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Rise of Mahatma Gandhi in Indian Freedom Struggle: Modern History NCERT Notes

The Rise of Gandhi in the Indian Freedom Struggle

  • M K Gandhi returned from South Africa (where he had lived for more than 20 years) to India in 1915.
  • There he had led a peaceful agitation against the discrimination meted out to Indians and had emerged as a respected leader.
  • It was in South Africa that he developed his brand of Satyagraha.
  • In India, he first used this tool against the British government at Champaran in Bihar.

The trick to remember the Satyagraha movements chronologically by using the acronym CAKE.

  • ‘C’ stands for Champaran (1917), ‘A’ stands for Ahmedabad Mill Strike (1918) and ‘KE’ stands for Kheda Satyagraha (1918).
Champaran Satyagraha (1917)
  • The first civil disobedience movement by Gandhi in the freedom struggle.
  • Persuaded by Rajkumar Shukla, an indigo cultivator, Gandhi went to Champaran in Bihar to investigate the conditions of the farmers there.
  • The farmers were suffering under heavy taxes and an exploitative system.
  • They were forced to grow indigo by the British planters under the tinkathia system.
  • Gandhi arrived in Champaran to investigate the matter but was not permitted by the British authorities to do so.
  • He was asked to leave the place but he refused.
  • He was able to gather support from the farmers and masses.
  • Champaran struggle is called the first experiment on Satyagraha by Gandhi and later Ahmedabad Mill Strike and Kheda Satyagraha occurred.
  • It was during this time that Gandhi was given the names ‘Bapu’ and ‘Mahatma’ by the people.
Kheda Satyagraha (1918)
  • 1918 was a year of failed crops in the Kheda district of Gujarat due to droughts.
  • As per law, the farmers were entitled to remission if the produce was less than a quarter of the normal output.
  • But the government refused any remission from paying land revenue.
  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, under Gandhi’s guidance, led the farmers in protest against the collection of taxes in the wake of the famine.
  • People from all castes and ethnicities of the district lend their support to the movement.
  • The protest was peaceful and people showed remarkable courage even in the face of adversities like confiscation of personal property and arrest.
  • Finally, the authorities gave in and gave some concessions to the farmers.
Ahmedabad Mill Strike (1918)
  • Gandhi used Satyagraha and hunger strike for the first time during an industrial dispute between the owners and workers of a cotton mill in Ahmedabad.
  • The owners wanted to withdraw the plague bonus to the workers while the workers were demanding a hike of 35% in their wages.
  • During the peaceful strike led by Gandhi, he underwent a hunger strike.
  • The Ahmedabad Mill strike was successful and the workers were granted the wage hike they wanted.
Khilafat Movement (1919)
  • The Khilafat Movement of the year 1919 was an Indian Muslim movement which voiced against the removal of Islamic leader Caliph Abdul Hamid II after the World War I.
  • Mahatma Gandhi supported the community in launching the movement in India.
  • He addressed the Muslims in the All India Muslim Conference and demanded a boycott of British government rules.
  • The movement turned out to be successful and Mahatma Gandhi became the national leader supported by every religion of the country.
Non-Cooperation Movement (1920)
  • The Non-Cooperative Movement was one of the biggest mass movements India had ever observed.
  • The reason which made Indians join the movement was the malice act of the British government at Jalloianwala Bagh massacre which had shaken the Indian sentiments.
  • This movement gave birth to the slogans of Swaraj and people pan-India boycotted the British establishments and titles.
  • The outrage in the crowd increased which lead to Mahatma Gandhi called off the movement.
Civil Disobedience Movement: Dandi March (1930)
  • Known as Dandi March or the Salt Satyagrah, it is one of the vital events in the history of India.
  • Civil disobedience Movement is a clear example of Gandhi's way of nonviolent protest.
  • The movement took place in the year 1930 was Gandhi urged people to break salt law and marched for 24 days that is from 12 March to 6 April 1930.
  • The movement went on several phases and instigated the Indians to fight for their rights.
  • This event also remains important because a lot of women in India became a part of it thereby Mahatma Gandhi was successful in uplifting the p[osition of women in the society.
  • Known as Dandi March or the Salt Satyagrah, it is one of the vital events in the history of India.
  • Civil disobedience Movement is a clear example of Gandhi's way of nonviolent protest.
  • The movement took place in the year 1930 was Gandhi urged people to break salt law and marched for 24 days that is from 12 March to 6 April 1930.
  • The movement went on several phases and instigated the Indians to fight for their rights.
  • This event also remains important because a lot of women in India became a part of it thereby Mahatma Gandhi was successful in uplifting the p[osition of women in the society.
Quit India Movement (1942)
  • The 1942 Quit India Movement was lead by Mahatma Gandhi with prominent the leaders of the All- India Congress Committee.
  • As the name suggests the protest initiated the British to quit India.
  • Mahatma Gandhi raised the slogan of DO or Die in this very movement.
  • After a few hours of movement launch, all the leaders along with Mahatma Gandhi was arrested and imprisoned and this lead to a violence like situation in the country.
  • Though India was not granted independence immediately in 1947 the freedom struggle came to an end when the British decided to free India.

Champaran Satyagraha – 1917

Champaran Movement (1917) || my tribute to gandhi this year|| popular  movements in simple way - YouTube

  • This was the first civil disobedience movement started by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Rajkumar Shukla, an indigo cultivator approached Gandhi and conveyed him the problems faced by the farmers because of the Indigo planters.
  • The peasants were forced to cultivate indigo on 3/20 part of their land by the European planters.
  • The farmers were levied high taxes and were forced to sell the produce at price fixed by the planters.
  • Gandhi along with other leaders gave voice against the European indigo planters.
  • He was ordered by the Europeans to leave. But he refused and stood against them.
  • Finally the government retreated and appointed a committee in which Gandhi was a member, to enquire into the matter.
  • With his recommendations, the tinkathia system was abolished and 25% of money taken from peasants were compensated.

Ahmedabad Mill Strike – 1918

Ahmedabad's textile mill owners and workers both rallied around Gandhi on  his return from South Africa

  • The cotton mill owners of Ahmedabad and the workers were involved in a dispute due to discontinuation of plague bonus.
  • The owners decided to withdraw the bonus whereas the workers demanded a 50% hike in their wages.
  • The strike worsened with owners deciding on to hire weavers from Bombay.
  • Anusuya Sarabhai, a social worker approached Gandhi to resolve the issue.
  • Gandhi advised the workers to continue with the strike non violently and demand a 35% hike.
  • When there was no progress, Gandhi himself went into a hunger strike.
  • Finally a tribunal was set up to sort the issue and thus a 35% wage hike was given to the workers.

Kheda Satyagraha – 1918

Kheda Satyagraha , Champaran Satyagraha , Ahmedabad Mill Strike

  • It was the first non-cooperation movement led by Gandhi.
  • In 1918, there was a crop failure in the Kheda district of Gujarat.
  • As per the Revenue code, farmers were entitled to remission in such cases. But they were forced to pay the Taxes.
  • Under the guidance of Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel along with a few Gandhians led the movement against the government.
  • The movement was known for the unity and the discipline that was maintained during the struggle.
  • Finally the government suspended the tax for that year and returned all the confiscated property.

Satyagraha Against the Rowlatt Act – 1919

100 Years Of Rowlatt Satyagraha - UPSC SYLLABUS

  • The Rowlatt act was introduced in March 1919 by the British government.
  • It had the following provisions.
    1. political activists to be imprisoned without trial
    2. Arrest of Indians without warrant on mere suspicion of treason.
    3. Acceptance of evidence which is not acceptable under the Indian evidence act and so on.
  • Indians expected advancement in Self rule as a reward for their contribution to British war efforts. Introduction of this repressive act agitated the people against British.
  • An all India level mass protest was launched by Gandhi on April 6, 1919 against the Rowlatt act.
  • Satyagraha was introduced to masses by Gandhi and it assumed a national character.
  • It was the first mass strike and the biggest upsurge against the British since 1857.

Khilafat Movement – 1919

Gandhi- Leader of Indian Independence Movement

  • It was a movement started by Ali brothers against the unjust of British towards Turkey and to restore the Turkey ruler to his position.
  • The position of congress was unstable and weak. So Gandhi in 1919 approached the Muslims, and had All India Muslim confernce.
  • Under the guidance of Gandhi, a non violent non cooperation movement was launched.
  • With the success of this movement he became the national leader and held a strong position in Congress.

Civil Disobedience Movement – 1930

Learn Introduction of Civil Disobedience Movement in 4 minutes.

  • It was a non violent, civil disobedience movement led by Mahatma Gandhi against the British salt monopoly.
  • This movement was started by Gandhi on March 12, 1930. Along with his followers he marched from Sabarmati ashram to Dandi.
  • On april 6, 1930 the salt law was broken by making the salt.
  • This movement is also known as Dandi March or Salt satyagraha.
  • This movement gained nationwide attention and played a significant role by giving stimulus to Indian independence movement. This led to a civil disobedience movement throughout the country.

Quit India Movement – 1942

77th anniversary of Quit India Movement Day 2019: History and Significance

  • The Quit India movement was launched by Mahatma Gandhi on August 8, 1942 demanding the end of British rule in India.
  • Do or die slogan of Gandhi became famous and inspired the masses.
  • Almost every member of the Indian National congress was arrested and imprisoned without warrant.
  • However, by the end of the second world war British government agreed to grant independence and transfer the power.

Thus, these movements constitute the rise of Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian freedom struggle and his contribution for the independence of India.

10 things Mahatma Gandhi did in South Africa

1. He organised non-violent protests against the racial discrimination directed towards the native Africans and Indians in 1894.

2. He came to India for a short time in 1896 to gather fellow Indian to serve in South Africa. He gathered 800 Indians but they were welcomed by an irate mob and Gandhi was injured in the attack.

3. He organised the Indian Ambulance Corps for the British during the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899. So that British could understand humanity but the ethnic discrimination and torture continued on Indians.

4. He set up Phoenix Farm near Durban where Gandhi trained his cadre for peaceful restraint or non-violent Satyagraha. This farm considered as the birthplace of Satyagraha.

5. He also set up another farm which was called Tolstoy Farm which is considered as the place where Satyagraha was moulded into a weapon of protest.

6. The first non-violent Satyagraha campaign of Mahatma Gandhi was organised in September 1906 to protest against the Transvaal Asiatic ordinance which was constituted against the local Indians. After that, he also held Satyagraha against the Black Act in June 1907.

7.  He was sentenced to jail for organising the non-violent movement in 1908 but after meeting with General Smuts who was a British Commonwealth statesman, was released.

8. He was sentenced to a three month jail in Volkshurst and Pretoria in 1909. After release, he went to London to seek the assistance of the Indian community there but his effort was in vain.

9. In 1913, he fought against the override of non-Christian marriages.

10. He organised another Satyagraha movement in Transvaal against the oppression that Indian minors were suffering from. He led around 2,000 Indians across the Transvaal border.


    Persons having nick name as Gandhi

    Who is known as Frontier Gandhi ?
    Answer: Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan

    Who is known as Bihar Gandhi ?
    Answer: Dr. Rajendra Prasad

    Who is known as Modern Gandhi ?
     Answer: Baba Amte

    Who is known as Sri Lankan Gandhi ?
     Answer: A.T. Ariyaratne

    Who is known as American Gandhi ?
    Answer: Martin Luther King

    Who is known as Burmese Gandhi ?
    Answer: General Aung San

    Who is known as African Gandhi ?
    Answer:  Kenneth Kaunda

    Who is known as South African Gandhi ?
    Answer:  Nelson Mandela

    Who is known as Kenya Gandhi ?
     Answer:  Jomo Kenyatta

    Who is known as Indonesian Gandhi ?
    Answer:  Ahmed Sukarno


    Miscellaneous Questions about Gandhiji

    Which Round table Conference was attended by gandhiji?
    Answer: Second

    second round table conference was held at which year?
    Answer: 1931 

    Which is the gandhiji's first political agitation in india ?
    Answer: Champaran Satyagraha


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