The Making of the National Movement 1870s – 1947 Class 8 Questions and Answers History Chapter 11
History Class 8 Chapter 11 NCERT Textbook Questions and Answers
Imagine that you are involved in the Indian national movement. Based on your readings of this chapter, briefly discuss your preferred methods of struggle and your vision of a free India.
I would prefer to be a member of the revolutionaries mainly Bhagat Singh and his group. Whatever they did was right and I would also do what they did. I am not a person to suffer the injustice of the British. After all we (Indian) too are human beings. We should always be ready to fight for our motherland.
Why were people dissatisfied with British rule in the 1870s. and 1880’s?
People were dissatisfied with British rule in the 1870s and 1880s due to the following reasons :
1. The British passed the Arms Act in 1878 which disallowed Indians from possessing arms.
2. In the same year they passed the Vernacular Press Act. This Act snatched the freedom of speech and expression. It allowed the government to confiscate the assets of newspapers including their printing presses if the newspapers published anything that was critical of the government.
3. In 1883, the Ilbert Bill was introduced. The bill provided for the trial of British or European persons by Indian and sought equality between British and Indian Judges in the country. But the white opposition forced the government to withdraw the bill.
Who did the Indian National Congress wish to speak for?
Ans. The Indian National Congress did not wish to talk only on behalf of professional groups, zamindars to industrialists hue also for peasants, artisans, women and for all people of the country. It also raised a number of economic issues, social issues, and political issues.
What economic impact did the First World War have on India?
The First World War led to a huge rise in the defence expenditure of the Government of India. The government in turn increased taxes on individual incomes and business profits.
Increased military expenditure and the demands for war supplies led to the sharp rise in prices which badly affected the common mass. They found it difficult to fulfil even their essential needs.
But the business groups earned huge profits from the war. The war created a demand for industrial goods like jute bags, cloth, rails and caused a decline of Import’s from other countries into India. As a result Indian industries expanded during the war.
What did the Muslim League resolution of 1940 ask for?
In 1940 the Muslim League had moved a resolution demanding “Independent states” for Muslims in the north-western and eastern areas of the country. The resolution did not mention partition or Pakistan.
Who were the Moderates? How did they propose to struggle against British rule?
The Moderates were against extreme actions. They had deep faith in the good intention of the government. They were of the opinion that slowly and steadily they would make the British go to their own land.
The moderate leaders developed public awareness about the unjust nature of British rule. They published news papers, wrote articles and showed how British rule was leading to the economic ruin of the country. They criticised British rule in their speeches and sent representatives to different parts of the country to mobilise public opinion. They believed that the British had respect for the ideals of freedom and justice and therefore, they would definitely accept all the just demands of the people of India. Their main task was to acknowledge the British government with these demands.
How was the politics of the Radicals within the Congress different from that of the Moderates?
The radicals criticised the moderates for their “politics of prayers” and emphasised the importance of self-reliance and constructive work. They argued that people must rely on their own strength not on the “good” intentions of the government; people must fight for swaraj. Tilak raised the slogan “ Freedom is my birth right and I shall have it!”
Discuss the various forms that Non-cooperation Movement took in different parts of India. How did the people understand Gandhiji?
The Non-cooperation movement spread for and wide. It took various forms in different parts of the country:
- In Kheda, Gujarat, Patidar peasants were worried about the high land revenue demand of the British. Hence they organised non-violent campaigns against it.
- In coastal Andhra and interior Tamil Nadu, liquor shops were picketed.
- In the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, Tribals and poor peasants started several forest satyagrahas, sometimes sending their cattle into forests without paying grazing tax. They were very much fed up with the restrictions imposed on them by the British regarding the use of forest resources. They wanted the abolition of the forest regulations.
- In Sind, now in Pakistan, Muslim trades and peasants were very enthusiastic about the Khilafat call. In Bengal too, the khilafat Non-cooperation alliance gave enormous communal unity and strength to the national movement.
- In Punjab, the Akali agitation of the Sikhs sought to drive out corrupt mahants, supported by the British from the gurudwaras. This movement got closely identified with Non-cooperation movement.
- In Assam, tea garden labourers left with the British owned plantations and become the followers of Gandhiji.
People viewed Gandhiji as a messiah as some one who could help them overcome their misery and poverty.
Why did Gandhiji choose to break the salt law?
Gandhiji declared that he would lead a march to break the salt law. According to this law, the state had a monopoly on the manufacture and sale of salt. Mahatma Gandhi along with other nationalists reasoned that it was sinful to tax salt since it is such an essential item of our food. The salt march related the general desire of freedom to a specific grievance shored by every body, and thus did not divide the rich and the poor.
Gandhiji and his followers marched for over 240 miles from Sabarmati to the coastal town of Dandi where they broke the government law by gathering natural salt found on the seashore and bailing sea water to produce salt.
Discuss those developments of the 1937—47 period that led to the creation of Pakistan.
From the late 1930, the Muslim League began viewing the Muslims as a separate- nation from the Hindus. This nation might have developed because of the history of tension between some Hindu and Muslim groups in the 1920s and 1930s The provincial elections of 1937 also might have convinced the League. The Muslims were a minority and they would always have to play fiddle frilled in any democratic structure. Meanwhile, the rejected the Legue’s desire to form a joint Congress- League government in the united provinces in 1937. This annoyed the League.
In 1940, the league finally moved a resolution demanding ‘Independent states’ for Muslim in the north-western and eastern areas of the country. The resolution
did not mention partition or Pakistan.
In 1945, the British opened negotiations between the Congress, the league and themselves for the independence of India. The talks could not succeed because the League saw itself as the sole spokesperson of India Muslims. The Congress proved this claim baseless because several Muslims still supported it.
In the provincial elections in 1946 the League got grand success in the seats reserved for Muslims. Hence it persisted its demand for Pakistan. In march 1946, the cabinet mission came to Delhi to examine this demand and to suggest a suitable political framework for a free India. This mission suggested that India should remain united and constitute itself as confederation a loose with some autonomy for Muslim-majority areas. Neither the Congress nor the Muslim League agreed to it. The failure of the cabinet mission made partition inevitable. Ultimately in 1947 partition took with the birth of a new country, i.e, Pakistan.
Find out how the national movement was organised in your city, district area or state. Who participated in it and who led it? What did the movement in your area achieve?
(Students to do it as per their area)
Organization of National Movement in our city:
- Visit of Gandhiji.
- Formation of Action Committees.
- Meetings and awareness of different events at the national level.
- Prabhat Pheries and Rallies.
- Protest march to district headquarters.
- Mass arrests.
- Hanging of the freedom fighters.
- Award after getting independence.
Find out more about the life and work of any two participants or leaders of the national movement and write a short essay about them. You may choose a person not mentioned in this chapter.
(a) Rajendra Prasad:
The political career of Dr. Rajendra Prasad started as a social worker. In 1918, he came into contact with Gandhiji during the Champaran satyagraha. He took active part in this movement. He was also sent to jail, by the Britishers, a number of times. He was one of the most uncontroversial figure in the Indian politics. When India became independent, he was elected the first President of India.
(b) Jaiprakash Narayan :
From 1934, Jaiprakash Narayan dedicated his life for the welfare of the country. First he became the secretary of the socialist party, and then in 1946 when Jawaharalal Nehru offered him the membership of the congress working committee, he rejected the offer. However, later he joined the congress committee with Ram Manohar Lohia. But both of them left it soon. After some years, Jaiprakash Narayana became the General secretary of the socialist party. He is known for his active, selfless service for the country.
From the beginning the Congress sought to speak for and in the name of, all the Indian people. Why did it choose to do so?
From the very beginning congress considered itself the nucleus of a future parliament for our country and thus, thought for all the entire nation and the entire population.
What problem regarding the early congress does this comment highlight?
In Pursuit of gold : This is what a Moderate leader, Dinshaw Wacha, wrote to Naoroji in 1887 :
Pherozeshah is nowdays too busy with his personal work ………….. . They are already rich enough ………….. Mr. Telang too remains busy. I wonder how if all remain busy in the pursuit of gold can the progress of the country be advanced?
Dineshaw Wacha wrote to Naoroji that if all the congress members thought of them selves what will happen to the country? And how the country will advance if there will be no unity among the congress.
Find out which countries fought the First world war.
Germany, Poland, France, Russia, British, etc.
Find out about the Jalianwala Bagh massacre. What atrocities were committed there? How were they committed?
The people of Punjab had been very angry and excited over many issues. When the government ordered the arrest of Dr. Satyapal and Dr. Saifuddin Kitchleu, the people in order to protect against their leaders arrest assembled on 13 April, 1919 at Amirtsar in the Jallianwala Bagh. This Bagh was enclosed on three sides by buildings and had only one exist, which was narrow. General Dyer surrounded the Bagh with troops, closed the only exit and ordered his troops to fire upon the innocent people. Many people were killed and wounded.
(a) Read Source 4.
According to this report, how did people view Mahatma Gandhi? Why do you think they felt that he was oppossed to zamindars but not to the government? Why do you think they were in favour of Gandhiji?
(b) “It was he who got bedakhli stopped in paragraph”
The following is an extract from a CID report on the kisan movement in Allahabad distract, January 1921:
The currency which Mr. Gandhis name has acquired even in the remotest villages is astonishing. No one seems to know quite who or what he is, but it is an accepted fact that what he says is so, and what he orders must be done. He is a Mahatma or sadhu, a Pundit, a Brahmin who lives at Allahabad, even a devta ………. the real power of his name is to be traced back to the idea that it was he who got bedakhli (illegal eviction) stopped in Pratapgarh ……. as being antagonistic to Government, but only to the zamindars ………… We are for Gandhiji and the Sarkar.
(a) People viewed Gandhiji as a Mahatma or Pandit; or sadha or a Brahmin who lives in Allahabad.
(b) The people thought that he opposed to zamindars by not to government because zamindars were in direct contain with the farmers and not the British. Gandhiji had stopped the illegal evicting of the zamindar in Pratap- garh because he favoured the common people and not the zamindars.