WRITE IN BRIEF
(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 Non-Cooperation Movement.
(a) Colonisation affected people’s freedom, and nationalist sentiments surged during the process of struggle against imperial domination. The sense of oppression and exploitation became a common bond for people from different walks of life, and this resulted in the growth of nationalist ideals. Thus, growth of nationalism in the colonies is linked to anti-colonial movements.
(b) During the First World War, the British army conducted forced recruitment from rural areas in India. To finance the defence expenditure, high custom duties and income taxes were imposed. Also, during 1918-19 and 1920-21, crops failed in many parts of India, thereby resulting in acute food shortages. All this caused extensive anger and opposition against the British colonial rule, and the national movement of India headed towards a stronger, more definitive direction.
(c) The Rowlatt Act was passed hurriedly through the Imperial Legislative Council despite opposition from Indian members. It gave the government autocratic powers to repress political activities besides allowing it to detain political prisoners without a trial, for two years. The Indian were outraged by this act as it was clearly undemocratic and oppressive, and hurt national sentiments and dignity.
(d) Gandhiji decided to withdraw the Non-Cooperation Movement due to various incidents of violence perpetrated by the masses, especially the Chauri Chaura incident in 1922 where the people clashed with the police, setting a police-station on fire. Gandhiji felt that the people were not yet ready for a mass struggle, and that satyagrahis needed to be properly trained for non-violent demonstrations.
What is meant by the idea of satyagraha?
The idea of satyagraha implies a unique method of mass agitation that emphasises the power of truth, and the need to search for truth. It upholds the belief that if the cause is true and the fight is against injustice, then there is no need for physical force or coercion against the oppressor. Satyagraha is synonymous with non-violent agitation, where an appeal is made to the oppressor’s conscience to search for justice. Gandhiji believed that this dharma of non-violence could be the cause of national unity and harmony.
Write a newspaper report on:
(a) The Jallianwala Bagh massacre
(b) The Simon Commission
(a) The Jallianwala Bagh massacre—facts—on 13 April,1919, General Dyer blocked the exit points from the enclosed ground of Jallianwala Bagh where a large crowd had gathered—some to protest against the British government’s repressive measures, others to attend the annual Baisakhi fair. Dyer’s objective was to “produce a moral effect” and terrorise satyagrahis. Hundreds of innocent people including women and children were killed on this day in the indiscriminate firing by British soldiers. This led to large scale strikes, clashes with police and attacks on government buildings by the enraged Indian people.
(Base your newspaper report on these facts)
(b) The Simon Commission—facts—it arrived in India in 1928 and faced protest slogans of “Go Back Simon”. It was because this body was to suggest constitutional changes in Indian governance, but it did not have any Indian members. The Congress and the Muslim League jointly demonstrated against it. Lord Irwin announced a vague “dominion status” for India to quell the movement, leading to a Round Table Conference in October, 1929.
(Base your newspaper report on these facts)
Compare the images of Bharat Mata in this chapter with the image of Germania in Chapter 1.
The image of Bharat Mata as painted by Abanindranath Tagore shows her as bestowing learning, food and clothing. She bears aesthetic quality as denoted by the mala held by her. This is similar to the image of Germania as painted by Philip Veit, where she holds a sword, but looks more feminine. The other painting of Bharat Mata is more manly in its representation. In it, she is shown as bearing power and authority as denoted by the lion and elephant beside her. The latter image is more akin to the image of Germania by Lorenz Clasen, where she wields a sword and shield, and looks ready to fight.
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.
The different social groups that joined the Non-Cooperation Movement of 1921 were the urban middle class comprising lawyers, teachers and headmasters, students, peasants, tribals and workers. Peasants, tribals and workers joined the movement from the countryside. They did so with hopes of self-emancipation. Peasants rebelled against talukdars and landlords who demanded high rents and also forced them to do begar or free labour. Tribal peasants revolted against the enclosure of large forest tracts by the British government, which left them devoid of a livelihood as well as traditional rights. Plantation workers, on the other hand, desired freedom to move about and retain links with the villages they came from. All three believed that Gandhi Raj would come with the Non-Cooperation Movement, and this would mark an end to their sorrows. Hence, they joined the anti-colonial struggle.
Discuss the Salt March to make clear why it was an effective symbol of resistance against colonialism.
The Salt March was an effective symbol of resistance against colonialism because it was done in revolt against a commodity—salt, used by the rich and the poor alike. The tax on salt, and the government monopoly over its production was a severely oppressive administrative move. The Salt March was effective also because Gandhiji met a large number of commoners during the march and he taught them the true meaning of swaraj and non-violence. By peacefully defying a law and making salt against government orders, Gandhiji set forth an example to the whole nation of how the oppressor could be confronted in a non-violent manner. This also led to the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930.
Imagine you are a woman participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement. Explain what the experience meant to your life.
A woman participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement—facts—salt manufactured; foreign cloth boycotted; liquor shops picketed; peaceful satyagrahis attacked, including women and children; brutal repression, many women went to jail as well; mostly from high castes and rich families; saw national service as a sacred duty
(Base your answer on these facts)
Why did political leaders differ sharply over the question of separate electorates?
Political leaders differed sharply over the question of separate electorates because of differences in opinion. While those supporting the cause of minorities and the dalits believed that only political empowerment would resolve their social backwardness, others like Gandhiji thought that separate electorates would further slow down the process of their integration into society. Also, it was feared that the system of separate electorates would gradually divide the country into numerous fragments because every community or class would then ask for separate representations.