Category Civics

Why is the Census taken?

                   Census operation is now common in almost all the countries of the world. Nothing can be definitely said as to how and when it was started. But it seems that man realized the importance of census when he started living in larger groups. It is said that the population of the world was 85 million in the year 4000 B.C. It is evident from this fact that the system of census was very much developed at that time also. Why is the census taken? The reasons for this have been different at different times. In ancient times, the king used to have census with a view to assess the number of people fit for fighting in wars. Another purpose for having census was collection of revenue. Previously, there were probably these two main reasons for conducting census, but now it has acquired greater importance.

                 Census helps in presenting a clear picture of different aspects of population. This helps government in the preparation and execution of plans relating to education, health, employment etc. Census tells whether the population is increasing or decreasing. The knowledge of rate of birth helps in the formation of plans to cater to the needs of people in future. It also gives the ratio of urban to rural population and is helpful in holding elections because on the basis of population only, the number of voters is fixed in a constituency or polling station. Besides, census helps in improving the law and order, economic, social and other conditions too.

                 The first census in our country was conducted in 1872. Since then it has been repeated every ten years. The latest census was done in the year 1992. 

What was the role of Rani Lakshmibai in our Freedom Movement?

Rani Lakshmibai was the ruler of Jhansi, a princely state in North India. She played a leading role in the First War of Independence, and became a symbol of resistance to the arrogant rule of the British East India Company.

 After her husband’s death, the British refused to accept her young son as the next ruler, since he was adopted. She was ordered to hand over Jhansi to the Company, but she refused.

Rani Lakshmibai organized an army to defend Jhansi, and when the First War of Independence broke out, she joined the rebels. She led her soldiers in full warrior regalia, fought bravely mill determinedly, but was killed in the battle.

            Her unquenchable spirit, courage, and self respect gave the British sleepless nights. The story of the guts and sacrifice of this 19th century warrior queen is truly an inspiration for all Indians. 

Why will Bhagat Singh be honoured for all time by Indians?

Bhagat Singh was a national hero who gave a new wave to the revolutionary movement in India. To spread the message of revolution in Punjab, Bhagat formed a union of revolutionaries by the name ‘Naujawan Bharat Sabha’.

            Along with Chandrasekhar Azad, he later founded the ‘Hindustan Samajvadi Prajatantra Sangha’. When Lala Rajpat Rai died because of the brutality of the British police, Bhagat Singh vowed to avenge his death. He was determined to kill the British official named General Scott who was responsible for the death of Lala Lajpat Rai.

            However, he killed assistant superintendent Saunders by mistake. Bhagat Singh was also responsible for a bomb blast in the Central Legislative Assembly on 8th April 1929.

            Bhagat Singh was captured, and was sentenced to death on 23rd March, 1931. At the tender age of 23, he became a martyr for the cause of India’s freedom, and his sacrifice will forever be remembered by a grateful nation.

Why Veer Savarkar is considered an extraordinary man?

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar popularly has known as Veer Savarkar, occupies a prominent place in the history of India’s struggle for freedom. He was passionate about winning freedom from British rule, and boycotting foreign goods.

 In 1906, he went to London to study law. He founded the Free India Society in England, and advocated the use of arms to free India from the British. Veer Savarkar created a network of Indians in England, equipped with weapons. In 1908, Savarkar completed ‘The Indian War of Independence’, and the book was banned by the British. He was arrested in London on 13th March 1910, on some trumped up charges. The case against him was to be heard by a court in India.

During his journey to India, as the ship neared Marseilles in France, he jumped through the porthole, and swam to the shore. He was captured, and sentenced to 50 years rigorous life imprisonment on the Andaman Islands.

 However, in 1921, he was released from the jail, and spent the rest of his life as a social worker.

He was a bold warrior, poet, philosopher, and a great patriot. 

Why Chandrasekhar Azad is considered one of the heroes of the Freedom Movement?

 Chandrasekhar Azad was a revolutionary, freedom fighter, and close associate of Bhagat Singh. He was a firebrand who terrorized the British with his bravery and guerilla tactics.

 The turning point in his life came during the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar in 1919. This incident left him shell-shocked, and filled his heart with anger and hatred for English rulers.

When he was caught by British police, and was presented before the magistrate, he was asked his name. In response, he said ‘Azad’ meaning independence. Since that day, Chandrasekhar assumed the title of Azad, and was known as Chandrasekhar Azad.

 Chandrasekhar Azad carried out several attacks on British officials, including the famous Kakori Train Robbery in 1925, and the assassination of J.P. Saunders in 1928.

Azad became the most wanted freedom fighter for British police. When he was finally tracked down, he kept fighting courageously, and killed three police-men. But his ammunition soon got over, and he shot himself in the head with his last bullet. He preferred to die rather than being caught by the British. 

How are Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel different?

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, its first deputy prime minister, were two towering figures in India’s freedom struggle.

Both were Mahatma Gandhi’s closest associates, and had enormous influence within the Congress Party. Yet both were very different from each other. Nehru and Patel’s economic views differed drastically. Nehru believed in a socialist India, while Patel believed in free enterprise. They also differed on their views about foreign policy and how to tackle the problems of communalism.

 In spite of all this, they worked together as fellow-members of the Congress and colleagues in the Congress Working Committee. They were soldiers in the struggle for freedom, and were both devoted followers of Gandhiji.

 Pandit Nehru and Sardar Patel shared the great burden of administration of independent India, for which the nation owes them a tremendous debt of gratitude. 


Why is the Kheda Satyagraha famous?

  The Kheda Satyagraha was launched in 1918 under the leadership of Gandhiji and Sardar Patel. Kheda in Gujarat was a poverty stricken region that had just suffered a severe famine. The poor farmers who lived there were heavily taxed by the British. Because of the drought, they found it impossible to pay the taxes as their crops had been destroyed.

The British, however, refused to lower the taxes, or give them any concessions whatsoever. Gandhiji, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and other leaders mobilized the farmers and spearheaded a historic revolt against the British. The peasants just refused to pay the taxes. The movement gathered a lot of support from different communities.


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What was the role of World War I in India’s freedom struggle?

India played a significant role in World War I. When the war broke out in 1914, there was growing political unrest in India against the British rule.

 However, when war was declared, India rallied behind Britain. Those with influence within India believed that the cause of Indian independence would best be served by helping out Britain in whatever capacity India could.

Offers of financial and military help were made from all over the country, especially from the princes. Indian troops were on the Western Front by the winter of 1914, and fought at the first Battle of Ypres.

In total, 10,000,00 Indian troops fought in all the theatres of the war. Of these, 74,187 were classed as killed or missing, with 67,000 wounded.

India expected to be rewarded with a major move towards independence, or at the least, self-government. When it became obvious that this was not going to happen, the Independence Movement became stronger. 

What was the importance of the Lucknow Pact?

 The Lucknow Pact was an agreement that was signed in 1916 after both the Congress and the Muslim League realized that they would have to jointly demand self rule for India.

The Congress was led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, while Mohammed Ali Jinnah represented the League. Jinnah was then member of both the League and the Congress, and the chief architect of the pact. In fact, he was hailed as ‘the Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity’.

The Lucknow Pact also saw the reconciliation between the extremists and the moderate factions of the Indian National Congress. In addition, it witnessed the meeting of two leaders—Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru—for the first time on a platform, which changed the course of Indian politics and history. 


What were the Montagu- Chelmsford Reforms?

The Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms were the measures taken by the British Government in 1918 to introduce self-governing institutions gradually to India.

The reforms take their name from Edwin Montagu, the British Secretary of State for India at that time, and Lord Chelmsford, the British Viceroy in India from 1916 to 1921.

The reforms introduced the principle of a dual mode of administration, or diarchy, in which both elected Indian legislators and appointed British officials shared power. They also expanded the central and provincial legislatures.

Agriculture, local government, health, education, and public works, were handed over to Indians, while more sensitive matters such as finance, taxation and maintaining law and order were retained by the provincial British administrators. These reforms represented the maximum concessions the British were prepared to make at that time.