Short Answer Questions
Mention any two measures that illustrate Lord Curzon's repressive policy.
Two measures that illustrate Lord Curzon's repressive policy are-
- Calcutta Corporation Act of 1899 which reduced the elected members of the Corporation to half.
- The Partition of Bengal, which was announced in 1903 and carried out in 1905.
When and by whom was Bengal partitioned?
In 1905, Bengal was partitioned by Lord Curzon and his government.
How did Lord Curzon justify the Partition of Bengal?
What was the official version (Government's argument) in favour of the Partition of Bengal?
The official version (Government's argument) in favour of the Partition of Bengal were-
- Firstly, the Government regarded the size of the Province of Bengal to be too large to be properly administered by a single Provincial Government.
- Secondly, the Secretary to the Government of India noted that the Government was in favour of bringing all the Oriya, i.e., Oria-speaking people under the administration of Bengal.
What were Curzon's two real motives behind the Partition of Bengal?
What was the Nationlists' perspective in relation to the Partition of Bengal?
Lord Curzon's two real motives behind the Partition of Bengal are-
- The real motive was to break "the growing solidarity of Bengali nationalism".
- Another motive behind the partition was to drive a wedge between the Hindus and the Muslims.
How did the Bengalis feel about the partition of Bengal?
Mention briefly how did the people react to the partition of Bengal?
The Bengalis felt that "they had been insulted, humiliated and tricked." Under the inspiring leadership of Surendranath Banerjea, the agitation spread like wild fire all over Bengal. On 7 August 1905, a massive meeting was held at the Town Hall in Kolkata. The students stood in groups, each holding a banner displaying slogans such as 'Unity is Strength', 'Bande Mataram' and 'No Partition'.
Name any two Bengali leaders who led the Anti-Partition Movement?
Two Bengali leaders who led the Anti-Partition Movement are-
- Anand Mohan Bose
- Rabindranath Tagore
Which day was observed as the Day of Mourning by the people protesting against the Partition of Bengal?
The leaders declared 16 October, 1905 to be "a day of mourning" throughout Bengal.
Name the song composed by Rabindranath Tagore to protest against the partition of Bengal. What it means?
The song 'Amar Sonar Bangla' was composed by Rabindranath Tagore to protest against the partition of Bengal. It means 'My Golden Bengal'.
Swadeshi and Boycott go together. How?
The Swadeshi and Boycott movements were complementary and supplementary to each other. The boycott of foreign goods required that the markets should be flowing with home-made (Swadeshi) goods. Hence, Swadeshi and Boycott go together.
Who composed the song Bande Mataram?
Bankim Chandra Chatterji composed the song Bande Mataram.
At which Session and in which year did the Split in the Congress become official?
The Split in the Congress become official at Surat Session in 1907.
Mention any one belief of the Assertive Nationalists. What was their ultimate objective?
One belief of the Assertive Nationalists was that they had no faith in the British sense of justice and fair play.
As regards the ultimate objective, the assertive nationalists would not be satisfied with anything lower than Swaraj, i.e., Self-government. The assertive nationalists thought that no piecemeal reform would do.
Name any two methods of struggle of the Assertive Nationalists.
Two methods of struggle of the Assertive Nationalists are-
- Revivalism — They sought to build national movement on the basis of people's religious beliefs.
- Swadeshi — The Swadeshi idea was popularised by occasional bonfires of foreign cloth, salt and sugar. The blazing flames were greeted by shouts of Bande Mataram.
What was the main difference between the 'ultimate object' of the early nationalists and the Assertive Nationalists?
In 1906, the early nationalists talked of Swaraj as the goal of India. Before that, they had been agitating only for certain administrative and economic reforms.
Assertive nationalists, on the contrary, did not aim at mere economic or administrative reforms. Their ideal was "absolute Swaraj".
Name the persons who constituted the trio of Assertive Nationalists.
The persons who constituted the trio of Assertive Nationalists are-
- Bal Gangadhar Tilak
- Bipin Chandra Pal
- Lala Lajpat Rai
Name the two Weeklies through which Tilak spread the message of liberty and justice.
The two Weeklies through which Tilak spread the message of liberty and justice are-
- the Mahratta
- the Kesari
Who gave the battle-cry: "Swaraj is my birth right and I will have it"? Mention one of his contributions to the national movement.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak gave the battle-cry: "Swaraj is my birth right and I will have it".
One of his contributions to the national movement was that beginning of the celebration of the Ganpati and Shivaji festival whose object was to instil in the masses a spirit of discipline and patriotism.
Who organised Akharas (places of wrestling) and Lathi Clubs? Why were they organised?
Bal Gangadhar Tilak organised Akharas (places of wrestling) and Lathi Clubs to make the youths brave to defy the British Raj.
Who led the Home Rule League in Maharashtra?
Bal Gangadhar Tilak led the Home Rule League in Maharashtra.
Name any two books authored by Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
Two books authored by Bal Gangadhar Tilak are-
- the Gita Rahasya
- the Orion
In what way was Tilak the forerunner of Gandhi?
Although Mahatma Gandhi regarded Gokhale as his political Guru, his ideals were moulded by Tilak's thoughts in a big way. Gandhi laid great stress on prohibition, Swadeshi and boycott. All these had been preached and practised by Tilak much before Gandhi did so. Gandhi's ideal of Complete Independence was similar to Tilak's idea of Swaraj.
Why did Bipin Chandra part company with the Moderates?
After the Surat Session of the Congress, Bipin parted company with the early nationalists. According to him, "great hardship or suffering was the price that had to be paid for freedom." He was of the opinion that the Indians should resort to sterner measures for attaining Swaraj.
Name any two books authored by Bipin Chandra Pal.
Two books authored by Bipin Chandra Pal are-
- The Spirit of Indian Nationalism
- The New Economic Menace to India
Who started the magazine 'Young India'? Why did he start this magazine?
In USA, Lala Lajpat Rai started a monthly magazine 'Young India' to spread the message of the right of Indians to attain Swaraj.
Why was Lala Lajpat Rai not very enthusiastic about the Gandhian technique of Non-Cooperation?
Lala Lajpat Rai was not very enthusiastic about the Gandhian technique of Non-Cooperation as he was an assertive nationalist and wanted a bolder action, including Civil Disobedience.
Name any two books authored by Lala Lajpat Rai.
Two books authored by Lala Lajpat Rai are-
- The Call to Young India
- The Political Future of India
Who came to be known as Sher-i-Punjab (the Lion of Punjab)?
Lala Lajpat Rai came to be known as Sher-i-Punjab (the Lion of Punjab).
Lord Curzon's regime marked an important stage in the development of political unrest in our country. In this context answer the following question:
(a) What were the two primary objectives of the British for partitioning Bengal?
(b) What events are associated with 16 October, 1905, the Day on which Partition was effected?
(a) The two primary objectives of the British for partitioning Bengal were-
- The Government regarded the size of the Province of Bengal to be too large to be properly administered by a single Provincial Government. The partition of Bengal, said Curzon, "was a mere readjustment of administrative boundaries." The argument advanced in favour of the partition was that it would improve the administration of both the Provinces: (i) Bengal, and (ii) East Bengal and Assam.
- The Secretary to the Government of India noted that the Government was in favour of bringing all the Oriya, i.e., Oria-speaking people under the administration of Bengal.
(b) Events associated with 16 October, 1905 were:
- The leaders declared it to be "a day of mourning" throughout Bengal.
- Every city, town and village now rang with the cry of 'Bande Mataram', which symbolised patriotism and unity.
- Anand Mohan Bose, a veteran political leader, presided over a mammoth meeting at Kolkata.
- He laid the foundation of a Federation Hall, which was to be the symbol of the unity of Bengal, a meeting ground of the Eastern and Western Bengal.
- All the people gathered there took the vow of Swadeshi.
- Rabindranath Tagore wrote his famous patriotic song 'Amar Sonar Bangla' (My Golden Bengal), especially for the occasion.
At the Surat Session held in 1907 the Split in the Congress became official. In this context answer the following question:
(a) What led to the split at the Surat Session?
What differences were there between the early nationalists and the assertive nationalists as regards the Methods for attaining Swaraj?
(b) What repressive measures were taken by the Government to suppress the Assertive Nationalists after the Surat Split?
(a) The important developments at the Surat Session that led to the Split in the Congress were:
- The word 'Swaraj' was uttered for the first time by any Congress President in the Kolkata Session in 1906.
- Another remarkable feature of the Kolkata Session was that the resolutions on 'Swadeshi' and 'Boycott' were also adopted by the Congress.
- This dearly showed that dynamism was gaining ground in the Congress.
- Leaders having moderate political opinions, were not happy with these developments.
- They wanted to insert a clause in the Congress Constitution that Swaraj was to be achieved through constitutional means.
- Assertive nationalists, on the other hand, believed that unless they put strong pressure on the government, they would never achieve their objective.
- Swadeshi and Boycott were the basic components of their programme and methods of struggle.
- That is why the Congress got split in 1907 at Surat.
(b) The government took the following repressive measures to suppress the Assertive Nationalists after the Surat Split:
- Since the movement for boycott of British goods was gaining ground, the Government launched a campaign of repression.
- Bal Gangadhar Tilak was lodged in Myanmar's Mandalay prison.
- Under the Seditious Meetings Act of 1907, the District Magistrates could prohibit the holding of meetings.
- The Newspapers Act of 1908 was aimed at punishing those editors whose papers contained writings against British rule.
- Rajani Palme Dutt says, "Police action was carried out with great vigour...school-children were arrested for singing national songs."
- Such measures failed to arrest the nationalist movement. On the contrary, there grew up revolutionary groups in Bengal and Punjab.
The assertive nationalists lost faith in the ultimate success and the dilatory activities of the early Nationalists. In this context describe:
(a) Basic beliefs and objectives of the Assertive Nationalists.
(b) Methods they employed for the achievement of their objectives.
(a) The basic beliefs and objectives of the Assertive Nationalists were as follows-
- They had no faith in the British sense of justice and fair play. They highlighted the deceit and treachery by means of which the British had conquered India.
- The phase of the three P's—'Pray', 'Please' and 'Petition'—Was now over. Lala Lajpat Rai wrote- "an Englishman hates or dislikes nothing like beggary. It is our duty to tell Englishmen that we are no longer beggars."
- Their sturdy spirit provoked self-reliance and self-determination. Tilak said, "Political rights will have to be fought for. The Moderates think that these can be won by persuasion. We think that they can only be got by strong pressure."
The Ultimate Objective
- As regards the ultimate objective, the assertive nationalists would not be satisfied with anything lower than Swaraj, i.e., Self-government.
- The leaders having moderate policies asked for 'Dominion Status' i.e., Self-government under the British Crown. Their objective was to improve the existing system, but the assertive nationalists thought that no piecemeal reform would do.
(b) The Assertive Nationalists employed the following methods for the achievement of their objectives-
- Revivalism — They sought to build national movement on the basis of people's religious beliefs. Tilak revived the Shivaji Festival in 1895. They presented Chandragupta Vikramaditya, Rana Pratap and Shivaji as national heroes, whose memory should be cherished.
- Swadeshi — The Swadeshi idea was popularised by occasional bonfires of foreign cloth, salt and sugar. The blazing flames were greeted by shouts of Bande Mataram.
- Boycott — Swadeshi and boycott go together. In fact, Boycott meant far more than a mere boycott of British goods. It also included the boycott of government services, honours and titles. Besides, a man selling or buying foreign goods would be subjected to "social boycott".
- National Education — During the Swadeshi Movement many new educational institutions were started. The contents of National Education were as follows:
- Secular Education
- Religious or Moral Education
- Political Education
- Vocational or Industrial Education
- Religious education was aimed at building up a pupil's character, whereas political education meant carrying out one's civic and political responsibilities.
With reference to the picture given here answer the questions that follow:
(a) Identify the person.
(b) What were his political beliefs?
(c) What means did he employ to arouse nationalistic passions?
(d) what was his role in the Anti-Partition and Home Rule Movements?
(a) The person shown in the given picture is Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
(b) Bal Gangadhar Tilak's political beliefs were as below:
- He said, "Swaraj is My Birth Right and I will have it".
- Tilak talked of 'Swaraj' as early as 1896-97.
- 'Swaraj' and 'Swadeshi' had become the baffle-cry of these robust nationalists.
- He came to the conclusion that "reforms would be secured not by talk, but by strong pressure on Government".
- His weeklies, the Mahratta and the Kesari made bitter attacks on the Government.
- He said, "political rights will have to be fought for."
(c) Tilak adopted many methods to carry the agitation to the masses and to arouse nationalistic passions in the masses.
- In 1893, he started the celebration of the Ganapati festival in Maharashtra.
- Satisfied with the success of the festival, he revived the Shivaji festival in 1895.
- The object was to instil in the masses a spirit of discipline and Patriotism.
- Tilak is known for organising 'Akharas' (places for wrestling) and 'Lathi Clubs' in Maharashtra to make the youths brave to defy the British Raj.
- In 1896, he led a No-rent Campaign. He asked the cultivators not to pay land-revenue because of famine conditions in the Deccan.
(d) Bal Gangadhar Tilak played a significant role in the Anti-Partition and Home Rule Movements.
His Role in the Anti-Partition Movement —
- Partition of Bengal gave him a big opportunity to expose evil designs of the government.
- Leaders like Tilak, Bipin Chandra and Lajpat Rai transformed the anti-partition movement into a Movement for Swaraj.
His Role in the Home Rule Movement —
- The year 1916 saw the establishment of the Home Rule Leagues in Madras (Chennai) and Maharashtra.
- The two Leagues were led by Mrs. Besant and Tilak respectively.
- Together they launched the Home Rule Movement which infused the nation with new strength and vigour.
- Tilak's contribution made him a hero of the masses.
- He earned the epithet 'Lokmanya' (respected by the people) and was almost worshipped as a God.
Identify the person whose picture is seen here and answer the questions that follow:
(a) What was his role in awakening national consciousness in India?
(b) What was his role in Anti-Partition and Swadeshi Movement?
(c) What sacrifices did he make for the aim he was fighting for?
(d) Why did he lose patience with Gandhian methods?
(e) What two major remedies did he prescribe to eradicate India's poverty and unemployment?
The person shown in the given picture is Bipin Chandra Pal.
(a) His role in awakening national consciousness in India is summarised below:
- Bipin Chandra Pal joined the Congress in 1887.
- At the Chennai Congress in 1887, he made a forceful speech in which he pleaded that the Arms Act should be repealed.
- He participated in several Sessions of the Congress and contributed greatly to the growth of national consciousness in India.
- He was a great journalist. He edited several papers, the most important among them being 'New India' which he started in 1901.
- In an article, he wrote, "individuals are born, individuals die, but the Nation liveth for ever."
- That is how our people were being asked to make great sacrifices for the country.
- Bipin was a marvellous orator. He roused the masses with his oratory.
(b) His role in Anti-Partition and Swadeshi Movement is described below:
- During the Anti-Partition Movement, Bipin Chandra Pal toured several parts of the country and wherever he went, he carried with him the message of Boycott and Swadeshi.
- In May, 1907, he delivered in Chennai several speeches on Swaraj.
(c) After the Surat Session of the Congress, Bipin parted company with the early nationalists.
- According to him, "great hardship or suffering was the price that had to be paid for freedom."
- Aurobindo Ghose, the Editor of the 'Bande Mataram' was charged with sedition.
- The Government wanted Bipin Chandra's testimony in this case.
- Since he refused to give evidence he was imprisoned for six months.
- Bipin Chandra was released on March 9, 1908.
(d) Bipin Chandra did not support the Non-Cooperation Movement launched by Gandhi in 1920 because he was of the opinion that the Indians should resort to sterner measures instead of launching a movement like Non-Cooperation.
(e) To eradicate India's poverty and unemployment, Bipin Chandra Pal prescribed the following two remedies-
- to tax the rich more heavily than the poor, so that more money was available to be spent on education and health
- the practice of Swadeshi and boycott
Identify the person whose picture is seen here and describe briefly:
(a) His role in the Anti-Partition and Swadeshi Movement.
(b) His Fame as a Brave Fighter.
(c) Formation of the Swaraj Party and entry into the Central Legislative Assembly.
(d) Demonstration against the Simon Commission.
The person whose picture is seen here is Lala Lajpat Rai.
(a) Lala Lajpat Rai played a significant role in the Anti-Partition and Swadeshi Movement.
- In 1905 Lajpat Rai, along with Gokhale, went to England to persuade the British leaders not to give effect to the scheme of the Partition of Bengal.
- During the Anti-Partition agitation, he called upon men and women to fight repression with full strength.
- Lajpat Rai's bold, defiant ideas are contained in these words: "The primary thing is prestige of the Government and the Boycott strikes at the root of that prestige."
- He said: "Nationalism is nurtured by the blood of martyrs. Repression only adds teeth to it."
(b) Lala Lajpat Rai was a brave fighter.
- In 1907,he was convicted for seditious speeches.
- He was deported to Mandalay and kept there in prison for six months.
- He presided over the historic Kolkata Session of the Congress in 1920.
- It was at this Session that a resolution on 'Non-Cooperation' was adopted by the Congress.
- Lajpat Rai wanted a bolder action, including Civil Disobedience.
- Yet, he supported Gandhiji's proposal and spread the message of Non-Cooperation throughout India.
(c) Formation of the Swaraj Party and entry into the Central Legislative Assembly:
- Suspension of the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1922 disappointed many Congressmen, including Lajpat Rai.
- They formed the Swaraj Party to contest elections to the Legislative Councils in 1923.
- Lajpat Rai was elected to the Central Legislative Assembly and in 1925 became the Deputy Leader of the Party.
- Later, he joined hands with Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya in forming the Nationalist Party.
- This Party achieved significant electoral success in 1926.
- Lajpat Rai again got elected to the Central Legislative Assembly.
(d) While leading the demonstration against the Simon Commission in Lahore on 30 October, 1928, Lajpat Rai was assaulted by a British sergeant.
- He sustained injuries from which he could not recover.
- He died on 17 November, 1928.
- The news of his death was a signal for mourning in almost every household.
- Lalaji's valour endeared him to the people who called him Sher-i-Punjab, i.e., Lion of Punjab.
- Lajpat Rai was a born fighter. He had a genuine love for the masses and the suffering people.