Mahatma Gandhi, popularly known as Baapu, was one of those leaders in the world who had the potential to influence the masses with his actions. He emerged as a visionary leader during the times of the Indian freedom movement, which later turned into an ideology. He was a divine follower of non-violence, for which some modern historians called him a saint. However, people have different opinions about him; some portrayed him as an effective leader while others called him biassed.
Those who follow Gandhism (an ideology of Gandhi’s thoughts) said he was a leader of all and raised a voice to support oppressed people. However, others may see him as a leader of only one community, which was also the reason for his death.
On 30th January 1948, Nathuram Godse shot him to death. Godse felt that the mass slaughter caused during the partition of India would have been avoided if Gandhi and other leaders had tried to stop the killings of minorities(Hindu and Sikh) in west Punjab and east Pakistan by the Muslim majority of the regions.
Godse said, “I talked to myself and knew that if I killed Gandhiji, I would be destroyed and that the only reaction I could hope for from the public would be hatred. However, I also believed that, in Gandhi’s absence, Indian politics would undoubtedly prove strong, retaliatory, and capable of using force. Without a doubt, Pakistan’s incursions would save the country, but my future would be destroyed.”
On the death anniversary of MK Gandhi, here are the five most famous independence movements led by him.
5 independence movements led by MK Gandhi
Champaran Satyagraha 1917
Mahatma Gandhi’s initial active participation in the Indian freedom movement was during the Champaran agitation in Bihar. This movement arose in response to the harsh sharecropping system exploiting impoverished indigo farmers. Through the assistance of local leader Raj Kumar Shukla, the farmers approached Mahatma Gandhi for help. In 1918, Gandhi was able to secure concessions from the colonial rulers through a planned nonviolent protest and demand that the illegal taxes imposed by the British be withheld. The movement compelled the British government to sign a deal that cancelled the tax increases and gave the farmers control in exchange for compensation.
Khilafat Movement 1920
After the conclusion of the First World War, Muslims in India feared for the safety of their Caliph or religious leader. The Ali brothers then started the Khilafat movement to express their disapproval of the injustices implemented in Turkey following the War. Following the leaders of Khilafat and Congress uniting to fight for Khilafat and Swaraj, the movement was led by Mahatma Gandhi in India.
Non-Cooperation Movement 1920
Mahatma Gandhi started the Non-Cooperation Movement in response to the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. Mahatma Gandhi persuaded the people with the Congress’s assistance; his subsequent definition of the concept of Swaraj was one of the main drivers of this movement. During the Non-Cooperation Movement, Indians started to boycott British government products and establishments, such as government offices, colleges, and schools. The movement had a significant impact on the colonial government. However, Gandhi himself eventually called off the campaign after the Chauri Chaura incident, which claimed the lives of 23 police officers.
Civil Disobedience Movement 1930
In 1930, MK Gandhi gave a speech to the country via the newspaper Young India, stating that the movement would be put on hold if the government granted his 11 demands. But Lord Irwin, who was in charge of the British government then, ignored Gandhi’s requests. Consequently, he started the Civil Disobedience movement—also called the Dandi March or Salt Satyagraha—. Gandhi and 78 of his supporters marched on foot against the salt law from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi during this movement. Before the movement, the government used to control salt manufacturing, which was deemed illegal.
Quit India Movement 1942
Mahatma Gandhi started the “Bharat Chhodo Andolan,” also known as the Quit India Movement, to end British rule in India. Gandhi strongly opposed the British government and insisted that, even though India was not a free nation, Indians should fight for democratic causes. This debate demonstrated and uncovered the British emperors’ hypocrisies. According to some leaders, the movement was the last nail in the British regime of India.