Answer :

All kinds of social groups and communities did not identify with the concept of ‘swaraj’.

1. The group of nation’s ‘untouchables’ form around the 1930s had begun to call themselves dalit or oppressed. The ignorant attitude of the Congress alienated them from the wider nationalist movement. Although, Gandhiji made efforts to give them access to various public places and did different tasks such as cleaning toilets and persuaded people to give up the sin of untouchability, but the dalit leaders saw a different political solution.

2. The Dalits believed that political empowerment could resolve their problems. They organised themselves and demanded reserved seats in educational institutes and separate electorates in order to choose dalit members for legislative councils. Such demands and social disabilities therefore saw limited dalit participation during the Civil Disobedience Movement.

3. The decline of the Non-cooperation Khilafat Movement gave rise to the feeling of alienation among a large section of Muslims from the Congress. During the mid 1920s, the very much visible associations of the Congress Hindu religious nationalist groups like the Hindu Mahasabha further created feelings of suspicion and distrust among the members of both the communities. 4. As the relations between Hindus and Muslims worsened, each community organised religious processions with militant fervour, provoking violent clashes and riots in various cities. The condition of worsened relations between the Muslims and Hindus was created by the British. Also, the internal situations, association of the Congress as a “Hindu” political party and the conflicts and riots between the two communities divided the nationalist movement against British Rule.

5. Therefore, when the Civil Disobedience Movement started, there was a feeling of alienation between communities who did not identify with the idea of swaraj. They were apprehensive of their position in the society and feared domination from the Hindu majority.

NOTE – The policies of the British as well as certain mistakes on the part of the leadership during the nationalist movement were collectively responsible for the divided freedoms’ struggle against colonial rule.

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