1. The peasant awakening seen in 1930s in India was largely a result of the combination of
    particular economic and political developments of that period. Discuss. (150 words) 10
  • In the introduction, briefly discuss about the new phase of struggle during the 1930s.
  • Discuss the political and economic developments in the 1930s that contributed to nation-wide
    awakening of Indian peasants,
  • Conclude by writing the key objectives and achievements of these new peasants’ awakenings.
    Peasant movements have a long history that can be traced to the numerous uprisings at different
    stages. But the 1930s witnessed a new and nation-wide awakening of Indian peasants to their own
    strength and capacity to improve their living conditions.
    Political developments in 1930s that contributed to peasant awakening:
  • The Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM): Peasants, emboldened by the recent success of the
    Bardoli Satyagraha (1928), joined the protest in large numbers. It soon took the form of a no-tax
    and no-rent campaign.
  • Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha (BPKS): It started in Bihar under the leadership of Swami
    Sahajanand Saraswati to mobilize peasant grievances against the zamindari attacks on their
    occupancy rights.
  • All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS): With the formation of the Congress Socialist Party in 1934, the
    process of the consolidation of the Left forces received a significant push forward and gradually
    the peasant movement intensified and spread across the rest of India. These developments
    culminated in the formation of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) in 1936 with Swami Sahajanand
    Saraswati elected as its first President.
  • The Kisan Manifesto which was finalized at the All-India Kisan Committee session in Bombay
    included demands for fifty per cent reduction in land revenue and rent, a moratorium on debts,
    the abolition of feudal levies, security of tenure for tenants, and the recognition of peasant
  • Faizpur Resolutions: At the Faizpur Session of the Congress (1936) resolutions were related to
    peasant welfare, minimum wage for landless agriculture labor which emboldened peasant’s
  • Formation of Congress Ministries: Majority of the provinces in early 1937 marked the
    beginning of a new phase in the growth of the peasant movement. Different ministries
    introduced varying kinds of agrarian legislation which provided an impetus for the mobilization
    of the peasantry either in support of proposed legislation or for asking for changes in its
    Economic developments in 1930s that contributed to peasant awakening:
  • The Great Depression that began to hit India from 1929-30: Crashing down of the
    agricultural prices to half or less of their normal levels dealt a severe blow to the already
    impoverished peasants burdened with high taxes and rents.
  • Movement against the economic policies of British adversely affected the Indian
    peasants: The British Government used to protect the landlords and money-lenders and exploit
    the peasants, which led to aggressive peasants’ revolt against this injustice on many occasions
    during the 1930s in different parts of the country. For example, no revenue campaign in
    Punjab and no rent campaign in Uttar Pradesh.
    Peasant movements were not directed at overthrowing the agrarian structure but reforming its
    oppressive parts. The economic and political developments since the 1930s created an awakening
    and politicized the farmers, which then led to peasant struggles which necessitated the agrarian


Though the upsurge by the ratings of the Royal Indian Navy was suppressed, it is seen as an
event which marked the end of British rule in India. Discuss. (150 words) 10

  • Introduce by highlighting the events associated with RIN Mutiny.
  • Discuss how it marked the end of British rule in India.
  • Conclude accordingly.
    On 18th February 1946, around 1100 naval ratings of HMIS Talwar went on a strike in Bombay to
    protest against the treatment meted out to them such as racial discrimination, unpalatable food etc.
    These demands also echoed the wider national concerns including the release of INA (Indian
    National Army) personnel and other political prisoners, withdrawal of Indian troops from Indonesia
    etc. The strike spread to other naval establishments around the country.
    The second phase upsurges, when people in the city joined in, was marked by the virulent anti-
    British mood and resulted in the virtual paralysis of the two cities of Calcutta and Bombay. The third
    phase was characterized by a display of solidarity by people in other parts of the country. As news
    reached other military establishments across India, immediate strikes began there as well.
    Eventually it was suppressed but it marked the end of British rule in India due to the following
  • Widespread resentment against the British rule: There was a was massive outpouring of
    public support for the mutineers. The public transport network was brought to a halt, trains
    were burnt, roadblocks were erected and commercial establishments were shut down.
  • Fall of loyal patrons: It was the second major rebellion after the Sepoy mutiny of 1857, which
    involved regular British Ratings defying the authority of the British. The armed forces were the
    most important pillar in sustaining the British Empire in India.
  • Naval paralysis: The British power was hugely dependent on its naval power to maintain its
    offshore colonies.
  • Broad scale participation: The revolt was not limited to some areas or sections of the
    population. The labour classes also went on strike in solidarity with the ratings. It even got the
    support of Communists and other Nationalists.
  • Global recognition: The mutiny drew global attention towards India’s causes and issues. In the
    wake of emerging cold war, both America and Soviet Union noted this revolt.
  • Conciliatory approach by the British: In the ensuing negotiations, the government accepted
    most of the demands of rebels in principal like improvement in the quality of food and living
    conditions of the ratings.
    The Mutiny acted as a final nail in the coffin of the colonial government of India. Large-scale public
    support made the British government believe that it is no longer easy to rule India now, which was
    even admitted once by the former British Prime Minister Clement Atlee. It forced the British to send
    Cabinet Mission Plan to India to draw a Constitution for free India.