NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 13 Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement: Civil Disobedience and Beyond

Detailed, Step-by-Step NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 13 Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement: Civil Disobedience and Beyond Questions and Answers were solved by Expert Teachers as per NCERT (CBSE) Book guidelines covering each topic in chapter to ensure complete preparation.

Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement: Civil Disobedience and Beyond NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 13

Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement: Civil Disobedience and Beyond Questions and Answers Class 12 History Chapter 13

Question 1.
How did Mahatma Gandhi seek to identify with the common people ?
Mahatma Gandhi believed in simple living and high thinking. He did the following to identify himself with the common people of India:

  • He did not behave like a professional or an intellectual. Rather he mixed with thousands of peasants, workers and artisans.
  • He dressed himself like the common man. He also lived like them and spoke their language. He wore simple dhoti or loin-cloth and did not like to stand apart from the common people. He liked to mix with them, sit and talk with them.
  • He worked on the Charkha (spinning wheel) everyday. He also encouraged other nationalists to do the same. In fact, he favoured synthesis between mental and manual labour.
  • He did not believe in the traditional caste system.
  • He often spoke in the mother tongue.

Question 2.
How was Mahatma Gandhi perceived by the peasants ?
The peasants gave a lot of respect to Gandhiji. They referred to him as their Mahatma having miraculous powers. They believed that God had sent him to redress and solve their grievances. They found Gandhiji as a dominating person who could overrule all local officials. So they revered him as ‘Gandhi Baba’, ‘Gandhi Maharaj’ or as ‘Mahatma’.

They considered him as their saviour. They believed that Gandhi could save them from high taxes and oppressive officials. They were impressed by his ascetic lifestyle and his love of working with his hands. In the end, the peasants venerated Gandhiji as they believed that he could restore their dignity and add autonomy in their lives.

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 13 Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement: Civil Disobedience and Beyond

Question 3.
Why did the Salt Law become an important issue of struggle ?
During the British rule, the Salt Law had given the state a monopoly to manufacture and sell salt. Most of the Indians abhorred these laws as salt was indispensable in every Indian household. But the British had forbidden the people from making salt even for their domestic use. They compelled all the people to buy salt from shops at a high rate. The people could not do anything as the state enjoyed monopoly over the manufacturing and sale of the salt.

Gandhi had a keen practical wisdom. He understood that the people disliked the Salt Law and targeted these laws. As the people were discontent against the British rule, they gathered around Mahatma Gandhi who mobilised their strength and energy to give boost to his struggle for complete independence of the country. So the salt laws had become an important issue in the freedom struggle of India.

Question 4.
Why are newspapers an important source for the study of the national movement ?
Contemporary newspapers are an important source for the study of national movement. If we want to know more about our freedom struggle, we must consult both English newspapers as well as newspapers in different Indian languages.

  • The contemporary newspapers wrote about all the movements launched by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • They reported all the important activities, speeches and statements of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • They also presented views about what ordinary Indians thought of him.
  • However the newspapers must be read with care as the views expressed in them can be prejudiced.

Question 5.
Why was the Charkha chosen as a symbol of nationalism ?
Gandhiji used to work on the Charkha every day. He made it a symbol of nationalism because of the following reasons:

(i) Charkha symbolised manual labour. Mahatma Gandhi always believed in the dignity of labour. He liked to work with his own hands. However he considered Charkha as an exquisite piece of machinery.

(ii) Gandhiji opposed machines as they enslaved human beings. He adopted Charkha as he wanted to glorify the dignity of manual labour and not of the machines and technology.

(iii) Gandhiji believed that Charkha could make a man self-reliant as it added to his income.

(iv) The act of spinning at Charkha (spinning wheel) enabled Gandhiji to break the boundaries of traditional caste system. In fact Gandhiji wanted to make Charkha as a symbol of nationalism. So he encouraged other nationalist leaders to spin the Charkha for sometime daily.

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 13 Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement: Civil Disobedience and Beyond

Question 6.
How was Non-Cooperation a form of protest ?
Discuss the causes, programmes, progress tand significance of the Non Cooperation Movement.
Examine the causes and the contribution of Non-Cooperation Movement to India’s freedom struggle. Why did Gandhiji couple Non-Cooperation Movement with Khilafat Movement? (C.B.S.E. 2011 (D))
Describe how Gandhiji knitted Non-Cooperation Movement as a popular movement. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (O.D.))
“The Non cooperation Moment was training for self rule.” Analyse the statement of American biographer Louis Fischer in the context of Indian Nationalism. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (D))
The Non-Cooperation Movement was started in 1920 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. It was a campaign of non-cooperation with the British rule. It was a mass-movement in which lakhs of people, belonging to all sections of society, participated. According to Louis Fischer, “It entailed denial, renunciation and self-discipline. It was training for self-rule.”

Causes and Conditions :
(i) The Indians had extended full cooperation to the British during the First World War but after this war, the British fully exploited all the people of India. So there was a feeling of discontent against the alien rule.

(ii) The plague had erupted and spread in many parts of India during the First World War but the British did not pay any attention to control it.

(iii) During the First World War, Gandhiji had helped the British with the hope that they would set the country free after the end of the war. But all the hopes of Gandhiji were dashed to the ground after the First World War.

(iv) In 1919, the British Government had passed the Rowlatt Act which imposed censorship on the press and permitted detention without trial. The people rose against this atrocious Black Law.

(v) Gandhiji called for a nation-wide campaign against the Rowlatt Act. A large meeting of the people was held at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. But a British Brigadier ordered his troops to open fire on this peaceful meeting of the people. It killed more than four hundred people and wounded several others. So there was a entment against the Britishers-among the people.

(vi) In the session of Indian National Congress held in September, 1920, a resolution for non-cooperation with the British Government was passed.

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 13 Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement: Civil Disobedience and Beyond

Programme and Objectives of the Non-Cooperation Movement :
A detailed programme was chalked out to run this movement against the British rule. It included the following:

  • The boycott of foreign goods and the use of goods and things manufactured in the country.
  • To return Titles and Honours conferred by the British Government.
  • Resignations by Indian members nominated in the local institutions.
  • Not to send children to schools and colleges run by the British Government.
  • Boycott of the lawyers from the civil courts.
  • The soldiers, clerks and workers refused to render any service abroad.

Progress of the Movement and its End :

To widely spread the programme of the Non-Cooperation Movement, Mahatma Gandhi visited many parts of the country along with the Muslim leaders like Dr. Ansari, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Ali brothers. As a result, this movement shook the foundations of the British Raj for the first time since the Revolt of 1857.

The students did not attend their classes in the educational institutions rim by the British Government. Foreign garments were burnt at the crossroads. Rabindernath Tagore had relinquished his title of ‘Sir’. Similarly Mahatma Gandhi surrendered his title of‘Kesri Hind’. But in February, 1922, a group of peasants attacked a police station and set it on fire at Chauri Chaura, a village in Uttar Pradesh.

As several constables were burnt alive in this fire, Gandhiji was shocked at this violent incident and therefore called off his Non-Cooperation Movement.


  • Because of Non-Cooperation Movement, Congress came in direct clash with the British Government.
  • For the first time in the history of India, the people whole-heartedly participated in this movement.
  • During the Non-Cooperation Movement, the word ‘Swadeshi’ became quite popular. As a result, the Indian industry flourished.
  • This movement gave a new direction to the freedom-struggle of India.

Question 7.
Why were the dialogues at the Round Table Conference inconclusive ?
The Dandi March of Mahatma Gandhi had made the British rulers realise that their reign was not forever. If they had to rule for long, they must involve the Indians in the administration and policy-making. So the British Government convened a series of Round Table Conferences in London.

(i) The First Round Table Conference was held in November 1930. It did not yield any concrete result as no important Indian leader participated in it. So Mahatma Gandhi was released in January, 1931 and the Round Table Conference was held in November, 1931. It was attended by Mahatma Gandhi. So it culminated in the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. Under this Pact, Mahatma Gandhi agreed to call off his Civil Disobedience Movement. The British agreed to release all the prisoners and also allowed the manufacture of salt along the sea-coast. Many leaders criticised this pact as it did not say anything about the complete independence of India.

(ii) The Second Round Table Conference was held in the later part of 1931 at London. Gandhiji attended it on behalf of the Congress. However his claim that Congress represented the whole of India was unacceptable to the Muslim League which claimed to represent the cause of all Muslims. The Princes also did not agree with Gandhi as they believed that the Congress had no stake in their territories. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, a lawyer and thinker, also did not agree with Gandhiji. He stated that Congress did not represent the people belonging to lowest castes. So this conference remained inconclusive. Gandhiji felt disheartened and resumed his Civil Disobedience Movement.

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 13 Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement: Civil Disobedience and Beyond

Question 8.
In what way did Mahatma Gandhi transform the nature of the national movement ?
How did Mahatma Gandhi turn the national movement into a mass movement ?
Explain how Gandhiji transformed Indian Nationalism by 1922. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
“In the history of nationalism, Gandhji is often identified with the making of a nation.” Describe his role in the freedom struggle of India. (C.B.S.E. 2014 (D))
Before the entry of Mahatma Gandhi into Indian politics, the freedom struggle was just a nominal movement. Only resolutions were passed by the leaders and sent to the government. Besides the national movement remained confined to only limited areas. It did not engulf the whole country. A few areas of India were under the influence of revolutionaries.

A few other areas were under the influence of the assertive nationalist. But after the emergence of Mahatma Gandhi, the national movement did not remain confined to a few leaders and led the participation of all the people. It became a mass movement because of the following reasons:

(i) Principles of Truth and Non-Violence. When Mahatma Gandhi entered the Indian politics, he adopted two cardinal principles of truth and non-violence. The truth meant an insistence on the righteous conduct and right path. Non-violence meant the government actions should be opposed peacefully. The people had seen that Mahatma Gandhi had sincerely helped the British during the First World War.

He also exhorted the people to cooperate with the British Government but when British showed their true colours after the war was over and passed the Rowlatt Act to crush the Indians, Gandhiji gave a call for strike in the whole country. It was a non-violent step taken to vindicate the cause of truth. All the Indians whole¬heartedly participated in this strike.

(ii) Satyagraha and Non-Cooperation Movement. Mahatma Gandhi had resorted to the path of Satyagraha for the first time against the white government in South Africa. He had compelled the white government to bow before him. When he launched Non-Cooperation Movement in India, Gandhiji adopted the policy of Satyagraha. He called upon the people not to cooperate with the British Government.

All the people of the country plunged into this national movement against the British rule. The students stayed away from their classes in the government educational institutions. The lawyers boycotted the law-courts. The officials left their jobs and the common people boycotted foreign goods. The people of India belonging to all castes, classes, religions and professions, filled all the jails by courting their arrests. The British rule was shaken to its foundations by the mammoth participation of the people in the Non-Cooperation Movement.

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 13 Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement: Civil Disobedience and Beyond

(iii) Breaking Salt Laws and Civil Disobedience Movement. Gandhiji led his world- famous Dandi March on 12 March, 1930. A large number of people joined the March which started from Sabarmati Ashram and culminated at Dandi on the sea-shore where Gandhiji broke one of the most widely disliked laws in British India, i.e., the Salt Law. Gandhi also exhorted all the people to break this drastic law in their own regions. He also advised them not to pay any tax to the British Government. This method of protesting against the British Government deeply impressed the local and foreign press. As a result, there was a mass upsurge against the colonial rule.

(iv) Opposition to Injustice. Mahatma Gandhi always opposed injustice. He kept fasts to favour and protect the untouchables. He forced the British Government to bow before the might of the common people. All the great leaders bowed before the miraculous charm of Gandhiji. In fact, Gandhiji was such a leader whom everybody in the country liked to follow.

(v) Encouragement to Swadeshi. Gandhiji encouraged the people of India to adopt swadeshi things or goods in life. He himself worked on the Charkha daily. Under his magnetic influence, many people burnt the foreign goods which inculcated national spirit among the people. They whole-heartedly participated in the national movement to attain complete independence from the colonial rule.

Question 9.
What do private letters and autobiographies tell us about an individual ? How are these sources different from official accounts ?
Examine the different kinds of sources from which political career of Gandhiji and the history of the National Movement could be reconstructed ? (C.B.S.E. 2009, 2013 (D))
The private letters and autobiographies are always an important source of information about the political leaders. The letters written to relatives or intimate friends give us a glimpse of the private thoughts of the writer.

These letters express an individual’s anger and pain, dismay and anxiety, hopes and frustrations. They bring out what is otherwise not openly expressed. For example, the letters written by Nehru and Gandhiji throw a lot of light on their ideas.

In the same way, autobiographies also give an account about the views and perceptions of a leader or any other person. However an autobiography is a retrospective account of one’s journey on this earth. It is often based on memory. So it must be read with care and caution.

However, an autobiography is still an important source to know a person. If anybody writes an autobiography, he, infact, frames a picture of himself for the outside world. The autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi “The Story of My Experiments With Truth’ became quite popular due to its straight forwardness and veracity.

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 13 Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Movement: Civil Disobedience and Beyond


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