Q.) “Champaran satyagraha is a watershed in the freedom struggle.” Elucidate. (64 BPSC/2019)

Ans– We talk about the Champaran satyagraha, champaran satyagraha upsc. Champaran saw the primary political development driven by Mahatma Gandhi in 1917 against the Indigo grower of Champaran. Mahatma Gandhi return to India from South Africa in 1915. After that, he was requested by peasants from Bihar, Ramkumar Shukla, and Lawyer Brij Kishore Prasad to come to Champaran to see the suffering and exploitation of farmers By Indigo planters.

“Not a chest of Indigo reached England without being stained human blood.”
– DG Tendulkar

Author (Gandhi in Champaran)

Causes of Champaran Satyagraha

  • Oppressive plantation methods Like Kurthauli, Khushki, and TeenKhatiya. –  tin Katiya was most impressive and farmers were forced to grow Indigo on at least 3 kathas of 1 Bigha land i.e 3/20 bigha of the land for a long period of 20 to 25 years.
  • Prices paid to farmers for Indigo plantation were very minimal
  • High taxation and high interest on advance money lent to farmers.
  • Use of force and police on farmers by plantation owners.
  • Illegal taxes like Pain kharcha  (irrigation tax), Beth mafi ( plough tax ), etc further deteriorated the condition of farmers.

Gandhiji was shocked to see the condition of farmers and how they are exploited by Court police and Indigo planters despite giving the warning to leave Champaran he decided to live here and fight for farmers and sat on satyagraha. On his stubborn urban behavior and rising anti-British sentiments in farmers Champaran agrarian committee was set up to look after the situation and Gandhiji was made a member of this committee.

Analytical analysis of Champaran satyagraha shows that though it was the watershed in terms of method leadership quality etc. But the truth of freedom was still far constant in reservation new set of it forms a socialist and Communist agenda and even revolutionary elements combined. But it would be fair to say that Gandhiji did and achieved in Champaran because of the light which people followed to come out of the tunnel of immune captivity.

The moment was also marked by the Welfare work for the people in Champaran and on the call of Gandhi social work of from Bombay Karnataka and Maharashtra started flocking to Champaran school and work for sanitization and help was done.

Sufferance became well known and Gandhiji became well-appointed with the poverty, illiteracy, and socially poor areas.

British stepped back as the administration got confused to see the enthusiasm of the farmers and advocate activities of Gandhiji and his Associates the Champaran. A committee was constituted with Gandhiji as a member to instigate the living conditions in Champaran.

Outcomes of Champaran Satyagraha–

  1. on 1 May 1918, the Champaran Agrarian Act was assented to by the Governor-General of India.
  2. On Recommendation of committee farmers of Champaran God freedom from the vicious trap of Teenkathia system.
  3. 1/4 the Off the applicable tax was waived off.
  4. 25% of tax was recommended to be refunded.

Significance of  Champaran Satyagraha–

  1. It gave Gandhiji confidence and the Tag of a national leader. on this basis, he later launched at various places like Kheda and Ahmedabad.
  2. introduce the very unique method of Satyagraha based on strong willpower and nonviolence with Truth and courage.
  3. Champaran satyagraha gave Indian freedom struggle leaders like Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr.  Brij Kishore Prasad, and Anugrah Narayan Sinha.
  4. it also highlighted the importance of Bihar in the freedom struggle of India.

Champaran satyagraha launched by Gandhiji proved to be a watershed movement it was the first time when the British government bow down before the nonviolent poor farmers under the leadership of Gandhiji. Champaran satyagraha molded the direction of freedom struggle in-country and also seeded the plant of independence.

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