Civil Disobedience Movement

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Explain the factors leading up to civil disobedience movement

The circumstances that led to the Civil Disobedience Movement were the following:
i) Simon Commission: It was an all-British Commission appointed in November 1927 to investigate the need for further constitutional reform. The absence of Indians was seen as an insult to the self-respect of Indians and they decided to boycott the Commission.
ii) Demand for Poorna Swaraj:  The British government did not accept the Nehru Report and the Congress passed the Poorna Swaraj resolution at its Lahore session in 1929. 

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Discuss about Simon Commission

In November 1927, the British government appointed the Indian Statutory Commission, popularly known as the Simon Commission to investigate the need for further constitutional reforms. The Commission was composed of seven British members of Parliament. It had no Indian member. This was seen as a violation of the principle of self-determination and a deliberate insult to the self-respect of the Indians. Hence, Indians boycotted the Commission.

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Recommendations of the Simon Commission

Main recommendations of the Simon Commission were:
i) Dyarchy should be abolished.
ii) Provincial Legislative Councils should be enlarged.
iii) Federal government at the Centre should embrace not only British India but also the Princely States.
iv) The Governor-General should select and appoint members of his Cabinet.
v) The Communal representation was to continue.

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Nehru Report

The report submitted by the All Parties Conference is known as the Nehru Report. The Report mainly dealt with finding a solution to the communal problem. It favoured Dominion Status for India.

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Declaration of Poorna Swaraj

Jawaharlal Nehru was made the President of the Congress at the historic Lahore session of 1929. It passed a resolution declaring Poorna Swaraj (complete independence) to be the objective of the Congress. It was decided to observe January 26, as the Day of Independence every year. 

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Explain Dandi March

On March 12, 1930 Mahatma Gandhi began the historic march from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, a village on the Gujarat sea coast. A number of people followed him. On the morning of 6th April, Gandhiji violated the Salt Laws at Dandi by picking up some salt left by the seawaves. Gandhiji's breaking of the Salt Laws marked the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement.

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Progress of the movement

The Civil Disobedience Movement spread rapidly. Violation of Salt Laws all over the country was soon followed by defiance of forest laws and refusal to pay the rural chaukidari tax in Eastern India. People joined hartals, demonstrations and campaigns to boycott foreign goods and refused to pay taxes. It resulted in mass strikes and setting up of parallel governments in several places.

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Round table conferences during Civil Disobedience Movement

The Indian Round Table Conference held three sessions which are also referred to as the first, second and third Round Table Conferences. The First Round Table Conference was held in London. The Second Round Table Conference was attended by Gandhiji as a sole representative of the Congress according to the terms of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. The Third Conference was convened in 1932 but the Congress boycotted it. 

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Explain the impact of the Civil Disobedience Movement

 It shattered people's faith in the British government. It revived the will to fight the elections. It deepened the social roots for the freedom struggle. It popularised new methods of propaganda like the Prabhat Pheris, pamphlets, etc.

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Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar's contribution

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar had succeeded in getting separate electorates for the Dalits through the Communal Award declared by the British Prime Minister Ramsay Mcdonald. Gandhiji opposed this Communal Award and began his fast unto death in the Yerwada prison. The Congress leaders appealed to Dr Ambedkar to reconsider his demand. Dr Ambedkar accepted this request and a pact was concluded between him and Gandhiji which is known as the 'Pune Pact'.

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Programme of the Civil Disobedience Movement

Civil Disobedience Movement involved:
i) Defiance of salt laws,
ii) Boycott of liquor,
iii) Boycott of foreign cloth and British goods of all kinds,
iv) Non-payment of taxes and revenues.