Short Answer Type Questions
Q. 1. List the places that Gandhi visited between his first meeting with Shukla and his arrival at Champaran. (2022)
Ans. Gandhi’s first meeting with Shukla was at Lucknow. Then he went to Cawnpore and other parts of India and returned to his ashram near Ahmedabad. Later, he went to Calcutta, Patna and Muzaffarpur before arriving at Champaran.
Q. 2. What did the peasants pay the British landlords as rent ? What did the British now want instead and why ? What would be the impact of synthetic indigo on the prices of natural indigo?
Ans. The peasants paid the British landlords indigo as rent. Now Germany had developed synthetic indigo. So, the British now wanted money as compensation for being released from the 15 percent agreement. The prices of natural indigo would go down due to the synthetic indigo.
Q.3. What was Gandhi’s politics intertwined with ?
Ans. The success of Champaran justified Gandhi’s style of politics Civil disobedience was the typical pattern of Gandhian politics. His ways and means were non-violent. His politics were intertwined with the day to day problems of the millions. In Champaran, he identified himself with the lot of poor and exploited peasants.
Q.4. Why Gandhi chide the lawyers of Muzaffarpur ?
Ans. Muzaffarpur lawyer called in Gandhi to brief him. They had frequently represented peasants in courts. Gandhi chided them for collecting fees from the poor sharecroppers. When peasants were so poor and crushed, it was inhuman to charge heavy fees from them.
Q. 5. Why did Gandhi agree to a settlement of 25 percent refund to the farmers ?
Ans. Gandhi explained that the amount of the refund was less important than the fact that the landlords had been obliged to surrender part of the money and, with it, part of their prestige. So, he agreed to the settlement of 25 percent refund to the farmners.
Q. 6. How did the episode change the plight of the peasants ?
Ans. The peasants were saved from spending time and money on court cases. Within a few years, the British planters abandoned their estates, which reverted to the peasants. Indigo sharecropping disappeared.
II. Long Answer Type Questions
Q. 1. Why do you think Gandhi considered the Champaran episode to be a turning-point in his life ?
Ans. The Champaran episode began as an attempt to ease the sufferings of large number of poor peasants. Gandhi considered it to be a turning-point in his life because he realised that civil disobedience, which had triumphed for the first time, could go a long way in the freedom struggle. Gandhi admits that what he had done was a very ordinary thing. He declared that the British could not order him about in his own country.
Q. 2. “Freedom from fear is more important than legal justice for the poor.” Do you think that the poor of India are free from fear after independence?
Ans. According to Gandhi, freedom from fear is the first step towards self-reliance. However, even decades after the independence, the poor of the country are not free from fear. Their actions, works are still under pressure and mercy of the bureaucratic system. The foreign rulers have been replaced by corrupt politicians and self-serving bureaucracy. Power-brokers and moneylenders have a field day.
Furthermore, the poor live in a continual fear of the police. The already poor farmers are becoming poorer because of globalisation and the craze for the foreign products. The poor, landless workers have to still work hard to make both ends meet. Peasants and tenant-farmers have to borrow from rich moneylenders on exorbitant rates of interest, which usually they fail to repay due to failure of monsoon or bad crops. Cases of small farmers committing suicide are quite common.
Q. 3. What are the qualities of a good leader ? Ans. A good leader has a mass appeal. He rises from the masses, thinks for them and works for them. A leader is someone who leads the minds of others and convinces them into following his set of ideas and beliefs. Truth, honesty, patriotism, morality, spirit of service and sacrifice are the hallmarks of a good leader. A good leader believes in working for the welfare of the nation and does not think in the narrow terms of class, caste or region. A good leader is courageous in the face of adversity and is never a quitter.
Life is an open book. He motivates and encourages others, bringing out the best in them. He appriciates the efforts of others and is not biased or partial.