The importance of Champaran Satyagraha in the history of India’s struggle for independence is paramount. Historians often term it as India’s first civil disobedience movement which was launched by none other than Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to protest against the injustice and exploitation accorded to indigo farmers. The success of the Champaran Satyagraha in Bihar virtually gave Mahatma Gandhi the confidence to continue in other states of greater India, which ultimately paved the path for a unique non-violent movement against the ruthless British. This year marks the end of centenary celebrations of Champaran Satyagraha which began last year with a National Conclave where Gandhian followers, thinkers, philosophers and scholars participated.
The importance of Champaran Satyagraha from historical perspectives is significant and do call for further analysis. Shaping public frustration or discontent into mass struggle is never an easy task and Gandhi was hugely successful in this contest. Side by side, this movement highlighted the intertwined class struggle in rural economy as well as the landlords sided with the English government. The abolition of indigo cultivation and finally granting compensation to the farmers ended the movement.
To commemorate the special occasion, which was a continuation of weeklong ‘Satyagraha se Swachhagraha’ campaign. No doubt, ever since he became Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has portrayed Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals and it thus came as no surprise as he stressed on Swachh Bharat. With elections in mind, PM Modi reminded how Bihar made Gandhi both Mahatma and Bapu. 10 Swachhgrahis were felicitated who have worked exceeding well and PM Modi gladly announced that more than 8, 50,000 toilets were constructed in Bihar in the last seven days. The first all electric superfast train was also flagged off by the Prime Minister at Madhepura Rail Loco factory of Bihar.