Question 1 Explain:
(a) Why growth of nationalism in the colonies is linked to an anti-colonial movement?
(b) How the First World War helped in the growth of the National Movement in India?
(c) Why Indians were outraged by the Rowlatt Act?
(d) Why Gandhiji decided to withdraw the NonCooperation Movement?
Answer 1 (a) In several colonies including India the growth of modern nationalism is intimately connected to the 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.
(b) The First World War created a new economic and political situation. It led to a huge increase in defence expenditure which was financed by war loans and increasing taxes. Custom duties were raised and income tax was introduced. Through the war years prices increased leading to extreme hardships for the common mass. Villages were called upon for supply of soldiers. Forced recruitment in rural areas caused widespread anger. Acute shortages of food due to failure of crops in several parts of India in 1918-19 and 1920-21 made the life of the common people miserable. People hoped that their hardships would end after the war was over. But that did not happen. All this helped in the growth of the national movement in the country.
(c) The Rowlatt Act gave the government enormous powers to repress political activities, and allowed detention of political prisoners without trial for two years. This enraged Indians.
(d) In February 1922, at Chauri Chaura in Gorakhpur, a peaceful demonstration in a bazaar turned into a violent clash with the police. In this incident several British police officers were killed. Hearing of this incident, Mahatma Gandhi called off the Non-Cooperation Movement. He thought the movement was turning violent which he never approved in any circumstances.
Question 2 What is meant by the idea of Satyagraha?
Answer 2 When Mahatma Gandhi returned to India in January, 1915 he started a Satyagraha movement in India in various places. Satyagraha comprised of two Sanskrit words Satya and agraha. Satya means truth and agraha means path. Thus Satyagraha means following the path of truth and non-violence to attain freedom and fight against injustice. It is the philosophy of non-violent resistance adopted by Gandhiji to end the British Raj in India. The idea of Satyagraha emphasised the power of truth and need to search for truth. Satyagraha advocated that for true cause and struggle against injustice, physical force is not required to fight with the oppressor. Without being aggressive, a satyagrahi could win battle through non-violence.
Question 3 Write a newspaper report on:
(a) The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
(b) The Simon Commission.
Answer 3 (a) 14 April, Amritsar (By HT Correspondent) Today I visited the Jallianwalla Bagh here. Yesterday this place had witnessed the ghastly scene which exposed cruelty of the colonial government in India. A crowd had gathered here to listen to their leaders who were to attend the meeting to show their protest against the repressive laws. Suddenly, General Dyer came with armed troops and closed the only exit and ordered the troops to fire on the crowd. Hundreds of innocent people were killed. This agitated Indian minds resulting in strikes, clashes with the police and attacks on government buildings.
(b) 4 February 1928, Bengal (By TOI Correspondent) A Statutory Commission under Sir John Simon set up in India in 1928 is in response to the nationalist movement and to look into the functioning of the constitutional system in India and suggest changes. But the commission has only British members, no Indian members. This was followed by a strike in Bengal on February 3rd, 1928. So when the Simon Commission arrived in India in 1928, it was greeted with the slogan ‘Go back, Simon’. To pacify Indians, the Viceroy Lord Irwin, announced in October 1929 ‘dominion status’ for India in an unspecified future, and a Round Table Conference was held to discuss a future constitution.
Question 4 Compare the images of Bharat Mata in this chapter with the image of Germania in Chapter 1.
Answer 4 The image of Bharat Mata created by Abanindranath Tagore is portrayed as an ascetic figure. She is calm, composed, divine and spiritual. Another image of Bharat Mata is shown with a trishul, standing beside a lion and an elephant—both symbols of power and authority.
Germania was the symbol of the German nation. She is depicted as a female figure standing against a background where beams of sunlight shine through the tricolour fabric of the national flag. Germania is wearing a crown of oak leaves, as the German oak stands for heroism.
Question 1 List all the different social groups which joined the NonCooperation Movement of 1921.Then choose any three and write about their hopes and struggles to show why they joined the movement.
Answer 1 Different social groups which joined the NonCooperation Movement of 1921 are given below:
(i) Teachers and students
(ii) Merchants and traders
(iv) Countryside peasants
(v) Tribal peasants
(vi) Plantation workers in Assam
(vii) Nai and Dhobi.
• Teachers and students: Thousands of students left government-controlled schools and colleges. Headmasters and teachers resigned.
• Countryside peasants: In Awadh, peasants were led by Baba Ramchandra, a sanyasi. The movement here was against talukdars and landlords who demanded movement spread in 1921, the houses of talukdars and merchants were attacked, bazaars were looted and grain hoards were taken over. In several places, local leaders told peasants that Gandhiji had declared that no taxes were to be paid and land was to be redistributed among the poor.
• Plantation workers in Assam: For plantation workers in Assam, freedom meant the right to move freely in and out of the confined space in which they were enclosed. It also 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. 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.
Question 2. Discuss the Salt March to make clear why it was an effective symbol of resistance against colonialism.
Answer 2 Mahatma Gandhi found in salt a powerful symbol that could unite the nation against the British governement in India. He sent a letter to Viceroy Irwin on 31 January, 1930 stating eleven demands from specific to general in the interest of all classes. The idea was to make the demands wideranging, so that all classes within Indian society could identify with them and everyone would be brought together in a united campaign. The most stirring of all was the demand to abolish salt tax.
Salt was something consumed by the rich and the poor alike. It was one of the most essential items of food. Gandhi’s letter was an ultimatum. It also threatened that if government did not exempt people from the salt tax then they would launch a campaign against it. But Irwin showed reluctance and took the warning lightly. Thus, Civil Disobedience Movement was started by Gandhiji in the year 1930. It was an important milestone in the history of Indian nationalism. The main ideology behind the Civil Disobedience Movement was to defy the laws made by the British.
Gandhiji started his famous salt march (Dandi March) accompanied by 78 followers, from his ashram in Sabarmati to the Gujarati coastal town of Dandi. On 6 April, he reached Dandi, and openly violated the law, manufacturing salt by boiling sea water.
Question 3. Imagine you are a woman participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement. Explain what the experience meant to your life.
Answer 3 As a woman it was a proud moment for me to participate in Gandhiji’s Civil Disobedience Movement. It was a time when women were kept inside walls. Though I had got good education, I was not allowed to take part in social or political activities. At the call of Gandhiji, I couldn’t resist myself. Revolting against my family traditions, I became an active member of the movement. I organised the women of my locality and began the activities of the movement. I was full of nationalistic fervour. It was the most memorable and proud phase of my life.
Question 4. Why did political leaders differ sharply over the question of separate electorates?
Answer 4 The Indian political leaders differed sharply over the question of separate electorates because they believed that separate electorates would slow down the process of their integration into society. In 1930, Sir Muhammad Iqbal, President of the Muslim League, restated the importance of separate electorates for the Muslims as an important safeguard for their minority political interests. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, who organised the dalits into the Depressed Classes Association in 1930, clashed with 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. Ambedkar ultimately accepted Gandhi’s position.