Class 12 History Chapter 15 Mahatma Gandhi And The Nationalist Movement

Class 12 History Chapter 15 Mahatma Gandhi And The Nationalist Movement The answer to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse through different chapters Assam Board HS 2nd Year History Chapter 15 Mahatma Gandhi And The Nationalist Movement Question Answer.

Class 12 History Chapter 15 Mahatma Gandhi And The Nationalist Movement

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Also, you can read the SCERT book online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per SCERT (CBSE) Book guidelines. These solutions are part of SCERT All Subject Solutions. Here we have given Assam Board Class 12 History Chapter 15 Mahatma Gandhi And The Nationalist Movement Solutions for All Subjects, You can practice these here.

Mahatma Gandhi And The Nationalist Movement

Chapter – 15


Very Short Answer Type Questions

Q.1. Mention one major difference between moderates and Bal-Pal and Lal. 

Ans : Where Bal-Pal-Lal advocated militant opposition to British colonial rule ‘moderates’. Prefers a more gradual and persuasive approach. 

Q.2. Why did Gandhi oppose the demand for separate electorates at the Second Round Table conference? 

Ans : At the Second Round Table conference, London, November 1931 Mahatma Gandhi opposed the demand for separate electorates for “lower castes”. He believed that this would prevent their integration into mainstream society and permanently segregate them from other caste Hindus. 

Q.3. What was the Rowlatt Act? 

Ans : The Rowlatt Commission suggested to the Government of India what is known as the Rowlatt Act. The bill suggested new measure of repression. The police under the provision of this act, could arrested anybody on suspicion. 

Q.4. For what objectives did Gandhiji start the Sabarmati Ashram? 

Ans : In 1916, Gandhiji founded the Sabarmati Ashram at Ahmedabad where his friends and followers ever to learn and practise the ideas of truth and non-violence. He also set out to experiment with these new methods of struggle.

5. Who was Viceroy of India in October 1939? What was done by Gandhiji and Rajendra Prasad during those days with him? What was the result of discussion between the two sides? 

Ans : Mahatma Gandhi and Rajendra Prasad on their way to a meeting with the Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow, 13 October 1939. 

In the meeting the nature of India’s involvement in the war was discussed. When negotiations with the Viceroy broke down, the Congress ministries resigned. 

Q.6. What was ‘Direct Action Day’?

Ans: 16th August 1946 was designated by Jinnah as Direct Action Day. On this day Jinnah proposed to press League’s demand for Pakistan. 

Q.7. Give two main reasons for the launching the Non-Cooperation Movement. 

Ans : The main reasons for the launching of the non-cooperation movement were : 

i) To protest against the atrocities committed at the Jallianwala Bagh of Amritsar. and 

ii) To demand Swaraj. 

Q.8. Give reasons for boycott of the Simon Commission (1927).

Ans : The reasons for boycott of the Simon Commission were : 

i) The commission was ‘all-white’. 

ii) The British action was seen as a Violation of the principle of self- determination and deliberate insult to self-respect of the Indians.

Q.9. Who was invoked as the Father of the Nation’ and why? 

Ans: Mahatma Gandhi was invoked the Father of the Nation. It was so because he was the most influential and revered leader of all those leaders who participated in the freedom struggle.

Q.10. What was the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre? 

Ans : Gandhiji called for a country wide protest against to Rowlatt Act, which clamped censorship on the press and permitted detention without trial. There was a protest meeting in Jallianwala Bagh on 13 April, 1919. It was a very peaceful protest. But a British Brigadier ordered his troops to open fire on this peaceful gathering of people. More than four hundred people were killed in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. 

B. Textual Questions & Answers : 

Q.1. How did Mahatma Gandhi seek to identify with the common people ?

Ans : The keystone of Gandhian politics was the transformation of Indian nationalism representative of the Indian people as a whole. In his ideology, political action and daily life Gandhi empathised and identified with common people. Gandhi’s ideology centred around non-violence and power of truth. The political technique he put forth was satyagraha. The Rowlatt satyagraha enabled mass participation and mass struggle infusing in people a sense of self – esteem and respect. It also allowed participation of vast sections including women. 

To the people Gandhi was a Mahatma, a saviour who would rescue them from oppressive British policies and restore dignity and autonomy in their lives. 

Another factor which enabled Gandhi to identify with the people was the fact that he took up issues of common people and the poor, be it the Kheda peasantry, Ahmedabad mill workers or champaran peasants. A key example is the salt satyagraha in which Gandhi took up the issue of central importance in every person’s life. 

He undertook the Dandi March and broke the British monopoly over salt. Gandhi’s ascetic lifestyle also helped him identify with the common people. He dressed like them in a simple dhoti, he spoke like them and lived like them. He spent a large part of the time spinning charkha. He did not stand apart from the common folk. Gandhi’s constructive programme which proposed abolition of untouchability prohibition of liquor, promotion of Khadi, Hindu- Muslim harmony allowed Gandhian idelogy to permeate daily life and helped him identify with the common people.

2. How was Mahatma Gandhi perceived by the peasants? 

Ans : The peasants venerated Gandhiji referring to him as their “Mahatma”. They believed that he had miraculous powers. Stories abounded that those who opposed him suffered dire consequences. Rumours spread off how villagers who criticised Gandhiji found their houses falling apart and their crops falling.r In some places peasants believed he had been sent by the king to redress the grievances of the farmers and had the power to overrule the local officials. In other places peasants believed that Gandhi’s power was superior to that of the English monarch and that with his arrival the British rulers would flee the district. Thus the popular perception of Gandhi was that of a saviour who would rescue them from high taxes oppressive officials and restore dignity to and autonomy to their lives. 

Q.3. Why did the salt laws become an important issue of struggle? 

Ans: Soon after the observance of this “Independence Day”, Mahatma Gandhi announced that he would lead a march to break one of the most widely disliked laws in British India, which gave the state a monopoly in the manufacture and sale of salt. 

Gandhi’s picking on the salt monopoly was another illustration of Gandhiji tactical wisdom. For in every Indian household, salt was indispensable, yet people were forbidden from making salt even for domestic use, compelling them to buy it from shops at a high price. The state monopoly over salt was deeply unpopular, by making it his target, Gandhiji hoped to mobilise a wider discontent against British rule. 

Q.4. Why are newspapers an important source for the study of the national movement? 

Ans : Contemporary newspapers are an important source for the study of national movement. If we want to know more about our freedom struggle , we must consult both. English Newspapers as well as Newspapers in different Indian languages. 

The Contemporary Newspapers wrote about all the movements launched by Mahatma Gandhi. They reported all the important activities, speeches and statements of Mahatma Gandhi. They also presented views about what ordinary Indians thought of him. However the newspapers must be read with care as the views expressed in them can be prejudiced. 

Q.5. Why was the Charkha chosen as a symbol of nationalism? 

Ans : Gandhiji believed in Swadeshi and boycott of foreign goods to harm the British economically and bring them to their knees, He thus emphasized on the use of charkha to produce khadi to improve the lot of the poor i India by providing them with a source of income. Economically he wanted indians to learn to become self-reliant hence he stressed on wearing khad. other than millmade cloth imported from overseas.

Write a Short Essay on the Following

Q.6. How was non-co-opertion a from of protest? 

Ans: Non- co-operation in the context of Indian national movement was a form of protest. It was non-co- operation with British rule. The programme of non-cooperation included- 

i) Boycott of government affiliated schools and colleges.

ii) Law courts and foreign cloths.

iii) Surrender of titles and honours. 

iv) To be extended to non- payment of taxes. 

In sum it was renunciation of all voluntary association with the British Government. It was a form of extra legal, extra constitutional mass action. The adoption of non-co- operation as a form of registering protest against colonial rule was adopted by congress in the Nagpur Session. It was specially a protest against Rowlatt Act. Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and Marital Law in Punjab. It acquired the shape of a mass movement which cojoined with the khilafat Movement and became symbolic of Hindu – muslim unity in 1921. It became a nation wide protest involving a cross section of people- 

a) There was widespread education boycott of schools and colleges. 

b) Boycott of law courts by lawyers, many lawyers like C.R. Das, Motilal Nehru, Saifuddin Kitclew gave up their lucrative practices and this acted as a source of inspiration. 

c) Widespread boycott of foreign cloth. The working class went on strike in many towns and cities. There were 1961 strikes in 1921. In the countryside peasants too acted on Gandhi’s call of Non- cooperation with the British rule leading to 

a) Non- payment of taxes in Awadh. 

b) Violation of forest laws in Andhra. 

c) Refusal to carry colonial load in kumaon.

Non- Cooperation was based on non- violent non- cooperation. As Fischer stated. “Non- Cooperation was negative enough to be peaceful but positive enough to be effective. It entailed denial, renunciation and self discipline. It was training of Self-rule”. It became a nationwide protest especially in terms of its outreach and shook the foundations of the British Raj 1st time since 1857. However, increasingly non- violent non- co- operation was giving was to growing willingness to adopt militant ways. In February 1922 a group of peasants attacked and torched a police station in chauri- chaura, leading to death of several policemen. This act of violence prompted Gandhi to call it off. 

However, the movement was significant as Non- co-operation marked a new phase in extra constitutional mass agitation. The masses were awakened to the nationalist cause and demonstrated their strength. It marked a transformation of Indian nationalism from a movement of professionals and intellectuals to one of peasants and workers. It also was symbolic of Hindu – Muslim unity. 

Q.7. Why were the dialogues at the Round Table conference inconclusive? 

Ans : The First Round Table conference : The British government convened a series of “Round Table conference” in London. The first color meeting was held in November 1930, but without the pre-eminent political leader in India, thus rendering it an exercise in futility. 

Second Round Table Conference and adverse circumstances for Gandhiji : A second Round Table conference was held in London in the latter part of 1931. Here, Gandhiji represented the congress. However his claims that his party represented all of India came under challenge from three parties, from the Muslim League, which claimed to stand for the interests of the Muslim minority, from the princes who claimed that the congress had stake in their territories. 

Unsus crofulness of the Round Table Conferences : The conference in London was inconclusive so Gandhiji returned to India and resumed civil disobe once. The new viceroy, Lord Willingdon, was deeply

unsympathetic to the Indian leader. Due to unfairly attitude of the British Government, stubbornness of Muslim League and wrong attitude of Princely states ruler as well as of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Gandhiji could not success in his mission and he reached Bombay with empty hands. 

Criticism of the Pact: The pact was criticised by radical nationalists, for Gandhiji was unable to obtain from the viceroy a commitment to political independence for Indians, he could obtain merely an assurance of talks towards that possible end. 

Gandhi Irwin Pact : Gandhiji was released from jail in January 1931 and the following month had several long meetings with the viceroy. These culminated in what was called the “Gandhi- Irwin Pact”, by the terms of which civil disobedience would be called off, all prisoners released, and salt manufacture allowed along the coast. The problem with separate electorates depressed classes: During the discussion of Second Round Table conference. The brilliant lawyer and thinker B.R. Ambedkar, who argued that Gandhiji and the congress did not really represent the lowest castes. 

On the other hand Mahatma Gandhi stated his arguments against separate electorates for the Depressed classes. Separate electorates to the “Untouchables” will ensure them bondage in perpetuity… Do you want the “Untouchables” to remains ‘untouchables’ to remains unforgeable for even? Well, the separate electorates would perpetuate the stigma. What is needed is destruction of “Untouchability” and when you have done it, the bar sinister which has been imposed by an insolent “superior” class upon an “inferior” class will be destroyed. When you have destroyed the bar sinister to whom will you given the separate electorates. 

Q.8. In what way did Mahatma Gandhi transform the nature of the national movement? 

Ans : Before the entry of Mahatma Gandhi into Indian politics, the freedom struggle was just a nominal movement. Only resolutions were passed by the leaders and sent to the government. Besides the national movement remained confined to only limited areas. It did not engulf the whole country. A few areas of indian were under the influence of revolutionaries. Afew other areas were under the influence of the extremists. But after the emergence of Mahatma Gandhi, the national movement did not remain confined to a few leaders. It led to the participation of all the people. It had become a mass movement because of the following reasons-

a) Breaking Salt Laws and civil Disobedience Movement : Gandhiji rld- famous Dandi March on 12 March 1930. A large number of people joined the March which started from Sabarmati Ashram and Culminated at Dandi on the sea- shore where Gandhiji broke one of the led his most widely disliked laws in British India i.e. the Salt Laws. Gandhi also exhorted all the people to break this drastic law in their own regions. He also advised them not to pay any tax to the British government. This method of protesting against the British Government deeply impressed the local and foreign press. As a result, there was a mass upsurge against the colonial rule. 

b) Encouragement to Swadeshi : Gandhi encouraged the people of India to adopt swadesi things or goods in life. He himself worked on Charkha daily. Under his magnetic influence, many people burnt the foreign goods. This inculcated national spirit among the people. They whole-heartedly participated in the national movement to attain complete independence from the colonial rule. 

c) Satyagraha and Non- cooperation movement : Mahatma Gandhi had resorted to the path of Satyagraha for the first time against the while government in South Africa. He had compelled the white government to bow before him. When he launched Non- cooperation Movement in India, Gandhiji adopted the policy of Satyagraha. He called upon the people not to cooperate with the British government. All the people of the country plunged into this national movement against the British Rule. The students stayed away from their classes in the government educational institutions. The lawyers boycotted the low-courts. 

The officials left their jobs and the common people boycotted the foreign goods. The people of India belonging to all castes, classes, religions and professions, filled all the jails by courting their arrests. The British Rule was shaken to its foundations by the mammoth participation of the people in the Non- co- operation Movement. 

d) Principles of truth and Non- violence : When Mahatma Gandhi entered the Indian political, he adopted two cardinal principles of truth and non- violence. The truth meant an insistence on the righteous conduct and right path. Non-violence meant the government actions should be opposed peacefully. The people had seen that Mahatma Gandhi had sincerely helped the British during the First world war. He also exhorted the people to co-operate with the British Government. But the British showed their true colors after the war over. They passed the Rowlatt Act to crush the Indians. So Gandhiji gave a call for strike in the whole country. It was a nonviolent step taken to vindicate the cause of truth. All the Indians whole heartedly participated in this strike. 

e) Opposition to Injustice : Mahatma Gandhi always opposed injustice. He kept life fasts to favour and protect the untouchables. He forced the British Government to bow before the might of the common people. All the great leaders bowed before the miraculous charm of Gandhiji. In fact Gandhi was such a leader whom everybody in the country liked to follow. 

Q.9. What do private letters and autobiographics tell us about an individual? How are these sources different from official accounts? 

Ans : Private Letters and autobiographics tell us about and individual the given facts: They tell us in which language letters and autobiography had been written. After reading the letters and autobiography we came to know which languages he or she knows or understands after reading letters and specially autobiographics we come to knew about the language level or standard of that individual. It also tell us about the style used by that man. These letters tell us about to whom he has written letters and who has replied him or her letters. The writing between the individual or that person and any government or other institution tell us about the relations between two persons or an individual and government or an agency or an organisation. 

Autobiography are generally are depict about life story of that individual. We come to knew about his birth place, name of the parents, date of birth, his or her family background or status about his education and educational institutions. Autobiography also tell us about interest and hobby of that person. We also come to know about his interest or taste, preferences, problems, up and downs he or she has faced during his or her life, events related with individuals life etc. Individual letters which have been written by great leader such as by Dr. Rajendra prasad, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sardar Balabhbhai patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Bhagat Singh, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, definitely all these individual letters are very authentic and important sources of history of that time and about their programmes ideas, philosophy etc. 

We also come to know through these historical letters. Our great leaders have written individual letters to heads of other countries, political organisations Leader and so on. Definitely they give us clear picture about their attitude and thought about international events, revolutions movements and so on. Individuals letters of governor general or viceroy and other British officials tell us about the outlook of the government, behaviour and idea of high ups leaders about different Indian political parties and so on. 

Difference between Individual or private letters and autobiography from official accounts: 

Definitely official accounts are prepare by some commission or special officers or surveyors appointed by government with specific aims or objections to submit reports or to maintain records for a specific purpose and period. All government description are on accounts are maintain secrecy. They kept as secret records. Generally these records cannot by published completely without the written permission of government. 

Generally private letters are published with the permission of an individual. Similarly autography may be written and published side by side if an individual desires so. However if an individual desires to maintain secrecy about his private letter or autobiography it is upto concern individual. The contents or truthfulness of facts mention in private letters and autobiography totally depend on individual honesty, impartiality and his liking to write all description with truth. For example, Mahatma Gandhi was a man of very high standard he has written his all personal weaknesses is also in his autobiography. 

We should keep in mind that all individual not as great as our father of nation was. Every historian had a duty to consult private letter, autobiography as well as official accounts very carefully with a rational thinking. 

Map Work

Q.10. Find out about the route of the Dandi March. On a map of Gujarat plot the line of the march and mark the major towns and villages that it passed along the route. 

Ans: Dandi March started from Sabarmati Ashram (Ahmedabad). The route was from Ahmedabad to Baroda and Baroda to Surat. We have use with in Box 1,2,3, to indicate the Dandi expedition consult the map.

Class 12 History Chapter 15 Map 1

C. Passage Based Question & Answers: 

Read the following excerpt carefully and answer the questions given below : 

“I, therefore, want freedom immediately, this very sight, before dawn, if it can be had…. I am not going to be satisfied with anything short of complete freedom. Here is a mantra, a short one, that I give no The mantra is “Do or Die”. We shall either free India or die in this attempt; we shall not live to see the perpetuation of our slavery..’ 


a) In the context of which movement was this speech delivered?

Ans: This speech was delivered in the context of the Quit India Movement.

b) What were the circumstances which accounted for the launching of this movement? 

Ans: The failure of the Cripps’ Mission to solve the political deadlock in India led to great anger and dissatisfaction. Moveover by 1942, Japan had secured nearly the whole of South East Asia, acquired Rangoon and was rapidly advancing towards India. The Congress believed that to save India from the Japanese invasion, it was necessary for the British to withdraw from India.

c) What were the main features of this movement? What is the importance of this movement for India’s independence? 

Ans : Gandhi gave the mantra ‘Do or Die’-a last all out attempt to oust the British from India. This movement was characterized by great violence. Huge crowds attacked police stations, post offices, railways and other symbols of government authority. Students went on strike in schools and colleges and workers struck work. In the first week itself, 250 railways were damaged, 500 post offices and 150 police stations were attacked. The British reacted with extreme brutality. Repression 

took the form of taking hostages from villages, imposition of fines flogging and use of torture. By the end of 1942, over 60,000 people were arrested. Thus the movement was crushed within a few weeks and from 1942 till 1945 there was hardly any political activity within the country. 

But this movement was a great significance as it demonstrated clearly to the British, the depths to which nationalist feelings in India had reached. It was clear to the British that they could no longer hope to continue to rule in India and the wisdom of a negotiated transfer of power after 1942 was apparent to the British.

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