Class 10 History

Nationalism in Asia: People’s Perception Of Civil Disobedience Movement


For the farmers, the fight for swaraj was a struggle against high revenues. When the movement was called off in 1931; without the revenue rates being revised; the farmers were highly disappointed.

Many of them refused to participate when the movement was re-launched in 1932. The small tenants just wanted the unpaid rent to the landlord to be remitted. They often joined the radical movements which were led by Socialists and Communists. Congress did not want to alienate the rich landlords and hence, the relationship between the poor peasants and Congress was uncertain.


The Indian merchants and industrialists could grow their business during the First World War. They were against those colonial policies which restricted their business activities. They wanted protection against imports and a rupee-sterling foreign exchange ratio which would discourage imports.

The Indian Industrial and Commercial Congress was formed in 1920 and the Federation of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) was formed in 1927. These were the results of attempts to bring the common business interests on a common platform.

For the businessmen, swaraj meant an end to oppressive colonial policies. They wanted an environment which could allow the business to flourish. They were apprehensive of militant activities and of growing influence of socialism among the younger members of the Congress.

Industrial Workers

The industrial workers showed lukewarm response to the Civil Disobedience Movement. Since industrialists were closer to the Congress, workers kept a distance from the movement. But some workers selectively participated in the Movement. Congress did not want to alienate the industrialists and hence preferred to keep the workers’ demands at bay.

Women’s Participation

Women also participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement in large numbers. However, most of the women were from high-caste families in the urban areas and from rich peasant households in the rural areas. But for a long time, the Congress was reluctant to give any position of authority to women within the organization. The Congress was just keen on the symbolic presence of women.