Freedom Struggle (1917-1929)

History

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State the contribution of Bhagat Singh

Revolutionary Bhagat Singh was the part of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association and was influenced by socialist ideas. Bhagat Singh and Rajguru shot dead an officer named Saunders in order to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai. Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutta threw bombs in the Central Legislative Assembly to protest against two government bills. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were tried and hanged in the prison at Lahore on March 23, 1931.

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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 Khilafat Movement

In the First world war, Turkey lost the war. Britain removed the powers of Sultan of Turkey. The Sultan of Turkey was the head of the Muslims throughout the world. The Khilafat Movement was organized by the Ali brothers- Mohammed Ali and Shaukat Ali. The Khilafat leaders put pressure upon the British government to give better treatment to Turkey. Through this demand, Muslims were drawn into the national movement in large numbers.'Khilafat Day' was observed on October 17, 1919, on an all-India scale.

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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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Rowlatt Act, 1919

Rowlatt Act was officially known as the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act, 1919. It was passed in March 1919 by the Imperial Legislative Council. This act authorised the British government to arrest anybody suspected of terrorist activities. It also authorised the government to detain such people arrested for up to 2 years without trial. It empowered the police to search a place without a warrant.

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Jalianwala Bagh tragedy

A large but peaceful crowd gathered at the Jalianwala Bagh in Amritsar on April 13, 1919, to protest against the arrest of Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlu and Dr. Satya Pal. Jalianwala Bagh had only one exit and its other three sides were enclosed by buildings. General Dyer surrounded the Bagh with his soldiers and ordered them to shoot at the crowd. About one thousand innocent demonstrators were killed in this massacre.

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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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Discuss Gandhiji's methods and directions

The methods used by Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle were:
Satyagraha: Gandhiji's satyagraha movement was directed against the British exploitation and not the British people individually. 
Non-violence: Gandhiji set an example before the whole world of achieving freedom from the mighty British rule through a non-violent freedom struggle.
Swadeshi: Gandhiji believed that use of Swadeshi goods would make us self-sufficient. He emphasised the use of Charkha and Khadi.
Mass movement: South Africa built his faith in the ability of the Indian masses to participate in the freedom movement.

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Objective of Non-Cooperation Movement

The objectives of the Non-Cooperation Movement were:
i) To attain self-government within the British Empire.
ii) Annulment of the Rowlatt Act and remedying the 'Punjab wrong'.
iii) Remedying the 'Khilafat wrong'.

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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 the causes that led to the non-cooperation movement

The following circumstances led to the Non-Cooperation Movement:
i) Khilafat Movement: It was started by the Ali Brothers in August 1920 for the preservation of the office of Khalifa (Caliph), the religious head of the Muslims.
ii) The Rowlatt Act: The Act came as a sudden blow to the Indians who were expecting self-governance. It was known as the Black Act and was criticised severely. 
iii) Jallianwala Bagh Tragedy: On 13th April, 1919, one thousand innocent demonstrators were killed and many were wounded. General Dyer was responsible for the massacre. The conscience of the nation was shaken at the massacre of innocent people.

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Early life of Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi was born in 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat. In 1888, he went to England to study law. He came back to India and started practicing Law at Rajkot. From 1893 to 1914, he practised Law in South Africa. He was engaged in a heroic struggle against racist authorities in South Africa. During the course of 1917 and early 1918 he was involved in three significant struggles in Champaran (Bihar), in Ahmedabad and in Kheda (Gujarat).

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Introduction to Non-cooperation Movement and its Impact

The Non-cooperation Movement started on 5th September 1920 by Mahatma Gandhi. The objective of the Non-cooperation Movement was to become self-government and independence as the Indian National Congress. The British government was against this movement. Non-cooperation movement was followed by the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 14th April 1919 and the Rowlatt Act of 21st March 1919. Non-cooperation movement ended suddenly after the Chauri Chaura incident in February 1922 says Jawaharlal Nehru in his autobiography. 

Impact of the Non-cooperation Movement:
Due to the Non-cooperation movement, the National Movement became a mass movement. It instilled new confidence among the people. It transformed Indian National Congress from a deliberative assembly into a moral fighting force. It fostered Hindu-Muslim unity by merging the Khilafat movement with this movement. It shattered the myth that the British rule was for the betterment of the Indians. It promoted social reforms.

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Discuss about Champaran Satyagraha (1917)

The indigo cultivators of Champaran in Bihar were greatly exploited by European planters. They were bound by law to grow indigo on 3/20th of their land and sell it to the British planters at prices fixed by them. Gandhiji went there on the invitation of the cultivators and offered satyagraha as a result of which indigo cultivators got some relief. 

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Discuss about Ahmedabad satyagraha

Gandhiji led the mill-workers of Ahmedabad in a strike against the mill-owners who had refused to pay them higher wages. When the workers seemed to weaken, Gandhiji provided them support by undertaking a fast (hunger strike). Afraid of the consequences, the mill-owners agreed on the fourth day of Gandhiji's fast to give a 35 per cent increase in wages.

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Discuss about the Kheda Satyagraha (1918)

Crops failed in Kheda and the peasants were not in a position to pay land revenue. The government refused to forgo the land revenue. Gandhiji organised the peasants to offer satyagraha. The peasants refused to pay the revenue and ultimately the government was forced to arrive at a settlement with the peasants.

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Discuss the activities during non-cooperation movement

The nation enthusiastically responded to the call of Gandhiji. Many Indians returned their titles, degrees, awards and honours. Thousands of Indians left their government jobs. The use of Swadeshi and Khadi became popular.