RSTV IAS UPSC – India and Mahatma Gandhi

  • IASbaba
  • October 2, 2019
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The Big Picture- RSTV
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India and Mahatma Gandhi



TOPIC: Paper I: Essay

  • General Studies 1: Personalities in Indian national movements
  • General Studies 4: Ethics; Indian thinkers and philosophers


Mahatma Gandhi: Born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Gujarat

Gandhi: Philosophy and significance in present times

Opinions and views about his person and his non-violent technique of struggle remain deeply divided. For some, he was a puritanical, conservative critique of modernity. For them he created and perpetuated unrealistic and confused ideas about economic development and technological progress.

For his admirers, Gandhi was a man of spiritual truthfulness and democratic action, both at the public and personal levels, with a unique method of struggle that combined political pragmatism with ethical integrity. Some among these admirers evaluate Gandhi’s impact on human history as being as significant as that of Jesus, Buddha and Karl Marx.

Two Gandhi’s

  • In the minds of people around the world, Gandhi represents two different and contradictory characters.
  • The first Gandhi is the political Gandhi who fought against British colonialism and is the father of the modern Indian nation. This is the man Albert Einstein lauded as “a leader of his people, unsupported by any outward authority, a politician whose success rests not upon craft nor the mastery of technical devices, but simply on the convincing power of his personality.”
  • The second Gandhi is the Ashramic Gandhi who is more of a mystic than a politician, who used fasting as a method of struggle, and who Rabindranath Tagore considered as the “Mahatma”, the “Great Soul”.

Quest for spiritual cause – Satya

In Gandhi’s autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, one can find the idea that life is nothing but a spiritual experience with truth, and a struggle against all forms of untruth and injustice.

As such, Gandhi claimed that his life was his message, simply because he extended his practice of satyagraha to all walks of life. Gandhi, in short, was a leader looking for a spiritual cause. He found it, of course, in his non-violence and, ultimately, in independence for India. Truth, Satya, was the central axis of the Gandhian system of thought and practice.

For Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, everything turned on Truth — satyagraha, swaraj, ahimsa, ashram, brahmacharya, yajna, charkha, khadi, and finally, moksha itself. 

“Truth is not merely that which we are expected to speak and follow. It is that which alone is, it is that of which all things are made, it is that which subsists by its own power, which alone is eternal.”

Truth alone triumphs?

Outcome hinges exactly on the truth of her testimony versus his defence. Only one can be true.

  • When Truth is rendered negotiable and dispensable, the balance of justice is disastrously upset. Gandhi strained to hear the “small, still voice” within himself, the voice belonging to one he called “antaryami”, “atma” or “God” — an inner prompt, the self as a guide and a compass – so that he could keep moving ever closer to Truth.
  • It was this voice that he followed, sometimes to the bafflement of others who could not hear it. This was the voice that made him undertake life-threatening fasts his health wouldn’t permit; withdraw from active politics at the most crucial junctures of India’s anti-colonial struggle; and many other decisions which are still difficult for us to understand.
  • Even close and loyal associates like Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel were often confounded by Gandhi’s actions and decisions; more sceptical and antagonistic peers like M.A. Jinnah and B.R. Ambedkar couldn’t make sense of his motivations at all.

Home and the world

Of late, many musicians in south India have faced vicious attacks from rightwing Hindutva groups for singing hymns and psalms, thereby allegedly hijacking “Hindu” Carnatic music for “Christian” evangelical aims.This despite the fact that the violin, central to the Carnatic system in modern times, is a European gift to Indian music.

Both Christian and Muslim religious lyrics and poetry have been a constitutive part of the Carnatic repertoire throughout the 20th century. Gandhi made great use of the Bible in his prayers, teachings, writings and Ashram liturgies. He was often accused of being a crypto-Christian.

However, he flatly refused to give preference to the Vedas over the Bible. He is no Sanatani Hindu who is narrow, bigoted and considers evil to be good if it has the sanction of antiquity and is to be found supported in any Sanskrit book.

Just before the Kristallnacht (an incident known as “Kristallnacht”, Nazis in Germany torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses and killed close to 100 Jews), Gandhi advised European Jews to relocate to Palestine and make it their homeland only with the cooperation and goodwill of native Arabs, and not otherwise. This appalled even sympathetic Jews like Buber and Magnes, who had admired and supported Gandhi at the time of the Salt March in 1930, before the Nazi takeover of Germany.

Gandhi a political thinker and a social reformer

There is more to Gandhi which makes him a political thinker and a relevant social reformer. Gandhi was a dialogical thinker who was open to other horizons of thinking. He firmly believed that the spirit of genuine reciprocity and solidarity is not just a moral requirement, but also a geopolitical necessity.

  • Gandhi rejected the idea that there is one privileged path to god. He also believed that all religious traditions are an unstable mixture of truth and error.
  • He encouraged inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue, so that individuals could see their faith and culture in a comparative and critical reflection of the other.
  • As such, Gandhi considered interculturalism as a call for simultaneous awareness of commonalities, acceptance of differences, and recognition of shared values.
  • Interestingly, Gandhi was a political thinker and a social practitioner who was constantly experimenting with modes of comparative and cross-border cultural constellations. In Gandhi’s political thinking, the experience of freedom derives not only from constitutional rights but mainly from the diverse modes of participation of the individual in a common humanity. Today, many around the world consider Gandhian ideas as impractical, not to say utopian.
  • Gandhian ethics of social and political reconstruction are more relevant than ever, since they represent an act of self-transformation of humanity rather than an illusory dream of a political leader. Gandhi wanted to change the values that govern the social, political and economic activities in human society.
  • Gandhi believed that decentralised politics and an egalitarian economy function better at the level of micro-communities, where citizens can operate in relations of reciprocity and mutuality. For him, it was clear that neither society nor the individual can live without a moral vision of the world. Gandhi had his moral and political dreams of changing humanity.

There are ample events and incidents insisting that we can continue to consult Gandhi on all manner of issues that may trouble our individual or collective conscience. Truth is the key to Gandhi’s philosophy, and we rely on Gandhi even decades after his death and long after his supposed lapse into political irrelevance.

Gandhi was a man of experimentation, a man who insisted on the quest for truth. Therefore, it should not come to us as a surprise that the literal meaning of satyagraha is “asserting for truth”.



Einstein Challenge:

Albert Einstein’s famous words on Gandhi: “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”

  • Proposed by PM Modi on Mahatma’s 150th birthday celebration
  • Challenge: How do we ensure the ideals of Gandhi are remembered by future generations?

Gandhi’s favourite hymn: “Vaishnava Jana To,” which says that a true human is one, who feels the pain of others, removes misery and is never arrogant.

In 1925, Gandhi wrote in “Young India”: “It is impossible for one to be internationalist without being a nationalist. Internationalism is possible only when nationalism becomes a fact, i.e., when peoples belonging to different countries have organized themselves and are able to act as one man.” He envisioned Indian nationalism as one that was never narrow or exclusive but one that worked for the service of humanity.

First World Youth Conference on Kindness

  • Organised by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development and Ministry of Human Resource Development on the theme ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: Gandhi for the Contemporary World: Celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’ at the VigyanBhavan in New Delhi. 
  • Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, the conference aimed to provide global youth and policymakers an innovative, engaging and inspiring platform to come together and strive to discover ground-breaking pathways to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention

  • 116 foreign delegates including sanitation ministers visited select sites related to the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi on the “Gandhi Trail”. The “Gandhi Trail” is a trip to Gujarat, where the delegates will visit the Sabarmati Ashram and see Swachh Bharat at work on the ground in Punsari village.
  • The MGISC is a four-day convention which includes more than 160 international representatives from 68 countries. It aims to share sanitation success stories and lessons from the participating countries.

Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSPs): Inspired by Gandhian philosophy; Co-operative societies, women participation and empowerment, socio-economic equality etc,.

Decentralization: Keeping Mahatma Gandhi’s principle of ‘Swarajya’ in mind to strengthen grass root administration.

Do or Die Speech by Gandhiji: In 1942, Mahatma Gandhi gave the clarion call of ‘Do or Die’ from Gowalia Tank Maidan to end the British rule and launched the Quit India Movement.


Who gave the title of ‘Mahatma’ to the ‘Father of the Nation’: Gurudev – Rabindranath Tagore


The first Nationwide Movement: Rowlatt Satyagraha


Quit India is also called as India August Movement (August Kranti)

Majoor Mahajan Sangh: Gandhi formed the Majoor Mahajan Sangh, an association for workers’ rights. During those days, “Mahajan” was used as a title of respect for elites. Gandhi inverted the social structure by attaching the name “Mahajan” to “Majoor,” or laborers. With that linguistic choice, Gandhi enhanced the pride of workers.

Dyerism: In 1919, the Rowlatt Act enacted by the British government took away the civil rights of Indians. Those who protested peacefully in Jallianwala Bagh faced merciless police firing on the orders of General R Dyer. That cold-blooded assault was described by Mahatma Gandhi as Dyerism. He employed the concept to denote practices of exclusion, including the ostracisation of the Dalits from all spheres of social life in 1919.

Pietermaritzburg: A railway station in South Africa where a young Mahatma Gandhi was thrown out of a “Whites-only” compartment 125 years ago

  • On the night of June 7, 1893, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, then a young lawyer, was thrown off the train’s first class compartment at Pietermaritzburg station after he refused to give up his seat as ordered by racially prejudiced officials
  • The incident led him to develop his Satyagraha principles of peaceful resistance and mobilize people in South Africa and in India against the discriminatory rules of the British


Gandhi called it “the prince among the political sections of the IPC designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen”: Section 124A of the IPC

  • The section deals with the offence of sedition, a term that covers speech or writing, or any form of visible representation, which brings the government into hatred or contempt, or excites disaffection towards the government, or attempts to do so.
  • It is punishable with three years in prison or a life term.
  • “Disaffection”, it says, includes disloyalty and feelings of enmity.
  • However, it also says expressing disapproval of government measures or actions, with a view to getting them changed by lawful means, without promoting hatred or disaffection or contempt towards the government will not come under this section.
  • Origin:
    • Sedition was introduced in the penal code in 1870, a decade after the Indian Penal Code came into force.
    • It was a colonial law directed against strong criticism of the British administration.
    • Its most famous victims included Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhijis Nai Talim

  • On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s upcoming 150th birth anniversary celebrations, a movement has begun, across the educational institutions in the country to promote Nai Talim, Work Education and Experiential Learning.
  • A special effort is on school and teacher education in the areas of work education and experiential learning through the education departments of Universities as well as Central and State Governments and the SCERTs.
  • Union HRD Ministry released the curriculum on Experiential Learning – Gandhijis Nai Talim. This curriculum was brought out simultaneously in 13 languages i.e., Assamese, Tamil, Bengali, Odiya, Kannada, Malyalam, Punjabi, Marathi, Telugu, Gujarati, Urdu, Hindi and English.
  • It is in consultation with the state councils of educational research and training along with the universities in the country. The curriculum was a holistic approach of developing body, mind and soul (hand, head and heart), by making a productive art, craft or community engagement activity as the centre of learning.


  • With the government marking the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi with several programmes throughout the year, an encyclopedia-like “Gandhipedia” would be among the efforts to spread his values (under Union Culture Ministry).
  • The National Council for Science Museums (NCSM), based in Kolkata, is developing a Gandhipedia “to sensitize” youth and society “at large” about positive Gandhian values.
  • This comes about 10 months after President launched a web portal to provide people with free access to an online repository of Gandhian literature, philosophy, audios, videos and rare photographs of the Father of nation

Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha: To improve Hindi literacy among the non-Hindi speaking people of South Indi and is headquartered in Chennai.

  • The organisation was established by Annie Besant with support from Mahatma Gandhi, who became the founder president of the Sabha, who held the post till his death.
  • The first Hindi class here was taken by M. Gandhi’s son Devdas Gandhi.
  • In 1964, the institution was recognised by the Indian Government as one of the Institutes of National Importance.

The Story of Indian Flag

  • Pingali Venkayya was a freedom fighter and the designer of the Indian National Tricolour who went on to become synonymous with the spirit of free and independent India. Venkayya earlier served as a soldier in the British Army in South Africa during the Anglo Boer war in Africa.
  • Acknowledging the need for a national flag, Gandhi then asked Venkayya to design a fresh one at the national congress meeting in 1921. Initially, Venkayya came up with saffron and green colours, but it later evolved with a spinning wheel at the centre and a third colour-white.
  • The flag was officially adopted by the Indian National Congress in 1931.


Gandhi & Indian National Congress (INC) had launched 3 major mass movements against British during the freedom struggle:

(i) 1920-22: Non-cooperation Movement (NCM) – Nagpur session (1920)

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre: Gandhi launched a nationwide protest against the Rowlatt Acts with the strongest level of protest in the Punjab.

  • The situation worsened in Amritsar in April 1919, when General Dyer ordered his troops to open fire on demonstrators hemmed into a tight square, resulting in the deaths of 379 civilians.
  • Montagu ordered an inquiry into the events at Amritsar by Lord Hunter. The Hunter Inquiry recommended that General Dyer, who commanded the troops, be dismissed, leading to Dyer’s sacking.
  • The Amritsar massacre further inflamed Indian nationalist sentiment ending the initial response of reluctant co-operation. At the Indian National Congress annual session in September 1920, delegates supported Gandhi’s proposal of swaraj or self-rule – preferably within the British Empire or out of it if necessary. The proposal was to be implemented through a policy of non-cooperation with British rule meaning that Congress did not field candidates in the first elections held under the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms in 1921.

(ii) 1930-34: Civil Disobedience movement (CDM) – Lahore session (1929)

Dandi March

  • On March 12, 1930, Gandhi along with 80 satyagrahis started out from Sabarmati Ashram and marched over 390 km to reach the coastal village of Dandi.
  • The march, a protest against the coercive salt tax imposed by the British, was the most significant organised challenge to British authority after the Non-Cooperation Movement of the early 1920s.
  • The march sparked a series of acts of civil disobedience across India against the salt laws.
  • Over 60,000 people were arrested across the country. Soon after, the Congress planned a Satyagraha at the Dharasana Salt Works, 25 miles south of Dandi.
  • However, the plan was shelved after Gandhi was arrested days before the beginning of the movement.

 (iii) 1942-44: Quit India movement (QIM) – Bombay on 8th August 1942

  • After the failure of Cripps Mission, Mahatma Gandhi decided to launch his third major campaign against the British rule – ‘Quit India Movement’ (QIM) in August 1942. And on 8th and 9th August, all senior leaders were arrested leaders of younger generation carried on with the plan.
  • Prevalence of violence & underground activities – Parallel governments were setup in many parts of countries. Removal of railway tracks, Looting of treasury, Blowing up bridges, Burning post-office and police stations, Cutting telephone lines, etc. 
  • Despite the lack of centralized planning and coordination, Indians actively participated in large numbers. Lord Linlithgow had to use the help of army and arrest over 90,000 Indians to crush this movement. 
  • But we understand that Quit India movement was more of a spontaneous revolt than a planned one.

Global Success of Satyagraha

Gandhi applied his experiments with truth and practice of non-violence, not only at an individual level but also in the process of the global affairs. In Gandhi’s model of national and international politics, truth (satya) and non-violence (ahimsa) were brought into a mutually interacting and reinforcing relation. Therefore, as in the case of means and ends, truth and non-violence were, for Gandhi, interchangeable entities beyond cultural borders and mental ghettos.

By Gandhi in India

  • Champaran Satyagraha – 1917
    • Persuaded by Raj Kumar Shukla to study the conditions of the Indigo Plantation workers in Champaran, a district in Bihar
    • The system prevalent in the Indigo Plantations was the Tinkathia System, in which, the peasants were required to mandatorily cultivate indigo in 3/20th of their land holdings.
    • Govt. had appointed a Commission of Inquiry to go into the whole issue and nominated Gandhiji as one of its members > found the planters guilty of exploitation. A compromise was reached and planters were ordered to refund 25% of the amount they had illegally taken.

There were two main systems of indigo cultivation – nij and ryoti.

  • Ahmedabad Satyagraha – 1918
    • Due to plague, the mill owners had increased the pay to 75% to attract workers. However, once the plague conditions subsided, the mill owners wanted to bring down the pay to 20%. The workers didn’t agree with this reduction and wanted 50% of the pay to remain. 
    • The logic they sited was that WW1 had increased the prices. Gandhiji didn’t want the interest of the industrialist class to be hurt. He tried hard to persuade Ambalal Sarabhai who was his friend but failed.
    • Left with no option, he asked workers to go on a strike. When Gandhiji saw the strike subsiding, he went on a fast. This put pressure on the mill owners who agreed for the 35% increment.
  • Kheda Satyagraha – 1918
    • Teamed up with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to help the cause of peasants. The peasants were in extreme distress as their crop produce had been 1/4th of the original. As per the revenue code, they were entitled for a full concession. However, the Govt. wasn’t willing to let go of their revenues and kept pressurizing the peasants.
    • Gandhiji urged all farmers to fight unto death against this injustice of the British. He appealed the rich farmers to support to the poor farmers by not paying revenues despite having the capability. 
    • Later the British came out with a policy asking the rich farmers to pay their due voluntarily. (Which backfired as no rich farmer willingly wanted to pay revenue)
  • Rowlatt Satyagraha – 1919
    • British, in the name of curbing terrorist violence, had introduced a Bill that severely curtailed the liberties of the Indians. It had provisions for arrest without warrant and detention for 2 years
    • Gandhiji called for a nation-wide hartal accompanied by fasting and praying. The Movement went in a different direction than what was expected – events of violent outbreaks. The Rowlatt Satyagraha was withdrawn on 18th April, 1919 because of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre that happened on 13th April 1919.

Image Source: 

In 2018-July, Government decided to grant Special Remission to Prisoners on the upcoming occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. 


  • Prisoners, including politicians, convicted in cases of murder, rape or corruption, will not be released
  • Women convicts aged 55 and above, who have completed half of their sentence, will be released
  • Male convicts of aged 60 or more, who have completed half of their sentence, will be released
  • Those convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act, The Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1985 (TADA), The Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA), Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA), The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO), Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 will not be released.

Pardon: It removes both the sentence and the conviction and completely absolves the convict from all sentences, punishments and disqualifications.

Commutation: It denotes the substitution of one form of punishment for a lighter form. For example, a death sentence may be commuted to rigorous imprisonment, which in turn may be commuted to a simple imprisonment.

Remission: It implies reducing the period of sentence without changing its character. For example, a sentence of rigorous imprisonment for two years may be remitted to rigorous imprisonment for one year.

Respite: It denotes awarding a lesser sentence in place of one originally awarded due to some special fact, such as the physical disability of a convict or the pregnancy of a woman offender.

Reprieve: It implies a stay of the execution of a sentence (especially that of death) for a temporary period. Its purpose is to enable the convict to have time to seek pardon or commutation from the President.

Prelims-centric Questions

A. With reference to the British colonial rule in India, consider the following statements: 

  1. Mahatma Gandhi was instrumental in the abolition of the system of ‘indentured labour’. 
  2. In Lord Chelmsford’s ‘War Conference’, Mahatma Gandhi did not support the resolution on recruiting Indians for World War. 
  3. Consequent upon the breaking of Salt Law by Indian people, the Indian National Congress was declared illegal by the colonial rulers. 

Which of the statements given above are correct? 

(a) 1 and 2 only 

(b) 1 and 3 only 

(c) 2 and 3 only 

(d) 1, 2 and 3 

Solution (b) 

Explanation: Lord Chelmsford, the then Viceroy of India, invited Gandhi to Delhi at a War Conference. In order to gain the trust of the empire, Gandhi agreed to move people to enlist in the army for World War I. 

Hence Statement 2 is wrong. Statement 1 and 3 are correct.

B. Movement leader of All India Anti-Untouchability League: Mahatma Gandhi – While in jail, Gandhi set up the All India Anti-Untouchability  League in September 1932

C. In 1932, Mahatma Gandhi began a fast unto death in Yerwada Jail against:

  1. Communal award of Ramsay Mac Donald
  2. Violation of Gandhi-Irwin Pact
  3. British repression of Satyagrahis
  4. Communal riots in Calcutta

D. Harijan Sevak Sangh born out of the historic Poona Pact between: Dr.BR Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi

E. Gandhiji relinquished his title ‘Kaiser-e-hind’ bestowed on him by the British for his services during the Boer War in South Africa.

F. Mahatma Gandhi undertook fast unto death in 1932, mainly because:

  1. Round Table Conference failed to satisfy Indian political aspirations
  2. Congress and Muslim League had differences of opinion
  3. Ramsay Macdonald announced the Communal Award
  4. None of the statements (a), (b) and (c) given above is correct in this context

Explanation: Gandhi took fast unto death on the announcement of communal award and Poona pact was signed after that with agreement of Gandhiji and Ambedkar

Connect the dots: 

  • Evolution of separate electorate in British Raj
  • Three round table conferences
  • Participation of Congress and its outcome

G. Mahatma Gandhi said that some of his deepest convictions were reflected in a book titled, “Unto this Last” and the book transformed his life. What was the message from the book that transformed Mahatma Gandhi?

  1. Uplifting the oppressed and poor is the moral responsibility of an educated man
  2. The good of individual is contained in the good of all
  3. The life of celibacy and spiritual pursuit are essential for a noble life
  4. All the statements (a), (b) and (c) are correct in this context

H. Reason for Mahatma Gandhi to organize a satyagraha on behalf of the peasants of Kheda?

  1. The Administration did not suspend the land revenue collection in spite of a drought.
  2. The Administration proposed to introduce Permanent Settlement in Gujarat.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a.) 1 only

(b.) 2 only

(c.) Both 1 and 2

(d.) Neither 1 nor 2

Connecting the Dots:

  1. Throw light on the significance of the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi in the present times. (UPSC 2018: GS I; 10 marks)
  2. Discuss the moral principles given by Mahatma Gandhi. Quote instances from his life where he practiced his principles before preaching them.
  3. “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” – M.K.Gandhi
  4. What was more important to Mahatma Gandhi- means or end of an action? How did he practice these principles in his public life?
  5. The life of Mahatma Gandhi is a perfect example of restraint, forgiveness and magnanimity. Comment. Why are these attributes important in today’s world? Discuss.
  6. How did Gandhi’s arrival change the discourse of the nationalist movement? Did it make the movement more inclusive and representative? Critically comment.
  7. The Champaran Satyagraha catapulted Mahatma Gandhi as the true leader of the Indian national movement. Do you agree? Substantiate.
  8. What were the similarities and dissimilarities between the approach of Mahatma Gandhi and B R Ambedkar towards the upliftment of the so called lower castes?
  9. What factors do you think led to attitudinal change of Mahatma Gandhi from a non-compromising peaceful Gandhi of Non – Cooperation (1920) to an aggressive Gandhi of Quit India Movement (1942)?
  10. Why according to Mahatma Gandhi, nonviolence was an act of courage and needed to immense mental strength to practice? Analyse.
  11. Serious consideration must be given to the idea of a universal basic income as a more effective way of achieving Mahatma Gandhi’s objectives of “wiping every tear from every eye.” Comment.
  12. Discuss the ideas of Gandhi on Gram Swaraj and rural economy.
  13. We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world. Comment.
  14. “Nationalist movement in India before the arrival of M. Gandhi was a movement representing the classes as opposed to the masses”. Critically analyse
  15. Highlight the differences in the approach of Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi in their struggle for freedom.
  16. Discuss the role of women in the freedom struggle during the Gandhian phase.
  17. “The Quit India Movement was more of a spontaneous revolt than a planned movement of Congress.” Discuss.
  18. Highlight the similarities and differences in the approach of Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle for freedom of their respective countries?
  19. “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding. “ Discuss.
  20. “Rights accrue automatically to him who duly performs his duties.” Explain.
  21. Explain Gandhi’s spirit of ownership and how it fits in the current challenge that we face today -Climate Crisis. (Hint: We, as inheritors of the earth, are responsible for its well-being, including that of the flora and fauna with whom we share our planet.)
  22. Had Gandhiji not withdrawn the Civil Disobedience Movement, India would have achieved freedom much earlier. Do you agree? Critically comment.
  23. Even though the Non-Cooperation and Civil Disobedience Movement had ended in apparent failure, the national movement had been strengthened in many ways? Do you agree? Substantiate.
  24. What role did students play in India’s freedom struggle? Examine.
  25. During the Quit India movement, the masses were united irrespective of their background. However, today, when India faces much severe challenges, the unity seems elusive. Identify the major challenges faced by Indian society today and how can they be forced to ‘Quit India’?
  26. Examine the concept of ‘satyagraha’. Was it a successful strategy? Examine.   

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