Q.1.How did the Champaran episode prove to be a
turning point in Gandhiji’s life? Explain with the
reference to the text, ‘Indigo’.
Ans: Gandhiji recounts
that it was the year 1916, when he was approached by a peasant, Rajkumar Shukla from Champaran during the annual meeting of the Indian National
Congress in Lucknow.
He wished Gandhiji to visit his state and look into
the condition of sharecroppers there. Gandhiji
learned that the areas of Champaran districts were
divided into large estates owned by English men and were worked by the Indians
worked as their tenant farmers and they had to pay 15 % of their land. Gandhiji reached their and started by trying to get
together all the facts and met with resistance from the British. After the investigates by Gandhiji and
the lawyers into the grievances of the farmers, it was decided by the Britishers that 25% of the money would be refunded. Gandhiji accepted the money offered to the farmer as refund
even though he had demanded 50 % and thus the deadlock was broken. The farmers
learnt that they too had rights and they became courageous. Within a few years
the landlords relinquished their claims over the estates, which reverted back
to the farmers.
Now Gandhiji embarked on a programme to reform the economic and
cultural backwardness of the area. He appointed volunteers to teach the
villagers. Kasturba taught the Ashram rules and personal cleanliness and
community sanitation. He got a doctor to volunteer his services for six months
to improve the health conditions of the people. They realized the value of self reliance. Some of Gandhiji’s
and lawyer friends thought that it would be a good idea of Charles Free
Andrews, an English pacifist, who was a devoted follower of Gandhiji
and on a farewell visit, should stay and help.Gandhiji
strongly opposed it. If they get an English man on their sides it would show
the weakness of their heart. They must rely on themselves to win the battle.
The Champaran episode gave Gandhiji
self confidence, direction and an impetus to launch
freedom movement throughout India.
Thus this episode was a turning point in his life as well in India.
Q.2. How do we know that
ordinary people too contributed to the freedom movement?
Ans: For the success of any movement, cooperation and participation of
all is must. They make the movement not only a success but also lead to the
pinnacle. When the peasants knew about Gandhiji, they
reached Muzzafarpur. Gandhiji
was ordered to appear in Motihari court on the
following morning. Then the multitude of peasants blackened the town of Motihari.
They knew that the Gandhiji, who wanted to help them,
was in trouble with the authorities. It was perhaps the first kind of
spontaneous demonstration of Indian against the Britishers.
Seeing the situation beyond control, they sought his help to regulate the
unprecedented crowd. The government was baffled. It has such an impact on the
Government that the civil disobedience won for the first time in 1917 in modern
Side by side the
Government had to appoint an official inquiry commission to find out the
atrocities done over the peasants. As a result, the owners had to refund the
money. This opened the eyes of all. People from every nook and corner of India
participated in the freedom movement. Women too gave up their homely comforts
and worked with their leader. There were mass movements like freedom struggle,
salt movement, quit India
movement, civil disobedience, satyagraha
and the boycott of foreign goods, etc. Ordinary people were there at the back
and call of their leader. Consequently, India became free on 15th
is Rajkumar Shukla
described as being ‘resolute’?
Ans: Rajkumar Shukla is described as being ‘resolute’ because he was
fully determined to take Ganhiji to Bihar.
Being an illiterate and poor share-copper from Champaran,
he had come to apprise and complain Gandhiji about
the injustice of the land lord system. He was accompanied Ganhiji
everywhere. Gandhiji was very much impressed by his
tenacity and fixed time for Calcutta.
Months passed in waiting, Shukla was sitting on his
haunches at the fixed place in Calcutta,
till Ganhiji was free. Finally both boarded a train
Q.2. Why do you think the servants thought Gandhi to
be another peasant?
Ans: Ganhiji and Rajkumar
Shukla both reached the city of Patna. He led Gandhiji
to the house of Rajendra Prasad. He was out of town.
His servants knew Shukla as a poor sharecropper from Champaran who troubled Prasad to take up the cause of
indigo. Gandhi went there with Shukla for the first
time. So they took him to be another peasant.
Q.3. Why did Gandhi had to
chide the lawyers of Muzzafarpur?
Why did Gandhi conclude that the lawyers should stop
going to the courts?
Ans: During his stay at Muzzafarpur Lawyers
told about the cases of poor peasants. They told about their cases and the size
of fee. Gandhi chided them for collecting big fees from the sharecroppers. He
suggested them to stop going to the law courts. He pointed out that the
peasants were poor and fear stricken. It was urgent to make them free from
Q.4. How did the development
of German synthetic indigo became a source of great trouble in Champaran?
Ans: The British planters learnt of the synthetic indigo prepared in
Germany. It was cheaper than the natural indigo. Being unprofitable the
landlords wanted to free the peasants from the 15% agreement. For this they
demanded compensation. Some signed willingly. Those who opposed engaged lawyers
and the planters hired thugs. The illegal and deceitful collection of money
started the trouble.
Q.5. How did we know that
ordinary people too contributed to the freedom movement?
Ans: The success of the battle of Champaran,
paved the path of the Indians to participate in the freedom movement. Women
gave up their honestly comforts and worked with their leader. There were mass
movements like freedom struggle, salt movement, Quit India movement and
Satyagraha. These came ordinary people at the back and call of Gandhiji.