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ICSE Class 10 History and Civics Mahatma Gandhi And The National Movement Notes
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Mahatma Gandhi And The National Movement ICSE Class 10 History
Know the Terms
1. Satyagraha – This word is derived from two words – ‘Satya’ and ‘Agraha’, which means “truth-force”.
2. Swadeshi – This refers to use of goods produced in one’s own country by local residents.
Know the Dates
➢ 1919 : Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, Rowlatt Act and Khilafat Movement.
➢ 1920 : Non-Cooperation Movement.
➢ 1922 : Simon Commission visits India, demand for complete independence in Lahore Session of Congress.
➢ 1928 : Simon Commission arrives in India, Nehru Report.
➢ 1930 : Civil Disobedience Movement.
➢ 1931 : Gandhi-Irwin Pact; suspension of Civil Disobedience Movement.
➢ 1932 : Renewal of Civil Disobedience Movement.
➢ 1933 : End of Civil Disobedience Movement.
Know the Personalities
1. Mahatma Gandhi – Born on 2nd October, 1869 at Porbandar, Gujarat, he was a major leader of India’s struggle for independence.
2. John Simon – He was the Chairman of Seven-Member Commission appointed by the British Government.
3. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan – Popularly known as the Frontier Gandhi, he was the leader of the North-West Frontier Province.
Gandhiji’s Methods and Directions
(i) Early Life of Mahatma Gandhi
➢ Gandhiji was born on 2nd October, 1869 at Porbandar, Gujarat.
➢ After gaining legal education in Britain, he went to South Africa for practicing law.
➢ He revolted against the policy of racial discrimination in South Africa.
(ii) Incident which served as a turning point
➢ Once, while travelling from Durban to Pretoria in South Africa by train, the British passengers asked him to shift to the compartment meant for Non-Europeans. They threw his luggage on the platform and he was forcibly pushed out. This incident proved to be a turning point of Mahatma Gandhi’s life and he vowed to fight against social injustice.
(iii) Methods adopted by Gandhiji
➢ He introduced the technique of Satyagraha, which was based on non-violence and truth.
➢ He resisted evil, but not the person who committed it.
➢ He never bowed down before lies and fraud.
➢ According to him, non-violence was the weapon of the strong and brave-hearted and not of the cowards.
➢ In ‘Young India’ in, 1920, he wrote “Non-violence is the law of our species as violence is the law of the brute”.
➢ Satyagraha provided a new horizon to the National Movement.
➢ Gandhiji stressed on ‘Swadeshi’, i.e. use of Indian goods instead of machine-made foreign goods.
➢ He was a strong proponent of Swadeshi. He found in it a solution to remove poverty of Indian peasants.
➢ He saw in the charkha (the spinning wheel) the salvation of village people.
➢ Charkha became so important that it eventually became a part of the flag of the Indian National Congress. Charkha became the symbol of the India’s transformation. Gandhiji himself spun the charkha to lay emphasis on dignity of labour and value of self-reliance.
(iv) Value-Based Politics :
➢ Gandhiji was convinced that if brute force was used during the freedom struggle, millions of people would be killed.
➢ He insisted on the use of non-violence.
➢ He introduced moral values into politics.
➢ To achieve higher goals in life — courage, patience and suffering are required, he used to say.
➢ He did not separate thought and practice, belief and action.
➢ His truth and non-violence were meant to practice in daily living and not merely of high sounding speeches and writings.
➢ In 1915, referring to the common people who fought with him in South Africa, he said, “It was they the simple minded folk, who worked away in faith, never expecting the slightest reward, who compelled me by their sacrifice by their great trust to do the work that is reasonable to do.”
(v) Abolition of Untouchability: He campaigned against the inhuman practice of untouchability, which had degraded millions of people.
The sympathy of the common people is reflected in the following situation:
(i) He never compromised on the legitimate rights of people.
(ii) He campaigned against the ‘system of indenture’, under which Indians were taken abroad and made to work in inhuman conditions.
(iii) He campaigned for the rights of indigo planters in Champaran in Bihar.
(vi) Mass Appeal: Gandhiji perfected his philosophy of action in South Africa, and when he applied it to the Indian scenario, millions of people from across India joined him in the struggle for Swaraj.
➢ The non-violent but no less revolutionary methods launched under his leadership such as boycott of courts, picketing of shops, non-payment of taxes, influenced millions of people belonging to all the sections of society and infused in them bravery and self confidence.
➢ Gandhiji lived a simple life of an ascetic and talked to the people in a language that they could understand.
➢ Gandhiji relied on the political support of peasants, artisans and urban poor.
➢ He asked nationalist workers to go to the villages where real India lives.
Non –Cooperation Movement
(i) Causes of the Non-Cooperation Movement
➢ The Rowlatt Act, 1919 :
After arriving in India, Mahatma Gandhi successfully organised Satyagraha at various places.
(i) In 1919, he travelled to Champaran, Bihar, to inspire the peasants to struggle against the very oppressive indigo system.
(ii) In 1917, he organised a Satyagraha in support of the peasants of the Kheda district of Gujarat.
(iii In 1918, he went to Ahmedabad to organize Satyagraha for cotton mill workers.
(iv) In 1919, Gandhiji decided to launch a nationwide Satyagraha against the proposed Rowlatt Act, 1919. This Act had been hurriedly passed through the Imperial Legislative Council. It gave the government immense powers to:
– repress political activities.
– detain political prisoners without a trial for two years.
(v) Rallies were organised at various cities, shops were closed down and workers went on strike. An all-India strike was observed on 8th April, 1919.
(vi) Alarmed by the popular upsurge, British Government decided to suppress the nationalists.
– On 10th April, 1919, police in Amritsar fired upon a peaceful procession.
– Martial law was imposed.
➢ Jallianwala Bagh Massacre :
• The British Government was determined to suppress the mass agitation. It repeatedly lathi-charged and fired upon unarmed demonstrators.
• On 13th April, 1919, a massive unarmed crowd gathered in Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar to protest against the government’s new repressive policies.
• General Dyer took command of the area, blocked the exit points and opened fire on the massive crowd, killing thousands of people.
• His objective was to produce a ‘moral effect’ to create a feeling of terror in the minds of Satyagrahis.
• As the news of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre spread, crowds took to the streets. There were strikes and clashes all around.
• The government responded with brutal repression.
• Noticing the violence spread, Mahatma Gandhi called off the movement.
➢ Khilafat Issue :
• The Rowlatt Satyagraha was conferred mostly to cities and towns.
• Mahatma Gandhi now felt that there was a need to launch an intense broad, based movement in India.
• One way of doing this was to take up the Khilafat issue.
• Turkey had fought against the British in the First World War. At the end of the war, Turkey stood defeated. British and its allies divided to the territories of the Turkish Empire among themselves and abolished the office of the Khalifa – the spiritual head of the Islamic world. This led to Anti-British feelings among the Muslim community.
• New generation Muslims – The brothers Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali started discussing about the possibility of a limited mass action on the issue with Gandhiji.
• Gandhiji took this as an opportunity to bring Muslims and Hindus under the umbrella of a Unified National Movement.
(ii) Non-Cooperation Movement :
➢ In 1909, in the famous book Hindi Swaraj, Gandhi wrote that British rule was set up in cooperation with Indians. If the Indians refused to cooperate, British rule in India would collapse within a year and Swaraj would be attained.
➢ In 1920, at the Nagpur Session of the Indian National Congress, the programme of non-cooperation was adopted.
➢ It was decided that the movement should unfold in stages:
(a) Boycott of civil services, British army, police, courts, schools, foreign goods and Legislative Councils.
(b) In case of government used repression, then a full-fledged civil disobedience campaign would be launched.
(iii) Positive Aspects of the Movement :
➢ National educational institutions such as the Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi, the Kashi Vidhyapeeth in Varanasi etc. were set up.
➢ It gave rise to strong feelings of nationalism.
➢ It was the first major mass movement in which peasants and workers participated in large numbers.
(iv) Withdrawal of Non-Cooperation Movement :
➢ In February, 1922, Gandhiji decided to withdraw the Non-Cooperation Movement.
➢ At Chauri Chaura, in Gorakhpur a peaceful demonstration turned into a violent clash with the police. Hearing of the incident, Mahatma Gandhi called a pause to the Non-Cooperation Movement.
➢ He felt that the Satyagrahis needed to be properly trained before they were ready for mass-struggle.
(v) Significance of the Movement :
(a) The Non-Cooperation Movement helped to broaden the focus of the movement from the middle classes and intelligentsia to peasants in rural areas and workers in urban areas. The Congress changed its character. It now became the organiser and leader of the common people in the freedom struggle.
(b) It helped in fostering Hindu-Muslim unity. Hindus and Muslims marched together, shoulder to shoulder.
(c) It made the Congress a revolutionary organization.
(d) The effects of non-cooperation on the economic front were very dramatic. The import of foreign cloth halved between 1921 and 1922, and its value dropped from ` 102 crores to ` 57 crores.
(e) It infused a new confidence in the Indians and made them bold enough to face repression. People began to shake off their slavish mentality.
(f) Nationalist sentiments and the national movement had now reached the remotest corner of India.
(g) The notion of invincibility of the British rule was challenged and clarified by Satyagraha and mass-struggle.
(h) Indian people lost the sense of fear. The brute power of the British in India no longer frightened them. The people gained absolute self-confidence and self-esteem.
(vi) Formation the Swaraj Party:
➢ Soon after the calling off of Non-Cooperation Movement, within the Congress, some leaders were now fed-up of mass struggle and wanted to participate in elections to the Provincial Councils, set up by the Government of India Act, 1919. Serious differences emerged within the Congress to decide how to prevent the movement from lapsing into passivity.
➢ They believed that it was important to oppose British policies within the Councils.
➢ They found it necessary to argue for reforms and demonstrate that these Councils were not democratic by being a part of the Councils.
➢ C.R. Das and Motilal Nehru, in 1923, formed the Swaraj Party within the Congress. They advocated a new line of political activity. They said that nationalists should end the boycott of Legislative Councils, enter them, obstruct their working, expose their weaknesses and transform them into spheres of political struggle.
➢ They advocated for a return to council politics.
➢ Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and others strongly opposed this and were called ‘no-changers’.
Civil Disobedience Movement
(i) Simon Commission and Its Recommendations
➢ In 1928, two years earlier than scheduled, the Simon Commission arrived in India as according to the Act of 1919, 10 years later, a commission was to be set up to evaluate the working of the Act of 1919.
• As there were no Indians in this Commission, wherever this Commission went, it met with protests.
• In one such protest march in Lahore, Lala Lajpat Rai was beaten by a British Sergeant and he later died of the injuries.
• In spite of all the protests, the Simon Commission travelled to different parts of the country, met people and made recommendations.
➢ The main recommendations were:
• Setting up a federation of Princely States and British Provinces.
• Enlargement of legislatures.
• Continuation of communal or separate electorates.
• Removal of dyarchy or double form of government.
• Governor General should select and form his executive council.
➢ The British had explained that there were no Indians in the Simon Commission because with the Indians around, no such ‘programme for reforms’ or constitution could be marked out, which would be acceptable to all political parties.
(ii) Nehru Report
➢ The challenge of forming a Constitution acceptable to all political parties was accepted and all parties meeting was held in Bombay, which appointed Motilal Nehru to head a committee and to draft a Constitution for India. The draft or report of this committee is known as the Nehru Report.
➢ This report suggested:
• Joint electorates – with reservation for the minorities.
• Setting up Parliamentary Democracy with the Prime Minister, who would be appointed by the British Governor General, recommending appointment of his fellow ministers.
• Setting up a federation of Princely States and British Provinces.
• The governors should not generally interfere in the working of the Chief Minister and his ministers.
• Fundamental Rights of Indians should be protected.
• The aim of dominion status was accepted.
➢ Mr. Jinnah wanted changes to be made in the Nehru Report which were not accepted by others.
(iii) Declaration of 1929
➢In England, the Labour Party came to power. In India, Lord Irwin, the Viceroy, made a declaration on 31st October 1929, that ‘the natural issue of India’s constitutional progress is the attainment of dominion status’.
➢ The Indians’ happiness was short-lived as they realised that even the British Prime Minister was not in a position, at that time, to grant dominion status.
(iv) Demand for Purna Swaraj
➢ The Congress demanded implementation of the Nehru Report by 31st December 1929.
• When this was not granted, in December 1929, during the Lahore Session of the Congress, under the Presidentship of Jawaharlal Nehru, the Congress declared their aim of achieving Purna Swaraj (complete independence).
• 26th January, 1930 was celebrated as the Purna Swaraj Day.
• From then onwards, on every 26th January, people took the independence pledge.
(v) Civil Disobedience Movement
➢ Gandhiji now decided to launch a ‘Civil Disobedience Movement’ and informed the British about his decision.
➢ Gandhiji started this movement from Sabarmati Ashram on the 12th of March 1930. 78 people followed him, many more joined on the way to Dandi.
• Gandhiji broke the Salt Law on the 6th of April 1930, by making or actually picking up salt from the seashore. He advised people to break the unjust laws of the British.
• He started the Disobedience Movement by breaking the Salt Law as salt was used by everyone, i.e., rich, poor, rural and urban.
➢ Soon people started breaking other British laws. Some refused to pay tax while others broke different British laws. People organised mass movements in various ways. Women joined in large numbers. People were urged not to buy foreign goods.
➢ Madan Mohan Malaviya, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Jawaharlal Nehru, Tyabji were the important leaders of this movement.
(vi) Government Reaction
➢ All important leaders were arrested. There were strikes all over the country. The government used its force to put down the Civil Disobedience Movement. Thousands of people were imprisoned.
➢ The processions of the Satyagrahis were suppressed by lathies, fallen men were ridden over by horses. Wounded were thrown into salt water. Many people were severely injured.
➢ The Government realised that it was very difficult to exploit the Indians now. The First Round Table Conference was held in London at the end of 1930 to review constitutional progress and plan for future changes.
➢ The Congress boycotted the First Round Table Conference. Not much progress was thus made. It was decided to hold a Second Round Table Conference, which they hoped would also be attended by the Congress.
(vii) Suspension of Civil Disobedience Movement
➢ The Gandhi-Irwin Pact was signed on 5th March 1931. Gandhiji agreed to attend the Second Round Table Conference in London. He also suspended the Civil Disobedience Movement.
➢ Lord Irwin agreed to:
• The manufacture of salt by people living near the seashore.
• Free those political prisoners who were not charged violence.
• Return confiscated property of the Congressmen.
• Permit picketing of liquor shops as long as it was peaceful picketing.
• To rollback repressive ordinances passed with a view to suppressing the Civil Disobedience Movement.
(viii) Renewal of Civil Disobedience Movement
➢ While attending the 2nd Round Table Conference, Gandhiji realised that emphasis was being laid on the communal problem rather than political solutions.
➢ With no clear solution in sight, Gandhiji returned ‘empty handed’ and gave a call to renew the Civil Disobedience Movement.
➢ Congress was declared ‘unlawful’ or ‘illegal’, thousands were again arrested, including Gandhiji. Prisoners were ill- treated and brutalities were committed. Cruel methods were used to suppress the crowds.
(ix) Communal Award
➢ The British Prime Minister Mr. Macdonald in 1932 gave ‘the Communal Award’ to further divide the Indians.
➢ Along with separate electorates for different communities in India, it made efforts to divide the Hindus by giving separate representation to ‘the depressed castes’.
➢ Gandhiji started a fast-unto-death against this attempt of dividing the Hindus. Dr. Ambedkar, leader of the depressed classes agreed not to accept this award. Reservation of seats for these classes was agreed to this is often called Poona Pact.
➢ The Civil Disobedience Movement did not acquire the same momentum again. Gandhiji, released from prison, advised Indians to follow individual Civil Disobedience and suspended this movement.
➢ The Third Round Table Conference was held, but Congress did not attend it.
➢ The Civil Disobedience Movement, though suspended, was of immense importance.
• It was a mass movement in which people of all sections took part.
• This movement continued till Gandhiji suspended it, in spite of British atrocities. This showed clearly that the Indians were not going to be cowed down by the British any further.
• It also brought to the front, the negative power of brutality, which the British were ready to use against
the Indians. The Indians were now ready to face the British brutality and still continued proceeding ahead for their aim.
• These political movements were always accompanied by social movements also. Removal of untouchability, improving the status of women and spreading education, these were also the important aspects of the movement and very beneficial for the people.
Quit India Movement
Quick Review (i) Act of 1935
➢ The Government of India Act of 1935 was passed after evaluating the recommendations of the Simon Commission and the three Round Table Conferences.
➢ This Act of 1935 recommended the end of double government in the provinces. Instead, it set up provincial autonomy. It also recommended setting up a federation of princely states and British provinces. This recommendation was not implemented.
➢ Elections were held in 1937 for the provincial legislatures.
➢ First in six provinces – Orissa, Bihar, United Provinces, and Central Provinces, Madras and Bombay – Congress Ministries were formed. Then Congress Ministries were formed in NWFP and Assam. The Muslim League had not done well in the elections.
➢ The Congress Ministries functioned well and stressed on welfare measures like education, local self government and Fundamental Rights.
➢ Unfortunately, the British fighting in the Second World War involved India without discussing the matter with the Congress.
➢ The Congress working committee wanted freedom for India. How could India be expected to fight for freedom of others when it was not free – was the common opinion at this time. In protest, the Congress resigned in October 1939.
(ii) Renewal of Demands for Complete Independence
➢ The Muslim League celebrated 22 December 1939 as a day of deliverance from the Congress rule and promised full help to the British.
➢ The Congress renewed its demand for complete independence (Purna Swaraj).
➢ At this time, the war situation in Europe was worsening. Germans were attacking one place after the other.
➢ Viceroy Lord Linlithgow, on 8th August 1940, made what is generally called the August Offer. (iii) Recommendations
➢ In August Offer, Lord Linlithgow recommended:
• Setting up a War Advisory Council constituting from Indian states and British provinces.
• Expansion of Viceroy’s Executive Council immediately.
• Setting up a ‘body’ to frame the Constitution after the war.
• Assurance, that the transfer of power will not be ‘to any system of government whose authority is directly denied by large and powerful elements in Indian national life’.
➢ The Muslim League was still aiming at the Partition of India. At the same time, it was satisfied about the assurance given to the minorities.
➢The Congress believed that the war may carry on for any length of time. There should have been a time mentioned about the setting up the body to frame the Constitution.
(iv) Satyagraha Movement
➢ Though the Congress stood for freedom, it did not wish to help the British, as long as the British did not clarify war aims and Indian’s position.
➢ At this time, Vinoba Bhave was the first Satyagrahi who launched Individual Civil Disobedience Movement. This movement soon spread. The British were worried and arrested thousands of people.
(v) Cripps Mission
➢ The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, and its victories over Philippines and Malaya worried the Allies. With the Japanese victory over Burma, it was at India’s doorsteps.
➢ To secure India’s co-operation in the war effort along with pressure from the U.S.A. a mission called the Cripps Mission was sent to India in 1942.
➢ Sir Stafford Cripps put forward the following proposals:
• Immediately, the Indians could participate in the legislative functioning of the country. The British would only control defence.
• A Constituent Assembly would be set up after the war to frame a Constitution.
• India would be made a dominion after the war.
• The princely states would have the option to remain in the Indian Union or not.
• Any Province which did not want to follow the Constitution could draft its own Constitution.
• An agreement between the ‘body’ drafting the Constitution and British would be signed, clearing all problems arising out of the transfer of power.
➢ The Congress was not happy as even the dominion status would be granted after the war. This plan also seemed to lead to division of the country. The representatives of the Princely states would be nominated by the rulers and not elected by the people. The Muslim League was not convinced because it wanted Pakistan.
(viii) Quit India Movement
➢ The Japanese threat to attack India was so real that Jawaharlal Nehru had advised people to be ready to defend themselves using guerilla tactics if required. The Cripps Mission had failed, communal tension had worsened. There was complete unrest in the country.
➢ The Quit India resolution was passed by the Congress Working Committee at Wardha in July 1942. This was ratified in the Mumbai Session of the All India Congress Committee on 8th August 1942.
➢ Early, next morning, prominent leaders of the Congress including Gandhiji were arrested.
• Isolated and scared people took to violence. Violence was directed towards government buildings.
• People attacked police stations, government buildings, all means of transport and communications. Jai Prakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, Aruna Asaf Ali were some of the leaders of this movement. The slogan ‘Do or Die’ was voiced everywhere.
• The movement spread in different parts of the country, power houses were attacked, roads were blocked.
• In places like Balia, the people took over the central power of the administration, but did not know what to do.
• The government used its full might to suppress this movement. It was like war of the government against the people. Jawaharlal Nehru learnt that about 10,000 people were killed. Official figures pointed to 940 killed.
(x) The Quit India Movement did not get the British to quit India, but it shook the foundation of the British Empire.
➢ It made the British realize that now the Indians would dare almost anything to gain Independence.
➢ A number of patriots took to violence. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were sentenced to death for their fight using violence against the British. The hanging of these three shook the entire nation.
➢ Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ram Prashad Bismil and Ashfaqulla Khan were great revolutionaries.
It aroused in the Indians a feeling of nationalism, sacrifice and confidence and made it clear to the British that their days in India were numbered, as now the Indians would accept nothing less than total Independence (Purna Swaraj).
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