How Participants saw the Civil Disobedience Movement - Chapter 2 Nationalism in India Class 10 History

Here you will learn about How Participants saw the Civil Disobedience Movement a part of Chapter 2 Nationalism in India Class 10 History will make you understand the various factors through which one can improve their efficiency. It will help in understanding the complex topics easily. You will be able to understand the subject in a more advanced way and also in a simpler way.

How Participants saw the Civil Disobedience Movement - Chapter 2 Nationalism in India Class 10 History

How Participants saw the Civil Disobedience Movement - Chapter 2 Nationalism in India Class 10 History

• The Salt March marked the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement. As the movement spread, foreign cloth was boycotted, and liquor shops were picketed. Peasants refused to pay revenue and chaukidari taxes.

• Different people joined the Civil Disobedience Movement with different aspirations and ideals. They have different meaning of swaraj to them.

Rich Peasants

• In the countryside, rich peasant communities like the Patidars of Gujarat and the Jats of Uttar Pradesh were active in the movement. Being producers of commercial crops, they were very hard hit by the trade depression. It brought the prices of agricultural goods to half or less.

• As their cash income disappeared, they found it impossible to pay the government’s revenue demand and the refusal of the government to reduce the revenue demand led to widespread resentment.

• These rich peasants became enthusiastic supporters of the Civil Disobedience Movement, organising their communities, and at times forcing reluctant members, to participate in the boycott programmes.

• For them the fight for swaraj was a struggle against high revenues. But they were deeply disappointed when the movement was called off in 1931 without the revenue rates being revised. So when the movement was restarted in 1932, many of them refused to participate.

Poor Peasants

• Many of poor peasants were small tenants cultivating land they had rented from landlords. They were not just interested in the lowering of the revenue demand.

• As the trade depression continued and cash incomes dwindled, the small tenants found it difficult to pay their rent. They wanted the unpaid rent to the landlord to be remitted.

• Poor Peasants joined a variety of radical movements, often led by Socialists and Communists. The Congress in many cases did not support the 'no rent' campaign of the peasants. The Congress thought that the rich peasants and landlords would be upset.

• This strained the relation between the peasants and the Congress.

Business Class

• During the First World War, the Indian merchants and industrialists had made huge profits taking every opportunity to expand their interests.

• In order to keep expanding their business, they reacted against colonial policies that restricted business activities. They wanted protection against imports of foreign goods, and a rupee-sterling foreign exchange ratio that would discourage imports.

• To organise business interests, they formed the Indian Industrial and Commercial Congress in 1920 and the Federation of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) in 1927.

• When the Civil Disobedience Movement was first launched, the industrialists attacked colonial control over the Indian economy led by prominent industrialists like Purshottamdas Thakurdas and G. D. Birla. They gave financial assistance and refused to buy or sell imported goods.

• Most businessmen came to see swaraj as a time when colonial restrictions on business would no longer exist and trade and industry would flourish without constraints.

• After the failure of the Round Table Conference, business groups were no longer uniformly enthusiastic. They were worried about the spread of militant activities, and worried about prolonged disruption of business, as well as of the growing influence of socialism amongst the younger members of the Congress.

Industrial Working Class

• The industrial working classes did not participate in the Civil Disobedience Movement in large numbers, except in the Nagpur region. As the industrialists came closer to the Congress, workers did not get involve.

• However, some workers did participate in the Civil Disobedience Movement, selectively adopting some of the ideas of the Gandhian programme, like boycott of foreign goods, as part of their own movements against low wages and poor working conditions.

• There were strikes by railway workers in 1930 and dockworkers in 1932. In 1930 thousands of workers in Chotanagpur tin mines wore Gandhi caps and participated in protest rallies and boycott campaigns. But the Congress was unwilling to include workers’ demands as part of its programme of struggle as it felt that this would alienate industrialists and divide the anti-imperial forces.


• During Gandhiji’s salt march, thousands of women came out of their homes to listen to him. They participated in protest marches, manufactured salt, and picketed foreign cloth and liquor shops. Many went to jail.

• In urban areas these women were from high-caste families; in rural areas they came from rich peasant households.

• However, it did not change the position of the women. Gandhiji was concerned that the primary duty of women was to look after the house and the family. They must be good mothers and good wives.

• For a long time the Congress was reluctant to allow women to hold any position of authority within the organisation. It was keen only on their symbolic presence.
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