Following were the participants of the Civil Disobedience Movement:
1. The rich peasant communities in the countryside such as the Patidars of Gujarat and the Jats of Uttar Pradesh were active in organizing their communities and sometimes forcing reluctant members to participate in the programmes. A drastic fall in prices and the impact of trade depression led to a fall in cash income for these communities. The problems further increased with the government’s refusal of lowering down revenue demands. Overall, for them, the struggle for Swaraj was the fight against high revenues.
2. The poor peasantry was another group that participated in a variety of radical movements led by socialists and communists ranging from reduction in revenue demand to the cancellation of the unpaid rent to the landlord. As the trade depression continued and cash income dropped, they also faced problems relating to the payment of rent to the landlords.
3. The business classes participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement reacted against the colonial policies that restricted business activities. Their demands ranging from protection against imports of foreign goods to a rupee-sterling exchange ratio resulted in the formation of Indian
Industrial and Commercial Congress (1920) and the Federation of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (1927), led by prominent industrialists like Purshottamdas Thakurdas and G.D. Birla. Giving financial assistance and refusing to buy and sell imported goods, they saw the movement as an opportunity for the trade and industry to flourish away from colonial constraints.
4. The participation of the industrial working class was overall minimal, except the Nagpur region. Thousands of workers in the Chota Nagpur tin mines wore Gandhian caps and participated in rallies and boycott campaigns. Movements against foreign goods, low wages, and poor working conditions were held. The railway workers and dock workers also organized strikes in 1930 and 1932 respectively.
5. Women participants, as part of the civil disobedience, were in large no.’s. In urban areas, women usually came from high caste families and in rural areas, they were from rich peasant households. During the salt march, thousands of women listened to Gandhiji and took part in protests, manufactured salt and picketed foreign cloth and liquor shops. They increasingly saw their service towards nation as a sacred duty.
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