DMPQ- Champaran satyagrah was the first movement which showed the first glimpse of Gandhian way of protest. Elucidate.

Gandhi returned to India in January 1915. His efforts in South Africa were well known not only among the educated but also among the masses.

Gandhi was requested by Rajkumar Shukla, a local man, to look into the problems of the farmers in context of indigo planters of Champaran in Bihar. The European planters had been forcing the peasants to grow indigo on 3/20 part of the total land (called tinkathia system). When towards the end of the nineteenth century German synthetic dyes replaced indigo, the European planters demanded high rents and illegal dues from the peasants in order to maximise their profits before the peasants could shift to other crops. Besides, the peasants were forced to sell the produce at prices fixed by the Europeans.

When Gandhi, joined now by Rajendra Prasad, Mazhar- ul-Haq, Mahadeo Desai, Narhari Parekh, and J.B. Kripalani, reached Champaran to probe into the matter, the authorities ordered him to leave the area at once. Gandhi defied the order and preferred to face the punishment. This passive resistance or civil disobedience of an unjust order was a novel method at that time. Finally, the authorities retreated and permitted Gandhi to make an enquiry. Now, the government appointed a committee to go into the matter and nominated Gandhi as a member. Gandhi was able to convince the authorities that the tinkathia system should be abolished and that the peasants should be compensated for the illegal dues extracted from them. As a compromise with the planters, he agreed that only 25 per cent of the money taken should be compensated.

Within a decade, the planters left the area. Gandhi had won the first battle of civil disobedience in India. Other popular leaders associated with Champaran Satyagraha were Brajkishore Prasad, Anugrah Narayan Sinha, Ramnavmi Prasad and Shambhusharan Varma.

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