Closer to Freedom History Study Materials

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     Closer to Freedom History Study Materials

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CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT (1930)

Dandi March (12 March-6 April 1930)

          Gandhi started his famous march along with 79 followers from Sabaramati Ashram on 20 March 1930 to the small village of Dandi to break the Salt Law. It is also called the ’Salt Satyagraha’ or the ’Dandi March’. The Congress leaders and workers had been busy at various levels w.th the organizational tasks of enrolling volunteers and members, forming Congress Committees at the grass-rootlevel, collecting funds and touring villages and towns to spread nationalistic messages.

THE FIRST ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE (12 NOVEMBER 1930)

Events Leading to the Conference

         The Indian political community received the Simon Commission Report issued in June 1930, with great resentment. Different political parties gave vent to their feelings in different ways. The Congress started the Civil Disobedience Movement under Gandhi’s command. The Muslims reserved their opinion on the Simon Report declaring that the report was not final and that matters shouldbe decided after consultations with leaders repnesenting all communities of India.

GANDHI-IRWIN PACT (5 MARCH 1931)

            After the conclusion of the First Round Table Conference, the British government realised that the cooperation of the Indian National Congress was necessary to make progress in framing the Indian constitution. Early in 1931, two demand for freedom. The communal question dominated moderate statesmen. Sapru and Jayakar, initiated eltorts to conference and Gandhi had to return empty-handed bring about a rapprochement between Gandhi and the government.

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT (SECOND PHASE)

            Lord Willington, who took charge as the new Viceroy of India in April 1931, paid no heed to the Delhi pact and started breaching the pact on various counts. The Congress was already angry with the government over the execution of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on 23 March 1931. The Congress was declared as an illegal party by Viceroy Lord Willington and the Viceroy’s measures to curb Indian nationalism and harass Congressmen was not taken lightly by the Congress. Gandhi returned to India on 28 December 1932, and was compelled to resume the second phase of the disobedience movement.

THE COMMUNAL AWARD (1932)

            While Gandhi was arrested on his return from London after the Second Round Table Conference, Ramsay Macdonald announced the Communal Award on 16 August 1932. This was another expression of the age-old British policy of  ‘Divide and Rule’. Besides containing provisions for representation of Muslims. Sikhs and Europeans, it envisaged communal representation of the depressed classes also. According to the Award, the right of separate electorates was not only given to the Muslims of India, but also to all the minority communities in the country.

WORLD WAR II AND THE INDIAN POLITICAL SITUATION

            Just before World War II broke out, the Congress declared its unwillingness to associate itself to the British government. It also clearly informed the government that India should not be pushed to war without the consent of the Indian people. The British government also made no clear statement concerning its war and peace aims as applicable to India. The British Prime Minister stated that the British were in the war to maintain the world safe for democracy and uphold the right of every nation to self- x model after the war.

RESIGNATION OF CONGRESS MINISTERS (1939)

            The national reaction to the declaration to the Governor-General’s statement was hostile. The Indians wanted complete independence and were not satisfied with the promise of mere dominion status. On 22 October 1939, the Congress ministers resigned from their offices in the eight provinces. This action by the Congress changed the course of history. It lost its important bargaining position at an important juncture and it was never able to retrieve that position.

THE INDIVIDUAL CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

            The political crisis in India was deepening and the Congressmen looked upon Gandhi to lead them. Gandhi did not want to do anything that would bring political disorder in the country in the critical war situation. He restored to a novel form of Satyagraha, the individual satyagraha, which kept the torch of nationalism burning. It hada symbolic character  against the attitude of the government.It drew the attention of the world at large to the right to self-determination.

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