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By | September 9, 2023
Indigo About the Author

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Indigo About the Author

                                          By- Louis Fischer

 Louis Fischer (1896 — 1970) was a Jewish-American journalist. Among his works were a contribution to the ex-Communist treatise The God that Failed (1949), Life of Mahatma Gandhi (1982), as well as Life of Lenin, which won the 1965 National Book Award in History and Biography. The following is an excerpt from his book the life of Mahatma Gandhi. The book has been reviewed as one of the best books ever written on Gandhi by Times Educational Supplement

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Indigo Chapter Message

The story ‘Indigo’ highlights the unequal economic system that existed during colonial British rule. It resulted in Indian peasants suffering, while the British planters exploited them. It also highlights the importance of Gandhi’s decision to take up their case, which exposed the unjust system.

Chapter Nutshell of the lesson – Indigo

Role of Rajkumar Sukla

  1. Poor, emaciated peasant from Champaran.
  2. Contacted Gandhi in 1916 in Lucknow.
  3. Gandhi dismissed him.
  4. Shukla came to complain about the injustice and the landlord system in Bihar.
  5. Shukla followed Gandhi to Cawnpore Later at Calcutta.
  6. Impressed by the sharecropper’s tenacity and story Gandhi relented.

 The Issue

  1. Arable land in Champaran divided into estates owned by Englishmen, worked by Indian tenants.
  2. Chief commercial crop indigo.
  3. Tenants to plant on 15% indigo.
  4. To surrender entire indigo as rent.
  5. Synthetic indigo in the market.
  6. Landlords force new agreements.
  7. Ask for 15% compensation.
  8. Peasants resist, widespread unrest.

How Gandhi reached Champaran

  1. Went to Muzaffarpur with Shukla.
  2. Obtained complete information.
  3. Discussed with Kriplani.
  4. Met lawyers, chided them, understood legal angle.
  5. Met peasants sensed unrest.
  6. Realised peasant fear-strikes.
  7. Feels he should arm them with the tool of courage, fearlessness.

 Role of Lawyers

  1. They represented cases in courts, collected fee.
  2. Gandhi criticised them for being duping/misguiding the peasants.
  3. They gave legal support.
  4. However, they were non-committal if he was arrested.
  5. Gandhi appealed for justice for sharecroppers when arrested.
  6. Lawyers feel guilty of desertion.
  7. They supported Gandhi’s Civil Disobedience Movement.
  8. They helped him file grievances against landlords.

Steps were taken by Gandhi

  1. Approached British landlord association.
  2. Commissioner, cold-shouldered.
  3. Proceeded to Motihari, got mass support from peasants, continued investigation.
  4. Served official notice to leave Champaran.
  5. Signed, said would disobey the order.
  6. Served summons, Motihari black with peasants.
  7. Peasants demonstrate outside the courtroom.
  8. Officials powerless, Government baffled.
  9. Gandhi was encouraged by mass support.
  10. Court arrest, says obeying the voice of conscience.
  11. Convinces lawyers to join the movement.
  12. Continues to collect legal evidence.
  13. The government forced to set up the Inquiry Commission.
  14. Meeting, the deadlock overcompensation.
  15. Agrees to 25%, landlords learned they were not above the law, peasants got courage.
  16. Battle of Champaran won.

Qualities of Gandhi

  1. Appreciates loyalty/commitment.
  2. Understands the issue e.g., meets Kriplani/lawyers/peasants.
  3. Connect with masses.
  4. Organised e.g., civil disobedience plan.
  5. Fairleader e.g. won lawyers’ support.
  6. Visionary e.g., improves social, the cultural backwardness of Champaran.

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Indigo- Message & Chapter Nutshell

Indigo- Multiple Choice Questions in Quiz

Indigo- Important Extra Questions Short Answer Type

Indigo- Important Extra Questions Value-Based Answer Type