Q. 125.0( 1 Vote )

“Quit India Movement’ was genuinely a mass movement bringing into its ambit hundreds of thousands of ordinary Indians.” Analyse the statement.

OR

“The worst is over but Indians need to work collectively for the equality of all classes and creeds.” Substantiate the statement of Gandhiji for bringing communal peace after the partition of India.

Answer :

The Quit India Movement was Mahatma Gandhi’s third major movement against British rule. It was launched in August 1942. There is evidence that this movement was a mass movement.

a. While Mahatma Gandhi was jailed immediately after the launch of the movement, this did not stop the movement in any way. Younger activists launched a variety of strikes and acts of sabotage all across the country.


b. Within the underground resistance, political leaders such as Jayaprakash Narayan, who was a socialist member of the Congress, were also very active.


c. In districts such as Satara and Medinipur, claims were made for “independent” governments. For example, in Satara in 1943, some of the younger leaders set up their own parallel government.


d. The Quit India Movement particularly energized the youth. This led to a large number of students to leave their colleges to protest, and eventually go to jail.


e. Women also played an active role in the Movement through processions, such as those in Bombay.


f. However, during this time, the Muslim League was working towards its own ends and was trying to expand its influence. So, there were sections of society that were not involved in the Quit India Movement.


g. Nevertheless, the British had to use a lot of force to suppress the rebellion, and they only achieved this after one year of constant suppression.


The Quit India Movement was the final leg of the nationalist movement against British Rule, and soon, after the Labour Party came into power in Britain, arrangements started to be made to grant India independence.


OR


When India formally declared independence on August 15, 1947, Mahatma Gandhi did not participate in any of the festivities. Instead, he chose to mark the day by fasting for 24 hours. This gives us insight into Mahatma Gandhi’s perspective on the newly independent India.


a. For him, the freedom struggle and subsequent independence came at the cost of the Partition, where instead of religious harmony, Hindus and Muslims were violently against each other.


b. He wanted communal harmony and a unified nation. Both him and Nehru were against the two-nation theory, believed in a harmonious India, and were forced to accept the Partition. So, the Congress passed a resolution on the rights of minorities within India, so that religious minorities i.e. Muslims in the newly created India could freely exercise their rights and be under the protection of the state.


c. Mahatma Gandhi, however, made personal efforts to bring inter-religious harmony, and travelled to various parts of the country to do so.


d. He first sought to bring peace in Bengal, moving from the villages of Noakhali (which is now in Bangladesh), to the villages in Bihar, after which he moved to riot-torn Delhi, and further hoped to travel to Punjab in order to convince these riot-torn areas to establish peace.


e. While in Delhi, he began a fast in order to change the mentality of those who wanted to drive the Muslims of Delhi to Pakistan. During this fast, many Hindu and Sikh migrants joined him.


f. According to his biographer D.G. Tendulkar, he was also concerned with the sufferings of the minorities in Pakistan.


Unfortunately, it was through his martyrdom that people realized the folly of their views and their violence. His efforts, however, were crucial in bringing about changes in mentality after the Partition.


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RELATED QUESTIONS :

Read the following excerpt carefully and answer the questions that follow:

Why the Salt Satyagraha?


Why was salt the symbol of protest? This is what Mahatma Gandhi wrote: The volume of information being gained daily shows how wickedly the salt tax has been designed. In order to prevent the use of salt that has not paid the tax which is at times even fourteen times its value, the Government destroys the salt it cannot sell profitably. Thus, it taxes the nation’s vital necessity: it prevents the public from manufacturing it and destroys what nature manufactures without effort. No adjective is strong enough for characterising this wicked dog-in-the-manger policy. From various sources I hear tales of such wanton destruction of the nation’s property in all parts of India. Maunds if not tons of salt are said to be destroyed on the Konkan coast. The same tale comes from Dandi. Wherever there is likelihood of natural salt being taken away by the people living in the neighbourhood of such areas for their personal use, salt officers are posted for the sole purpose of destruction. Thus, valuable national property is destroyed at national expense and salt taken out of the mouths of the people.


The salt monopoly is thus a fourfold curse. It deprives the people of a valuable easy village industry, involves wanton destruction of property that nature produces in abundance, the destruction itself means more national expenditure, and fourthly to frown this folly, an unheard-of tax of more than 1,000 per cent is extracted from a starving people.


This tax has remained so long because of the apathy of the general public. Now that is sufficiently roused, the tax has to go. How soon it will be abolished depends upon the strength of the people.


(i) Why was salt monopoly introduced by the British considered as a curse by the Indians?


(ii) How did Gandhiji illustrate his tactical wisdom with regard to salt monopoly?


(iii) Explain the significance of Gandhiji’s challenge of salt protest.

History - Board Papers

“Tomorrow we shall break the salt tax law”

On 5 April 1930, Mahatma Gandhi spoke at Dandi:


When I left Sabarmati with my companions for this seaside hamlet of Dandi, I was not certain in my mind that we would be allowed to reach this place. Even while I was at Sabarmati there was a rumour that I might be arrested. I had thought that the Government might perhaps let my party come as far as Dandi, but not me certainly. If someone says that this betrays imperfect faith on my part, I shall not deny the charge. That I have reached here is in no small measure due to the power of peace and non-violence: that power is universally felt. The Government may, if it wishes, congratulate itself on acting as it has done, for it could have arrested every one of us. In saying that it did not have the courage to arrest this army of peace, we praise it. It felt ashamed to arrest such an army. He is a civilised man who feels ashamed to do anything which his neighbours would disapprove. The Government deserves to be congratulated on not arresting us, even if it desisted only from fear of world opinion. Tomorrow we shall break the salt tax law. Whether the Government will tolerate that is a different question. It may not tolerate it, but it deserves congratulationthe patience and forbearance it has displayed in regard to this party. … What if I and all the eminent leaders in Gujarat and in the rest of the country are arrested? This movement is based on the faith that when a whole nation is roused and on the march no leader is necessary.


(i) Why did Gandhiji start the Dandi March?


(ii) Why was Salt March notable?


(iii) The power of peace and non-violence was universally felt. Why did Gandhiji say so?

History - Board Papers

The Muslim League resolution of 1940

The League’s resolution of 1940 demanded :


That geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions, which should be so constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the north-western and eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute “Independent States”, in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.


(13.1) Identify the major demands of the Muslim League.


(13.2) Analyse the reasons for the demand of autonomy by the Muslim League.


(13.3) Analyse the distinctive aspects of the Muslim League Resolution of 1940.


OR


Read the following excerpt carefully and answer the questions that follow :


A small basket of grapes


This is what Dr. Khushdeva Singh writes about his experience during one of his visits to Karachi in 1949 :


My friends took me to a room at the airport where we all sat down and talked... (and) had lunch together, I had to travel from Karachi to London... at 2.30 am... At 5.00. p.m. ... I told my friends that they had given me so generously of their time, I thought it would be too much for them to wait the whole night and suggested they must spare themselves the trouble. But nobody left until it was dinner time.... Then they said they were leaving and that I must have a little rest before emplaning. .... I got up at about 1.45 a.m. and, when I opened the door, I saw that all of them were still there.... They all accompanied me to the plane, and, before parting, presented me with a small basket of grapes. I had no words to express my gratitude for the overwhelming affection with which I was treated and the happiness this stopover had given me.


(13.1) Analyse the attitude of the people of Karachi towards Khushdeva Singh.


(13.2) Express the feelings of Khushdeva Singh at Karachi.


(13.3) “Love is stronger than hate.” Elucidate the statement in the context of this narrative.


History - Board Papers