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Why growth of nationalism in the colonies is linked to an anti-colonial movement.
The growth of modern nationalism is intimately connected to the anti-colonial movement in India, just like in any other country. In the process of their struggle with colonialism people began discovering their unity. All though each class or group of people felt that they were being oppressed under colonialism, the effects of colonialism were felt differently.


 How the First World War helped in the growth of the National Movement in India.

A new economic and political situation was created by the war. The prices of all the commodities went up.
  Common people faced extreme hardship.
  Villages were called upon to supply soldiers.
  Forced recruitment in rural areas caused widespread anger.

All these factors helped in the growth of the National Movement in India


 Why Indians were outraged by the Rowlatt Act.

The Rowlatt Act passed in 1919 authorised the government to imprison people without trial. Gandhi was the most vehement critic of the political violence which their act represented. He argued that it was not right to frame drastic legislation for the whole of India because political crimes occurred in a few places. There was a rare unanimity among Indian leaders on opposition of the Rowlatt Bills. It lead to a wave of popular indignation.The government resorted to repressive measures.


Why Gandhiji decided to withdraw the Non-Cooperation Movement.

In February 1922, Mahatma Gandhi decided to withdraw the Non-Cooperation Movement. He felt the movement was turning violent in many places and satyagrahis needed to be properly trained before they would be ready for mass struggles. Within the Congress, some leaders were by now tired of mass struggles and wanted to participate in elections to the provincial councils that had been set up by the Government of India Act of 1919. They felt that it was important to oppose British policies within the councils, argue for reform and also demonstrate that these councils were not truly democratic. C. R. Das and Motilal Nehru formed the Swaraj Party within the Congress to argue for a return to council politics. But younger leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose pressed for more radical mass agitation and for full independence.


What is meant by the idea of satyagraha?

Mahatma Gandhi returned to India in January 1915. As you know, he had come from South Africa where he had successfully fought the racist regime with a novel method of mass agitation, which he called satyagraha. The idea of satyagraha emphasised the power of truth and the need to search for truth. It suggested that if the cause was true, if the struggle was against injustice, then physical force was not necessary to fight the oppressor. Without seeking vengeance or being aggressive, a satyagrahi could win the battle through nonviolence. This could be done by appealing to the conscience of the oppressor. People – including the oppressors – had to be persuaded to see the truth, instead of being forced to accept truth through the use of violence. By this struggle, truth was bound to ultimately triumph. Mahatma Gandhi believed that this dharma of non-violence could unite all Indians.


Write a newspaper report on: The Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, involved the killing of hundreds of unarmed, defenceless Indians by a senior British militry officer, took place on 13 April 1919 in the heart of Amritsar, the holiest city of the Sikhs, on a day sacred to them as the birth anniversary of the Khalsa. Jallianvala Bagh,. a garden belonging to the Jalla, derives name from that of the owners of this piece of land in Sikh times. It was then the property the family of Sardar Himmat Singh (d.1829), a noble in the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), who originally came from the village of Jalla, now in Fatehgarh Sahib district of the Punjab. The family were collectively known as Jallhevale or simply Jallhe or Jalle, although their principal seat later became Alavarpur in Jalandhar district. The site, once a garden or garden house, was in 1919 an uneven and unoccupied space, an irregular quadrangle, indifferently walled, approximately 225 x 180 metres which was used more as a dumping ground.


Write a newspaper report on: The Simon Commission.

The Government of India Act of 1919 was essentially transitional in character. Under Section 84 of the said Act, a statutory commission was to be appointed at the end of ten years, to determine the next stage in the realization of self-rule in India.

The British government appointed a commission under Sir John Simon in November 1927. The commission, which had no Indian members, was being sent to investigate India's constitutional problems and make recommendations to the government on the future constitution of India.

There was a clear split in the Muslim League. Sir Muhammad Shafi, who wanted to cooperate with the commission, decided to convene a Muslim League session in Lahore in December 1927.

The other faction led by Jinnah stood for the boycott of the commission. This faction held a Muslim League session at Calcutta, and decided to form a subcommittee to confer with the working committee of the Indian National Congress and other organizations, with a view to draft a constitution for India.


Discuss: List all the different social groups which joined the Non-Cooperation Movement of 1921.

The movement started with middle-class participation in the cities. Thousands of students left government-controlled schools and colleges, headmasters and teachers resigned, and lawyers gave up their legal practices. The council elections were boycotted in most provinces except Madras, where the Justice Party, the party of the non-Brahmans, felt that entering the council was one way of gaining some power – something that usually only Brahmans had access to.

From the cities, the Non-Cooperation Movement spread to the countryside. It drew into its fold the struggles of peasants and tribals which were developing in different parts of India in the years after the war. Workers too had their own understanding of Mahatma Gandhi and the notion of swaraj. For plantation workers in Assam, freedom meant the right to move freely in and out of the confined space in which they were enclosed, and it meant retaining a link with the village from which they had come.

The visions of these movements were not defined by the Congress programme. They interpreted the term swaraj in their own ways, imagining it to be a time when all suffering and all troubles would be over. Yet, when the tribals chanted Gandhiji’s name and raised slogans demanding ‘Swatantra Bharat’, they were also emotionally relating to an all-India agitation. When they acted in the name of Mahatma Gandhi, or linked their movement to that of the Congress, they were identifying with a movement which went beyond the limits of their immediate locality.


Discuss: The Salt March to make clear why it was an effective symbol of resistance against colonialism.

Mahatma Gandhi found in salt a powerful symbol that could unite the nation. On 31 January 1930, he sent a letter to Viceroy Irwin stating eleven demands. Some of these were of general interest; others were specific demands of different classes, from industrialists to peasants. The idea was to make the demands wide-ranging, so that all classes within Indian society could identify with them and everyone could be brought together in a united campaign. The most stirring of all was the demand to abolish the salt tax. Salt was something consumed by the rich and the poor alike, and it was one of the most essential items of food. The tax on salt and the government monopoly over its production, Mahatma Gandhi declared, revealed the most oppressive face of British rule.

Mahatma Gandhi’s letter was, in a way, an ultimatum. If the demands were not fulfilled by 11 March, the letter stated, the Congress would launch a civil disobedience campaign. Irwin was unwilling to negotiate. So Mahatma Gandhi started his famous salt march accompanied by 78 of his trusted volunteers. The march was over 240 miles, from Gandhiji’s ashram in Sabarmati to the Gujarati coastal town of Dandi. The volunteers walked for 24 days, about 10 miles a day. Thousands came to hear Mahatma Gandhi

wherever he stopped, and he told them what he meant by swaraj and urged them to peacefully defy the British. On 6 April he reached Dandi, and ceremonially violated the law, manufacturing salt by boiling sea water. This marked the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement.


Why did political leaders differ sharply over the question of separate electorates?

Dr B.R. Ambedkar, who organised the dalits into the Depressed Classes Association in 1930, clashed with Mahatma 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. He believed that separate electorates for dalits would slow down the process of their integration into society. Ambedkar ultimately accepted Gandhiji’s position and the result was the Poona Pact of September 1932.

It gave the Depressed Classes (later to be known as the Schedule Castes) reserved seats in provincial and central legislative councils, but they were to be voted in by the general electorate. The dalit movement, however, continued to be apprehensive of the congress led national movement.

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