Indigo- Important Extra Questions Short Answer Type

By | September 9, 2023

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                                          By- Louis Fischer

                    SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS                                                         

 Q1. Why is Rajkumar Shukla described as being ‘resolute’?

 Ans. Rajkumar Shukla was a man with a strong willpower and determination. He had come all the way from Champaran district to Lucknow to speak to Gandhiji. He accompanied Gandhiji everywhere, even to the Ashram near Ahmedabad. For weeks he never left Gandhiji’s side till the latter asked him to meet him at Calcutta.

 Q2. Why do you think the servants thought Gandhiji to be another peasant?

Ans. Shukla took Gandhiji to Rajendra Prasad’s house. Gandhi was dressed in a simple dhoti and was accompanying a poor peasant. Hence the servants mistook him to be a peasant and forbade him to draw water from well.

 Q3. List the places that Gandhi visited between his first meeting with Shukla and his arrival at Champaran.

 Ans. Gandhi first met Shukla at Lucknow. Then he was in Cawnpore and other parts of India. He returned to his Ashram near Ahmedabad. Later he visited Calcutta, Patna and Muzaffarpur before arriving at Champaran.

 Q4. What did the peasants pay the British landlords as rent? What did the British now want instead and why?

 Ans. The peasants used to pay indigo as rent to the British landlords. Germany had now developed synthetic indigo. So the British landlords wanted money as compensation for being released from the natural arrangement. The prices of natural Indigo would go down due to production synthetic indigo which was better and much cheaper.

Q5. The events of this part of the text illustrate Gandhi’s method of working. Can you identify some instances of this method and link them to his ideas of Satyagraha and non-violence?

Ans. Gandhiji opposed unjust laws. His politics were intermingled with the day to day problems of millions of Indians. He was willing to oppose the unjust laws and go to jail. The famous Dandi March is an example of his law-breaking action. He broke the Salt Law. His disobedience was always peaceful and a fight for truth and justice. This had a direct link to his ideas of Satyagraha and non-violence.

 Q6. Why did Gandhi agree to a settlement of 25 per cent refund to the farmers?

 Ans. For Gandhi, the amount of the refund was less important than the fact that the landlords had been forced to return part of the money and with it, part of their prestige. So he agreed to the settlement of 25 per cent refund to the farmers.

Q7. How did the episode change the plight of the peasants?

 Ans. The peasants were saved from spending time and money on court cases. After some years the British planters gave up control of their estates. These were now reverted to the peasants, and indigo sharecropping disappeared.

 Q8. Why do you think Gandhi considered the Champaran episode to be a turning point in his life?

Ans. The Champaran episode began as an attempt to ease the sufferings of a large number of poor peasants. He got the whole-hearted support of thousands of people. Gandhiji admitted that he had done a very ordinary thing. He declared that the British could not order him about in his own country. Hence he considered the Champaran episode as a turning point in his life.

 Q9. How was Gandhi able to influence lawyers? Give instances.

Ans. Gandhi asked the lawyers what they would do if he was sentenced to prison. They said that they had come to advise him. If he went to jail, they would return. Then Gandhi asked them about the injustice to the sharecroppers. The lawyers held consultations. They concluded that it would be a shameful desertion if they returned home. So they told Gandhi that they were ready to follow him into jail.

 Q10. What was the attitude of the average Indian in smaller localities towards advocates of ‘home rule’?

 Ans. The average Indians in smaller localities were afraid to show sympathy for the advocates of home-rule. Gandhi stayed at Muzaffarpur for two days in the home of Professor Malkani, a teacher in a government school. It was an extraordinary thing in those days for a government professor to give shelter to one who opposed the government.

Q11. How do we know that ordinary people too contributed to the freedom movement?

 Ans. Gandhi was received by Professor J.B Kriplani at Muzaffarpur railway station at midnight. He had a large body of students with him. Sharecroppers from Champaran came on foot and by transport to see Gandhi. The lawyers at Muzaffarpur also called on him. A vast multitude greeted Gandhi when he reached Motihari railway station. Thousands of people demonstrated around the courtroom. This shows that ordinary people also contributed to the freedom movement.

Q12. How did the development of synthetic indigo affect English estate owners?

Ans. Most of the arable land in Champaran belonged to the English landlords who had signed a long-term contract with the peasants. The farmers planted 15% of their holdings with indigo and surrendered it as rent. With the development of synthetic indigo, its cultivation was no longer profitable. The landlords wanted to release the peasants of the contract and take money from them as compensation.

 Q13. Why did Gandhi meet the Secretary of the British Landlords Association on arriving in Champaran? What was the secretary’s response?

 Ans. When Gandhi arrived in Champaran, he first set out to ascertain the facts. He wanted the viewpoints of the landlords and the peasants. He visited the secretary of the British Landlords Association to get to know their point of view. The secretary told Gandhi that he could give no information to an outsider. Gandhi’s efforts proved futile.

Q14. Why did Gandhi meet the British official commissioner of the Tirhut division?

 Ans. To understand the situation at Champaran, Gandhi wanted to understand the of the landlord’s point of view. The secretary of the British Landlords Association refused to impart any information. Gandhi then called on the British official commissioner of the Tirhut division. The commissioner bullied Gandhi and advised him to leave Tirhut.

Q15. What was the conflict of duties in which Gandhi was involved?

 Ans. In court, Gandhi pleaded guilty for having disobeyed the official notice to quit Champaran. He read out a statement claiming he was involved in a conflict of duties. He clarified that he disobeyed not to break the law and set a bad example but to render the humanitarian and national service for which he had come to Champaran.

Q16. Why did Gandhi stay on in Champaran even after the sharecropper’s problems were solved?

Ans. Gandhi aimed at improving Champaran culturally and socially. The problems were many. Health conditions were miserable. There were poverty, illiteracy and lack of sanitation. So he stayed on even after the sharecropper’s problems were solved.

Q17. How did Gandhi teach his followers a lesson in self-reliance?

 Ans. Charles Freer Andrews, the English pacifist and follower of Gandhi came to bid him farewell. Gandhi’s lawyer friends asked Andrews to stay on and support them. Gandhi vehemently opposed the suggestion and asked them to face the crisis independently. If their cause was just, Gandhi said, they would win the battle by relying on themselves.

Q18. Why did Gandhi feel that taking the Champaran case to count was useless?

 Ans. The Muzzafarpur lawyers called on Gandhi and brief him as he represented peasant groups in court. They also told him about their cases and reported the size of their fees. Gandhi chided them as the poor peasants were already so crushed and fear-stricken that saw courts were useless in their case. The real relief for them would be to make them free from fear.

Q19. How did the Champaran peasants react when they heard that a Mahatma had come to help them?

 Ans. When the Sharecroppers heard that a Mahatma had come to help them, they assembled in Motihari in large numbers to see their champion. Their spontaneous demonstration, in thousands, around the courthouse was uncontrollable that the officials felt powerless, and Gandhiji himself helped the authorities to regulate the crowd.

 Q20. What made the Lieutenant Governor drop the case against Gandhi?

 Ans. When Gandhi was asked to appear in the court in Motihari, thousands of peasants held a demonstration around the court. The officials were baffled and the trial was postponed. The judge said he would not deliver the judgement for several days. Gandhi was allowed to remain at liberty. Subsequently, the Lieutenant-Governor ordered the case to be dropped.

Q21. What did the peasants pay the British Landlords as rent?

 Ans. The British landlords had entered into a long-term contract with the farmers. The landlords compelled all tenants to plant three-twentieths or 15 per cent of their holdings with indigo, the chief commercial crop, and surrender the entire indigo harvest as rent.

 Q22. Why did Gandhi decide to go to Muzaffarpur before going to Champaran?

 Ans. Raj Kumar Shukla had apprised Gandhi about the injustice meted out the indigo sharecroppers in Champaran. Gandhi wished to obtain corn.

Q23. Where is Champaran situated?

 Ans. Champaran district in Bihar is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, near the kingdom of Nepal. Raj Kumar Shukla was a poor peasant from the Champaran district. He had come to meet Gandhi in Lucknow to complaint about the injustice of the landlord system in Bihar.

 Q24. How did Gandhi work for the upliftment of education in Champaran villages?

 Ans. Gandhi appealed for teachers. Two young disciples of Gandhi, Mahadev Desai and Narhari Parikh and their wives volunteered themselves for work. Several others responded from distant parts of the country. Mrs Kasturba Gandhi and Devdas, Gandhi’s youngest son, arrived from the Ashram. Primary schools were opened in six villages.

Q25. How did the woman respond when Kasturba talked to her about her filthy clothes?

Ans. Kasturba taught the Ashram rules on personal cleanliness and hygiene. Gandhi notices the filthy state of women’s clothes. He asked Kasturbai to talk to them about it. One woman took Kasturbai into her but and pointed out that there was no box or cupboard there for clothes. The sari she was wearing was the only one she had.

26. How were Shukla and Gandhiji received in Rajendra Prasad’s house?

Ans. When Shukla and Gandhiji reached Rajendra Prasad’s house, he was out of town. The servants knew Shukla as a poor peasant who always used to pester their master. They thought Gandhiji to be a peasant. They both were treated like peasants and were made to sit on the floor and were not to draw water from the well.

27. How did Gandhiji begin his mission in Champaran?

Ans. After reaching Champaran, first of all, Gandhiji collected all the facts and information. He visited the secretary of the British Landlords Association, but could not get any information. He also called on the British Official Commissioner of Tirhut division, but could not get any positive response. So, finally, he proceeded to Motihari, the capital of Champaran.

28. How did Gandhiji react to the Commissioner’s advice and where did he go?

Ans. When Gandhiji was served an official notice with advice from the Commissioner to leave Champaran immediately, he refused to obey it. He was then served a summons to appear in the court the following day. Then Gandhi sent a telegram to Rajendra Prasad to come along with his influential friends.

29. Why is Rajkumar Shukla described as being resolute?

Ans. Rajkumar Shukla was a poor, illiterate peasant from Champaran. When he came to know that Gandhi was in Lucknow, he decided to meet him and ask him to help the poor sharecroppers of Champaran. He requested Gandhi to come to Champaran but Gandhi was not free. He had appointments in Cawnpore and in other parts of India. Shukla followed him everywhere and even to his Ashram at Ahmedabad and urged him to fix a date. Finally, Gandhi had to agree to visit Champaran. This clearly shows that Shukla was resolute.

30. How did the Champaran peasants react when they heard that a Mahatma had come to help them?

Ans. When Gandhiji reached Muzzafarpur, on his way to Champaran, peasants came to know about his arrival. They all gathered in large numbers to show their support to their saviour. Moreover, When Gandhiji was to appear in the court after he was served a summons, peasants in large numbers filled the streets of Motihari. The British officials became helpless to handle them.

31. What made the Lieutenant Governor drop the case against Gandhiji?

Ans. The Lieutenant Governor had to drop the case against Gandhiji after realising the support of the masses that he had. When Gandhiji arrived in the court in response to the summons he was served, the town of Motihari was filled with large crowds. The British officials felt helpless and had to take Gandhiji’s help to control the mob. Fearing the consequences, the case was postponed and later dropped.

32. Why did Gandhiji oppose when his friend Andrews offered to stay in Champaran and help the peasants?

 Ans. Gandhiji opposed when his friend Andrews offered to stay in Champaran to help the peasants because he wanted the people of Champaran to be self-reliant. He wanted them not to depend on others to win their battle but build up their self-confidence.

33. How is Gandhi critical of lawyers?

 Ans. Gandhiji came to know about the plight of poor peasants of Champaran. He was told that Muzzafarpur lawyers frequently represented peasant groups in court. Gandhiji chided them for collecting a big fee from the sharecroppers. After his chiding the lawyers realised that it was shameful for them not to help peasants as Gandhi being a stranger was ready even to go to jail for the peasants.

34. Why did Gandhi tell the court that he was involved in a ‘conflict of duties’?

 Ans. Gandhiji told the court that he was involved in a ‘conflict of duties’. On the one hand, he did not want to be a lawbreaker but, on the other hand, couldn’t ignore his humanitarian and national service as demanded by his conscience. He told the court that finally, he had decided to listen to the voice of his conscience and help the poor peasants of Champaran.

35. Why did Gandhi feel that taking the Champarancase to the court was useless?

 Ans. Gandhi felt that taking the Champaran case to the court was useless. He believed that where the peasants were so crushed and fear-stricken, law courts were useless. The real relief for them would be to be free from fear.

36. What were the terms of the indigo contract between the British landlords and the Indian farmers?

Ans. The arable areas of Champaran were divided into large estates owned by British landlords. The peasants worked on this land as tenants. The peasants were forced to grow indigo on 15% of their land and give the entire crop of indigo as rent. This was the indigo contract between the British landlords and the Indian peasants.

37. “The battle of Champaran is won.” When and why did Gandhiji utter these words?

Ans. The eminent lawyers from the nearby areas came to help Gandhiji. They decided to go back in ease Gandhiji was arrested. At this Gandhiji made them realise their duty towards the peasants. They realised that it would be shameful for them to leave these peasants at a time when a stranger was ready even to go to jail for them. So they all approached Gandhiji and said that they would accompany hits to jail. At this point, Gandhiji said, “The battle of Champaran is won.”

38. Why did Gandhiji go to Muzzafarpur before going to Champaran? What sort of reception did he get ‘ there and why was it unusual?

Ans. In order to get complete information about the condition of peasants at Champaran, Gandhiji decided to go to Muzzafarpur. He was received by Prof. J.B. Kriplani, who was a professor at Arts College, along with a large body of students. He was hosted by Prof. Malkani, a Government schoolteacher. It was an unusual thing because in those days people were afraid to show sympathy for the advocates of home rule.

39. What was the condition of sharecroppers at the time that Gandhiji arrived at Champaran?

 Ans. Sharecroppers were in a miserable condition when Gandhi arrived at Champaran. They were supposed to grow indigo on 15% of their land and give it as rent to the landlords. But with the invention of the synthetic indigo, landlords had obtained agreements from the sharecroppers to pay them compensation for being released from 15% agreement and cheated them.

40. Why did Gandhi protest against the delay in the trial?

Ans. Gandhi protested against the delay in the trial as the prosecutor had asked for the postponement of the trial. Gandhi read a statement pleading guilty and asked the due penalty. But the magistrate announced that he would pronounce sentence after a recess and asked Gandhi to furnish a bail but Gandhi refused. In fact, Gandhi wanted the victory of civil disobedience which finally happened when the case was dropped.

41. What made the British realise that Indians could challenge their might?

Ans.When Gandhi received a summons to appear in the court, within a night multitudes of peasants gathered in Motihari. The presence of thousands of peasants outside the courthouse made the British realise that Indians could challenge their might. As they were not able to control them they had to take the help of Gandhiji to control the situation.

42. Why was Gandhiji’s trial delayed?

Ans. The entire town of Motihari was flooded with thousands of peasants protesting Gandhi’s arrest. The courthouse was surrounded by the peasants demonstrating and the British were unable to control them. The government got baffled. The prosecutor requested the judge to postpone the trial and the authorities had to consult their superiors.

43. How did Gandhi manage the working of the ashram at Ahmedabad while he was at Champaran?

Ans. Gandhiji kept a long distance watch on his ashram at Ahmedabad. He sent regular instructions by wire and asked for financial accounts. He was well informed about the minute details of the ashram.

44. What did Gandhiji do for social and cultural upliftment of the people of Champaran?

Ans. Gandhiji was not content with the large political or economic solution. He wanted to do something for the social and cultural backwardness of Champaran. He appealed to teachers and his disciples Mahadev Desai and Narhari Parikh came with their wives, primary schools were opened in six villages. His son and wife Kasturba also joined him. He arranged for a volunteer doctor and his wife took care of personal hygiene and cleanliness.

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