What was Gandhiji’s argument in favour of the suspension of the Civil Disobedience Movement?

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a. Poona Pact :

The Poona Pact was signed between Rajendra Prasad on behalf of the Hindu Upper Class and B. R. Ambedkar as the representative of the Depressed Classes.

By the Pact the reserved seats for the Depressed Classes were increased. The Poona Pact was signed on 24 September, 1932.

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b. Suspension of the Civil Disobedience Movement:

Being alarmed at the intensity of the movement the British government tool recourse to oppressive measures. The government put thousands people under arrest including Gandhiji.

The British also tried to suppress the movement by mass killing. When repressive measures failed to slow down the tempo of the movement Lord Irwin expressed the desire to open negotiations with Gandhiji and other Congress leaders.

It now became apparent that the British government had bowed its head to the movement.

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In view of the change in the attitude of the British government Congress decided to take part in the Second Round Table Conference held in 1931 in London.

Gandhi returned from the Second Round Table Conference ’empty handed’ and resumed the Civil Disobedience Movement.

This time also the British fell heavily on the Satyagrahis. Government repression, however, succeeded in the end. Besides, differences of opinions caused much hindrance to the Movement.

As a consequence the force of the Civil Disobedience Movement waned out. The volunteers lost enthusiasm. In such a situation the Indian National Congress officially suspended the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1934.

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c. Importance:

There is no gainsaying the fact that the Civil Disobedience Movement also like its predecessor, the Non Co­operation Movement, failed to make India a free country.

Nevertheless one can hardly minimize the importance of the Civil Disobedience Movement.

First, Civil Disobedience Movement was the second mass awakening in India, Non Co-operation being the first of its kind.

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Second, the Civil Disobedience was more intensive in magnitude than the Non Co-operation movement.

Third, participation in the Civil Disobedience Movement was universal and never before subaltern ordinary people so enthusiastically joined the national struggle for freedom.

Fourth, important feature of the Movement was that the Indian peasantry raised their voice not only against the foreign rule but protested also against the contemporary land tenure system.

Fifth, the Civil Disobedience Movement once again proved beyond doubt the organising capability of the Indian National Congress and that the Congress enjoyed the sympathy of the largest population of the country.

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