Nationalism in India
How did nationalism emerge in India?(Associated with Anti-colonial Movement)
1. People began discovering their unity in the process oftheir struggle with colonialism.
2. The sense of being oppressed undercolonialism provided a shared bond that tied many different groupstogether.
3. The Congress under MahatmaGandhi tried to forge these groups together within one movement.
4. In India, the growth ofmodern nationalism is intimately connected to the anti-colonialmovement.
Effects of World War I in India
1. First World War created a new economic and political situation.It led to a huge increase of taxes like customs duties andincome tax introduced.
2. Through the war years prices increased which led to extreme hardshipfor the common people.
3. Villages were called upon to supply soldiers,and the forced recruitment in rural areas caused widespread anger.
4. From 1918 to 1921, crops failed in many parts of India,resulting in acute shortages of food. This was accompanied by aninfluenza epidemic.
5. According to the census of 1921, 12 to 13 millionpeople perished as a result of famines and the epidemic.
What is Satyagraha?
1. The idea of satyagrahaemphasised the power oftruth and the need to search for truth. It suggested that if the struggle was against truth and injustice, without seeking angry, vengeance or aggression, a satyagrahicould win the battle through nonviolence.
Successful satyagraha movements from 1916 to1918
Mahatma Gandhi successfully organized three satyagraha movements in various places.
1. In 1916 Mahatma Gandhi travelled toChamparan in Bihar to inspire the peasants to struggle against theoppressive plantation system.
2. Then in 1917, Mahatma Gandhiorganised a satyagrahato support the peasants of the Kheda district of Gujarat who were affectedby crop failure and a plague epidemicand were demanding that revenue collection berelaxed.
3. In 1918, Mahatma Gandhi went to Ahmedabad to organize a satyagraha movement amongst cotton mill workers.
The Rowlatt Act and Rowlatt Satyagraha
1. Rowlatt Act (1919)gave the government enormous powers to repress political activities,and allowed detention of political prisoners without trial for twoyears.
2. Mahatma Gandhi wanted non-violent civil disobedience againstsuch unjust laws, which would start with a hartalon 6 April 1919.
3. Rallies were organised in various cities, workers went on strike inrailway workshops, and shops closed down.
Causes for JallianwallaBagh massacre
1. To repress Rowlatt Satyagraha local leaders were picked up fromAmritsar, and Mahatma Gandhi was barred from entering Delhi.
2. On 10 April, the police in Amritsar fired upon a peaceful procession,provoking widespread attacks on banks, post offices and railwaystations. Martial law was imposed and General Dyer took command.
3. On 13 April a large crowd gathered in the enclosed ground of JallianwallaBaghto attend the annual Baisakhi fair. Beingfrom outside the city, many villagers were unaware of the martiallaw that had been imposed.
4. General Dyer entered the area, blocked the exitpoints, and opened fire on the crowd, killing hundreds.
5. As the news of JallianwallaBagh spread, crowds took to the streetsin many north Indian towns. There were strikes, clashes with thepolice and attacks on government buildings. The governmentresponded with brutal repression, seeking to humiliate and terrorisepeople.
Seeing violence spread, Mahatma Gandhi called offtheRowlatt Satyagraha movement.
Khilafat Committee and Khilafat Movement
1. The First World War hadended with the defeat of Ottoman Turkey and a harsh peace treaty was imposed on the Ottoman Emperor( Khalifa) – the spiritual head of the Islamic world.
2. Todefend the Khalifa’s temporal powers, a Khilafat Committee wasformed in Bombay in March 1919.
3. Young Muslimleaders like Muhammad Ali and ShaukatAli, began a movement against the British in India which is called Khilafat Movement.
4. Gandhiji saw this as an opportunity to bringMuslims and Hindus under the umbrella of a unified national movement.
5. At theCalcutta session of the Congress in September 1920, he convincedother leaders of the need to start a non-cooperation movement insupport of Khilafat as well as for Swaraj.
Why did Gandhijiorganize Non-cooperation?
1. Mahatma Gandhi declaredthat British rule was established and survived in India with the cooperation ofIndians.
2. If Indiansrefused to cooperate, British rule in India would collapse within ayear, and swaraj would come.
How could (idea of )non-cooperation become a mass movement?
(How was Non Cooperation movement unfolded in Stages?)
1. Gandhijiproposed that the movement should beginwith the surrender of titles that the government awarded.
2. The movement should continue withboycottof civil services, army, police, courts and legislative councils,schools, and foreign goods.
3. Then, in case the government usedrepression, a full civil disobedience campaign would be launched.
How diddifferent social groups conceive of the idea of Non-Cooperation?
The Movement in the Towns with middle-class participation
1. The movement started with thousands of students left government-controlled schools andcolleges, headmasters and teachers resigned.
2. Lawyers gave uptheir legal practices and boycotted courts.
3. The council elections were boycotted in mostprovinces except Madras.
4. Foreign goods were boycotted, liquor shops werepicketed,and foreign cloth burnt in huge bonfires.
5. In many places merchants and tradersrefused to trade in foreign goods or finance foreign trade.
Why did the movement in the cities gradually slowdown?Give reasons.
1. Khadicloth wasoften more expensive than massproducedmill cloth and poor people could not afford to buy it. Common people began to wear foreign cloth.
2. Similarly theboycott of British educational institutions posed a problem because there were no alternative Indian institutions. So students and teachers began tricklingback to government schools.
3. Lawyers and officers could not survive without income so they joined back work ingovernment courts and offices.
Rebellion in the Countryside of Awadh
1. In Awadh, peasants were led by Baba Ramchandra – a sanyasiwhohad earlier been to Fiji as an indentured labourer. The movementhere was against talukdarsand landlords who demanded high rents, free labour and a variety of other taxes.
2. The peasantmovement demanded reduction of revenue, abolition of begar, andsocial boycott of oppressive landlords. In many places barbers and washer menrefused to serve the landlords(nai– dhobibandh)
3. By October, 1920 theOudh KisanSabha was set up headed by Jawaharlal Nehru, BabaRamchandra and a few others. Within a month, over 300 brancheshad been set up in the villages around the region.
4. When the Non- Cooperation Movement began,the houses of talukdarsand merchants were attacked,bazaars were looted, and grain hoards were taken over.
5. In manyplaces local leaders told peasants that Gandhiji had declared thatno taxes were to be paid and land was to be redistributed amongthe poor.
Rebellion in the forest of Andhra Pradesh
1. In the Gudem Hills of Andhra Pradesh, the colonial governmenthad closed large forest areas, preventing people from enteringthe forests to graze their cattle, or to collect fuelwood and fruits.
2. This enraged the hill people. Not only were their livelihoodsaffected but they felt that their traditional rights were being denied.When the government began forcing them to contribute beggar for road building, the hill people revolted.
3. The person who cameto lead them was AlluriSitaramRajuwho claimedthat he had a variety of special powers: he could make correctastrological predictions and heal people, and he could surviveeven bullet shots.
4. Raju was inspired by the Non-Cooperation Movement and Gandhiji. He persuaded people to wear khadiand give up drinking.But at the same time he asserted that India could be liberated onlyby the use of force, not non-violence.
5. The Gudem rebels attackedpolice stations, attempted to kill British officials and carried onguerrilla warfare for achieving swaraj. Raju was captured andexecuted in 1924, and over time became a folk hero.
Plantation workers and Non Cooperation Movement
1. Under the Inland EmigrationAct of 1859, plantation workers were not permitted to leave thetea gardens.
2. When they heard of the Non-CooperationMovement, thousands of workers defied the authorities, left theplantations and headed home (Bihar, Bengal and Orissa).
3. For plantation workers in Assam, freedommeant the right to move freely in and out of the confined space inwhich they were enclosed, and it meant retaining a link with thevillage from which they had come.
4. They believed that Gandhi Raj has come and everyone would be given land in their own villages.
5. On the way to steamer and railway stations they were caught by the police andbrutally beaten up.
What were the two factors that shaped Indian politics towards the late 1920s?
1. The first wasthe effect of the worldwide economic depression. Agricultural pricesbegan to fall from 1926 and collapsed after 1930.
2. As the demandfor agricultural goods fell and exports declined, peasants found itdifficult to sell their harvests and pay their revenue.
1. In 1928 a commission was appointed under Sir John Simon called Simon Commission.
2. It was appointed to look into the functioning ofthe constitutional system in India and suggestchanges.
3. The problem was that the commissiondid not have a single Indian member. They wereall British.
4. When the Simon Commission arrived in India it was greeted with the slogan ‘Go backSimon’.
5. All parties, including the Congress and theMuslim League, participated in the demonstrations.
Round Table Conferences
1. LordIrwin, the viceroy of India announced (1929) a vague offerof ‘dominion status’ for India in an unspecifiedfuture, and a Round Table Conference to discuss a future constitution.
2. There were three Round Table Conferences held in London. Gandhiji attended the second Round Table Conference.
3. Dr B.R. Ambedkar, who organised the dalits into the DepressedClasses Association in 1930, clashed with Mahatma Gandhi atthe second Round Table Conference by demanding separateelectorates for dalits.
4. When the British government concededAmbedkar’s demand, Gandhiji began a fast unto death. He believedthat separate electorates for dalits would slow down the process oftheir integration into society.
5. Ambedkar ultimately accepted Gandhiji’sposition and the result was the Poona Pact of September 1932.
Lahore Congress Session-1929
1. Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose, became more assertive and brought radical ideas into the Congress.
2. In December 1929, under the presidency of JawaharlalNehru, the Lahore Congress formalised the demand of ‘PurnaSwaraj’ or complete independence for India.
3. It was declared thatif British government does not grant self-rulewithin a year, 26 January1930, will be celebrated as the Independence Day.
The Salt March and the Civil Disobedience Movement
1. Mahatma Gandhi found in salt a powerful symbol that could unitethe nation. Salt was the item consumed by the rich and the poor alike, and it was oneof the most essential items of food.
2. The tax on salt and thegovernment monopoly over its production made Mahatma Gandhi to launch a civil disobedience campaign.
3. Mahatma Gandhi started his famoussalt march accompanied by 78 of his trusted volunteers.
4. The marchwas over 240 miles, from Gandhiji’s ashram in Sabarmati to theGujarati coastal town of Dandi.
5. On 6 April he reachedDandi, and ceremonially violated the salt law, manufacturing salt byboiling sea water.This marked the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement.
How was Civil Disobedience Movementdifferent from the Non-CooperationMovement?
Civil Disobedience Movement
People were now asked not only to refuse cooperationwith the British, but also to break
People were asked to refuse cooperation
with the British,
Participation of women was more in Non Cooperation Movement
Participation of women was less in Non Cooperation Movement
Civil Disobedience Movement
1. Thousands in different parts of the country brokethe salt law, manufactured salt and demonstrated in front ofgovernment salt factories.
2. As the movement spread, foreign clothwas boycotted, and liquor shops were picketed. Peasants refused topay revenue and taxes, village officials resigned.
3. Inmany places forest people violated forest laws – going into ReservedForests to collect wood and graze cattle.
4. When Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a devout disciple ofMahatma Gandhi, was arrested angry crowdsdemonstrated in the streets of Peshawar, facing armoured cars andpolice firing. Many were killed.
5. When MahatmaGandhi himself was arrested, industrial workers in Sholapur attackedpolice posts, municipal buildings, lawcourts and railway stations –all structures that
symbolised British rule.
1. Mahatma Gandhi called offthe movement and entered into a pact with Irwin called Gandhi-Irwin Pact.
2. According to the pactGandhijiagreed to participate in the 2ndRound Table Conference in London.
3. Lord Irwin agreed torelease the political prisoners.
1. Dr B.R. Ambedkar, who organised the dalits into the DepressedClasses Association in 1930, clashed with Mahatma Gandhi atthe second Round Table Conference by demanding separateelectorates for dalits.
2. When the British government concededAmbedkar’s demand, Gandhiji began a fast unto death. He believedthat separate electorates for dalits would slow down the process oftheir integration into society.
3. Ambedkar ultimately accepted Gandhiji’sposition and the result was the Poona Pact of September 1932.
4. According to Poona Pact Gandhiji promised to give reservations to dalits after independence.
5. According to Poona Pact B.R Ambedkar agreed to give away the separate electorate for Dalits.
How did different social groups participate in the Civil Disobedience Movement?
1. Rich peasant communities:–They were very hard hit bythe trade depression and falling prices. As their cash incomedisappeared, they found it impossible to pay the government’s revenuedemand. These rich peasants becameenthusiastic supporters of the Civil Disobedience Movement.
2. The poor peasants: –As the Depression continued andcash incomes dwindled, the small tenants found it difficult to paytheir rent. They wanted the unpaid rent to the landlord to be remitted(removed).
3. The business classes(Industrialists):They wanted protection against imports of foreign goods, and arupee-sterling foreign exchange ratio that would discourage imports.To organise business interests, they formed the Indian Industrialand Commercial Congress and the Federation of the IndianChamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) in 1927.
4. The industrial workers:some workers did participate inthe Civil Disobedience Movement, selectively adopting the Gandhianprogramme, like boycott of foreigngoods, against low wages andpoor working conditions.
5. Women:During Gandhiji’s saltmarch, thousands of women came out of their homes to participatein protest marches, manufacture salt, andpicket foreign cloth and liquor shops. Many went to jail. In urbanareas these women were from high-caste families; in rural areasthey came from rich peasant households.
The Limits of Civil Disobedience
1. Forlong the Congress had ignored the dalits. But Mahatma Gandhideclared that swaraj would not come for a hundred years ifuntouchability was not eliminated.
2. He called the ‘untouchables’ harijan,or the children of God, organisedsatyagraha to secure them entryinto temples, and access to public wells, tanks, roads and schools.
3. He himself cleaned toilets to dignify the work of the bhangi (thesweepers), and persuaded upper castes to change their heart andgive up ‘the sin of untouchability’.
4. Dalit leaders began organising themselves into associations, demanding reserved seats ineducational institutions, and a separate electorate that would choosedalit members for legislative councils.
5. Dalit participation in the Civil Disobedience Movement wastherefore limited, particularly in the Maharashtra and Nagpur regionwhere their organisation was quite strong.
Muslim Political Organisations:
1. After the decline of the Non-Cooperation-Khilafat movement, alarge section of Muslims felt alienated from the Congress.
2. From themid-1920s the Congress came to be more visibly associated withopenly Hindu religious nationalist groups like the Hindu Mahasabha.
3. As relations between Hindus and Muslims worsened, eachcommunity organised religious processions with militant fervour,provoking Hindu-Muslim communal clashes and riots in variouscities.
4. The Congress and the Muslim League made efforts to renegotiatean alliance. Muhammad AliJinnah, was willing to giveup the demand for separate electorates, if Muslims were assuredreserved seats in the Central Assembly.
5. Negotiations over the question of representationcontinued but all hope of resolving the issue at the All PartiesConference in 1928 disappeared when M.R. Jayakar of the HinduMahasabha strongly opposed efforts at compromise.When the Civil Disobedience Movement started there was large sections of Muslims could notrespond to the call for a united struggle.
How did people belonging to different communities,regions or language groups develop a sense of collective belonging?
1. In the 20thcentury the identity of Indiacame to be visually associated with the image of Bharat Mata. Theimage was first created by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. Abanindranath Tagore painted his famous image ofBharat Mata and portrayed it as an ascetic figure, calm, composed, divine and spiritual.
2. In the1870s Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaywrote ‘VandeMataram’as a hymn to the motherland.Later it was included in his novel Anandamathand widely sung during the Swadeshi movement in Bengal and other national movements.
3. Ideas of nationalism also developed through a movement to reviveIndian folklore. Nationalists beganrecording folk tales sung by bards and they toured villages to gatherfolk songs and legends. In Bengal, Rabindranath Tagore himself began collectingballads, nursery rhymes and myths, and led the movement for folkrevival. In Madras, NatesaSastri published a massive four-volumecollection of Tamil folk tales, The Folklore of Southern India.
4. During the Swadeshimovement in Bengal, a tricolour flag (red, green and yellow)wasdesigned. By1921, Gandhiji had designed the Swaraj flag. It was again a tricolor (red, green and white) and had a spinning wheel in the centre,representing the Gandhian ideal of self-help. Carrying the flag,holding it aloft, during marches became a symbol of defiance.
5. Another means of creating a feeling of nationalism was throughreinterpretation of history. The Britishsaw Indians as backward and primitive, incapable of governingthemselves. In response, Indians began looking into the past todiscover India’s great achievements in art and architecture, scienceand mathematics, religion and culture, law and philosophy, craftsand trade had flourished.