Civil Disobedience Movement

5 minute read
Civil Disobedience Movement

Civil disobedience movement was a landmark event in the Indian Natiomalist movement. In many ways, the civil disobedience movement is credited for paving the way for freedom in India. It was significant in many ways as it was a movement spread to the urban areas and witnessed the participation of women and people belonging to the lower castes. In this blog we bring to you the revision notes of the civil disobedience movement. 

Also Read: Non-Cooperation Movement: Features, Causes and Results

Civil Disobedience Movement- How it Began

Civil disobedience was initiated under the stewardship of Mahatma Gandhi. It was launched after the observance of Independence Day in 1930. The civil disobedience movement commenced with the infamous dandi march when Gandhi left the Sabarmati Ashram at Ahmedabad on foot with 78 other members of the Ashram for Dandi on 12 March 1930. After reaching Dandi, Gandhi broke the salt law. It was considered illegal to make salt as it was solely a government monopoly. The salt satyagraha led to a widespread acceptance of the civil Disobedience movement across the country. This event became symbolic of people’s defiance of the government policies.

Civil Disobedience Movement- Effects of the movement 

Following Gandhi’s footsteps, C. Rajgopalchari in Tamil Nadu led a similar march from Trichinopoly to Vedaranyam. At the same time  Sarojini Naidu, a prominent leader in the congress led the movement in Darasana in Gujarat. The police opened a lathi charge which led to over 300 satyagrahis being severely injured. Consequently, there were demonstrations, hartals, a boycott of foreign goods, and later refusal to pay taxes. A lakh of participants including women participated in this movement. 

Reaction by the British government 

In order to consider the reforms by the Simon Commission, the British government convened the first round table conference in November 1930. It was however boycotted by the Indian National Congress. The conference was attended by  Indian princes, the Muslim League, Hindu Mahasabha, and some others. However, nothing came of it. The British realized that without the participation of congress no real constitutional changes would come about. 

The viceroy, Lord Irwin made efforts to persuade Congress to join the second round table congress. Gandhi and Irwin reached an agreement wherein the government agreed to release all political prisoners against whom there were no charges of violence and in turn congress would suspend the civil disobedience movement. In the Karachi session in  1931, presided over by Vallabhbhai Patel, it was decided that the congress would participate in the 2nd round table congress. Gandhi represented the session which met in September 1931.

The Karachi Session

At the Karachi session, an important resolution of fundamental rights and economic policy was passed. Besides laying down the policy of the nationalist movement on social and economic problems facing the country, it guaranteed fundamental rights to the people irrespective of caste and religion and favoured the nationalisation of industries. The session met with the participation of  Indian princes, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communal leaders. However, the sole reason for their participation was to promote their vested interests. None of them were interested in the independence of India. Due to this, the second round table conference was met with a failure and no agreement could be reached. The government repression intensified and Gandhi and many other leaders were arrested. In all about 12,000 people were arrested. After the withdrawal of the movement in 1939, Congress passed a resolution that demanded that a constituent assembly, elected by the people on the basis of adult franchise, be convened. And that only such an assembly could frame the constitution for India. Even though Congress did not succeed, this garnered vast sections of the people to participate in the mass struggle. Radical objectives for the transformation of Indian society were also adopted. 

Impact of Civil Disobedience Movement

The impact of the civil disobedience movement reverberated far and wide. It created distrust towards the British government and laid the foundation for the freedom struggle, and popularised the new method of propaganda like the Prabhat, pheris, pamphlets, etc. Following the defiance of forest law in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Central province and the refusal to pay the rural ‘Chaukidari tax’ in Eastern India, the government ended the oppressive salt tax.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

How did the civil disobedience movement begin?

The Salt Satyagraha was a massive civil disobedience movement pioneered by Mahatma Gandhi against the salt tax imposed by the British government in India. Gandhi was followed by a large group of people from Sabarmati Ashram on 12th March 1930 till Dandi, a coastal village in Gujarat. On reaching Dandi, they broke the salt law by extracting salt from salt water.

What are the features of the civil disobedience movement?

Civil disobedience movement was the first nationwide movement while all others were restricted to urban areas. 
This movement gave chance to the people in rural areas the opportunity to participate.
This movement witnessed the participation of women was in large numbers
Kasturba Gandhi, Kamladevi Chattopadhyay, Avantikabai Gokhale, Lilavati Munshi, Hansaben Mehta were some of the prominent female leaders who led the satyagraha movement
The motto of this movement was Non-violence.
Despite  continuous suppression by the British government, this movement did not turn back

Which of the following was one of the eleven demands of MK Gandhi before the Civil Disobedience Movement?

A. Reduce expenditure on the military and civil administration by 50 per cent.
B. Change Arms Act allowing popular control of the issue of firearms licences
C. Only A
D. Both A & B
Ans. D

Who  led a salt march from Trichinopoly to Vedaranniyam on the Tanjore coast in Tamil Nadu?

A. Surya Sen
B. K Kelappan
C. P Krishna Pillai
D. C. Rajagopalachari
And. D

In which of the following session Indian National Congress passed the resolution of Fundamental Rights and the Economic Policy?

In which of the following session Indian National Congress passed the resolution of Fundamental Rights and the Economic Policy?

A. Karachi Session of March 1931
B. Bombay Session of August 1942
C. Delhi Session of September 1938
D. Lahore Session of July 1930
Ans. A

This was all about the civil disobedience movement. We hope you find the revision notes helpful in your preparations. For more such content, subscribe to Leverage Edu and book a free session with our experts.

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