Topic – Modern Indian History.
1) Discuss the impact that World war I had on Indian national movement, its society and economy?(250 words)
Why this question
Role of India in world war 1 has received widespread news coverage in the past couple of years. While India’s role in world war 1 is important, also important is the impact that the war had on India’s polity, economy and society. This question would help you to prepare this aspect of world war 1.
Key demand of the question
The question is quite straightforward in its demand. It expects us to discuss the impact that the war had on India’s struggle for independence. It also expects us to discuss the impact of the war on the nation’s economy and polity and how it impacted the national movement.
Discuss – here your discussion should bring out the impact world war 1 had on the freedom movement in India. We also need to highlight the impact of the war on India’s society and economy and relate these to the freedom movement.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Highlight the magnitude of the war and India’s contribution to it.
- Discuss the view of political parties on support of India during world war 1. Explain that this was done with hope of getting semblance of self governance, what we got in fact was montague Chelmsford reforms.
- Discuss the impact on society – rise in literacy, coercion by British for recruitment and resulting anger etc
- Discuss the impact on economy – Requisitioning of food supplies, particularly cereals, led to rampant food inflation. Exports of cash crops like jute suffered due to the loss of the European market. Meanwhile, rising military demand for jute products compensated for the decline in civilian demand with jute mills in Bengal establishing monopolies; skewed income distribution grew even more so, shifting from jute farmers to capital. And as Amiya Kumar Bagchi has noted in “Indian Economy and Society during World War One”, the drain on the Indian economy in the form of cash, kind and loans to the British government came to about 367 million pounds.
- Explain how all of this contributed to the freedom movement
Conclusion – Summarize, in your opinion ,the overall impact of war on India.