Indian National Movement Phase- II (1915-1935) PDF Download (Notes+MCQ)

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Indian National Movement Phase- II (1915-1935)

Lucknow Pact (1916)

  • The Lucknow Session 1916 (presided by Ambica Charan Majumdar) was special in many respects.
  • Firstly, this session brought the moderates and extremists in Congress on a common platform again after nearly a decade, particularly due to the efforts of Annie Besant
  • The Congress President in his address said that “if the congress was buried at Surat, it is reborn in Lucknow in the garden of Wajid Ali Shah“.
  • Secondly, Congress and All India Muslim League signed the historic Lucknow Pact.
  • INC and the Muslim League passed the same resolutions at their sessions.
  • The pact accepted the principle of separate electorates.

Main clauses of the pact

  • There shall be self-government in India.
  • Muslims should be given one-third representation in the central government.
  • There should be separate electorates for all the communities until a community demanded joint electorates.
  • A system of weightage should be adopted.
  • The number of members of the Central Legislative Council should be increased to 150.
  • At the provincial level, four-fifth of the members of the Legislative Councils should be elected and one-fifth should be nominated.
  • The size of provincial legislatures should not be less than 125 in the major provinces and from 50 to 75 in the minor provinces.
  • All members, except those nominated, should be elected directly on the basis of adult franchise.
  • No bill concerning a community should be passed if the bill is opposed by three-fourth of the members of that community in the Legislative Council.
  • The term of the Legislative Council should be five
  • Members of the Legislative Council should themselves elect their president.
  • Half of the members of the Imperial Legislative Council should be Indians.
  • The Indian Council must be abolished.
  • The salaries of the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs should be paid by the British government and not from Indian funds.
  • Of the two Under Secretaries, one should be Indian.
  • The Executive should be separated from the Judiciary.


  • As an immediate effect, the unity between the two factions of the congress and between INC and ML aroused great political enthusiasm in the country.
  • However, it did not involve Hindu and Muslim masses and was based on the notion of bringing together the educated Hindus and Muslims as separate political entities without secularization of their political outlook
  • The pact, therefore, left the way open to the future resurgence of communalism in Indian politics.

The impact of World War I on India

World War 1 began on July 28, 1914. The conflict lasted four years, three months, and 14 days, ending on November 11, 1918.

The Course of the War

Group 1 (Allies): Serbia, Russia, Britain, France, USA, Belgium, Portugal, Romania, etc.

Group 2 (Central Powers): Austria-Hungary, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Bulgaria, etc.

India’s contribution in WW-I

  • When the Lahore Division and the Meerut Division entered World War I, they were the first Indian soldiers ever to take part in a war in Europe
  • By the time they sailed out from Marseilles 14 months later, they and their compatriots—138,608 Indians in all—had helped blunt Germany’s Schlieffen Plan
  • Formulated by German Field Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen in 1905-06, the Plan envisaged a short war—a quick, decisive invasion and defeat of France via Belgium, forestalling the attritional war that would allow the superior strength of the probable Allied powers to be deployed
  • With the 100th anniversary of the Armistice and the inauguration of monuments to Indian soldiers in France, it is a contribution worth remembering

Effect of the war on the Indian national movement

  • There was a surge of nationalism and rise of mass civil disobedience when the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms’ failed to deliver on the expectation of home rule that had led to popular support for the British war effort
  • As the war dragged on, casualties mounted and recruitment methods grew more coercive, resentment grew
  • It is no coincidence, perhaps, that Punjab—which supplied a large proportion of the troops thanks to the British martial races theory—turned into an epicentre of nationalism after the war
  • Post-war military reforms to transform the Indian army into a modern force started a process that accelerated with the onset of World War II
  • By 1946, the Indian military was a potent enough force that the prospect of its rebellion, triggered by the Royal Indian Naval Mutiny that year, was a major contributor to the British decision to fold

Socioeconomic impact

  • Between 1911 and 1921, literacy rates (as well as the number of literate individuals) increased significantly in heavily recruited communities
  • This effect is strongest for men of military age, which is consistent with the hypothesis that soldiers learned to read and write on their foreign campaigns
  • A war economy is by definition a distorted one
  • The logic of the empire exaggerated this. Requisitioning of food supplies, particularly cereals, led to rampant food inflation
  • The drain on the Indian economy in the form of cash, kind and loans to the British government came to about 367 million pounds

The rise in the domestic market

  • Domestic manufacturing sectors such as cotton benefited from the decline in British goods that had dominated the pre-war market
  • The steel sector—so crucial after independence—benefited as well. For instance, the ailing Tata steel mills were handed a lifeline in the form of a contract to supply rails to the Mesopotamian campaign
  • British investment was rerouted to the UK, creating opportunities for Indian capital
  • In short, the war economy boosted Indian capitalism in some ways at least


  • The Indian national movement and the country’s socio-economic development did not take place in isolation
  • World War I linked India to global events in profound ways with far-reaching consequences

Gandhian Era (1917-1935)

Facts about Gandhi

  • Birth: October 2, 1869, at Porbandar, Gujarat. [Note: UNO declared October 2 as ‘International Non-violence Day’ (Antarrashtriya Ahimsa Diwas)]
  • Father: Karamchand Gandhi.
  • Mother: Putali Bai.
  • Political Guru: Gopal Krishna Gokhale.
  • Private Secretary: Mahadev Desai.
  • Literary Influence on Gandhi: John Ruskin’s Unto the Last, Emerson, Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy, the Bible, and the Gita.
  • Literary Works: Hind Swaraj (1909), My Experiments with Truth (Autobiography, 1927)—reveals events of Gandhi’s life upto 1922.
  • As an Editor: Indian Opinion: 1903–15 (in English & Gujarati, for a short period in Hindi & Tamil),
  • Harijan:1919–31 (in English, Gujarati, and Hindi), Young India: 1933–42 (in English Gujarati-named Navjeevan).
  • Other Names: Mahatma (Saint) by Rabindranath Tagore, 1917; Malang Baba/ Nanga Faqir (Naked Saint) by Kabailis of Noth-West Frontier, 1930; Indian Faqir/Traitor Faqir-by Winston Churchill, 1931; Half-naked Saint by Frank Mores, 1931; Rashtrapita (the Father of the Nation) by Subhash Chandra Bose, 1944.

In South Africa (1893–1914)

  • 1893:Departure of Gandhi to South Africa.
  • 1894:Foundation of Natal Indian Congress.
  • 1899:Foundation of Indian Ambulance Core during Boer Wars.
  • 1904:Foundation of Indian Opinion (magazine) and Phoenix Farm, at Phoenix, near Durban.
  • 1906:First Civil Disobedience Movement (Satyagraha) against Asiatic Ordinance in Transvaal.
  • 1907:Satyagraha against Compulsory Registration and Passes for Asians (The Black Act) in Transvaal.
  • 1908:Trial and imprisonment- Johannesburg Jail (First Jail Term).
  • 1910:Foundation of Tolstoy Farm (Later-Gandhi Ashrama), near Johannesburg.
  • 1913:Satyagraha against derecognition of non-Christian marriages in Cape Town.
  • 1914:Awarded Kaisar-i-Hind for raising an Indian Ambulance Core during the Boer wars.

In India

Champaran Satyagraha, 1917First Civil Disobedience Movement

  • Champaran Satyagraha was Mahatma Gandhi’s first experiment of Satyagraha.
  • It was undertaken in the erstwhile undivided Champaran district in northern Bihar in April 1917.
  • It was undertaken after Mahatma Gandhi learned about the abuses suffered by farmers, who were forced into growing indigo by British planters and estate owners.
  • The tenants from Champaran were forced under the law to plant three out of every twenty parts of his land with indigo for his landlord under the so-called Tinkathia system.
  • Initially, Gandhiji was reluctant to commit himself to the task but he was so persuaded by indigo cultivator Rajkumar Shuklathat he decided to investigate the matter.
  • Gandhiji’s plan was to carry out an extensive inquiry in the district and demand action based on its findings.
  • However, local authorities did not find his visit welcoming and they unsuccessfully tried to dissuade him.
  • But Gandhi began his work from the house of Babu Gorakh Prasad in Motihari, headquarters of the then Champaran district.
  • During this time, Gandhiji was served with a court summon while he was making a spot visit to the village.
  • Gandhiji was charged with violating the law and was told to leave Champaran, but he refused to leave.
  • On April 18, 1917, when Gandhi appeared in Motihari Court and was accompanied by nearly 2000 local people.
  • The then Lieutenant Governor of Bihar ordered the withdrawal of the case against Gandhi, and the Collector wrote to Gandhi saying he was free to conduct the inquiry.
  • This small step in the form of passive protest was a giant leap forward in the history of freedom struggle and heralded the advent of the Gandhian era.
  • His protest led to the abolishing of the exploitative tinkathia system.
  • The victory at Champaran established Gandhiji in India’s struggle against the British raj.

Ahmedabad Mill Strike (1918)—First Hunger Strike

  • Gandhi now intervened in a dispute between mill owners of Ahmedabad and the workers over the issue of discontinuation of the plague bonus.
  • Gandhi asked the workers to go on a strike and demand a 35 % increase in wages.
  • The employers were willing to concede a 20 % bonus only.
  • Gandhi advised the workers to remain non-violent while on strike.
  • He undertook a fast unto death to strengthen the worker’s resolve.
  • Mill owners finally agreed to give the workers a 35 % increase in wages.

Kheda Satyagraha (1918)—First Non-Cooperation Movement

  • Because of drought in 1918, the crops failed in the Kheda district of Gujarat.
  • According to the Revenue Code, if the yield was less than 1/4thof the normal production, the farmers were entitled to remission.
  • The authorities refused to grant remission.
  • Gandhi supported the peasant’s cause and asked them to withhold revenue.
  • The authorities, not willing to openly concede the peasant’s demands, issued secret instructions that only those who could afford to pay should pay.
  • During the Kheda Satyagraha, many young nationalists such as Sardar Patel and Indulal Yagnik became Gandhi’s followers.

Rowlatt Act, 1919—First Mass Strike

  • Rowlatt Act bill (1918)is also known as the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act of 1919 or the Black Act of 1919. This bill was introduced at the Imperial Legislative Council of Delhi on 10th March 1919.
  • Rowlatt Act was passed on 10th March 1919 by Sir Sidney Rowlatt.
  • In 1919, a new Act was passed by the British Government to give themselves greater power over the people.
  • This Act was called the Rowlatt Act and was named after the Rowlatt Commission who had sent recommendations to the Imperial Legislative Council.
  • This law was strongly opposed by the people of India because it gave the British government even more authority over them.
  • Through this act, police can search any palace or home without any warrant.
  • This new Act allowed the British to arrest and jail anyone they wished without trial if they were thought to be plotting against the British.
  • The Viceroy Government also had the power to silence the press.
  • Along with the other leaders of the Indian Revolution, Mahatma Gandhi was largely against this Act.
  • To oppose this bill Mahatma Gandhi assured to non-cooperate with the British across India by starting Satyagraha and Non-Cooperative movement.
  • To try and put an end to this, Gandhi and the other leaders called for a Hartal (a time of fasting and suspension of work) to show the British the Indians’ discontent with their rule.
  • During this period the viceroy of India was Lord Chelmsford.
  • The most atrocious or brutal effect of the Rowlatt Act in Indian history is the Jaliwanwallbagh massacre on 13th April 1919.

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre April 13, 1919

  • On April 9, 1919, two nationalist leaders, Saifuddin Kitchlew and Dr. Satyapal were arrested by the British officials without any provocation except that they had addressed protest meetings, and taken to some unknown destination.
  • This caused resentment among the Indian protestors who came out in thousands on April 10 to show their solidarity with their leaders.
  • Soon the protests turned violent because the police resorted to firing in which some of the protestors were killed.
  • To curb any future protest government put martial law in place and law and order in Punjab was handed over to Brigadier-General Dyer.
  • On 13th April, Baisakhi day, a large crowd of people mostly from neighboring villages, unaware of the prohibitory orders in the Amritsar gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh.
  • Brigadier-General Dyer arrived on the scene with his men. The troops surrounded the gathering under orders from General Dyer and blocked the only exit point and opened fire on the unarmed crowd killing more than 1000 unarmed men, women, and children.

Hunter Commission

  • The government formed a committee of inquiry to investigate the Jallianwala Bagh shootings.
  • On October 14, 1919, the Government of India announced the formation of the Disorders Inquiry Committee.
  • The committee was commonly known as Hunter Commission after the name of chairman, Lord William Hunter. It also had Indian members.
  • In the final report submitted in March 1920, the committee unanimously condemned Dyer’s actions.
  • However, the Hunter Committee did not impose any penal or disciplinary action against General Dyer.

Nationalist Response

  • Rabindranath Tagore renounced his knighthood in protest.
  • Mahatma Gandhi gave up the title of Kaiser-i-Hind, bestowed by the British for his work during the Boer War.
  • Gandhi was overwhelmed by the atmosphere of total violence and withdrew the movement on April 18, 1919.
  • The Indian National Congress appointed its own non-official committee that included Motilal Nehru, C.R. Das, Abbas Tyabji, M.R. Jayakar, and Gandhi to look into the shootings.
    • Congress put forward its own view. This view criticized Dyer’s act as inhuman and also said that there was no justification in the introduction of the martial law in Punjab.

British Apology

  • Britain has never officially apologized for the massacre.
  • Recently, British Prime Minister Theresa May described the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar as a “shameful scar” on British Indian history but stopped short of a formal apology.
  • the Labor Party in Britain has been asking for a formal apology saying that those who lost their lives in the massacre deserve a “full, clear and unequivocal apology for what took place”.

Indian National Movement Phase- II (1915-1935)

Khilafat Movement

  • Chief causeDefeat of Turkey in the First World War & harsh terms of the Treaty of Sevres (1920)
  • Treaty terms were felt by the Muslims as a great insult to them.
  • The whole movement was based on the Muslim belief that the Caliph (the Sultan of Turkey) was the religious head of the Muslims all over the world.
  • The main objective of the Khilafat movement was to force the British government to change its attitude towards Turkey and restore the Khalifa to his former position.
  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, M.A. Ansari, Saifuddin Kitchlew, and the Ali brothers were the prominent leaders of this movement.
  • A Khilafat Committee was formed and on 19th October 1919, the whole country observed the Khilafat day.
  • Subsequently, the Khilafat Movement merged with the Non-Cooperation Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920.

The Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-22)

  • The movement was launched formally on 1 August 1920, by Gandhiji.
  • He announced his plan to begin Non-Cooperation with the government as a sequel to the Rowlatt Act, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, and the Khilafat Movement.
  • The main resolution on non-cooperation was moved by C.R. Das and approved by the Indian National Congress at the Nagpur session in December 1920.

Programs of the Non-Cooperation Movement:

  • Surrender of titles and honors.
  • Boycott of government-affiliated schools and colleges
  • Boycott of law courts
  • Boycott of foreign cloth
  • Resignation from government service
  • Mass civil disobedience
  • Non-payment of taxes
  • National schools and colleges were to be set up
  • Panchayats were to be established for settling disputes
  • Hand-spinning and weaving was to be encouraged
  • People were asked to maintain Hindu-Muslim unity
  • Give up untouchability
  • Observe strict non-violence

Course of Action

  • The Nagpur session, thus, committed Congress to a program of extra-constitutional mass action.
  • Many groups of revolutionary groups, especially in Bengal, also pledged support to the movement.
  • The educational boycott was particularly successful in Bengal, where the students in Calcutta triggered off a province-wide strike to force the management of their institutions to disaffiliate themselves from the Governments.
  • R. Das played a major role in promoting the movement and Subhas Bose became the principal of the National College in Calcutta.
  • Punjab too responded to the educational boycott and was second only to Bengal, Lala Lajpat Rai playing a leading part here despite his initial reservations about this item of the program.
  • Other areas that were active were Bombay, U.P., Bihar, Orissa, and Assam. Madras remained lukewarm.
  • Many leading lawyers of the country like C.R.Das. Motilal Nehru, M.R. Jayakar, Saifudding Kitchlew, Vallabhbhai Patel, C Rajagophlachari, T.Prakasam, and Asaf Ali gave up their practices.
  • The most successful item of the program was the boycott of foreign cloth. Picketing of shops selling foreign cloth was also a major form of the boycott.
  • Another feature of the movement which acquired great popularity in many parts of the country, even though it was not part of the original plan, was the picketing of toddy shops.
  • The Prince of Wales visited India during this period but he was greeted with empty streets and downed shutters when he came on 17 November 1921.
  • In Malabar in Kerala Non-cooperation and Khilafat propaganda helped to rouse the Muslim tenants against their landlords.
  • In Assam, laborers on tea plantations went on strike.
  • There were strikes on the steamer service and on the Assam-Bengal Railway as well.
  • In Midnapur, cultivators strike against a White zamindari company was led by a Calcutta medical student in defiance of forest laws became popular in Andhra.
  • Peasants and tribals in some of the Rajasthan states began movements for securing better conditions of life.
  • In Punjab, the Akali movement for wresting control of the gurdwaras from the mahants was a part of the general movement of Non-cooperation, based on strict non-violence in the face of tremendous repression.
  • By December, the Government announced the Congress and the Khilafat Committees as illegal and arrested all those who participated in the movement.
  • The Congress Session at Allahabad in December 1921 decided to launch the Civil Disobedience Movement. Gandhiji was appointed as its leader. But before it could be launched a mob of people at Chauri Chaura (near Gorakhpur) clashed with the police and burnt 22 policemen on 5th February 1922.
  • On hearing of the incident, Gandhiji decided to withdraw the movement. He also persuaded the Congress Working Committee to ratify his decision and thus, on 12 February 1922, the Non-Cooperation Movement came to an end.
  • Gandhiji‘s decision to withdraw the movement in response to the violence at Chauri Chaura raised a controversy.
  • Motilal Nehru, C.R. Das, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Bose, and many others recorded their utter bewilderment on hearing the news.

Outcomes of the Non-Cooperation Movement

  • It was the real mass movement with the participation of different sections of Indian society such as peasants, workers, students, teachers, and women.
  • It witnessed the spread of nationalism to the remote corners of India.
  • It also marked the height of Hindu-Muslim unity as a result of the merger of the Khilafat movement.
  • It demonstrated the willingness and ability of the masses to endure hardships and make sacrifices.

Chauri Chaura incident

  • On February 5, 1922, police fired at the people who are agitating in favor of the Non-cooperation Movement.
  • The people rebelled against the police and burnt the police station.
  • As a result, 22 policemen died.
  • This incident is called the Chauri Chaura incident.
  • It took place at Chauri Chaura in Gorakpur District of the United Province.
  • Chauri Chaura incident led Gandhi to call off the Non-Cooperation Movement from Bardoli in February 1922.

Swaraj Party

  • The suspension of the Non-Cooperation Movement led to a split within Congress in the Gaya session of the Congress in December 1922.
  • Leaders like Motilal Nehru and Chittranjan Das formed a separate group within the Congress known as the Swaraj Party on 1 January 1923.
  • The Swarajists wanted to contest the council elections and wreck the government from within. Motilal Nehru, C.R. Das, and N.C. Kelkar (called Pro-changers) demanded that the Nationalists should end the boycott of the legislative councils, enter them and expose them.
  • No-changers like Rajendra Prasad and Rajagopalachari adhered to the Gandhian program of Boycott of legislatures.
  • Elections to Legislative Councils were held in November 1923 in which, the Swaraj Party gained impressive successes.
  • In the Central Legislative Council Motilal Nehru became the leader of the party whereas in Bengal the party was headed by C.R. Das.
  • The Swaraj Party demanded the setting up of responsible government in India with the necessary changes in the Government of India Act of 1919.
  • The party could pass important resolutions against the repressive laws of the government.
  • When a Committee chaired by the Home Member, Alexander Muddiman considered the system of Dyarchy as proper, a resolution was passed against it in the Central Legislative Council.
  • After the passing away of C.R. Das in June 1925, the Swaraj Party started weakening.
  • The Swarajists were split by communalism. The ‘responsive’ group including Madan Mohan Malviya, Lala Lajpat Rai and N.G. Kelkar offered cooperation to the government to safeguard Hindu interests.
  • The Swarajists finally walked out of the legislature in 1930 as a result of the Lahore congress resolution and the beginning of the civil disobedience movement. The two sections were reunited in 1930 after the Lahore session.
  • The great achievement of the Swaraj Party lay in their filling the political void at a time when the National Movement was recouping its strength and this they did without getting co-opted by the colonial regime.
  • They worked in the legislatures in an orderly disciplined manner and withdrew from them whenever the call came.
  • Above all, they showed that it was possible to use the legislatures in a creative manner even as they promoted the politics of self-reliant anti-imperialism.
  • They also successfully exposed the hollowness of the Reforms Act of 1919 and showed the people that India was being ruled by ‘Lawless Laws’.
  • The time when the No-Changers were busy in the constructive program and Gandhi was leading an isolated life, the Swarajists took over the command of the National Movement.
  • Even the Simon Commission, accepted that at that time it was only the Swaraj Party which was an organized and disciplined party having well-defined objectives and programs.

Simon Commission (1927)

  • In 1927, the British government appointed Simon Commission to look into the working of the Government of India Act, 1919. All its seven members were Englishmen.
  • Almost all the political parties including Congress opposed the Commission because there was no Indian member in the commission.
  • On 3 February 1928 when the Commission reached Bombay, a general hartal was observed all over the country and were greeted with black flags and the cries of ‘Simon go back’.
  • At Lahore, the students took out a large anti-Simon Commission demonstration on 30 October 1928 under the leadership of Lala Lajpat Rai. In this demonstration, Lala Lajpat Rai was seriously injured in the police lathi charge and he passed away after one month.
  • The report of the Simon Commission was published in May 1930.
  • It was stated that the constitutional experiment with Dyarchy was unsuccessful and in its place, the report recommended the establishment of autonomous government.
  • The Simon Commission Report became the basis for enacting the Government of India Act of 1935.

Indian National Movement Phase- II (1915-1935)

Dandi March Salt Satyagraha

Background to Salt Satyagraha

  • By 1930, the Congress Party had declared that Poorna Swarajya or complete independence was to be the sole aim of the freedom struggle.
  • It started observing 26 January as Poorna Swarajya Day; and it was decided that civil disobedience was to be the means employed to achieve it.
  • Mahatma Gandhi was asked to plan and organize the first such act.
  • Gandhiji chose to break the salt tax in defiance of the government.
  • The then Viceroy, Lord Irwin was hardly perturbed by the threat of a salt protest and the government did nothing to prevent the salt march from taking place.
  • But Gandhiji’s choice of using salt was nothing short of brilliant because it touched a chord with every Indian.
  • It was a commodity required by all and the poor people were hurt because of the salt tax.
  • Indians had been making salt from seawater free of cost until the passing of the 1882 Salt Act that gave the British monopoly over the production of salt and authority to impose a salt tax. It was a criminal offense to violate the salt act.
  • Gandhiji also hoped to unite Hindus and Muslims as the cause was common to both groups.
  • The salt tax accounted for 8.2% of the British Raj revenue from tax and Gandhiji knew that the government could not ignore this.

The course of the Dandi March

  • Gandhiji informed Lord Irwin of his plan on 2nd March 1930.
  • Gandhi, along with a band of 78 members of Sabarmati Ashram, was to march from his headquarters in Ahmedabad through the villages of Gujarat for 240 miles.
  • The historic march, marking, the launch of the Civil Disobedience Movement, began on March 12, and Gandhi broke the salt law by picking up a handful of salt at Dandi on April 6.
  • Thousands of people thronged the path from Sabarmati Ashram to Ahmedabad to witness the historic event.
  • At the end of every day, Gandhiji would address thousands of people and attack the government in his speeches.
  • Gandhiji talked to foreign journalists and wrote articles for newspapers on the way. This pushed the Indian independence movement into the forefront of world media. Gandhiji became a household name in the West.
  • Sarojini Naidu joined him on the way.
  • Every day more and more people joined him and on 5th April 1930, they reached Dandi.
  • At this time, there were about 50,000 people participating in the march.
  • On the morning of 6th April 1930, Gandhiji broke the salt law by making salt. Thousands of people followed suit.

Effects of Salt Satyagraha

The arrest of many national leaders along with Nehru & Gandhi (Yeravada jail) evoked massive protests in many parts of the country. Few noteworthy incidents were –

  • Surya Sen’s Chittagong Revolt Group carried out a raid on two armories
  • Declared the establishment of a provisional government
  • Gaffar Khan also called Badshah Khan and Frontier Gandhi
  • Started the first Pushto political monthly Pukhtoon
  • Organized a volunteer brigade ‘Khudai Khidmatgars’, popularly known as the ‘Red-Shirts’
  • They were pledged to the freedom struggle & non-violence
  • Gaffar Khan was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1987 by the Government of India
  • This industrial town of southern Maharashtra saw the fiercest response to Gandhi’s arrest.
  • Textile workers went on a strike and along with other residents burnt liquor shops
  • Destroyed symbols of government authority such as railway stations, police stations, municipal buildings, law courts, etc.
  • A powerful agitation was organized against the infamous ‘Cunningham circular’
  • Cunningham circular forced parents, guardians, and students to furnish assurances of good behavior
Manipur and Nagaland
  • At the young age of thirteen, Rani Gaidinliu of Nagaland raised the banner of revolt against foreign rule
  • She was captured in 1932 and sentenced to life imprisonment

Indian National Movement Phase- II (1915-1935)

  • Gandhiji was released from prison in 1931 and he met with Lord Irwin who was keen to put an end to the civil disobedience movement and the media attention it had caught.
  • As per the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, the civil disobedience movement would be ended and Indians, in return, would be allowed to make salt for domestic use. Lord Irwin also agreed to release the arrested Indians. Gandhiji attended the Second Round Table Conference in London as an ‘equal’.

Drawbacks of Salt Satyagraha

  • The movement did not procure any major concessions from the government.
  • Muslim support was limited.

First round table conference

  • The first round table conference held in 1930 was inaugurated by King George V on November 12, 1930, in London. 
  • The conference was chaired by the British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald. 
  • Sixteen delegates representing the three political parties of Britain participated in the conference.
  • From India, 58 political leaders and 16 members are representing the princely states participated in the conference.
  • However, the leaders of the Indian National Congress and business leaders did not participate in the First Round table conference.
  • The Main leaders from India who participated in the conference were
    • Muslim League: Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Mohammed Shafi, Aga Khan
    • Hindu Mahasabha:S Monjee and M.R.Jayakar
    • Depressed classes:Dr BR Ambedkar, Rettamalai Srinivasan
    • Sikhs: Sardar Ujjal Singh

Outcomes of First round table conference

  • The outcomes of the First Round Table Conference were minimal:
  • India was to develop into a federation, safeguards regarding defense and finance were agreed and other departments were to be transferred.
  • However, little was done to implement these recommendations and civil disobedience continued in India. 

Gandhi-Irwin Pact

  • Lord Irwin, the Viceroy, met with Gandhi to reach a compromise.
  • On 5 March 1931 they agreed on the following to pave the way for the Congress’ participation in the Second Round Table Conference: 
  • Congress would discontinue the Civil Disobedience Movement, it would participate in the Second Round Table Conference, the Government would withdraw all ordinances issued to curb the Congress.
  • The Government would withdraw all prosecutions relating to offenses not involving violence and the Government would release all persons undergoing sentences of imprisonment for their activities in the Civil Disobedience Movement.

Second Round Table Conference

  • When: September – December 1931; Where: London
  • Attended by:
    • British delegates belonging to various political parties including the British Prime
      Minister, James Ramsay Macdonald.
    • Indian princely states represented by Maharajas, princes, and divans.
      British Indians represented by:
    • Indian National Congress (INC) – Mahatma Gandhi, Rangaswami Iyengar, Madan
      Mohan Malaviya
    • Muslims – Ali Jinnah, Aga Khan III, Muhammad Iqbal, etc.
    • Hindus – M R Jayakar,
    • Depressed classes – Dr. B R Ambedkar
    • Women – Sarojini Naidu, etc.
    • Liberals, Justice Party, Sikhs, Indian Christians, Parsis, Europeans, Anglo-Indians,
      industry, labor, landlords, Burma, Sindh, and other provinces.
  • The session started on 7 September 1931.
  • The major difference between the first and the second conference was that the INC was participating in the second one. This was one of the results of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact.
  • Another difference was that unlike the previous time, British PM Macdonald was heading not a Labour government, but a National government. The Labour Party had been toppled two weeks before in Britain.
  • The British decided to grant a communal award for representing minorities in India by providing for separate electorates for minority communities. Gandhi was against this.
  • In this conference, Gandhi and Ambedkar differed on the issue of separate electorates for the untouchables. Gandhi was against treating untouchables as separate from the Hindu community. This issue was resolved through the Poona Pact 1932.
  • The second round table conference was deemed a failure because of the many disagreements among the participants. While the INC claimed to speak for the whole of the country, other participants and leaders of other parties contested this claim.

Third Round Table Conference

  • When: November – December 1932; Where: London
  • Attended by:
    • Only 46 delegates in total took part in this conference.
    • The INC and the Labour Party decided not to attend it. (The INC wasn’t invited).
    • Indian princely states were represented by princes and divans.
    • British Indians were represented by the Aga Khan (Muslims), depressed classes
      (Ambedkar), women, Europeans, Anglo-Indians, and labor groups.
    • Not much was achieved at this conference also.
  • The recommendations of this conference were published in a White Paper in 1933 and later discussed in the British Parliament.
  • The recommendations were analyzed and the Government of India Act of 1935 was passed on its basis.

Communal Awards

  • The Communal Award was announced by the British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, in August 1932.
  • This was yet another expression of the British policy of divide and rule.
  • The Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians had already been recognized as minorities.
  • The Communal Award declared the depressed classes also to be minorities, and entitled them to separate electorates’.

 Gandhi’s Reaction to Communal Awards

  • The effort to separate the depressed classes from the rest of the Hindus by treating them as separate political entities were vehemently opposed by all the nationalists.
  • Gandhi saw the Communal Award as an attack on Indian unity and nationalism.
  • Once the depressed classes were treated as a separate political entity, he argued, the question to abolishing untouchability would get undermined
  • He said that separate electorates would ensure that the untouchables remained untouchables in perpetuity
  • Gandhi demanded that the depressed classes be elected through joint and if possible a wider electorate through a universal franchise while expressing no objection to the demand for a larger number of reserved seats. And to press for his demands, he went on a fast unto death in the Yeravada jail.

Poona Pact

  • Finally, an agreement was reached between Dr. Ambedkar and Gandhi, Known as the Poona Pact
  • Accordingly, seats reserved for the depressed classes were increased from 71 to 147 in provincial legislatures and 18 % of the total in the central legislature.
  • In every province out of the educational grant, an adequate sum shall be earmarked for providing educational facilities to the members of Depressed Classes.
  • The Poona Pact was accepted by the Government as an amendment to the Communal Award.

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