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Wednesday 18 November 2020

HISTORY (XII)-THEME-13 MAHATMA GANDHI AND THE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT (LESSON NOTES)

 

HISTORY (XII)-THEME-13

MAHATMA GANDHI AND THE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT

(LESSON NOTES)

__________________________________________________________

v INTRODUCTION

Ø In the history of Nationalism often a Leader is identified with a nation. For example-

§  Garibaldi - Making of Italy,

§  George Washington -American War of Independence

§  Ho Chi Minh -The struggle to free Vietnam

Ø In the same manner, Mahatma Gandhi has been regarded as the ‘Father’ of the Indian nation. He was the most influential and revered of all the leaders who participated in the freedom struggle of India.

Ø This chapter analyses Gandhiji’s activities in India during the 1915-1948. It explores his interactions with different sections of the Indian society and the popular struggles that he inspired and led.

v MAHATMA GANDHI IN SOUTH AFRICA

Ø Mahatma Gandhi went to South Africa in 1893 as a Lawyer but he stayed their almost 22 years. There he fought against the apartheid system. Historian Chandran Devanesan has rightly remarked that “South Africa was the making of the Mahatma”. It was in South Africa that Mahatma Gandhi.


 

§  Adopted his technique of non-violent protest or Satyagraha.

§  Promoted harmony between religions.

§  Alerted upper caste Indians for their discriminatory treatment of low castes and women

v SITUATION IN INDIA IN 1915

Ø Mahatma Gandhi return to India in 1915. There was different from the one that he had left in 1893.

§  There was more activeness found in the political sense in India.

§  The Indian National Congress which was founded in 1885 had many branches in major cities and towns.

§  Through the Swadeshi movement of 1905-07 INC increased their presence among the middle classes. It also emerged the radical age leaders known as Lal, Bal, Pal

·      Lala Lajpat Rai of Punjab

·      Bal Gangadhar Tilak of Maharashtra 

                            ·      Bipin Chandra Pal of Bengal


 

v DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MODERATES AND REDICALS

MODERATE

RADICALS

In freedom movement 1885 to 1905 time period is referred as moderate age.

In freedom movement 1905 to 1915 time period is referred as radical age.

The leaders who preferred

gradual and persuasive

approach towards Britishers

These leaders advocated militant opposition to colonial rule,

The leaders of moderate age were Dada Bhai Noraji, Gopal Krishan Gokhle, Mohammad Ali Jinnah Annie Besant. etc.

Three important leaders known as Lal, Bal, Pal-Lala Lajpat Rai,

Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal

 

 

 

v THE SPEECH OF MAHATAMA GANDHI AT BHU

Ø On the advice of his political Guru Gopal Krishna Gokhale Mahatma Gandhi travelling around British India to know the problem of Its people. He was invited at the opening of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in February 1916. He was almost unknown compare to other leaders. There he gave his first speech which focus on these issues-

§  In his speech Gandhiji charged the Indian elite with a lack of concern for the labouring poor.

§  He told that Indian nationalism was an elite phenomenon, a creation of lawyers,  doctors and landlords.

§  Gandhiji chose to remind those present, of the peasants and workers who constituted a majority of the Indian population, yet were unrepresented in the audience.

§  The first public announcement of Gandhiji’s own desire was to make Indian nationalism more properly representative of the Indian people as a whole.  

v INITIALLY CAMPAIGN OF MAHATMA GANDHI

Ø CHAMPARAN SATYAGRAHA

§  In annual congress session of Lucknow held in Dec.1916 Mahatma Gandhi come to know about the harsh treatment of the Indigo peasant of Champaran by the British.

§  So, in 1917, Mahatma Gandhi organized a Satyagraha in Champaran (Bihar) to obtain the peasants security of tenure as well as the freedom to cultivate the crops of their choice.

Ø AHMADABAD TEXTILE MILL STRIKE

§  In Feb 1918, Gandhiji started a Satyagraha in Ahmadabad for demanding better working conditions for the textile mill workers.

Ø KHEDA SATYAGRAHA

§  In 1918, Kheda Satyagraha was launched by Gandhiji for the farmers. They demanded remission of taxes from the state due to the failure of their harvest.  

Ø All the initially satyagraha of Gandhi were associated with poor persons and resolve the problem and Non-violence way.

v ROWLATT ACT

Ø After the first world war(1914-18) to crab the nationalist activities Britishers imposed censorship and on the recommendation of committee chaired by Sir Sidney Rowlatt, new act was passed which was known as Rowlatt Act.

Ø This act authorized the government to imprison, without trial any person suspected of terrorism.

Ø This act makes the Indian very aggressive and led a great protest.

v Movement against Rowlatt act

Ø Gandhiji called for a country wide agitation against the Rowlatt Act. On April 6th a hartal was declared by Gandhiji.

Ø Indian become very aggressive against this Black Law. British imposed curfew in many areas.

Ø Gandhiji and prominent local Congressmen were arrested.

Ø The protests against the Rowlatt Act intense reaching a climax in Amritsar on 13 April 1919, when a British Brigadier O Dyer ordered his troops to open fire on a nationalist meeting.

Ø More than 400 people were killed there which is known as the Jalliawala Bagh massacre.

Ø It was the Rowlatt Act that made Gandhiji a truly national leader.  

v NON COOPERATION MOVEMENT

Ø All the incidents happen after world war as censorship, rowlatt act, Jallianwala Bagh Massacre etc. made Gandhi ji to launch a nationwide Movement against Britishers.

Ø Gandhi believed that British exist here only because of the cooperation of Indian. So, he said that India would win swaraj within a year if non-cooperation was effectively carried out.

Ø For the Non-cooperation Gandhiji asked to

§  To stop attending British schools and colleges

§  Lawyers boycott the law courts,

§  By not paying taxes.

§  Boycotted the foreign goods, clothes etc.

 

v KHILAFAT MOVEMENT

Ø Khilafat Movement (1919-1920) was a movement of Indian Muslims, led by Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali.

Ø The Turkish Sultan or Khalifa was referred as spiritual leader for all Muslim but he was abolished by the Turkish ruler Kemal Attaturk, supported by Britishers.

Ø So, they launch the Khilafat movement against Britishers. They demanded that Khalifa must retain control over the Muslim sacred places and have sovereignty.

Ø The Congress supported this movement. Gandhi decided to couple the khilafat issue with the Non-Cooperation. He wanted to bring Hindus and Muslims collectively to end colonial rule.

v KNITTING A POPULAR MOVEMENT -NCM

Ø The non-cooperation movement people actively participated in large scale.

Ø This movement started according to the planning as students stopped going to schools and colleges run by the British government.

Ø Lawyers also refused to attend the court.

Ø The people boycotted the foreign goods and Foreign cloth being collected to be burnt in bonfires

Ø The working class also went on strike in many towns and cities.

Ø Hill tribes in Northern Andhra violated the forest laws.

Ø Farmers in Awadh refused to pay taxes.

Ø These protest movements were sometimes carried out in defiance of the local nationalist leadership.

Ø Gandhiji taught the people self-discipline, renunciation, self-denial, Ahimsa, Satyagraha through Non-cooperation Movement. The aim of the movement was self-rule.

Ø The Movement shook the foundation of the British rule in India. Britishers also brutal repression the movement. They put thousand people in jail. The fired on innocent people.

Ø This make the people furious so on 5 February 1922, a group of peasants fired a police station at Chauri Chaura in U.P. in which 22 policemen were killed.

Ø This act of violence prompted Gandhi to call off the movement.  

v GANDHI AS PEOPLE’S LEADER

Ø The time period between 1915 to 1947 is referred as Gandhian age in Indian freedom movement. Gandhiji had transformed the nationalist movement into a mass movement. His qualities make him as the leader of common people as-

Ø Simplicity

§  Gandhiji belong to Merchant community and a lawyer by profession but he lived like a common person.

§  His dressed were like a common person and spoke their language so people appreciated him.

Ø Concern to the problems of poors

§  In his first speech given in BHU, he reminded that peasants and workers who are majority of Indian population are not present here.

§  It was Gandhiji’s desire to make Indian nationalism representative of the Indian people.

Ø Self-reliance

§  He spent part of each day working on the charkha (spinning wheel) and encouraged other nationalists to do likewise.  

§  He identified himself with common man. This was strikingly reflected in his dress, while other nationalist leaders dressed formally, wearing a western suit or an Indian bandgala, Gandhiji went among the people in a simple dhoti or loin cloth.

Ø New political set up

§  The base of Indian National Movement broadened under Gandhiji.

§  He brought changes in the congress organization. New branches of the congress were set up in various parts of India.

§  Prajamandals were established to promote nationalism in the princely states.

§  The provincial committees of the congress were based on linguistic divisions rather than the artificial boundaries set up by the British administration.

§  Gandhiji advocated the spreading of the nationalist message in the mother tongue, rather than English.

Ø Social reformer

§  Gandhiji was as much a social reformer as he was a politician.

§  He took steps to remove social evils such as child marriage and untouchability.

§  He gave emphasis on Hindu Muslim harmony.

Ø Supported by Rich and poors

§  The simplicity and speech of Gandhiji attracted not only poor person but rich industrialist and elite class.

§  Many Industrialist though that in free India they will more benefitted so they joined the congress as the Indian entrepreneurs. For example, G.D Birla supported the national movement openly.

§  Highly talented Indians attached themselves to Gandhiji.

 

v RUMOURS OF GANDHIJI’S MIRACULOUS POWERS

Ø As Gandhi ji become popular among the poor and common persons they referred him as Gandhi Baba, Maharaj or Mahatma. There were also many rumours spread about his miraculous powers as-

§  Some people told that he had been sent by the king to redress the grievances of the farmers and that he had the power to overrule all local officials.  

§  It was also claimed that Gandhi’s power was superior to that of the English Monarch and with his arrival colonial rulers would flee the district.

§  Stories spread of dire consequences for those who opposed him.

§  Those who criticized Gandhi found their houses mysteriously falling apart or their crops failing.

§  Gandhiji appeared to the Indian peasant as a saviour, who could rescue them from high taxes and oppressive officials and restore dignity and autonomy to their lives.  

v THE SALT SATYAGRAHA-A CASE STUDY

 

v MAJOR POLITICAL EVENTS FROM 1928TO 1930

Ø SIMON COMMISSION

§  In 1927 a Commission was appointed to enquire into conditions in the colony under the leader Sir John Simon, so known as Simon commission.


 

§  But in the Simon commission all 7 members were Britishers so when it reach in India in 1928 a large campaign were organised to opposition the commission.

§  Although Gandhiji did not participate in this movement but he blessed this protest.

v SATYAGRAHA IN BARDOLI

Ø In 1928 Mahatma Gandhi organised a satyagraha in Baradoli (Gujarat) with Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel for the peasants.

v LAHORE CONGRESS SESSION-1929

Ø In December 1929, the annual session of Congress was held in Lahore under Jawaharlal Nehru as president. This session was very significant because

§  The leadership of congress was passed to younger generation.

§  Proclamation of commitment to poorna swaraj” or complete independence.

 

§  It was decided that on 26 January 1930 Independence Day will be celebrated with the national flag being hoisted at different venues and by doing the constructive work as spinning, or service of ‘untouchables’, or reunion of Hindus and Mussalmans.

v THE SALT MARCH

Ø Soon after the observance of Independence Day Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi announced that he would lead a march to break the salt law. He decided to lead this march against the Salt law because

§  The state has the monopoly over manufacturing of salt which was deeply unpopular.

§  The price of Salt was very high.

§  Salt was an indispensable item in every Indian house so he hoped that It mobilize the people against British rule.

§  Gandhiji had given advance notice of his “salt march” to the Viceroy Lord Irwin, who failed to grasp the significance of the action.

v SALT MARCH

Ø On 12 March 1930, Gandhi began his march from his Sabarmati Ashram towards oceans .

Ø After 24 days on 6, April Gandhiji reached Dandi with thousand people and made a handful of salt and to break the law.


 

Ø With the break of salt law, a large protest started in different part of India like Non-cooperation movement.

§  People started to manufacturing the salt in many places.

§  Forest people break colonial forest laws started to collect the woods.

§  Factory workers went on strike while lawyers boycotted British courts and students refused to attend government run educational institutions.

§  The rulers responded by detaining the dissenters. Nearly 60,000 Indians were arrested including Gandhiji.

v SOURCES TO TRACE THE SALT MARCH

Ø The progress of Salt March can be traced by different sources

Ø Secret report of Police

§  These reports tell that Gandhiji encouraged the Government officers to join the freedom struggle

§  These also tell that Gandhiji also argued the higher caste person to do well for untouchable for sawraj.

§  He also told that all Hindus, Muslims, Parsis and Sikhs will have to unite for sawraj.

§  These reports also tell that people from all background come to hear Gandhiji and join the march.

Ø Report Published in Times Magazine of USA

§  The Salt March of Gandhiji was reported in the American news magazine, Time.

§  In its report on the march the magazine was deeply sceptical of the salt march reaching its destination.

§  But shortly it changed its view and saluted Gandhi as a “saint” and “statesman”  

v SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SALT MARCH

The Salt March was notable for at least three reasons.

Ø Firstly, this event brought Mahatma Gandhi to world attention. The March was widely covered by the European and American press.

Ø Secondly, it was the first nationalist activity in which women participated in large numbers.

Ø The socialist activists Kamaladevi Cahttopadhyay had persuaded Gandhi not to restrict the protests to men alone. She herself courted arrest by breaking salt and liquor laws.

Ø Thirdly, it made the British realize that their rule was not to last forever, and they would have to share some power with the Indians. To discuss the same the British tried to hold Round Table Conference in London to get to some kind resolution.  

v GANDHI-IRWIN PACT

Ø In January 1931, Mahatma Gandhi was released from jail. After that many meetings were held with the Viceroy Irwin that are known as he Gandhi-Irwin pact. The terms of pact were as follows:-

§  It was declared to call off Civil Disobedience Movement.

§  All prisoners who were put in jail without trial to be released.

§  Allow the salt manufacturing along the coasts.

§  Gandhiji represented the congress at Second Round Table Conference at London.

§  This pact was criticised by radical nationalists.

v THE ROUND TABLE CONFERENCES

Ø The first Round Table Conference was held in London in November 1930 but it ended without any fruitful decision due to the absence of major Indian nationalist leaders.

Mahatma Gandhi opposed the demand for separate electorates for “lower castes”. He believed that this would prevent their integration into mainstream society and permanently segregate them from other caste Hindus.


Ø
A Second Round Table Conference was held in London in the latter part of 1931.Gandhiji represented the congress and claimed that his party represented all of India. But three parties, the Muslim League, the Princes and the lawyer thinker B.R.Ambedkar opposed that claim. The conference in London was inconclusive, so Gandhi returned to India and resumed in 1932 civil disobedience movement.

Ø Third round table conference also held in London in which congress did not participated.

v MAJOR EVENTS BETWEEN 1935 AND 1945

Ø The year 1935 saw the coming of the Government of India Act of 1935, which promised some form of representative government.

Ø In 1937, for the first time, elections were held on restricted franchise and congress party held a majority in the legislature. It won the election in 8 out of 11 provinces.

Ø In 1939, World War II broke out and the Indian leaders agreed to support the British as long as they promised to grant Indian Independence after the war. The offer was refused and in October 1939, congress ministries resigned.

Ø In protest a series of individual Satyagraha were organized by the congress to pressurize the British to promise the freedom once the war ended.

Ø In March 1940, Muslim League passed a resolution demanding and planning to create a separate nation for Muslims.

Ø In 1942, worried on the continuous spread of nationalist movement prime minister of England Winston Churchill sent Sir Stafford Cripps to India to try to reach to a compromise with Gandhi and the congress.

Ø The Cripps Mission failed as no agreement to grant Independence to India could be made.

Ø In August 1942, Quit India Movement was launched.

v QUIT INDIA MOVEMENT

Ø After the failure of the Cripps Mission, Quit India Movement was launched on 8, August 1942, by Mahatma Gandhi.

Ø It was the third major movement against the British rule.

Ø But on the next day Gandhiji and other important leaders were arrested and jailed.


Ø
But it spread under other and socialist leaders like Jayaprakash Narayan. They organized strikes and acts of sabotage all over the country.

Ø It was a mass movement in which thousands students and ordinary Indians joined together for freedom.

Ø Independent governments were proclaimed in several districts, such as Satara in the west and Midnapur in the East.

Ø In 1943, some of the younger leaders in the Satara district of Maharashtra set up parallel government (pratisarkar), with volunteer corps (sebadals)and village units (tufan dals). They ran people’s courts and organized constructive work.

v MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN THE YEAR 1945-47

Ø In1945, the Labour Government came to power in Brtiain. It was committed for Indian Independence.

Ø In India, the Viceroy Lord Wavell, negotiated with the congress and the Muslim League.

Ø Early in 1946, the provincial legislative elections were held in which the congress won the General and League won reserved constituencies.

Ø A Cabinet Mission was sent to the summer of 1946, failed to make consensus between congress and League.

Ø Jinnah called for a “Direct Action Day” to force the League’s demand for Pakistan on 16 August 1946 leading to bloody riots in many parts of India.

Ø In February 1947, Lord Mount batten appointed as Viceroy .He too held inconclusive talks and he announced that India would be freed, but also divided. The formal transfer of power was fixed for 15 August.  

v THE LAST HEROIC DAYS

Ø Mahatma Gandhi refused to take part in the Independence Day celebrations in Delhi on 15h August 1947.

Ø He was in Calcutta. He did not attend any function or hoist a flag in Calcutta either. The freedom he had struggled so long for had come at an unacceptable price with a nation divided. Gandhi marked the day with a 24 hour fast.

Ø Gandhiji went around hospitals and religious camps giving consolation to distressed people.

Ø Gandhiji had fought a lifelong battle for a free and united India. When the country was divided, he urged that the two parts respect and befriend on another.

Ø On 30 January 1948, Gandhiji was shot dead by Nathuram Godse who had denounced Gandhiji as “an appeaser of Muslims”.


                                         The death of the Mahatma,a popular print


 

v KNOW ABOUT GANDHIJI THROUGH DIFFERENT SOURCES

Ø There are different sources through which we can reconstruct the political career of Gandhiji and the history of the National Movement. Some of the important sources are given below.

v Ø One important source is the writings and speeches of mahatma gandhi and his contemporaries, including both his associates and his political adversaries.

Ø Within these writings we need to distinguish between those that were meant for the public and those that were not.

Ø Speeches allow us to hear the public voice of an individual, while private letters give us a glimpse of his or her private thoughts.

Ø Autobiographies give us an account of the past that is often rich in human detail, they are retrospective accounts written very often from memory. they tell us what the author could recollect, what he or she saw as important, or was keen on recounting or how a person wanted his or her life to be viewed by others.

Ø Another vital source is government records, for the colonial rulers kept close tabs on those they regarded as critical of the government. the letters and reports written by policemen and other officials were secret at the time; but now can be accessed in archives.

Ø Contemporary newspapers, published in english as well as in the different indian languages, which tracked mahatma gandhi's movements and reported on his activities, also represented what ordinary Indians thought of him.


           TIME LINE 

YEAR

EVENTS

1885

Foundation of Indian National Congress (INA) by A.O. Hume

1893

Mahatma Gandhi went to South Africa

1885-1905

Moderate Age

1905-1907

Swadeshi Movement

1906

Foundation of Muslim League

9 Jan, 1915

Mahatma Gandhi returns from South Africa

Feb, 1916

Mahatma Gandhi gave his speech at BHU

1917

Champaran movement

1918

Mill Workers’ movement in Ahmedabad and Peasant movements in Kheda (Gujarat)

1919

Rowlatt Satyagraha (March-April)

13 April, 1919

Jallianwala Bagh massacre (April)

1920

Khilafat Movement led by Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali.

1921

Non-cooperation

5 Feb, 1922

Called off the NCM due to Chauri Chaura incident (near Gorakhpur)

March 1922

Mahtma Gandhi announce 6 year Imprisonment on the charged of Sedition by Judge C.N.Broomfield.

1928

Simon Commission reached in India and all India campaign against this white commission

1928

Peasant movement in Bardoli under Sradar Patel And Mahatma Gandhiji.

1929

“Purna Swaraj” accepted as Congress goal at the Lahore Congress (December)

1930

Dandi March (12, March1930 to 6 April 1930)

Civil Disobedience Movement begins

 First Round table conference held at London

1931

Gandhi-Irwin Pact (March); Second Round Table Conference (December)

1932

Relaunched the Civil Disobedience Movement

Poona pact Br Ambedkar and Gandhiji

1935

Government of India Act promises some form of representative government

1937

Election held and Congress form the government in 8 Province out of 11 provinces.

 October, 1939      

Congress ministries resign due to 2nd world war.

1940

Muslim League resolution for separate nation for Muslim majority area.

Individual Satyagraha was launched by Congress

1942    

Quit India Movement begins (August)

Crips Mission

1943

Parallel Government in Satara (Maharashtra) and Midnapur in west Bengal

1945

Labour Government come in Power in Britain and Lord Wavell Become the Governor

1946

Cabinet Mission Plan visit India

On 16 August Direct action day was declare by League for Pakistan.

Mahatma Gandhi visits Noakhali and other riot-torn areas to stop communal violence

Feb, 1947

Lord Mountbatten Become Viceroy

Pakistan India declare Independence

1948

Gandhiji died on 30 January.

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