Question: The suspension of civil disobedience movement by Gandhi under the Gandhi-Irvin pact was a big blunder. Comment.
Answer: The Civil disobedience movement (CDM) was started by Gandhiji to fulfil a variety of demands including the abolition of the salt tax. The movement gained support all over the country but was abruptly suspended after talks with Lord Irvin and agreement to participate in second round table conference.
Suspension of CDM a great blunder
- Increasing pressure on British
The British government was under a lot of pressure internationally regarding the Indian situation. With increasing day, they were ready to negotiate further with the Congress party. If the movement was not suspended abruptly, there would have been a faster solution to the Indian problem.
- Reconciliation with Muslims
After the Khilafat and non-cooperation movement, Hindu-Muslim unity on a large scale was missing. With CDM yielding good results, many of the Muslim masses were ready to join the mainstream movement but suspension removed chances for that to happen.
Suspension of CDM a necessity
- Public fatigue
Gandhiji sensed that public response to the movement was fading slowly and if it was allowed to continue further then it would have been a failure. In addition, he knew that public cannot sacrifice for such a long time and they needed time to recover and rebuild.
- Increasing incidence of violence
The main weapons in movement were peace and non-violence but it was observed that the movement was turning violent in many places. Gandhiji did not want an incidence such as Chauri Chaura to recur as that would be a great blot on the public efforts.
Thus, Gandhiji used the S-T-S (Struggle-Truce-Struggle) strategy to direct the national movement in India. The implementation of this strategy may not be successful but it was necessary.