INDIGO Question-Answer | Summary Class 12 | Important Q

Here you get SEBA or CBSE Indigo chapter English class 12 questions and answers with a summary. Also, get important questions and previous year questions ncert solutions. For better understanding extra and short question-answer notes given here. If you like it plz share it.

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Indigo Summary

In December 1916, Gandhi was in Lucknow to attend the annual convention of the Indian National Congress. It was there that he met a poor peasant from Champaran, Rajkumar Shukla, who pleaded that Gandhi visits his district. This was the first time that Gandhi ever heard of the place located in the foothills of the Himalayas. Rajkumar Shukla was one of the poor Sharecroppers. In Champaran, under an old agreement, the peasants were compelled by British indigo planters to grow indigo on 15 percent of their land and part with the whole indigo crop for rent. Rajkumar Shukla had been advised to speak to Gandhi to seek a way out of this unfair situation. Gandhi told Shukla that he had the arrangement to go to Cawnpore (now Kanpur) and then other parts of India. But although Rajkumar was illiterate, he was determined. When Gandhi returned to his ashram near Ahmedabad, Shukla followed him there too. For weeks he stayed with Gandhi and begged of him to visit Champaran. Gandhi was impressed by his resolution and told him to meet him in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and take him to Champaran from there. Months later when Gandhi went to Calcutta, Shukla was waiting at the appointed spot. From there the two of them left for Patna in Bihar. There Shukla took him to meet a lawyer named Rajendra Prasad who later became President of the Congress party and of India. Rajendra Prasad was out of town, but the servants recognized Shukla as a poor farmer who was after their master to help the indigo sharecroppers. So they let him in the house with Gandhi, who they presumed to be another peasant. There, Gandhi was not allowed to draw water from the well because they believed him to be another untouchable.

Gandhi, then went to Muzzafarpur on the way to Champaran, to gather information about conditions in Champaran. He also sent a telegram to Professor J.B. Kripalani, of the Arts College in Muzzafarpur. When the train reached Muzzafarpur on April 15, 1917, Kripalani was waiting at the station with a large number of students. Gandhi stayed there for two days with Professor Malkani, a teacher in a government school. Gandhi was impressed by Malkani s courage. Being a government servant, he had given shelter to a person fighting against government suppression. When news of Gandhi's arrival and of his mission spread, sharecroppers from Champaran flocked to see him. He learned that the Muzzafarpur lawyers were charging the peasants a hefty fee. Gandhi rebuked the lawyers and also stopped them from going to law courts. He felt they needed only to be free from fear. Most of the cultivable land in the Champaran district was divided into large estates owned by Englishmen. Indian tenants worked for them. The chief commercial crop was indigo. When the landlords learned that Germany had developed synthetic indigo, they forced the Sharecroppers to Sign agreements to pay them compensation to be released from the 15 percent arrangement. When sharecroppers engaged lawyers to fight exploitation, the landlords hired thugs. Meanwhile, the information about synthetic indigo reached the peasants who had signed, and they wanted their money back. At this point of time, Gandhi arrived in Champaran. He began by collecting the facts. First, he visited the secretary of the British landlord's association, who refused to give information to an outsider. Next, he called on the British official commissioner of the Tirhut division in which the Champaran district lay. The commissioner advised him to leave Tirhut immediately. But Gandhi along with several lawyers went to Motihari, the capital of Champaran. There was a crowd to greet him at the railway station.

There he learned of a peasant who had been maltreated and decided to see him but on the way, the police forced him to return. He was served a notice to quit Champaran immediately but Gandhi refused. He was ordered to appear in court the next day. That night Gandhi telegraphed Rajendra Prasad to come from Bihar with influential friends. He sent instructions to the ashram. He telegraphed the complete report to the viceroy. The next morning Motihari was teeming with peasants. They had only heard of a Mahatma who wanted to help them, was in trouble with the authorities. But their gathering in huge numbers was the beginning of their freedom from fear of the British. The officials needed Gandhi's cooperation to control the crowd. He was polite and friendly. This was his proof that the power of the Britishers could be challenged by Indians. The prosecutor requested the judge to postpone the trial. The authorities wished to talk to their Superiors. Gandhi proteŇ°ted against the delay and also read a statement pleading guilty. He was torn between two situations. On the one hand, he did not want to set a bad example as a lawbreaker and on the other hand, he had to be compassionate towards the nation. He refused to leave because that was what the voice of his conscience urged him to do. He asked for the punishment. The magistrate asked Gandhi to furnish bail but when Gandhi refused he had to be released without it. Meanwhile, Rajendra Prasad, Brij Kishor Babu, Maulana Mazhaurl Huq, and many other well-known lawyers had arrived from Bihar. He asked them to fight for sharecroppers if he went to jail. The lawyers felt if a stranger was prepared to go to prison for the sake of the peasants, it would be disgraceful for them to go home. They assured Gandhi that they were ready to follow him into jail. The battle of Champaran is won. Gandhi exclaimed. Several days later, Gandhi learned that the case against him had to be dropped. Civil disobedience had won for the first time in modern India.

Then, Gandhi and the lawyers prepared cases for about ten thousand peasants and collected relevant documents. The coming days saw a lot of activity in Champaran with the landlords protesting violently. In June, Gandhi was ordered to see Sir Edward Gait, the Lieutenant-Governor. Gandhi nad tour long interviews with the Lieutenant-Governor and an Inquiry Was ordered into the indigo sharecroppers situation. The committee for inquiry comprised landlords, government officials, and Gandhi as the only representative of the peasants. The inquiry committee gathered a lot of proof against the planters and it was decided that the peasants must be refunded. Much to everyone's surprise, Gandhi asked for only S0 percent of the entire sum of money which the landlords had acquired illegally and accepted 25 percent. He felt that it was more important that for the first time the landlord had been made to surrender their pride. The peasants realized that they had rights and this was their first lesson in courage. Within a few years, the British planters left their estates, which were returned to the peasants. This was the end of indigo sharecropping. But Gandhi was concerned about the cultural and social backwardness in the Champaran. He requested teachers to educate the masses. Two young men Mahadev Desai and Narhari Parikh and their wives volunteered to do this work. Several more including Devadas, Gandhi's youngest son joined in. Kasturba Gandhi, too, taught personal cleanliness and community sanitation. Health conditions were in a bad state. Gandhi got a doctor to render his services for six months. Castor oil, quinine, and sulphur ointment were made available. Even from Champaran, Gandhi kept a watch on the ashram and sent regular instructions, and asked for financial accounts Champaran was a turning point in Gandhi's life as it declared that the British could not order Indians about in their own country. It had all begun as an attempt to help the poor peasants. For Gandhi politics was always closely linked with the day-to-day problems of the common man. Gandhi's effort was to make a self-reliant, free India. When people suggested that Charles Freer Andrews, an English pacifist and follower of the Mahatma, stay in Champaran and help them, Gandhi refused. He said, that wanting an Englishman on their side merely showed the weakness of the heart. Rajendra Prasad too understood and supported this 'lesson in self-reliance'.

Indigo explanation in Hindi video

Textual Questions Answers of Indigo

Think as you read
Page 47

1. Strike out what is not true in the following:
(a) Rajkumar Shukla was
(i) a sharecropper.  
(ii) a politician.
(iii) delegate.      
(iv) a landlord.
Ans: a landlord

(b) Rajkumar Shukla was:
(i) poor.            
(ii) physically strong.
(iii) illiterate.
Ans: physically strong

2. Why is Rajkumar Shukla described as being 'resolute'?
Ans: Rajkumar Shukla wanted Gandhi to take up the cause of the poor peasants in Champaran. He met Gandhi in the Lucknow session of the Congress. But Gandhi had many engagements in different parts of India. Shukla accompanied Gandhi everywhere. He waited till Gandhi was free. Gandhi was impressed by his tenacity and finally went to Bihar with him.

3. Why do you think the servants thought Gandhi to be another peasant?
Ans: In Patna, Shukla led Gandhi to the house of a lawyer Rajendra Prasad. The servants knew Shukla. He was a poor peasant of Champaran. He always troubled Rajendra Prasad to take up the cause of the indigo sharecroppers of Champaran. So the servants took Gandhi to be another peasant.

Think as you read
Page 49

1. List the places that Gandhi visited between his first meeting with Shukla and his arrival at Champaran.
Ans: Gandhi met Shukla in Lucknow. He had appointments in other parts of India. Then Gandhi returned to his ashram near Ahmedabad. Shukla accompanied him everywhere. Gandhi visited Calcutta. From there they boarded a train for Patna in Bihar, Then he came to Muzaffarpur and from there to Motihari. Then finally, he came to Champaran.

2. What did the peasants pay the British landlords as rent? What did the British now want instead and why? What would be the impact of synthetic indigo on the prices of natural indigo?
Ans: The peasants were forced to plant 15% of their holdings with indigo. They surrendered the entire indigo harvest as rent. Presently Germany had developed synthetic indigo. Indigo plantation was no more profitable. Now the landlords wanted compensation for freeing the peasants. The peasants saw through their tricks.

Think as you read
Page 51

1. The events in this part of the text illustrate Gandhi's method of working. Can you identify some instances of this method and link them to his ideas of Satyagraha and non-violence?
Ans: Gandhi had a deep respect for legal authority. But he could defy the authorities when they violated natural justice and human values. He received an official notice to quit Champaran immediately. Gandhi declared that he would defy the order. For him, the 'voice of conscience' was above any law. All these instances link them to his ideas of 'satyagraha' and non-violence.

Think as you read
Page 53

1. Why did Gandhi agree to a settlement of 25 percent refund to the farmers?
Ans: The landlords feared that Gandhi would demand repayment of all the money. He asked only for 50%. Then the planters offered to refund 25% of the money. Gandhi agreed. Gandhi explained that the amount of the refund was less important. More important was that English landlords were forced to surrender part of the money.

2. How did the episode change the plight of the peasants?
Ans: The settlement changed the condition of the peasants of Champaran. Previously the landlords behaved as lords above the law. Now the l5% clause was over. The peasants realized they had their legal rights. They learned courage. Within a few years, the British planters abandoned their estates. They were given back to the peasants.


1. Why do you think Gandhi considered the Champaran episode to be a turning point in his life? ( AHSEC 2012)
Ans: The Champaran episode was a turning point in Gandhi's life. Gandhi himself accepted it. It was the first mass movement in India. Gandhi took up the cause of the poor peasants. He fought against the injustices of the cruel landlords. They extorted money from the poor sharecroppers. But Champaran didn't begin as an act of defiance. The movement grew out of Gandhi's attempt to remove the distress of thousands of poor peasants. lt was a typical Gandhian movement. 

The success of Champaran marked the first victory of the Civil Disobedience in mode India. The amount of the refund money was less important. More important was that English landlords were forced to surrender part of the money. Previously they behaved as lords above the law. Now the Indian peasants had people to defend their rights. 

Above all, the Champaran episode was the beginning of their liberation from fear of the British.

2.How was Gandhi able to influence lawyers? Give instances.
Ans: The role of the lawyers in the Champaran movement was quite significant. The news of Gandhi's advent spread among the lawyers of Muzaffarpur. They called on Gandhi to brief him. Gandhi chided the lawyers for collecting big fees from the poor sharecroppers. Law courts were useless for them. 

The lawyers from Bihar were again in the news. Gandhi was going to be tried in court. Rajendra Prasad and several other prominent lawyers had arrived from Bihar to support him. Gandhi asked what they would do if he was sentenced to prison. A senior lawyer replied that if he went to jail, they would go home.

Gandhi was disappointed. He asked what would happen to the sharecroppers if he went to jail. Who would fight for them? The lawyers felt ashamed. They thought that going home would be a 'shameful desertion'. They told him that they were ready to follow him into jail. Gandhi was more than satisfied. He declared: "The battle of Champaran is won".

3. What was the attitude of the average Indian in smaller localities towards advocates of home rule'?
Ans: It is true that before the advent of Gandhi, there was no mass movement in India. The common masses were totally indifferent and unorganized. They were crushed and exploited by the landlords. The attitude of the average Indian in smaller localities was quite indifferent or evasive. They were afraid to show sympathy for advocates of home rule.

Gandhi brought the average Indian away from this isolation and indifference. Some leaders like J.B. Kripalani and Prof. Malkani were with Gandhiji. Kripalani was present at the station with a large body of students. Gandhi stayed for two days in the home of Professor Malkani. It was quite a courageous and extraordinary thing in those days to give shelter to a man like Gandhi

But J.B. Kripalani and Professor Malkani were exceptional cases. The average Indian in smaller localities preferred to be indifferent to such burning issues.

4. How do we know that ordinary people too contributed to the freedom movement?
Ans: The freedom movement could not have been successful without the participation of ordinary people. Before Gandhi common masses were indifferent to the freedom movement. It was the advent of Gandhi which brought the struggle for freedom even to the huts of the millions. The Champaran episode was a turning point in the life of Gandhi. It was a milestone in the long freedom movement. The Civil Disobedience emerged victorious for the first time in modern India.

The participation of the ordinary people continued in every movement. Not only men but thousands of women also worked with them. The boycott of British goods was organized on a large scale in every city and town. Similarly, the Quit India movement of 1942 involved crores of people. The participation of the masses in the freedom movement unnerved the Britishers. That started the beginning of the end of the British rule in India.

Previous Years Paper Notes for AHSEC

1.Who was Rajkumar Shukla? (2012)
Rajkumar Shukla was a poor sharecropper from Champaran.

2. Where is Champaran situated? (2014, 18)
Champaran was situated in the foothills of the Himalayas in Bihar and adjacent to the kingdom of Nepal.

3. Describe the efforts made by R. K. Shukla to persuade Gandhi to go to Champaran. (2014)
Gandhiji had gone to the December 1916 Annual Convention of the Indian National Congress in Lucknow. A peasant came up to see him. He was Rajkumar Shukla. He looked like any other peasant in India. He was poor and emaciated. He was from Champaran. Gandhiji had never heard of the place. Shukla apprised Gandhiji about the injustices of the landlord system in Champaran. Gandhiji told Shukla that he had an appointment in Kanpur. He was also committed to go to other parts of India. Shukla accompanied Gandhi everywhere. Gandhiji returned to his ashram near Ahmedabad. Shukla also followed him to the ashram. He begged Gandhiji to fix a date.

Gandhiji was impressed by Shukla's tenacity and honesty. Gandhiji was to be in Calcutta on a particular day. He asked Shukla to come and take him from there. Months passed. When Gandhiji arrived at Calcutta he found Shukla sitting there on his haunches. He waited till Gandhiji was free. Then both of them boarded a train for Patna in Bihar. From there Gandhiji went to Muzaffarpur and from there to Motihari. Then finally, he came to Champaran.

4. What did Shukla want Gandhi to do? (2015)
Rajkumar Shukla wanted Gandhi to visit his district Champaran.

5. 'The battle of Champaran is won', Gandhi exclaimed. Explain the context in which this was said. (2015, 16)
Ans: When Gandhi was in Motihari, the headquarter of Champaran district, he was served with a notice to leave the district immediately. Gandhi signed a receipt for the notice and wrote on it that he would disobey the order. Thereupon, he was summoned to appear in the Court the next morning. The news of Gandhi being summoned to the court spread and thousands of peasants gathered around the courthouse the next morning. Their spontaneous demonstration baffled the government and it wanted to postpone the date of trial. But Gandhi protested against the postponement and he told the court that he was involved in a 'conflict of duties-on the one hand, not to set a bad example as a lawbreaker; on the other hand, he was to do justices to thousands of poor sharecroppers. He disobeyed the order to leave not because he did not have respect for the lawful authority, but because of his obedience to the voice of his conscience. But the magistrate reserved the judgment to a later date. Rajendra Prasad, and many other prominent lawyers who had come to help Gandhi then conferred among themselves and decided to follow him into jail. At this Gandhi exclaimed with joy that "The battle of Champaran is won."

6. What was Gandhi's politics intertwined with? (2016)
Gandhi's politics was intertwined with the practical, day to day problems of millions.

7. Why was the Champaran episode so significant in Gandhi's life? (2016)
Ans: The Champaran episode was really so significant in Gandhi's life. It was an effort to remove the distress of poor peasants. The Britishers who were dreaded and unquestioned could now be challenged by the Indians. It was the first mass movement in India. The success of Champaran was the success of peaceful Civil Disobedience in modern India.

8. Whom did Gandhi and Shukla want to meet at Patna? (2013, 17)
Gandhi and Shukla wanted to meet Rajendra Prasad at Patna.

9. What was the incident that prompted Gandhi to raise his voice of protest against the British? (2013, 17)
In 1917 Gandhi visited Champaran at the request of Rajkumar Shukla to fight against the injustice done to the sharecroppers of the district by the landlords. Gandhi succeeded in getting an honorable settlement for the sharecropping peasants. This Champaran episode prompted Gandhi to raise his voice against the British.

10. Describe the exploitation of the indigo sharecroppers by the English landlords. Did Gandhi help them to get an honorable settlement? (2013, 17, 19)
The English landlords in Champaran compelled all sharecroppers to plant l5% of their holdings with indigo. They had to surrender the entire indigo harvest as rent to the landlords. This was done by a long-term contract. Then Germany developed synthetic indigo. The plantation of natural indigo was no more a profitable business for English landlords. They decided to free the Indian sharecroppers from the 15% contract. They were to pay compensation for this freedom. The peasants saw through the trick and fraud of the landlords.
Therefore, they refused to pay compensation. Those who had signed the agreement demanded their money back.

Yes, Gandhi helps them to get an honorable settlement. He went to Bihar to take up the cause of poor peasants. There was a huge demonstration of thousands of peasants the very next day. The government was baffled. A commission of inquiry was constituted. Gandhi was the sole representative of the peasants. The landlords decided to refund the money to the peasants. At last, they settled for 25%. The amount of refund was less important. The more important thing was the victory of the peasants and the victory of the Civil Disobedience in India.

11.Why did Gandhi choose to go to Muzzafarpur first before going on to Champaran? (2018)
Ans: Gandhi chooses to go to Muzzafarpur first because it was a route to Champaran and he wanted to collect more information about conditions prevailing in Champaran.

12. Where did Gandhi stay in Muzzafarpur? (2019)
In Muzzafarpur Gandhi stayed at the home of Professor Malkani, a teacher of his Government School.

13. How was a solution to the problem of indigo sharecroppers of Champaran found? (2019)
Ans: Gandhi went to Bihar to take up the cause of poor peasants. There was a huge demonstration of the thousands of peasants the very next morning. The Government was baffled. A commission of inquiry was constituted. Gandhi was the sole representative of the peasants. He remained in Champaran for more than seven months. There were many evidences against the landlords. They had illegally extorted money from the sharecroppers. Gandhi asked for 50% refund. The planters offered to refund only 25%. Gandhi agreed.

14. Why was Gandhi visiting Lucknow in 1916? (2013, 20)
Gandhi visited Lucknow in 1916 to attend the annual meeting of the Indian National Congress.

15. Why was Professor Malkani's action of offering shelter to Gandhi 'extraordinary'? (2020)
Ans: Professor Malkani was a teacher in a Government school. It was an extraordinary thing in those days for a Government officer to harbor or show sympathy to an advocate home-rule for India.

Important/Extra Questions

1. Why did Gandhi chide the lawyers of Muzaffarpur?
Ans: Muzaffarpur lawyers called on Gandhi to brief him. They had frequently represented peasants in courts. Gandhi chided them for collecting big fees from the poor sharecroppers. When peasants were so poor and crushed, it was inhuman to charge heavy fees from them.

2. How did Gandhi teach us a lesson in self-reliance? Why did he oppose taking help from C.F.Andrews?
Ans: Gandhi wanted to mould 'a new free Indian'. He wanted Indians to stand on their own feet. Some of his followers wanted C.F.Andrews to stay in Champaran and help them. Gandhi opposed it. He didn't want Indians to take the help of an Englishman in their struggle for freedom. So he taught a lesson in self-reliance.

3. Whom did Gandhi send a telegram to in Muzzafarpur?
Ans: Gandhi sent a telegram to Prof. J.B. Kripalani of the Arts college of Muzzafarpur.

4. Which country had developed synthetic indigo?
Ans: Germany.

5. What is the capital of Champaran?
Ans: Motihari.

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