Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha

  • The first Satyagraha movements inspired by Mohandas Gandhi occurred in Champaran district of Bihar and the Kheda district of Gujarat on 1917 to 1918.
  • Champaran Satyagraha was the first to be started, but the word Satyagraha was used for the first time in Anti Rowlatt Actagitation.
  • Champaran, is a district in the state of Bihar, tens of thousands of landless serfs, indentured labourers and poor farmers were forced to grow indigo (poppy/opium) and similar cash crops by the British East India company and subsequently, the British government in colonized India.
  • The farmers and labourers were forced to grow indigo instead of food crops which were necessary for their survival.
  • This indigo was bought from them at a very low price to export to China as opium.
  • While many civic groups sent petitions and published editorials, Gandhi proposed satyagraha – non-violence, mass civil disobedience.
  • Gandhi also insisted that neither the protestors in Bihar nor in Gujarat allude to or try to propagate the concept of Swaraj (freedom)or Independence.
  • This was not about political independence, but a revolt against harsh conditions amidst a humanitarian disaster.
  • While accepting participants and help from other parts of India, Gandhi insisted that no other district or province revolt against the Government, and that the Indian National Congress not get involved apart from issuing resolutions of support, to prevent the British from giving it cause to use extensive suppressive measures and brand the revolts as treason.

Source: Wiki

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