Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, led several movements to liberate India from British rule. The five most popular movements are the Champaran Movement, the Kheda Satyagraha, the Non-Cooperation Movement, the Civil Disobedience Movement, and the Quit India Movement. These movements were based on the principles of non-violence and civil disobedience, and they played a crucial role in India's independence struggle.

Today, As we remember the father of our Nation on his 154th Birth Anniversary, let’s not forget the footprint he left on the soil of India. Even if we look at the Indian Text Books, they are always filled with some reminders on the leaders of Independence which always included a few chapters from the life of Gandhiji. 

Taking you 154 years back no one would’ve thought that a simple boy born in Porbandar in Gujarat will give a new definition to India. Throughout his lifetime, He has faced many discriminations as any other Indian from the same pastime would’ve. The nation which was under the rule of the British Government for over 250 years, breathed independence in 1947 due to his contribution. 

However, the early years of his life were spent in studying and practicing law, and his interaction with the law influenced his approach to the freedom struggle.But after 20 years of practicing the same, he chose to become a community leader. In 1915 he returned to India under the request of Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Creating a lot of hurdles against the britishers Gandhi also got arrested many times. His dedication in leading the countries to the gates of liberation and self-reliance were completed by several movements, Let’s revise those:

The Champaran Movement in 1917

A popular farmer’s uprising that took place during the British Colonial Period in Bihar, India. The farmers were exploited by the britishers who forced the farmers of Champaran to produce Indigo on about 3/20th of their land. After that the farmers had tpo sell the indigo to the britishers at a very less price which led to their abuse. 

It was in 1917, that a farmer named Rajkumar Shukla approached Gandhiji and asked him for his help in leading a fight against them. Gandhi traveled to Champaran and investigated the situation, where he found the major exploitation of the farmers which eventually led to a strong Satyagrah. 

These protests led Britishers to surrender to the demands of the farmers of Champaran and a Strong Communist. In the end, the Tinkathia system was abolished,and the farmers were provided compensation for the loss incurred. This major victory created a leader out of Mahatma Gandhi. 

The Kheda Satyagraha in 1918

The next in line Satyagraha occurred when the peasants of Kheda chose not to suffer more in the hands of the britishers. British Government demanded the revenue payment from them even when the drought made the huge impact on Agriculture. When the poor peasants were struggling to make ends meet 23% increase in revenue turned out as an icebreaker. 

Then Mohanlal Pandya, a local leader, approached Gandhi and he agreed to assist. After investigating Gandhi found another misery laid upon the farmers and the next sun saw the second Satyagraha movement.

His strategies included non-payment of the taxes to the Britishers and non-violent protests against the government. This made the British Government accept the demands of the peasants, and reduce the tax. 

The Non-Cooperation Movement from 1920-22

The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, a horrific incident which resulted in deaths of hundreds of people, sparked revolution in various parts of India. Where citizens were angered by the open fire by the britishers, Gandhi rebelled with another movement and came up with Non- Cooperation. (There were two other acts like The Rowlatt Act, 1919, which gave power to Britishers to arrest more people. The Khilafat Movement 1919, was a Muslim-led movement to protect the Ottoman Caliphate, which was under threat from the British and their allies)

As a best way in Gandhi's strategy, he called for a boycott of British Goods, their educational institute and government courts. Even the Indians during this period resigned from their government jobs and turned backs to their titles.

This mass movement was more than enough to open the eyes of many people from all walks of their life. This powerful step had an impact on the British Economy and even on the Indian Independence Movement. 

The Civil Disobedience Movement from 1930-31

It was a time when tax on almost everything was Imposed. One such tax was the Salt Tax, A regressive tax that hit every citizen of India. It even symbolized Britisher’s control over the Indian Economy to a wide Extent.  

On March 12, 1930, A man in Khadi led his followers on a 240-mile march to the sea, popularized by the Dandi March. Many Indians joined him on the way for the violation of this tax. 

All the suppressions by the British Government failed in front of the determined people of India. After some time the Britishers arrested Gandhi and many other protestors but the movement continued. 

This ended with the signing of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. The pact included some concessions from the British government, such as the release of political prisoners and the lifting of the salt tax. The Civil Disobedience Movement was a major turning point in the Indian independence movement. 

The Quit India Movement in 1942,

The Quit India Movement was launched in response to a number of factors, including the failure of the Cripps Mission in 1942, the outbreak of World War II, and the growing demand for independence among the Indian people.

The British government responded to the Quit India Movement by cracking down on the INC and its leaders. Gandhi and other INC leaders were arrested and imprisoned. The British government also banned the INC and other organizations that were involved in the movement.

Despite the crackdown by the British government, the Quit India Movement continued to spread across India. There were widespread protests and demonstrations against British rule. The British government responded to the protests and thousands of people were killed and injured in police firings.

The Quit India Movement was eventually called off in 1944, but it had a profound impact on the Indian independence movement. The movement showed that the British government could no longer maintain its control over India. The movement also helped to unite the Indian people in their demand for independence.

On 30th January, 1948 three shots at Birla House(now Gandhi Smriti) silenced the Ahimsa Voice of India. Gandhi rested his head on the ground and took his Last breath with his last words of "Hey Ram". Today, titled as Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi is remembered in every national event. His words always take homage despite the generational gap. A simple man who is often presented as the one operating on Charkha, changed the face of India. His followers still have his small belongings like lathi, khadi dhoti, chashma and padukas kept safe. 

With this we at Jobaaj wish you Happy Gandhi Jayanti!

- Kratika Agarwal


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