Class X History Chapter 3 | Nationalism In India | Important Questions

Here are important questions from this unit.

1. Why did Indians boycott the Simon Commission?

Indians boycotted the Simon Commission because there were no Indian members in it. While Indians were demanding for Swaraj, the Commission did not give any indication of granting that demand. Therefore, the Indian National Congress, the Muslim League, and other parties decided to oppose the Simon Commission.

2. How did Indians protest against the Simon Commission?

Indians organized hartals all over the country. When the commission reached Bombay, protestors organized a black flag demonstration with the slogan Simon Go Back. Wherever the Commission went, it was greeted by such demonstrations.

3. Name the Social Groups which took part in the Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-22).

 (i) Urban middle-class people

In urban areas, the Non-Cooperation Movement started with the participation of middle class people. Students of government run schools and colleges boycotted their classes and teachers resigned their jobs. Lawyers gave up their legal practices.

(ii) Rural people

Although rural people had their own idea of Swaraj, they participated in the movement on a large scale. In the countryside, the movement was led by peasants, tribals and local leaders. Plantation workers lunched a movement against tea estate owners. In Awadh, peasants organized against landlords and talukdars.

(iii) Tribal people

Tribal people were offended by the restrictions imposed by the government on them. Most of them were dependent on the forests for their livelihood. Hence, they were angered by the government policies that closed large areas of forests, forced them to contribute begar and prevented them from entering the forests to graze their cattle or collect firewood. Such measures not only affected the livelihood of forest people but also made them feel that their traditional rights were being denied. So, they revolted.

(iv) Plantation workers.

Plantation workers had their own reasons to revolt. For them freedom meant the right to move freely in and out of the confined space they were enclosed in. They also wanted to maintain connection with their native villages. Under the Inland Emigration Act of 1859, plantation workers could not leave the tea estates without permission. Even if they applied, such permissions were rarely granted. When they heard of the Non-Cooperation Movement, they defied the authorities, left the estates and went to their villages. They believed that Gandhi Raj was coming and everyone would receive land in their own native villages.

4. What was the impact of Non-Cooperation Movement in urban areas?

In cities, students boycotted their classes and teachers resigned their jobs. Lawyers gave up their legal practices. The Council elections were boycotted in most provinces except in Madras where the Justice party, the party of non-Brahmins, decided that entering the council was the only way for them to gain some power which only Brahmins could enjoy.

Non-Cooperation Movement gave a big impetus to the Swadeshi goods. The Indian textile industry in particular greatly benefitted from it. Foreign goods were boycotted, liquor shops picketed and foreign clothes burned in huge bonfires.

Impact on industry: In many places, merchants and traders refused to trade in foreign goods or finance foreign trade. This increased the demand for Indian textile mills and handlooms. This increase in demand revived the struggling Indian textile industry.

5. In what way was Non-Cooperation Movement in villages different from the same in urban areas?

In villages, the movement was not against the Brits. Rather, it was against landlords and talukdars. The problems of the rural people were different from those of urban people. They had to pay high rents and a variety of taxes to talukdars and landlords. The peasants were forced to work in the farms of the landlord without any payment. They were regularly evicted and did not enjoy the security of tenure. The peasant movement demanded reduction of revenue, abolition of begar, redistribution of land and social boycott of oppressive landlords.

6. How did people protest in the countryside?

The Non-cooperation movement in the countryside was different from that in cities in many ways. In the countryside, the panchayats organized Nai-dhobi bandhs in different places to deprive landlords of the services of cobblers, washermen, barbers etc. In villages like Awadh, the movement was headed by national leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru. When the movement caught momentum, the houses of talukdars and merchants were attacked. Congress leaders did not like it when the movement turned violent.

7. Discuss the Salt March to make clear why it was an effective symbol of resistance against colonialism.  [CBSE 2015 (O)]

The Salt March was an effective symbol of resistance against colonialism because it was the first time, Indian national leaders decided to break the law. The Salt March not only encouraged people to refuse cooperation with the British, but also prompted them to violate the colonial laws. People across the country broke the salt law, produced salt and staged demonstrations in front of government salt factories. The movement eventually led to the boycotting of foreign cloths and picketing of liquor shops. In addition, village officials resigned and peasants refused to pay revenue and chaukidari taxes. Tribal people also violated forest laws by entering Reserved Forests to collect wood and graze cattle. The colonial government was worried by this mass movement and started arresting Congress leaders one by one. This led to violent clashes in many parts of the country and many were killed.

The arrest of Gandhiji caused industrial workers in Sholapur to attack police stations, law courts, municipal buildings and railway stations.

Salt Movement eventually led to the Gandhi-Irwin Pact signed on 5th March, 1931. As per this pact, Gandhiji agreed to participate in a Round Table Conference in London and the government agreed to release the prisoners.

8. Briefly explain the role of women in the Civil Disobedience Movement.

A large number of women took part in the Civil Disobedience Movement. They came out of their homes to listen to the speeches of national leaders and participated in protest marches. They produced salt and picketed shops selling foreign clothes and liquor. Many of them were arrested by the police but they were not dissuaded as they saw service to the nation as a sacred duty of women.

9. Why did the political leaders differ sharply over the question of separate electorates? [CBSE2015]

Under the system of separate electorates, people of one religion would only vote for a candidate of their religion. This was a technique adopted by the British to divide people on the basis of religion and thus weaken the nationalist movement. Indian political leaders reacted to the idea of separate electorates in the following ways.

Congress criticized British government’s policy of encouraging different communities to demand for a separate electorate. They knew that the British were trying to weaken the national movement. Hence, the Congress favoured joint electorates instead of separate electorates.

By contrast, Muslim leaders like Muhammed Iqbal and Jinnah asked for separate electorates. They felt that since the majority of Indians were Hindus, Muslims would have little chance of winning seats in the case of joint electorates. Hence, they feared that Muslims would be at the mercy of Hindus.

Leaders of the Oppressed classes like Dr. B.R Ambedkar also asked for separate electorates because he feared that the joint electorates would be dominated by upper caste Hindu candidates. However, after the Poona Act, he agreed to share joint electorates with Hindus on condition that there would be reserved seats for Depressed Classes in the Provincial and Central Legislative Councils.

Class X History

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