NCERT CBSE History Class 10 Chapter 2 Notes “Nationalism in India”

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NCERT CBSE History Class 10 Chapter 2 Notes “Nationalism in India”

Welcome to CBSE Class 10 History Class 10 Chapter 3 Notes Nationalism in India. 

Indian nationalism emerged during the Indian independence movement, which opposed the colonial rule of the British Raj. This chapter explores the period from the 1920s, focusing on the Non-Cooperation and Civil Disobedience Movements. 

It delves into Congress’ efforts to strengthen the national movement, the involvement of various social groups, and how nationalism inspired people across India. CBSE Class 10 History Notes Chapter 2 ¨Nationalism in India¨ provides a detailed yet concise overview essential for exam preparation.

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The First World War, Khilafat and Non-Cooperation

In India, the rise of modern nationalism is closely tied to the anti-colonial movement. Colonial rule brought together diverse groups, and these bonds were strengthened under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress Party.

After 1919, the war created a new economic and political landscape. The introduction of income tax and a doubling of customs duties between 1913 and 1918 made life very challenging for the common people. 

The crop failures in 1918-19 caused a food shortage, which was compounded by an influenza epidemic. During this difficult time, a new leader emerged, proposing a fresh approach to the struggle.

The Idea of Satyagraha

Satyagraha movement, emphasising the power of truth and the need to seek it. Gandhi believed that non-violence could win battles and unite all Indians. 

In 1917, he travelled to Champaran, Bihar, to inspire peasants to oppose the oppressive plantation system. That same year, he organised a satyagraha in Kheda, Gujarat, to support local peasants. In 1918, he went to Ahmedabad to lead a satyagraha movement among cotton mill workers.

The Rowlatt Act

In 1919, Gandhi initiated a nationwide satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act, which granted the government extensive powers to suppress political activities and detain political prisoners without trial for two years. 

The British government’s harsh response, including the police firing on a peaceful procession in Amritsar on April 10th, triggered widespread violence. Martial law was imposed, and General Dyer took command, leading to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on April 13th, where hundreds were killed. 

The violence forced Gandhi to call off the movement, fearing it was turning into a violent conflict.

Why Non-cooperation?

In Hind Swaraj (1909), Mahatma Gandhi argued that British rule in India relied on Indian cooperation, and without it, British control would collapse within a year, leading to swaraj (self-rule).
He proposed a non-cooperation movement in stages, surrendering government-awarded titles and boycotting civil services, the army, police, courts, legislative councils, schools, and foreign goods. If the government responded with repression, a full civil disobedience campaign would follow.

In the summer of 1920, Gandhi and Shaukat Ali toured the country, mobilising support for the movement. However, many Congress members were concerned about boycotting the November 1920 council elections and feared potential violence. 

Intense debates ensued between September and December, but a compromise was reached at the December 1920 Congress session in Nagpur, and the Non-Cooperation movement was adopted.

Differing Strands within the Movement

In January 1921, the Non-Cooperation-Khilafat Movement began, attracting various social groups, each interpreting it differently. The middle class led the movement, with thousands of students, teachers, and lawyers leaving government institutions. Economically, the boycott of foreign goods boosted Indian textile production. 

However, the movement slowed as Khadi clothes were expensive, and there were few Indian institutions for students and teachers. Many returned to government schools, and lawyers resumed their practices.

The Movement in the Towns

The Non-Cooperation Movement saw middle-class urban participation, with students and teachers leaving institutions and lawyers ceasing practice. 

The boycott of foreign goods boosted Indian textile production, but the movement slowed due to the high cost of khadi and insufficient alternatives to British institutions.

Rebellion in the Countryside

The Non-Cooperation Movement spread to the countryside, where peasants and tribals began protesting against high rents and other cesses demanded by landlords. In June 1920, Jawaharlal Nehru toured villages in Awadh to understand their grievances. 

By October, he and others established the Oudh Kisan Sabha, which rapidly grew. By 1921, the peasant movement intensified, leading to attacks on landlords’ houses, looting of bazaars, and taking over grain boards.

In the early 1920s, a militant guerrilla movement emerged in the Gudem Hills of Andhra Pradesh. The government’s closure of forest areas affected the livelihoods of the hill people, leading to a revolt led by Alluri Sitaram Raju, who claimed special powers.

In the early 1920s, a militant guerrilla movement emerged in the Gudem Hills of Andhra Pradesh. The government’s closure of forest areas affected the livelihoods of the hill people, leading to a revolt led by Alluri Sitaram Raju, who claimed special powers.

Swaraj in the Plantations

For plantation workers in Assam, freedom meant the right to move freely and maintain connections with their home villages. Under the Inland Emigration Act of 1859, they couldn’t leave the tea gardens without permission.

Inspired by the Non-Cooperation Movement, thousands of workers left the plantations, but many were caught and brutally beaten by the police.

Towards Civil Disobedience

In February 1922, Gandhi withdrew from the Non-Cooperation Movement due to increasing violence. Some leaders wanted to participate in provincial council elections, leading to the formation of the Swaraj Party by CR Das and Motilal Nehru. 

By the late 1920s, Indian politics was influenced by the global economic depression and falling agricultural prices. The Simon Commission, set up to review the constitutional system, was met with the slogan ‘Go back, Simon’. 

In December 1929, under Jawaharlal Nehru’s presidency, the Lahore Congress demanded ‘Purna Swaraj’ or full independence for India, declaring January 26, 1930, as Independence Day.

The Salt March and the Civil Disobedience Movement

On January 31, 1930, Gandhi sent a letter to Viceroy Irwin listing eleven demands, with the most significant being the abolition of the salt tax. When the demands were not met by March 11, Congress began a civil disobedience campaign. 

Gandhi, with 78 volunteers, marched over 240 miles from Sabarmati to Dandi, where he made salt by boiling seawater on April 6, marking the start of the Civil Disobedience Movement.

The movement spread nationwide, with salt laws being broken, foreign goods boycotted, and peasants refusing to pay revenue. Gandhi’s arrest in May 1930 led to widespread protests. Gandhi called off the movement, entering a pact with Irwin on March 5, 1931, agreeing to participate in a Round Table Conference in London. 

When the conference failed, Gandhi relaunched the Civil Disobedience Movement, which continued until 1934.

How Participants saw the Movement

The Patidars of Gujarat and Jats of Uttar Pradesh were enthusiastic supporters of the Civil Disobedience Movement but felt disillusioned when it was called off in 1931, leading to decreased participation in 1932. Poorer peasants joined radical movements led by Socialists and Communists.

Industrialists, organizing through the Indian Industrial and Commercial Congress and FICCI, supported the movement, with some industrial workers also participating. Women participated on a large scale, though Congress was reluctant to give them authority positions.

The Limits of Civil Disobedience

Dalits, or untouchables, were not moved by the concept of Swaraj. Gandhi called them Harijans, organizing satyagraha for them, but they sought reserved seats and separate electorates. 

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar clashed with Gandhi at the second Round Table Conference over separate electorates, leading to the Poona Pact of 1932, granting reserved seats to Dalits. 

After the Non-Cooperation-Khilafat movement, Muslims felt alienated from Congress, worsening Hindu-Muslim relations. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was willing to compromise on separate electorates if Muslims were assured reserved seats in the Central Assembly and proportional representation in Muslim-dominated provinces. 

However, the All Parties Conference in 1928 failed to resolve these issues.

Also Read: NCERT Class 8 Geography Chapter 1 Resources Notes (Free PDF)

The Sense of Collective Belonging

Nationalism spread as people began to see themselves as part of one nation. History, fiction, folklore, songs, and symbols played roles in fostering nationalism. 

The identity of India became associated with Bharat Mata, an image created by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, who wrote ‘Vande Mataram’ in the 1870s. 

Abanindranath Tagore’s painting of Bharat Mata depicted her as an ascetic figure. Nationalists collected folk tales and songs, and during the Swadeshi movement, a tricolor flag was designed. By 1921, Gandhi designed the Swaraj flag, representing self-help ideals.


In the early twentieth century, diverse groups of Indians united in the struggle for independence. 

Under Gandhi’s leadership, the Congress worked to reconcile differences and ensure that the demands of one group did not alienate another, fostering a nation with many voices seeking freedom from colonial rule.

Also Read: NCERT Class 8 History Chapter 2 From Trade to Territory

10 Important Dates and Events of the Chapter CBSE Class 10 History Class 10 Chapter 2 Notes ¨Nationalism in India¨

Let us delve into the important days and events of the chapter ¨Nationalism in India¨ from the following breakdown:

1. 1915: Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa and introduced the concept of Satyagraha, emphasizing non-violent resistance and the search for truth.

2. 1917: Gandhi traveled to Champaran, Bihar, to support peasants against oppressive plantation systems, marking the start of his active leadership in India.

3. 1918: Gandhi organized a satyagraha in Ahmedabad to support cotton mill workers, expanding the movement to urban laborers.

4. 1919: The Rowlatt Act was introduced, giving the British government powers to repress political activities. Gandhi launched a nationwide satyagraha in response.

5. April 13, 1919: The Jallianwala Bagh massacre occurred, where General Dyer ordered troops to fire on a peaceful gathering, killing hundreds and intensifying the anti-colonial movement.

6. 1920: Gandhi and Shaukat Ali mobilized support for the Non-Cooperation Movement, urging the boycott of British institutions and goods.

7. December 1920: The Congress session in Nagpur adopted the Non-Cooperation program, formalizing the movement’s strategy.

8. 1921-1922: The Non-Cooperation Movement led to a significant boycott of foreign goods, halving cloth imports and boosting Indian textile production.

9. February 1922: Gandhi called off the Non-Cooperation Movement after violent clashes in Chauri Chaura, reflecting his commitment to non-violence.

10. 1922-1934: Various regions saw continued resistance, including the militant guerrilla movement in the Gudem Hills led by Alluri Sitaram Raju, culminating in the Civil Disobedience Movement launched by Gandhi.

Also Read:  NCERT Class 8 Geography Chapter 1 Resources Notes (Free PDF)


Q.1. What is Nationalism in India Chapter 2 of History?

Ans: Nationalism in India Chapter 2 of History explores the emergence and development of Indian nationalism during the independence movement against British colonial rule.

Q.2. What is the name of Chapter 2 of Class 10 History?

Ans: The name of Chapter 2 of Class 10 History is “Nationalism in India.”

Q.3. Which chapter is most important in class 10 History?

Ans: The importance of chapters in Class 10 History can vary depending on the curriculum and syllabus. However, “Nationalism in India” is often considered significant because it covers the foundational aspects of India’s struggle for independence, including key movements and leaders.

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