(a) In Champaran, Indigo was the main commercial crop grown. The British forced all sharecroppers to devote 15% of their land for growing indigo. Additionally, they were forced to surrender that part of their harvest to the landlords as rent. Later, Germany introduced synthetic indigo which took away the market of this indigo and prices fell drastically. At this, the British landlords got agreements signed by these poor peasants that they would compensate for the loss which they were suffering from. A resolute farmer named Rajkumar Shukla followed Gandhiji everywhere to arrange a meeting when finally at the annual meeting of the National Congress he told him about this situation. Gandhiji went to Champaran and negotiated with the British to return 25% of the amount to them. Though the amount of compensation was less but the farmers learned courage. With this episode, the Indian freedom struggle took a turning point.
(b) The Ramsjo iron mill was owned by the ironmaster who visited the mill at night to keep a check on the product quality. The night when the peddler went into the iron mill to seek refuge, the iron master saw him lying near the furnace and removed his hat look at his face. He mistook him to be his old regiment friend, Nils Olof because of his shabby appearance and the dark light of the furnace. He thought that he would be a good company for Christmas and so he invited him home. The peddler took advantage of the situation and did not reveal his identity because he thought that the iron master would help him with money looking at his pitiful condition. But on being invited at his home, he declined the proposal because he was carrying the crofter’s money with him and feared being handed over to the police.
(c) On the day of the last lesson, Franz noticed many changes around him starting from the gathering in front of the bulletin board which suggested a bad news. On reaching his classroom, he was surprised to see that everyone was sitting in pin drop silence whereas usually there were sounds of the opening and closing of desks, rapping of the ruler and children repeating in loud voices. M. Hamel was dressed in his favourite outfit which he wore only on special days or events. All the children were seated in the front rows and the last rows were occupied by the village elders. M. Hamel informed them that it was their last French lesson and they would be taught Prussian from the next day as the districts of Alsace and Lorraine had been taken over by them. Usually when he asked Franz a question in participles and he was unable to answer him, he would scold him. But on that day when the same happened, he took the blame on himself. His heart was filled with sorrow when he heard his sister packing bags upstairs and with a heavy heart he wrote on the board ‘Vive la France’ which means long live France.
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