Indigo NCERT Text Book Questions and Answers
Indigo Think as you read
Q1. Strike out what is not true in the following.
(a) Rajkumar Shukla was:
(i) a sharecropper
(ii) a politician
(iv) a landlord
(b) Rajkumar Shukla was:
(ii) physically strong
(a) a politician, a landlord
(b) physically strong
Q2. Why is Rajkumar Shukla described as being‘resolute’?
Answer:- Rajkumar Shukla requested Gandhiji to go with him to his area called Champaran. Gandhiji was engaged at that time. However, Shukla did not let go of Gandhiji. He followed him wherever he went. Finally, Gandhiji had to arrange and fix time to go with him. This shows that Shukla was resolute.
Q3. Why do you think the servants thought Gandhi to be another peasant?
Answer:- Gandhiji was quite simple in his dress and manners. He never thought himself as a great leader. That is why, servants believed him to be another peasant.
Q4. List the places that Gandhi visited between his first meeting with Shukla and his arrival at Champaran.
Answer:- Gandhiji visited the following places: Patna, Rajendra Prasad’s house, Muzaffarpur, Professor Malkani’s home and lastly Champaran.
Q5. 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?
Answer:- The peasants had to grow indigo on 15 per cent of their land. This product was submitted as rent to the British landlords. Synthetic indigo was developed by Germany. The landlords thus, did not need to raise indigo on their land any longer. They demanded compensation from the peasants for freeing them from the indigo-raising agreement.
Q6. The events in this part of the text illustrate Gandhi’s method of working. Can you identify some instances of this method and link them to his ideas of satyagraha and non-violence?
Answer:- Gandhiji had always followed the voice of his conscience. He never supported anything immoral. He followed this principle all through his fight against the British injustice. He never paid evil for evil. He followed the principle of non-violence even as the authorities raised blows on him. His path was that of satyagraha non-violence for truth. Dandi March was a good example.
Q7. Why did Gandhi agree to a settlement of 25 per cent refund to the farmers?
Answer:- The whole situation in front of Gandhiji was a deadlock. He wanted to break this deadlock somehow. The British planters wanted some excuse for prolonging the dispute with the peasants. However, Gandhiji proved too wise for them. The deadlock was ended by accepting what the planters wanted.
Even so the British had to compromise with their pride. Gandhiji agreed to a settlement of 25 per cent refund to the farmers; in fact, the amount was less important than the fact that the landlords had to be forced to return part of the money and with it, part of their pride and prestige.
So far the planters had behaved as if they were above the law, they had to realise that Britishers were not above the law. The peasants now saw that they too had rights and defenders, and they learned courage. The peasants were also saved from the trouble of spending time and money on court cases. Within a few years, the British planters abandoned their estates and left. The land came back to the peasants and this was the end of indigo sharecropping.
Q8. How did the episode change the plight of the peasants?
Answer:- The peasants now had courage. They believed that they had rights which they could defend. Gradually, the British planters left their estates. These estates now came back to the peasants. Indigo sharecropping disappeared permanently. They were no longer indebted to the British planters.
Indigo Understanding the Text
Q1. Why do you think Gandhi considered the Champaran episode to be a turning point in his life?
Answer:- Gandhiji considered the Champaran episode a turning point in his life because this episode released the peasants from the mortal fear of British landlords and made them aware of their rights. Not only this, the farmers got back 25% of the compensation money. They also developed courage.
This episode proved to be the beginning of the cultural, social and economic transformation of the poor and badly exploited and terrified peasants. Thus, the British planters were forced to leave the land of the peasants and they became the owners of their lands. This was an attempt to fight injustice and remove sufferings of the peasants. It ignited the feelings of patriotism among simple farmers. It became the first success of Non-cooperation Movement for Gandhiji.
Q2. How was Gandhi able to influence lawyers? Give instances.
Answer:- The lawyers desired Andrews to stay in Champaran and help them. However, Gandhiji opposed them. He said that taking the help of an Englishman would be their weakness. They should learn to win the battle with their own strength. They should learn to be self-dependent.
Q3. What was the attitude of the average Indian in smaller localities towards advocates of ‘home rule’?
Answer:- The average Indian in smaller localities felt afraid to show sympathy for advocates of ‘home rule’. They probably feared the consequences.
Q4. How do we know that ordinary people too contributed to the freedom movement?
Answer:- The ordinary people stood with Gandhiji at every juncture. At Motihari, they flocked in thousands as they learnt that Mahatma had some trouble with the authorities. The ordinary people supported in their own little way. Rajkumar Shukla and Professor Malkani defied all odds and contributed to the fight. Prof. J. B. Kriplani motivated a large number of students, and welcomed Gandhiji at Muzaffarpur railway station at midnight. The spontaneous demonstration outside the court was also quite significant. Civil disobedience could triumph in India only because of the unity of ordinary people.
Indigo Talking about the Text
Q1. “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?
Answer:- In the chapter, Gandhi makes it possible for the sharecroppers of Champaran to shed their fear of the British landlords. According to him, the first step towards self-reliance is freedom from fear. Unfortunately, the poor people are not free from fear even after the Independence. The poor people live in a continual fear of the police, who instead of taking care, often end up maltreating them. Due to globalisation and the craze for the foreign products, the poor are becoming poorer.
Q2. The qualities of a good leader.
Answer:- A good leader is the person who leads the minds and convinces people to follow his set of ideas or beliefs. He thinks for the people and works for them. He should be sincere in his approach and should be a man of principles. A good leader inherits some qualities that set him apart from the rest. Truth, honesty, patriotism, morality, spirit of service and sacrifice are the qualities of a good leader. He should be courageous in the face of adversity and should never quit. He should encourage and motivate others to bring out the best in them, and should appreciate the efforts of others without being bias or partial.
Indigo Extra Questions and Answers
Indigo Short Answer Questions
Q1. How did Gandhiji react to the Commissioner’s advice? Where did he go?
Answer:- Gandhiji was asked to leave the Tirhut division at once by the commissioner. He did not leave, instead, he proceeded to Motihari, the capital of Champaran.
Q2. Why did the servants think Gandhiji to be another peasant?
Answer:- Gandhiji was a simple man and he used to dress in a dhoti, which was the dress that the farmers in India used to wear. Hence, the servants thought Gandhiji to be another peasant.
Q3. “The battle of Champaran is won!” What led Gandhiji to make this remark?
Answer:- Gandhiji said these words when he was able to win the lawyers’ trust. Earlier, these lawyers had certain misconceptions about Gandhiji, but as they saw his determination towards the peasants’ liberation, they came in his full support.
Q4. Why did Gandhiji go to Lucknow in December 1916? Who met him there and why?
Answer:- Gandhiji went to Lucknow to attend the annual convention of the Indian National Congress. A poor peasant named Rajkumar Shukla met him there. He was from Champaran. He wanted Gandhiji to come to Champaran to help the poor sharecroppers.
Q5. Why did the landlords compel the peasants to do as per the terms of a long-term contract?
Answer:- The landlords forced peasants to plant indigo on 15 per cent of their land. All the indigo produce had to be surrendered as rent. The peasants felt sour about it.
Q6. What did the British planters try to do when they came to know that synthetic indigo had been developed by Germany?
Answer:- The British planters realised that it was no longer profitable to produce natural indigo. The synthetic indigo was much cheaper. Thus, they compelled the peasants to give them compensation for not having to plant indigo on their land.
Q7. What happened when the British planters asked the peasants for compensation for releasing them from the 15 per cent agreement?
Answer:- The sharecropping agreement seemed irksome to the peasants. Therefore, many of them signed it willingly. However, others engaged lawyers to fight their cases. So the landlords hired thugs.
Q8. How was Gandhi treated at Rajendra Prasad’s house?
Answer:- Since Gandhiji was quite simple in his dress and manners, Rajendra Prasad’s servants mistook him to be a peasant. They did not allow him to draw water from the well lest it be polluted. They let him stay on the grounds.
Q9. What were the terms of the indigo contract between the British landlords and the Indian peasants?
Answer:- The fertile land was divided into large estates owned by Englishmen and worked by Indian tenants. The peasants had to grow indigo on 15 per cent of the land. This product was submitted as rent to the British landlords.
Q10. Why was Gandhiji opposed to C.F. Andrews helping him in Champaran?
Answer:- Gandhiji was opposed to C.F. Andrews helping him in Champaran because he was a foreigner. C.E Andrews was a social worker in Champaran. He was a close follower of Gandhiji. He felt that a foreigner’s help should not be sought to free India of foreigners. According to him, self-reliance was of utmost importance.
Q11. When Gandhi got the wholehearted support of the lawyers, he said, ‘The battle of Champaran is won’. What was the essence behind his statement?
Answer:- The essence behind this statement was that now he would be able to defeat Britishers who were exploiting poor peasants and would make the lawyers help poor sharecroppers to’ get back their lost respect and money as well. Further, Gandhiji was ready to tutor all the lawyers how to fight this struggle.
Q12. Though the sharecroppers of Champaran received only one-fourth of the compensation, how can the Champaran struggle still be termed a huge success and victory?
Answer:- The Champaran struggle was termed a huge success and victory because Gandhiji was able to make the landlords surrender part of the money and their prestige by making them agree to handover 25% of the money as compensation. More important was the fact that peasants understood that they also had rights and people to defend them if they had problems. They learnt to be courageous when they stood behind Gandhiji to break the deadlock between the farmers and the landlords.
Q13. The lesson, ‘Indigo’ highlights Gandhiji’s method of working. Can you identify them and link them to his ideas of Satyagraha and non-violence?
Answer:- Gandhiji opposed unjust laws; his politics addressed day-to-day problems of the common man. He showed a willingness to oppose laws and even go to jail. His disobedience was always peaceful, and for truth and justice. He led through embarrassing people who were hypocrites (lawyers).
Q14. How did Mahatma Gandhi uplift the peasants of Champaran?
Answer:- Gandhiji gave them economic relief, made them overcome fear and to be united, taught them courage, provided solutions for their cultural and social backwardness, and improved their health and sanitary conditions.
Q15. Why is Rajkumar Shukla described as being resolute?
Answer:- Rajkumar Shukla was a poor, illiterate peasant from Champaran. When he came to know that Gandhi was in Lucknow, he decided to meet him and ask him to help the poor sharecroppers of Champaran. He requested Gandhi to come to Champaran but Gandhi was not free. He had appointments in Cawnpore and in other parts of India. Shukla followed him everywhere and even to his Ashram at Ahmedabad and urged him to fix a date. Finally, Gandhi had to agree to visit Champaran. This clearly shows that Shukla was resolute.
Indigo Long Answer Questions
Q1. The Champaran episode was a turning point in Gandhiji’s life. Elucidate.
Answer:- Before the Champaran episode, Gandhiji was not aware of the reality of the peasants of his motherland. ,On the insistence of Rajkumar Shukla, a sharecropper, Gandhiji went to Champaran and saw the miserable condition of the poor illiterate farmers. It was an eye-opener for him. The Britishers exploited the farmers to grow indigo. When it was not needed, they had to render compensation in order to be freed from old agreement.
Gandhiji was shocked to see them going to the court. He gathered them. This was the first step to free them from their fear of the British. The officials felt powerless without Gandhiji’s co-operation. He made them realise that the power of the British could be challenged by Indians.
The peasants were made to realise that they too had rights. The British landlords left the estate to the peasants and returned to their land after some time, thus ending indigo sharecropping. Through the Champaran episode, he made it clear to the British that they could not order Indians in their own country and through his personal example taught masses to be self-reliant and motivated them into civil disobedience.
Q2. Why did Rajkumar Shukla invite Gandhiji to Champaran? How did Gandhiji solve the problem of the indigo farmers?
Why did Gandhiji consider freedom from fear more important than legal justice for the poor peasants of Champaran?
Answer:- Rajkumar Shukla was a poor peasant from Champaran. Under an old agreement, the peasants were compelled by the British to grow indigo on 15% of their land and part with it as rent. For this, Rajkumar Shukla had been advised to speak to Gandhiji who he was told, would be able to do something about their problem.
The landlords had learned that Germany had developed synthetic indigo. They forced the sharecroppers to sign agreements to pay them compensation to be freed from the 15 per cent arrangement. The sharecroppers, who refused, engaged lawyers. The information about synthetic indigo reached the peasants who had signed the agreements. They wanted their money back.
Gandhiji organised a gathering of the peasants at Motihari around the court. This was the beginning of their liberation from fear of the British. Though Gandhiji co-operated with the British and regulated the crowd, but it was a clear proof that their might could be challenged. He inspired the lawyers to fight for justice for the sharecroppers.
After the inquiry committee’s report, the peasants expected the entire sum of money as refund, but Gandhiji asked for 50% only. He was offered a refund of 25%. Gandhiji accepted it.According to Gandhiji, at that stage, money was less important. The landlords had to surrender their prestige and the peasants realised that they too had rights. This was their first lesson in courage. This is how their problem was solved.
Q3.Which factors helped the fear-stricken peasants of Champaran to achieve freedom?
Answer:- There were several factors in which Gandhiji’s contribution was remarkable.
The peasants were sharecroppers with the British planters. According to an old agreement, the peasants had to produce indigo on 15 per cent of the land and give it as rent to the landlords. Around 1917, it was told that Germany had developed synthetic indigo. So the British planters now no longer desired the indigo crop. To release the peasants from the old agreement, they demanded compensation from them. Most of the illiterate peasants agreed to it. However, others refused. Lawyers were engaged to go to the court.
At that time, Gandhiji appeared in Champaran. He fought a long battle for the poor peasants for one year and managed to get justice for them. The peasants now became courageous and became aware about their rights. Along with the political and economic struggle, Gandhiji worked on the social level also. He made arrangements for the education, health and hygiene of the families of poor peasants by teaching the lesson of self-reliance. It was one of the ways to forward the struggle for Indian independence.
The peasants now had courage. They believed that they had rights which they could defend. Gradually, the British planters left their estates. These estates now came back to the peasants. Indigo sharecropping disappeared for all times to come.
Q4. Give an account of Gandhiji’s efforts to secure justice for the poor indigo sharecroppers of Champaran.
Answer:- Gandhiji went to Champaran on receiving reports of exploitation of the poor sharecropper peasants at the hands of British planters. He began by trying to get the facts. The British landlords as well as commissioner of Tirhut were non-cooperative. Lawyers from Muzaffarpur briefed him about the court cases of these peasants. Gandhiji and the lawyers collected depositions by about ten thousand peasants. Notes were made on other evidence. Documents were collected. The whole area throbbed with the activities of the investigators and forceful protests of landlords.
The lieutenant governor summoned Gandhiji. After four protracted interviews, an official commission of enquiry was appointed to look into the indigo sharecroppers’ situation. Gandhiji was the sole representative of the peasants. The official enquiry assembled huge quantity of evidence against the big planters.
They agreed in principle to make refunds to the peasants. After consolation, a settlement of 25 per cent refund to the farmers was agreed upon. This was a moral victory for the peasants. They recognised their rights and became courageous. Within a few years, the British planters gave up tVieir estates. These now went back to the peasants. They became the master of the land. Thus, indigo sharecropping disappeared.
Q5. How was the Champaran episode a big success? Elucidate.
Answer:- The fight and the success of Champaran was the success of Civil Disobedience Movement started by Gandhiji. It was the attempt of the poor peasants who were helpless to the fraud met out to them. One of them contacted Gandhiji. Gandhiji’s presence in Bihar raised a huge row in Champaran. Thousands of peasants held a demonstration to protest against the government. The government was baffled. The orders for Gandhiji to quit Champaran were disobeyed by him. Afterwards, an enquiry commission was set up which ordered the sharecroppers to get 25 per cent of their money. The cruel landlords were made to surrender the partial amount of the extorted money. The efforts of Gandhiji and the peasants made the government realise its mistake.
Q6. Exploitation is a universal phenomenon. The poor indigo farmers were exploited by the British landlords to which Gandhiji objected. Even after our independence, we find exploitation in unorganised labour sector.
What values do we learn from Gandhiji’s campaign to counter the present day problems of exploitation?
Answer:- The weak are exploited and the strong prey on them is a universal fact. In the case of the poor illiterate indigo farmers, they were exploited by the British landlords. Gandhiji objected to it and freed the farmers from the agreement and brought an end to indigo sharecropping. In his manner of tackling the issue, he went
- he gathered information
- fearlessly he stated’his points
- in the final negotiations, he did not bother about the money; it was the submission of the opponent’s pride and prestige.
Similarly, we can proceed with such issues as Gandhiji’s method of solving the problem has universality about it. Today, we can follow it this way: one must be fully aware of one’s weaknesses and must try to overcome them, find ways of getting justice, never give in to any kind of exploitation, if trapped, try to come out of it wisely, get united when in trouble and seek help. Do not compromise your self-respect, values or dignity at any cost. Try to come out of the darkness of ignorance as soon as possible. Mistakes once made, must not be repeated.
Q7. Though Rajkumar Shukla was an illiterate peasant; he was resolute and was able to bring a change in the lives of the people of Champaran. Taking hints from the text, write an article on the topic, “Grit and Determination can take you a long way”.
Answer:- Grit and determination plays a very important role in one’s life. A person who doesn’t give up too easily and has tendency to step ahead without thinking too much about the difficulties is able to accomplish anything. We can take the example of Rajkumar Shukla. He wanted Gandhiji to go with him to his area called Champaran. Gandhiji was engaged at that time.
However, Shukla did not leave Gandhiji. He followed him wherever he went. Finally, Gandhiji had to arrange and fix time to go with him. Shukla’s resolute nature led to a change in the lives of the people of Champaran. His persistence bore fruit. It is important to pursue our goals with grit and determination to be successful. The will to succeed, will one day result in triumph. It is possible that it might take a long time to succeed but success will definitely be achieved.
Q8. ‘Dialogue and not violence can resolve situations of conflict and injustice’. Prove the statement with reference to the lesson, ‘Indigo’.
Answer:- Gandhiji met Rajkumar Shukla, a poor peasant from Champaran at Lucknow. Shukla wanted Gandhiji to come to Champaran to help the poor sharecroppers who were compelled by the British to grow indigo on 15 % of their land and part with it as rent. Since the development of synthetic indigo, cultivation of indigo had become a waste. The landlords wanted sharecroppers to sign agreements to be freed from the 15 per cent arrangement by paying compensation. After understanding the problem, Gandhiji wanted to meet the secretary of British Landlord’s Association, but he was refused.
Then he tried to meet Commissioner of Tirhut who bullied him and ordered to leave. However, he defied the order and organised a gathering of the peasants around the court. Gandhiji proved that British power was no longer unchangeable. The authorities got afraid and postponed the case.
Gandhiji was released on bail. He inspired the lawyers to fight for justice for the sharecroppers. The case was dropped and Gandhiji agreed for 25% refund as was agreed by landlords. Finally, indigo sharecropping was abandoned and land was given to peasants. This became the first success of Non-cooperation Movement for Gandhiji.
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