History of mahatma gandhi “Father of Nation” M.K. Gandhi (1869 – 1948)

• The ‘Father of the Nation’ was born at Porbandar (Kathiarwar) on October 2, 1869. he was the son of Karamchand and Putlibai Gandhi. He married Kasturba in 1883.


• Proceeded to England in 1888 to study law and returned to India in 1891.


• He failed as a practicing lawyer both at Rajkot and in Bombay.


• In 1893, he proceeded to Natal, South Africa, as the lawyer of a firm of Porbandar Muslims.


• He was appalled at the racial discrimination by the whites in that country. There he founded a political organization known as ‘National Indian Congress’ and also started a newspaper called ‘Indian Opinion’. He  formed Phoenix Farm near Durban in 1904.


• Returned to India on Jan 9, 1915.


• In 1916, he founded the Sabarmati Ashram at Ahmedabad.


• Champaran Satyagraha (1917) : There the European planters forced the cultivators to cultivate indigo on 3 / 20th of their holdings (called Tinkathia System). But when indigo became unremunarative, the European planters imposed higher taxes to compensate their losses in the International market.


• Gandhiji, with the help of Rajendra Prasad and others, encouraged the peasants to offer Satyagraha. Gandhiji  was arrested and then made a member of the Enquiry Committee of Jun 1917. The Champaran Agrarian Act finally abolished the TinKathia system and compensated the peasants for the raised dues imposed on them.


• Ahmedabad Mill Strike (Mar, 1918) : The dispute was between the mill – owners and the workers over the  ‘Plague Bonus’ which the mill – owners wanted to withdraw once the epidemic was over. The workers troubled by  inflation wanted adequate compensation.


• Gandhiji initially persuaded the mill – owners and workers to agree to arbitration by a tribunal but the mill –  owners withdrew after commitment. Here Gandhiji first used the weapon of ‘Hunger Strike’. After this, the mill – owners were pressurized into accepting the tribunal award of 55 percent increase.


• Kheda Satyagraha (1918) : The peasants were in extreme distress due to the failure of crops and the  government ignored their appeals for die remission of land revenue. The peasants of Kheda were already hard  pressed because of plague, high prices and drought.


• Appeals and petition having failed, Gandhiji advised the withholding of revenue and asked the peasants to fight unto death. After the Government directed that the revenue should be recovered only from those peasants who could pay, the movement was withdrawn.


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