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Booklet questions- Nationalism In India

Q) Why did Gandhiji start the Non-Cooperation movement?

In his book, Hind Swaraj, Gandhiji declared that British Rule was established in India
only with the cooperation of the Indians, and had survived only because of this
If Indians refuse to cooperate, then British rule in India would collapse within a year and
swaraj would come.
It is because of these reasons that Gandhiji decided to start the noon-cooperation
Q) Mention the provisions of the Rowlatt Act.
The Rowlatt Act provided the government with immense powers to repress political
It also allowed the detention of political prisoners for two years without trial.
Q) Why were nai-dhobi bandhs organised by the panchayats?
The nai-dhobi bandhs were organised in the panchayats to deprive landlords of the
services of barbers and washermen.
Q) Where did a militant guerrilla movement spread in the early 1920s and who was
their leader?
This spread in Gudem hills of Andhra Pradesh and their leader was Alluri Sitaram Raju.
Q) Who formed the Swaraj party within the Congress and what were their
The Swaraj Party was formed by C.R.Das and Motilal Nehru to argue for a return to council

Q) State the significance of the Lahore session of the Congress.

In the Lahore session of the Congress, the Congress formalised the demand of Purna
Swaraj or full independence and also declare 26 January 1930 as the Independence day
of India.
Q) Why was the Congress reluctant to include the workers demands?
The Congress were reluctant to include the workers demands because it felt that this
would alienate industrialists and divide the anti-imperial forces.
Q) What were the apprehensions of the Muslim leaders when the Civil Disobedience
movement started?
Many Muslim leaders expressed their concern about the status of Muslims as a minority
within India. They feared that their culture and identity would be submerged under the
domination of a Hindu majority.
Q) Why did the relationship between the poor peasant and Congress always remain
This was because the Congress was apprehensive that might upset the peasants and
landlords and thus, was unwilling to support no rent campaigns in most places.
Q) How did women participate in the Civil Disobedience Movement?
Many high-caste women participated in the movement in the urban areas and in the rural
areas these were from rich peasant households. They began to see service to the nation
as a sacred duty of women and thus participated enthusiastically.
Q) Why was Mahatma Gandhi against Separate Electorates for Dalits?
This was because he felt that separate electorates would slow down the process of their
integration into a society.

Q) Who designed the Swaraj flag and what did it represent and symbolise?
The Swaraj flag was designed by Mahatma Gandhi in 1921. It was a tricolour flag with the
colours red, green and white with a spinning wheel in the centre. It represented the
Gandhian ideal of self-help. It became a symbol of defiance when it was carried during
Q) Why was Jinnah willing to give up the demand for separate electorates?
Muhammad Ali Jinnah was willing to give up this demand if Muslims were assure reserved
seats in the Central Assembly and representation in proportion to the population in the
Muslim-dominated provinces.
Q) Mention the various cultural processes which played an important part in the
making of nationalism.
History and fiction, folklore and songs, popular prints and symbols.
Q) When did the identity of India come to be closely associated with the image of
Bharat Mata and who created this image first?
This was in the twentieth century and it was first created by Bankim Chandra
Q)What did the nationalist histories urge the readers to do?
The nationalist histories urged the readers to take pride in Indias great achievements in
the past and struggle to change the miserable conditions of life under the British Rule.
Q) How did the efforts to unify the people isolate other communities?
This happened because when the past being glorified was Hindu and the images
celebrated were drawn from Hindu iconography, people of other communities were left out.

Q) Why were the business groups no longer enthusiastic after the failure of the 2nd
Round Table Conference?
This was because they were apprehensive of the spread of militant activities, and worried
about prolonged disruption of business, as well as of the growingg influence of socialism
amongst the younger members of the Congress.
Q) Why did the Non-cooperation movement slow down gradually in the cities?
Khadi, the Indian cloth was more expensive than the mass-produced mill cloth and poor
people could not afford to buy it.
The boycott of British institutions was also very difficult because the coming up of Indian
institutions was fairly slow. So, the students started going back to the British schools and
so did the lawyers in the courts.
Q) What were the demands of the peasants in Awadh?
Reduction of revenue
Abolition of begar.
Social boycott of oppressive landlords.
Their leader was Baba Ramachandra-a sanyasi who served as an indentured labourer in
Q) Where and why was the Khilafat Committee formed? Who began discussing with
Mahatma Gandhi the possibility of a united mass action on the issue?
The Khilafat Committee was formed in Bombay in 1919. It was formed to take action on
the following chain of events:
After the WW1, the Ottoman Empire had lost and rumours w ere that a harsh treaty was
going to be imposed on the Emperor of the Ottoman Empire-the Khalifa, the spiritual
head of the Muslims.
To defend his temporal powers, this committee was formed.

The two brothers and young leaders, Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali discussed with
Mahatma Gandhi, the possibility of a united mass action on this issue. They also saw this
as an opportunity to unite the Hindus and Muslims into a single umbrella of a nation.
Q) Why did Gandhiji decide to call of the Non-Cooperation Movement?
The movement was turning out to be violent in many places.
He thought that Satyagrahis needed to be properly trained before they would be ready
for mass struggles. This was with reference of the incident in Chauri-Chaura, where
twenty-two policemen were brutally killed after they had fired on a political procession.
There had been disturbances in Madras and Calcutta also.
Thus, the country wasnt ready for mass struggles and Gandhi prevailed in the Congress
Working Committee to call off the movement.
Q) How and why did General Dyer organise the Jallianwala Bagh incident?
On 13 April, 1919, a huge crowd had gathered in the enclosed ground of Jallianwala
Some people had come to protest against the repressive policies of the govt. while
others had come to attend the annual Baisakhi fair.
Since many people were from outside the town they did not know about the martial law
that had been imposed by General Dyer on 12 April,1919.
Dyer entered the area and blocked the main exit points and ope n fired upon the crowd.
Hundreds were killed in this incident.
Dyer had done so to produce a moral effect and to build in the Satyagrahis a feeling of
terror and awe.
Q) Mention the stages proposed by Gandhiji in the Non-Cooperation movement?
First, the surrender of the titles awarded by the government and the boycott of civil
services, army, courts, police, schools legislative councils etc.

In case of a repressive policy of the govt. a full Civil Disobedience movement should be
launched in the second stage.
Thorough the summer of 1920, Gandhi and Shaukat Ali toured extensively throughout
India, acquainting people with the movement in order to get their maximum participation.
Q) Write about the Gandhi-Irwin pact.
Gandhi entered into a pact with Irwin on 5 March 1931.
By this Gandhi-Irwin pact, Gandhiji consented to participate in a Round Table
Conference in London and the government agreed to release the political prisoners.
Although he went in December 1931, it resulted in a failure.
Q) Describe Gandhis vision of the status of women and the role played by them at
home and in public life.
He was convinced that it was the duty of women to look after home and hearth, be good
mothers and good wives.
The Congress, too, was reluctant to allow women to h old any position of authority within
the organisation. It was keen only on their symbolic presence.
Q) How did the Dalit leaders organise themselves to solve the problems of their
Dalits organised themselves and demanded reserved seats in educ ational institutions
and a separate electorate that would choose Dalit members for the legislative councils.
They thought that political empowerment would solve the problems of their social
Therefore, in Maharashtra and Nagpur regions, Dalit participation in the Civil
Disobedience Movement was limited where their organisation was quite strong.
Q) How did the people belonging to different community, religions or language
develop a sense of collective being?
This came through the experience of united struggles.

There were also a varied processed through which nationalism developed in people.
These were history, fiction, folklore, songs, popular prints and symbols-these all
developed a sense of nationalism in the people.
Q) How did the idea of India nationalism develop through a movement to revive
Indian folklore?
Nationalists began recording folk tales sung by bards and toured villages to gather folk
songs and legends which they believed, gave a true picture of traditional culture that had
been corrupted and damaged by outside forces.
It was necessary to preserve this folk tradition in order to discover the national identity
and restore a sense of pride of the past.
Eg. Rabindranath Tagore, in Bengal, began collecting ballads, nursery rhymes a nd
myths and led the movements for folk revival.
Eg. Natesa Sastri, in Madras, published a massive four-volume collection of Tamil Folk
tales, The Folklore of Southern India. He believed that folklore was national literature i.e.
the most trustworthy manifestation of peoples real thoughts and characteristics.
Q) How did some workers participate in the Civil Disobedience Movement?
Industrial workers did not participate in large numbers, except in the Nagpur region.
Some workers participated in the movem ent by selectively adopting the Gandhian
programme, like boycott of foreign goods as part of their own movements against low
wages and poor working conditions.
There were strikes by railway workers in 1930 and by dockworkers in 1932.
In 1930, workers in the Chhotanagpur tin mines wore Gandhian caps and participated in
protest rallies and boycott campaigns.
Q) Write about the Poona Pact of September 1932.
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar organised the Dalits into the Depressed classes and clashed with
Gandhi at the Second Round Table Conference by demanding separate electorates for
the Dalits.
When British govt. conceded Ambedkars demand, Gandhiji began a fast unto death.

He felt separate electorates would slow down the process of integration into a society.
Ambedkar accepted Gandhijis position and then singed the Poona Pact of September
1932 which reserved seats in the provincial and central legislative councils for Dalits,
provided that their voting would take place in the general electorate.
Q) Why and how did Gandhiji try to eliminate untouchability?
Mahatma Gandhi declared that swaraj would not come if untouchability wasn t
He called the untouchables as harijan or children of God.
He organised satyagraha movements to secure them entry into temples and access to
public wells, tanks, roads and schools.
He also cleaned toilets to dignify the workers of the bhangi and persuaded the upper
castes to change their heart and give up the sin of untouchability.
Q) Describe the participation of the rich communities in the countryside in the Civil
Disobedience movement?
In the countryside, rich peasant communities-like the Patidars of Gujarat and the Jats of
UP were active in the movement.
They were very hard hit by the trade depression and the falling prices.
As their cash income disappeared, they found it impossible to pay the government s
revenue demand.
The refusal of the govt to reduce the revenue lead to widespread protest.
These communities became supporters of this movement, organised their commu nities
and forced reluctant members to participate in the boycott programmes.
Since the movement was called off in 1931, and there was no change, they were highly
disappointed and on the relaunch of the movement in 1932, may refused to participate.
Q) How did the business class relate to the Civil Disobedience Movement and how
did they view swaraj?
Keen on expanding their business, they reacted against the colonial policies that
restricted business activities.

They wanted protection against imports of for eign goods and a rupee-sterling foreign
exchange ratio that would discourage imports.
To organise these interests they formed the Indian Industrial and Commercial Congress
in 1920 and the Federation of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries(FICCI) in
They came to see swaraj as a time when colonial restrictions on business would no
longer exist and the trade and industry would flourish without constraints.
Q) Describe the developments during and after the World War 1.
During the war, it created a new political and economic situation in India.
It led to a huge increase in the defence expenditure which was largely financed by the
war loans- customs duties were raised and income tax was introduced.
Through the war years the prices increased, leading to hardships for the common
Villages were asked to supply soldiers and forced recruitment took place leading to
widespread anger and protests.
In 1921-22, the crops failed resulting i acute food shortages in many parts of India.
This was accompanied by an influenza epidemic. Acc to the Census of 1921, 12-13
million people perished in the epidemic and the famines.
After the war, people hoped their problems would get over. but his did not happen.
Instead a new leader, Mahatma Gandhi appeared a nd suggested the Satyagraha mode
of struggle.
Q) When and why was the Rowlatt Satyagraha Movement launched and why did
Gandhiji call it off?
The Rowlatt Act was passed in 1919 in the Imperial Legislative Council despite the
united opposition of the Indian members.
It gave the government immense powers to repress political activities and allowed
detention of political prisoners without trial for two years.
Gandhiji decided to launch a non-violent civil disobedience movement against such
unjust laws which would start with a hartal on 6th of April, 1919.

Under this movement, rallies were organised in various cities, workers went on strike and
shops were closed down.
As the movement gained momentum, the British govt was feared by the popular upsurge
and tried to clamp down on the nationalists.
On 12 April 1919, martial law was imposed and General Dyer took command.
On 13 April, 1919, the infamous Jallianwala Bagh incident took place in which General
Dyer open fired upon a large crowd, killing hundreds.
In reaction to this incident, people took to the streets and there were many clashed with
the govt and attacks on govt buildings.
The govt also reverted with brutal repression, seeking to humiliate the Satyagrahis.
Seeing the violence spread, Gandhiji decided to call off the movement.