MAHATMA GANDHI (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – History)

News-CRUX-10     30th January 2024        

Context: The nation pays homage to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi on his 76th death anniversary.

Mahatma Gandhi

  • Early Life: Gandhi, born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, India, 
  • Title: Mahatma and Father of the Nation.
  • South Africa Years: Gandhi spent 21 years in South Africa, fighting for Indian rights and opposing racial discrimination, earning the title "Mahatma."
  • Natal India Congress and Protests: Founded Natal India Congress in 1894 and protested against restrictions on Indian trade, movement, and residence in the Transvaal, burning registration certificates.
  • Contribution to National Movement
  • Champaran Movement: Situated in Bihar, was orchestrated by Gandhi as a form of civil disobedience. Its aim was to compel the British authorities to accede to the demands of farmers who were coerced into cultivating Indigo. 
  • Kheda Movement: This movement advocated for the non-payment of taxes and enforced a social boycott of revenue officials.
  • Ahmedabad Mill Strike: It was spearheaded by Gandhi against mill owners. The primary grievance centered around the issue of a plague bonus for workers. Ultimately, the strike culminated in a 35% wage increase for the laborers.
  • Khilafat Movement (1919): Played a key role in uniting the nation during the Khilafat Movement, preventing British attempts to divide on religious lines.
  • Non-cooperation Movement (1920): Advocated non-cooperation as the path to Independence, setting the goal of Swaraj or self-governance.
  • 'Unity' Fast (1924): Undertook a 21-day fast to ease Hindu-Muslim tensions, promoting unity.
  • Dandi March: Led the 388-kilometer Dandi March against the salt tax, marking the start of the civil disobedience movement.
  • Quit India Movement: Led the Quit India Movement in 1942 with the slogan "Do or Die" against British rule and India's involvement in World War II.
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