Nationalism in India History Class 10 NCERT Solution Ch 2

 India and the Contemporary World (Histoy) Class 10 Ch 2 - Nationalism in India. Here, we are providing the NCERT Solution, which is prepared by our subject matter expert and based CBSE Examination Marking Scheme. This is latest and updated NCERT Solution (2022 - 2023).

NCERT Solution for Class 10 History Ch 2 Nationalism in India

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1. Explain :

a) Why growth of nationalism in the colonies is linked to an anti - colonial movement.

Answer :

Nationalism is a feeling that combines all the people of the nation into a single whole. It is a particular sentiment that binds together all people in one common bond no matter what their religion, caste, language or history be. It is a strong cementing force whereby all kinds of people live together peacefully and can identify themselves as a part of a single whole. People begin to feel that they share common political, social and economic system and common aspirations.

In all the colonies of the world, the imperalist powers exploited the people socially, religiously, economically and politically. It rose nationalism amongst the people of the colonies and united them to launch movements against the colonisers. It brought together different groups and classes into a common struggle for freedom. The national movements were started by a handful of persons, but because of the great craving of the people to free themselves from the foreign yoke it bound the people together in different ways. That is why growth of nationalism in the colonies is linked to an anti - colonial movement.

b) How the First World War helped in the growth of the National Movement in India.

Solution :

The First World War helped in the growth of the National Movement in India in the following ways :

  1. As a result of the First World War, several ruling dynasties were destroyed. The Romanov dynasty in Russia, the Hohtenzooler in Germany and the Habsburg in Austria - Hungry were overthrown. The Ottoman Empire was fast advancing to the grave. It helped in arousing the people of India.
  2. The allied propaganda during the War to defend democracy and self - determination had created nationalist feelings in the colonies.
  3. The arrival of Mahatma Gandhi in the political field of India marked a turning point in the history of National Movement. With the advent of Mahatma Gandhi, the Moderates, the Extremists and the revolutionaries were all combined. Mahatma Gandhi adopted new methods of resistance based on Satya and Ahimsa. He introduced spinning wheel, the gospel of Hindu - Muslim unity and use of Swadeshi cloth. These methods drew the general public into the National Movement.
  4. The War had given rise to many social and economic problems. The Montague - Chelmsford Reforms of 1919 A.D. could not satisfy the aspirations of the Indians. There arose a general discontentment in the Indian masses against the British rule.
  5. The emergence of the Soviet Union and her declaration to support struggle for national independence contributed to the growth of struggle for freedom.
  6. The defeat of Turkey in the First World War and her dismemberment by the Allies annoyed the Muslim masses. They had turned against the British Government.
  7. The Rowlatt Act and the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy had further angered the Indian masses and made the National Movement in India a mass movement.

c) Why Indians were outraged by the Rowlatt Act.

Answer :

The Indians helped the British Government during the First World War. They were hopeful that after the War the government would give them many rights. But the government did not do anything and discontentment spread among the people on this account. The government also got frightened. It feared the beginning of a new movement. To cope with this situation it passed the Rowlatt Act in 1919 A.D. Now the government could arrest anybody without trial. It outraged Indians. The Congress Condemned it as the black legislation and under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, strongly opposed it. Meetings were held everywhere and processions were taken. For the first time the Indians unitedly opposed the British.

d) Why Gandhiji decided to withdraw the Non - Cooperation Movement.

Answer :

Gandhiji started the Non - Cooperation Movement in 1921 A.D. He wanted to carry this movement along peaceful lines. But in 1922 A.D. some people took to violence and a police post in village of U.P., Chauri Chaura was set on fire along with the policemen on duty. There 22 policemen were burnt alive. Gandhiji was greatly pained at this incident and he decided to withdraw the Non - cooperation Movement.

2. What is meant by the idea of satyagraha ?

Answer :

Satyagraha was the non - violent method of fighting against imperialism used by Gandhiji. Gandhiji adopted this method in his struggle against the racist regime in South Africa and the British Empire in India. It laid stress on the power of truth and the need to search for truth. It suggested that if the cause was true, if the struggle was against injustice, one was bound to succeed in the end without restoring to violent means. Without being aggressive, a satyagrahi could appeal to the conscience of the oppressor. People including the oppressors had to be persuaded to see the truth, instead of being forced to accept truth through the use of violence. By this struggle, truth was bound to win in the end. Picketing was one of the ways of Gandhiji's satyagraha.

3. Write a newspaper report on : 

a) The Jallianwala Bagh massacre

Answer :

Indians had helped the British in the First World War. They believed that after the War the government would grant them Swaraj. The British Governemnt, however, had no intention of conceding the demands of the Indian people. Rather it introduced the Montague - Chelmsford Reforms, called the Government of India Act, 1919.

The Montague - Chelmsford Reforms disappointed the Indians. Consequently, there was widespread discontentment throughout the country. In the midst of this discontent, the government resorted to new measures of repression. In March 1919, the Rowlatt Act was passed. This was based on the report of the Rowlatt Commission. The Assembly had opposed it. It empowered the government to put people in jails without any trial. The passing of this Act aroused the indignation of the people. The new measures of repression were condemned as Black Acts. Gandhiji, who had formed a Satyagraha Sabha earlier, called for a countrywide protest. Throughout the country, 6th April 1919 was observed as a National Humilitation Day. There were demonstrations and hartals all over the country. All business throughout the country came to standstill. Such protests of a united people had never been witnessed at any time in India before. The government resorted to brutal measures to put down the agitation and there were latchicharges and firings at a number of places.

In the midst of this repression, a ghastly massacre took place at Amritsar. On 10th April 1919 A.D., two nationalist leaders Satyapal and Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew were arrested. There were a small park in Amritsar called the Jallianwala Bagh. The park is enclosed on three sides by high walls. A narrow lane leads to the park. On 13th April people gathered there to protest against the arrest of the two leaders. The meeting was peaceful. There were many old men, women and children in the meeting. Suddenly, a British military officer, General Dyer, entered the park with his troops. Without even giving a warning to the people to disperse, he ordered his troops to open fire. The troops fired at the unarmed crowd for ten minutes and when their ammunition was exhausted, they left. In those ten minutes, according to the estimates of the Congress, about a thousand persons were killed and about 2000 wounded. The bullet marks can be still seen on the walls of the Jallianwala Bagh, which is now a national memorial.

b) The Simon Commission

Answer :

In 1927 A.D., the British Government appointed a Commission to enquire into the working of the Government Act of 1919 and to suggest further reforms in the system of administration. This Commission is known as the Simon Commission, after Sir John Simon who headed it. Its appointment came as a rude shock to the Indian people. The members of the Commission were all English men and not a single Indian was included in it. The Government showed no inclination of accepting the demand for Swaraj. The composition of the Commission confirmed the fears of the Indian people.

The appointment of the Commission sparked off a wave of protest all over the country. In 1927, the annual session of the Congress was held at Chennai. It decided to boycott the Commission. The Muslim Leaugue also decided to boycott the Commission.

The Commission arrived in India on 3rd February 1928. On that day, the entire country observed a hartal. In the afternoon on that day, meetings were held all over the country to condemn the appointment of the Commission and to declare that the people of India would have nothing to do with it. There was firing at demonstrators in Chennai and lathicharges at many places. The Commission faced massive protest demonstrations and hartals wherever it went. The Central Legislative Assembly decided by a majority that it would have nothing to do with the Commission. All over the country the cry of 'Simon Go Back' was raised. The police restored to repressive measures. Thousands of people were beaten up. It was during these demonstrations that the great nationalist leader Lala Lajpat Rai, who was popularly known as Sher-e-Punjab, was severely assaulted by the police. He died of the injuries inflicted on him by the police. In Lucknow, Jawaharlal Nehru and Govind Ballabh Pant were among those who suffered blows of police lathis. The lathis blows crippled Govind Ballabh Pant for life.

In the agitation against the Simon Commission, the Indian people once again showed their unity and determination for freedom. They now prepared themselves for a bigger struggle.

4. Compare the images of Bharat Mata in this chapter with the image of Germania in Chapter 1.

Answer :

Artists in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries represented a country as it were a person. Nations were then portrayed as female figures. The female form that was chosen to personify the nation did not stand for any particular woman in real life; rather it was meant to give the abstract idea of the nation a concrete form.

In Germany, Germania became the symbol of the German nation. In visual representation, she is shown as wearing a crown of oak leaves, as the German oak stands for heroism.

Similarly, in twentieth century, the identity of India came to be visually associated with the image of Bharat Mata. The image was first created by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhya. Abanindranath Tagore painted his famous image of Bharat Mata. In this painting Bharat Mata is shown as an ascetic figure. She is shown calm, composed, divine and spiritual. In subsequent years, the image of Bharat Mata acquired many different forms and was painted by different artists. In another, she is shown with a trishul, standing besides a lion and elephant - both symbols of power and authority.


1. List all the different social groups which joined the Non - Cooperation Movement of 1921. Then Choose any three and write about their hopes and struggles to show why they joined the movement.

Answer :

The different social groups which joined the Non - cooperational Movement of 1921 were the middle class people in towns, peasants in rural areas, tribal people and plantation workers.

Of these, hopes of peasants in rural areas, tribal people and plantation workers in joining the movement and their struggles are given ahead :

  1. Peasants in rural areas - The peasants in rural areas were being oppressed by talukdars and landlords who demanded from high rents and variety of other taxes. Peasants had to do begar and work at landlords' farms without any payment. As tenants they had no security of tenure and no right over the leased land. So they joined the Non - Cooperation Movement so that they could demand reduction of revenue, abolition of begar and social boycott of oppressive landlords could be met. As the movement spread in 1921, they attacked the houses of taluqdars and merchants, looted bazaars and took over grain hoards.
  2. Tribal People -In the tribal regions, the British Government closed large forest areas. It prevented the people from entering the forests to graze their cattle, or to collect firewood and fruits. This enraged the people. Not only were their livelihoods affected but they felt that their traditional rights were being denied. The government had even started forcing them to contribute begar for road building. Therefore, the tribal people joined the Non -Cooperation Movement to save their livelihoods and traditional rights and not to do begar. But they resorted to violent means against Gandhiji's wish. They attacked police stations, attempted to kill the British officials and carried on guerilla warfare for achieveing Swaraj.
  3. Plantation workers - In Assam, plantation workers took freedom as the rights to move freely in and out of the confined space in which they were enclosed. It meant for them retaining a link with the village from which they had come. Under the Inland Emigration Act of 1859, plantation workers were not permitted to leave the tea gardens without permission. In fact they were rarely given such permission. When they heard of the Non -Cooperation Movement, thousands of workers defied the authorities, left the plantations and headed home. They believed that Gandhiji Raj was coming and everyone would be given land in their own villages. They, nowever, never reached their destination. They were caught by the police and brutally beaten up.
2. Discuss the Salt March to make clear why it was an effective symbol of resistance against colonialism.

Answer :

In December 1929, the Congress Session was held at Lahore with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as the president. In this session, the Congress declared the attainment of Poorna Swaraj or Complete Independence as its aim and decided to launch the Civil Disobedience Movement under the leadership of Gandhiji.

Gandhiji started the Civil Disobedience Movement with what is known as the Salt March. He had found in salt a powerful symbol that could unite the nation. He along with his 78 followers, went to Dandi on the sea coast on foot, on the western coast in Gujrat. He reached there on April 5, 1930 and broke the law by making salt.

The Salt March proved a very effective symbol of resistance against colonialism. Thousands of people came to hear wherever Gandhiji went. Gandhiji told them the meaning of Swaraj and asked them to peacefully defy the British. People were asked not only to refuse cooperation with the British but also to break colonial rules. Inspired by Gandhiji, thousands of people in various parts of the country broke the salt law, manufactured salt and demonstrated in front of government salt factories. As the movement spread, foreign cloth was boycotted and liquor shops were picketed. Peasants refused to pay land tax and other taxes. Village officials resigned. In many places forest people violated forests laws. They went into reserved forests to collect wood and graze cattle.

3. Imagine you are a woman participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement. Explain what are the experience meant to your life.

Answer :

I participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement launched by Gandhiji in 1930 A.D. It was really a matter of pride for me when I, along with other women, took part protes marches, manufactured salt and picketed foreign cloth and liquor shops. Once I went to jail also. Moved by Gandhiji's call, I began to see service to the nation as a sacred duty of women.

The experience of my participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement changed my way of life. I began to realise that the nation was above everything. We should not hesitate even to sacrifice our lives for the country. We should always follow truth and non - violence. We should never resort to violent means even to protest against an oppressor. We should wear khadi and discard foreign clothes.

4. Why did political leaders differ sharply over the question of separate electorates ?

Answer :

The system of separate electorates is a system in which people exercise their franchise on the basis of religion. In this system, people of one religion only vote for a candidate of their own religion.

In 1909 A.D., the system of separate elctorates was introduced for the Muslims. In 1919 A.D., the Sikhs, Anglo - Indians and European were also allowed, along with the Hindus and the Muslims, to send their own representatives. All this was a mischief of the British Government because it wanted the Indian National Movement by dividing the people on religious lines.

Political leaders differed sharply over the question of separate electorates because of the following reasons :

  1. Schedule caste leaders demanded a separate electorate that would choose Schedule Caste members for the legislative councils. They believed that political empowerment would resolve the problem of their social disabilities. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar clashed with Gandhiji at the Second Round Table Conference by demanding separate electorates for Schedule castes. But Gandhiji believed that separate electorates for Schedule castes would slow down their integration into society. Dr. Ambedkar, however, agreed to have joint electorates with the Hindus if the seats for Schedule castes were reserved in the provincial and central legislative councils.
  2. The Muslim leaders, like Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Muhammad Iqbal also demanded a separate electorate for the Muslims so that political rights and other interests of the Muslims could be protected. They were of the opinion that the majority of the people were the Hindus. If there prevailed the system of joint electorates, the Muslims would not be able to secure seats in the peovincial and central legislative councils.
  3. The Congress strongly opposed the British policy of separate electorates. According to it, this provision would become an obstacle in the way of national movement for independence. The British wanted to sow the seeds of hatred in India in order to safeguard their rule in India.

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