Q. 1. Why is Raj Kumar Shukla described as being ‘resolute ? [Comptt., 2015]
Why and how did Rajkumar Shukla persuade Gandhiji to visit Champaran ? [Comptt., Delhi, Set-I, 2010]
Ans. Rajkumar Shukla was a sharecropper from Champaran. He was illiterate but resolute. He had come to the Congress Session to complain about the injustice of the landlord system in Bihar. He wanted Gandhiji to come to Champaran district. He accompanied Gandhiji wherever he went for several weeks. Ultimately, Gandhiji asked him to meet in Calcutta on an appointed date and at a fixed spot.
Q. 2. Why did Rajkumar Shukla invite Gandhiji to Champaran ? How did Gandhiji solve the problem of the indigo farmers ? [Outside Delhi Set-III, 2012]
Ans. Rajkumar Shukla invited Gandhiji to Champaran to fight against the injustice meted out to the peasants in Champaran. Gandhiji scolded the lawyers for collecting high fees from the sharecroppers. He telegraphed Dr. Rajendra Prasad to come from Bihar with his friends who conferred with Gandhiji, who asked them what they would do if he was sentenced to prison. The senior lawyers replied that they had come to advise and help him. Being a stranger, Gandhiji was prepared to go to prison for the sake of the peasants. They also agreed to follow Gandhiji to jail.
Gandhiji and the lawyers had written down depositions by about ten thousand peasants and prepared notes based on other evidence. Gandhiji was served summons but he remained firm. Then, he received a written communication from the magistrate that the Lt. Governor of the province had ordered the case to be dropped. Gandhiji agreed to a settlement of 25% refund to the farmers.
Q. 3. Give an account of Gandhiji’s efforts to secure justice for the poor indigo sharecroppers of Champaran? [Outside Delhi Set-I, 2012]
Describe the difficulties faced by Gandhiji in Champaran. [CBSE, SQP I, 2012, Comptt. Delhi Set-I, 2010]
Ans. Value Points :
— studied the problems and got the facts
— visited the Secretary of the British landlords’ association
— met the British Official Commissioner of Tirhut Division
— consulted the lawyers and chided them for collecting fee from the sharecroppers
— disobeyed the court order and listened to the voice of conscience
— inspired the peasants to overcome fear and be self-reliant
— was prepared to go to prison for the sake of peasants
— agreed to 25% refund to make the poor farmers realize their rights
— inspired the lawyers to go to jail with him
— four protracted interviews with the Lieutenant Governor
— ensured the triumph of civil disobedience
Detailed Answer : First of all, Gandhiji began by trying to get the facts, for this purpose he visited the secretary of the British Landlord’s Association, but he refused to give any information to an outsider. Next, he called upon the British official commissioner of the Tirhut division in which Champaran district lay. The commissioner bullied him and advised him to leave Tirhut. This shows that Gandhiji was a staunch seeker and believer of truth.
Gandhiji consulted the lawyers and chided them for collecting fee from the sharecroppers But Gandhiji disobeyed the court’s order and rather proceeded to Motihari, the capital of Champaran. He mobilized the support of the lawyers and peasants. He got an official notice to quit Champaran immediately. But he disobeyed the order and was summoned to court. The spontaneous demonstration of thousands of farmers was their liberation from the fear of the British. Gandhiji just wanted the civil disobedience movement or Satyagraha in a non-violent manner. Later on Satyagraha and non-violence became the main pillars of strength for India’s freedom struggle.
Q. 4. Describe how, according to Louis Fischer, Gandhiji succeeded in his Champaran campaign. [Comptt., Delhi Set-I, Outside Delhi Set-I, 2014]
Ans. Value Points : Gandhiji’s campaign to provide justice to the sharecroppers of Champaran
— got unstinted support of the common man, his followers and other leaders
— moral courage to fight injustice
— leadership qualities
— organizational abilities
— thorough investigation of the problems
— rational arguments
— charismatic personality
Detailed Answer : Gandhiji’s persistent efforts, firm determination and resolution led him to success in his Champaran campaign. He went to Champaran at the request of an illiterate peasant and there, he listened to the grievances of the sharecroppers and started the Civil Disobedience Movement. He became victorious and the landlords withdrew their claims over their estates which were reverted back to the farmers. Gandhiji had long discussions with the lawyers and he asked them to help the poor peasants and he taught the peasants to let go off the fear of the Britishers. He even tried to improve the social life of the people by providing them with doctors and teachers.
Gandhiji’s organizational abilities, thorough investigation of the problems and rational arguments with the British helped him succeed in his champaran campaign.
Q. 5. How did a visit to Champaran become a turning point in Gandhi’s life ? How does this show Gandhi’s love and concern for the common people of India ?[Compttt. Delhi Set I, 2015]
The Champaran episode was a turning point in Gandhiji’s life. Explain. (NCERT)[Outside Delhi Set-II, 2012, CBSE SQP, 2012, Comptt. Outside Delhi Set-I, 2008]
How did Gandhiji use Satyagraha and nonviolence at Champaran to achieve his goal ? [Comptt., Set-I, II & III, 2011]
Ans. In Champaran, the peasants were greatly in fear of the British government. The cause of the problem was indigo and the greed of the landlords. They had forced the tenants to plant 15% of their holdings with indigo and surrender the entire produce to the landlords. When synthetic indigo came, the landlords were ready to release the above condition. They demanded compensation, the repercussions of which the peasants did not know and agreed to it. Later, when the peasants came to know about synthetic indigo, they asked for their money back. The British hired thugs to oppose them. Gandhiji realized that there was no need for lawyers. He realized that it was necessary to release them of their fear which was difficult to achieve as they were uneducated. But with his determination, he championed their cause. Soon, he led a movement of non-violence and Satyagraha. Many farmers demonstrated around the courtroom where Gandhiji was summoned. This made the British feel challenged. Sharecroppers from Champaran came barefooted to see Gandhiji. Muzzafarpur lawyers too called on him. He explained what he had done was an ordinary thing. He had simply told the Britishers that they could not order him in his own country. Gandhiji tried to mould new free Indians who could stand on their own feet. This new realization gave him a direction to lead the freedom struggle and thus, proved to be a turning point in his life. This was the first time Gandhiji realised that India was capable of mass movements and it was after this episode that he started the national struggle for freedom across the country.
Q. 6. Why is the Champaran episode considered to be the beginning of the Indian struggle for independence ?[CBSE 2014]
Ans. Value Points :
— Champaran episode was a landmark in Gandhian style of fighting against the British
— a long-drawn out but patient and peaceful agitation
— a turning point in Gandhiji’s life
– it was during this struggle that he decided to urge the departure of the Britishers
— it didn’t begin as an act of defiance but it grew out of an attempt to make the sufferings of the poor peasants less severe
— a triumph of the first Civil Disobedience Movement
— the farmers learnt courage, learnt that they too had rights/it was a spontaneous demonstration around the courthouse/was the beginning of their liberation from the fear of the British
— in Champaran episode, self-reliance and freedom struggle went hand in hand
Detailed Answer : The peasants of Champaran were in great fear of the British government because they were forced to plant 15% of their holdings with indigo and surrender the entire produce to the landlords. When synthetic indigo came, the landlords released them from this condition after demanding compensation from them. The innocent peasants agreed without realising what they were doing. When Raj Kumar Shukla told Gandhiji about it, Gandhiji visited Champaran and realized that the peasants were greatly in fear of the British. He realized that it was necessary to rid them of their fear. He started the Civil Disobedience Movement. That is why the Champaran episode is considered to be the beginning of the Indian struggle for independence as everyone realized that they could stand against the British, and they could not order them around in their own country. The farmers learnt courage and realised that they too had rights just like the defenders. Thus the Champaran episode was a landmark and is considered to be the beginning of Indian struggle for independence.
Q. 7. What did Gandhiji do to remove the cultural and social backwardness in the Champaran village ? [Comptt., Delhi Set II, 2015]
Gandhiji’s was not a loyalty to abstractions; it was a loyalty to living human beings. Why did Gandhiji continue his stay in Champaran even after indigo sharecropping disappeared ?[Outside Delhi Set-III, 2014]
Ans. There is no denying the fact that Gandhiji’s loyalty was not to abstractions. It was a loyalty to living human beings. The Champaran episode turned out to be an episode of moral victory. Gandhiji agreed to take 25% as a refund which the landlords offered as he explained that money was not important. The refund by the British stated that they were agreeing to what the Indians said. They were no longer dreaded by the peasants. But Gandhiji didn’t leave Champaran after this victory. During his stay there, he had realized that the people of Champaran were culturally and socially backward so he decided to work on this front also. He decided to open primary schools and taught about personal hygiene, community cleanliness etc. to the people of Champaran. Gandhiji’s wife Kasturba joined him in this movement. He kept a distant watch on his ashram also from this place and called for regular financial accounts. He even wrote to them that it was time to fill in the old latrine trenches and dig the new ones. Thus, with his firm determination and persistent efforts, he was able to bring changes in the ordinary man’s life.
Q. 8. Why did Gandhiji consider freedom from fear more important than legal justice for the poor peasants of Champaran ? [SQP 2015-16]
Ans. For Gandhiji, the amount of the refund was less important than the fact that the landlords had been forced to return a part of the money and with it, a part of their prestige. So he agreed to the settlement of 25 percent refund to the farmers. The episode of Champaran brought more than one change in the plight of the peasants of that district. These peasants gained confidence which was evident in their spontaneous demonstration on the morning of Gandhi’s trial. After the successful refund of the compensation, the peasants, for the first time, realised their own rights and were liberated from the fear that had plagued them. This episode brought an end to the fifteen percent arrangement of sharecropping. However, the most radical change that the episode brought about was in their social and cultural standards. Gandhiji opened schools in six villages. His wife took pains to make the peasants aware of the importance of general sanitation and personal hygiene. He even appointed a doctor. Gandhiji admitted that he had done a very ordinary thing. He declared that the British could not order him about in his own country. Hence, he considered the Champaran episode as a turning point in his life.
Q. 9. Why did Gandhiji agree to the settlement of 25 percent refund to the farmers ? How did it influence the peasants and landlords relationship in Champaran ?[Outside Delhi Set-I, II & III, 2013]
Ans. Gandhiji and the lawyers had written down dispositions by about ten thousand peasants, and prepared notes made on other evidences. The documents were collected. In June, Gandhiji was summoned by Sir Edward Gait, the Lieutenant Governor. After four meetings, the Lieutenant Governor appointed an official commission of enquiry into the indigo sharecroppers’ situation. The commission consisted of landlords, government officials and Gandhiji as the sole representative of the peasants. They agreed, in principle, to make refunds to the peasants. “But how much must we pay ?” they asked Gandhiji. Gandhiji asked only 50 percent. The representative of the planters offered to refund to the extent of 25 percent. To break the deadlock, Gandhiji agreed to a settlement of 25 percent refund to the farmers. I think the settlement made by Gandhiji was totally justified. I fully agree with him that under the circumstances, the amount of refund was less important than the fact that the landlords had been obliged to surrender part of their money and, with it a part of their prestige.