Q.1. When Gandhiji returned to India in 1915, he observed a few changes in India. Mention any two.
Ans. When Gandhiji returned India in 1915, he observed that India was politically more active and aware. In spite of this that India was still a British colony, Indian National Congress had branches in almost all important towns.
Q. 2. What did Gandhiji seek to obtain for the security of peasants of Champaran in 1917?
Ans. At the Annual Congress Summit, held in Lucknow in December 1916, Gandhiji was approached by a peasant from Champaran in Bihar who told him about the harsh treatment of peasants by British indigo planters. In 1917, he spent most of his time in Champaran seeking to obtain for the peasants security of tenure as well as the freedom to cultivate the crops of their choice.
Q. 3. Explain Gandhiji’s reactionary activities against the Rowlatt Act.
Ans. During the Great War of 1914-1918, British had instituted censorship of the press and permitted detention without trial, Government introduced the Rowlatt Act in 1919. Gandhiji organised the countrywide call against Rowlatt Act. This movement had an immense response all over India. In April 1919, Jallianwala Bagh Massacre took place where four hundred people were killed. It was the Rowlatt Satyagraha that made Gandhiji a True national leader and made the British realise that their power would not last long and they have to devolve some power to the Indians.
Q. 4. What was the reaction of different groups to the call for non-cooperation by Gandhiji? Why did he later called it off?
Ans. Gandhiji planned that by combining NonCooperation with Khilafat, India’s two major religious groups Hindus and Muslims could collectively bring an end to colonial rule. During these movements, students abandoned schools and colleges run by the Government, lawyers refused to attend court. The working class went at strike in many towns and cities. According to official figures, there were 396 strikes in 1921, involving 600,000 workers and a loss of seven million work days. The countryside was equally discontent.
Hilly tribes in Northern Andhara violated the forest laws, farmers in Awadh did not pay taxes and peasants in Lumans refused to carry loads to the British officials. Peasants and workers interpreted and acted upon the call to “Non-Cooperation” with colonial rule in ways which were best suited to their interest.
In February 1922, a group of peasants attacked and torched a police station in the hamlet of ChauriChaura in the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand). Several constables perished and this act of violence prompted Gandhiji to call off the movement altogether.
Q. 5. What did Gandhiji do after his release from prison in 1924?
Ans. Gandhiji was released from prison in February 1924. He chose to devote his attention to the promotion of home-spun cloth (khadi) and abolition of untouchability. This is because Gandhiji was as much a social reformer as he was a politician. He believed that in order to be worthy of freedom, Indians had to get rid of social evils such as child marriage and untouchability. Indians of one faith had to cultivate a genuine tolerance for Indians of another faith, hence his emphasis on HinduMuslim harmony.
Q.6. What did Gandhiji tell the upper castes of a village to do, during his Salt March, if they wanted to get Swaraj?
Ans. Gandhiji told in one village, Wasana, the upper caste that “If you are out for Swaraj, you must serve untouchables. You won’t get Swaraj merely by the repeal of the salt taxes or other taxes. For Swaraj, you must make amends for the wrongs which you did to the untouchables.
Q.7. Why was Salt March noticed? Mention two reasons.
Ans. Salt March was notable for three reasons. Salt tax was doubled in 1923 which fell heavily on the poor. It was illegal to prepare salt even from the sea water. So, Gandhi decided to break the salt law and this was the first non-violent civil disobedience movement in India. It was this event that first brought Mahatma Gandhi to world attention. The march was widely covered by the European and American press. Second, many women participated in large numbers and third, it made the British realise that they would not last forever and they have to devolve some powers to the Indians.
Q.8. Mention any two reasons for the failure of Cripps Mission in India in 1942?
Ans. In 1942, Sir Stafford Cripps, was sent to India to try and compromise with Gandhiji and the Congress. It did not work out, since Congress insisted that if it was to help the British defend India from the Axis Powers during the Second World War, then the Viceroy had to appoint an Indian as the Defence Minister of the Executive Council. The British Government refused to accept the demand for immediate transfer of effective power to Indians. It would also mean respectability to autocracy and widening of the gulf between British India and princely states and a great set back for the democratic force such as All India State People.
Q.9. Give a brief description of the Second Round Table Conference held in 1931 in London.
Ans. Second Round Table Conference was held in London in the latter part of 1931. Here, Gandhiji represented the Congress. However, his claim that his party represented all India came under challenge from three parties :
(a) From the Muslim League, which claimed to stand for the interests of the Muslim.
(b) Minority: From the princes, who claimed that the Congress had no stake in their territories
(c) From the brilliant lawyer and thinker B. R. Ambedkar, who argued that Gandhiji and the Congress did not really represent the lowest castes. The Conference was inconclusive and Gandhiji returned and continued his Civil Disobedience Movement.
Q.10. Assess the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian National Movement from 1930 to 1942.
Ans. From 1930 onwards, Gandhiji focused on the National Movement. Just after the observance of the Independence Day, Gandhiji announced that he would lead a march to violate one of the most autocratic laws in British India. This law established state’s monopoly in the production and sale of Salt. On 12 March, 1930 Gandhiji began his “Salt March” from his ashram at Sabarmati towards the ocean. The very impact of the “Salt March” forced upon the British the realisation that their rule would not last forever. The British government convened a series of “Round Table Conferences”. The GandhiIrwin Pact was done in March, 1931 and the Civil Disobedience Movement was called off. Gandhiji took part in the Second Round Table Conference held in London. The conference was inconclusive. So, Gandhiji came back to India and resumed the Civil Disobedience Movement. The Cripps Mission was failure for the British As they were not ready to appoint Indians in power and Gandhiji decided to start his 3rd major movement against British rule, The “Quit India Movement” in August 1942. It was a genuinely mass movement consisting of people from all section of society.
Q.11. Describe how Gandhiji knitted NonCooperation Movement as a popular movement.
Ans. Gandhi hoped to bring the two major communities together. Students stopped going to schools and colleges run by the government. Lawyers refused to attend court. The working class went on strike in many towns and cities. According to official figures, there were 396 strikes in 1921, involving 600,000 workers and a loss of seven million work days. The countryside was furious with discontentment. Hilly tribes in Northern Andhra violated the forest laws. Farmers in Awadh did not pay taxes. Peasants in Kumaun refused to carry loads for colonial officials. The protest movements were sometimes carried out in defiance of the law. Peasants, workers and others interpreted and acted upon the call to “NonCooperation” with colonial rule in ways that best suited their interests, rather than confirm to the dictates laid down from above. In February 1922, a group of peasants attacked and torched a police station in the hamlet of Chauri-Chaura, in the United Provinces. Several constables perished in the conflagration. This act of violence prompted Gandhiji to call off the movement altogether. As a consequence of the Non- Cooperation Movement, the British Raj was shaken to its foundations for the first time since the Revolt of 1857.
Q.12. “The Salt March of 1930 was the first event that brought Mahatma Gandhi to world attention.” Explain the significance of this movement for Swaraj.
Ans. Soon after observance of the “Independence Day ” (26 January, 1930) Mahatma Gandhi announced that he would lead a march to break one of the most widely disliked laws in British India, which gave the state a monopoly in the manufacture and sale of salt. The state monopoly over salt was deeply unpopular. By making it his target, Gandhiji hoped to mobilise a wider discontent against British Rule. On 12 March, 1930, Gandhiji began walking from his ashram at Sabarmati towards the ocean. He reached his destination three weeks later. By making a fistful of salt, he made himself a criminal in the eyes of the law. Meanwhile, parallel salt marches were being conducted in other parts of the country. The progress of Gandhiji’s march to the seashore can be traced from the secret reports filed by the police officials deputed to monitor his movements and the speeches he gave at the villages on route, in which he called upon local officials to renounce government employment and join the freedom struggle. Importance of the Salt March was notable for at least three reasons:
(a) It was this event that first brought Mahatma Gandhi to world attention. The march was widely covered by the European and American press.
(b) It was the first nationalist activity in which women participated in large numbers. The socialist activist, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, had persuaded Gandhiji not to restrict the protests to men alone. Kamaladevi was herself one of the numerous women who courted arrest by breaking the salt or liquor laws.
(c) It was the Salt March which forced upon the British the realisation that their Raj would not last forever, and that they would have to devolve some power to India.
Government’s Reaction: British Government took strict measures to crush the movements of people. Thousands of nationalists were put behind the bars all over the country. Gandhiji was arrested. So, Salt March left a deep impact on our national struggle for freedom.
Q.13. In what way did Gandhiji’s ‘Quit India Movement’ transform the nature of the National Movement? Explain.
Ans. When the Cripps Mission failed, Mahatma Gandhi gave a call for Quit India Movement, his third major movement against the British Rule. It started in 1942 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. The Congress passed a resolution for this movement on 9th 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 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 jail. At last, the Quit India Movement shook the foundation of the British rule in India.
Q. 14. Explain the significance of Quit India Movement (1942) in the struggle for freedom.
Ans. 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. Even though Gandhiji was jailed at once, strikes and acts of sabotage were organised all over the country. The rebellion against the British was so intense that it took nearly a year to suppress this movement. When the Congress leaders languished in jail, Jinnah and his colleagues were expanding their League. This movement was very significant as it made the British realise 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 the colonial rule.
Q. 15. Explain why many scholars have written of the months after the independence as Gandhiji’s “Finest hours”.
Ans. As it happened, Mahatma Gandhi was not present at the festivities in the capital on 15 August 1947. He was in Calcutta, but he did not attend any function or hoist a flag there. Gandhiji marked the day with a 24 hour fast. The freedom he had struggled so long for had come at an unacceptable price, with a nation divided and Hindus and Muslims at each other’s throats. Many scholars have written of the months after independence as being Gandhiji’s “Finest hours”.
After working to bring peace in Bengal, Gandhiji shifted to Delhi, from where he hoped to move on to the riot-torn districts of Punjab. While in the capital, his meetings were disrupted by refugees who objected to reading from the Quran, or shouted slogans asking why he did not speak of the sufferings of those Hindus and Sikhs still living in Pakistan. He had fought a lifelong battle for a free and united India, yet when it was divided, he urged the people to be united.
Q.16. “By 1922 Gandhiji had transformed Indian nationalism, thereby redeeming the promise he made in BHU speech on February 1916. It was no longer a movement of professionals and intellectuals; now, thousands of peasants, workers and artisans participated in it. Many of them venerated Gandhiji, referring to him as their ‘Mahatma’. They appreciated the fact that he dressed like them, lived like them and spoke their language, unlike other leaders he did not stand apart from the common folk, but empathised and identified with them.”
In light of the above passage, highlight any four values upheld by Mahatma Gandhi.
Ans. The Values upheld by Gandhiji:
(i) Love and respect for the common man
(ii) Peaceful co-existence
(iii) Honesty and integrity to achieve aims
(iv) Love for the nation
(vii) Passive resistance
(x) Communal harmony
(xii) Dignity and integrity
(xiii) Promotion of swadeshi goods
(xiv) Any other Relevant points