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descriptive Question-Answer 3

People's Movement and Princely States

What was the contribution of the People’s Movement in Princely States under the British rule?

During the British Rule, along with the Nationalist Movement against the British by the Indian masses, there was a parallel movement by the people of the Princely States. While most of the territory of India had passed into the hands of the British by the beginning of the 20th century, some parts of the country were still under the princely rulers/Nawabs. Though most of the rulers had accepted the suzerainty of the British, yet most of them were despotic and callous towards the welfare of their people. Economic condition of people was poor with extremely high demands of land revenue and other taxes. Modern education and other social services were neglected by most of the rulers.

The people of these States were greatly influenced by the Nationalist Movement. The movements like the “Prajamandal Movement” and “All India States’ and People’s Conference” came to the fore. The Civil Disobedience Movement also spread to the States like Rajkot, Jaipur, Kashmir, Hyderabad and Travancore. The Princes suppressed these Movements with a heavy hand. They also used the communal cards to crush the movements. By 1935, the Indian National Congress came forward openly to espouse the cause of the States’ people. In the year 1935, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru became the President of All India States’ People’s Conference, which gave the required impetus to the Movement in these States.

The Nationalist Movement in the Princely States not only brought the nationalist consciousness among the States’ people, but it also brought them in the national mainstream. It also put the added pressure on the British to leave India and forced the Princely States to merge with the Indian Union as per the provisions of the Indian Independence Act. The new consciousness among these people also resulted in a united India after independence.

Trial of INA

The trial of the prisoners of Indian National Army was the hallmark of Nationalist Movement during the post-Second World War period. Discuss

Indian National Army (INA) under the leadership of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose fought valiantly against the British forces during the Second World War. But with the collapse of Japan in the year 1945, the INA too met with defeat. As the war ended, the Quit India Movement in India was also on the wane and that is the time when the British began the trial of the officers and soldiers of the INA. The British treated these prisoners as traitors, but people of India regarded them as national heroes. Trial of three officers of the INA, namely Shah Nawaz Khan, Gurdial Singh Dhillon and Prem Sehgal, at the Red Fort was opposed by the entire country. The masses did not want these heroes to be punished. So great was the pressure from the public that even after the court martial held them guilty, the British had to set them free.

The Britishers could judge the determined mood of Indian masses. Moreover, the Second World War had shattered the economic and military might of the British Empire. There was also a mutiny in the Navy against the said trial. In addition, there were numerous strikes, hartals and demonstrations in various parts of the country, including several Princely States. Although there was no major movement after the Second World War, the people’s struggle against the trial of the INA prisoners filled the void. Most dangerous signals to the British came from mutiny in Navy and the strikes in the Indian Air Force and the Corps of Signals in the Army. The police and the bureaucracy were also showing the signs of nationalist leanings. The writing on the wall was clear. The centuries old British rule in India was about to end. Other important events like Cabinet Mission in 1946 and Indian Independence Act of 1947 only worked out the detailed formula for independence.

Brief notes: Kalhana, Natyasastra, Pritviraj

Write brief notes about the following: (a) Kalhana; (b) Natyasastra; (c) Prithviraj Raso.

(a) Kalhana: Kalhana was a celebrated author of Kashmir’s history and possesses a prominent place in Indian history as an author. Kalhana’s father Champaka was a Minister in King’s court. Kalhana is known for his famous work Rajatarangini which he wrote in 12th century (1147-1149 AD). Kalhana is considered to be the first historian from Kashmir and Rajatarangini is one of the
most valuable sources of Indian history on Kashmir.

(b) Natyasastra: Natyasastra literally means ‘science of theatre’ and consists of the most important text of dramaturgy that anyone in India has ever produced. Written by sage Bharatha between 500 and 300 BC, it contains fundamental facts about all forms of art, thus serving as a comprehensive guide on the subject. In its 36 chapters, Natyasastra covers the origin of theatre, acting, costume designing, make up, dance, music, play construction, grammar, poetic composition, rituals and architecture of theatre etc.

(c) Prithviraj Raso: Prithviraj Raso is a well known and celebrated poetic epic composed by a famous poet Chand Bardai in praise of a Rajput king of Rajputana, Prithviraj Chauhan. Bardai was a court poet of the king Prithviraj.

Dissolution, prorogation and adjournment

Differentiate between dissolution, prorogation and adjournment of the House.

Dissolution, Prorogation and Adjournment: When the Parliament is in session, there are daily sittings of the Houses concerned and the sittings can be terminated either by dissolution, prorogation or by adjournment.  As per the provisions of Indian Constitution, Rajya Sabha (Council of States) is a permanent House and cannot be dissolved. Lok Sabha (House of People) however can be dissolved.  Dissolution brings an end to the term of the House. House of People can be dissolved by the President on the advice of the Council of Ministers either on expiry of its usual term of five years or by the exercise of President’s powers under Article 85 (2) of the Constitution.

While dissolution marks the end of life of the House, prorogation is just the termination of a session of a House. On completion of a particular session of the Parliament, which may last a specified or pre-determined period, the House is announced to be prorogued by the Speaker/Chairperson as per the directives of the President and the President of India acts as per the advice of the Council of Ministers in this regard. The effect of prorogation is that pending notices, motions and resolutions lapse with the prorogation of the House but the pending Bills remain unaffected.

Adjournment of a House is merely end of the session for short duration or for the day or the week during an ongoing session. Adjournment thus merely postpones the further transaction of business for a specified period of time, hours, days or weeks during the ongoing session. Adjournment has no effect on pending resolutions, motions, notices and Bills.

Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru’s views on Nationalism

Critically assess Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru’s views on Nationalism.

Tej Bahadur Sapru was an eminent lawyer, nationalist and social leader during the British rule in India. Born in 1875 in Aligarh (U.P.) in a Kashmiri Brahmin family, Sir Sapru practiced as a lawyer in Allahabad High Court where Purshottam Dass Tandon was his assistant. He was a known moderate leader and subscribed to the views of Gopal Krishan Gokhale. He was the jurist leader of the Indian Liberal Party and favoured a dialogue with the British government rather than confrontation. He was a firm believer of self-government reforms and did not favour independence from the British rule, as he felt that the Indians were not ready for independence. In support of his views on the nationalism, just like other leaders like M.R. Jayakar, he was a regular participant in the provincial and central legislatures that most of the nationalists thought were only the rubber stamps of the Viceroy.

Sir Sapru was opposed to the methods and leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and strongly opposed the non-cooperation movement and salt Satyagraha. He however often acted as a mediator between the government and other nationalist leaders. He was instrumental in getting the Gandhi-Irwin Pact settled, negotiating the end of salt Satyagraha and forging the Poona Pact between Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Amdedkar and the British government. He was very active during Round Table Conferences in 1931-33 and was an informal spokesman of liberal views on Indian nationalism.

He was knighted by the British government in the year 1922. It is however, an admitted fact that his Liberal Party lacked popular support of the people and was more of a group of intellectuals who continued to practice nationalism as per their own thoughts, without caring for the popular sentiments and feelings.


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