Ans. Azad was born in Mecca to a Bengali father and an Arab mother. Well-versed in many languages, Azad was a scholar of Islam and an exponent of the notion of wahadat-i-deen, the essential oneness of all religions. An active participant in Gandhian movements and a staunch advocate of Hindu- Muslim unity, he was opposed to Jinnah’s two-nation theory.
Ans. Their goals were stated as the goals of all the people of India, not those of any one region, community or class. They worked with the idea that the people should be sovereign – a modern consciousness and a key feature of nationalism. In other words, they believed that the Indian people should be empowered to take decisions regarding their affairs.
Ans. In September 1939, after two years of Congress rule in the provinces, the Second World War broke out. Critical of Hitler, Congress leaders were ready to support the British war effort. But in return they wanted that India be granted independence after the war. The British refused to concede the demand. The Congress ministries resigned in protest.
Ans. Mahatma Gandhi was against violent movements. He abruptly called off the Non-Cooperation Movement when in February 1922 a crowd of peasants set fire to a police station in Chauri Chaura. Twentytwo policemen were killed on that day. The peasants were provoked because the police had fired on their peaceful demonstration.
Ans. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was the Pashtun leader from the North West Frontier Province. Also known as Badshah Khan, he was the founder of the Khudai Khidmatgars, a powerful non-violent movement among the Pathans of his province. Badshah Khan was strongly opposed to the Partition of India. He criticised his Congress colleagues for agreeing to the 1947 division.
Ans. In 1927 the British government in England decided to send a commission headed by Lord Simon to decide India’s political future. The Commission had no Indian representative. The decison created an outrage in India. All political groups decided to boycott the Commission. When the Commission arrived it was met with demonstrations with banners saying “Simon Go Back”.
Ans. Ambabai of Karnataka had been married at age twelve. Widowed at sixteen, she picketed foreign cloth and liquor shops in Udipi. She was arrested, served a sentence and was rearrested. Between prison terms she made speeches, taught spinning, and organised prabhat pheris. Ambabai regarded these as the happiest days of her life because they gave it a new purpose and commitment.
Ans. Purna Swaraj would never come on its own. It had to be fought for. In 1930, Gandhiji declared that he would lead a march to break the salt law. According to this law, the state had a monopoly on the manufacture and sale of salt. Mahatma Gandhi along with other nationalists reasoned that it was sinful to tax salt since it is such an essential item of our food. The Salt March related the general desire of freedom to a specific grievance shared by everybody, and thus did not divide the rich and the poor.
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