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Indigo Chapter Long Question Answer
By- Louis Fischer
Important Long/ Detailed Answer Type Questions- to be answered in about 100 -150 words each Value based questions-
Q1.Why did Gandhi consider freedom from fear more important than legal justice for the poor peasants of Champaran?
Ans. The poor peasants were ruthlessly exploited by the landlords of Champaran. Germany had developed synthetic indigo which resulted in a steep fall in indigo prices. The landlords had a long-term contract by which peasants grew indigo in 15% land and handed it over as rent. The landlords no longer needed indigo and very cleverly wished to give up this arrangement for compensation. When the news of synthetic indigo reached the peasants, they demanded their money back and engaged lawyers to fight their battles. There was no respite for the farmers under the unjust system. When Gandhi came to Champaran, he realised that the fear-stricken peasants got no help from courts. The real relief for them was to be free from fear of the British. Gandhi was summoned to appear in court for having refused the official notice to quit Champaran. The news of Gandhi being in trouble with the authorities spread fast. The peasants gathered in thousands around the courthouse. They shook off their fear and held demonstrations. The officials were baffled and helpless.
This voluntary uprising of the peasants was their liberation from fear. For them, the British power was no longer unchallengeable. This was more important than legal justice as revealed in future events.
Q2. Civil disobedience had triumphed the first time in modern India. Relate the events during Gandhi’s stay in Champaran that led to the triumph.
Ans. Gandhi visited Champaran to look into the problems of the poor peasants. At Motihari, he was greeted by thousands of peasants. This was the beginning of the peasant liberation from fear of the British. A peasant had been maltreated in a nearby village. Gandhi set out to see him. The police superintendent’s messenger overtook him and ordered him to return. Gandhi complied. At home, he was served an official notice to quit Champaran. Gandhi signed the receipt and wrote on it that would disobey the order. This was the beginning of Civil disobedience.
Gandhi received a summons to appear in court the next day. The peasants thronged the courtroom. They wanted to help the ‘Mahatma’ who was in trouble with the authorities for trying to help them. The officials were powerless. Gandhi helped them regulate the crowd. This baffled the officials.
The magistrate postponed announcing the sentence by two hours and asked Gandhi to furnish bail. Gandhi declined. The judge released him without bail. The judge said he would not deliver the judgment for several days. Later, the case was dropped by the Lt. Governor himself. Civil disobedience had triumphed.
Q3. What idea do you get about Gandhiji from the lesson ‘Indigo’?
Ans. The lesson ‘Indigo’ highlights the greatness of Gandhiji who was simple, unassuming and yet a force to be reckoned with. His humility is revealed by his comment on the victory of civil disobedience ‘What I did was a very ordinary thing’. He was even mistaken as a peasant by Dr Rajendra Prasad’s servants. He was a simple and unassuming man.
At the same time, Gandhi was firm and resolute. He faced the officials with boldness and with conviction. He also disregarded the orders to leave Champaran. The case against him had to be dropped.
He fearlessly faced four protracted interviews with the Lt. Governor for the justice of the indigo sharecroppers. Even though he was the sole representative of the peasants, he proved his point. He broke the deadlock settling for only a 25% refund. He was wise and judicious. He agreed because the refund instilled courage in the peasants as the landlords were obliged to surrender part of their money and prestige.
Gandhi demonstrated by his actions an important lesson of self-reliance in the freedom struggle. He refused the help of Mr Andrews and claimed that if the cause was just one must rely on oneself.
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4. Give an account of Gandhiji’s efforts to secure justice for the poor indigo sharecroppers of Champaran.
Ans. In 1916, during the annual meet of Indian National Congress at Lucknow, Gandhiji met a poor fanner from Champaran, who told him about the plight of the sharecroppers at Champaran and requested him to visit his state. After persistent efforts of Rajkumar Shukla, a peasant from Champaran, Gandhijifinagy went to Champaran after many months. Gandhiji came to know that the arable land in Champaran was divided into large estates owned by British landlords. Earlier these landlords had compelled the peasants to grow indigo on 15% of their land and give it as rent but later with the invention of synthetic indigo in Germany, the landlords got the agreement signed by these farmers for compensation.
Gandhiji tried to collect all facts but was asked to go back. When he refused, he was summoned to appear before the court. But due to the massive support of farmers, the case was dropped. It brought the first triumph of civil disobedience. After this, a committee was formed after Gandhiji met the Lieutenant Governor four times. Gandhiji accepted a 25% refund of the money to break the deadlock. This instilled confidence in farmers and within a few years, the landlords relinquished their claims over the estates.
5. Why did Rajkumar Shukla invite Gandhiji to Champaran? How did Gandhiji solve the problem of the indigo farmers?
Ans. Rajkumar Shukla was a poor, illiterate peasant who requested Gandhiji to visit Champaran and told him about the plight of the sharecroppers. Gandhiji, first of all, instilled fearlessness and confidence in the farmers. He was served a summons to appear in the court as he had refused to obey the civil order. The entire town of Motihari was crowded with the peasants who had come to support him. This demonstration around the courthouse was the showcase of the beginning of fearlessness in the farmers. Finally, the case was dropped and it marked the first triumph of civil disobedience. Gandhiji instilled the farmers with the courage to speak for their right. Due to continuous efforts of Gandhiji, a committee was formed and 25% money was refunded to the farmers. In this way, Gandhiji solved the problem of the indigo farmers by making it a people’s struggle, involving everyone from sharecroppers to the lawyers.
6. Self-reliance, Indian Independence and help to sharecroppers were all bound together. Elucidate with reference to the excerpt ‘Indigo’.
Ans. When Gandhiji reached Champaran, he came to know that the arable areas of Champaran were divided into large estates owned by British landlords. As per the long-term contract, these sharecroppers were supposed to grow indigo on 15% of the land and give it as rent. But due to the advent of synthetic indigo in Germany, landlords got the compensation agreement signed by these peasants, who later on felt cheated.
Gandhiji’s first triumph in the form of civil disobedience at Motihari laid the foundations of the Indian Independence Movement. No doubt this brought a good result for sharecroppers in the form of a committee through which 25% of the money was given by the landlords. Gandhiji taught the lesson of unity and courage to the sharecroppers. His refusal to keep his friend Andrews at Champaran to help him emphasized the importance of self-reliance for him. He trained the peasants to be self-reliant and not to be dependent on others.
Thus, self-reliance, Indian Independence and help to sharecroppers were all tied together.
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7. Gandhi was impressed by the sharecropper’s tenacity and this led to a series of events which had a far-reaching impact on Indian freedom struggle. Discuss with reference to the excerpt by Louis Fischer’s ‘Indigo’.
Ans. Rajkumar Shukla was resolute, whose persistent efforts brought Gandhiji to Champaran to help the poor farmers. On his arrival at Motihari, Gandhiji was summoned to appear before the court as he had refused to obey the civil order to leave the place immediately. The case was dropped as the British got scared of the multitudes of farmers who demonstrated in support of Gandhi outside the courthouse. This brought this first triumph of civil disobedience.
In fact, this triumph embarked on the civil disobedience movement in the Indian freedom struggle. Moreover, the courage that the farmers had shown proved the fact that Indians were coming out of their fears and were ready to fight for their rights. Thus, all the events at Champaran strengthened the Indian freedom movement.
Indigo Value Based Questions
Q1. What values do we learn from Gandhi’s campaign (Indigo) to combat the present day problems of exploitations? (120-150 words)
Ans. The Indigo share-croppers were exploited at the cruel hands of the British planters. Rajkumar Shukla persuaded Gandhi to take up the case of the Indigo sharecroppers. When Gandhi came to Champaran, he realised that the fear-stricken peasants got no help from courts. He was firm and broke the deadlock. He instilled courage in the peasants.
The lesson learnt from the Champaran episode is that if the cause is just, one must rely on oneself. In the face of exploitation, in society or in professional life, one must be resolute and confront the problem. Gandhi gathered information before going to the governor. With evidence and determination, exploitation can be dealt with.
Q2. What qualities helped Shukla and Gandhi, respectively, to initiate one of the most powerful movements in the history of our freedom struggle?
Ans. Rajkumar Shukla was a man with strong willpower and determination. He came all the way from Champaran to Lucknow to speak to Gandhi. He followed Gandhi everywhere until Gandhi relented to go to Champaran.
Gandhi himself opposed the unjust laws and first made the British officials hear their side of the story. He felt that if their cause was right, they did not need the help of a British man in the form of Charles Freer Andrews giving proof of self-reliance. Gandhi gathered all the information and could, therefore, prove to the British administration that the sharecroppers had been wronged. These qualities can assist each of us to lead a fulfilling life and to combat the problems that come our way.
3. Rajkumar Shukla, a poor, unassuming peasant, became a catalyst for change by taking Gandhi to Champaran, an act which later culminated into the first successful instance of civil disobedience in India. What qualities do you think helped Shukla and Gandhi respectively to initiate one of the most powerful movements in the history of our national struggle?
Ans. Rajkumar Shukla was a poor, illiterate peasant but he was resolute. He wanted Gandhiji to visit Champaran and for that he made efforts. He was determined to meet Gandhi and persuade him to help the sharecroppers. It was only due to RajkumarShukla’s persistent efforts and requests that Gandhiji consented to visit Champaran. After reaching Champaran, Gandhiji initiated the civil disobedience movement by refusing to obey the civil orders to quit the place. It was Gandhiji’s courage and honesty that brought him the victory when the case was dropped. Gandhiji was full of empathy for the poor peasants and was determined to help them. Thus, courage, determination, truthfulness, honesty and, above all, patriotism exemplified by Gandhiji and determination and being resolute the qualities in Rajkumar Shukla, initiated the Civil Disobedience Movement in India.
4. Gandhiji taught a lesson of self-reliance to the sharecroppers of Champaran. His focus was more on making the peasants free from fear rather than on the refund and he was successful in this endeavour. In this present scenario, we are free but shackled by the chains of intolerance and bigotry.
As the head boy/head girl of the school, you decide to speak in the morning assembly to stress the need to live in peace, harmony, tolerance and respect for each other. Write the speech.
Ans. Respected principal, teachers and dear students!
We are proud to be the citizens of the world’s largest democracy. We belong to the country of Budha, Nanak, Ram and Krishna. India is called a multicoloured mosaic as we have an amalgamation of different cultures, religions, castes and creeds in our country. With so much variety from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, we are united with the thread of love for our motherland.
But what we are hearing nowadays about the increasing intolerance, is a shock for all of us. We call ourselves a free nation. But are we really free? Are we free from the narrow domestic walls of caste, creed, religion and community? We have to understand the fact that being a secular country we have to respect each other. The increasing incidents of intolerance and bigotry are a testimony to the fact that the youth of today need to sit for a minute and think about the direction in which we are moving. Finally, I would like to urge all of you to consider the past glory of our country and present development and progress. Let’s break the shackles of ignorance and learn to live in harmony and peace with each other.