1. WORLD WAR I
Lord Chelmsford, the then Viceroy of India, invited Gandhi to Delhi at a War Conference. In order to gain the trust of the empire, Gandhi agreed to move people to enlist in the army for World War I. However, he wrote to the Viceroy and said that he “personally will not kill or injure anybody, friend or foe”.
The Champaran agitation in Bihar was Gandhi’s first active involvement into Indian freedom politics. The Champaran farmers were being forced to grow Indigo and were being tortured if they protested.
The farmers sought Gandhi’s help and through a calculated non-violent protest, Gandhi managed to win concessions from the authority.
When Kheda, a village in Gujarat, was badly hit by floods, the local farmers appealed to the rulers to waive off the taxes. Here, Gandhi started a signature campaign where peasants pledged non-payment of taxes.
4. KHILAFAT MOVEMENT
After the first World War, the Muslims feared for the safety of their Caliph or religious leader and a worldwide protest was being organised to fight against the collapsing status of the Caliph.
Gandhi became a prominent spokesperson of the All India Muslim Conference and returned the medals he had received from the Empire during his Indian Ambulance Corps days in South Africa. His role in the Khilafat made him a national leader in no time.
5. NON-COOPERATION MOVEMENT(SEPTEMBER 1920 TO FEBRUARY 1922)
Gandhi had realised that the British had been able to be in India only because of the co-operation they received from the Indians. Keeping this in mind, he called for a non-cooperation movement.
With the Congress’ support and his indomitable spirit, he convinced people that peaceful non-cooperation was the key to Independence. The ominous day of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre triggered the non-cooperation movement. Gandhi set the goal of Swaraj or self-governance, which since then became the motto of Indian freedom movement.
6. SALT MARCH(12 MARCH TO 5 APRIL 1930)
Gandhi started a Satyagraha campaign against the salt tax in March 1930. He marched 388 kilometres from Ahmedabad to Dandi in Gujarat to make salt. Thousands of people joined him and made it one of the biggest marches in Indian history.
7. QUIT INDIA MOVEMENT (8 AUGUST 1942,TILL INDEPENDENCE)
During the Second World War, Gandhi was determined to strike the British Empire with a definitive blow that would secure their exit from India. This happened when the British started recruiting Indians for the war.
Gandhi protested strongly and said that the Indians cannot be involved in a war that is in favour of democratic purposes when India itself is not a free country.