Q. 205.0( 2 Votes )

Describe the cultural process through which nationalism captured people's imagination.

OR

Assess the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the nationalist movement with special reference to the methods adopted by him.

Answer :

Nationalism spreads among the people when they realize the feeling of oneness and unity among them. This arises when they realize that they all belong to the same nation. In India, the cultural values were important to a great extent to capture people’s imagination and develop the feeling of nationalism among them. This can be supported by the following:


1. The allegory- Bharat Mata became an image by which people were people to identify themselves. Rabindranath Tagore had designed it.


2. The Swaraj Flag created by Gandhiji became an important symbol to be held during marches.


3. History became important. People began studying their past and reinterpreting it for a better understanding of the future. Britishers had assumed that India was a backward country, so people began studying their history to know about their glorious achievements.


4. Folklore and poems also became important. Rabindranath Tagore wrote many ballads for folk revival.


5. Nationalists began recording folklores. They travelled through different villages to gather singers for the same.


6. Vande Mataram became an important hymn that awakened the feeling of nationalism among people. It was created in 1870 by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay.


This was extremely important so that people can develop a new united image of the country and could have a sense of belongingness, which was corrupted by the Britishers.


OR


Gandhiji was a pioneer in the movements against the British. He had dedicated his entire life to gain freedom and for the benefit of the Indians.


Upon his arrival from Africa, he took a year’s break to study the conditions of India. He later launched the Satyagraha movement. This was, however, started in phases. In 1916 he travelled to Champaran in Bihar to inspire the peasants to struggle against the oppressive plantation system. In 1917, a satyagraha was set up to support the peasants of Kheda district of Gujarat. In 1918, he went to Ahmedabad to organize a satyagraha movement amongst cotton mill workers. In 1919, he decided to launch a nationwide satyagraha against the proposed Rowlatt Act. To unite Hindu and Muslim, a Non-cooperation movement was launched. In 1930, he started the famous Salt March as a protest against the high taxes imposed on salt by the Britishers. It was started from his ashram in Sabarmati to Dandi with 78 followers. On 6 April, he reached Dandi and openly violated against the law by manufacturing salt out of the boiled water. Gandhi worked extensively for the untouchables. He called them ‘Harijans’ meaning the children of God. He organized protests to secure their entry into holy places, schools etc. He also strived for the rights of women. Many women came to his protests and marches for his support. So, it is rightly said that Gandhiji is the ‘Father of the Nation’ as he worked with great sincerity for the benefit of Indians.


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