Prepare Prelims 2017-Day-14-Modern India History

Poona Pact :

The Poona Pact refers to an agreement between Babasaheb Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi signed on 24 September 1932 at Yerwada Central Jail in Pune (now in Maharashtra), India. It was signed by Pt Madan Mohan Malviya and B.R. Ambedkar and some Dalit leaders to break the fast unto death undertaken by Gandhi in Yerwada
prison to annul the Macdonald Award giving separate electorates to Dalits for electing members of state legislative assemblies in British India.
 To draft a new Constitution involving self-rule for the native Indians, the British invited leaders of different parties in the Round Table Conferences in 1930-32. Mahatma Gandhi did not attend the first and last but attended the second of the Conferences.

The concept of separate electorates for the Untouchables was raised by Ambedkar. Similar provisions were already available for other minorities, including Muslims, Christians, Anglo-Indians and Sikhs. The British government agreed with Ambedkar’s contention, and British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald’s Communal Award to the
depressed classes was to be incorporated into the constitution in the governance of British India.

Gandhi strongly opposed the Communal Award on the grounds that it would disintegrate Hindu society. He began an indefinite hunger strike at Yerwada Central Jail from 20 September 1932 to protest against this Award. A compromise was reached on 24 September 1932. The text uses the term “Depressed Classes” to denote Untouchables who were later called Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under India Act 1935, and the later
Indian Constitution of 1950.

Nehru’s Vision:

  • Abolition of Capitalism
  • Establishment of Socialism


  • Provincial Part of the Act:-Introduction of Provincial Autonomy:
  • The provincial part of the Act basically followed the recommendations of the Simon
  • In the provinces Diarchy was abolished.
  • There was no Reserve Subjects and no Executive Council in the provinces. The Council of Ministers was to administer all the provincial subjects except in certain matters like law and orders etc. for which the
    government had special responsibilities.
  • Federal Part of the Act:-All India Federation:
    Division of Federal Subjects:
    The scheme of federation and the provincial autonomy necessitated proper division of
    subjects between the centre and the provinces.
  • The division under 1919 Act was revised and the 1935 Act contained three lists i.e.
    (1)Federal, (2)Provincial(3) Concurrent Legislative Lists.

    Introduction of Dyarchy at the Centre: Protection of Minorities:
    Bicameral Legislature: Establishment of a Federal Court, Federal Railway Authority and Reserve
    Bank: Communal and Separate Electorate and Reservations: Supremacy of the British Parliament:
    Burma Separation from India: Abolition of the Indian Council of the Secretary of State: Reorganisation of Provinces and Creation of Two New Provinces:
  • Sindh was separated from Bombay
  • Bihar and Orissa was split into separate provinces of Bihar and Orissa 


Moderates Vs Extremists
• British Rule : Loyalty Vs Hatredness
• Techniques : Petitions Vs Boycott
• Demands : Council Reforms Vs Swaraj
• Role of Masses : Neglected Vs Full Support
• Social Base : Zamindars and Upper Middle Class Vs Educated Middle and Lower Class
• Ideological Inspiration : Western Thought Vs Indian History, Art and Culture

National Movement 1905-1918
• Factors that led to Growth of Militant Nationalism
• Recognition of True Nature of British Rule
• Indian Councils Act – Criticized
• Number of Indian Members in the Calcutta Corporation reduced
• Official Secrets Act
• Indian Universities Act
• Growth of Confidence and Self Respect
• Growth of Education
• International Influences
• Rise of Japan
• Defeat of Russia at hands of Japan (1905)
• Reverses Suffered by British in the Boer Wars(1899-1902)
• Nationalist Movements in Russia, Ireland etc
• Reaction to Increasing Westernization
• Dissatisfaction with the Moderates
• Reactionary Policies of Curzon
• Official Secrets Act
• Indian Universities Act
• Militant School of Thought

Swadeshi and Boycott Movement
• Partition of Bengal (Decision was made public in 1903)
• Official Reason
• Actual Reason

• Division based on Language
• Division based on Religion

Anti-Partition Campaign Under Moderates (1903-1905)
• Led by Surendranath Banerjee, K.K Mitra and Prithwishchandra Ray
• Idea of Boycott was first suggested by K.K Mitra in Sanjeevani Magazine
• Important Newspapers Hitabadi (Dwijendranath Tagore) , Sanjeevani and
Bengalee (Surendranath Baneerjee)
• Public Meetings and Memoranda
Announcement (July 1905)
• Formal Boycott resolution passed on Aug 7,1905 in a meeting held at Calcutta
• Boycott of Manchester Cloth and Liverpool Salt
• Partition came into Force on October 16 1905
• Day of Mourning – Fasting, Bathing in Ganga , Singing of Bande Mataram, Tied
• Spread of Movement to other parts of India : Punjab (Lala Lajpat Rai and Ajit
Singh), Bombay ( Bal Gangadhar Tilak), Madras (Chidambaram Pillai) , Delhi
(Syed Hyder Raza)

Congress Stand on the Partition
Benaras Session (1905) under G.K. Gokhale
• Condemned the Partition of Bengal
• Support Anti-Partition and Boycott Programme in Bengal
• Views of the Extremists- Enlarge the Boycott Movement to Political Mass

Struggle and Movement to become National
Congress Session (1906) led by Dada Bhai Naoroji
• Extremists wanted Tilak or Lala Lajpat Rai to be President of INC , but Dada Bhai Naoroji elected
• Goal of INC was Swaraj
Surat Split (1907)
• Extremists wanted 1907 session to be held at Nagpur and Tilak to be its President
• But Session held at Surat by the Moderates since it would exclude Tilak
from Presidency since a leader from host province could not become
Session Leader
• Rash Behari Ghosh elected as President

Extremist Programme (1906)
Boycott of Govt Schools and Colleges, Govt Services, Legislative Councils, Muncipalities and Govt Titles
New Forms of Struggle
Boycott of Foreign Goods
Public Meetings and Processions
Swadesh Bandhab Samithi ( Ashwini Kumar Dutta) : Political Consciousness through lectures, Songs ,Physical Training etc
Swadeshi Samaj ( Rabindranath Tagore)
Dawn Society ( Satish Chandra Mukherjee)
Use of Traditional Festivals and Melas
Emphasis on Self Reliance and Atma Shakti
Programme of National Education
Bengal National College (Aurobindo – Principal)
National Council of Education
Bengal Institute of Technology
Funds raised to send Students to Japan for Advanced Learning
Swadeshi or Indigenous Enterprises
Acharya P.C Roy- Bengal Chemicals Factory
Lala Harkishan Lal – Punjab National Bank
Impact on Culture
Rabindranath Tagore’s Amar Sonar Bangla
Paintings of Abindranath Tagore
Nandlal Bose – First recipient of Scholarship offered by Indian School of Oriental Art
Annulment of partition in 1911

Why did Swadeshi Movement come to an End in 1908?
Surat Split
Severe Government Repression

Difficult to Sustain a Mass Movement for long time
Failed to create a new direction to new techniques Assessment
Participation on an Unprecedented Scale
All major trends of National Movement Witnessed- Moderates, Extremists,
Revolutionary Terrorism and Gandhian Constructive Work
Novel Forms of Struggle emerged
Problems with Ideology of Extremists
No Consensus on Swaraj
Politically Progressive but social Reactionaries
Tilak’s Opposition to Age of Consent Bill(1891)
Tilak’s Shivaji and Ganapati Festivals kept the Minorities away from the
B.C Pal and Aurobindo Ghosh – Hindu Nation and Hindu Interests
Unhealthy relationship between Politics and Religion

Government Strategy
• Policy of Divide and Rule
• Policy of Carrot and Stick
• Repression- Conciliation- Suppression
• Morley Minto Reforms (1909)
• Seditious Meetings Act,1907
• Indian Newspaper(Incitement to Offence) Act,1908
• Indian Press Act,1910

Revolutionary Terrorism
• By- product of Militant Nationalism
Not Possible to Carry out Violent Mass Revolution
Focus on Individual heroic Action such as Assassination of Unpopular British
Officials, Swadeshi Dacoities for raising Money

Strike terror in the hearts of British
Remove the fear of authority from the minds of the People and arouse patriotic
Followed the Ideology of Russian Nihilists and Irish nationalists

Atmonatti Sabha- Bipin Bihari Ganguly
• Midnapore Society – Sarla Ghosal (Edited Bharati magazine)
• Anushilan Samithi – Promotha Mitter
• Yugantar – Barindra Kumar Ghosh and Bhupendranath Dutta
• Made an attempt to assassinate West bengal Lt.Governor Fuller
• Prafulla Chakki and Khudiram Bose made an attempt to kill judge Kingsford
• Alipore Conspiracy case – Aurobindo and Barindra kumar Ghosh tried in a court
of law (Narain das, who turned approver was shot dead in prison)
• Barrah dacoity organised by Dacca Anushilan under Pulin Das
• Rashbehari bose and Sachin sanyal staged a Bomb Attack on Viceroy Hardinge
in Delhi
• Hemachandra Kanungo went abroad for training for Bomb Making
• Ramosi Peasant Force by Vasudev Balwant Phadke
• Ganapati and Shivaji Festivals
Kesari (Marathi) and Maharatta (English)
• Chapekar Brothers, Damodar and Balkrishna murdered plague commissioner of
Poona, Lt. Rand and one Lt.Ayerst
• Savarkar Brothers organized a Secret Society Mitra Mela which merged with
Abhinav Bharat ( inspired by Mazzini’s Young Italy)
• Lala Lajpat Rai (
• Ajit Singh (Anjuman-i-Mohisban-i-watan and
Bharat Mata)

Indian Home Rule Society in London
Founded by Shyamji Krishna Verma
Scholarship Scheme to bring radical youths from India
Savarkar and Lala Hardyal became Members
Brought out a Journal , The Sociologist
Madan lal Dhingra killed Indian bureaucrat Curzon-Wyllie
Paris and Geneva
Madam Bhikaji Cama and Sardar Singh Rana started Paris India Society
Madam Cama Started newspaper Bande Mataram
• Berlin
• Veerendranath Chattopadhay started
Madan’s Talvar
• Moderates supported the War as matter of Duty
• Extremists too supported hoping the British would repay India’s loyalty
• Revolutionaries sensed an opportunity

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