The Indian National Movement of Mahatma Gandhi has been an important contribution to the Indian National Movement. Gandhi returned to India from South Africa in January 1915. Earlier, he had launched a Satyagraha movement against the policy of exploitation, injustice, and apartheid in South Africa.
Mahatma Gandhi is mostly known as the "Father of the Nation and Bapu" for his incredible contribution. Mahatma Gandhi is not only a great figure of India, but is counted among the greatest figures of the world. He was such a great man who believed in non-violence and social unity. He raised his voice for the social development of rural areas in India, he inspired Indians to use indigenous goods.
After reaching South Africa, he saw the people of Indian origin in a very pathetic condition. He decided to improve their condition and made Indians aware of their rights. He organized them by bringing awareness among them. Gandhiji returned to India after the success of the South African movement.
He became a member of the Congress party, and under his leadership, Congress adopted the path of non-violence, along with this he suggested constructive works like social reform and Hindu-Muslim unity in front of the Congress party. He raised his voice against untouchability and gave a respectable address to the untouchables as 'Harijan'. He even gave his life for the protection of Hindu-Muslim unity.
The British government tried its best to suppress the freedom movement. Many times they caught Gandhiji and other Indian leaders and put them in jail. But he got India freedom. India became independent on August 15, 1947. He wanted to destroy the tradition of untouchability and discrimination in the Indian culture.
Later he started fighting by joining the Indian independence movement. He was such a great man in Indian history who converted the dream of freedom of Indians into reality.
In today's blog, we will know in detail about the five remarkable achievements of Mahatma Gandhi.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Gandhi, is a tall figure and still remains in the consciousness of India. Stating the reason would be the same as saying the sky is blue. Gandhi's contribution to the Indian Independence movement is huge. He mobilized the whole nation and would go on to lead perhaps the most epic independent struggle in the whole world. India's independence from the British Raj is heroic and has almost become a symbol of resistance across the world. This is why Gandhi's name is etched into the consciousness of India and its citizens. Even though the credit for India's independence goes to many other brave freedom fighters such as B.R. Ambedkar, Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chandra Bose, etc, it was Gandhi who ignited this fire.
Gandhi, who had gone to South Africa to practice as a barrister, came back to India with a changed perspective. He had faced a lot of racism there and thus led a small movement against racism in that country. After this, a realization hit him like thunder. If he could do this in a foreign country, why not go back to his own country and try to break it free from the shackles of the British. After that, there was no looking back for him. Gandhi soon became a national phenomenon and mobilized Indians to fight against the British through non-violent measures. He did this through many marches, hunger strikes, public protests, etc. Today Gandhi is celebrated as a symbol of non-violence in the world and has inspired countless great politicians and activists such as Martin Luther King Jr.
Let's take a look at some of his biggest achievements-
In Champaran, Gandhi led a non-violent civil disobedience movement against the landlords to provide some relief to the farmers. His obstinate nature forced the British to sign an agreement that gave some freedom to the farmers. This was his first victory in India.
In fact, the opposition to the British government was at its peak in the country, yet due to the right direction, right effort, and disorganized leadership, no revolutionary was able to achieve success in his objectives. After the very first revolution of 1857, the British government felt that it was necessary to create a distance between Hindus and Muslims to rule India.
The atrocities of the British were increasing and it was very difficult to challenge British rule. The one who rebelled was not spared. Indian people were getting poorer and poorer and the condition of farmers was very bad. They had neither food to eat nor clothes to wear. Despite this, they were forced to cultivate indigo, and on that too, the interest of three kathia had made the condition of the farmers very bad.
After this Gandhiji finally arrived in Champaran. It so happened that when he came to India after a successful satyagraha for Indians in Africa against the British, a smile appeared on the faces of Indians.
He realized the sufferings of the people and the excesses of British rule for the first time only after coming to Champaran. In fact, when Gandhiji returned to India after successful Satyagraha in Africa in 1894 and reached Lucknow in 1916 to attend the annual session of the Congress, he met Rajkumar Shukla, an indigo farmer from Champaran. It was he who invited Gandhiji to come to Champaran.
Rajkumar Shukla wrote several letters to Gandhiji informing him about the situation in Champaran. Along with this, he also told about the forced cultivation of indigo and Tinkathia Lagan system by the British government there. Seeing the pathetic condition of the farmers of Champaran, Gandhiji started the Champaran Satyagraha on 17th April.
In Champaran, upper-caste people had to pay less rent than the lower-caste people. At this time evils in society were also at their peak. After reaching Champaran, Gandhiji saw the condition of the farmers there. The whites were horrified to see Gandhiji in Champaran. They arrested Gandhiji and started prosecuting him.
In the Tinkathiya system, the farmer was forced to cultivate indigo on three out of 20 parts of his land, and tax was collected on it. He put the plight of the farmers of Champaran in front of the British Government. When the British government did not listen to him, he talked about the civil disobedience movement following the path of non-violence.
After this the English administration got scared and Gandhiji was put in jail. The farmers were forced to cultivate indigo after being thrown out of their homes. Gradually the tone of rebellion was increasing. The British government removed the case from Gandhiji and ordered him to prepare a report on the plight of the farmers and leave Champaran.
After this, the Governor of Bihar formed a committee in which Gandhiji was also kept as a member. This committee had to give a report about the condition of the farmers. The British government felt that despite Gandhiji being on the committee, farmers would not be able to present their problems in front of the other magistrate members of the committee. But the farmers started telling their problems to the government committee without any fear. Around 8,000 farmers kept their points.
After this, the committee recommended that the unconstitutionally snatched share of the farmers should be given back and the Tinkatiya system should be abolished. After this, the Tinkatiya system, which had been running for 100 years, could be ended.
The year 1918 was traumatic for the Kheda district of Gujarat as the region was hit by floods and famine. The farmers there suffered huge losses but the British refused to free them from taxes. Gandhi, along with Vallabhbhai Patel, encouraged the peasants to protest by non-payment of taxes.
The British retaliated by occupying their lands but the farmers did not agree. A few months later the British freed the farmers from all taxes and returned their land. Thus he got another victory.
Kheda is a place which is in Gujarat. Just like there was a peasant movement in Champaran, after that a peasant movement also took place in Kheda (Gujarat) in 1918 AD. Just as Gandhiji had tirelessly tried to improve the pathetic condition of the farmers in Champaran, similarly in Kheda, the farmers were suffering from increased rent and much other oppression and exploitation. The farmers used to express their anger by not paying rent to the landlords. In 1918 AD, when the crop was destroyed due to drought, then the difficulties of the farmers increased even more.
According to the rules, if the crop was reduced due to any reason, then in such a situation the farmers were to get an exemption in land tax, but despite this, the officials of the Bombay government were not ready to accept that even after the drought, the yield has decreased and they should give exemption to the farmers. did not want to give Farmers were forced to pay rent.
So after Champaran, Gandhiji thought of solving the problems of the farmers of Kheda. For this he called the farmers and asked them to do satyagraha against the government's actions. The farmers listened to Gandhiji and paid attention to him. The farmers stopped paying rent to the British government. Farmers were not afraid of the strictness of the government and a large number of farmers participated in this movement.
By June, 1918 AD, this peasant movement of Kheda had taken a huge form. Many farmers were put in jail. In the end, seeing the anger of the farmers, the government had to bow down to them and finally the government promised to give an exemption in rent to the farmers.
After the Jallianwala Bagh incident in Amritsar, Gandhi urged the entire country to participate in the non-cooperation movement. According to the movement, Indians would no longer buy British goods and would also boycott their schools and colleges. Basically, everything that the British did their part to make.
The reaction of the Indian public, who had been suffering from the brunt of British exploitation for a long time, erupted in the year 1920, and during this time, under the leadership of Gandhiji, a widespread mass movement arose almost all over India. It saw the participation of various sections of Indian society and demonstrated the spirit of non-violent non-cooperation against British rule.
This movement is known as the Non-Cooperation Movement in Indian history. The non-cooperation movement was conducted with the demand of Swaraj. Its purpose was to obstruct action by not co-operating with the government. Gandhiji started the non-cooperation movement on August 1, 1920. In fact, in September 1920, a 'Congress General Committee Session' was organized in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata) to consider the program of the Non-Cooperation Movement.
Lala Lajpat Rai presided over this session. In this session, Congress decided for the first time to take direct action against the foreign rule in India, boycott the Legislative Councils, and start the Non-Cooperation and Civil Disobedience Movement.
Presenting a resolution in the Calcutta session, Gandhiji said that how can we accept that new legislatures will pave the way for our Swarajya. For the attainment of Swaraj, we should adopt a policy of progressive non-violent non-cooperation."
During this session, the resolution of the Non-Cooperation Movement was ratified, and officially the Non-Cooperation Movement was started.
There are many reasons for the non-cooperation movement, such as - after the First World War, various economic difficulties had arisen in India. As a result of this, inflation increased and the people of India were very upset, but the British government did not take any concrete steps to improve this situation. Due to this the Indian public got agitated against the British.
In addition, the infamous massacre was carried out by the British by firing on an unarmed crowd protesting peacefully at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. Against this also, a sharp reaction was expressed against the British all over India. This incident also enraged the Indians against the British. All these incidents gave birth to the non-cooperation movement.
Although there were many movements to get freedom in India, but one such movement took place which shook the roots of British rule. The name of this movement was Salt Movement Namak Andolan was started by Mahatma Gandhi on 12 March 1930 from Sabarmati Ashram near Ahmedabad.
The British people had established their authority over the Indian people on things like tea, cloth, and salt along with everything else. At that time the Indian people did not have the right to make salt. Indians had to pay many times more money for the salt coming from England. That's why Bapu launched this Satyagraha to remove the Namak Andolan salt law. Namak Andolan lasted for 24 consecutive days. This movement was run from Ahmedabad Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Gujarat for 400 kms.
The salt movement was a 240-mile-long march from Sabarmati Ashram to Dadi by Mahatma Gandhi and many others. This Satyagraha was the biggest and most powerful issue for the Indian woman as she was struggling to feed her family. Salt is such a thing that is used by every human being from rich to poor. Also, it is used in feeding animals.
For this reason, Mahatma Gandhi forced people to think about Namak Andolan and Dandi March. Namak Andolan was the first nationalist movement in the country in which a number of women also took part. After breaking the law, the satyagrahis were lathicharged by the British but did not turn back. Gandhiji started this movement in 1930.
In this movement people traveled on foot with Gandhi and protested against the tax imposed on salt. Many leaders were arrested in this movement. These included agitators like C. Rajagopalachari, Pandit Nehru.
Along with Mahatma Gandhi, 60,000 people were arrested during Namak Andolan. The Salt Movement completely shook the British. Curiosity had increased in the minds of the people and started making salt in many countries. This issue had broken the walls of caste, state, and language all over the country. After reaching Dandi beach, Mahatma Gandhi broke the salt law by making salt.
During World War II, Gandhi declared that he would no longer ask Indians to obey the British and participate in the war. He called for the Quit India Movement in 1942 where he declared that the British should immediately leave India and give the Indians the freedom they are entitled to. This eventually led to the independence of India.
Quit India Movement-1942 was one of the major movements of Gandhiji. The Quit India Movement is truly considered a mass movement in which lakhs of common people took part. This movement also attracted a large number of youth, farmers, women, and the working class. In this movement, the demand for complete independence was strongly placed, it was suggested to form an interim government and the last call was given for the end of British rule from India.
This movement is also known as "August Kranti", as it started on 9 August 1942. In the Congress Working Committee meeting held at Wardha on July 14, 1942, Gandhiji was authorized to formally launch the movement. On August 8, 1942, a meeting of the Congress Working Committee was held in Bombay, in which the British were asked to leave India and formation of a "provisional" (interim) government.
When some voices of opposition emerged on this proposal in the session, challenging them, Mahatma Gandhi showed his commitment to this movement and said that “If this proposal of struggle is not accepted, I will leave the Congress with a handful of sand.” I will start a big movement. On August 8, 1942, a meeting was held at the historic Gwalia Tank Ground, in the same executive meeting the Wardha proposal was confirmed.
After the Quit India resolution was passed, Gandhiji gave the slogan "Do or Die". Do or die, which meant that the people of India should make every effort for the freedom of the country. Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramaiya has written about Gandhiji that "in fact, Gandhiji was giving a speech on that day inspired by the inspiring power of the Avatar and the Prophet.
Thus this movement started on 8 August 1942. Mahatma Gandhi asked the British to leave India immediately and launched the most powerful movement of the Indian freedom struggle. When Gandhi gave the slogan of 'Do or Die' to India, the British government responded with severe repression. On the night of August 8, 1942, the Congress Working Committee passed the Quit India resolution.
In the early morning hours of August 9, many arrests took place in Bombay and at various places across the country, and under 'Operation Zero Hour', almost all the top leaders of the Congress were arrested, including Gandhiji. Although Gandhiji was arrested, youth activists across the country continued to lead the movement through strikes and acts of sabotage.
The 'Quit India Movement' or 'August Revolution' was the last great battle of the Indian Independence Movement, which shook the foundation of British rule. Indians felt cheated when the Cripps Mission returned from India empty-handed.