Topic – Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
2) Gandhi’s political strategy achieved much more success in comparison to his attempts at constructive work. Critically examine.(250 words)
Why this question
The article discusses the achievements of Gandhi in doing political as well as constructive work and discusses the impact of these work. This article provides an important commentary on the contribution of Gandhi to freedom struggle and uplifting Indian society, and hence this question.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to explain the impact of the political work and the constructive work done by Gandhi and analyze whether the impact of his political work was much more than his constructive work. Finally, we need to provide a fair and balanced conclusion about the impact of Gandhi.
Critically examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Explain that Throughout his public life in India (1915-48), Gandhi devoted his energies to both the political campaign for India’s freedom as well as a range of socio-economic interventions that were clubbed under the rubric of constructive work. Such activities included communal harmony, the removal of untouchability, sanitation, khadi, village industries and basic education or Nai Talim
- Explain the nature of constructive and political work done by Gandhi.
- Subsequent to the Poona Pact, in 1933-34, Gandhi undertook a countrywide campaign against untouchability. His experiences and thinking in that period deeply informed the shape of constructive work in the 1930s.
- Gandhi’s conception of poorna swaraj or complete independence went beyond the removal of colonialism. He argued that it encompassed political, social and economic freedoms, indeed “freedom in every sense of the term”.
- in order to devote himself to addressing the economic needs of rural India, Gandhi resigned from the Congress in 1934, founded the All-India Village Industries Association (AIVIA) and eventually moved to Sevagram. Crucially, Gandhi mandated that the AIVIA be run “unaffected by and independent of the political activities of the Congress”. Moreover, its workers had to sign a pledge refraining from any form of political activity. These measures were designed to carve out an autonomous sphere for constructive work etc
- Discuss the impact of Gandhi’s political and constructive work. Gandhian constructive workers helped “people in their everyday needs”, thereby gaining “the sympathy of the masses”. However also highlight that the constructive work was attempted not just to gain sympathy for the freedom struggle but also to establish a Ram Rajya or Gandhi’s version of a perfect society.
Conclusion – Mention that While Gandhi met with lesser success in his constructive work compared with his political campaigns, he saw them as an indivisible whole.