The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi will be inaugurating an exhibition titled “Swachhagraha – Bapu Ko Karyanjali – Ek Abhiyan, Ek Pradarshani” to commemorate the 100 years of Champaran Satyagraha in the National Archives of India (NAI), New Delhi on 10 April 2017.
Commenting on the occasion, Raghvendra Singh, Director General of NAI stated that the exhibition is a humble tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on the completion of hundred years of his first experiment of Satyagraha in India and is an attempt to sensitize the future generations to fulfil the iconic leader’s dream of ‘Swachh Bharat’.
• The event would include an exhibition showcasing Champaran Satyagraha.
• This digital and experiential exhibition aims to connect the essential principles of Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha ‘Jeevan-Chakra’ with the elements of Swachhagraha.
• The exhibition will also exhibit the progress made by the Swachh Bharat Mission.
• It will be open for all in the NAI campus for a month’s duration and after that, it would be taken to other cities in the form of a Mobile exhibition.
• The Prime Minister will also be launching an ‘Online Interactive Quiz’ at the event, which will continue for 30 months till October 2019.
Overall, the exhibition aims to link Gandhi’s core principles of Satyagraha with contemporary issues relating to health, sanitation, clean water, cleanliness, lack of awareness and education and improve conditions through Swachhagraha.
About Champaran Satyagraha
• This movement is the first Satyagraha incident that was undertaken by Mahatma Gandhi in India upon his return from South Africa. It took place in Champaran, Bihar in 1917.
• The cultivators in the district were forced by the British Empire to grow indigo, a blue dye that was highly in demand in Europe.
• As a result of this compulsion, the farmers could neither grow the food they needed to survive nor did they receive adequate payment for growing indigo.
• Gandhi arrived in Champaran on 10 April 1917, after being notified of the situation by Rajkumar Shukla, an indigo cultivator.
• He visited many villages and cross-examined about 8,000 cultivators to understand the exact root of their grievances.
• He then employed the method of Satyagraha to help the farmers overcome all their hurdles.
• His dedication to the cause was not missed by the British government, which then itself set up a committee to enquire into the grievances of the cultivators and invited Gandhi also to be a part of it.
• Within few months the Champaran Agrarian Bill was passed, giving relief to both cultivators and land tenants.
• The Satyagraha completely changed the dynamics of the Indian freedom struggle, catapulting Gandhi to the forefront of the movement.
• It also for the first made the people in India realise the power of resistance based on non-violence and action, which eventually led India to gain its independence on 15 August 1947.
When: 10 April 2017.