Non-violent Resistance - Section Fifth: Kheda and Bardoli Satyagrahas Summary & Analysis

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Section Fifth: Kheda and Bardoli Satyagrahas Summary and Analysis

Section Five concerns the Satyagrahas during the famines in the Kheda District of Gujarat in 1918. The government is unresponsive to the famines and so Gandhi advises the owners of the land to withhold land revenue payment. The government then grants remission to poorer peasants. This is brought about through the work of the Kheda Satyagrahis.

Next, in Bardoli, an area in Gujarat, Gandhi finds a place where he can try mass civil disobedience; in 1928, Gandhi leads the people to fight a land tax increase of 25% on the grounds that the redistributive process is not transparent. The government finally yields to the wishes of the people.

During the Kheda Satyagraha, Gandhi is president of the Gujarat Sabha and they send petitions and telegrams to the Government. The land cultivators' demands are clear as daylight. Gandhi then discusses his organizational team. The Satyagrahis sign a pledge that tax collection be suspended until the famine is over. When the Government does not respond, the Gujaratis are interested in the Satyagraha. The farmers, known as Patidar farmers, are new to the practice. The government imprisons many people before the fight is over.

The next sub-section addresses Bardoli's decision in 1922 to try Satyagraha and make an irrevocable choice to resist. The people understand the implications of religious unity and the truth of non-violence; they even invite the untouchables to join them. Gandhi then discusses the resolution they pass, announcing that the Bardoli are ready for mass civil disobedience. They will disobey for the redress of the Indian peoples and maintain the practice of Satyagraha. The conference is not prohibited.

However, later the Government tries to goad the people to act violently. The Bardoli may not withstand the last trial. The Satyagrahis are collecting funds to aid them. The Government grows concerned about the non-cooperation movement. In the next subsection, Gandhi discusses the limitations of Satyagraha in Bardoli. It is difficult to keep Satyagraha non-political. Practical politics often baffles Satyagraha in any event.

In sub-section ninety-five, Gandhi notes that a settlement has been reached over the Bardoli Satyagraha. Gandhi congratulates the Bardoli but encourages them not to rest until they have consolidated their position. The chapter ends with Gandhi celebrating the lessons of non-violence and its power as a method of social change.

This section contains 395 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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