the government — civil, police and the army. Next was to boycott the courts and the Legislative Councils. If the government used repressive measures, then a full civil disobedience campaign was to be launched. This programme was launched in 1920 and lasted for two years.
Q.3. Explain the term “Swaraj” and its changed meaning in this period.
Ans. “Swaraj” means freedom or self-rule. Before Gandhiji came, the Indian National Movement asked for “self-rule” within the British Government, as in the dominions like Australia and Canada. Before Gandhiji, British rule was considered good for India. In 1920, “Swaraj” meant “Self-Government” within the empire if possible and outside if necessary. Earlier the attainment of Swaraj was through “constitutional means”; now it was substituted by “all peaceful and legitimate methods.” A resolution for ‘poorna swaraj’ or complete independence was passed at Lahore session of Congress in December 1929.
Q.4. Why did different social groups join the Non-Cooperation Movement?
Describe the extent of peoples’ participations in the the Non-Cooperation movement in the towns. What were its economic efflects? [2011(T-2)]
(i) The middle class joined the movement because the boycott of foreign goods would make the sale of their textiles and handlooms go up.
(ii) The peasants took part in the movement because they hoped they would be saved from the oppressive landlords, high taxes taken by the colonial government.
(iii) Plantation workers took part in the agitation hoping they would get the right to move freely in and outside the plantations and get land in their own villages.
Q.5. Why were the hill people of Andhra aggrieved by the colonial rule?
Analyse any four features of Gudem rebellion of Andhra Pradesh. [2011(T-2)]
Ans. The hill people of Andhra (Gudem Hills) were angry with the British rule, because the government had deprived them of the use of forest lands. They were prohibited to graze their cattle on forest lands, denied the right to cut trees for fuel and eat the fruits of the forest. This affected their livelihoods as well as denied them their traditional rights. They were also forced to do begar for building roads by the government. This enraged them so much that they organised a militant guerrilla movement in the 1920s.
Q.6. What is the importance of Non-Cooperation Movement in India’s struggle for independence?
Ans. It was the first attempt at an all-India mass struggle against the British.
(i) It clearly demonstrated that thousands of poor Indians were capable of courage, sacrifice and ability to face repression and suffering.
(ii) The movement was no longer limited to a few urban educated persons. Thousands of people walked side by side, fought oppression for months, the movement became wider in its scope, people realised the strength of their unity.
(iii) It turned the Congress into a nationalist organisation and became a national movement.
Q.7. How did the different social groups that participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement look at it? What was their attitude towards its aim?
Ans. All the groups that participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement did not have the same ideals, or same views of “Swaraj”.
(i) In the countryside : The active members were the rich peasant communities, the Patidars of Gujarat and the Jats of Uttar Pradesh.
Reason : They were producers of commercial crops which were hit by the trade depression and falling prices. As cash income disappeared they were unable to pay the government’s revenue demands. The government refused to reduce its demands. So they joined the Civil Disobedience Movement, hoping to get the revenue demands reduced. For them “Swaraj”\ meant fighting against high revenues.
(ii) The poor peasants joined the movement because they were unable to pay the rent for the land they cultivated for the landlords. They did not own the land, they were small tenants who cultivated lands taken on rent from the landlords. As the Depression continued, the small tenants could not pay the rent, so they joined the movement hoping that their unpaid rent would be remitted.
(iii) The rich merchants and industrialists joined the movement to protest against colonial policies that restricted business activities. They wanted protection against import of foreign goods and a rupee-sterling foreign exchange ratio to discourage imports.
(iv) The industrial workers joined the Civil Disobedience Movement dropping to get their demands passed — like laws against low wages and poor working conditions. All four classes were disappointed by the movement.
Q.8. Compare the image of Bharat Mata with the image of Germania. Do you find any similarities? Why do you think these images of Bharat Mata will not appeal to all castes and communities?
Bharat Mata, Abanindranath Tagore, 1905 Notice that the mother figure here is shown as dispensing learning, food and clothing. The ‘mala’ in one hand emphasises her ascetic quality. Abanindranath Tagore, like Ravi Varma beforem him, tried to develop a style of painting that could be seen as truly Indian. Bharat Mata is portrayed as calm, composed, divine and spiritual,
Germania, Philip Veit, 1848 The artist prepared this painting of Germania on a cotton banner, as it was meant to hang from the ceiling of the Church of St Paul where the Frankfurt Parliament was convened in March 1848. Germania is portrayed as someone wearing oak leaves, as German oak stands for heroism.
Ans. Germania is portrayed as a heroic figure. Look at the sword in one hand, flag in the other. She stands for partriotism and heroism. This portrait resembled the Bharat Mata. The figure extends purity and authority.
Q.9. Explain the shared beliefs and common bonds that give rise to a sense of common belonging.
How did the people belonging to different communities, regions or languages develop a sense of collective belonging during the Indian freedom struggle.
Ans. Common bonds that give rise to common belonging are :
(i) Experiences of common struggles (against colonialism, against oppression, against poverty caused by a colonial rule).
(ii) Through symbols : like certain figures and wages becoming the identity of a nation. Examples : Statue of Liberty USA, the Storming of Bastille — French Revolution. India’s symbol was ‘Bharat Mata’.
(iii) Through folklore, songs, legends and stories. Nationalists collected songs, for example; Rabindranath Tagore and Natesa Sastri of Madras. Sastri wrote a four-volume book on folk stories of Southern India.
(iv) Through reinterpretation of history. The British had portrayed Indians as backward, primitive and incapable of governing themselves. By rediscovering the past, India’s greatness — its cultural progress in mathematics, literature, religion and culture, imbibed a sense of pride among the Indians.
(v) Last but not the least, Gandhiji used this sense of collective belonging by channelising it in the National Movement. He tried to forge a sense of unity among the different social groups in India.
Q.10. Do you agree with Iqbal’s idea of communalism in the extract given below? Can you define communalism in a different way?
“In 1930, Sir Muhammad Iqbal, as President of the Muslim League, reiterated the importance of separate electorate for the Muslims as an important safeguard for their minority political interests. His statement is supposed to have provided the intellectual justification for the Pakistan demand that came up in subsequent years. This is what he said: ‘I have no hesitation in declaring that if the principle that the Indian Muslim is entitled to full and free development on the lines of his own culture and tradition in his own Indian homeland is recognised as the basis of a permanent communal settlement, he will be ready to stake his all for the freedom of India. The principle that each group is entitled to free development on its own lines, is not inspired by any feeling of narrow communalism … A community which is inspired by feelings of ill-will towards other communities is low and ignoble. I entertain the highest respect for the customs, laws, religions and social institutions of other communities. Nay, it is my duty according to the teachings of the Quran, even to defend their places of worship, if need be. Yet I love the communal group which is the source of life and behaviour and which has formed me what I am by giving me its religion, its literature, its thought, its culture and thereby its whole past as a living operative factor in my present consciousness … ‘Communalism in its higher aspect, then, is indispensable to the formation of a harmonious whole in a country like India. The units of Indian society are not territorial as in European countries … The principle of European democracy cannot be applied to India without recognising the fact of communal groups. The Muslim demand for the creation of a Muslim India within India is, therefore, perfectly justified…
‘The Hindu thinks that separate electorates are contrary to the spirit of true nationalism, because he understands the word “nation” to mean a kind of universal amalgamation in which no communal entity ought to retain its private individuality. Such a state of things, however, does not exist. India is a land of racial and religious variety. Add to this the general economic inferiority of the Muslims, their enormous debt, especially in the Punjab, and their insufficient majorities in some of the provinces, as at present constituted, and you will begin to see clearly the meaning of our anxiety to retain separate electorates.”
Ans. Communalism is based on the idea that religion is the principal basis of social community. All the followers of one religion belong to one community and their basic interests are the same. People of different religions cannot belong to the same social group. This is what Iqbal is saying that Muslims are different from Hindus, they cannot have same fundamental interests. They cannot be bound together as one nation. One will dominate the other, if it happens to be in majority (in this case Hindus); in the end there would be two nations. Iqbal is trying to propagate the “Two Nation Theory”. I do not agree with it as people of one religion do not have the same interests and ambitions. We have seen this in the case of Ireland, where in spite of being a Christian country, there was deep religious division between the Catholics and the Protestants. Religion should never be seen as the basis of a nation. No religion should try to dominate others. Communalism is a divisive force which destroys the unity and peace of a nation. We have seen how Yugoslavia has been divided into six small nations because of religious differences.