(a) Why the growth of nationalism in the colonies is linked to an anti-colonial movement.
- People began discovering their unity in the process of their struggle with colonialism.
- The sense of being oppressed under colonialism provided a shared bond that tied many different groups together.
- But each class and group felt the effects of colonialism differently. Their experiences were varied and their notions of freedom were not always the same. The Congress under Mahatma Gandhi tried to forge these groups together within one movement. But the unity did not emerge without conflict.
(b) How the First World War helped in the growth of the National Movement in India.
Ans: War created a new political and economic situation.
- Led to a huge increase in defence expenditure which was financed by war loans and increasing taxes: custom duties were increased and income tax introduced.
- Forced recruitment in villages caused widespread anger.
- Crops failed; this resulted in an acute shortage of food.
- 12 to 13 million people died due to famines and epidemics.
(c) Why Indians were outraged by the Rowlatt Act.
Ans: (i) Indians had hoped that after the war their hardships would be over and the government would take steps to improve their condition.
(ii) On the other hand, the government passed the Rowlatt Act in the Imperial Legislative Council in 1919 against the united opposition of the Indian members.
(iii) The Act gave the government enormous powers to repress political activities. It allowed detention of political prisoners without trial for two years.
(iv) Its provisions meant the suspension of two principles of justice - trial by jury and habeas corpus.
(d) Why Gandhiji decided to withdraw the Non-Cooperation Movement.
Ans: Gandhiji decided to withdraw the Non-Cooperation Movement because of the following reasons:
(i) In February 1922, at Chauri Chaura in Gorakhpur (UP), a group of peaceful Indian demonstrators turned violent. They burnt alive 22 policemen. When Mahatma Gandhi came to know about it, he decided to withdraw the Non-Cooperation Movement.
(ii) He felt that the movement was turning violent in many places and satyagrahis needed to be properly trained before they would be ready for mass struggles.
(iii) Within Congress too, some leaders like C.R. Dass and Motilal Nehru were now tired of mass struggles and wanted to participate in elections to the provincial councils.
Q2. What is meant by the idea of satyagraha?
Ans: (i) Satyagraha is pure soul-force. Truth is the very substance of the soul. That is why this force is called Satyagraha.
(ii) The idea of Satyagraha suggested that if the cause was true, if the struggle was against injustice, then physical force was not necessary to fight the oppressor.
(iii) Without seeking vengeance or being aggressive, a satyagrahi could win the battle through non-violence. Thus non-violence is the supreme dharma.
(iv) In Satyagraha, oppressors - had to be persuaded to see the truth, instead of being forced to accept truth through the use of violence.
Q3. Write a newspaper report on:
(a) The Jallianwala Bagh massacre
(b) The Simon Commission
Ans: (a) The Jallianwala Bagh massacre:
Today is 13 April - Baisakhi. A large crowd of people had gathered in the enclosed ground of Jallianwala Bagh. Some came to protest against the government’s Rowlatt Act. Others had come to attend the annual Baisakhi fair. Being from outside the city, many villagers were unaware of the Martial Law that had been imposed. Gen. Dyer entered the area, blocked the exit points and opened fire on the crowd killing hundreds.
His object was to ‘produce a moral effect’ to create in the minds of satyagrahis a feeling of terror and awe.
After the massacre, the wounded were left without medical help. The number of exact casualties is not known. It is an example of oppressive rule by the Imperialist Power.
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
(b) The Simon Commission:
Lahore: 30th October 1928 - Today Simon Commission to look into the functioning of the constitutional system in India and to submit a detailed report on reforms, reached Lahore. It is really strange that though object of the Commission is to look into an Indian problem but no Indian has been appointed as its member. All the members were Britishers. This is a gross injustice. Indians must raise their voice against it and resist the Commission at all levels so that the British government may include Indians in the Commission.
Thus, today people gathered at the station. Lala Lajpat Rai and others led the procession and raised slogans, “Simon Go Back”. There was a clash between police and protesters. Lala Lajpat Rai was hit near his heart and felt pain.
Q4. Compare the images of Bharat Mata in this chapter with the image of Germania in Chapter 1.
Ans: There are two images of Bharat Mata one by Abanindranath Tagore and the second by another artist. In the image by Tagore, Bharat Mata is portrayed as an ascetic figure. She has been shown as calm, composed, divine and spiritual. She is shown also as dispensing learning food and clothing. Abanindranath Tagore tried to develop a style of painting that could be seen as truly Indian.
In the second figure, Bharat Mata is shown with a Trishul, standing beside a lion and an elephant both symbols of power and authority. This figure is a contrast to the one painted by Abanindranath Tagore.
On the other hand, the image of Germania by Philip Veet wears a crown of oak leaves which stands for heroism. Thus, there is one similarity between Bharat Mata and Germania - both have an element of bravery i.e., power, authority and heroism.
Q5. List all the different social groups which joined the Non-Cooperation Movement of 1921. Then choose any three and write about their hopes and struggles to show why they joined the movement.
Ans: Below is the list of different social groups who joined the Non-Cooperation Movement and their struggles.
- Middle-Class participation in cities: Thousands of students left government-controlled schools and colleges, headmasters and teachers resigned, and lawyers gave up their legal practices. The council elections were boycotted in most provinces except Madras, where the Justice Party, the party of the non-Brahmans, felt that entering the council was one way of gaining some power – something that usually only Brahmans had access to. The effects of non-cooperation on the economic front were more dramatic. Foreign goods were boycotted, liquor shops were picketed, and foreign cloth was burnt in huge bonfires. The import of foreign cloth halved between 1921 and 1922, its value dropping from Rs 102 crore to Rs 57 crore. In many places, merchants and traders refused to trade in foreign goods or finance foreign trade. As the boycott movement spread and people began discarding imported clothes and wearing only Indian ones, production of Indian textile mills and handlooms went up. But this movement in the cities gradually slowed down for a variety of reasons. Khadi cloth was often more expensive than mass-produced mill cloth and poor people could not afford to buy it. Similarly, the boycott of British institutions posed a problem. For the movement to be successful, alternative Indian institutions had to be set up so that they could be used in place of the British ones. These were slow to come up. So students and teachers began trickling back to government schools and lawyers joined back work in government courts.
- Peasants and Tribals: In Awadh, peasants were led by Baba Ramchandra – a sanyasi who had earlier been to Fiji as an indentured labourer. The movement here was against talukdars and landlords who demanded exorbitantly high rents and a variety of other cesses from peasants. Peasants had to do begar and work at landlords’ farms without any payment. As tenants, they had no security of tenure, being regularly evicted so that they could acquire no right over the leased land. The peasant movement demanded reduction of revenue, the abolition of begar and social boycott of oppressive landlords. In many places ‘nai-dhobi bandhs’ were organised by panchayats to deprive landlords of the services of barbers and washermen.
Tribal peasants interpreted the message of Mahatma Gandhi and the idea of swaraj in yet another way. In the Gudem Hills of Andhra Pradesh, for instance, a militant guerrilla movement spread in the early 1920s – not a form of struggle that the Congress could approve. In other forest regions, the colonial government had closed large forest areas, preventing people from entering the forests to graze their cattle or to collect fuelwood and fruits. This enraged the hill people. Not only were their livelihoods affected, but they felt that their traditional rights were being denied. When the government began forcing them to contribute begar for road building, the hill people revolted.
- Workers in the Plantations: Workers too had their own understanding of Mahatma Gandhi and the notion of swaraj. For plantation workers in Assam, freedom meant the right to move freely in and out of the confined space in which they were enclosed, and it meant retaining a link with the village from which they had come. Under the Inland Emigration Act of 1859, plantation workers were not permitted to leave the tea gardens without permission, and in fact, they were rarely given such permission. When they heard of the Non-Cooperation Movement, thousands of workers defied the authorities, left the plantations and headed home. They believed that Gandhi Raj was coming and everyone would be given land in their own villages. They, however, never reached their destination. Stranded on the way by a railway and steamer strike, they were caught by the police and brutally beaten up.
Non-cooperation Movement of 1921
Q6. Discuss the Salt March to make clear why it was an effective symbol of resistance against colonialism.
- Mahatma Gandhi found in salt a powerful symbol that could unite the nation. On 31 January 1930, he sent a letter to Viceroy Irwin stating eleven demands. Some of these were of general interest; others were specific demands of different classes, from industrialists to peasants. The idea was to make the demands wide-ranging so that all classes within Indian society could identify with them and everyone could be brought together in a united campaign. The most stirring of all was the demand to abolish the salt tax. Salt was something consumed by the rich and the poor alike, and it was one of the essential items of food. The tax on salt and the government monopoly over its production, Mahatma Gandhi declared, revealed the most oppressive face of British rule.
- Mahatma Gandhi started his famous salt march accompanied by 78 of his trusted volunteers. The march was over 240 miles, from Gandhiji’s ashram in Sabarmati to the Gujarati coastal town of Dandi. The volunteers walked for 24 days, about 10 miles a day. Thousands came to hear Mahatma Gandhi wherever he stopped, and he told them what he meant by Swaraj and urged them to peacefully defy the British. On 6 April he reached Dandi, and ceremonially violated the law, manufacturing salt by boiling seawater.
- Thousands in different parts of the country broke the salt law, manufactured salt and demonstrated in front of government salt factories. As the movement spread, the foreign cloth was boycotted, and liquor shops were picketed. Peasants refused to pay revenue and chowkidar taxes, village officials resigned, and in many places, forest people violated forest laws – going into Reserved Forests to collect wood and graze cattle.
Q7. Imagine you are a woman participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement. Explain what the experience meant to your life.
Ans: It was a time when women were kept inside the walls. A woman's role was considered to be of a homemaker. Though I got a good education, I was not allowed to take part in social or political activities. But I thought by participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement, I could be a part of the nation making process.
So, at the call of Gandhiji, I couldn't resist myself. Revolting against my family traditions, and I became an active member of the movement. It was a proud moment for me to participate in Gandhi's Civil Disobedience Movement.
It was a motivating experience for me when I tended to those injured in the lathi-charge. It was like taking care of my own brother. I was full of nationalistic fervour. It was the most memorable and proud phase of my life.
Q8. Why did political leaders differ sharply over the question of separate electorates?
- Dr B.R. Ambedkar, who organised the Dalits into the Depressed Classes Association in 1930, clashed with Mahatma Gandhi at the second Round Table Conference by demanding separate electorates for Dalits. When the British government conceded Ambedkar’s demand, Gandhiji began a fast unto death. He believed that separate electorates for Dalits would slow down the process of their integration into society. Ambedkar ultimately accepted Gandhiji’s position, and the result was the Poona Pact of September 1932.
- Muhammad Ali Jinnah was willing to give up the demand for separate electorates if Muslims were assured reserved seats in the Central Assembly and representation in proportion to population in the Muslim-dominated provinces (Bengal and Punjab). Negotiations over the question of representation continued, but all hope of resolving the issue at the All Parties Conference in 1928 disappeared when M.R. Jayakar of the Hindu Mahasabha strongly opposed efforts at compromise.