Give an account of Gandhiji’s efforts to secure justice for the poor indigo sharecroppers of Champaran. [CBSE (AI) 2012]

Question: Give an account of Gandhiji’s efforts to secure justice for the poor indigo sharecroppers of Champaran. [CBSE (AI) 2012]

Answer: Gandhiji went to Champaran on receiving reports of exploitation of the poor sharecropper peasants at the hands of British planters. He began by trying to get the facts. The British landlords as well as the commissioner of Tirhut were non-cooperative. Lawyers from Muzaffarpur briefed him about the court cases of these peasants. Gandhiji and the lawyers collected depositions by about ten thousand peasants. Notes were made on other evidence. Documents were collected. The whole area throbbed with the activities of the investigators and forceful protests of landlords. The lieutenant governor summoned Gandhiji. After four protracted interviews, an official commission of enquiry was appointed to look into the indigo sharecroppers’ situation. Gandhiji was the sole representative of the peasants. The official enquiry assembled a huge quantity of evidence against the big planters. They agreed in principle to make refunds to the peasants. After consolation, a settlement of 25 per cent refund to the farmers was agreed upon. This was a moral victory for the peasants. They recognised their rights and became courageous. Within a few years, the British planters gave up their estates. These now went back to the peasants. They became the master of the land. Thus, indigo sharecropping disappeared.


Question: Give an account of Gandhiji’s efforts to secure justice for the poor indigo sharecroppers of Champaran. [CBSE (AI) 2012]


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