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What is the role of Mahatma Gandhi in national movement ?

Last updated date: 28th May 2024
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Mahatma Gandhi is perhaps the most widely recognized figure of the Indian Nationalist Movement for his role in leading non-violent civil uprisings. He first employed the non-violent approach in South Africa where he was serving as an expatriate lawyer. He was hurt and angry when he witnessed the discrimination and exploitation of coloured people under Whites rule. He organizes non-violent protests in the country which gained him fame and support from the people of South Africa. Unforgettable is his services which gave us freedom, the same are enumerated below. 

• The Satyagraha Movement:- 

One of his major achievements is in the year 1918 were the Champaran and Kheda agitations which are also called a movement against British landlords. The farmers and peasantry were forced to grow and cultivate Indigo and were even to force to sell them at fixed prices. Finally, these farmers pledged to Mahatma Gandhi which resulted in non-violent protest. Wherein Gandhiji won the battle. Kheda, in the year 1918 was hit by floods and farmers wanted relief from tax. Using non-cooperation as his main weapon Gandhiji used it in pledging the farmers for nonpayment of taxes. 

• Khilafat Movement: 

Gandhiji in the year 1919 approached Muslims, as he found the position of Congress was quite weak and unstable. Khilafat Movement is all about the worldwide protest against the status of Caliph by Muslims. Finally, Mahatma Gandhi had an All India Muslim Conference and became the main person for the event. This movement supported Muslims to a great extent and the success of this movement made him the national leader and facilitated his strong position in the Congress party. Khilafat movement collapsed badly in 1922 and throughout their journey, Gandhiji fought against communalism, but the gap between Hindus and Muslims widened.

• The Non-Cooperation Movement

The first of the Gandhi-led movements was the Non-Cooperation Movement lasting from September 1920 until February 1922. Gandhi, during this movement, believed that the British were only successful in maintaining control because the Indians were cooperative. If the residents of a country stop co-operating with the British, then the minority Britishers would be forced to give up. The movement gained popularity, and soon, millions of people were boycotting British-run or cooperative establishments. This meant that people left their jobs, removed their children from schools, and avoided government offices. The name Mahatma Gandhi became popular. 

• The Dandi March, Civil Disobedience, and Salt Satyagraha

The abrupt ending of the Non-Cooperation Movement did nothing to stop the quest for independence. On March 12, 1930, protesters took part in the Dandi March, a campaign designed to resist taxes and protest the British monopoly on salt. Gandhi began the 24-day, 240-mile march with 79 followers and ended with thousands. When the protesters reached the coastal town of Dandi, they produced salt from saltwater without paying the British tax.

This act was accompanied by civil disobedience across the country. The Dandi group continued moving south along the coast, producing salt along the way. 

• The Quit India Movement

The Quit India Movement began on August 8, 1942, during World War II. The India Congress Committee, under the urging of Gandhi, called for a mass British withdrawal and Gandhi made a “Do or Die” speech. British officials acted immediately and arrested nearly every member of the Indian National Congress party. England, with a new Prime Minister, offered some concessions to the Indian demands such as the right to make independent Provincial constitutions, to be granted after the war; they were not accepted.