|The Champaran Satyagraha of 1917lideshare.net|
|Mahatma Gandhi, vedology.blogspot.com|
One Raj Kumar Shukla was instrumental in turning Mahatma Gandhi from man to legend and Champaran District became the right platform to popularize his disobedience movement against British Bobs. Ghandhiji's motivation and emotional appeal had an impact on the psyche of the Indians who were on iron fritters. There were also rumours thick in the air that that Gandiji might attain satinwood and carry a Dhanda (a thin pole) in one hand. No doubt, in the coming years he earned the appellation ''Mahatma''
It is essential to bring out an important fact that Raj Kumar Shukla was the person who impressed on Gandhiji to visit Champaran and to see for himself how the British were forcing the Indian farmers to cultivate Indigo so that they could reap the profits by throwing crumb for the cultivators. He also became well-known because of his association with Gandhiji during Champaran Satyagraha. It became the first experiment, using Satyagraha or non-cooperation as an effective tool to subdue the abrasive attitude of the British. Gandhi himself admitted in his autobiography — ''The Story of My Experiments with Truth'' - Champaran in north Bihar, bordering Nepal on one side and eastern Uttar Pradesh on the other, is a geographical area which he had never heard of before; nor had he visited this place earlier as part of his campaign against the British.
The non-violent resistance shook the basic foundation of the unjust British rule and their immoral attitude to stay in a country where the people hated them and wanted them to pack off as early as possible. The same Champaran experiment was within months replicated in Kheda in Gujarat in 1918 and elsewhere in the country and thereafter throughout the freedom struggle.
Only last year in April 2017, 100 year centenary celebration of Satyagraha by Gandhiji was held in Motihari against the British Indigo planters and the state function was presided over by the Indian PM Narendra Modi. The PM recalled the persistent efforts made by Raj Kumar Sukla to bring Gandhiji on the scene to find a solution for the exploitation of Indian farmers by the British Raj in the rural areas of Bihar. Gandhiji too mentioned in his book My Experiments with Truth, “This illiterate but determined farmer won my heart,” Only upon his urge, Gandhiji felt the pulse of the exploited peasants and take remedial measures.
Gandhi’s denounciation against the British put an end to the Tinkathia system. In the industrial west a new and cheaper coloring agent was widely used instead of Indigo and this finally ended the Indigo plantation in Champaran in 1922-23. Later sugar mills were opened by the British to keep the ‘White’ farmers happy who had settled in the area. When commercial sugarcane farming started, Indigo cultivation ended.
During his April 1917 visit to Champaran, Gandhi went ahead and built the Bhitiharwa ashram and ran protest rallies against the prevailing practice of untouchability. With support from his wife Kasturba, Ghandhiji spoke about the value of education, cleanliness and good health. He started many basic teaching schools, imparting skills needed for making a living. As far as Champaran is concerned, both Gandhiji and Raj Kumar Shukla, the man who brought Gandhi to Champaran, became two legendary figures. The British government tried to arrest him at Motihari under some pretext, but it fizzled out as the entire farmers's fraternity rose against them as one man.
'Thus, this place became a launching platform for the popularity of non-cooperation movement which became quite handy in the agitation against the Rowlatt Act. Gandhiji's sustained efforts brought about a change in the agrarian life of this district.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raj_Kumar_Shukla https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champaran_Satyagraha https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/modi-to-attend-champaran-satyagraha-celebrations-in-bihar-1208701-2018-04-10