The Civil Disobedience Movement 1930-1934

August 14, 2017 Law


The Civil Disobedience Movement led by M K Gandhi, in the twelvemonth 1930 was an of import milepost in the history of Indian Nationalism. During the Non-Cooperation Movement, the Indians learnt how philosophical dogmas like ‘non violence’ and ‘passive resistance’ could be used to pay political conflicts. The plans and policies adopted in the motions spearheaded by Gandhi reflected his political political orientations of ahimsa and Satyagraha. While the Non-Cooperation Movement was built on the lines of ‘non violent-non-cooperation’ , the kernel of The Civil Disobedience Movement was ‘defying of the British laws’ . Through his leading to the National Movements, he non merely buttressed his political stance but besides played a important function in fusion of the state, rousing of the multitudes, and conveying political relations within the sphere of the common adult male.

Causes of the Civil Disobedience Movement

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Simon Commission: One of the chief factors was the Simon Commission. This was formed by the British Government that included entirely the members of the British Parliament, in November 1927, to outline and formalise a fundamental law for India. The chairmanship of the committee rested with Sir John Simon, who was a good known attorney and an English solon. Accused of being an ‘All-White Commission ‘ , the Simon Commission was rejected by all political and societal sections of the state. In Bengal, the resistance to the Simon Commission assumed a monolithic graduated table, with a hartal being observed in all corners of the state on February 3rd, 1928. On the juncture of Simon ‘s reaching in the metropolis, presentations were conducted in Calcutta.

The Nehru Report:The British justified that ‘disharmony among the assorted groups in the country’ was the ground why Indians were non included in the Simon Commission. In 1925 and 1927, Lord Birkenhead, the Secretary of State, had challenged the Indian leaders to outline a fundamental law to which all parties would hold ( maintaining the communal disunity in head ) . Representative of the Congress, the conference, the progressives, the Hindu Mahasabha, the cardinal Sikh conference, and a figure of smaller groups stand foring labor, concern and other involvements, met in an all-parties` conference between February and May 1928. A choice commission was appointed for the existent drafting of the constitutional strategy. Pandit Motilal Nehru with Tej Bahadur Sapru, sir Ali Imam, Sardar Mangal Singh and Subhas Chandra Bose as its members. The Nehru committee`s study as it was called was submitted on 10 August, 1928.

The Nehru study stated that the `next immediate measure for India must be ‘dominion status’ . The Nehru study was approved by the Congress at Calcutta in December 1928. Gandhiji sponsored a declaration holding to ‘dominion status’ so long as the British accepted the Nehru fundamental law in its entireness, which should go on in one twelvemonth. If they did non, Congress would `organize a run of non-violent non-co-operation` which would include refusal to pay revenue enhancements. The failure of the Government to follow with the Nehru study eventually made the Congress to establish Civil Disobedience Movement under Gandhiji.

The Launch of the Civil Disobedience Movement: First Phase

The Congress Committee met at Sabarmati in February, and invested Gandhi and those working with him’ with full authorization to take and direct the Civil Disobedience run. Gandhi was urged by the Congress to render his much needed leading to the Civil Disobedience Movement.

Dandi March:

On the historic twenty-four hours of 12th March, 1930, Gandhi inaugurated ‘The Civil Disobedience Movement’ by carry oning the historic Dandi Salt March, where he broke the Salt Laws imposed by the British Government. Followed by an cortege of 70 nine ashramites, Gandhi embarked on his March from his Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi that is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea. On 6th April 1930, Gandhi with the concomitant of 70 nine satyagrahis, violated the Salt Law by picking up a handful of salt lying on the sea shore. They manually made salt on the shores of Dandi.

Gandhi-Irwin Treaty:

In the interim, the First Round Table Conference was held in 1930, with no Congress member as the participant of the Conference. This led to the meeting of Gandhi and Lord Irwin, the vicereine in March 1931. Here they signed a treaty, which came to be known as the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. Consequently, they agreed on the Discontinuation of the civil noncompliance motion by the Indian National Congress engagement by the Indian National Congress in the Round Table Conference backdown of all regulations issued by the British Government enforcing kerbs on the activities of the Indian National Congress backdown of all prosecutions associating to several types of discourtesies except those affecting force release of captives arrested for take parting in the civil noncompliance motion remotion of the revenue enhancement on salt, which allowed the Indians to bring forth, trade, and sell salt lawfully and for their ain private usage.

Second Round Table Conference

Gandhi attended The Second Round Table Conference in London accompanied by Smt. Sarojini Naidu. At this Conference, it was claimed by Mahatma Gandhi that the Congress represented more than eighty five per centum of the Indian population.

During this Conference, Gandhi could non make understanding with the Muslims on Muslim representation and precautions. Gandhi ‘s claim of the Congress stand foring bulk was non endorsed by the British and besides the Muslim representative. The concluding blow to Gandhi came when at the terminal of the conference Ramsay MacDonald undertook to bring forth a Communal Award for minority representation, with the proviso that any free understanding between the parties could be substituted for his award. Therefore, the Second Round Table Conference proved to be ineffectual for the Indians and Gandhi returned to the state without any positive consequence.

The political scene in India thenceforth assumed an acute dimension. The Viceroy, Lord Willington, in the absence of Gandhi has adopted the policy of repression. The Gandhi-Irwin Pact was violated and the Viceroy took to the suppression of the Congress. The Conservative party, which was in power in England, complied with the determination to presume a inhibitory stance against the Congress and the Indians. The Congress was besides held responsible by the authorities to hold instigated the ‘Red Shirts ‘ to take part in The Civil Disobedience Movement, led byKhan Abdul Ghaffar and arousing the agriculturists of U.P to decline to pay land gross. Adding to this was the serious economic crisis that took clasp of the state. Under such fortunes, the recommencement of The Civil Disobedience Movement was inevitable.

Reclamation of the Civil Disobedience Movement: Second Phase

The Congress Working Committee took the determination to re-start The Civil Disobedience Movement, as the British authorities was non prepared to yield. Gandhi resumed the motion in January, 1932 and appealed to the full state to fall in in. The Viceroy was besides informed of the stance assumed by the Congress.

The constabulary was given the power to collar any individual, even on the footing of mere intuition. Sardar Patel, the President of Congress and Gandhi were arrested, along with other Congressmans.

Though the 2nd stage of The Civil Disobedience Movement lacked the organisation that marked its first stage, however, the full state put up a tough battle and the motion continued for six months.

Communal Award, 1932

Meanwhile, the failure of the Second Round Table conference convinced Mr. MacDonald to denote the ‘Communal Award ‘ on August 16, 1932. Harmonizing to the Award the right of separate electorate was non merely given to the Muslims of India but besides to all the minority communities in the state.

The Award besides declared Harijans as a minority and therefore the Hindu depressed categories were given a figure of particular seats, to be filled from particular down category electorates in the country where their electors were concentrated.

Under the Communal Award, the rule of weightage was besides maintained with some alterations in the Muslim minority states. Principle of weightage was besides applied for Europeans in Bengal and Assam, Sikhs in the Punjab and North West Frontier Province, and Hindus in Sindh and North West Frontier Province. Though the Muslims constituted about 56 per centum of the entire population of Punjab, they were given merely 86 out of 175 seats in the Punjab Assembly. The Muslim bulk of 54.8 per centum in Punjab was therefore reduced to a minority. The expression favored the Sikhs of Punjab, and the Europeans of Bengal the most.

The Award was non popular with any Indian party. Moslems were non happy with the Communal Award, as it has reduced their bulk in Punjab and Bengal to a minority. Yet they were prepared to accept it. In its one-year session held in November 1933, the All India Muslim League passed a declaration that reads ; “ Though the determination falls far short of the Muslim demands, the Muslims have accepted it in the best involvement of the state, reserving to themselves the right to press for the credence of all their demands. ”

On the other manus, the Hindus refused to accept the awards and decided to establish a run against it. For them it was non possible to accept the Untouchables as a minority. They organized the Allahabad Unity Conference in which they demanded for the replacing of separate electorates by joint electorates. Many nationalist Muslims and Sikhs besides participated in the conference. The Congress besides rejected the Award in Toto.

Gandhi protested against the declaration of Untouchables as a minority and set about a fast unto decease. Though he managed to subscribe the Poona Pact with Dr. B. R. Ambedker, the leader of Untouchables in which the Congress met many of the Untouchables ‘ demands, the Communal Award was a blow to Gandhiji and he eventually decided to suspend and retreat mass Satyagraha on 14th July, 1933. The motion ceased wholly on 7th April, 1934.


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