NCERT Solution Class 10 SST Nationalism in India3

NCERT Solution Chapter 3: Nationalism in India


1. (a) Explain why the growth of nationalism in the colonies is linked to the anti-colonial movement?

(b) Explain how the First World War helped in the growth of the National Movement in India?

(c) Explain why Indians were outraged by the Rowlatt Act.

(d) Explain why Gandhiji decided to withdraw the Non–Cooperation movement.

Ans. (a) In India, as in other colonial countries like Vietnam, the growth of nationalism is totally linked with anti-colonial movement. In their fight against colonialism, people began to discover their unity. They found out they had a common oppressor and had common complaints, so it created a bond among different groups. They realised they were fighting for the same causes — against poverty, discrimination, high taxes, begar, crop failures, forced recruitment to the army during the First World War, etc. These shared hardships created a feeling of unity and aroused nationalism against the common colonial ruler. Though the aims of each group were not similar, now they had a common demand, freedom from foreign rule.

( b) (i) It created new economic and political problems. The war had led to huge expenditure which was financed by heavy loans and an increase in taxes. Customs duties were raised and income tax was introduced.

(ii) The prices had doubled between 1913-18 and the common people underwent great hardships.

(iii) Crops had failed between 1918-19 and 1920-21 leading to famine and disease. There were epidemics killing between 12-13 million people (Census, 1921).

(iv) People hope that the end of the war would bring an end to their problems were belied, and this led to their support to the national movement.

(v) The Muslims were antagonised by the British ill-treatment of the Khalifa, after the First World War.

(vi) Indian villagers were also incensed by the British Government’s forced recruitment of men in the army.

(vii) The Congress and other parties were angry with the British for not consulting them before making India a party on their side against Germany.

(c) The Rowlatt Act empowered the government to arrest and detain anyone without trial for two years. This Act was rushed through the council despite the united opposition of Indian members. This Act gave wide powers to the government to thwart and subvert political activities.

(d) The Non-Cooperation Movement was based on the twin principles of truth and non-violence. In February 1922, angry peasants set fire to the police station killing 22 policemen at Chauri Chaura in Gorakhpur. Gandhiji feared more violence would spread inviting brutal repression by the police. He felt that the people had yet not imbibed his message of non-violence. So he withdrew the movement.

2. What is meant by the idea of Satyagraha?

Ans. Satyagraha was based on truth and non-violence and emphasised on changing the heart of the adversary. It is not a physical force but pure soul-force. Truth is the very substance of the soul which is informed with knowledge. Non-violence is the supreme dharma of Satyagraha. It is not a weapon of the weak, but of strength. It is not passive resistance, indeed it calls for intensive activity.

3. (a) Write a newspaper report on the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

(b) Write a newspaper report on the Simon Commission.

Ans. (a) April 13, 1919, will be a date never forgotten by Indians — those who were present and those who will come later. Generations will talk about the infamous, brutal massacre at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. Hundreds of villagers had come to Amritsar to celebrate Baisakhi and attend a fair. They were totally unaware of the martial law, which General Dyer had imposed on the city because of the ‘hartal’ observed on April 6 against the Rowlatt Act. On 10 April the police had fired upon a peaceful procession, which had provoked widespread attacks on banks, post offices and railway stations.

General Dyer entered the area where a peaceful meeting was going on in Jallianwalla Bagh. He blocked all the exit points and ordered his troops to fire upon the unarmed people. His object was to create terror and awe in the minds of the satyagrahis and produce a “moral effect”. Hundreds of innocent people were killed, some were drowned as they jumped into a well to escape bullets.

The mass murder was not enough; the government used brutal repression to crush people who rose in anger after this massacre. The satyagrahis were forced to rub their noses in the dirt, crawl on the streets and “Salaam” all “Sahibs”. People were mercilessly flogged and in some villages, bombs were also used (Gujranwala in Punjab).

It was the most shameful act in the history of British rule in India.

(b) In 1927, the British Government appointed a seven-member commission under the chairmanship of Sir John Simon. It was to report about the extent to which the Act of 1919 had worked out successfully. It was to examine the functioning of the constitutional system in India. This Commission was boycotted by the Indians as it had not a single Indian member. It was welcomed with black flags and slogans of “Simon go back” when it landed in India. At Lahore, a procession taken out under the leadership of Lala Lajpat Rai was lathi-charged and he was fatally wounded in 1928.

The failure of the Simon Commission led to Jawaharlal Nehru demanding “Poorna Swaraj” at the Lahore Session of the Congress. The Nehru Report was also a reaction to this Commission and it also gave Gandhiji an opportunity to start his Civil Disobedience Movement in India.

4. Compare the images of Bharat Mata in this Chapter with the image of Germania in Chapter 1.

Ans. The image of Bharat Mata painted by Abanindranath Tagore is portrayed as an ascetic figure – calm, composed, divine and spiritual. She is shown as dispensing learning, food and clothing. Later on, many more attributes were added to the image. She is shown with a Trishul (trident), holding the national flag and standing beside a lion and an elephant – both symbols of power and authority.

The image of Germania represented Germany. She is also a female figure wearing a crown of Oak leaves (symbol of heroism), holding a sword in one hand and German flag in another. Broken chains mean freedom; breastplate with eagle inspires strength, olive branch around the sword signifies a willingness to make peace; rays of the rising sun signify the beginning of a new era.

5. List all the different social groups which joined the Non-Cooperation movement of 1921. Then choose any three and write about their hopes and struggles to show why they joined the movement.

Ans. Students and teachers lawyers (in towns), peasants, tribals, plantation workers – joined the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1921.

  • Students and teachers joined the movement to show non-cooperation with the government and with a fond hope to attain Swaraj. But alternate Indian schools and colleges were few and far between. So students and teachers began trickling back to government schools and colleges.

(ii) Peasants in Awadh were led by Baba Ramachandra. The movement was against talukdars and landlords who demanded very high rents, begar and variety of other cesses. They formed Kisan Sabhas. The peasants started attacking houses of talukdars and merchants, bazaars and grain stores were looted.

(iii) For plantation workers in Assam swaraj meant freedom from bondage. When they heard of the movement, thousands of workers defied the authorities, left the plantations and headed home. They believed the Gandhi Raj was imminent and they would be allotted land in their villages. But they never reached their destinations, were stranded, caught by the police and brutally beaten up.

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

Ans. Mahatma Gandhi found in salt a powerful symbol that could unite the nation. On 31 January 1930, he sent a letter to the Viceroy Lord Irwin, making eleven demands. Some of these demands were of general interest, some were specific demands of different classes from industrialists to peasants. The idea was to make the demands all-embracing and wide-ranging so that all classes within Indian society could identify with them and work together in a united campaign. He made the “Salt tax” his target and called it the most repressive Act of the British government. This tax hit both the poor and the rich as salt was used in every household. The British had the monopoly in producing salt and they misused their power.

Gandhi started his famous “Salt March” on March 12, 1930, from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, a small coastal village in Gujarat. He started with 78 followers and thousands joined him on his 240-miles route.

It took him 24 days of walking 10 miles per day. On April 16, 1930, he broke the Salt Law by boiling seawater and extracting salt. Newspapers carried day-to-day reports of his march and the speeches he made on the way. It is reported that about 300 Gujarat village officials resigned their posts and joined Gandhiji.

His Salt March led to the violation of Salt Law all over the country. It also led to the boycott of foreign goods and picketing of liquor shops. Students and women played a significant role in this movement. Peasants refused to pay taxes, forest people broke forest laws and grazed their cattle, collected wood in prohibited forest areas. There was an uprising against the government everywhere in India and the British had to use brutal force to suppress it.

7. Imagine you are a woman participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement. Explain what the experience meant to your life.

Ans. Women entered the National Movement in large numbers for the first time by participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement. During Gandhiji’s ‘Salt March’, thousands of women came out of their homes to listen to him. They participated in protest marches, manufactured salt, picketed foreign goods and liquor shops. They came in the urban areas from high caste families. In the rural area, they were from rich peasant households. They took part in the movement as their sacred duty. They stood by their men and suffered physical blows also. They included old women, women with babies in their arms, and young girls. Even Gandhiji thought women’s place was at home, as good mothers and good wives. The women made their presence felt. Women who had never stepped out of their homes, women in purdah could be seen marching side by side with their men.

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

Ans. By separate electorates, we mean a system in which people of one religion or community vote for a candidate of their own religion. The British used this system to divide the people of India and thus to weaken the National Movement. This would make their position strong in India and make them rule for a long time. They succeeded in driving a wedge between the Hindus and Muslims which finally led to the partition of the country in 1947. The different political leaders did not agree with this policy and held different opinions.

(i) Congress: It opposed tooth and nail the British policy of separate electorates. It understood the mischief created by the divide and rule policy. It was in favour of joint electorates.

(ii) Muslim leaders like Muhammad Iqbal and M.A. Jinnah wanted separate electorates to safeguard the political interests of the Muslims. They were afraid, as a minority religious group, that they would never be able to win elections in a joint electorate and the Hindus would always dominate them.

  • (iii) The leaders of the Depressed Classes under Dr B.R. Ambedkar also wanted a separate electorate, because they were also afraid of Hindu dominance in a joint electorate. After Gandhi’s fast unto death, the Poona Pact was signed between him and Dr Ambedkar. Gandhiji saw it as a blow to national unity and feared that the Dalits would never become one with the Hindu society, under separate electorate. Dr Ambedkar agreed to a joint electorate provided the Depressed Classes had reserved seats in the Provincial and Central Legislative Councils.