Programme Code : BDP
Course Code : BSHF-101
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Year : 2012 Views: 6061 Submitted By : Marjana Marwa U K On 15th November, 2012

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Analyse the role of Gandhi in the National movement.

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By Mike

BSHF-101 A.3

Mahatma Gandhi, arrived from South Africa after fighting for the rights of the Indians against the racist regime there. Gandhi got the Indian people accustomed to his specific method of agitation, known as ‘Satyagraha’ by taking active part in small agitations in Champaran, Ahmedabad & Kheda. Which further led to him starting much larger movements such below:-

Non-Cooperation & Khilafat Movements:-

When the Government passed the Rowlatt Act in March 1919 letting the government arrest any person without warrant and to detain him/her without trial for two years. Gandhi started a Satyagraha Sabha, which campaigned against this Act asking people to disobey it and court arrest., also giving call for a countrywide ‘Hartal’ which was observed in various places on different dates. Around the same time, the Indian Muslims were aroused because the Sultan of Turkey was deposed by the British. The Indian Muslims regarded the Turkish Sultan as their Khalifa and they started the Khilafat Movement for the restoration of Khalifa in Turkey. Muslim leaders called upon Gandhi to support them and he seen it as an opportunity to unite Hindus and Muslims against the British and therefore, openly supported the Movement. In September 1920 Gandhiji decided to launch the Non-cooperation Movement at an all India level. The Indian people were asked to boycott foreign goods and adopt Swadeshi, to boycott Government Schools, Colleges, Courts & Councils. To adopt National schools, arbitration courts and Khadi. The programme also included resignation from the Government services, non-payment of Taxes, removal of untouchability and promotion of Hindu Muslim unity. But such a big movement reached beyond the Gandhian tenet of non-violence. Gandhi condemned the violence and withdrew the movement and started a 5 day fast as penance which shocked many Congress people.


The appointment of the Simon Commission on 8th November 1927, was considered an insult to the Indians and it was decided to boycott the proceedings of the Commission. On 12th March 1930 Gandhi launched the new face of the National Movement known as the “Civil Disobedience Movement”, by starting a historic Dandi March with his 78 followers to make Salt in violation of the Law. Gandhi and those accompanying him were arrested. There were massive protests against his arrest all over the country. Seeing the public mood, the British Government invited the Congress for a Round Table Conference. But the conference failed as the British Government did not concede to Congress’ demands and the Civil Disobedience Movement started again. The Government heavily repressed the Movement and in May 1934, the Congress withdrew it.


On 8th August, 1942 the Congress announced the ‘Quit India Movement’. Gandhi exhorted the people to ‘Do or Die’. The British Government arrested most of the leaders before they could organize the Movement, but new leaders emerged at local levels. However, since the movement lacked a central command, the Government repression was at its highest, violence broke out everywhere. In many areas parallel governments were set up. Although the Government was able to crush the movement, it was now apparent that people wanted freedom and they were prepared to use violence to this end.

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