Q. The British rule was marked by various Peasants movement. In this background discuss the impact of these movement on freedom struggle.
Structure of the answer:
- Various peasant movement in British era
- Impact of peasant movement on freedom struggle
Peasant movement in India arose due to Britishers economic policies that resulted in the change of ownership of agrarian land, massive debt burden and impoverishment of peasantry.
Thus, the peasants rose in revolt against this injustice on many occasions. Some of these are as follows:
- Indigo revolt of 1859-1860 was result of European planters persuading the peasants to plant indigo. Further, they provided loans at a very high interest. This led to not only debt burden but also severe exploitation.
- Similarly, in Pabna movementSome landlords forcefully collected rents and land taxes that triggered the rebellion.
- Deccan Riots (1875) peasants of Maharashtra revolted against increasing agrarian distress.
- Further, in Champaran Satyagraha (1917), European planters resorted to all sorts of illegal and inhuman methods of indigo cultivation. That led Gandhiji took up their cause.
- Other significant movements were Moplah Rebellion, Kheda Peasant Struggle, Bardoli Movement (Gujarat), Tebhaga Movement in Bengal
Considering the collective effort to fight the oppressive system, some of the noteworthy impact of the peasant movement were as follows:
- The movement helped creating awareness among the Indians about exploitative nature of British rule.
- It also helped developing a strong awareness among peasants about their legal rights.
- These localised revolts also prepared the ground for various other uprisings such as Sikh Wars in Punjab, Revolt of 1857
- These movement had given much strength to the peasants who participated in the movement. Moreover, the movement also contributed to the growth of nationalism.
- The positive impact was also seen in form of various steps taken by the government following peasant movements. For ex- appointment of indigo, passing of Deccan Agriculturists Relief Act, 1879
In light of spectrum of above-mentioned arguments, it can be said that these movements created an atmosphere for post-independence agrarian reforms, for instance, abolition of Zamindari etc. and also added to the transformation of the agrarian structure. Click to View More