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Monday, October 02, 2017

AHSEC/CBSE - Class 12 English Notes: Indigo

Very Short Answer Questions (1 Mark each)
1. Who is the author of the lesson, ‘Indigo’?
Ans. The author of the lesson, ‘Indigo’ is Louis Fischer.
2. Which book by Louis Fischer has been reviewed as one of the best books ever written on Gandhi by Times Educational Supplement?
Ans. Louis Fischer’s book – The life of Mahatma Gandhi has been reviewed as one of the best books ever written about Gandhi by Times Educational Supplement.
3. When did Gandhi decide ‘to urge the departure of the British?
Ans. Gandhi decided to urge the departure of the British in 1917.
4. Who was Rajkumar Shukla?
Ans. Rajkumar Shukla was one of the poor sharecropper peasants of Champaran.
5. Where was Rajkumar Shukla from?

Ans. Rajkumar Shukla was from Champaran in the foothills of Himalayas, near Nepal.
6. What did Shukla want Gandhi to do?
Ans. Shukla wanted Gandhi to visit his district and seek a way out of the infair situation prevailing there owing to the injustice of the landlord system.
7. Where was Champaran?

Ans. Champaran was in the foothills of the Himalayas, near the kingdom of Nepal.
8. Where did Gandhi and Shukla board a train to?
Ans. Gandhi and Shukla boarded a train to the city of Patna in Bihar.
9. Whom did Gandhi and Shukla want to meet at Patna?
Ans. They met Rajendra Prasad there.
10. Where did Gandhi decide to go first from Patna?
Ans. Gandhi decided to go first to Muzaffarpur.
11. Which country had developed synthetic indigo?
Ans. Germany had developed synthetic indigo.
12. What was the capital of Champaran?
Ans. Motihari was the capital of Champaran.
13. What happened when Gandhi refused to furnish bail at the Muzaffarpur Court?
Ans. When Gandhi refused to furnish bail, the Judge released him without bail.

Marks – 2
1. Who was Rajkumar Shukla? Why was he described as being resolute?
Ans. Rajkumar Shukla was a poor peasant of Champaran. Rajkumar Shukla was described as ‘resolute’ because he did not leave Gandhi’s side and followed him wherever he went because he wanted Gandhi to visit his district to take up the cause of poor peasants of Champaran.
2. Why do you think the servants thought Gandhi to be another peasant?

Ans. The servants knew Shukla as poor peasant of Champaran who always troubled Rajendra Prasad to take up the cause of indigo sharecroppers of Champaran. So the servant took Gandhi to be another peasant.
3. What did the peasants pay the British landlords as rent? What did the British now want instead and why?
Ans. As per the agreement between peasants and English landlord, the peasant were to plant 15% of their holding with indigo. They surrendered the entire indigo harvest as rent. Presently Germany had developed synthetic indigo. Hence indigo plantation was no more profitable. Now the landlord wanted compensation for freeing the Pleasants. Many pleasant paid compensation to get free from the agreement.
4. Why did the Gandhi agree to a settlement of 25% refund to the farmers?
Ans. Instead of asking for repayment of all the money Gandhi asked only for 50%. Then the planters offered to refund 25% of the money. Gandhi agreed, because for Gandhi victory was more important than the amount. The landlord was compelled to surrender part of the money and their prestige.
5. How did Shukla succeed in persuading Gandhi to visit Champaran?
Ans. Rajkumar Shukla wanted Gandhiji to visit Champaran to take up the cause of Sharecroppers there. Gandhiji told Shukla that he had appointments in Kanpur and other parts of India. Shukla followed Gandhiji to the ashram. Then, he went to Calcutta. Gandhiji was impressed by his tenacity and devotion. Then both of them boarded the train for Patna.
6. Why did Rajkumar Shukla want to take Gandhi to Champaran?
Ans. Rajkumar Shukla was a poor sharecropper from Champaran where poor pleasant were exploited by the landlords. They were the victims of landlord system in Champaran. Rajkumar Shukla went to meet Gandhi because he knew that only Gandhi can help them in getting freedom from the landlord system.
7. Why did Gandhi chide the lawyers of Muzaffarpur?
Ans. Gandhi chided the lawyers for collecting big fees from the poor sharecroppers. When peasants were so poor and crushed, it was inhuman to charge heavy fee from them.
8. Why did the indigo planters obtain new agreements from the sharecroppers to pay them compensation? Why did many sign willingly?
Ans. Germany had produced synthetic indigo. Now the plantation of indigo was no more profitable. The landlords wanted to free the peasants from the 15% agreement. For this freedom, they demanded compensations from them. Many of them signed willingly as the previous 15% arrangement was not liked by them.
9. What did Gandhi do to remove the cultural and social backwardness in the Champaran Villages?
Ans. Politics and economic issues were important. But for Gandhi the cultural and social backwardness in the Champaran villages was a curse. He wanted to do something about it immediately. Many volunteers came from other parts of India. Primary schools were opened in six villages. Kasturbai taught cleanliness and situation. Gandhi got a doctor to volunteer his services for six months.
10. “The Champaran episode was a turning point in Gandhi’s life”? How do you Justify it?(2012,2016)

Ans. The Champaran episode was really a turning point in Gandhi’s life. It was an effort to remove the distress(कष्ट) of poor peasants. The success of Champaran justified Gandhi’s ways and means. It gave a message. The Britishers who were dreaded and unquestioned could now be challenged by the Indians. The success of Champaran was the success of peaceful Civil Disobedience in modern India.
11. How did Gandhiji react to the Commissioner’s advice and where did he go?
Ans. The Commissioner of Tirhut tried to bully Gandhiji and advised him to leave Tirhut immediately. Gandhiji ignored his advice and didn’t leave. Instead, he proceeded to Motihari, the capital of Champaran. A huge crowed received him at the station. A report came in that a peasant had been maltreated in a nearby village. Gandhiji started out on the back of an elephant to go there.
12. “Civil disobedience had triumphed, the first time in modern India.” Justify this statement.
Ans. Gandhi was asked to leave Champaran by an official order. He respected the lawful authority. But the ‘voice of conscience’ made him disobey the order. Thousands of peasants held a huge demonstration. The government was baffled. The officials felt helpless. Gandhi was released without bail. So civil disobedience had triumphed for the first time in modern India.
13. . What was the incident that prompted Gandhi to raise his voice of protest against the British?(2013, 2017)
Ans. While going to attend the December 1916 annual convension of the Indian National Congress Party Lucknow, Gandhi met Rajkumar Shukla there. On his request, Gandhi went to his district, Champaran to find a way out of the unfairness done to the Sharecroppers by the landlords. He, at last, forced out a way for an honourable settlement of the peasants. This episode of Champaran promoted Gandhi to protest against British as it made him clear that they must quit India sooner.
14. Why was Gandhi not allowed to draw water from the well?
Ans. The servants at Rajendra Prasad’s house knew Shukla as a poor farmer who was after their master to help the indigo sharecroppers. As Shukla was accompanying Gandhi, they mistook him to be another peasant and so let them stay on the grounds. But, Gandhi was not permitted to draw water from the well because the servants presumed him to be untouchable like Shukla

Long Questions
1. Describe the exploitation of the indigo sharecropper by English landlords in Champaran. How did Gandhi help them to get an honorable settlement?( 2013, 2017)
Ans. The English landlords in Champaran compelled all sharecroppers to plant 15% of their holdings with indigo. They had to surrender the entire indigo harvest as rent to the landlords. This was done by a long-term contract. Then Germany developed synthetic indigo. The plantation of natural indigo was no more a profitable business for English landlords. They decided to free the Indian sharecroppers from 15% contract. They were to pay compensation for this freedom. The peasants saw through the trick and fraud of the landlords. Therefore, they refused to pay the compensation. Those who had signed the agreement demanded their money back.
Gandhi went to Bihar to take up the cause of poor peasants. There was a huge demonstration of thousands of peasants the very next day. The government was baffled. A commission of inquiry was constituted. Gandhi was the sole representative of the peasants. The landlords decided to refund the money to the peasants. At last, they settled for 25%. The amount of refund was less important. The more important thing was the victory of the peasants and the victory of the Civil Disobedience in India.
2. Describe how Champaran turned out to be a turning point in Gandhi’s life. How did the success of Champaran justify the ways and means adopted by Gandhi during the Civil Disobedience?
Ans. Champaran provided a great challenge and opportunity for Gandhi. Most of the arable land in Champaran belonged to English landlords. Indigo was the main commercial crop. The planters considered themselves above the law. They forced the sharecroppers to plant indigo on 15% of their holdings. Then came the news of the synthetic indigo discovered by Germany. Indigo plantation was no more profitable now. They decided to free the sharecroppers from the 15% contract. They demanded compensation for freeing them. Later on, most of the sharecroppers saw through their fraud. They demanded their money back.
The advent of Gandhi in Bihar raised a big storm. Thousand of peasants held a demonstration to protest against the government. The officials were helpless. The government was baffled. Gandhi’s four meetings with the Lieutenant-Governor proved fruitful. A commission of inquiry was constituted. Finally, a settlement was reached. The sharecroppers got 25% of their money back.
The success of Champaran was the success of the Civil Disobedience in India. Champaran (Movement) didn’t begin as an act of defiance. It was a typical Gandhian movement based on ‘Satyagraha’ and non-violence.
3. Describe the efforts made by R. K. Shukla persuade Gandhi to go to Champaran.(2014)
Ans. Rajkumar Shukla a poor peasant from Champaran went to the annual convention of the Indian National Congress party in Lucknow, to meet Gandhi. He told Gandhi that he wanted him to come to their district. Gandhi told Shukla that he had an appointment in Cawnpore. From Cawnpore he had to visit other parts of India. Shukla followed Gandhi everywhere. Then Gandhi returned to his ashram near Ahmadabad and Shukla followed him to the Ashram also. He did not leave Gandhi’s side for weeks and pleaded Gandhi to fix a date to come Champaran. Gandhi was impressed by Shukla’s steadfastness and asked the latter to come to Calcutta on such and such a date Gandhi asked him to come and take him from there. Months later Shukla met Gandhi at the Calcutta station and both left for Champaran.
4. ‘The battle of Champaran is won’, he exclaimed. Explain the context in which this was said. (2015,2016)
Ans. The lawyers played a very vital role in the Champaran movement. The news of Gandhi’s advent spread among the lawyers of Muzaffarpur. They called on Gandhi to brief him. Gandhi chided the lawyers for collecting big fees from the poor sharecroppers. Law courts were useless for them.
The lawyers from Bihar were again in the news. Gandhi was going to be tried in the court. Rajendra Prasad, and several other prominent lawyers had arrived from Bihar to support him. Gandhi asked what they would do if he was sentenced to prison. A senior lawyer replied that if he went to jail, they would go home.

Gandhi was disappointed. He asked what would happen to the sharecroppers if he went to jail. Who would fight for them? The lawyers felt ashamed. They thought that going home would be ‘shameful desertion’. They told him that they were ready to follow him into jail. Gandhi was more than satisfied. He declared: “the battle of Champaran is won”.