Civil Disobedience Movement
Introduction: The Civil disobedience movement was an important part of Indian freedom movement. It was led by Mahatma Gandhi against certain laws and commands of the ruling British Government.
Who started the Civil disobedience movement? In India, the Civil disobedience movement was started by Mahatma Gandhi.
Why Gandhi started Civil disobedience movement? In March 1930, Gandhiji wrote in the newspaper, Young India, that he might suspend his civil disobedience or law-breaking movement if the government accepted his eleven-point demands. But Lord Irwin’s government did not respond. So, Gandhiji started the Civil Disobedience Movement.
When was Civil disobedience movement started? It was started with Dandi March (also Salt march, Salt satyagraha) by Mahatma Gandhi on 12th March, 1930. On 12 March, 1930 he along with his 78 followers began a march from the Sabarmati Ashram to “Dandi” on the Gujarat coast. It was a distance of 200 miles. At Dandi a few day s later they violated the salt laws by making salt from sea-water. Thus, began the civil disobedience Movement.
What was the importance of Dandi March (Salt Satyagraha)? The Dandi March aroused great enthusiasm among the people. Everywhere the people began to break the law by selling banned political pamphlets, by showing defiance of section 144 and by with holding rents. Gandhiji called upon the women to begin spinning. In response to his call women took to spinning they also started picketing at the door of Government offices and foreign-goods shops. This participation of the women was a new thing in the freedom struggle. The movement was very tense in Bengal and the north-west. Sarojini Naidu came to the forefront during this movement. In the north-west the most famous leader was Abdul Gaffar Khan, knick-named as “Frontier Gandhi”.
Gandhi-Irwin Pact: The Government had called a round Table conference in 1930 in London. The congress did not join it. In order to make sure that the congress would participate in the second conference, Lord Irwin made a pact with Gandhiji in 1931. In this “Gandhi-Irwin Pact” the Government agreed to let off all political prisoners and to cancel the oppressive laws. The Second Round Table Conference was a failure from India’s point of view. Gandhiji’s demand for full self-government was rejected.
Communal Award: Then on 17 August 1932 came that infamous “Communal Award” of Ramsay MacDonald, the British Prime Minister. By it Muslims, Sikhs and the Hindu scheduled castes were to vote separately. Actually this step was taken to destroy the national unity. Gandhiji strongly opposed it. He went on to fast till death in the prison. Ultimately, caste Hindus and the scheduled caste Hindus were united by the “Pact of Poona” in 1932 under the leadership of Dr. Ambedkar. Meanwhile it was clear to both Gandhiji and the other leaders that the Civil Disobedience Movement was losing its force. So in 19354 Gandhiji called off the movement.
Conclusion: The Civil Disobedience Movement was not successful. But it prepared the people of India for great sacrifice. It was a good training for the people. Unlike the Non-cooperation Movement, the Civil Disobedience Movement increased the popularity of the Congress.
Category: Modern History of IndiaTagged With: Freedom Movements
Essay On Gandhi's Civil Disobedience
Civil Disobedience - Salt March
Salt March is a major nonviolent action in India led by Mohandas K. Gandhi from March to April in 1930. The march was the first act in an ever-larger campaign of civil disobedience. It was proposed by Gandhi and waged to go against British rule of Salt Tax in India that extended into early 1931.
Salt production and contribution in India had been a complete British monopoly after the British government prohibited Indians to sell or produce salt. The British government forced people to buy heavily taxed and expensive salt that was imported from Britain. It infuriated poor people who couldn't afford to pay it. Gandhi's defiance of British colonial laws over the empire's salt monopoly, beginning in March 1930, sparked a wave of civil disobedience to expel the British Empire. Gandhi and his supporters began an expanding march to produce salt and transport it without paying the tax. The British suppressed the march fiercely, arresting tens of thousands, and refused to make any concessions. However, Indians won the independence war with the means of nonviolence. So, the campaign was a valid practice of civil disobedience for three reasons.
First of all, nonviolence applied in this campaign has a powerful outcome while the British use violence, which inflamed Indians and the world. Nonviolence, when met by violence, worked by mobilizing the masses since the Indian population was divided by gender, caste, class and religion, making it quite a challenge to mobilize support for any campaign. The march went from village to village providing opportunities to make public statements of protest and to recruit people into the movement. The making of salt from the Indian Ocean transgressing British law led to widespread arrests and beatings imposed by British troops. While British officials found that massive arrests were unable to slow the movement, they arrested Gandhi with the belief that it would stop the campaign. Adversely, more participants joined the movement with a nonviolent invasion of the Dharasana Salt Works, which resulted in horrible violence. The non-violent satyagrahis did not defend themselves against the policemen, and many were heavily beaten and even killed instantly. Their suffering gained the attention of media worldwide. The violence against unarmed protesters made Britain lose its supporters in England. In order to regain their credit, Gandhi was invited to London to negotiate with government officials about Indian independence. So with nonviolent revolt, Gandhi succeeded in giving rise to widespread dissatisfaction with British officials and their unfair laws among Indian people. However, if they used violence like British officials did, they...
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