India in the 1920s

  • Created by: lwilson23
  • Created on: 10-12-18 11:22

Key Terms to Remember for the 1920s/India Module

Satyagraha - 'truth force'. Interpreted by Gandhi as passive resistance to British rule characterised by mass non-cooperation

Swadesh/i - the Indian term for boycott, a method use by Gandhi and the Indian masses in his satyagraha campaigns. 

Hartal - the Indian word for strike - another method of protest employed by Gandhi in his satyagrahas which paralysed the British.

Ahimsanon-violence - the belief that it is unacceptable to respond with violence when campaigning for independence, peace or justice. Gandhi's philosophy embodied this. 

- Swaraj/ purna swarajdominion status (self rule)/complete severance from Britain. 

Ashramwhat Gandhi wanted to return to, a small, village based, self-sustaining method of living that India was founded on. 

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Gandhi and the INC

- part of the merchant caste. could relate to both sides of the system, important for building rapport with the masses. 

- his 21 years in Pretoria (S.Africa) representing Muslims in legal disputes taught him that Indian conciousness transcended religion and caste, dreams of unity. Learnt satyagraha here. 

- 'An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind' - summarises philosophy. 

- upon his return to India in 1914, the leader of the INC (Gokhale) told Gandhi to visit different communities in India, slowly sewing seeds of unrest on a small scale. Britain didn't perceive him as a threat at this stage. Allowed Gandhi to establish a relationship with the masses. 

- Gandhi became the leader of the INC in 1920, catalysing its growth of support after Amritsar. 

- however Gandhi only really acknowledged the Hindu majority, leading Jinnah and the ML to become disillusioned with the INC cause. Interreligious tension increased

- Gandhi was a messiah-like figure the people of India could get behind. 

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The INC in the 1920s

- 1920 - Gandhi becomes leader of the INC and sparked the second satyagraha at the 25th annual conference of the INC by declaring the goal of swaraj.

- Feb 1922 - Chauri Chaura, where in response to 600 Indian deaths due to disobedience across India, 22 Indian policemen were burnt/beaten to deathAhimsa had been forgotten and Gandhi called for an end to the second satyagraha, fasting so his wishes would be respected. 

- 1922 - 1924 - Gandhi is imprisoned. When he returns he establishes the CONGRESS WORKING COMMITTEE (CWC), his own personal cabinet. He also aimed to improve national literacy, healthcare and began a campaign to eradicate untouchability

- 1928 - the young hooligans burst onto the scene (Bose, Nehru and Narayan), demanding purna swarajThe Nehru report is also written in this year, a first draft of the Indian constitution which showed self-rule was possible and dominion status was a suitable alternative to swaraj. 

- Dec 1929 - the Lahore Congress, where the goal of purna swaraj is declared by Jawaharlal Nehru. 26 Jan, 1930 is declared Independence Day, when the third satyagraha would kick in. 

- 12 Mar - 6 April 1930 - Gandhi's salt march, a 388km march from Gandhi's ashram at Ahmedabad to Dandi to protest against British salt laws. Extremely successful, led to arrests. 

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Jinnah and the ML in the 1920s

- Jinnah acted as an important link between the INC and ML (which he led from 1916), up until 1921 when he left the INC due to disagreement with the Hindu-centric policies. 

- rejected satyagraha and the INC civil disobedience campaigns, and when the Khilafat movement (which indicated unity between religious groups) collapsed in 1924 many Muslims came back to the ML. 

- from 1922 onwards, Hindus and Muslims would never again be united despite Jinnah's attempts. 

- this societal divide is represented by the creation of TANZEEM and TABLIGH, which encouraged growing Muslim consciousness in society to strengthen their standing

- the 1927 Delhi Conference was one such attempt at rapprochement, in which Jinnah proposed the removal of separate electorates in exchange for 1/3 of government seats for Muslims and the creation of one Muslim-dominated province. REJECTED by INC. 

- Jinnah's rejection of the 1928 Nehru report led to his 1929 '14 point plan', which aimed to defend Muslim rights if swaraj was achieved. REJECTED again, with this causing Jinnah to leave India to England where he would pursue a law career until his return in 1934

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British Policy towards India in the 1920s

- Gandhi's satyagraha campaigns were having a crippling effect on the British - couldn't cope. 

- APRIL 1921 - Lord Reading proposes the idea of 'full provincial autonomy' (each province ruling itself) to Gandhi in exchange for suspension of second satyagraha, refused so Reading locks Gandhi and other INC leaders up. 

- a general election was due in Britain in 1929, the same year as the 1919 GOIA was up for renewal. The Conservatives (who were in power at this point) therefore sent in the Simon Commission headed by John Simon in 1927 - in an attempt to see if the GOIA was working and to ensure that it wasn't changed. No members of INC/ML spoke to Commission and report was never published - a massive waste of time. 

- Labour then won the general election, giving the Viceroy Lord Irwin (made Viceroy in 1926) more power as this was the party he belonged to. He issued the IRWIN DECLARATION of OCTOBER 1929 - which stated that Britain was going to work India to dominion status. This came too late however - as the INC now wanted purna swarajcomplete severence from Britain. Gandhi also refused to attend the first RTC, didn't see agreement with Britain as possible, him and other key INC members arrested again. 

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British Policy towards India in the 1920s Continue

- Irwin also asked Gandhi to attend first RTC - he declined as he saw agreement between him and the British as being impossible. Also saw it as political suicide. Him and other INC members arrested due to this. 

- the 3rd satyagraha eventually ended up having detrimental impacts on the business of India as well as Britain. Indian businessmen persuaded Gandhi to meet with Irwin in Feb of 1931. They agreed to the Gandhi-Irwin Pact - a suspension of the civil disobedience campaign and agreement to attend second RTC in exhange for 19,000 INC supporters release from jail and returning of confiscated property. Plans for the second RTC were now set in motion. 

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