When Mahatma Gandhi decided to come to India from South Africa, it was Champaran that he decided that he would start his “Satyagraha”. It was Pandit Raj Kumar Shukla (a Bhumihar indigo cultivator of Champaran) who had asked Mahatma Gandhi to visit Champaran and to show him the plight of the poor farmers. It was here that he first saw some of the ills such as untouchability and discrimination that was plaguing Indian society.
|Mahatma Gandhi in Champaran|
Champaran at that time was in pretty bad shape. The farmers were forced to grow Indigo for the British instead of food crops which led to starvation and destitution. In addition, the British imposed heavy taxes.
The farmers of Champaran revolted against the injustice and the forced cultivation of indigo in the year 1914 (at Pipra) and 1916 (Turkaulia). Then Raj Kumar Shukla asked Mahatma Gandhi to visit Champaran and then the famous Satyagraha of Mahatma Gandhi started. Another interesting point is that it was from Bihar where Mahatma Gandhi had started his civil-disobedience movement which ultimately led to India ‘s independence.