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Mahatma Gandhi is arriving shortly

6 48 0
30.09.2019

When the scorching heat of the Indian summer gets beyond unbearable, the monsoon rains arrive. No matter how little or how abundant the rains are, they carry with them the promise of life.

Like the summer heat, people suffer growing oppression as a test of their patience. Eventually, a hero emerges, overthrowing the oppressors.

If that sounds too filmy a tale, how do you explain the rumours in Champaran in 1915-16 about a “chamatkaari baba”, a saint with miraculous powers, who would soon arrive in Champaran?

The farmers of Champaran were undergoing great suffering under the British. They tried to do something about it. They filed cases, they tried civil disobedience on their own, only to get beaten up.

What they needed was a hero, and rumours started spreading that a hero was about to arrive in Champaran, a messiah from the heavens. They knew the messiah’s name, Gandhi, who had demonstrated his magical powers for Indians in South Africa. He knew how to get his way with the Englishmen, and some in Champaran were convinced that he was going to arrive in this remote Bihar district – one had to take an elephant ride from Patna to reach Champaran.

Mind you, Gandhi had not even heard of Champaran in 1915-16. He was travelling across India, attending Congress sessions, speaking against princes and Congress leaders and the British alike. A farmer from Champaran went to Gandhi in 1917, followed him around from one city to another, and dragged him to Champaran on an elephant. Gandhi spent more than six months in Champaran, leaving only after he had freed the farmers from the oppression of the British indigo planters.

Also read: Can India have a liberal mass hero ever again?

Today, India is witnessing oppression and injustice in all corners. The Hindutva forces that did little to overthrow the British are now in power. They want to disenfranchise millions of Muslims and put them in detention........

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