Indian National Movement Notes Question Answer

Indian National Movement Notes Question Answer

Indian National Movement Notes Question Answer

Nationalism in India emerged as a response to British exploitation. The British defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah in the Battle of Plassey and gained control over Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa through the Treaty of Allahabad after the Battle of Buxar. This marked the beginning of severe exploitation of Indians by the British, leading to increasing resentment among Indians. In response to the oppressive actions of the British, Indians began to resort to rebellion, with the Revolt of 1857 being a direct result of this growing anger.

The essence of nationalism in India was the shared belief that all Indians had a common nationality and that opposing British rule was in everyone’s collective interest. The idea of nationalism first manifested in the cultural sphere. The Indian National Congress was established in 1885, with A.O. Hume playing a significant role in its formation. Important members included Feroz Shah Mehta, Badruddin Tyabji, W.C. Bonnerjee, Surendranath Banerjee, Anand Mohan Bose, and Romesh Chunder Dutt.

Political organizations

Before the formation of Congress, several political organizations were established, such as the Bengal Indian Association, Bengal Presidency Association, Poona Sarvajanik Sabha, and Madras Mahajan Sabha. The goal of these organizations was not India’s independence but rather to amend policies that were detrimental to Indians. For example, they advocated for the Indianization of government services.

Lord Curzon’s policy of partitioning Bengal aimed to weaken Indian strength and sow discord among Indians. Bengal was a large, powerful, and prosperous province at that time. The period from 1905 to 1918 is known as the era of ‘extremist nationalists or the Garam Dal,’ with prominent leaders being Lal-Bal-Pal. The Muslim League was founded in Dhaka, with the goal of protecting and advancing Muslim rights in India and communicating their needs to the government.

Council Act

The Council Act of 1909 was an extension of the reforms of the 1892 Act, known as the Morley-Minto Reforms. During the First World War, revolutionary activities in India increased significantly, as the British government was preoccupied with the war. This period also saw the Kamagata Maru incident, which further incited the revolutionaries.

Gandhiji decided to fight against the racial discrimination by the South African government. During his struggle, he developed the technique of Satyagraha. In 1916, he established the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to practice his ideas of truth and nonviolence. Gandhiji contributed to the national movement by broadening its base and transforming it into a mass movement. He introduced new methods, such as the Non-Cooperation and Civil Disobedience Movements, as means to achieve independence. His emphasis on constructive work and awakening the masses played a significant role.

The communal division sown by the British eventually led to future partition. Subhas Chandra Bose began the struggle for independence from abroad and formed the Indian National Army to liberate India from British rule. The ‘Quit India Movement’ further paved the way for Indian independence, with Gandhiji’s call of ‘Do or Die.’

Indian National Movement Notes Question Answer

Question 1:  What distinguished Satyagraha from other protests?

Answer: Satyagraha was developed as a non-violent technique for truth and justice, while other protests were based on violent tendencies.

Question 2: Why did the British government eagerly support the formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885?

Answer: The British saw the growing political awareness among Indians and wanted to give it a safe constitutional form to prevent it from developing into widespread public anger against British rule.

Question 3: What were the differences between moderates and extremists?


  1. The moderate leaders believed in the British government’s sense of justice, while the extremists viewed it as a political trick.
  2. The moderates believed in constitutional and gradual reforms, whereas the extremists were not ready to accept anything less than self-rule.
  3. The moderates wanted to cooperate with the British government, while the extremists believed in non-cooperation and boycott methods.

Question 4: Why did Indian leaders support the British in World War I?

Answer: World War I was fought among European countries for colonial monopoly. During the war, the British government appealed to Indian leaders for support in their time of crisis. Indian leaders agreed but stipulated that after the war, the British government should grant constitutional powers to the Indian people.

Question 5: Why was the Khilafat Movement against British rule?

Answer: Britain and its allies emerged victorious in World War I. During the war, Muslims supported the government. Muslims believed the Ottoman Empire would remain under the Caliph’s control, but after the war, a new treaty was imposed on the Turkish Sultan, and the Ottoman Empire was divided. This angered Muslims, who saw it as an insult to the Caliph. Shaukat Ali and Mohammad Ali started the Khilafat Movement against the British government.

Question 6: Why did Indians boycott the Simon Commission? Provide two reasons.


  1. No Indian was included in the Simon Commission. It was evident that even if constitutional reforms were implemented, they would be superficial and not meet the people’s expectations.
  2. The Commission’s members came to India, and Indians protested with strikes and demonstrations everywhere.

Question 7: Why did Gandhi withdraw the Non-Cooperation Movement?

Answer: Gandhi withdrew the Non-Cooperation Movement after the Chauri Chaura incident, where people set a police station on fire, killing several policemen. Gandhi was deeply hurt by the violence of this incident.

Question 8: How were the paths of revolutionaries different from others?

Answer: Revolutionaries played a crucial role in the nationalist movement, with their main center in Bengal. They infused a strong sense of nationalism among the youth and challenged British authority. They attacked British outposts, assassinated guilty police officers, and organized strikes and demonstrations.

Question 9: What do you understand by ‘Purna Swaraj’?

Answer: ‘Purna Swaraj’ means complete independence, where Indians have full freedom to make decisions about themselves and full participation in governance. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru declared, “Surrendering to British power is a crime against both humanity and God. We will not accept anything less than complete independence.”

Question 10: How did the British promote communal division in India?

Answer: The British decided that it was wise to promote their ‘divide and rule’ policy by creating enmity between Hindus and Muslims. In 1905, the British government partitioned Bengal, creating a Muslim-majority province in Eastern Bengal. In 1909, separate electorates were introduced, where only Muslims could vote for Muslim representatives. This promoted communalism.

Question 11: What were the main demands of the Muslim League?

Answer: In 1906, the Muslim League demanded separate electorates, which was implemented in the Morley-Minto Reforms of 1909. The Muslim League also demanded the creation of Pakistan, which eventually led to the partition.

Question 12: Why did the Congress decide to participate in the elections after 1935?

Answer: The Congress decided to contest elections to oppose British imperialism and to repeal various laws and acts initiated against Indian nationalism.

Question 13: Why were Indian leaders unhappy with British presence in India during World War II?

Answer: World War II began in September 1939, and India was made a participant without consulting Indian leaders. The Congress passed a resolution stating, “The sympathy of the Indian people is entirely towards democracy and freedom. However, India cannot associate itself with the war when it is deprived of its own freedom, and even the partial freedom it has is being taken away.” The Congress demanded the British government clarify the war aims concerning India’s post-war status. They demanded the formation of an interim government responsible to the central legislative assembly during the war and assurance of India’s independence after the war. In July 1940, the Congress offered to support the war efforts if granted independence.


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