Second Phase of Mass Struggle in India (1927-1939) PPT

Second Phase of Mass Struggle in India (1927-1939)

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  • Between 1927 and 1939, India witnessed a pivotal period in its relentless pursuit of freedom from British colonial rule. This era marked a profound transformation, characterized by fervent political activism, mass mobilization, and the emergence of visionary leaders who would leave an indelible mark on the nation’s destiny. Known as the Second Phase of Mass Struggle, these years were defined by significant events and movements that galvanized the Indian population, nurturing a spirit of unity and unwavering resolve to break free from the shackles of colonial oppression.

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The Second Phase of Mass Struggle in India (1927-1939): A Journey Towards Independence

The period between 1927 and 1939 marked a crucial phase in India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule. During these years, several significant events and movements shaped the course of India’s freedom struggle, leading the nation closer to its ultimate goal of self-rule. This article explores key events during this period, highlighting their causes, consequences, and their collective impact on India’s fight for independence.

Simon Commission

In 1927, the British government appointed the Simon Commission to assess the constitutional progress in India. However, the Commission comprised only British members and no Indian representation, sparking widespread protests and outrage. The Indian leaders united in their demand for self-governance, and boycotted the Commission, emphasizing the need for Indians to have a say in their own constitutional affairs.

  • The spark that ignited the Second Phase of the Mass Struggle was the formation of the Simon Commission in 1927. This all-British committee, devoid of any Indian representation, was tasked with reviewing the Government of India Act of 1919. The blatant disregard for Indian voices led to widespread protests, symbolizing the growing demand for active Indian participation in shaping the country’s future.

Here is the complete table detailing the key information about the Simon Commission:

Event Simon Commission
Formation Established in 1927 by the British government.
Purpose To assess the working of the Government of India Act of 1919 and suggest reforms for the future constitutional setup in India.
Composition Comprised seven members, all of whom were British, and no Indian representation, sparking widespread protests and boycotts in India.
Response in India Met with strong opposition and protests in India due to the absence of Indian members. The slogan “Simon Go Back” became popular during these protests.
Indian Leaders’ Boycott Indian leaders boycotted the Commission in protest against the absence of Indian representation, emphasizing the need for Indians to have a say in their own constitutional affairs.
Outcome Despite Indian protests, the Commission submitted its report in 1930, leading to further discontent and contributing to the momentum of the Indian independence movement. The protests against the Simon Commission highlighted the unity and determination of the Indian people in their fight for self-governance.
Significance The Simon Commission and the protests against it underscored the growing demand for Indian participation in decision-making processes, fueling the movement for independence and ultimately shaping India’s future political landscape.

Demand of Purna Swaraj – Causes and Consequences

The dissatisfaction with the Simon Commission led to the demand for Purna Swaraj, or complete independence, by the Indian National Congress in 1929. On January 26, 1930, the Congress declared Purna Swaraj as the goal of the Indian freedom movement. This demand united Indians across different regions, religions, and backgrounds, fostering a sense of national unity and purpose.

  • In 1930, the Indian National Congress, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, declared Purna Swaraj or complete independence as its ultimate goal. This proclamation resonated across the nation, uniting Indians from diverse backgrounds and regions under a single, fervent cry for freedom. The demand for Purna Swaraj became the rallying point for the entire nation, emphasizing the need to break free from the chains of colonial rule.

Here is the complete table detailing the key information about the Demand of Purna Swaraj (Complete Independence), its causes, and consequences:

Event Demand of Purna Swaraj (Complete Independence)
Year 1929
  1. Dissatisfaction with the Simon Commission, which lacked Indian representation, and was seen as a symbol of British insensitivity to Indian aspirations.
  2. A growing sense of Indian unity and the need for self-governance after years of British colonial rule.
  3. The desire to assert India’s independence and national identity.
Key Proponents Indian National Congress, under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru.
Declaration Date January 26, 1930
Declaration Venue Lahore Session of the Indian National Congress
Content The resolution declared that the Indian National Congress and the Indian people would no longer accept British authority and would work towards achieving complete independence, or Purna Swaraj. It called for civil disobedience and non-cooperation with the British government.
Symbolic Action Hoisting of the Indian National Congress flag on January 26, 1930, which later became India’s Republic Day.
  1. The demand for Purna Swaraj united Indians from various backgrounds, religions, and regions in a common cause.
  2. It marked a turning point in the Indian freedom struggle, shifting the focus from seeking concessions within the colonial framework to demanding full independence.
  3. The declaration inspired mass protests, boycotts, and civil disobedience campaigns, greatly increasing the momentum of the Indian independence movement.
  4. The celebration of January 26 as Independence Day laid the foundation for India’s eventual independence on August 15, 1947.
  5. The demand for Purna Swaraj played a pivotal role in shaping the political landscape of India and bringing the nation closer to self-rule.
Legacy The demand for Purna Swaraj remains a pivotal moment in India’s history, symbolizing the unity and determination of the Indian people in their pursuit of freedom and self-governance. It eventually led to the fulfillment of this demand in 1947 when India gained independence from British colonial rule.

Dandi March and Civil Disobedience Movement – Causes and Consequences

The year 1930 witnessed the iconic Dandi March led by Mahatma Gandhi. This symbolic act of defiance against the salt tax galvanized the nation. Following the Dandi March, the Civil Disobedience Movement was launched, urging Indians to peacefully protest and resist British laws. The movement resulted in mass protests, boycotts, and acts of civil disobedience, significantly weakening the colonial administration and demonstrating the power of nonviolent resistance.

  • Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March in 1930 marked the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement. By walking 240 miles to the Arabian Sea and making salt in defiance of British laws, Gandhi showcased the power of nonviolent resistance. This act of civil disobedience inspired millions to join the movement, advocating for the boycott of British goods and institutions. The movement not only challenged the economic foundations of colonialism but also highlighted the moral high ground of the Indian struggle for independence.

Here is a complete table detailing the key information about the Dandi March and the Civil Disobedience Movement, including their causes and consequences:

Event Dandi March and Civil Disobedience Movement
Year 1930
  1. Dissatisfaction with British policies and taxes, particularly the salt tax.
  2. The desire to protest against British monopoly and unjust laws through nonviolent means.
  3. To mobilize and unite the Indian population against colonial rule.
  4. To challenge the British government’s authority and demand independence through civil disobedience.
Leadership Led by Mahatma Gandhi, along with numerous followers and supporters.
Dandi March Start Date March 12, 1930
Dandi March End Date April 6, 1930
Route From Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, to Dandi, a coastal village in Gujarat.
Objective To produce salt from seawater in defiance of British salt laws and taxes.
Civil Disobedience Movement Start Date** Launched on the same day as the Dandi March, March 12, 1930.
Civil Disobedience Movement End Date Officially concluded in 1934, but various forms of civil disobedience continued until India gained independence in 1947.
Methods Civil disobedience, nonviolent protests, boycotts of British goods, non-cooperation with the British authorities, and non-payment of taxes.
  1. Raised international awareness about India’s struggle for independence.
  2. Inspired widespread civil disobedience across the country, involving millions of Indians.
  3. Garnered massive public support and participation, showcasing the power of nonviolent resistance.
  4. Attracted repression from British authorities, leading to arrests, imprisonment, and clashes with protesters.
  5. Strengthened the resolve of the Indian population and contributed significantly to the momentum of the independence movement.
  6. Demonstrated the effectiveness of nonviolent protest methods, influencing future civil rights and independence movements worldwide.
  7. Laid the groundwork for subsequent phases of the Indian independence movement, shaping the strategies employed by future leaders and activists.
Legacy The Dandi March and Civil Disobedience Movement remain iconic symbols of India’s nonviolent struggle for independence. They exemplify the power of peaceful resistance and continue to inspire movements advocating social change and justice globally.

Round Table Conferences

The British government organized three Round Table Conferences in London between 1930 and 1932 to discuss constitutional reforms in India. However, these conferences failed to yield a consensus between Indian leaders and the British authorities. Despite this, the conferences provided a platform for Indian leaders to articulate their demands and aspirations, laying the groundwork for future negotiations.

Here is a complete table detailing the key information about the Round Table Conferences:

Event Round Table Conferences
Year 1930-1932
Objective To discuss constitutional reforms in India and determine a future political framework that would involve Indian participation.
Organizers British Government
Participants Representatives from the British Government, Indian National Congress, All-India Muslim League, and other political parties and communities.
First Round Table Conference Date: November 1930 – January 1931

Key Points:

  1. Congress and the Muslim League boycotted the First RTC, leading to limited representation.
  2. Discussions mainly revolved around communal awards and minority rights.
Second Round Table Conference Date: September 1931 – December 1931

Key Points:

  1. Gandhi-Irwin Pact was signed during this conference, leading to the suspension of the Civil Disobedience Movement.
  2. Discussions on constitutional reforms, but no agreement was reached between Indian leaders and British authorities.
Third Round Table Conference Date: November 1932 – December 1932

Key Points:

  1. Wider participation, including Congress and other parties, except for the Muslim League, which later joined the conference.
  2. Talks on communal representation and federal structure, but no consensus was reached.
  1. Limited progress in terms of constitutional reforms due to disagreements between Indian leaders and British officials.
  2. The failure to reach a consensus highlighted the deep-seated divisions and complexities within Indian society and politics.
  3. The Round Table Conferences, despite their shortcomings, provided a platform for Indian leaders to voice their concerns and aspirations, shaping the subsequent political discourse in India.
Significance The Round Table Conferences represented a significant chapter in India’s constitutional history. Although they did not result in immediate reforms, they facilitated dialogue between various communities and laid the groundwork for future negotiations and discussions, contributing to the eventual framing of the Indian Constitution after independence.

Poona Pact

In 1932, the Poona Pact was signed between Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi, ensuring reserved political representation for the Dalits (untouchables) in Indian politics. This pact was a significant step toward social justice and political inclusion, fostering a more equitable political system.

Here is a complete table detailing the key information about the Poona Pact:

Event Poona Pact
Year 1932
Location Yerwada Central Jail, Poona (now Pune), Maharashtra, India
Context Communal Award, a British decision to provide separate electorates for Dalits (untouchables) in India, granting them reserved seats in provincial legislatures. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar supported separate electorates for Dalits to ensure their political representation. Mahatma Gandhi opposed it, fearing further division among Indians.
Participants Dr. B.R. Ambedkar representing Dalits, and Madan Mohan Malaviya representing the Congress party.
Outcome An agreement was reached to reserve seats for Dalits (Scheduled Castes) within the general electorates, ensuring political representation without separate electorates. This decision was incorporated into the Government of India Act, of 1935.
  1. Reserved seats for Dalits in provincial legislatures, allowing them political representation.
  2. Joint electorates with seats reserved for Dalits, ensuring their participation in general elections alongside other communities.
  1. Promoted greater unity among different communities in India by addressing concerns about political representation.
  2. Empowered Dalits politically, allowing them to participate actively in the democratic process.
  3. The Poona Pact marked a significant moment in India’s social and political history, emphasizing the need for inclusivity and solidarity among diverse communities.
Significance The Poona Pact played a pivotal role in addressing the issue of political representation for Dalits, fostering social harmony, and ensuring their participation in the political arena. It demonstrated the power of dialogue and compromise in resolving contentious issues, laying the foundation for a more inclusive and equitable democratic system in India.

Government of India Act, 1935

The Government of India Act, of 1935, introduced provincial autonomy and increased the participation of Indians in the legislative process. While it fell short of complete self-rule, it marked a significant shift in India’s constitutional framework, paving the way for further political reforms and empowering Indian leaders to govern their provinces.

Here is a complete table detailing the key information about the Government of India Act, 1935:

Event Government of India Act, 1935
Year 1935
Type An Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Objective To reform the government of British India and provide a framework for self-government, with a goal of eventual provincial autonomy and federal unity.
Key Features
  1. Bifurcation of Powers: Separated powers between the British government and provincial governments, allowing provinces more autonomy.
  2. Federal Structure: Introduced a federal structure for India with provisions for federal and provincial governments.
  3. Provincial Autonomy: Granted limited autonomy to provinces, allowing them to have their own governments and legislatures.
  4. Federal Legislature: Established a federal legislature with two houses: the Council of States and the Federal Assembly.
  5. Separate Electorates: Continued the practice of separate electorates for different religious communities, maintaining communal representation.
  6. Abolition of Diarchy: This ended the diarchial system in the provinces, giving ministers more control over their departments.
  7. Establishment of Reserve Bank: Set up the Reserve Bank of India as the country’s central bank.
  8. Governor-General: Retained the position of Governor-General, who had powers to veto legislation and issue ordinances.
  9. Burma Separation: Separated Burma from British India, making it a separate colony.
  1. Increased Provincial Autonomy: Provinces gained more power to govern themselves, leading to the establishment of democratic governments in several provinces.
  2. Continuation of Communal Politics: The provision for separate electorates reinforced communal divisions, which continued to be a challenge to Indian unity.
  3. Preparation for Independence: Despite its limitations, the Act laid the groundwork for India’s eventual independence, providing experience in democratic governance.
  4. Division of Provinces: Some provinces were reorganized and divided based on linguistic and administrative factors, setting the stage for post-independence state boundaries.
Significance The Government of India Act, of 1935, marked a significant step in the constitutional evolution of British India. While it fell short of complete self-rule, it provided a framework for provincial autonomy and established democratic institutions, contributing to the political education of Indian leaders and the eventual transition to full independence in 1947.

Faizpur Agrarian Programme, 1936

Under the leadership of Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, the Faizpur Agrarian Programme was launched in 1936, addressing the grievances of farmers and agricultural laborers. The movement aimed at securing land rights and fair wages, highlighting the socioeconomic issues faced by rural India and emphasizing the need for comprehensive agrarian reforms.

Here is a complete table detailing the key points about the Faizpur Agrarian Programme, 1936:

Event Faizpur Agrarian Programme, 1936
Year 1936
Organized By Indian National Congress
Occasion 50th Annual Session of the Indian National Congress
Date December 1936
Location Faizpur, India
Presided Over By Jawaharlal Nehru, who was at his peak of influence in the Congress.
Agenda Highlighted the country’s pressing problems, including poverty, unemployment, and farmers’ indebtedness.
  1. 50% reduction in land tax and rent.
  2. Minimum wage for agricultural workers.
  3. Recognition of peasant unions.
  4. Complete abolition of feudal levies.
Influence on Congress The demands made in the Faizpur Agrarian Programme had a significant impact on the Congress manifesto, especially concerning agrarian policies, for the provincial elections in 1937.
Collaboration with AIKS Joint meeting with the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), where AIKS’ agenda influenced the Congress’s stance on agrarian issues.
Significance The Faizpur Agrarian Programme addressed critical issues faced by farmers, paving the way for agrarian reforms and reflecting the Congress’s commitment to rural development. It also showcased the collaboration between Congress and peasant unions in addressing farmers’ concerns.
Leadership Impact The session was presided over by Jawaharlal Nehru, enhancing his influence within the Congress party during a crucial period in India’s political history.
Legacy The Faizpur Agrarian Programme highlighted the importance of agrarian issues in Indian politics, shaping future policies and emphasizing the need for social and economic reforms in rural areas.

Indian Provincial Election, 1937

In 1937, India conducted its first provincial elections based on the Government of India Act, of 1935. The Indian National Congress emerged as the majority party in several provinces, forming governments and showcasing the people’s support for the Congress’s vision of independence and self-governance.

Here is a complete table detailing the key points about the Indian Provincial Election, 1937:

Event Indian Provincial Election, 1937
Year 1936-1937
Held In British India
Mandated By Government of India Act, 1935
Purpose To elect representatives for provincial assemblies in British India.
Total Provincial Assembly Seats 1585
Winning Party Indian National Congress (INC)
INC’s Total Seats Won 711 out of 1585 (absolute majority in five provinces)
Provinces Won by INC Madras, Bihar, Orissa, Central Provinces, United Provinces
Near-Majority in Bombay (86 out of 175 seats; formed a ministry with the support of independents)
INC’s Status in Other Provinces Largest party in Bengal; Significant presence in Punjab, Sindh, and Assam
  1. Beginning of Provincial Autonomy: The elections marked the start of provincial autonomy in India, allowing elected Indian representatives to govern their provinces.
  2. INC’s Political Dominance: The INC’s substantial victories established its political dominance and laid the foundation for its role in shaping India’s future political landscape.
  3. Formation of Ministries: In the provinces where the INC won, it formed ministries, indicating the transition of power from British authorities to Indian leaders.
  4. Exceptional Cases: While the INC was the largest party in Bengal, Punjab, Sindh, and Assam, the elections highlighted the diverse political landscape of British India.
Legacy The 1937 elections played a pivotal role in India’s political evolution, setting the stage for the eventual independence and shaping the country’s democratic institutions.

Wardha Education Scheme

Initiated in 1937, the Wardha Education Scheme was a landmark effort in the field of education. It emphasized the need for a comprehensive and inclusive educational system, promoting basic education in rural areas and integrating traditional Indian values with modern learning. This scheme played a crucial role in nurturing a well-informed and aware citizenry, essential for the success of the independence movement.

Here is a complete table detailing the key points about the Wardha Education Scheme:

Event Wardha Education Scheme (Nai Talim)
Year Proposed in 1937 by Mahatma Gandhi
Aim To provide free and compulsory education for seven years nationwide
  1. Free and compulsory education.
  2. Mother tongue as the medium of instruction.
  3. Education centered around manual or productive work.
  4. Integration of physical environment, social environment, and craft work.
  5. No place for English in the curriculum.
  6. No religious education.
  7. No consideration of gender, culture, or religion.
Publication Source Ideas were published in a series of articles in the weekly Harijan.
Philosophy Gandhi believed that Western education created a gap between the educated few and the masses.
Also Known As Nai Talim or New Education
  1. Promoted free and compulsory education, emphasizing practical skills and social integration.
  2. Emphasized the importance of mother tongue, manual work, and holistic learning.
  3. Focused on bridging the gap between education and practical life, addressing societal disparities.
  4. Advocated a more inclusive and culturally relevant education system.
Legacy The Wardha Education Scheme, also known as Nai Talim, had a lasting impact on educational philosophy in India, influencing subsequent educational reforms and emphasizing the importance of holistic and practical learning approaches.

Legacy and Impact

The Second Phase of Mass Struggle in India left an indelible mark on the nation’s collective consciousness. The period saw the rise of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, and Subhas Chandra Bose, whose ideologies and actions continued to influence the freedom movement. The events of these years paved the way for the Government of India Act, of 1935, which granted a degree of autonomy to provinces, setting the stage for the eventual transfer of power.

In conclusion,

  • The second phase of the mass struggle in India (1927-1939) was characterized by a series of defining moments that strengthened the resolve of the Indian people in their fight for independence. These events, marked by unity, resilience, and nonviolent resistance, laid the foundation for India’s eventual freedom in 1947. The sacrifices made and the lessons learned during this period continue to inspire generations, reminding the world of the power of determination and unity in the pursuit of justice and self-determination.

Also Read: India Journalism


Table of Key Events in the Indian Freedom Movement (1927-1939): A Detailed Overview

Here’s a complete table outlining the key events and details related to the Second Phase of Mass Struggle in India (1927-1939), including a brief story for each event mentioned:

Event Details
Simon Commission
  • Formed in 1927 by the British government to assess the workings of the Government of India Act, of 1919.
  • Comprised entirely of British members, with no Indian representation, sparking outrage and protests across India, highlighting the need for Indian participation in policymaking.
  • The protest against the Commission showcased a united India’s demand for self-governance and led to increased nationalist fervor.
Demand of Purna Swaraj
  • Officially declared by the Indian National Congress on January 26, 1930, during its Lahore session.
  • Signified India’s unequivocal demand for complete independence from British rule, rejecting any form of colonial authority.
  • The declaration marked a significant shift in the freedom struggle, uniting diverse Indian communities under the common goal of achieving self-rule, and transcending regional and social differences.
Dandi March and Civil Disobedience Movement
  • Initiated by Mahatma Gandhi on March 12, 1930.
  • Gandhi, along with a group of followers, marched 240 miles from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, breaking the salt laws by producing salt from seawater.
  • Symbolized nonviolent resistance against unjust British taxation policies and encouraged widespread civil disobedience, fostering a sense of solidarity among Indians and demonstrating the power of peaceful protest in challenging colonial rule.
Round Table Conferences
  • Held in London in three rounds between 1930 and 1932.
  • Intended to discuss constitutional reforms and the future political structure of India.
  • Involved British officials, Indian leaders, and representatives from different communities, showcasing the complexities of Indian society and the challenges in achieving a consensus on the constitutional framework.
  • Failed to yield a mutually agreeable solution, deepening political divisions in India.
Poona Pact
  • Signed on September 24, 1932, between Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi, representing the Dalits and the Congress respectively.
  • Ensured reserved seats for Scheduled Castes (Dalits) in provincial legislatures, addressing concerns regarding political representation and social inclusion for marginalized communities.
  • marked an important step toward social justice, promoting political empowerment for the Dalit community.
Government of India Act, 1935
  • Enacted by the British Parliament on August 2, 1935.
  • Introduced provincial autonomy, expanding the franchise to a limited extent, and creating a federal structure for British India.
  • Established a hierarchy of governance with the British Crown at the top, followed by the provinces and princely states, setting the stage for provincial elections and a more decentralized form of administration.
  • Laid the groundwork for India’s future constitution.
Faizpur Agrarian Programme, 1936
  • Launched by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1936 in the Faizpur region of Maharashtra.
  • Focused on empowering peasants by promoting collective farming, cooperative societies, and agricultural reforms.
  • Aimed at addressing the socio-economic challenges faced by farmers, advocating for their rights, and encouraging self-sufficiency in the agrarian sector, showcasing efforts to uplift rural communities.
Indian Provincial Election, 1937
  • Held in 1937 under the Government of India Act, of 1935.
  • Marked the first general elections in British India.
  • Indian National Congress emerged as the dominant party, winning majority seats in several provinces.
  • This led to the formation of Congress-led ministries in various provinces, granting Indians a significant role in provincial governance for the first time and setting the stage for further political developments.
Wardha Education Scheme
  • Launched in 1937 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Emphasized basic education, vocational training, and rural development.
  • Focused on providing education relevant to the needs of local communities, promoting self-reliance, and nurturing a sense of social responsibility among students.
  • Advocated for an inclusive and practical educational system, addressing societal challenges through education and community development.

This detailed table provides a comprehensive overview of each event during the Second Phase of the Mass Struggle in India (1927-1939), highlighting their significance and impact on the Indian freedom movement.


  • The Second Phase of Mass Struggle in India stands as a testament to the resilience, unity, and determination of the Indian people in their quest for freedom. It was during these years that the foundation for a free and independent India was laid, inspiring generations to come. The sacrifices made and the struggles endured during this period served as a catalyst for the eventual triumph of the Indian independence movement, making it a cornerstone of the nation’s history and a source of inspiration for people around the world.

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