On Champaran centenary, know more about ‘first satyagraha’

Books and online resources for a more-than-curious reader

GN Bureau | April 10, 2017


#Rajendra Prasad   #Satyagraha   #Champaran   #Mahatma Gandhi   #JB Kripalani  


On April 10, 1917, Gandhi arrived in Champaran division of Bihar, to take up the cause of the indigo farmers. This was not only his first satyagraha after returning to India in 1915 but also his first major political campaign.

Read: Champaran Satyagraha and a long lost diary 
 
It is as good an occasion as any to study this innovative method of political resistance which went on to be successfully replicated around the world. For help in that endeavour, here are some resources on Champaran: 

BOOKS

 
‘My Experiments with Truth or An Autobiography’ by MK Gandhi
Gandhi devoted an unusually high number of eight chapters to this episode, narrating his side of the story. It takes barely an hour to read the first-hand account. 
Read it online at the authentic Gandhi Heritage Portal 
 
‘Champaran Mein Mahatma Gandhi’ by Rajendra Prasad
‘Satyagrah in Champaran’ by Rajendra Prasad
‘At the Feet of Mahatma Gandhi’ by Rajendra Prasad
Rajendra Prasad, who would become India’s first president, was the chief among the local leadership, in support of Gandhi’s movement. He penned his account of the campaign, Champaran Mein Mahatma Gandhi (in Hindi, translated into English as Satyagrah in Champaran). Also, his memoirs, At the Feet of Mahatma Gandhi, is a key resource.
All the three books are published by Prabhat Prakashan
 
‘My Times: An Autobiography’ by JB Kripalani
Kripalani, a one-of-a-kind political leader, first met Gandhi in Santiniketan where the Mahatma had gone soon after his return to India, but it was during the Champaran movement that the two came together and worked shoulder to shoulder. Kripalani was to join Gandhi in Ahmedabad after this, and take charge of his new university, Gujarat Vidyapeeth. The autobiography has only two chapters on Champaran but gives a unique perspective.
‘My Times’ is publiushed by Rupa Publications 
 
‘My Life is My Message’ By Narayan Desai
Any of the ten-odd better Gandhi biographies will do, but Narayan Desai’s four-volume work, translated from Gujarati into English by Tridip Suhrud, is more comprehensive – not only by its sheer size but also thanks to its holistic perspective. One chapter on Champaran in the second volume provides the best narrative, with some gems of information not found elsewhere.
The biography is published by Orient BlackSwan 
 
'Gandhiji ke Champaran Andolan ke Sutredhar Rajkumar Shukla ki Diary' edited Bhairab Lal Das
Rajkumar Shukla, an indigo farmer, appealed to Mahatma Gandhi to visit Champaran. He maintained a diary that gives a fascinating and precise historical account of what happened then. From 2011, Bhairab Lal Das took one and a half years to translate the complete diary from Kaithi script to Devnagiri. “No publisher was ready to publish the edited diary and it was only in 2014 that a publisher agreed to publish it in the form of a book,” says Das. It is a rare first person account of an indigo farmer.
It is published by Kalyani Foundation

ONLINE RESOURCES
 
The Gandhi Heritage Portal, the authentic source on all things Gandhian, has a section devoted to the timelines of two Satyagrahas, Champaran and Kheda [apart from the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, where a reader can follow Gandhi’s speeches, correspondence and much more through those eventful months].
The chronology of Champaran can be accessed here 
 
The Bihar government has also done its bit (it is organizing a two-day seminar in Patna on April 11 and 12, which would start year-long celebrations of the historic event).
 
Here is what the East Champaran district website has to offer a curious reader. 
 
Though he has nothing to say specifically on the Champaran satyagraha, he was born there, in Motihari, and remains a uniquely placed critic-yet-admirer of the Mahatma. George Orwell on Gandhi:
 
By the way, Gita V. Pai, a US-based historian, has an interesting take on Orwell’s essay on Gandhi, with nuggets of forgotten details:
 
Nehru Memorial Museum and Library is organising a two-day seminar on the occasion on April 11-12, and also on April 27-28   
 
The Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla will discuss Champaran on May 29-31.  
 
ALSO READ MORE @ Governance Now
 
 
 
 

 

Comments

 

Other News

Vande Bharat halts midway near Tundla

In a major embarrassment to the railways, the much touted Vande Bharat Express developed a technical snag at Chamraula, 15 kms from Tundla junction.   Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the train on Friday from New Delhi station.    The train was

PM flags off India’s first semi high-speed train

Indian Railways entered a new era as prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday flagged off the country’s first semi high-speed train, Vande Bharat Express, from the New Delhi railway station. The new train is also seen as a success story of the NDA government’s ‘Make in India’

Estonia eyes on more e-Residents from India to open startups

Riho Kruuv, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia talks to Vishwas Dass on key issues like the importance of e-Residency programme of the Government of Estonia and why Estonia is becoming a preferred investment destination for Indian startups and budding entrepreneurs. The Ambassador says Estonia offer

Happily working away!

There’s no dearth of self-help books. They come in a multitude of single-topic and hybrid varieties: habit change, management, habit change in management, spirituality, spirituality in management...you get the drift. Happiness at Work: Mindfulness, Analysis, and Well-Being, by R Anand, adds to the li

Budget and Modi’s ‘neo middle class’ strategy for elections

Those who have gained the most from the latest budget are the ones who are going to have the most crucial impact on the Lok Sabha election results. Who are they? They are hiding in plain sight. They have come to work in metros and cities, probably in recent years. They crowd inter-state bus terminals to ta

Gandhi’s essence

For a novice reader, MK Gandhi presents a formidable challenge. The starting point is usually the autobiography, with its well-known anecdotes which most of us

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter