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Ideology and Biography of Mahatma Gandhi - UPSC 2020 Exam

Updated on 21 July 2021
UPSC & State PSC
16 min read 14 views
Updated on 21 July 2021

Mahatma Gandhi or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a powerful political leader or a freedom activist who played an important role in India’s struggle for independence against British rule.

Mahatama Gandhi is popularly called the ‘Father of the Nation’ due to his various contributions. He was born on 2nd October 1869 in the state of Gujarat. His mother’s name was Putlibai and his father was Karamchand Gandhi. His wife’s name was Kasturba who he had married at a very early age. 

In January 1915 Mahatma Gandhi returned back to India from South Africa and traveled all over India to understand India’s situation. 


Champaran Satyagraha 1917: 

The conditions of Indian cultivators were miserable in Champaran a district in Bihar. The cultivators under this system were being forced to cultivate indigo on the best part of their land and sell it at a cheaper price.

Due to harsh weather conditions and the levy of heavy taxes, the farmers were suffering and their situation became worse. Then Mahatma Gandhi started the Civil Disobedience Movement at Champaran and launched demonstrations and strikes against the landlords.

As a result, a Champaran Agrarian Committee was set up by the government with Gandhi Ji being one of its members and ultimately the demands of the cultivators were accepted and the movement was a success. 

Kheda Satyagraha 1917-1918: 

Due to poor harvest or crop failure in Kheda village, Gujarat a no-tax campaign was started by Mohan Lal Pandey in 1917.

Mahatma Gandhi was invited and joined the movement in March 1918 where he started Satyagraha. Finally, the demands were fulfilled by the government and the movement was successful again. 

Khilafat Movement 1919: 

Khilafat Movement was started by the Ali brothers to protest against the unjust done with Turkey after the First World War. The Movement was thus launched under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi against the British government to restore the collapsing status of the caliph of Turkey.

Mahatma Gandhi was elected as the president at the All India Conference held in Delhi. The Khilafat Movement was also a success that made him the national leader. 


This movement was launched by Mahatma Gandhi because of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. He began to fear that the British would continue to rule over India. Gandhi ji convinced people to start the non-cooperation movement in a peaceful way which was the way to gain independence according to him.

He began the concept of Swaraj which became an important element in the struggle for freedom. The movement began and people boycotted the products and establishments of the British

government. Schools, colleges and government offices were all boycotted but Mahatma Gandhi himself ended the noncooperation movement due to the Chauri Chaura incident because he believed in nonviolence. 


Mahatma Gandhi in March 1930 addressed the nation and said that he would suspend the movement if his demands were accepted by the British government but, the government gave no response so as a result, Gandhi Ji started the movement with Dandi March from 12th April to 6th April 1930.

He along with his followers marched from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Navsari District, Ahmedabad. Students left college and government servants resigned from their offices. People boycotted all foreign products and burnt foreign clothes 

As a result, a Gandhi- Irwin Pact 1931 was signed with Mahatma Gandhi which released all political prisoners and canceled oppressive laws made by the British government. 


Mahatma Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement in August 1942 to remove British rule from India. He delivered the Do or Die speech and the members of the Indian National Congress were arrested and imprisoned without trial but protest continued and the government cleared that the powers will be handed over to India then Mahatma Gandhi called off the Movement. 

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