Gandhi Jayanti 2019: 6 Freedom Movements Led by Father of the Nation
During the Indian freedom struggle, Gandhi advocated many peaceful protests and demonstrations. These protests were conducted with the principle of non-violence (ahimsa).
(Image: Getty Images)
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Porbandar on October 2, 1869. A barrister by profession, Mahatma Gandhi left his practice to help India achieve the dream of attaining freedom from the British. His contribution to Indian freedom movements and his championship of non-violence earned him the title of “Father of the Nation” or “Bapu”.
During the Indian freedom struggle, Gandhi advocated many peaceful protests and demonstrations. These protests were conducted with the principle of non-violence (ahimsa). On his 150th birth anniversary, a summary of the important movements that made Gandhi the Father of the Nation.
1. Champaran Movement (1917): Gandhi’s active participation in the Freedom Struggle started when he led the Champaran rebellion in Bihar. The movement was an approach of civil disobedience to make Britishers agree to the demand of farmers, who were forcefully made to grow Indigo. He signed an agreement in which Britishers granted control and compensations to the farmers, canceled the hikes in revenue and collection. After the success of this movement, Gandhi earned the status of Mahatma.
2. Kheda Movement (1918): In the next year after Champaran, 1918, Kheda, a village in Gujarat, was badly hit by floods. The local farmers appealed to the rulers to waive off the taxes. To help them, Gandhi started a signature campaign where peasants pledged non-payment of taxes. He also arranged a social boycott of the revenue officials.
3. Khilafat Movement (1919): Gandhi has a major influence on the Muslim population of India. It helped in uniting the country at the time of crisis, when Britishers tried their best to divide the nation on religious grounds. After World War 1, Muslims feared for the safety of their Caliph or religious leaders. Gandhi participated actively in the movement, and became a prominent spokesperson for the All India Muslim Conference.
4. Non-cooperation Movement (1920): After all these years of his active participation, Gandhi realized that the British had been able to be in India only because of the co-operation they received from the Indians. To counter this, he started the non-cooperation movement. He convinced people that non-cooperation was the key to Independence. He also set the goal of Swaraj or self-governance.
5. Salt (Dandi) March (1929): The famous Dandi Movement, also known as the Salt March, began when Gandhi started a Satyagraha campaign against the salt tax in March, 1930. He marched 388 kilometres from Ahmedabad to Dandi in Gujarat to make salt. He was joined by thousands of people.
6. Quit India Movement (1942): The final nail in the coffin for British Raj in India was the Quit India Movement, led by Gandhi in 1942. He firmly protested against the British rule and said that the Indians cannot be involved in World War II.
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