JAC Board Class 10 Social Science Notes History Chapter 2 Nationalism in India
→ The First World War, Khilafat and Non-Cooperation
- The First World War created a new economic and political situation.
- As defence expenditure increased, custom duties were raised and income tax introduced.
- Rise in prices between 1913 and 1918 led to extreme hardship for the common people.
- There was forced recruitment of soldiers from rural areas which caused widespread anger.
- As crops failed in many parts of India, between 1918-19 and 1920-21, there was shortage of food, resulting in famines and epidemic.
→ The Idea of Satyagraha
- Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa in 1915.
- He successfully fought the racist regime in South Africa using a novel method of mass agitation, known as satyagraha.
- He believed that dharma of non-violence could unite all Indians.
- Gandhiji successfully organised satyagraha movements in Champaran in Bihar against oppressive plantation system; Kheda in Gujarat to reduce revenue collection; and Ahmedabad in Gujarat amongst the cotton mill workers.
→ The Rowlatt Act
- The Rowlatt Act (1919) passed by the Imperial Legislative Council, gave the government enormous powers to repress political activities, and allowed detention of political prisoners without trial for two years.
- Gandhiji decided to launch a nationwide satyagraha against such unjust laws.
- Rallies were organised in various cities, workers went on strike in railway workshops, and shops closed down.
- To control the nationalists, the British administration picked up local leaders from Amritsar and barred Gandhiji from entering Delhi.
- On 13 April 1919, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place. General Dyer ordered an open fire on peaceful, innocent people who gathered at the park for a peaceful protest and attend the annual Baisakhi fair.
- This led to mass aggression which the government brutally repressed.
- At the Calcutta Session of Congress in September 1920, Gandhiji decided to launch Non-Cooperation Movement in support of Khilafat and Swaraj. He thought this would unite the Hindus and the Muslims.
→ Why Non-Cooperation?
- Mahatma Gandhi in his famous book Hind Swaraj (1909) declared that British rule was established in India with the cooperation of Indians. If the Indians refused to cooperate, British rule would collapse within a year and swaraj would come.
- Gandhiji believed that non-cooperation should be unfolded in stages. It should begin with the surrender of titles that the government awarded, boycott civil services, army, police, courts, legislative councils, schools, and foreign goods.
- However, many within the Congress were concerned about the proposals and there was intense tussle within the Congress.
- At the Congress Session at Nagpur in December 1920, a compromise was worked out and the Non-Cooperation movement was adopted.
→ The Movement in the Towns
- The movement began with the middle-class participation in the cities. Students left government-controlled schools and colleges, headmasters and teachers resigned, lawyers gave up their practice. Council elections were boycotted.
- Foreign goods were boycotted, liquor shops picketed, afnd foreign clothes burnt in huge bonfires. Foreign import halved.
- However, the movement in the cities gradually slowed down for variety of reasons, such as khadi was expensive and not affordable by all, and alternate Indian institutions had to be set up so that they could be used in place of British ones.
→ Rebellion in the Countryside
- Non-Cooperation Movement drew into its folds the struggles of peasants and tribals which were developing in various parts of the country.
- In Awadh, the peasants were led by Baba Ramchancjra, who was a sanyasi. Their struggle was against the oppressive talukdars and landlords who charged exorbitant rents and variety of other cesses, and forced peasants to do begar. They had no secured tenure.
- Oudh Kisan Sabha was set up by Jawaharlal Nehru, Baba Ramchandra and others. The effort of Congress was to integrate the Awadh peasant struggle into the wider struggle.
- As the movement spread in 1921, houses of talukdars and merchants were attacked, bazaars were looted and grain hoards were taken over. Many local leaders declared that Gandhiji had said that it was not necessary to pay tax and the land would be redistributed among the poor.
- As the tribal peasants were forbidden from entering the forests to graze cattle, collect fuelwood and fruits, they sought to guerilla warfare. They resented for forced begar to construct roads. Alluri Sitaram Raju inspired people to wear khadi and give up drinking. He also said that India could gain freedom by the use of force and not by non-violence.
→ Swaraj in the Plantations
- Plantation workers in Assam wanted the freedom to move around and also keep in touch with the village from where they had come.
- Under the Inland Emigration Act of 1859, they did not have the permission to leave the tea gardens without permission.
- When the workers heard about Non-Cooperation Movement, they left the plantations, defied the authorities and left for home.
- However, they were stranded on the way with steamer and railway strike, caught by the police and brutally beaten up.
→ Towards Civil Disobedience
- With the Chauri-Chaura incident in 1922, Gandhiji halted the Non-Cooperation Movement. He felt satyagrahis needed to be trained properly before they would be ready for mass struggle.
- When the Simon Commission arrived in India in 1928, they were greeted with slogan ‘Go back Simon’. It was constituted to look into the constitutional system in India but had only British members and no Indians. A Round Table Conference was to decide the future constitution.
- The radicals within the Congress were not satisfied and became more assertive. Under the presidency of Jawaharlal Nehru, the demand for ‘Puma Swaraj’ was formalised in December 1929 at Lahore Congress Session. 26 January 1930 was declared as the Independence Day when people would take a pledge to struggle for complete independence.
→ The Salt March and the Civil Disobedience Movement
- The most oppressive of all rules of the British was the tax on salt and its monopoly over production. Gandhiji found in salt a veiy powerful symbol that could unite the nation.
- Gandhiji sent eleven demands to Viceroy Irwin .stating that if they were not met, a nationwide. Civil Disobedience Movement would be launched. The demands were wide ranging, so that all classes of society would identify with it and be brought together in a united campaign.
- When the demands were not fulfilled, Gandhiji started the Dandi March with his followers from Sabarmati Ashram to the coastal town of Dandi. On 6 April, he violated the law by manufacturing salt by boiling sea water. This marked the beginning of Civil Disobedience Movement.
- People were asked to defy British administration peacefully. People went to forest to graze their cattle and collect wood, foreign goods were boycotted, liquor shops picketed. People manufactured salt, peasants refused to pay taxes and village officials resigned.
- The colonial government began using repressive measures and arrested many leaders. When Gandhiji was arrested, industrial workers in Sholapur attacked police posts, municipal buildings, courts, etc. As the movement became violent, Gandhiji decided to call off the Movement.
- Gandhiji signed the Gandhi-Irwin Pact on 5 March 1931 and consented to join the Second Round Table Conference in London. However, the discussions were not satisfying and Gandhiji returned India disappointed. In India when he found Ghaffar Khan and Jawaharlal Nehru imprisoned and that the British had renewed their oppressive measures, he decided to re-launch the Civil Disobedience Movement.
→ How Participants saw the Movement
- In the countryside, rich peasants participated in the movement. However, when the Civil Disobedience Movement was called off in 1931 without revision in the rent, they were very disappointed. When the movement was restarted in 1932, many refused to participate.
- The poor peasants had joined movements led by the Socialists and Communists. Apprehensive of issues from the rich peasants and displeasing them, Congress was not willing to support the poor peasants.
- Prominent Indian industrialists supported the movement. Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) was formed in 1927. However, after the failure of the Round Table Conference, industrialists were not uniformly enthusiastic.
- The industrial working class did not participate in large numbers in the movement, except in the Nagpur region. Congress was reluctant to include the workers’.demands as part of the struggle as it felt it would alienate industrialists and divide the anti-imperial forces.
- Women participated in large numbers in this movement. They were involved in protest marches, manufactured salt, picketed foreign cloth and liquor shops.
→ The Limits of Civil Disobedience
- The Congress ignored the dalits in fear of offending the sanatanis, the high-caste Hindus. Gandhiji believed that freedom would not come for years if untouchability was not eliminated. He called them harijans.
- Dr B.R. Ambedkar organised the dalits into Depressed Classes and demanded for separate electorates for them. When the British agreed to his demands, Gandhiji went on fast unto death. He believed that separate electorates would mean process of integration of dalits into society would slow down. Finally, when Ambedkar accepted Gandhiji’s position, Poona Pact was signed on September 1932. They were to have reserved seats in provincial and legislative councils but were to be voted in by the general electorate.
- Muslims also had a lukewarm response to the Civil Disobedience Movement. Muhammad Ali Jirmah, one of the leaders of Muslim League was ready to give up demand for separate electorate if Muslims were given reserved seats in Central Assembly and representation in proportion to population in the Muslim-dominated provinces. However, when M.R. Jayakar of the Hindu Mahasabha strongly disagreed to it, all efforts at compromise broke down.
→ The Sense of Collective Belonging:
- Nationalism spreads when people feel, they belong to the same nation; when they have common bonds that unite them together. History and fiction, folklore and songs, popular prints and symbols, all play a part in making of nationalism.
- In the twentieth century, with the growth of nationalism, the identity of India came to be associated with image of Bharat Mata. She was first created by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay as he wrote ‘ Vande Mataram’ as a hymn to the motherland. This hymn was included in his famous novel Anandamath.
- The image of Bharat Mata was first painted by Abanindranath Tagore. Later it acquired several different forms. Devotion to this mother figure came to be seen as evidence of one’s nationalism.
- Ideas of nationalism also developed through revival of Indian folklore. In Bengal, Rabindranath Tagore himself began collecting ballads, nursery rhymes and myths and led the movement for folk revival. In Madras, Natesa Sastri believed that folklore was a national literature.
- During Swadeshi movement in Bengal, a tricolour (red, green and yellow) was designed with eight lotuses representing eight provinces of British India, and a crescent moon, representing Hindus and Muslims. Gandhiji designed the Swaraj flag, which was a tricolour (red, green and white) and had a spinning wheel at the centre representing the Gandhian ideal of self-help.
- Feeling of nationalism was created with reinterpretation of history. While the British considered Indians backward and primitive, and incapable of governing themselves, Indians began looking into the past to rediscover India’s great achievements.