Q. 195.0( 9 Votes )

“The plantation workers in Assam had their own understanding of Mahatma Gandhi and the notion of Swaraj”. Support the statement with arguments. (CBSE 2016)

Answer :

1. The plantation workers in Assam saw freedom as the right to move freely in and out of the confined space i.e. maintaining a link with the village they had come from because under the Inland Emigration Act of 1859, the workers were not allowed to leave the plantations without permission and they were rarely given any permission.

2. When they came to know about the Non-Cooperation Movement, thousands of them defied the authorities by leaving the plantations and headed home. They believed in the power of Gandhi Raj and felt that everyone would be given land in their own villages.

3. They interpreted the term ‘swaraj’ by imagining it to be a time when all the suffering and all troubles would come to an end. They strongly identified with the movement and Gandhiji’s idea of freedom.

NOTE – The British government had laid down stringent laws that restricted the movement of the workers employed in the tea plantations.

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