Question: Imagine you are a woman participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement. Explain what the experience meant to your life.
‘Women played a very important role in the Civil Disobedience Movement.’ Explain.
- Women participated in large numbers in the Civil Disobedience Movement.
- During the movement, thousands of women came out of their homes to listen to Gandhiji.
- They participated in protest marches, manufactured salt, and picked foreign cloth and liquor shops.
- Many were put to jail by the police.
- Moved by Gandhiji’s call, they began to see service to the nation as a sacred duty of women.
Question: Why did the political leaders differ sharply over the question of separate electorates ?
Answer: By the system of separate electorates, we mean such a system when people of one religion only vote for a candidate of their own religion. Using such a system, was a mischief of the British Government who wanted to divide the people to weaken the national movement. By doing so, the British wanted to prolong their stay in India.
The different political leaders differed over the question of separate electorates because of the following reasons:
- The Congress leaders opposed the policy of the British Government in instigating different peoples in demanding separate electorate. They knew well that it was all the mischief of the British Government who encouraged different people to ask for separate electorates because such a policy would weaken the national movement, and prolong Britishers stay in India. The Congress leaders were one and all in favor of joint electorates.
- The Muslim leaders, like Muhammad Iqbal and Mr Jinnah asked for separate electorates to safeguard the political interests of the Muslims. In their opinion, the majority of the people were Hindus, and so in case of joint electorates, the Muslims would have little chance of winning the seats. As such, they would always be at the mercy of the Hindus.
- The leaders of the Depressed Classes, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, also asked for separate electorates because in the joint electorates, he feared the dominance of the upper electorates or the upper caste Hindus in the elections. By the Poona Pact he, however, agreed to have joint electorates with the Hindus, provided the seats for the Depressed Classes were fixed or reserved in the Provincial and Central Legislative Councils.
Outcome: Lord Irwin announced in October 1929, a vague, offer of ‘dominion status’ for India.
Question: What was Satyagraha? Explain some of the Satyagraha launched by Gandhiji.
“A Satyagraha wins the battle through nonviolence.” Explain with examples.
“Gandhiji’s Satyagraha combines the ideas of truth and non violence”. Explain with three examples.
Answer: Satyagraha was a non-violent method of mass agitation against the oppressor. The method suggested that if the cause was true, if the struggle was against injustice, there is no need for physical force to fight the oppressor.
- Gandhiji used the Satyagraha technique successfully against injustice in South Africa.
- In 1916 A.D., he fought for justice for the tenants of Champaran, and the Government had to pass an Act for the welfare of the peasants of Champaran in 1918 A.D.
- He started the Kheda Satyagraha in which Gandhiji asked the people not to pay the taxes due to the failure of crops. Ultimately, the Government had to bow, and the payment of taxes was deferred to the next year.
- Again in 1918 A.D., Gandhiji intervened in the Mill Workrs’ Strike at Ahmedabad, and helped them to get their pay raised, for which he had started a fast unto death.
Question: What were the circumstances which led to the Khilafat and the Non-Cooperation Movement?
Why did Mahatma Gandhi feel the need to launch a broad-based movement in 1920? Give any three reasons. Explain any three causes that led to the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920.
- Conditions Created by the First World War: The First World War was fought from 1914 to 1918. (i). It led to huge increase in defence expenditure which was financed by taxes. (ii). Due to war prices increased many times leading to extreme hardship for common people. (iii).Crops failed in 1918-19 resulting in acute shortage of food. (iv). Many people lost their lives in the war and due to epidemic. (v). Forced recruitment in the army caused widespread anger.
- Gandhiji’s Return and Satyagraha: Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa in 1915 where he had successfully fought against the racist regime with his new method of mass agitation and nonviolence known as Satyagraha. In India he launched satyagraha movements at various places. These satyagrahas provided base to the Non-Cooperation Movement.
- The Rowlatt Act: The Act was passed by the Imperial Legislative Assembly. The act provided enormous powers to police. The police got the power to arrest anyone without any trial. The aim of the act was to repress political activities.
- Jallianwalla Bagh: The Jallianwala Bagh added fuel to the fire. People were already agitating against the Rowlatt Act. People had gathered to protest against the new act in the Jallianwala Bagh. General Dyer entered the park and ordered fire killing many people. As the news spread, crowds took to the streets.
- United Struggle: The fear of harsh treaty on the Ottoman emperor (the Khalifa) brought the Muslims close to Gandhiji. A young generation of Muslim leaders like Mohammad Ali and Shaukat Ali was in favor of a united mass action against the Britishers.
Question: What was the reaction of the people against the Rowlatt Act?
Explain the reactions of Indian people against the Rowlatt Act passed through the Imperial Legislative Council in 1919.
- Gandhiji called for a country wide Hartal on 6th April, 1919. But he was arrested.
- There were disturbances in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Punjab. In Amritsar, two popular leaders, Dr. Satyapal and Dr. Saif-ud-din Kitchlew, were arrested. The people took out a procession in Amritsar to protest against these arrests, and demanded the release of their leaders.
- A public meeting was announced for the 13th April, 1919, at the Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar against the arrest of the leaders.
- General Dyer marched there and killed more than 1,000 people.
- As the news of the Jallianwalla Bagh spread, crowds took to the streets in many North Indian towns. There were strikes, clashes with the police and attacks on government buildings.