GANDHI MUSEUMS - ASHRAMS - LIBRARIES > SEVAGRAM ASHRAM, WARDHA, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA > Return to India
Return To India
On his return, as per Gokhale's advice, he traveled in the country for year without delivering any public speech. From the year 1916, Gandhiji dominated the political scene of India. He started the Satyagraha movement. By Satyagraha he meant the desire for the establishment of a polity based on Truth.
He launched a Satyagraha movement in Kharia district of Gujarat for the reduction of land tax. He also guided and encouraged the mill workers of Ahmedabad to deal firmly with the management and to conduct themselves with discipline.
There was implicit belief in India encouraged by British spokesmen that would be free after the First World War. But instead, the British adopted various oppressive measures when the war ended. In March 1919 Gandhiji organised a very successful boycott of certain legislative measures throughout the country. However, he pacified the agitators in Bombay and Ahmedabad. As a show of their brute force and to force Indians into submission and fear, the British government fired indiscriminately in Jallianwala Bagh at Amritsar in the Punjab and killed hundreds of innocent people. At this point Gandhiji declared that the British Raj was a Satanic Raj and that he was going to oppose it by all force at his command. He returned all his awards and medals received from the Government.
He established the Gujarat Vidyapeeth (University) in 1920. This became a sign of national pride and independence. National schools were started in many places. Gandhiji was emphatic that if people fulfilled his constructive programme, India could get independence in one year.
Gandhiji was arrested for his Satyagraha movement. However, in 1922 he suspended and withdrew his movement, even though it was gaining strength in the country, just because some violence was committed against the British at Chouri Choura village in Uttar Pradesh. In February 1922, he was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for six years for writing an article against the British rule, but was set free shortly afterwards on the pretext of enabling him to undergo an operation for his appendicitis.
Gandhiji undertook a fast for 21 days in 1924 to prevent Hindu Muslim conflicts. The result was good. He lent his support for the 1925-28 Satyagraha in Kerala to eradicate the sin of untouchability. In 1925 he established the "All India Spinners Association". On 31st December,1931 he categorically declared that the aim of congress party was complete independence from British rule.