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List of Personalities Associated with Civil Disobedience Movement during British India

May 30, 2017 15:30 IST

    The Civil Disobedience Movement was launched by Mahatma Gandhi when British Government not given positive response on his eleven demands. Hence, Mahatma Gandhi had decided to make salt the central formula for Civil Disobedience Movement. This movement was injected with the ideology of disobeying laws, demands and commands of the Government. Here, we are giving the list personalities who were associated with Civil Disobedience movement of British India.

     MK Gandhi

    Gandhi’s eleven Demands before Civil Disobedience Movement

     He presented eleven demands to the Government and gave an ultimatum of January 31, 1930 to accept or reject the demands. The demands were as follows:

    Issues of General Interest

    1. Reduce expenditure on the military and civil administration by 50 per cent.

    2. Introduce total prohibition

    3. Carry out reforms in Criminal Investigation Department (CID)

    4. Change Arms Act allowing popular control of issue of firearms licences

    5.  Release all political prisoners

    6.  Accept the Postal Reservation Bill

    Personalities Associated with Swadeshi Movement of British India

    Specific Bourgeois Demands

    7. Change the ratio between the rupee and the sterling

    8. Introduced textile protection

    9. Reserve Coastal shipping for Indians

    Specific Peasant Demands

    10. Reduce land revenue by 50 per cent

    11. Abolish salt tax and Government’s salt monopoly

    Personalities Associated with Civil Disobedience Movement during British India

    Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

    He formally launched the Civil Disobedience Movement on April 6, 1930 by picking a handful of salt after the completion of historic 'Dandi March' from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, thus breaking the salt law imposed by the Government. He was the major force behind the movement and inspired grass-root participation in the freedom struggle.

    C. Rajagopalachari

    He led a salt march from Trichinopoly to Vedaranniyam on the Tanjore coast in Tamil Nadu, in support of the Civil Disobedience Movement. He was arrested on April 30, 1930.

    K. Kelappan

    He was a Nair Congress leader, launched the Vaikom Satyagraha and marched from Calicut to Payanneer in defiance of salt laws. Jawaharlal Nehru was actively involved in the movement and was arrested on April 17, 19.10 for defiance of the salt law. He formulated a radical agrarian programme and suggested the formation of the Constituent Assembly as the prime political slogan.

    P. Krishna Pillai

    He defended the national flag and resisted lathi charge on the Calicut beach on November 11, 1930. He later founded the Kerala Communist Movement.

    Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan

    He formed a clan of non-violent revolutionaries, the Khudai Khidmatgars (known as Red Shirts), who played an active role in the movement.

    Sarojini Naidu

    She was the first Indian woman to become the president of the Congress, was involved, it a March towards the Dharsana Salt Works, a government salt depot. Other leaders who participated in this totally non-violent affair were Imam Saheb, Gandhi's comrade of the South African struggle, and Manilal, Gandhi's son.

    Surya Sen

    He started Chittagong Revolt Group, which carried out a raid on two armouries and declared the establishment of a provisional government. He issued a manifesto in the name of the Indian Republican Army and called on the Indians to revolt against the British rule.

    Personalities Associated with Non-Cooperation Movement during British India

    Abbas Tayabji

    He was a leader of the nationalist Muslims in Bombay, took the place of Gandhi in the movement after the latter's arrest. However, he too was arrested by the Government.

    Ambalal Sarabhai and Kasturbhai Lakhai

    They gave their cooperation to Motilal Nehru in removing the barriers between the Congress and the Bombay mill-owners and industrialists.

    Indian Industrialist

    G.D. Birla (who donated from one to five lakh rupees), Jamunalal Bajaj (who served as the AICC treasurer for several years and represented Gandhian leadership in Bombay), Homi Modi, Walchand Hirachand, Lalji Naranji, Purushottamdas Thakurdas, Lala Sri Ram etc. supported the movement in its first phase. Homi Modi, in his presidential speech to Bombay Mill-owners' Association in March 1931 said that though the Swadeshi Movement had helped the Indian industry, frequent strikes had dislocated trade and industry. Naranji and Thakurdas, who had remained indifferent to the nationalist struggle in 1921, demanded Indian control over finance, currency, fiscal policy and railways. However, from September 1930, there was a sharp decline in support from the industrialists and traders; with the promtnera businessmen having differences of opinion with the Congress.

    Chandraprabha Saiktani

    He instigated the aboriginal Kachari villagers in Assam to break forest laws.

    Subhash Bose and J.M. Sengupta

    They led the faction group in Bengal Congress and set up rival organisations to conduct civil disobedience. Bose criticised Gandhi, when the latter suspended the movement in May 1933. He was supported by Vithalbhai Patel.

    Bonga Majhi and Somra Majhi

    They led the movement in Hazaribagh along the sanskritising lines with the Congress. Kalka Prasad, a local leader in Rai Bareilly, promoted the no-rent campaign. Santi and Suniti Chaudhari assassinated the district, gistrate of Tippera, Stevens. Their action marked the entry it women in the revolutionary movement.

    Seth Achal Singh

    He was a nationalist landlord, financed the Gram Seva Sangh in Agra and remained indifferent to riots in the area, while strictly following the policy of non-violence.

    Sheikh Abdullah

    He was a Muslim graduate, started an agitation and attacked the Srinagar jail on July 31, 1931 where 21 persons were killed in police firing. He also developed close contacts with a group of anti-autocratic Jammu Hindus led by P.N. Bazaz.

    Mohammed Yasin Khan

    He was a Muslim leader in Punjab, organised the Meos (semi-tribal peasant community with leanings towards Islam) to protest against Maharaja Jaisingh Sawai's hike in revenue, begar, and reservation of forests for the purpose of hunting.

    K.M. Ashraf

    He was India’s first Marxist historian, was associated with the movement.

    Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya

    He has been an upholder of Gandhian policies since 1920's, began to drift away with the launch of the Harijan campaign by Gandhi. He started a breakaway Congress Nationalist Party.

    Satyamurthy, Bhulabhai Desai, M.A. Ansari and B.C. Roy

    They demanded a return to electoral politics by way of a revived Swarajya Party. Jayaprakash Narayan, Achhut Patwardhan, Yusuf Mehrali, Ashok Mehta and Minoo Masani wanted the Congress to have affinity with left-wing.


    He formulated 'A Tentative Socialist Programme' for India and a Congress Socialist Party was started in 1934, which was supported by Narendra Dev.

    K.F. Nariman and Yusuf Meher Ali

    They led the Congress youth wing and later emerged as socialist leaders.

    Swami Govindanand

    He led the movement in Karachi and Sindh.

    N.V. Gadgil

    He supported the temple entry movement in 1929 on socialist norms established friendly ties with the non-Brahmin Satyashodhak Samaj (represented by Keshsvrao Jedhe of Poona).

    BR Ambedkar

    He was the leader of the untouchable Mahars, attended the Round Table Conference in 1930. However, the Congress failed to win over the political agitation of the Mahars.

    Gopabandhu Chaudhuri

    He popularised the movement in Orissa and led the Salt Satyagraha in the coastal areas of Balasore, Cuttack and Puri districts.

    Tarunaram Phookan and N.C. Bardoloi

    They were two prominent Congress leaders who were against the movement in Assam. They refused to take up forest Satyagraha officially.

    Jadunandan Sharma

    He activated the Kisan Sabha Movement in Gaya district of Bihar.

    Duggirala Balaramakrishnaya of the Krishna district

    He initiated a no-revenue campaign in 1931 in coastal Andhra. He also wrote a Telugu ballad Gandhi Oita, which aroused patriotic sentiments.

    N.V. Rama Naidu and N.C. Ranga

    They organised a forest Satyagraha in Venkatagiri estate in Nellore in 1931.

    A.K. Gopalan

    He was a school teacher and popular activist at Guruvayoor in Kerala and later became Kerala's most popular communist peasant leader.

    Mannu Gond and Chaitu Koiku

    He offered forest Satyagraha in Betul in Central Provinces. Maulana Bhasani, organised a large Praja Sammelan at Sirajgunj and demanded the abolition of zamindari and reduction in debts.

    Young Communist Militants

    B.T. Ranadeve and S.V. Deshpande in Bombay and Abdul Halim, Somnath Lahiri and Ranen Sen in Calcutta, where the young communist militants who organised several labour strikes. V.B. Karnik, Maniben Kara, Rajani Mukherji and Niharendu Dutta were other leaders who started trade union activities.

    M.N. Roy

    He and his followers popularised socialist ideas in the villages and a no-tax campaign was started in Awadh.

    The Civil Disobedience Movement was injected with the ideology of disobeying laws, demands and commands of the Government. In the above list of personalities who were associated with the Civil Disobedience Movement will give enhance reader’s general knowledge (GK).

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