Gandhiji՚s Method of Satyagraha Political Science YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Gandhiji՚s Method of Satyagraha – Champaran, Ahmedabad and Kheda Satyagraha

Introduction: Satyagraha

  • Mahatma Gandhi was a social reformist and leader of Indian Independence Movement who introduced the idea of nonviolent resistance called Satyagraha.
  • Gandhi evolved the technique of Satyagraha during his stay in South Africa. Truth and non-Violence formed the basis of Satyagraha
  • A Satyagrahi was not to submit to what he considered wrong, but was to always remain truthful, nonviolent, and fearless.
  • A Satyagrahi works on the principles of withdrawal of cooperation and boycott.
  • Methods of Satyagraha: non-payment of taxes and declining honours and positions of authority.
  • Only the brave and strong could practice Satyagraha, it was not for the weak and cowardly.

Champaran Satyagraha

  • 1917, Bihar.
  • The Europeans planters had been forcing the peasants to grow indigo on 3 ⁄ 20 part of the total land called as Tinkathia system in Champaran in state of Bihar. When towards the end of the 19th century German synthetic dyes replaced indigo, the European planters demanded illegal dues from peasants.
  • Gandhi was requested to interfere in the matter.
  • He was soon joined by Rajendra Prasad, Mazharul Haq, Nirhari parekh, and Kripalaani. They reached Champaran to probe into the matter.
  • The government then appointed a committee to go into the matter and nominated Gandhi as a member.
  • Gandhi convinced the members to abolish the Tinkathia system and peasants should be compensated for the illegal dues.
  • As a compromise with the planters, he agreed that only 25 % of the money taken should be compensated

Ahmedabad Mill Strike

  • 1918, AHMEDABAD
  • Gandhi in March 1918 intervened in a dispute between cotton mill owners of Ahmedabad and the workers over the issue of discontinuation of plague bonus.
  • The workers demanded rise of 505 in their wages to manage the wartime inflation caused due to the involvement of Britain in First World War. The mill owners were only ready to give 20 % hike and this led workers to go on strike.
  • This worsened and workers sought help from local leaders who sought help from Gandhi. He asked the workers to go on a non-violent strike and demand 35 % increase in wages. When the negotiations did not progress, Gandhiji himself went on a fast unto death to strengthen the workers resolve
  • The mill owners decided to agree to submit the issue to a tribunal and it awarded the workers a 35 % wage hike

Kheda Satyagraha

  • 1918, Kheda
  • A severe crop failure followed Draught in Kheda district in Gujarat. If the yield was less than one … fourth the normal produce the farmers got remission. But the government remained adamant and said that the property of the farmers would be seized if the taxes were not paid
  • Gandhi asked the farmers not to pay taxes. Sardar Vallabhai Patel along with other Gandhians organized the villagers.
  • The government seized the property of peasants, but they remained strong
  • Ultimately, the government sought to bring about and agreement with the farmers. It agreed to suspend the tax for the year in question, for the next reduce the increase in rate, and return all the confiscated property.
  • The struggle in Kheda brought a new awakening among peasantry.