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Mahatma Gandhi And The Nationalist Movement (Civil Disobedience And Beyond) NCERT Textbook With Solutions PDF Free Download
Chapter 13: Mahatma Gandhi And The Nationalist Movement – Civil Disobedience And Beyond
In January 1915, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi returned to his homeland after two decades of
These years had been spent for the most part in South Africa, where he went as a lawyer, and in time became a leader of the Indian community in that territory. As the historian Chandran Devanesan has remarked, South Africa was “the making of the Mahatma”.
It was in South Africa that Mahatma Gandhi first forged the distinctive techniques of non-violent protest known as satyagraha, first promoted harmony between religions, and first alerted upper-caste Indians to their discriminatory treatment of low castes and women.
The India that Mahatma Gandhi came back to in 1915 was rather different from the one that he had left in 1893.
Although still a colony of the British, it was far more active in a political sense. The Indian National Congress now had branches in most major cities and towns.
The Swadeshi movement of 1905-07, greatly broadened its appeal among the middle classes.
That movement had thrown up some towering leaders – among them Bal Gangadhar Tilak of Maharashtra, Bipin Chandra Pal of Bengal, and Lala Lajpat Rai of Punjab.
The three were known as “Lal, Bal, and Pal”, the alliteration conveys the all-India character
of their struggle, since their native provinces were very distant from one another.
Where these leaders advocated militant opposition to colonial rule, there was a group of “Moderates” who preferred a more gradual and persuasive approach.
Among these Moderates was Gandhiji’s acknowledged political mentor, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, as well as Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who, like Gandhiji, was a lawyer of Gujarati extraction trained in London.
On Gokhale’s advice, Gandhiji spent a year traveling around British India, getting to know the land and its peoples.
His first major public appearance was at the opening of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in February 1916.
this event was the princes and philanthropists whose donations had contributed to the founding of the BHU. Also present were important leaders of the Congress, such as Annie Besant.
Compared to these dignitaries, Gandhiji was relatively unknown. He had been invited on account of his work in South Africa, rather than his status within India.
When his turn came to speak, Gandhiji charged the Indian elite with a lack of concern for the
laboring poor. The opening of the BHU, he said, was “certainly a most gorgeous show”.
But he worried about the contrast between the “richly bedecked noblemen” present and “millions of the poor” Indians who were absent.
Gandhiji told the privileged invitees that “there is no salvation for India unless you strip
yourself of this jewelry and hold it in trust for your countrymen in India”.
“There can be no spirit of self-government about us,” he went on, “if we take away or allow others to take away from the peasants almost the whole of the results of their labor.
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NCERT Solutions Class 12 History Chapter 13 Mahatma Gandhi And The Nationalist Movement (Civil Disobedience And Beyond)
1. How did Mahatma Gandhi seek to identify with the common people?
Ans: Mahatma Gandhi sought to identify himself with the common people of India. For this action plan
(a) He began to live a very simple lifestyle. He wore simple clothes which a poor Indian would wear.
(b) He spoke the language of the local people.
(c) Mahatma Gandhi opposed the caste system and attacked untouchability personally lived with the Harijan.
(d) Mahatma Gandhi attached dignity to labor and physical work. He worked on Charkha and cleaned toilets.
(e) He attacked the sentiment of the feeling of classifying people into low and high.
2. How was Mahatma Gandhi perceived by the peasants?
Ans: Mahatma Gandhi was very popular among the peasants and his image was as mentioned below :
- The peasants considered him as if he had been sent by the King to redress the grievances of the farmers, and that he had the power to overrule all local officials.
- It was also claimed that Gandhiji’s power was superior to that of the English monarch and that with his arrival the colonial rulers would go away from the district.
- There were also rumors that the villagers, who had criticized him, have found their houses mysteriously falling apart or their crops failing.
- He was called, “Gandhi baba – Gandhi Maharaj” or “Mahatma”.
- Peasants considered him a savior, who would rescue them from high taxes and oppressive officials. It was hoped that Gandhi would restore dignity and autonomy to their lives.
- Gandhiji’s appeal among the peasants was enhanced by his ascetic lifestyle, and by his use of the dhoti and the charkha.
3. Why did the salt laws become an important issue of struggle?
Ans: Poorest poor Indians consume food that has salt as one of its prime ingredients. British government brought to tax on salt and making salt indigenously was forbidden. It was to become a big burden on the poor people of India. Some important points regarding salt law are as follows.
- Salt law was to lead to a monopoly of salt production and distribution. It was to fuel prices, and added to this was the tax levied by the government.
- People were denied access to natural salt and tons of the same were destroyed.
- Salt law was an attack on the local industry in the villages too.
Hence salt law was extremely unpopular and it became an important issue of the struggle.
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NCERT Class 12 History Textbook Chapter 13 With Answer PDF Free Download