How was the idea of Swaraj different for different community? Explain with two examples.
A wide variety of social groups responded to the call of Swaraj given by Mahatma Gandhi during the Non-Cooperation-Khilafat Movement. Inevitably, each of their interpretations of the concept of Swaraj differs from one another.
In the cities, students left government-controlled educational institutions, teaching professionals resigned, and lawyers gave up their practices. Also, in many provinces except Madras, council elections were boycotted. Foreign manufactured goods were boycotted, liquor shops were picketed, and foreign cloth was thrown into huge bonfires. In many places, merchants and traders refused to conduct commerce in foreign goods or finance foreign trade.
In the rural areas, Swaraj was interpreted as a fight against the landlords and talukdars who levied very high rents and other cesses on the peasants. In pursuance of self-rule, the peasants demanded reduction in revenue, abolition of the system of begar and boycotted exploitative landlords. Nai-dhobi bandhs were also organised by panchayats to deprive landlords of the services of barbers and washermen. In the tribal areas of India, the message of Swaraj was translated into militant guerilla movements against the exploitative policies of the British administration. The working class too interpreted the concept of Swaraj in their own way. The plantation workers of Assam saw it as a way of countering the draconian Inland Emigration Act of 1859 which disallowed them from leaving the plantation premises without permission. The plantation workers rebelled against this under the pretext of Non-cooperation and sought to retain a link with their place of origin.