chapter-Indigo class 12 detailed summary
louis fischer first met Gandhi in 1942 at his ashram in sevagram. he told him how and why he decided to disobey the British in 1917. Gandhi had gone to the December 1916 annual convention of the Indian National congress in Lucknow where he met a poor peasant named Rajkumar shukla he pleaded Gandhi to visit champaran under an old agreement the peasant of the champaran district were sharecroppers Rajkumar shukla was one of them who was determined enough to accompany Gandhi everywhere till he fixed date to visit his district Impressed by the resolution of the peasant Gandhi agreed to meet him in calcutta go with him to champaran from there.
after a few months when Gandhi went to calcutta, shukla met him there and took him to patna with him, there shukla took him to meet with a lawyer named Rajendra prasad who later became the president of the congress party and of India Rajendra prasad was not there to welcome him but the servants recognized shukla as a sharecropper who needed help and let him inside the house with Gandhi who was considered another peasant. however Gandhi was not allowed to drew water from the well as they thought he was also an untouchable
Gandhi decided to go to Muzzafarpur to gather more information about the condition of the peasant in Champaran he sent a telegram to professor J:B Kripalani of the arts college in muzzafarpur. when Gnadhi reached the station, Kripalani was waiting with a large number of students, Gandhi stayed with professor Malkani for two days and appreciated him for being courageous enough to harbour a person like him who was fighting for the country’s freedom in spite of being a government official
the news of Gandhi’s advent and his mission spread rapidly through Muzzafarpur and Champaran Gandhi came to know that the lawyers were charging a fee from the peasant Gandhi advised them against taking their cases to the law court as he felt that all that was needed was to make them feel liberated from fear. most of the arable lands in the Champaran district were divided into estates owned by Englishmen, who employed Indian tenants to work for them the peasants were forced to be a part of a long-term contract to plant fifteen percent of their land with Indigo.
when the Landlords got to know that Germany had developed synthetic indigo, they compelled the sharecroppers to pay them compensation for being released from the 15% agreement. when the sharecroppers protested against this injustice and hired lawyers to fight for them the landlords hired thugs, meanwhile, the news of the synthetic indigo reached the illiterate peasants who had already signed and wanted their money back. Gandhi had arrived to champaran at this point of time and he decided to get his facts right before proceeding to do anything.
he visited the secretary of the British landlord’s association who refused to give information to an outsider, to which Gandhi replied that he was no outsider, next he called the British official commissioner of the Tirhut division who advised Gandhi to leave tirhut immediately Gandhi proceeded to Motihari with several lawyers where he was greeted by a vast crowd and found out that a peasant had been maltreated he decided to pay a visit. on his way he was stopped by the police superintendent’s messenger who warned him to leave the town.
The messenger served Gandhi an official notice to quit Champaran immediately Gandhi signed a receipt for the notice was wrote on it that he would disobey the order he was summoned to court the next day. that night Gandhi telegraphed Rajendra prasad to come from bihar with influential friends, sent instructions to the ashram and forwarded a full report to the viceroy, In the morning motihari was swarming with peasants, they had only heard that some Mahatma who wanted to help them was in trouble with the British authorities.
This spontaneous courage to support Gandhi and to stand up against the British marked the beginning of their freedom from their fear of the British the officials were unable to handle the crowd without Gnadhi’s cooperation , perplexed by this incident that served as a proof that the British would be challenged by the Indians, the prosecutor requested against the judge to postpone the trial but Gandhi protested against the delay and read a statement pleading guilty he was in a conflicting state of being .