Role of Mahatma Gandhi in Freedom Struggle - Description
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India was under British rule for about 250 years. Gandhi returned to India from South Africa in 1915 at the request of Gopal Krishna Gokhale. He then organized the people of the country and launched a non-violent movement against the British. Gandhiji used the Satyagraha he had tried in South Africa here too.
The British government, which had overcome the great revolution of 1857, began to look down on Gandhiji’s non-violent movement. This was because Congress, which was earlier only an elite class organization, was joined by a large number of ordinary Indian citizens.
Role of Mahatma Gandhi in Freedom Struggle PDF
India’s struggle for independence was actively shaped, influenced, and nurtured by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Reverentially worshipped as Mahatma and respectfully adored as ‘Father of the Nation’ from 1920 to 1947 for a period of nearly three decades. During this momentous period of our history, Gandhi was undoubtedly the undisputed leader of millions of freedom-loving Indians. He strode like an unrivaled colossus transforming the freedom movement into a broad-based mass movement through his policy of non-violence-based non-cooperation and civil disobedience movement, and finally, his slogan ‘Do or Die’ inspired the Quit India movement.
A critical examination of the strategy adopted by him reveals that it was ‘Struggle-Truce-Struggle’ as coined by Bipan Chandra. In between the phases of struggle-truce-struggle, Gandhi invented the constructive activity program of eradication of untouchability, Hindu-Muslim unity, promotion of Khadi, and village reconstruction to channel the energies of the multitude of Indians by carrying on peaceful and continuous agitation of all-round mobilization of superstition ridden, illiterate and ignorant masses about the need of self-help and self-reliance by precept and practice. Gandhi had justifiably become an icon of the 20th century to many Indian and non-Indian protagonists and time are not far off when he is going to be another avatar of God.
Anil Seal, a Cambridge historian and an uncharitable critic of Gandhi observes, “Gandhi’s own brand of social conservatism, which sought change through personal reformation rather than popular revolution, his project to uplift the Harijans while keeping them within the Hindu straight jacket, the very cause of their degradations, his desire to take India back to its traditional and rural roots, with support from many captains of industry, his commitment to harmony between the Hindus and the Muslims while stressing Hinduism as a distinctive force, and his hopes, through Satyagraha, of curbing the violence which lies just under the fragile crust of order in Indian society, all suggest that Gandhi’s contribution has been as ambiguous as India’s chequered past and its uncertain future”.
Bipan Chandra et al. write, “This did not mean, however, that Gandhiji had lost faith either in his non-violent Satyagraha or in the capacity of the Indian people to adopt it as a method of struggle. A year later, he launched another nationwide struggle, on a scale bigger than that of the Rowlatt Satyagraha.
The wrong inflicted on Punjab was one of the major reasons for launching it”. Thus began the ‘Indian Experiment’ of Mahatma which lasted for more than two and a half decades in actively shaping and molding the course of the national liberation struggle under the banner of the Gandhian era.
Cadet Swapnanil Das
4(O) Naval NCC Bhawanipatna
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