The development of Indian Nationalism occurred in three separate phases. It was the third phase of Indian Nationalism that witnessed the rise of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, as the man who took the country by storm with his novel political ideologies centered on the cardinal principles of ahimsa and satyagraha. Armed with these ideological tools Gandhi shouldered critical responsibilities in the momentous events that finally led India to the path of freedom. No wonder, he is revered as the Mahatma and has been immortalized as The Father of the Nation. Champaran Satyagraha Under the British rule, many farmers in the Champaran district of Bihar were forced to grow indigo in their lands, much to their dismay. To fight this, a money lender named Raj Kumar Shukla reached out to Gandhiji and requested him to come and help them.
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The development of Indian Nationalism occurred in three separate phases. It was the third phase of Indian Nationalism that witnessed the rise of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, as the man who took the country by storm with his novel political ideologies centered on the cardinal principles of ahimsa and satyagraha.
Armed with these ideological tools Gandhi shouldered critical responsibilities in the momentous events that finally led India to the path of freedom. No wonder, he is revered as the Mahatma and has been immortalized as The Father of the Nation. Champaran Satyagraha Under the British rule, many farmers in the Champaran district of Bihar were forced to grow indigo in their lands, much to their dismay.
To fight this, a money lender named Raj Kumar Shukla reached out to Gandhiji and requested him to come and help them. Gandhiji came down to this district on April 10 of with a band of lawyers, including Dr Rajendra Prasad, to fight it out with the British. Gandhi and his lawyers travelled across the district to different villages, meeting farmers and taking note of their sufferings and complaints against the forced indigo cultivation. Ever since Gandhi arrived in Champaran, the British rulers started keeping a close eye on his moves.
Finally, on April 15, he was given an ultimatum at Motihari by the commissioner to leave Champaran. It was apparent now that Gandhi would be taken to jail for this resistance. As a response, scores of Champaran tenants turned up in protest outside the jail, police stations and courts. In the end, troubled by this unusual form of resistance that spilled no violence, the government was forced to let go of Gandhi.
The struggle against forced indigo cultivation continued. But he put together a plan, a chain of people who would take over the work if he, or anyone after him, was arrested. This way, the struggle would go on, with or without him. The struggle went on, the civil disobedience continued. The protests and hunger strikes ultimately ended with the abolishing of the cultivation of Indigo, or as it was known then, the tinkathia system.
The landlords under the British government were made to sign an agreement that granted the farmers more control over what they wanted to grow on their own lands, among other benefits. It was during this movement when Gandhi was first referred to as Bapu and Mahatma, or so goes the legend. The mill owners would not agree. Gandhi sympathized with the workers and took up their cause.
He launched a struggle and resorted to peaceful resistance. The workers proudly followed Gandhi and pledged their full support to him. They paraded the streets with large banners, and said they would not go back to work until a settlement had been reached.
Days passed. The mill owners were adamant. The strikers were getting impatient for they were faced with starvation. Their discipline became weak. Gandhi feared that some workers would break their pledge and go back to work.
Gandhi did not want anybody else to fast. His fast was not against the mill owners, but against the lack of co-ordination and unity among the workers. The fast lasted only for three days. It influenced the mill owners so much that they came to an agreement with the workers. The Kheda district of Gujarat was on the verge of famine owing to failure of the crops.
The yield had been so low that the cultivators, especially the poorer section, were unable to pay the revenue. But the government insisted that the yield had not been so bad and that the cultivators should pay the taxes. Gandhi saw the justice of the cause of the cultivators and advised them to offer Satyagraha by not paying their taxes. Many leaders, like Vallabhbhai Patel, Shankarlal Banker, Mahadev Desai and others, took an active part in this struggle.
The campaign came to an unexpected end. The Government said that if well-to-do cultivators paid up, the poorer section would be granted suspension.
This was agreed to and the campaign ended. The Kheda Satyagraha marked the beginning of an awakening among the peasants of Gujarat, the beginning of their true political education. In addition it gave to the educated public workers the chance to establish contact with the actual life of the peasants Post navigation.
Kheda Satyagraha of 1918
Kheda Satyagraha First Published: October 22, Last Updated:December 26, In Kheda, Gujarat, the peasants were frequently plagued by poverty, famines, scant resource, untouchability, alcoholism and British discrimination. The famine of Chhappania Akal and some subsequent famines had destroyed the agrarian economy of the region and the peasants were still dying out of starvation. In , Gujarat as a whole suffered a severe epidemic of Plague and in Kheda alone around people lost their lives. Further, cholera also broke out locally.
Leaders[ edit ] In Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi was chiefly the spiritual head of the struggle. His chief lieutenant, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and a close coterie of devoted Gandhians, namely Indulal Yagnik , Shankarlal Banker , Mahadev Desai , Narhari Parikh , Mohanlal Pandya and Ravi Shankar Vyas toured the countryside, organised the villagers and gave them political leadership and direction. The Struggle[ edit ] Patel and his colleagues organised a major tax revolt, and all the different ethnic and caste communities of Kheda rallied around it. The peasants of Kheda signed a petition calling for the tax for this year to be scrapped in wake of the famine. The government in Bombay rejected the charter.
Summary of Kheda Peasant Struggle (1918)
A condition approaching famine had arisen in the Kheda district owing to a widespread failure of crops, and the Patidars of Kheda were considering the question of getting the revenue assessment for the year suspended. Amritlal Thakkar had already inquired into and reported on the situation and personally discussed the question with the Commissioner, before I gave definite advice to the cultivators. Mohanlal Pandya and Shankarlal Parikh had also thrown themselves into the fight, and had set up an agitation in the Bombay Legislative Council through Sjt. More than one deputation had waited upon the Governor in that connection. I was at this President of the Gujarat Sabha. The Sabha sent petitions and telegrams to the Government and even patiently swallowed the insults and threats of the Commissioner. The conduct of the officials on this occasion was so ridiculous and undignified as to be almost incredible now.
Kheda Satyagraha 1918
The Kheda peasant struggle is also known as no-tax peasant struggle. Joshi, Shankerlal Pareekh and several others. It was again an experiment, quite like that of Champaran, made on non-violence. Incidentally, the movement provided an opportunity to the educated public workers to establish contact with the actual life of the peasantry.