CBSE Class 10 History Notes Chapter 2 - Nationalism in India

Here I am going to provide you CBSE Class 10 History Notes Chapter 2 - Nationalism in India. You can also Download PDF of these notes. In this chapter, you will learn about the Indian independence movement fought against the colonial British Raj. You will get to know the story from the 1920s and study about the non-Cooperation and Civil Disobedience Movements. You will also get to explore how Congress sought to develop the national movement, how different social groups participated in the movement, and how nationalism captured the imagination of people.I have tried to cover all important topics from this chapter in this notes. So, use these notes and do your best!!

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Social Science Notes
The Rise of Nationalism in Europe
Nationalism in India
The Making of the Global World
The Age of Industrialization
Work, Life and Leisure
Democratic Politics
Democracy and Diversity
Gender, religion, and caste
Popular Struggles and movements
Political parties
Outcomes of democracy
Sectors of the Indian economy
Money and Credit
Globalization and the Indian economy
Resources and Development
Forest and Wildlife resources
Water Resources
Minerals and Energy Resources
Manufacturing Industries
Lifelines of National Economy

    CBSE Class 10 History Notes Chapter 2 - Nationalism in India

    In the chapter Nationalism in India class 10, it is described as the feeling when people of a country develop a sense of common belonging and are united in a common thread. Their struggles unite them, and they tend to form a common identity. It covers nationalism in many parts of the world like Germany, France, Britain, Vietnam, India, and many others.

    The First World War, Khilafat and Non-Cooperation

    Effects of First World War:- 

    1. The First World War led to a huge increase in defence expenditure.
    2. This was financed by war loans and by increasing taxes. 
    3. Custom duties were increased and income tax was introduced to raise extra revenue. 
    4. Prices of goods increased during the war years.
    5. Forced recruitment of rural people in the army was another cause of widespread anger amongst people. 

    The Idea of Satyagraha 

    1. Mahatma Gandhi returned to India in January 1915. 
    2. His historic fight for the Indians in South Africa was well-known. 
    3. His noble method of mass agitation known as Satyagraha has given good results. 
    4. The idea of satyagraha emphasised the power of truth and the need to search for truth. 

    Satyagraha movement

    1. In 1917, Gandhi travelled to Champaran in Bihar to inspire the peasants to struggle against the oppressive plantation system.
    2. The method of Satyagraha was based on the idea that if someone is fighting for a true cause, there is no need to use any physical force to fight the oppressor. 
    3. Gandhiji believed that a Satyagrahi could win a battle through non-violence, i.e., without being aggressive or revengeful. 

    Important Satyagraha movements organised by Gandhiji:- 

    • Peasants Movement in Champaran (Bihar) in 1917. 
    • Peasants' Movement in Kheda district (Gujarat) in 1918. 
    • Mill workers' Movement in Ahmedabad in 1918. 

    The Rowlatt Act (1919):-

    1. The Rowlatt Act was passed by the Imperial Legislative Council in 1919. 
    2. The Indian members did not support the Act, but it was passed . 
    3. The Act gave enormous powers to the British Government to repress political activities. 
    4. It allowed detention of political prisoners without trial for two years. 

    Gandhi's satyagraha against Rowlatt Act:-

    1. On 6th April, 1919, Gandhiji launched a nationwide Satyagraha against the proposed Rowlatt Act.
    2. The call of a strike on 6" April got a huge response.
    3. People came out in support in various cities, shops were shut down and workers in railway workshops went on strike.
    4. The British administration decided to clamp down on the nationalists. 
    5. Several local leaders were arrested. Mahatma Gandhi was barred from entering Delhi. 

    Jallianwala Bagh Incident:-

    1. On 10th April 1919, in Amritsar, the Police fired upon a peaceful procession. 
    2. This provoked widespread attacks on government establishments.
    3. Martial Law was imposed in Amritsar and the command of the area was given to General Dyer. 
    4. The infamous (shocking) Jallianwala Bagh Massacre took place on 13th April; the day on which Baisakhi is celebrated in Punjab. 
    5. A crowd of villagers came to participate in a fair in Jallianwala Bagh. It was enclosed from all sides with narrow entry points.
    6. General Dyer blocked the exit points and opened fire on the crowd. 
    7. Hundreds of people were killed in that incident.
    8. Public reaction to the incident took a violent turn in many north Indian towns. 
    9. The government was quite brutal in its response. 
    10. Things turned highly violent.
    11. Mahatma Gandhi called off the movement as he did not want to continue the violence. 

    Khilafat Movement:-

    1. The Khilafat issue gave Mahatma Gandhi an opportunity to bring the Hindus and Muslims on a common platform. 
    2. The Ottoman Turkey was badly defeated in the First World War. 
    3. There were rumours  about a harsh peace treaty likely to be imposed on the Ottoman Emperor, who was the spiritual head of the Islamic world (the Khalifa).
    4. A Khilafat committee was formed in Bombay in March 1919 to defend the Khalifa. 
    5. This committee had leaders like the brothers Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali, 
    6. They also wanted Mahatma Gandhi to take up the cause to build a united mass action. 
    7. At the Calcutta session of the Congress in September 1920, the resolution was passed to launch a Non-Cooperation Movement in support of Khilafat and also for Swaraj.

    Non-Cooperation Movement:-

    1. In his famous book Hind Swaraj (1909), Mahatma Gandhi declared that British rule was established in India with the cooperation of Indians and had survived only because of this cooperation. If Indians refused to cooperate, British rule in India would collapse within a year, and Swaraj would be established.
    2. Gandhiji believed that if Indians begin to refuse to co-operate, the British rulers will have no other way than to leave India. 

    Some of the proposals of Non-Cooperation Movement:-

    1. Surrender the titles which were awarded by the British Government. 
    2. Boycott of Civil Services, Army, Police, Courts, Legislative Councils and Schools.
    3. Boycott of foreign goods.
    4. Launch full Civil Disobedience campaign, if the government persisted with repressive measures.

    Differing Strands within the Movement

    The Movement in the Towns

    1. The middle-class started the movement and thousands of students, teachers, headmasters left government-controlled schools and colleges, lawyers gave up their legal practices.
    2. In the economic front, the effects of non-cooperation were more dramatic. The production of Indian textile mills and handlooms went up when people started boycotting foreign goods. 
    3. However, this movement slowed down due to a variety of reasons such as Khadi clothes are expensive, less Indian institutions for students and teachers to choose from, so they went back to government schools and lawyers joined back government courts

    Rebellion in the Countryside

    1. The Non-Cooperation Movement spread to the countryside where peasants and tribals were developing in different parts of India. The peasant movement started against talukdars and landlords who demanded high rents and a variety of other cesses. It demanded reduction of revenue, abolition of begar and social boycott of oppressive landlords.
    2. Jawaharlal Nehru in June 1920, started going around the villages in Awadh to understand their grievances. In October, he along with few others set up the Oudh Kisan Sabha and within a month 300 branches had been set up. In 1921, the peasant movement spread and the houses of talukdars and merchants were attacked, bazaars were looted and grain boards were taken ove
    3. In the early 1920s, a militant guerrilla movement started spreading in the Gudem Hills of Andhra Pradesh. The government started closing down forest areas due to which their livelihood was affected. Finally, the hill people revolted, which was led by Alluri Sitaram Raju who claimed that he had a variety of special powers.

    Swaraj in the Plantations

    1. For plantation workers in Assam, freedom meant right to move freely in and out and retaining a link with the village from which they had come.
    2. Under the Inland Emigration Act of 1859, plantation workers were not permitted to leave the tea gardens without permission. 
    3. After they heard of the Non-Cooperation Movement, thousands of workers left the plantations and headed home. 
    4. But, unfortunately, they never reached their destination and were caught by the police and brutally beaten up.

    Towards Civil Disobedience

    Simon Commission 

    1. The British Government constituted a statutory Commission under the Sir John Simon. 
    2. The Commission was made to look into the functioning of the constitutional system in India and suggest changes.But since all the members in the commission were British, the Indian leaders opposed the commission.
    3. The Simon Commission arrived India in 1928.
    4. It was greeted with the slogan " Go Back "  Simon.
    5. All party joined the protest. In October 1929, Lord Irwin announced a vague offer of "Dominion Status" for India but its timing was not specified. 
    6. He also offered to hold a Round Table Conference to discuss the future Constitution.

    The Salt March and the Civil Disobedience Movement

    1. Mahatma Gandhi believed that salt could be a powertul symbol to unite the whole nation.
    2. Most of the people including the British scoffed at the idea, Abolition of the salt tax was among many demands which raised by Gandhiji through a letter to Viceroy Irwin. 
    3. The Salt March or Dandi March was started by Gandhiji on 12 March, 1930. 
    4. He was accompanied by 78 Volunteers. They walked for 24 days to cover a distance of 240 miles from Sabarmati to Dandi.
    5. Many joined them on the way. On 6th April, 1930, Gandhiji ceremonially violated the law by manufacturing a fistful of salt. 
    6. The Salt March marked the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement.
    7. Thousands of people broke salt law in different parts of the country, People demonstrated in front of government salt factories.
    8. Foreign clothes  were boycotted. Peasants refused to pay revenue. 
    9. Village officials resigned. Tribal people violated forest laws

    Round Table Conference:-

    1. When things began to take a violent turn, Mahatma Gandhi called-off the movement.
    2. He signed a pact with Irwin on 5th March, 1931. 
    3. This was called the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. 
    4. As per the Pact, Gandhi agreed to participate in the Round Table Conference in London, In lieu of that, the government agreed to release the political prisoners.
    5. Gandhiji went to London in December 1931.
    6. The negotiations broke down and Gandhi jee had to return with disappointment. When Gandhiji came back to India, he found that most of the leaders were put in jail.
    7. Congress had been declared illegal. Marny measures were taken to prevent meetings, demonstrations and boycotts. 
    8. Mahatma Gandhi relaunched the Civil Disobedience Movement.

     By 1934, the movement had lost its momentum. 

    How Participants saw the Movement

    1. The Patidars of Gujarat and the Jats of Uttar Pradesh were active in the movement.They became enthusiastic supporters of the Civil Disobedience Movement. But they were deeply disappointed when the movement was called off in 1931. So when the movement was restarted in 1932, many of them refused to participate. The poorer peasants joined a variety of radical movements, often led by Socialists and Communists.
    2. To organise business interests, the Indian Industrial and Commercial Congress in 1920 and the Federation of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) in 1927 was formed. The industrialists attacked colonial control over the Indian economy and supported the Civil Disobedience Movement when it was first launched. Some of the industrial workers did participate in the Civil Disobedience Movement. In 1930 and 1932 railway workers and dock workers were on strike.
    3. Another important feature of the Civil Disobedience Movement was the large-scale participation of women. But, for a long time, Congress was reluctant to allow women to hold any position of authority within the organisation.

    The Limits of Civil Disobedience

    1. Dalits, addressed as untouchables were not moved by the concept of Swaraj. Mahatma Gandhi used to call them harijans or the children of God, without whom swaraj could not be achieved. 
    2. He organised satyagraha for the untouchables but they were keen on a different political solution to the problems of the community. They demanded reserved seats in educational institutions and a separate electorate.
    3. Dr B.R. Ambedkar, who organised the Dalits into the Depressed Classes Association in 1930, clashed with Mahatma Gandhi at the second Round Table Conference by demanding separate electorates for Dalits. 
    4. The Poona Pact of September 1932, gave the Depressed Classes (later to be known as the Scheduled Castes) reserved seats in provincial and central legislative councils. 
    5. After the decline of the Non-Cooperation-Khilafat movement, Muslims felt alienated from the Congress due to which the relations between Hindus and Muslims worsened.
    6. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was willing to give up the demand for separate electorates if Muslims were assured reserved seats in the Central Assembly and representation in proportion to population in the Muslim-dominated provinces. 
    7. Nevertheless, the hope of resolving the issue at the All Parties Conference in 1928 disappeared when M.R. Jayakar of the Hindu Mahasabha strongly opposed efforts at compromise.

    The Sense of Collective Belonging 

    1. Nationalist Movement spreads when people belonging to different regions and communities begin to develop à sense of collective belongingness.
    2. The identity of a nation is most often symbolized in a figure or an image. The image of Bharat Mata was first created by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1870 when he wrote 'Vande Mataram' for our motherland.
    3. Indian folk songs and folk tales sung by people played an important role in promoting the idea of nationalism. In Bengal, Rabindranath Tagore and in Madras, Natesa Sastri made collection of folk tales and songs which led the Movement for folk revival
    4. During the Swadeshi Movement, a tri-color (red, green and yellow) flag was designed in Bengal. It had eight lotuses representing eight provinces and a crescent moon representing Hindus and Muslims.
    5. Means of creating a feeling of nationalism was through reinterpretation of history. The nationalist writers urged the readers to take pride in India's great achievements in the past and struggle to change the miserable conditions of life under British rule. 


    In the first half of the twentieth century, various groups and classes of Indians came together for the struggle of independence. The Congress under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi attempted to resolve differences and ensure that the demands of one group did not alienate another. In other words, what was emerging was a nation with many voices wanting freedom from colonial rule.
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