Topic– Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
3) Discuss the phases of the working class movements in pre-independent India.(250 words)
Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to write in detail about the working class movements in pre-independent India; their phases and significant events etc.
Structure of the answer
Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the working class in pre-independent India. E.g The modern Indian working class arose in consequence to the development and growth of factory industries in India from the second half of the nineteenth century. It is however about the turn of the twentieth century, it took the shape of working class.
Discuss the phases of the working class movements in pre-independent India. E.g
- The First phase : 1850s -1918; The actions of the working class in the earliest stage were sporadic and unorganised in~ature and hence were mostly ineffective. It is only from the late 19th century in Madras, and from the second decade of the twentieth century in Bombay that serious attempts were made for the formation of associations that could lead organised form of protests; Though the Congress was formed in 1885,it seriously thought of organising the working class only in the early 1920s. The Working class in the country was organising struggles against capital much before the 1920s. Inthe last decades of the 19th century, Lieten informs us, there occurred strikes at Bombay,Kurla, Surat, Wardha, Ahmedabad and in other places; The strikes however were only sporadic,spontaneous, localised and short-lived and were caused by factors such as reduction in wages, imposition of fines, dismissal or reprimand of the worker. These actions and militancy, which they showed, helped in the development of class solidarity and consciousness, which was missing earlier. The resistance was mediated by outsiders or outside leaders. Agitations grew and they were not on individual issues but on broader economic questions, thus leading to a gradual improvement later on.
- Second phase- 1918 to independence; The unorganised movement of the workers took an organised form;trade unions were formed on modern lines. In several ways the decade of the 1920s is crucial in this regard. Firstly in the 1920s serious attempts were made by the Congress and the Communists to mobilise the working class and hence from then onwards henational movement established a connection with the working class. Secondly, it was in 1920 that the first attempt to form an all India organisation was made; in this decade, India witnessed a large number of strikes; the strikes were prolonged and well participated by the workers. The number of strikes and number of workers involved in these strikes went on increasing in the subsequent decades etc.
Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.