Mahatma Gandhi and National Movements

Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi was born at Porbandar in Gujarat on 2 October 1869. Father Karamchand Gandhi was a diwan of state and the name of his mother was Putali Bai.

  • At the age of 13, he married Kasturba. He was the father of four children- Harilal, born in 1888, Manilal in 1892, Ramdas in 1897, and Devdas in 1900.
  • He studied Law in England and after that returned to India in 1891.
  • He went to South Africa in April 1893 for a case of his client, Dada Abdullah, who faced racial discrimination against blacks.
  • Gandhi struggled against apartheid (racial discrimination against blacks) and stayed in South Africa for 20 years.
  • He returned to India in January 1915. He experimented with the principles of non-Violence and Satyagraha and emerged as a leader of the masses.
  • Phoenix farm–  founded in 1904 in Natal. Tolstoy Farm- Founded in 1910 in Johansberg. Satyagraha Ashram was founded on 25 May 1915 in India
Chronology of Important National Movements of Gandhi 
  • Champaran Satyagraha (1917)
  • Ahmedabad Mill Strike (1918)
  • Kheda Satyagraha (1918) (The first Non – Cooperation)
  • Satyagraha against Rowlett Act (April 6, 1919)
  • Khilafat Movement – 1920
  • Non- Cooperation Movement- (1920-1922)
  • Chauri Chaura Incident- 5 February 1922
  • Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-34)
  • The Dandi March (12th April 1930)
  • Gandhi- Irwin Pact (5 March 1931)
  • Poona Pact (1932)
  • Quit India Movement- (9 August 1942)
Champaran Satyagraha (1917):

First Civil Disobedience. Gandhi went to Champaran in Bihar after the request of Rajkumar Shukla. This satyagraha was for the problems of farmers Bihar, forced to grow indigo on 3/20 part of the total land (tinkathia system)

Ahmedabad Mill Strike (1918) A dispute between cotton mill Owners of Ahmedabad and workers over the discontinuation of the Plague bonus. Workers demanded a 50 percent rise in their wages, but the mill owners were ready to give only a 20 percent hike in wages. A respected mediator Anusuia Sarabhai went to Gandhi for help. Gandhi asked workers to demand a 35 percent increase in wages. He didn’t saw any progress in the situation so undertook himself fast unto death (his first hunger strike). In the end, the workers got a 35 percent hike in wages.

Kheda Satyagraha (1918) (The first Non – Cooperation):

In the Kheda district of Gujarat, the crops failed because of Drought. The Authorities demanded the suspension of revenue, but the government said that the property of farmers would be seized if the taxes were not paid. Gandhi asked farmers not to pay taxes. Sardar Vallabh Bahai Patel headed the movement. The result of Kheda satyagraha was- The government agreed to suspend the tax for that year and reduced the increased rate of tax and returned all seized property.

Satyagraha against Rowlett Act (April 6, 1919):(It was the First mass strike)

Against Rowlatt Act which curtails civil liberties of Indian citizens. Gandhi called it the “Black Act”. The form of the strike was Hartal and prayer.

Jalianwala Bagh Massacre (13th April 1919):

Massacre at the mass level at Jaliwala Bagh, Amritsar, Nationwide protest against it. Rabindranath Tagore renounced his Knighthood as a protest. Gandhi appealed to people to keep calm.

Khilafat Movement – 1920:

After the defeat of Turkey in the first world war. Indian Muslims were upset over the British attitude. The prominent leaders of the movement were Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, M.A. Ansari, Saifuddin Kitchlew, and Ali Brothers. M.K Gandhi was interested in bringing Hindu and Muslims together for country independence.

Non- Cooperation Movement- (1920-1922):

The mass level movement, surrendered honorary positions, Boycott of the election was held under the provision of the 1919 Act. Boycott of Government functions, Courts, government schools, and colleges.  Boycott of foreign goods. Popularising swadeshi goods and khadi.

Chauri Chaura Incident- 5 February 1922:

An angry mob set fire to the police station at Chauri Chaura of Gorakpur District followed by this incident withdrawal of Non- Cooperation Movement by Gandhi.  On 10 March 1922 Gandhiji was arrested and 21 March sent to Yervada jail, till March 1924.

Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-34):

In the Lahore session of Congress in 1929 December, under the presidency of Jawaharlal Nehru Poorna Swarjya resolution was passed. After the failure of the Nehru Report, the Civil Disobedience Movement was launched. 26 January 1930 was celebrated as the independence day of India.

The Dandi March (12th April 1930):

Gandhiji with 79 followers started his famous march to break the salt law. He reached the coast of Dandi on 5 April 1930. The distance traveled was 200 miles. on 6 April 1930 after breaking the salt law he formally launched the Civil Disobedience Movement.

Gandhi- Irwin Pact:

On 5 March 1931, the Gandhi- Irwin Pact was signed. Mahatma Gandhi Suspended the Civil Disobedience Moments and agreed to participate in the second round table conference. Mahatma Gandhi Participated in the Second Round table conference in September 1931 in London but his demands were not accepted.  The Civil Disobedience Movement was resumed in January 1932.

Poona Pact (1932):

It was an agreement between Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Ambedkar. (Gandhi was against communal awards, separate electorate for depressed classes, and went on fast unto death in Yeravada jail on 20 September 1932.)

Individual Satyagraha- (1940)- As Gandhi was not satisfied with the ‘August offer’ he decided to launch Individual Satyagraha. He chose Vinoba Bhave as the first individual satyagrahi. Nehru was the second individual satyagrahi.

Quit India Movement- (9 August 1942):

After the failure of Cripps Mission. Meeting of All India Congress at Bombay 8 August 1942. Gandhi gave his call ‘Do or die’.

Some other important Fact about Gandhi 
  • Renounced the honor of Kaisar- i- hind
  • The first issue of ‘Navjivan’ published on 7 September 1919
  • 8 October 1919 first issue of young India Published.
  • 1933 journal Harijan-  weekly (for all Journals and newspapers-Indian Press, Newspapers, and journals before Independence )
  • 9 August 1942 he got arrested and taken to Agakhan palace- jail
  • 10 Feb started fast in Agakhan palace, 3 march ended the fast.
  • 22nd Feb 1944 Kasturba Gandhi died.
  • 6 May 1944 he was released from jail.
  • 15 August 1947, At Calcutta, fasted against the division of Country.
  • Autobiography of Gandhi – ‘My Experience With Truth’ written in Gujarati.
  • Shot on 30 January 1948 by Nathuram Godse.
  • The birthday of Gandhi on 2 October is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday and worldwide celebrated as the International Day of Nonviolence.

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