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BPSE-141: Gandhi and the Contemporary World

BPSE-141: Gandhi and the Contemporary World

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for BPSE-141 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Gandhi and the Contemporary World, you have come to the right place. BPSE-141 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in BAPSH, BAG courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: BPSE-141/ASST/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: BPSE-141

Assignment Name: Gandhi and the Contemporary World

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Answer all questions in each Section


Assignment - I


Answer the following in about 500 words each. Each question carries 20 marks


1. Highlight the various political movements launched by Gandhi for the attainment of independence in India.

Ans) The various political movements launched by Gandhi for the attainment of independence in India are:

World War - I

Lord Chelmsford, the then Viceroy of India, invited Gandhi to Delhi at a War Conference. In order to gain the trust of the empire, Gandhi agreed to move people to enlist in the army for World War I. However, he wrote to the Viceroy and said that he "personally will not kill or injure anybody, friend or foe".


The Champaran agitation in Bihar was Gandhi's first active involvement into Indian freedom politics. The Champaran farmers were being forced to grow Indigo and were being tortured if they protested. The farmers sought Gandhi's help and through a calculated non-violent protest, Gandhi managed to win concessions from the authority.


When Kheda, a village in Gujarat, was badly hit by floods, the local farmers appealed to the rulers to waive off the taxes. Here, Gandhi started a signature campaign where peasants pledged non-payment of taxes. He also arranged a social boycott of the mamlatdars and talatdars. In 1918, the Government relaxed the conditions of payment of revenue tax until the famine ended.

Khilafat Movement

Gandhi's influence on the Muslim population was remarkable. This was evident in his involvement in the Khilafat Movement. After the first World War, the Muslims feared for the safety of their Caliph or religious leader and a worldwide protest was being organised to fight against the collapsing status of the Caliph. Gandhi became a prominent spokesperson of the All-India Muslim Conference and returned the medals he had received from the Empire during his Indian Ambulance Corps days in South Africa. His role in the Khilafat made him a national leader in no time.

Non-cooperation Movement

Gandhi had realised that the British had been able to be in India only because of the co-operation they received from the Indians. Keeping this in mind, he called for a non-cooperation movement. With the Congress' support and his indomitable spirit, he convinced people that peaceful non-cooperation was the key to Independence. The ominous day of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre triggered the non-cooperation movement. Gandhi set the goal of Swaraj or self-governance, which since then became the motto of Indian freedom movement.

Salt March

Also known as the Dandi Movement, Gandhi's Salt March is considered to be a pivotal incident in the history of freedom struggle. At the Calcutta Congress of 1928, Gandhi declared that the British must grant India dominion status, or the country will erupt into a revolution for complete independence. The British did not pay heed to this. As a result, on December 31, 1929, the Indian flag was unfurled in Lahore and the next January 26 was celebrated as the Indian Independence Day. Then, Gandhi started a Satyagraha campaign against the salt tax in March 1930. He marched 388 kilometres from Ahmedabad to Dandi in Gujarat to make salt. Thousands of people joined him and made it one of the biggest marches in Indian history.

Quit India Movement

During the Second World War, Gandhi was determined to strike the British Empire with a definitive blow that would secure their exit from India. This happened when the British started recruiting Indians for the war. Gandhi protested strongly and said that the Indians cannot be involved in a war that is in favour of democratic purposes when India itself is not a free country. This argument exposed the two-faced image of the colonisers and within half a decade, they were out of this country.


2. Explain the concept of Satyagraha and elaborate its political, socio-economic, and spiritual dimensions.

Ans) Gandhi determined to unite the "coloured" people and fight for their rights after witnessing racist persecution in South Africa. Gandhi coined the word "passive resistance" to describe the public uprising against the racist regime, which he took from Leo Tolstoy. But not only was ‘passive resistance' a foreign term that Gandhi disliked, but its connotations were insufficient to convey the aspect of truth and moral fortitude that Gandhi associated with nonviolent political struggle. Furthermore, it prioritised political objectives over fundamental ideological ideals. Gandhi required an Indian phrase to encapsulate all of these facets of the revolution. Gandhi believed that “passive resistance” was being defined “too narrowly” and as a weapon of the weak. Satyagraha was coined by Mahatma Gandhi.

To designate the movement, he was intending to undertake, Gandhi modified the word "Sad" to "Satya" - "Satyagraha." Truth is implied by the word "Sat," which means openness, honesty, and fairness. “The word Satya comes from the Sanskrit word Sat, which meaning being. In truth, nothing is or existed save Truth.” Satyagraha means "insistence on truth" in Sanskrit. This persistence bestows unrivalled power on the votary. The word Satyagraha connotes this power or force. “Truth implies love and firmness engenders and hence serves as a euphemism for force,” Gandhi explains. As a result, I began to refer to the Indian movement as "Satyagraha," or "the Force that is born of Truth and Love or nonviolence," and stopped using the term "passive resistance." The term satyagraha described the nature of Indians' nonviolent direct action against the South African government's racial policy. It is the unwavering pursuit of true goals via nonviolent means. It is an attempt to vindicate truth by inflicting misery on oneself rather than on the opponent in order to induce a change of heart on the opponent's behalf. It proposes that the opponent can be defeated by suffering in one's own person.

“The toughest heart and the grossest ignorance must vanish before the rising sun of sorrow without wrath and malice,” Gandhi said. Gandhi says, "The primary trait of Satyagraha is that it involves onward march exclusively, with no opportunity of retreat or look back." In the case of Satyagraha, however, the law is equivalent to an axiom. As a Satyagraha struggle advances, many additional factors contribute to its current swelling, and the outcomes it leads to continue to expand. This is unavoidable, and it is linked to Satyagraha's first principles. Because the minimum is also the greatest in Satyagraha, and because it is an irreducible minimum, there can be no retreat, and the only movement imaginable is forward.” Gandhi emphasises the importance of fasting as a technique in Satyagraha philosophy, saying, "Fasting unto death is a fundamental part of Satyagraha programme, and it is the biggest and most effective weapon in its arsenal under proper circumstances." Without sufficient training, not everyone is qualified to take on the task. Gandhi is attempting to persuade his critics of the demonstrative effect of one's suffering on others in order to pave the way for a positive impact.

Assignment - II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. Each question carries 10 marks.


1. Discuss the different ways of promoting social harmony.

Ans) Living with harmony with others is easier said than done, especially in a world filled with conflict, catastrophes, and differing opinions. You may struggle to feel in sync with people close to you and with society at large. Start by connecting with friends, family, partners, and neighbours. Focus on dealing with any disharmony in your life in a generous, compassionate way and giving back to people in your community. Make sure you also maintain your own personal sense of harmony, as this will help you feel in sync with others.

The different ways of promoting social harmony are as follows:

  1. Participate in community events. Check the local community boards for postings about events like a block party or a community garage sale. Volunteer at community events and donate goods or money to local events. This can help you feel more connected to your neighbours

  2. Connect with your neighbours. Reach out to people who live around you. Knock on their door and bring over baked goods. Say “hello” to them on the street. Be friendly and sociable with your neighbours so you can build a sense of community in the neighbourhood.

  3. Hang out with friends on a regular basis. Spend time with good friends so you can stay connected with them and not lose touch. Schedule regular hang outs once a week or once a month with different friends. Make an effort to keep your friendships alive and active.

  4. Spend quality time with family. Try to make the time you spend with your family meaningful and memorable. Have regular family dinners or invite your family over. Plan a trip with your family, especially if it’s been awhile since you have all travelled together.

  5. Be vulnerable and honest with friends and family. Open yourself up to your friends and family when you need them. Don’t hide your feelings or shy away from sharing your emotions with them. Instead, be vulnerable so you can feel more authentic and real around those close to you.


2. Describe Gandhi's concept of non-stealing, relinquishment of property and celibacy.

Ans) From the social standpoint, non-hoarding of goods or wealth can fulfil the requirements of the needy. Mahatma Gandhi based his concept of Sarvodaya, ‘welfare of all’ on the principle of Aparigraha. His foremost disciple, Acharya Vinoba Bhave, collected surplus land from big landlords so that it could be distributed among the landless. Aparigraha is both a virtue and a value which has governed the spectrum of Indian idealistic thought for millennia. In this age of consumerism, it needs to be imbibed by one and all to build up an egalitarian social order without state intervention.

Gandhi's concept of non-stealing, relinquishment of property and Celibacy is as follows:

  1. Truth

  2. Non-Violence

  3. Chastity (Brahmacharya)

  4. Control of the Palate

  5. Non-Stealing

  6. Non-possession or Poverty

  7. Swadeshi

  8. Fearlessness

  9. Removal of Untouchability

  10. Varnashrama Dharma

  11. Tolerance

  12. Physical Labour

3. Whether the concept of trust trusteeship is relevant even today, give an example.

Ans) The concept of trust trusteeship is as follows:

Gandhi’s doctrine of trusteeship is a social and economic philosophy aiming to bring justice in the society. It provides a means by which the wealthy people would be the trustees of the trust that looked after the welfare of the people in general. Gandhi believed that the wealthy people could be persuaded to part with their wealth to help the poor. This principle reflects Gandhi’s spiritual development, which he owed partly to his deep involvement with the theosophical literature and the study of the Bhagavad Gita. Gandhi holds that labour is superior to capital. Though his views resemble those of Marx. But unlike Marxism he would not recommend an overthrow of the capitalists by force. He is not in favour of inciting labour against capital. Unlike Marxism he does not believe that class-struggle is the key to social development. He believes that society has to be based on love and mutual trust, not on struggle.

Gandhi believes that even the rich people – the so-called capitalist are after all human beings, and as such they also have in them an element of essential goodness that everyman necessarily possesses. If that element aroused and if the capitalist is also won over by love, they would be persuaded to believe that the wealth in their possession should be utilised for the good of the poor. The rich people should be made to realise that the capital in their hands is the fruit of the labour of the poor men. This realisation would make them perceive that the welfare of the society lies in using capital and resources for the good of others and not for one’s personal comforts.



Assignment - III


Write a short note on the following in about 100 words each. Each short note carries 6 marks.


1. Nirbhaya Movement-2012

Ans) The Nirbhaya movement in Delhi was also a leaderless movement with a decentralized structure, comprising of a networked community.  The Nirbhaya movement mainly targeted a deep-seated cultural acceptance of sexual violence against women. Since these networks are horizontal in structure, they are also more independent from state regimes than traditional media like television and radio, providing spaces for criticizing political powers and governmental authorities. Hence, social media plays a crucial role in mobilizing the masses, cultivating enhanced levels of participation.  It also helps in the dissemination of information that traditional news media wouldn’t report, like, for example, the police tear gassing peaceful protesters.



2. Water Conservation Movement

Ans) The water conservation movement aims to preserve our ancient water conservation methods. Traditional knowledge systems were overwhelmed by the state's large-scale development endeavours. The movements also present an alternative to the current dominating development models. The over-exploitation of ground water for industrial reasons has resulted in a significant reduction in water supply. Large water market lobbies and their attempts to commodify water have transformed the symbiotic relationship between "nature and man" as globalisation progresses. The poorest members of society are, in fact, the victims of neo-colonial exploitation. Many similarities exist between the two movements we've just reviewed. Both have emphasised the necessity of ground water sources for the long-term survival of humans and other living forms on the planet, positioning ‘development' in a people- and nature-friendly manner. The movements are anti-imperialist activities that firmly advocate Gandhian methods of changing society through democratic means.


3. Khadi: Symbol of economic dependence

Ans) Gandhi aims at radical reconstruction of the economy on the basis of need based as opposed to want based activities and thus ensure lasting happiness and social harmony. In a need-based economy the vital economic decisions will be made exogenously rather than by the rules of the game of the private enterprise economy where maximisation of private gain and accumulation is the only virtue. Gandhi was anxious to cure unemployment and to remove poverty from the rural areas. For this he suggested the growth and development of cottage industries. According to him, maximum effort should be made by the villagers to make themselves self- sufficient in regard to their own needs. Gandhi's approach aims at improving the quality of life rather than attaining material prosperity. According to him wealth and income are the means of human welfare and not an end in themselves.


4. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

Ans) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, or SSA, is an Indian Government programme aimed at the universalisation of Elementary education "in a time bound manner", the 86th Amendment to the Constitution of India making free and compulsory education to children between the ages of 6 to 14 a fundamental right (Article- 21A). The programme was pioneered by former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It aims to educate all children between the ages 6 to 14 by 2010. However, the time limit has been pushed forward indefinitely. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is a programme for Universal Elementary Education. This programme is also an attempt to provide an opportunity for improving human capabilities to all children through provision of community -owned quality education in a mission mode. It is a response to the demand for quality basic education all over the country.


5. Gandhi's Critique of Industrialization

Ans) Gandhi was a religious and social reformer. He fought against such practices as hereditary priesthood, untouchability against the low castes and the denial of entry to temples to them. He conducted many campaigns, based on social equality and scientific spirit for the cause of these social reforms. The socio-economic changes that took place in Gandhi's times and later in India and the emergence of new social classes helped the popularisation of modern ideas. Gandhi criticizes the industrialization, especially in India. He thought that machines and factories are reducing the employment and eliminating the small and village industries, mostly in field of handiwork and handloom.

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