NATIONALISM IN INDIA
POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SITUATION DURING FIRST WORLD WAR–
- This world war increased defense expenditure.
- This expenditure was financed by war loans and the government increased taxes.
- Customs duties were raised and income tax was introduced.
- During the war years, prices of essential goods increased and doubled between 1913 and 1918 – leading to extreme hardship for the common people.
- Villages were called upon to supply soldiers, and the forced recruitment in rural areas caused widespread anger.
- Then in 1918-19 and 1920-21, crops failed in many parts of India, resulting in acute shortages of food.
- This was accompanied by an influenza epidemic.
- According to the census of 1921, 12 to 13 million people perished as a result of famines and the epidemic.
The Idea of Satyagraha-
- The idea of satyagraha emphasized 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 the physical force was not necessary to fight the oppressor.
- Without being aggressive, a satyagrahi could win the battle through non-violence.
ARRIVAL OF MAHATMA GANDHI IN INDIA-
After arriving in India (9-1-1915), Mahatma Gandhi successfully organised satyagraha movements in various places.
- In 1916 he traveled to Champaran in Bihar to inspire the peasants to struggle against the oppressive plantation system.
- in 1917, he organised a satyagraha to support the peasants of the Kheda district of Gujarat. Affected by crop failure and a plague epidemic, the peasants of Kheda could not pay the revenue, and were demanding that revenue collection be relaxed.
- In 1918, Mahatma Gandhi went to Ahmedabad to organise a satyagraha movement amongst cotton mill workers.
The Rowlatt Act ( 1919)-
- This Act had been hurriedly passed through the Imperial Legislative Council despite the united opposition of the Indian members.
- It gave the government enormous powers to repress political activities and allowed the detention of political prisoners without trial for two years.
Jallianwalla Bagh incident (1919)–
- On 13 April 1919, the infamous Jallianwalla Bagh incident took place.
- On that day a crowd of villagers who had come to Amritsar to attend a fair gathered in the enclosed ground of Jallianwalla Bagh.
- Being from outside the city, they were unaware of the martial law that had been imposed.
- Dyer entered the area, blocked the exit points, and opened fire on the crowd, killing hundreds. His object.
- as he declared later, was to ‘produce a moral effect’, to create in the minds of satyagrahi’s a feeling of terror and awe.
KHILAFAT MOVEMENT (1919)–
- The First World War ended with the defeat of Ottoman Turkey.
- there were rumors that a harsh peace treaty was going to be imposed on the Ottoman emperor – the spiritual head of the Islamic world (the Khalifa).
- To defend the Khalifa’s temporal powers, a Khilafat Committee was formed in Bombay in March 1919.
- A young generation of Muslim leaders like the brothers Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali began discussing with Mahatma Gandhi about the possibility of united mass action on the issue.
- Gandhiji saw this as an opportunity to bring Muslims under the umbrella of a unified national movement.
- At the Calcutta session of the Congress in September 1920, he convinced other leaders of the need to start a non-cooperation movement in support of Khilafat as well as for swaraj.
Non-cooperation MOVEMENT (1920)–
- In his famous book, Hind Swaraj (1909) Mahatma Gandhi declared that British rule was established in India with the cooperation of Indians, and had survived only because of this cooperation. If Indians refused to cooperate, British rule in India would collapse within a year, and swaraj would come.
- Gandhiji proposed that the movement should unfold in stages.
- It should begin with the surrender of titles that the government awarded.
- a boycott of civil services, army, police, courts and legislative councils, schools, and foreign goods.
- in case the government used repression, a full civil disobedience campaign would be launched.
- Through the summer of 1920 Mahatma Gandhi and Shaukat Alitoured extensively, mobilising popular support for the movement.
- Many LEADERS within the Congress were, however, concerned about the proposals BUT They were reluctant to boycott the council elections scheduled for November 1920, and they feared that the movement might lead to popular violence.
- Congress session at Nagpur in December 1920, a compromise was worked out and the Non-Cooperation program was adopted.
ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF NON-COOPERATION MOVEMENT–
- BOYCOTT OF FOREIGN GOODS, LIQUOR SHOPS PICKETED, FOREIGN CLOTHES BURNT IN HUGE BONFIRES.
- IMPORT OF FOREIGN CLOTHES HALVED BETWEEN 1921-22, ITS VALUE DROPPED FROM 102 CRORE TO 57 CRORES.
- INDIAN INDUSTRIES WERE DEVELOPING.
- MERCHANTS AND TRADERS REFUSED TO TRADE IN FOREIGN GOODS AND FINANCE FOREIGN TRADE.
CAUSES OF SLOWED DOWN OF NON-COOPERATION MOVEMENT–
- KHADI WAS EXPENSIVE AND LESS DURABLE, POOR PEOPLE COULD NOT AFFORD IT.
- NO SUBSTITUTE FOR SCHOOL COLLEGES FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS.
- ALTERNATIVE INSTITUTIONS WERE SLOW TO COME UP.
- LAWYERS TOO JOINED BACK TO WORK IN GOVERNMENT COURTS.
- INDIAN GOODS ARE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN FOREIGN GOODS.
NON-COOPERATION AND PROBLEMS OF AWADH PEASANTS–
- TALUKDARS AND LANDLORDS DEMANDED HIGH RENTS.
- PEASANTS HAD TO DO BEGAR.
- TENANTS HAD NO SECURITY OF TENURE.
JAWAHARLAL NEHRU & OUDH KISAN SABHA–
- IN JUNE 1920 J L NEHRU BEGAN GOING AROUND THE VILLAGES IN AWADH TO UNDERSTAND PEASANT’S GRIEVANCES.
- BY OCTOBER 1920 J L NEHRU SET UP THE OUDH KISAN SABHA WITH BABA RAM CHANDRA.
- WITHIN A MONTH OVER 300 BRANCHES HAD BEEN SET UP IN VILLAGES AROUND THE REGION.
- WHEN NON-COOPERATION MOVEMENT BEGAN IN 1921 CONGRESS MADE EFFORTS TO INTEGRATE THE AWADH PEASANT’S STRUGGLE WITH THE NATIONAL STRUGGLE.
TRIBAL PEOPLE (GUDAM HILLS) AND NON-COOPERATION MOVEMENT–
- UNDER COLONIAL RULE THEIR LIVELIHOODS WERE NEGATIVELY AFFECTED.
- THE COLONIAL GOVERNMENT HAD CLOSED LARGE FOREST AREAS, PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM ENTERING INTO THE FORESTS.
- THE GOVERNMENT BEGAN FORCING THEM TO BEGAR.
- THEY WERE INSPIRED BY SANYASI ALLURI SITARAM RAJU.
- THEIR LEADER ALLURI SITARAM RAJU TALKED OF THE GREATNESS OF MAHATMA GANDHI AND WAS INSPIRED BY NON COOPERATION MOVEMENT. HE PERSUADED PEOPLE TO WEAR KHADI AND GIVE UP DRINKING BUT UNLIKE GANDHI HE ASSERTED INDIA COULD BE ONLY LIBERATED BY THE USE OF FORCE AND NOT BY NON-VIOLENCE.
- UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF ALLURI SITARAM RAJU THE TRIBALS OF GUDAM HILLS ADOPTED A VIOLENT METHOD- A FORM OF MILITANT GUERILLA MOVEMENT. IT WAS NOT A MOVEMENT WHICH THAT CONGRESS COULD APPROVE.
NON-COOPERATION AND PLANTATION WORKERS–
- THOUSANDS OF WORKERS DEFIED THE AUTHORITIES, LEFT THE PLANTATIONS, AND HEADED HOME.
- THEY BELIEVED THAT GANDHI RAJ WAS COMING AND EVERY ONE WOULD BE GIVEN LAND IN THEIR OWN VILLAGES.
- DUE TO THE INLAND EMIGRATION ACT OF 1859 THEY NEVER REACHED THEIR DESTINATIONS.
- DUE TO THE RAILWAY AND STREAMER STRIKES, THEY WERE CAUGHT BY THE POLICE AND BRUTALLY BEATEN UP.
SWARAJ PARTY 1922–
- SWARAJ PARTY WAS FORMED IN LATE 1922 BY C R DAS AND MOTILAL NEHRU WITHIN CONGRESS.
- SOME CONGRESS LEADERS WERE IN FAVOUR OF PARTICIPATION IN PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTION SET UP BY THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT 1919.
- THEY FELT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO OPPOSE BRITISH POLICIES FROM WITHIN THE COUNCILS.
- THEY WANTED TO PRESSURISE THE GOVERNMENT FOR VARIOUS REFORMS THROUGH COUNCILS.
- THEY WANTED TO DEMONSTRATE TO THE BRITISH AND THE PEOPLE THAT THE COUNCILS WERE NOT TRULY DEMOCRATIC.
EFFECTS OF WORLDWIDE ECONOMIC DEPRESSION ON INDIA–
- AGRICULTURAL PRICES BEGAN TO FALL IN 1926 AND COLLAPSED AFTER 1930.
- AS DEMAND FOR AGRICULTURAL GOODS FELL AND EXPORTS DECLINED.
- PEASANTS FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO SELL THEIR HARVESTS AND PAY FOR THEIR REVENUE.
- BY 1930 THE COUNTRYSIDE WAS IN TURMOIL.
- RADICALS WITHIN THE CONGRESS LED BY J L NEHRU AND SUBASH CHANDRA BOSE BECAME MORE ASSERTIVE.
- LIBERALS AND MODERATES LOST THEIR INFLUENCE.
Simon Commission (1928)–
- the new Tory government in Britain constituted a Statutory Commission under Sir John Simon.
- THIS COMMISSION WAS Set up in response to the nationalist movement,
- the commission was ALSO look into the functioning of the constitutional system in India and suggest changes.
- The problem was that the commission did not have a single Indian member. They were all British.
- When the Simon Commission arrived in India in 1928, it was greeted with the slogan ‘Go back Simon’.
- All parties, including the Congress and the Muslim League, participated in the demonstrations.
- In an effort to win them over, the viceroy, Lord Irwin, announced in October 1929, a vague offer of ‘dominion status’ for India in an unspecified future, and a Round Table Conference to discuss a future constitution.
THE HINDUSTAN SOCIALIST REPUBLICAN ARMY 1928– FOUNDED AT A MEETING ON THE GROUND OF FEROZESHAH KOTLA IN DELHI. ITS LEADER WAS BHAGAT SINGH, JATIN DAS, AND AJOY GHOSH.
the demand of ‘Purna Swaraj’ 1929–
- In December 1929, under the presidency of Jawaharlal Nehru.
- the Lahore Congress formalised the demand of ‘Purna Swaraj’ or full independence for India.
- It was declared that 26 January 1930, would be celebrated as Independence Day when people were to take a pledge to struggle for complete independence.
- THE CELEBRATIONS ATTRACTED VERY LITTLE ATTENTION. BECAUSE GANDHIJI LAUNCHED CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AND SALT MARCH IN 1930.
REASONS TO START CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT BY GANDHIJI–
- FAILURE OF SIMON COMMISSION.
- LAHORE CONGRESS AND PURNA SWARAJ.
- GANDHIJI’S 11 DEMANDS.
- GREAT DEPRESSION.
SALT MARCH (1930)–
- Salt was consumed by BOTH 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’s letter TO LORD IRVIN was, in a way, an ultimatum.
- THE LETTER STATED THAT If the demands were not fulfilled by 11 March, , the Congress would launch a civil disobedience campaign.
- LORD 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 OF PEOPLE came to hear Mahatma Gandhi wherever he stopped.
- GANDHIJI 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 SALT law.
- GANDHIJI manufactuRED salt by boiling sea water.
- This marked the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement.
Civil Disobedience MOVEMENT (1930)–
- Mahatma Gandhi REACHED DANDI On 6 April 1930, THIS WAS the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement.
- People were now asked not only to refuse cooperation with the British, as they had done in 1921-22 but also to break colonial laws.
- Thousands OF PEOPLE in different parts of the country broke the salt law manufactured salt, and demonstrated it in front of government salt factories.
- As the movement spread, foreign cloth was were boycotted, and liquor shops were picketed.
- Peasants refused to pay revenue and chaukidari taxes, village officials resigned,
- in many places forest people violated forest laws – going into Reserved Forests to collect wood and graze cattle.
ROLE OF RICH PEASANTS IN CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT–
- DURING THE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT IN THE COUNTRYSIDE RICH PEASANTS LIKE PATIDARS OF GUJRAT AND JATS OF UTTAR PRADESH WERE ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS.
- BEING PRODUCERS OF COMMERCIAL CROPS THEY WERE HARD HIT BY THE GREAT DEPRESSION.
- DUE TO REDUCED DEMAND AND FALL IN PRICES THEIR CASH INCOME DECREASED AND THEY WERE UNABLE TO PAY LAND REVENUES.
- THESE LANDLORDS WERE EAGER TO PARTICIPATE IN BUYCOTT PROGRAMMES AND REFUSED TO PAY REVENUE.
- FOR RICH PEASANTS, THE FIGHT FOR SWARAJ MEANS A STRUGGLE AGAINST HIGH REVENUE.
- THEY WERE DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED WHEN THE MOVEMENT WAS CALLED OFF IN 1931.
- SO WHEN THE MOVEMENT RELAUNCHED IN 1932 MANY OF THEM DID NOT PARTICIPATE.
ROLE OF POOR PEASANTS IN CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT–
- THEY WERE NOT JUST INTERESTED IN LOWERING THE REVENUE BUT ALSO DEMANDED REMISSION OF UNPAID RENT.
- THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE POOR PEASANTS AND THE CONGRESS REMAINED UNCERTAIN BECAUSE THEY LAUNCHED NO RENT CAMPAIGNS.
- THEY WERE NOT SUPPORTED BY THE CONGRESS BECAUSE CONGRESS FELT THIS MIGHT UPSET THE RICH PEASANTS AND LANDLORDS.
- THE POOR PEASANTS JOINED A VARIETY OF RADICAL MOVEMENTS OFTEN LED BY SOCIALISTS AND COMMUNISTS.
ROLE OF BUSINESS CLASS IN CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT–
- THE BUSINESS CLASS TO EXPAND THEIR BUSINESS.
- THEY WANTED PROTECTION AGAINST IMPORTS OF FOREIGN GOODS.
- THEY WANTED TO FREE THE BUSINESS FROM COLONIAL POLICIES THAT WERE RESTRICTIVE.
- BUSINESS PEOPLE CAME TO SEE SWARAJ AS A TIME WHEN COLONIAL RESTRICTIONS ON BUSINESS WOULD NO LONGER EXIST.
- THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY WAS LED BY PURSHOTTAM DAS THAKURDAS AND G D BIRLA.
- THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY PROVIDED A BIG BOOST TO THE CIVIL DISOBEDIENT MOVEMENT BY PROVIDING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO THE MOVEMENT.
- THEY PROMOTED BOYCOTT BY REFUSING TO BUY AND SELL IMPORTED GOODS.
- THEY ESTABLISHED FEDERATIONS LIKE FICCI TO ATTACK COLONIAL CONTROL OVER THE INDIAN ECONOMY.
BUSINESS-CLASS ROLE IN MOVEMENT AFTER THE CIVIL DISOBEDIENT MOVEMENT–
- AFTER THE FAILURE OF THE ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE THEY WERE NO LONGER UNIFORMLY ENTHUSIASTIC.
- THEY WERE WORRIED BY MILITANT ACTIVITIES THAT DISRUPT THEIR BUSINESS.
- THEY WERE WORRIED ABOUT THE GROWING INFLUENCE OF SOCIALISM AMONGST THE YOUNGER MEMBERS OF THE CONGRESS.
ROLE OF INDUSTRIAL WORKERS IN INDEPENDENCE STRUGGLE–
- AS THE INDUSTRIALISTS CAME CLOSER TO THE CONGRESS THE WORKERS KEPT DISTANCE FROM THE CONGRESS.
- THE CONGRESS WAS RELUCTANT TO INCLUDE THE DEMAND OF WORKERS DUE TO FEAR OF ALIENATING INDUSTRIALISTS
- IN NAGPUR MANY INDUSTRIAL WORKERS DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE STRUGGLE.
- IN 1930 THOUSANDS OF WORKERS IN CHOTA NAGPUR TIN MINES WORE GANDHIAN CAPS AND PARTICIPATED IN PROTEST RALLIES.
- SOME WORKERS SELECTIVELY ADOPT SOME IDEAS OF GANDHIJI AS A PART OF THEIR OWN STRUGGLE.
ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT–
- WOMEN PARTICIPATED IN LARGE NUMBERS IN THIS MOVEMENT.
- THEY PARTICIPATED IN PROTEST MARCHES, AND PICKETED FOREIGN CLOTHES AND LIQUOR SHOPS.
- FOR A LONG TIME CONGRESS WAS RELUCTANT TO ALLOW WOMEN TO HOLD ANY POSITION OF AUTHORITY WITHIN THE ORGANISATION.
GANDHI- IRWIN PACT 1931–
- THIS PACT WAS SIGNED ON 5 MARCH 1931.
- GANDHIJI CALLED OFF THE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT.
- GANDHIJI CONSENTED TO PARTICIPATE IN 2ND ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE HELD IN LONDON In December 1931.
- (1ST CONFERENCE BOYCOTTED BY THE CONGRESS).
- the government AGREED TO RELEASE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS.
ROUND TABLE CONFERENCES (1930, 31, 32)–
- Worried by the developments OF the CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT IN 1930,
- the colonial government began arresting the Congress leaders one by one.
- This led to violent clashes in many palaces.
- When Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi, was arrested in April 1930.
- Mahatma Gandhi once again decided to call off the movement.
- GANDHIJI entered into a pact with LORD Irwin on 5 March 1931.
- HE ACCEPTED TO ATTEND THE 2nd ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE.
AFTER FAILURE OF THE 2ND ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE-
- the negotiations broke down IN 2nd ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE.
- GANDHIJI returned disappointed Back in India.
- he discovered that the government had begun a new cycle of repression.
- Ghaffar Khan and Jawaharlal Nehru were both in jail,
- the Congress had been declared illegal.
- a series of measures had been imposed to prevent meetings, demonstrations, and boycotts.
- With great apprehension, Mahatma Gandhi relaunched the Civil Disobedience Movement.
- For over a year, the movement continued, but by 1934 it lost its momentum.
the Poona Pact of September 1932–
- all social groups IN INDIA were NOT moved by the abstract concept of swaraj.
- One such group was the nation’s ‘untouchables’,
- THESE untouchables’ callED themselves Dalit or oppressed FROM AROUND THE 1930S.
- For long the Congress had ignored the Dalits, for fear of offending the sanatanis, the conservative high-caste Hindus.
- But Mahatma Gandhi declared that swaraj would not come for a hundred years if untouchability was not eliminated.
- He called the ‘untouchables’ Harijan, or the ‘children of God’,
- HE organised satyagraha to secure thEIR entry into temples,
- many Dalit leaders began organising themselves.
- THEY demandED reserved seats in educational institutions, and a separate electorateS.
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, who organised the Dalits into the ‘Depressed Classes Association’ in 1930.
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar clashed with Mahatma Gandhi at the second Round Table Conference by demanding separate electorates for Dalits.
- When the British government APPROVED Ambedkar’s demand, Gandhiji began a fast unto death.
- GANDHIJI 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.
- THIS PACT 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.
MUSLIM LEAGUE AND NATIONAL MOVEMENT–
- After the decline of the Non-Cooperation-Khilafat movement, a large section of Muslims felt alienated from Congress.
- From the mid-1920s the Congress came CLOSER AND more visibly associated with openly Hindu religious nationalist groups like the Hindu Mahasabha.
- As relations between Hindus and Muslims worsened.
- The Congress and the Muslim League made efforts to renegotiate.
- all hope of resolving the issue at the All Parties Conference in 1928 disappeared when M.R. Jayakar of the Hindu Mahasabha strongly opposed efforts at compromise.
- When the Civil Disobedience Movement started large sections of Muslims could not respond to the call for a united struggle.
- Many Muslim leaders and intellectuals expressed their concern about the status of Muslims as a minority within India.
- They feared that the culture and identity of minorities would be submerged under the domination of a Hindu majority.
The Sense of Collective Belonging–
- History and fiction, folklore, and songs, popular prints and symbols, all played a IMPORTANT ROLE in the making of nationalism.
- the identity of India came to be visually associated with the image of Bharat Mata.
- The FIRST image OF BHARAT MATA was created by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay.
- In the 1870s he wrote ‘Vande Mataram’ as a hymn to the motherland.
- Later it was included in his novel Anandamath and widely sung during the Swadeshi movement in Bengal.
- INSPIRED by the Swadeshi movement, Abanindranath Tagore painted his famous image of Bharat Mata.
- nationalists began recordED folk tales sung by bards and they toured villages to gather folk songs and legends.
- These tales, gave a true picture of traditional culture that had been corrupted and damaged by outside forces. It was essential to preserve this folk tradition to discover one’s national identity and restore a sense of pride in one’s past.
- In Bengal, Rabindranath Tagore himself began collecting ballads, nursery rhymes, and myths, and led the movement for folk revival.
- In Madras, Natesa Sastri published a massive four-volume collection of Tamil folk tales, The Folklore of Southern India.
- a tricolor flag (red, green, and yellow) was designed.
- It had eight lotuses representing eight provinces of British India, and a crescent moon, representing Hindus and Muslims.
- By 1921, Gandhiji had designed the Swaraj flag. It was again a tricolor (red, green, and white) and had a spinning wheel in the center, representing the Gandhian ideal of self-help.
- the flag, holding it a lot, during INDEPENDENCE STRUGGLES AND marches became a symbol of defiance.