Nationalism in India: NBSE class 10 social science notes online

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Get here the notes/solutions/extras of NBSE Class 10 Social Science Chapter 3 Nationalism in India. However, the study materials should be used only for references and nothing more. The notes can be modified/changed according to needs.

NOTE: This chapter is for Nagaland Board notes. If you are looking for Tripura Board notes, click here


In the early 1900s, India was under British rule. The Indian people suffered greatly under the oppressive colonial regime. Taxes were high, famines and diseases were widespread, and the British put heavy restrictions on the people’s freedoms. However, a great leader arose who would unite the Indian people in their struggle for independence – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi had spent many years in South Africa fighting against racial discrimination. There he developed the idea of satyagraha – non-violent civil disobedience and insistence on truth as a way to resist injustice. When he returned to India in 1915, he began using satyagraha against the British rulers.

Gandhi’s first major victories came through local satyagraha movements. In 1917, he supported peasants in Champaran who were being forced to grow indigo by British planters. Through peaceful protests, the unjust system was dismantled. The next year in Kheda, Gujarat, Gandhi led peasants in successfully refusing to pay revenue taxes after a famine. He also backed a strike by textile workers in Ahmedabad, securing them better wages. These local movements made Gandhi a hero to the common people.

In 1919, the notorious Rowlatt Act gave the British the power to jail Indians without trial for suspected sedition. Gandhi called for a nationwide hartal (strike) in protest. Tragically, British troops fired on civilians in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar, killing hundreds. This fueled wider protests.

In 1920, Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation Movement, urging Indians to non-violently refuse to cooperate with the British until they granted self-rule. Millions of Indians revered Gandhi as their leader and participated through strikes, boycotts of British goods and institutions, and peaceful civil disobedience. However, violence broke out at Chauri Chaura in 1922, leading Gandhi to call off the movement as he stuck firmly to non-violence.

Though temporary, the Non-Cooperation Movement showed the Indian people’s unified resolve for purna swaraj (complete independence). It re-energized Indian nationalism and was a major step towards ending British rule.

Over the next decade, the struggle continued to build. In 1930, Gandhi launched another nationwide satyagraha through the famous Dandi March, where he defied the British salt monopoly by making his own salt. The Salt Satyagraha sparked massive civil disobedience across India.

Though the movements were sometimes suppressed, the desire for freedom could not be crushed. All across India, people interpreted Gandhi’s call for swaraj in their own ways – for peasants it meant ending oppressive landlordism, for workers it was bargaining rights, and for tribes it was protecting their lands and lifestyle.

Revolutionary leaders like Subhas Chandra Bose represented an alternate approach to Gandhi’s non-violence. Bose formed the Indian National Army that fought against the British forces alongside the Japanese during World War II. Though unsuccessful militarily, the INA showed Indians’ willingness to use force for independence if needed.

Finally, under immense pressure from the nationwide freedom movement, the British were forced to make plans to leave India. In 1946, the Cabinet Mission proposed a united Indian federation with significant Muslim autonomy. But with neither Indian leaders nor the British able to reconcile Hindu-Muslim differences, Partition occurred in 1947, creating the new nations of India and Pakistan.

Important dates, years, and events

  • 1914-1918: Economic hardships due to World War I. 
  • 1915: Return of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to India. 
  • 1917: Champaran Satyagraha for indigo farmers’ rights. 
  • 1918: Kheda Satyagraha addressing peasant woes. 
  • 1918: Ahmedabad mill workers’ strike for fair wages. 
  • 1919: Jallianwala Bagh massacre on April 13. 
  • 1920-1922: Non-Cooperation and Khilafat Movement. 
  • 1922 February: Chauri Chaura incident leading to the withdrawal of the Non-Cooperation Movement. 
  • 1924 May: Arrest of Alluri Sitarama Raju, ending a two-year tribal struggle. 
  • 1927: British government announces the Simon Commission. 
  • 1928: Nationwide protests against Simon Commission; Lala Lajpat Rai’s death. 
  • 1929 December: Lahore Congress; Resolution for ‘Purna Swaraj’. 
  • 1930 March: Launch of Civil Disobedience Movement by Gandhi. 
  • 1931 March: Suspension of Civil Disobedience Movement. 
  • 1931 September-December: Second Round Table Conference. 
  • 1932: Civil Disobedience Movement relaunched. 
  • 1943: Formation of the Indian National Army by Subhas Chandra Bose. 
  • 1945: INA’s military campaigns in North-East India. 
  • 1946 March 24: Arrival of Cabinet Mission in India. 
  • 1946 May 16: Announcement of Cabinet Mission Plan. 
  • 1947 August 15: India gains independence. 

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Textual questions and answers

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) 

1. Which was the first Satyagraha launched by Gandhiji in India? 

(a) Champaran Satyagraha (b) Kheda Satyagraha (c) Ahmedabad Cotton Mill Workers Satyagraha (d) None of these 

Answer: (a) Champaran Satyagraha 

2. Baba Ramchandra was: 

(a) A sanyasi who was earlier an indentured labourer (b) Leader of the peasant revolt in Awadh (c) Founder of the Kishan Sabha of Awadh in October 1920 along with J.L. Nehru (d) All the above 

Answer: (d) All the above 

3. The leader of the peasants in the Gudem Hills of Andhra Pradesh was 

(a) Baba Ramchandra (b) Venkata Raju (c) Alluri Sitaram Raju (d) Motilal Nehru 

Answer: (c) Alluri Sitaram Raju 

4. Read the following statements – Assertion (A) and Reason (R). Choose one of the correct alternatives given below: 

Assertion (A): The Kheda campaign was chiefly directed against the government. 

Reason (R): The peasants demanded a remission in land revenue due to a severe drought and crop failure. 

(a) Both Assertion (A) and Reason (R) are true and Reason (R) is the correct explanation of Assertion (A) (b) Both Assertion (A) and Reason (R) are true and Reason (R) is not the correct explanation of Assertion (A) (c) Assertion (A) is true but Reason (R) is false. (d) Assertion (A) is false but Reason (R) is true. 

Answer: (a) Both Assertion (A) and Reason (R) are true and Reason (R) is the correct explanation of Assertion (A) 

5. Arrange the following statements in sequential order based on the events that shaped the Non-Cooperation Movement. 

I: General Dyer opened fire at a large peaceful crowd in Jallianwala Bagh. II: Economic hardships faced by the people during the First World War. III: The Khilafat Movement IV: Gandhiji launched a nationwide Satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act. 

(a) IV III II I (b) II I III IV (c) I IV III II (d) I II III IV 

Answer: (d) I II III IV 

6. Which leader died due to injuries sustained during the above protest? 

(a) Sardar Bhagat Singh (b) Lala Lajpat Rai (c) B.C. Pal (d) Motilal Nehru 

Answer: (b) Lala Lajpat Rai 

7. Consider the statements given below and choose the correct answer. 

Statement I: A new constitution was drafted under the leadership of Motilal Nehru in 1928.
Statement II: The Lahore session of the Congress (1929) adopted the resolution of complete independence for India. 

(a) Statement I is correct and II is incorrect (b) Statement I is incorrect and II is correct (c) Both Statements I and II are incorrect (d) Both statements I and II are correct. 

Answer: (d) Both statements I and II are correct. 

Very Short Answer Questions  

1. Name the leader of the tribal movement in Andhra Pradesh. 

Answer: The leader of the tribal movement in Andhra Pradesh was Alluri Sitaram Raju.

2. Who formed the Swaraj Party?

Answer: The Swaraj Party was formed by C.R. Das and Motilal Nehru.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the significance of the Lahore Session of the Congress held in December 1929? 

Answer: The significance of the Lahore Session of the Congress held in December 1929 is highlighted by the adoption of the resolution of complete independence for India as its goal. Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the Indian tricolour flag of Indian independence at midnight on December 31, and it was declared that January 26, 1930, would be celebrated as Independence Day when people were to take the pledge for complete independence.

2. Write any two principles of Satyagraha.

Answer: Satyagraha meant insistence on truth and need to search for truth.

3. When and why was the Inland Emigration Act passed by the British in India?

Answer: The Inland Emigration Act was passed by the British in India in 1859 to restrict the movement of plantation workers, particularly in the tea gardens of Assam, by not allowing them “to go back to their villages without their permission”​​.

Long Answer Questions

1. Discuss the tribal movement in Andhra Pradesh and its impact on nationalism.

Answer: “The tribals of Gudem Hills in Andhra Pradesh gave their own interpretation to ‘Swaraj’. They started a militant guerrilla movement against the colonial government. Their leader was Alluri Sitaram Raju who claimed he had special powers. He could survive bullet shots, make correct astrological predictions, and could heal people. 

The reasons for their uprising were many: 

(i) The British administration had ended their isolation and brought them fully under colonialism.

(ii) It made tribal chiefs into Zamindars and introduced a new system of land revenue and taxation of whatever the tribals produced. 

(iii) It tried to spread Christianity among the tribals and sent hundreds of Christian missionaries to their areas. 

(iv) Colonialism also introduced money lenders, traders, and middlemen into their society. 

(v) These middlemen soon took possession of their land and forced many tribes into debt. 

(vi) In a very short time, the tribals lost their land and were forced to become agricultural laborers, share-croppers, and rack-rented tenants on their own land.

Raju’s efforts and the participation of the tribals in the national movement emphasized the inclusive nature of the struggle for independence, bringing to light the diverse challenges faced by different communities within India. 

2. Describe the main features of the Cabinet Mission Plan. 

Answer: The Cabinet Mission Plan envisaged a confederation consisting of three groups of autonomous states vesting the powers of three departments – Defence, external affairs, and communications—in a central government and all the remaining powers with the groups themselves. 

Each of the groups was free to have a separate constitution of its own choice, thus giving ample scope for both the leading religious groups, Hindus and Muslims, to live unitedly but at the same time to enjoy complete autonomy in areas where they were in majority. 

The plan had two parts, namely a long-term programme and a short-term one. While the former was concerned with the future political setup on a permanent basis, the latter was intended to establish an immediate Indian interim government.

It was proposed in the plan that for this assembly, each province would be assigned a specific number of seats. This number will be proportionate to the population of the province. The total number of seats in the proposed Constituent Assembly was fixed at 389 to be divided as follows: British India 292 seats; Chief Commissioners Provinces 4 seats in the Indian States 93 seats.

3. Discuss the contribution of Subhas Chandra Bose in the freedom struggle.

Answer: Subhas Chandra Bose, popularly known as ‘Netaji’, was a key figure in the Indian freedom struggle, diverging from Gandhi’s non-violent approach. Influenced by leaders like Lokmanya Tilak and Sri Aurobindo, Bose initially joined and led the Congress Party. However, he later formed the Forward Bloc due to ideological differences with Gandhi. During World War II, seizing the British vulnerability, Bose escaped from Calcutta, travelled through Peshawar, Kabul, and Moscow, and eventually reached Germany to seek Hitler’s support. Impressed, Hitler aided Bose in organising the Indian prisoners of war into the Liberation Army.

In 1943, Bose established the Indian National Army (I.N.A.) in Singapore, leading an offensive against the British in northeast India in 1945 with the rallying cry “Delhi Chalo.” Although this campaign was not successful, it underscored the Indian determination for independence. Bose died in a plane crash on August 18, 1945, not living to see India’s independence, but his legacy and the phrase “Jai Hind” continue to inspire, embodying his indomitable spirit in the freedom movement.

Extra MCQs

1. What did the term ‘Swaraj’ symbolize in the context of the Non-Cooperation Khilafat Movement? 

A. British governance in India B. Hindu-Muslim unity C. Self-rule or independence D. The partition of India 

Answer: C. Self-rule or independence 

2. What was a significant outcome of the First World War on India? 

A. Decrease in economic problems B. Unity among different nations C. Turning point in the Indian National Movement D. Reduction of taxes 

Answer: C. Turning point in the Indian National Movement 

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82. How did the Muslim League initially respond to the proposals of the Cabinet Mission Plan? 

A. They accepted all proposals B. They objected to some proposals C. They fully supported the Congress D. They demanded immediate partition 

Answer: B. They objected to some proposals 

Extra questions and answers

1. Who emerged as a new leader on the Indian national scene during the period after the First World War? 

Answer: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi emerged as a new leader on the Indian national scene during the period after the First World War. 

2. How did the First World War create economic problems for the people of India? 

Answer: The First World War created economic problems for the people of India by increasing taxes, custom duties, and a higher income tax. There was an alarming rise in prices between 1914 and 1918, causing great hardships, especially in rural areas where people were forced into the armed forces, and famines and epidemics between 1918-1921 worsened their misery. 

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47. Analyze the challenges and outcomes faced by the Cabinet Mission Plan in its attempt to reconcile the Congress and the Muslim League. 

Answer: The Cabinet Mission Plan faced significant challenges in its attempt to reconcile the divergent demands of the Congress and the Muslim League, culminating in a complex proposal that ultimately failed to achieve unanimous acceptance. Despite prolonged negotiations and the proposal of a novel confederation structure aimed at balancing autonomy with unity, the plan’s rejection of Pakistan’s partition and its intricate governance model led to objections from both parties. The Congress and the Muslim League disagreed on several aspects of the plan, particularly on the nature of the central authority and the allocation of powers between the central and regional governments. The Congress decided to accept the Constituent Assembly, albeit with reservations, while the Muslim League initially protested against the plan but later contested the elections, indicating a tactical shift rather than a full endorsement. This response highlighted the deep-seated political and ideological rifts that the Mission struggled to bridge, leading to a continuation of political strife and laying the groundwork for the eventual partition of India. 

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