This GSEB Class 8 Social Science Notes Chapter 7 Following the Mahatma Part I covers all the important topics and concepts as mentioned in the chapter.
Following the Mahatma Part I Class 8 GSEB Notes
→ The full name of the person we recognize as ‘Bapu’ or the ‘Father of our Nation’ is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
→ Gandhiji went to South Africa to practice law.
→ Due to racial differences in South Africa, Indians enjoyed very few rights as compared to the whites. Gandhiji protested against the injustice, insults and demeaning behaviour of the British towards Indians residing in South Africa with truth and non-violence. He called it ‘Satyagraha.’
→ Truth and non-violence – these were the two important features of ‘Satyagraha’.
→ After the successful Satyagraha in South Africa, Gandhiji returned to India in 1915 at the age of 46.
→ Gopalkrishna Gokhale advised Gandhiji to tour India to understand the needs, the plight and the conditions of the people.
→ Gandhiji toured the country for a year and then established the ‘Satyagraha Ashram’ at Kochrab, Ahmedabad on 25th May, 1915. After two years Gandhiji shifted this Satyagraha Ashram to the banks of the Sabarmati.
→ Champaran is located at the foot of the Himalayas in Bihar near Nepal. It was famous for its mango plantations.
→ European landlords forced the farmers to produce indigo on 3/20th portion of their land in Champaran. They would then exploit the farmers further by making them sell the indigo produce at very low rates.
→ Gandhiji decided to tackle the issue on the request of Rajkumar Shukla. He stayed at Motihari village in Champaran and talked about the problems of these farmers to the British rulers. The British promised to implement Gandhiji’s suggestions. This is how the Champaran Satyagraha became a success.
→ Kheda district in Gujarat experienced famine in 1917. All the crops were completely destroyed. In spite of this, the British Government started collecting tax instead of waiving it. Under Gandhiji’s leadership the farmers performed Satyagraha in protest against the British Government.
→ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel quit his law practice and joined Gandhiji in this Satyagraha.
→ Gandhiji wrote to the tax collector demanding a waiver for the poor farmers and informing him that the rich farmers would pay taxes only if and when the demands of the waiver were met. Finally in 1918, the order to waive the tax was passed. This Satyagraha became famous as the ‘Kheda Satyagraha’.
→ Though the Kheda Satyagraha enjoyed only moderate success, farmers of Gujarat as well as India became fearless, aware and courageous. The most important outcome was that the nation found a devoted and committed leader like Vallabhbhai Patel who had an extremely strong willpower.
→ The Rowlett Act authorized the government to exercise stricter control on press. The British also arrested people without warrants and sentenced them to indefinite jail sentences without trial.
→ The accused were not allowed to know the reason for their arrest nor were they allowed to appeal or know the evidence used against them in court.
→ Thus, this act was a complete violation of the fundamental rights and freedom of expression and speech. Gandhiji protested against this act and called it the ‘Black Act.’
→ A meeting was organized on 13th April, 1919 (on the day of Baisakhi, which was a Full Moon Night) at Jallianwala Baug in Amritsar, to protest against the Rowlett Act and pay tribute to the martyrs who had been victims of British exploitation and also to protest against the arrest of popular leaders Dr. Satyapal and Dr. Kichlu under the Rowlett Act.
→ About 10,000 people had gathered for this meeting. Without any prior notice, General Dyer ordered his soldiers to open fire on the unarmed people gathered there. The firing stopped only when the soldiers ran out of ammunition. Though Government records claim that 379 people died and 1200 were injured during the shootout the actual number of casualties was quite high. After this horrifying incident, Gandhiji completely lost faith in the British sense of justice and fairness.
→ After their victory in the First World War, the allied nations signed a treaty with Turkey that had been defeated in the war. According to the treaty the Turk Sultan who was the religious head (Khalifa) also would have this title cancelled. Indian Muslims started a movement to protest against this treaty. This protest came to be known as the ‘Khilafat Movement’.
→ The main leaders of the Khilafat Movement were the All brothers – Maulana Shaukat All and Maulana Mohammed Ali.
→ In his book ‘Hind Swaraj’ Gandhiji wrote that the British could establish their rule over India only because Indians cooperated with them. Therefore, to get rid of British supremacy, Gandhiji launched the non-cooperation movement in 1920 by returning the title of ‘Kaiser-e-Hind’.
→ The two aspects of the non-cooperation movement were:
- Boycott and
1. Boycott: Complete boycott of government jobs and honours, legislative meetings, government educational institutions, foreign clothes and other goods.
2. Creativity: This included spinning of khadi, eradication of untouchability, commnunalism, alcohol consumption and encouraging Hindu-Muslim unity, along with propagation of Swadeshi goods and national education.
→ During the non-cooperation movement many national educational institutions like Gujarat Vidyapith (in Ahmedabad), Bihar Vidyapith, Kashi Vidyapith, Jamia- Milia Islamia (in Delhi), Tilak Vidyapith (in Pune), etc. were established.
→ Gandhiji was always against violence of any kind. So when, in 1922, angry farmers of Chauri-chaura village of Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh revolted against the sudden attack of the police on a peaceful rally and set fire to a police station killing all the 22 policemen inside, Gandhiji withdrew the non-cooperation movement.
→ In 1927, Britain sent a seven-member commission headed by Sir Simon to India to investigate the progress of governance and suggest new steps for reforms. However, there wasn’t a single Indian who would represent Indians. Therefore, all the Indian leaders boycotted the Simon Commission.
→ People welcomed the Simon Commission with black flags and the slogan: ‘SIMON, GO BACK’.
→ In 1928 the British government increased the taxes on land by 22 % in Bardoli village of Surat district. When the government did not attend to the people’s request to lower taxes, a Satyagraha was undertaken to protest against this untimely and unjust levy.
→ Vallabhbhai Patel undertook the leadership of the Bardoli Satyagraha. He also got help from great leaders like Ravishankar Maharaj and Jugatram Dave for the Satyagraha.
→ The success of the Bardoli Satyagraha made people confer the title of ‘Sardar’ on Vallabhbhai Patel.
→ In 1928 a committee was appointed under the chairmanship of Pandit Motilal Nehru to form the Constitution of India. The draft which they prepared was called the ‘Nehru Report’.
→ However, when the Muslim League did not accept it, the British Government rejected it.
→ On December 31, 1929, at midnight the Congress passed a resolution of ‘Complete Freedom’ on the banks of River Ravi in Lahore under the chairmanship of Jawaharlal Nehru.
→ According to this resolution, from 26th January, 1930 the goal of the Congress was ‘Complete
→ Freedom’ for the whole country instead of just regional freedom.
→ On 26th January, 1930 the congress took the oath of complete freedom. So the Constitution of India was also implemented on 26th January, 1950 to commemorate this day.