1. Political Condition in India in 1919:
- The First World War brought poverty, callousness of the British administration along with increased oppression of Indians.
- There was deep resentment among the Indians.
- Lokmanya Tilak who led the Indians under the banner of Congress died in August 1919.
2. Main Role of Gandhiji after 1919:
- Gandhiji gave expression to the discontentment of the Indians against the British administration through his own political tools of Satyagraha and mass agitation.
- The period after 1919, which ended with freedom for India in 1947, was dominated by the thinking, personality and activities of Gandhiji.
a. Gandhiji Entry into Indian Political:
a1. Earlier Career of Gandhiji – His period in South Africa:
- South Africa was a colony of British Colonial Empire.
- Gandhiji went to South Africa in 1893 to practice law there.
- South Africa a large population of Indians who had gone there to run industries, trade and other activities.
a2. The Oppressive Policies of the British in South Africa: The first Success of Gandhiji:
- The white administration of South Africa adopted a racial discriminating policy towards the non-whites.
- By a resolution of 1906, the South African government had made in compulsory for the non-whites to carry an identity card.
- The Administration numerous restrictions on the freedom of the non-whites.
- The Administration did not give legal recognition to the traditional marriages of the Indians.
- Gandhiji started a Satyagraha and succeeded in forcing the White government to change their policies towards the non-whites.
b. Philosophy of Satyagraha:
- Satyagraha is a political method of organizing a mass movement.
- It was a new form of philosophy in the realm of modern politics.
b1. The Main Values:
- Non violence, truth, love, sympathy, compassion and self confidence are the main values and soul of the philosophy of Satyagraha.
- The values and philosophy of Satyagraha were borrowed from the Indian culture and heritage.
b2. Wider appeal of Satyagraha Philosophy:
- The core of Satyagraha Philosophy is humanism.
- The philosophy of Satyagraha has universal appeal.
- The philosophy can be easily put to practice and give good results.
- It is a philosophy which can be practiced anywhere and during every era.
b3. The significance and value of Satyagraha Philosophy:
- The philosophy of Satyagraha helps a common man to fight the injustice with confidence and with moral force.
- It makes a common man fearless.
- This philosophy works on a logic that a Satyagrahi faces the injustice with calmness and non-violence. It had direct appeal to the conscience of the oppressor.
- A Satyagrahi works with compassion and love towards the oppressor. The oppressor is thus made to realise the Truth. Finally the Truth wins.
- The Philosophy of Satyagraha raised the importance of values in the politics.
- The philosophy insisted on the purity of means.
- It is a very effective arm against the injustice in an individual, social and political life for an unarmed person.
- This philosophy is also successfully practiced by the leaders of other countries.
- The Black American leader Martin Luther King fought for the protection of the civil rights of the Blacks in America with the weapon of Satyagraha.
3. Gandhiji’s Earlier Satyagraha in India:
- Gandhiji returned to India from South Africa in 1915 after successfully using Satyagraha against the oppressive police of the South African government.
- Before entering the Indian politics in a more active manner, Gandhiji used Satyagraha between 1917 and 1918 on three occasions in India.
a: The first three Satyagraha of Gandhiji:
- Gandhiji used Satyagraha for the first time in India at Champaran, Ahmedabad and Kheda.
b: Champaran Satyagraha: (March 00; Oct. 01)
- In Champaran (Bihar), the Indian farmers were forced to sow indigo at loss on their land.
- They were forced to sell their Indigo at fixed price and they suffered losses. They were becoming poor day by day due to this forced cultivation.
- Gandhiji launched Satyagraha against this injustice practice.
- Gandhiji succeeded in ending this injustice. It was the first success of Satyagraha in India under the leadership of Gandhiji.
c: Ahmedabad Mill Workers Satyagraha:
- The mill workers of Ahmedabad demanded bonus and increase in wages because the mills had made profit during the period of First World War.
- The mill owners refused to accept their demand.
- Gandhiji preached the weapon of strike and fast to press their demands.
- Gandhiji also went on fast to press the demands of mill workers.
- The mill owners accepted the demand of their mill workers and Satyagraha philosophy against succeeded.
d: Kheda Peasants Satyagraha: (Oct. 98) (March 2001)
- The crops in Kheda district of Gujarat failed.
- However, the British government insisted upon the collection of revenue.
- Gandhiji advised the farmers of Kheda not to pay the tax and resist the injustice while observing non-violence.
- The peasants of Kheda experienced the oppression of the British government. However, they observed non-violence and did not pay the revenue.
- Finally, the British government attended to the grievance of the farmers. The non-violence of Satyagraha again triumphed.
4. The Indian’s Dissatisfaction with British Government – Coming of Rowlatt Act:
a: General dissatisfaction:
- There was discontentment among the people against the British government because of the price rise, increase in rate of taxation and political problems.
- The revolutionary activities were on rise inspite of the oppression of the British government.
b: Oppression in Punjab:
- During the First World War the British government had introduced conscription in the army in Punjab.
- The British government forced Punjab to part with its grains in order to feed its own English army involved in the world war in Europe.
- The people were highly dissatisfied with the oppressive policies of the British government similar to one which it had adopted in Punjab.
c: Repression of the revolutionary movement:
- Inspite of the oppressive policies and repression of the British government the revolutionary movement in India was on rise.
- The government failed to check the rise in the revolutionary movement.
- The unrest among the people was one the rise.
d: Rowlatt Act:
- The unrest among the people and revolutionary movement were on rise.
- The British government wanted to suppress the trend with great force.
- The British government appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Rowlatt.
- On the recommendation of the Rowlatt committee, the Rowlatt Act was passed in 1919.
- As per the terms of the Rowlatt Act any person could be imprisoned without trial.
- As per the Act, the proceedings against the person would be carried out in secret.
e: Events leading to Jalianwalla Baugh tragedy: Indians opposed the Rowlatt Act.
- In order to suppress the rising unrest among the Indians, the British government enacted the Rowlatt Act in 1919.
- Under the Rowlatt Act, the Indians were denied the civil liberties.
- Gandhiji gave a call to the Indians to observe the band on April 6, 1919. (March 98; Oct. 98)
- The people overwhelmingly responded to the call of Gandhiji.
- In Punjab, Dr. Kitchlu and Dr. Satyapal were sentenced for organising the band in response to the call of Gandhiji.
- The people of Punjab protested against the prohibitory orders which followed the arrest of the leaders.
- The people of Punjab in Amritsar gathered in Jallianwalla Baugh on April 13, 1919 in defiance of the prohibitory orders.
- General Dyre, the officer in charge of executing the prohibitory laws order fire on the unarmed crowd gathered in the Jallianwalla Baugh without warning.
- In that inhuman massacre hundreds of people died and many were injured.
f: Events after the Jalianwalla Baugh tragedy:
- Curfew was imposed immediately after the firing in Jallianwalla Baugh.
- The medical aid was not allowed to reach the people in Jallianwalla Baugh.
- The oppressive Arms act was applied to whole of Punjab.
- Numerous people were arrested.
- There was great commotion of dismayed Indian nation against the massacre.
- Rabindranath Tagore surrendered his Knighthood conferred by the British Crown in protest. (March 2001)
- Gandhiji declared the British government as a devil and announced that the Indian nation would not cooperate with a devilish British government.
- The British government was confounded by the magnitude of the anger of the Indians as a one united nation.
- In order to satisfy the Indians the government appointed the Hunter commission to look into the Jallianwalla happenings.
- General Dyre justified his act in a shameless manner before the commission.
- General Dyre was left without being made accountable for the human tragedy.
g: Significance of Jalianwalla Baugh tragedy:
- The Indians were highly pained by the attitude towards the Jallianwalla Baugh tragedy.
- They saw the ugliest fact of the British imperialism in Jallianwalla Baugh tragedy.
- The British government worked on the theory that it was enough capable of suppressing any movement of the Indians with the use of bullets.
- However, inspite of the inhuman policies of the British, the Indians kept of increasing their pace of their movement for National freedom.
- It formed the background, on which the country-wide non-cooperation movement started soon after.
5. Khilafat Movement:
- The Khalifa was the head of the Muslims of whole of the world.
- The Sultan of Turkey was the Khalifa.
a. Turkey in the First World War:
- In the First World War, Turkey fought along with German against England.
- England wanted the support of the Indians and Indian Muslims in her war efforts.
- England assured the Indian Muslims that the position of Khalifa of Turkey would not be changed even if Turkey was defeated in the war.
b. Betrayal of Indian Muslims:
- In the First World War, Turkey was defeated.
- In the Treaty of Serves, Turkey was severely punished.
- Britain did not fulfill her promise with the Indian Muslims when she punished Turkey.
- The Indians Muslims felt cheated and they started agitation against the British rule.
c. Khilafat Movement:
- The Indian Muslims had felt cheated when England severely dealt with Turkey in the Treaty of Serves.
- The Indian Muslims started an agitation.
- They formed a Khilafat Committee to decide upon the programme of agitation.
- Gandhiji proposed to the Committee to adopt the programme of non-violent and non-cooperation movement against the British rule.
- The leaders of Khilafat committee accepted the proposal.
- Gandhiji also proposed to Congress to start a Non-cooperation movement along with Khilafat movement.
- Gandhiji was in favour of Hindu-Muslim unity in the Non-cooperation Movement.
- The leaders of Khilafat Movement were Maulana Mohammed Ali, Maulana Shaukat Ali, Hazarat Mohani and Kakim Azmal Khan.
- Thus Khilafat Movement was started against the British rule.
6. Non-cooperation Movement:
a: Reason for giving call for the Non-cooperation Movement:
- The Non-cooperation plan was an idea of Gandhiji.
- Gandhiji believed that the strength of the British government was the cooperation of Indians to British administration.
- If the Indians withdrew the cooperation then British administration would collapse.
- The argument of Gandhiji was that the people support an administration either because of fear or out of ignorance.
- On the basis of his argument, Gandhiji proposed to the Indians to become fearless and withdraw cooperation to the British government. Thus, he gave a proposal for Non-cooperation Movement.
b: Resolution of Nagpur Session - December 1920:
- In the Nagpur Session of the Indian National Congress in December, the resolution of Non-cooperation was passed.
- The main features of the Non-cooperation Resolution of Nagpur Session were as follows:
i. To boycott the government courts and to establish tribunals outside the courts and to give justice.
ii. To boycott government schools and colleges and establish national schools.
iii. To boycott the elections to the provincial legislatures to be conducted under 1919 Act.
iv. To boycott foreign clothes. To adopt Swadeshi clothes especially khadi.
v. To start anti-liquor campaign.
c: Activities of Indians under Non-cooperation Movement:
c1: Lawyers gave up their Legal Practice:
- The leading Indian lawyers of the country like C. R. Da, Motilal Nehru, M. R. Jaykar, Saifuddin Kitchlu, Vallabhbhai Patel, C. Rajgopalacharya etc boycotted the courts as per the programme of Non-cooperation.
- The leading lawyers of the country gave up their lucrative legal practices in order to devote their whole time to the activities of the Non-cooperation movement.
c2: National Educational Institutions:
- New educational institutions like Jamia Milia Islamia, the Kashi Vidyapeeth and the Gujarat Vidyapeeth were established.
- In Maharashtra, the new educational institutions were established in Pune, Akola, Khamgaon, Jalgaon and Hipparga.
- The National educational institutions did the additional work of preparing devoted workers for the struggle of Swarajya.
c3: A Strong Attack on English Cloth – A Symbol of British Power:
- Bonfires of the English clothes were made.
- The demonstrations before the shops selling the English clothes were organized.
- There was steep fall in the import of English cloth between 1920-21 and 1921-22. It came down from import of Rs 102 crore to 57 crores with in one year.
- It was Gandhiji’s answer to British rule. He expressed the discontentment of the Indians not by violent attack on the British but giving a strong jolt to the import of British clothes which was a symbol of British Power.
c4: Widespread and strong demonstration of India Nation:
- The demonstrations were held throughout India.
- In November 1921, when the Crown Prince of Great Britain visited India, he was greeted with demonstrations and hartals everywhere.
7. Zenda Satyagraha 1923:
- Zenda Satyagraha, in which the flag of Indian National Congress was unfurled to demonstrate the protest showing the Non-cooperation was another form of Non-cooperation.
- It was undertaken in Nagpur.
- Women in large numbers participated in Zenda Satyagraha.
8. Women Participation:
- It was the first movement, in which the Indian women took very active part.
- They participated in large numbers in Zenda Satyagraha.
- They participated in large numbers in morning processions of Satyagraha in which Tricolour flags were unfurled.
9. Mulshi Satyagraha 1921-1924: Senapti Panduran Mahadeo Bapat – Peasant led Movement – issue of Dam and compensation:
- Mulshi Satyagraha was organised by the peasants of Mulshi Taluka in Pune district.
- It was the longest Satyagraha of the Non-cooperation movement of 1920.
- The Mulshi Satyagraha was based on local issue also.
- The local issue concerned with building of a dam across a river for generating hydro electricity which was planned by British government.
- The private Company which was entrusted with executing the project did not pay any compensation to the peasants on whose land they were raising the dam nor they made arrangements for their rehabilitation.
- The leaders of Satyagraha against the injustice to peasants of Mulshi was Senapti Panduran Mahadeo Bapat.
- Bapat was sentenced to six month imprisonment.
- Many peasants who had participated in the movement were also imprisoned.
b: Significance of Mulshi Satyagraha:
- It gave the message by its longer duration inspite of the oppression of the government that the British could not afford to overlook the demands of the people.
- It were such types of demonstrations which had made Non-cooperation Movement a real and nation wide movement.
10. Withdrawal of Non-cooperation Movement: 1922 – Chaurichaura Incidence: (Oct. 99; 01)
a. Increase in oppression by the British to curtail the Movement:
- The British government was under the impression that it could suppress the revolt with bullets.
- The British government increased its oppression on Indians to curtail the Non-cooperation Movement.
- The participants of the movement were imprisoned.
b. Gandhiji Declaration: An announcement on February 1, 1922 from Bardoli:
- Gandhiji was not terrified by the rising oppression of the British government.
- Gandhiji made an announcement on February 1, 1922 from Bardoli.
- Gandhiji demanded from the government in his February declaration from Bardoli that
i. The freedom of the press should be immediately restored.
ii. The political prisoners should be released within one week.
iii. If the above demands would not be met then he would start a civil disobedience movement.
iv. Under the Civil disobedience movement the taxes would not be paid to the government.
c. Chaurichaura Incidence:
- In Chaurichaura district in Gorakhpur district of U. P., just after the Bardoli declaration, the police fired on the people.
- It infuriated the people.
- The irrigated and angered mob attack the police station.
- In the attack, the police station was burnt by the people in which 22 policemen were killed.
d. Gandhiji withdrew the call of Civil disobedience Movement:
- Gandhiji had always espoused for a peaceful non violent movement.
- Chaurichaura incidence was against the principles of Gandhiji which gave him the message that people were not ready to undertake a non-violent movement.
- Gandhiji withdrew the Civil disobedience Movement when he found that people would not remain peaceful if the movement started.
- Other Congress leaders highly criticised the decision of Gandhiji because they had found that the people all over the country had given astounding response to his call and they were ready to start a movement.
- However, Gandhiji remained firm on his decision and withdrew the movement.
e. Gandhiji Arrested:
- Gandhiji was arrested on March 10, 1922 after he had withdrawn the movement.
- He was tried for treason and sentenced to six years imprisonment.
- Similar punishment on similar grounds was imparted to Lokmanya Tilak in 1908.
- Gandhiji openly declared that he felt honoured because he had been imparted the same punishment which was imparted to Lokmanya Tilak.
11. Constructive Programme: (March 00, Oct. 01)
- A constructive programme was also a part of non-cooperation movement.
- It was based on Khadi, Swadeshi, upliftment of women, upliftment of lower classes and participation of the peasants.
a. Main Programmes:
- Under the constructive programme following constructive works were undertaken:
i. Cotton was grown.
ii. Yarn was spun on Charakha.
iii. Khadi cloth was manufactured out of hand made yarn.
iv. Movement against the liquor prohibition was launched.
v. The programmes for health and sanitation were launched in the villages.
b. Stress on Rural India:
- There was great stress on increasing the participation of the peasants during the non-cooperation movement because of the following reasons:
i. Agriculture was the main occupation of the Indians.
ii. The majority of the Indian population lived in the rural areas.
iii. The rural population was mainly dependent upon agriculture for their livelihood.
iv. The involvement of the rural people would have taken freedom movement on a large scale.
v. The movement included the programmes of the upliftment and welfare of the peasantry.
c. Women participation in the Movement:
- Gandhiji considered the participation of women highly essential for the success of the freedom movement.
- Women participated in the Non-cooperation movement in the following manner:
i. Women spread the message of Khadi.
ii. Women participated in picketing before the liquor shops and the shops selling foreign clothes.
iii. Women participated in morning processions and Zenda Satyagraha.
iv. The Constructive programme played a major role in the emancipation of the women.
d. Direct attack on the Social Evils of India:
- Gandhiji targeted the social evils prevalent in India like Untouchability, castism, inequality, religious difference etc.
- Gandhiji had found that the social evils had kept India divided.
- Gandhiji wanted forge unity in India by removing the social evils.
e. Hindu-Muslim Unity:
- Gandhiji wanted to bring Hindu-Muslim unity by removing social unity.
- Gandhiji felt that Hindu-Muslim unity would bring the national unity.
f. Significance of the Constructive Work:
- The constructive work was part of the Non-cooperation movement.
- The workers of the constructive work were recognised as the workers of the independence movement of India.
12. Formation of Swaraj Party: (March 97; Oct. 97; 98; 01)
- A group of Congress leaders was of the opinion that Non-cooperation movement and Satyagraha were not the only means of fighting the British government.
- This group suggested an alternate mean of participating in the elections and to enter the legislature to obstruct the government from inside and to expose the real motives of the policies of the British government.
- They were not in favour of boycotting the legislature.
- In order to enter the elections to be held under the Act of 1919, these leaders formed the Swaraj Party with in Congress in 1922..
- These leaders were C. R. Das, Motilal Nehru, N. C. Kelkar and some other leaders.
- They also continue the National movement for Independence by participating in the elections because Congress activities had come to halt when Gandhiji withdrew Civil Disobedience movement.
12a. The Activities of Swaraj party: (March 00)
- The Swaraj Party won elections in Bengal and Central Provinces.
- Motilal Nehru, Madam Mohan Malviya, N. C. Kelkar were elected to the central legislature.
- They continue the political battle for independence on the floor of legislature at a time when the Congress activities had slowed down.
- In the legislature, Swaraj Party leaders placed before the government the difficulties and the expectations of the Indian people.
- They also exposed the injustice done by the Bureaucracy of British administration to the Indians on the floor of the Legislature.
- The Swaraj Party, through its resolution, asked the British government to call a Round Table Conference to constitute a future constitution of India.