Notes of Chapter 9 The Making of National Movement: 1870s-1947 Class 8th History 

The Emergence of Nationalism

• India was the people of India where all the people irrespective of class, colour, caste, creed, language, or gender resides.

• The British were exercising control over the resources of India.

• The political associations were started forming after 1850, especially those that came into being in the 1870s and 1880s.

• The important ones were the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha, the Indian Association, the Madras Mahajan Sabha, the Bombay Presidency Association, and of course the Indian National Congress.

• The Arms Act was passed in 1878, disallowing Indians from possessing arms. 

• In the same year the Vernacular Press Act was also enacted in an effort to silence those who were critical of the government.

• The Indian National Congress was established when 72 delegates from all over the country met at Bombay in December 1885.
→ The early leadership – Dadabhai Naoroji, Pherozeshah Mehta, Badruddin Tyabji, W.C. Bonnerji, Surendranath Banerji, Romesh Chandra Dutt, S. Subramania Iyer, among others – was largely from Bombay and Calcutta.

A nation in the making

• The Congress in the first twenty years was “moderate” in its objectives and methods.

• It demanded that Indians be placed in high positions in the government. 
→ For this purpose it called for civil service examinations to be held in India as well.

• The early Congress also raised a number of economic issues.

“Freedom is our birthright”

• By the 1890s many Indians began to raise questions about the political style of the Congress. 

• In Bengal, Maharashtra and Punjab, leaders such as Bepin Chandra Pal, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai started exploring more radical objectives and methods.

• Tilak raised the slogan, “Freedom is my birthright and I shall have it!”

• In 1905 Viceroy Curzon partitioned Bengal.
→ The partition of Bengal infuriated people all over India.

• The Swadeshi movement sought to oppose British rule and encourage the ideas of self-help, swadeshi enterprise, national education, and use of Indian languages.

• The Congress split in 1907 however the two groups reunited in December 1915.

• In 1916, the Congress and the Muslim League signed the historic Lucknow Pact.

The Growth of Mass Nationalism

• The First World War altered the economic and political situation in India.

• The government increased taxes on individual incomes and business profits.

• Increased military expenditure and the demands for war supplies led to a sharp rise in prices.

• Gandhiji arrived in India in 1915 from South Africa is well known for leading successful movement against racist regimes.

The Rowlatt Satyagraha

• In 1919 Gandhiji gave a call for a satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act passed by British that curbed freedom of expression and strengthened police powers.

• The Rowlatt Satyagraha turned out to be the first all-India struggle against the British government.

• In April 1919, there were a number of demonstrations and hartals in the country and the government used brutal measures to suppress them.

• The Jallianwala Bagh atrocities, administered by General Dyer in Amritsar on Baisakhi day (13 April), were a part of this repression.

Khilafat agitation and the Non-Cooperation Movement

• The leaders of the Khilafat agitation, Mohammad Ali and Shaukat Ali initiated a full-fledged Non-Cooperation Movement.

• Gandhiji supported their call and urged the Congress to campaign against Jallianwala massacre, the
Khilafat wrong and demand swaraj.

• The Non-Cooperation Movement gained momentum through 1921-22.

• Thousands of students left government- controlled schools and colleges.

• British titles were surrendered and legislatures boycotted.

People’s initiatives

• Different classes and groups, interpreting Gandhiji’s call in their own manner.

• In Kheda, Gujarat, Patidar peasants organised non-violent campaigns against the high land revenue
demand of the British.

• In coastal Andhra and interior Tamil Nadu, liquor shops were picketed.

• In the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, tribals and poor peasants staged a number of “forest satyagrahas”.

• In Sind (now in Pakistan), Muslim traders and peasants were very enthusiastic about the Khilafat call.

• In Bengal too, the Khilafat-Non-Cooperation alliance gave enormous communal unity and strength to the national movement.

• In Punjab, the Akali agitation of the Sikhs sought to remove corrupt mahants – supported by the British.

• In Assam, tea garden labourers demanded a big increase in their wages.

The happenings of 1922-1929

• Mahatma Gandhi abruptly called off the Non-Cooperation Movement when in February 1922 when a crowd of peasants set fire to a police station in Chauri Chaura.

• Two important developments of the mid-1920s were the formation of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu organisation, and the Communist Party of India.

• The decade closed with the Congress resolving to fight for Purna Swaraj (complete independence) in 1929 under the presidentship of Jawaharlal Nehru.

The March to Dandi

• In 1930, Gandhiji declared that he would lead a march to break the salt law.

• Gandhiji and his followers marched from Sabarmati to the coastal town of Dandi where they broke the government law by gathering natural salt found on the seashore, and boiling sea water to produce salt.

• The Government of India Act of 1935 prescribed provincial autonomy and the government announced elections to the provincial legislatures in 1937.

• In September 1939, after two years of Congress rule in the provinces, the Second World War broke out.

Quit India and Later

• Mahatma Gandhi decided to launch 'Quit India' movement against the British in the middle of the Second World War.

• Gandhiji and other leaders were jailed at once but the movement spread.

Towards Independence and Partition

• In 1940 the Muslim League had moved a resolution demanding “Independent States” for Muslims
in the north-western and eastern areas of the country.

•  In 1937, the Congress rejected the League’s wish to form a joint Congress-League government in the United Provinces which annoyed the League.

• At the end of the war in 1945, the British opened negotiations between the Congress, the League and themselves for the independence of India.
→ The talks failed because the League saw itself as the sole spokesperson of India’s Muslims.

• The Congress did well in the “General” constituencies but the League’s success in the seats reserved for Muslims persisted with its demand for “Pakistan”.

• After the failure of the Cabinet Mission, the Muslim League declared mass agitation for winning its Pakistan demand.

• 16 August, 1946 was announced as a “Direct Action Day” by the League.
→ On this day, riots broke out in Calcutta, lasting several days.

• By March 1947 violence spread to different parts of northern India.

• Millions of people were forced to flee their homes.

• Partition also meant that India changed, many of its cities changed, and a new country – Pakistan – was born.

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