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

How Jeevan Raths have helped 52,000 migrants in Maharashtra

Before the novel coronavirus hit it, Mumbai about 10-12 lakh labourers from elsewhere had made it their home. The figure for the state of Maharashtra was another 18-20 lakh. As the pandemic spread and the Maximum City emerged as the worst-hit place in India, all economic activities came to an end, and with

China is practicing attack as the best form of defence

For the rest of the world, it is not easy to understand China when it comes to politics or economics. Under pressure from the international community, it has accepted to open the country for a “comprehensive” probe into the origin of the deadly coronavirus. But it is not clear whether the Asian

Corona warriors to “flush the virus” in Mumbai

Even as humanitarian support is pouring in to help distressed migrants amid Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown, civil society organizations and NGOs are working for sanitation of community toilets which have become breeding source of virus infection. Every community toilet has 20 seats. Each

How lockdown was used to shore up health infrastructure

India, completing about two months of lockdown to protect against the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, has made good use of the time to improve health infrastructure, the government has said. Countering media reports “about some decisions of the government regarding the lockdown implem

Railways resume services from June 1

As India begins to learn to live with Covid-19 and come out of nearly two-month long lockdown, regular train services are set to resume from June 1 in a graded manner, even as more ‘shramik’ special trains are planned. The railway ministry, in consultation with the health ministr

Covid-19: India’s mortality rate lower than global figure

In the battle against Covid-19, India has managed to keep the mortality rate low at 0.2 deaths per lakh population, compared to some 4.1 deaths for the same population worldwide. Moreover, a total of 39,174 patients have been cured, registering a recovery rate of 38.73% which is improving continuously.



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter