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Kheda Satyagraha 1918, History, Movement, Effects

Kheda Satyagraha

In 1918, Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated the Kheda Satyagraha, which marked the inception of the first Non-Cooperation Movement. This satyagraha was centered in the Kheda region and primarily involved the peasant-Patidar community. Despite facing the dual challenges of a severe crop failure and the outbreak of diseases like plague and cholera, the community defiantly resisted a hefty 23 percent tax hike imposed on them. Integral to Gandhi’s efforts were notable individuals such as Indulal Yagnik, Shankarlal Banker, and Mahadev Desai.

Collaborating with influential figures like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, this team diligently worked towards creating awareness about the rights of farmers. This article further delves into the intricacies of the Kheda Satyagraha, furnishing valuable insights beneficial for UPSC exam preparation.

History of Kheda Satyagraha

The Kheda Satyagraha, which took place in 1918 in the Kheda district of Gujarat, India, was a significant episode in the Indian independence movement. The region was grappling with a severe drought and crop failure, leading to immense hardship for the farmers. Despite these circumstances, the British colonial government imposed a heavy tax burden on the already impoverished farmers, exacerbating their suffering. In response, Mahatma Gandhi, along with other leaders, organized a nonviolent resistance movement. They urged the farmers to withhold payment of taxes until the government provided relief. The Satyagraha gained momentum as thousands of farmers united in their struggle against the unjust taxation policy.

The Kheda Satyagraha showcased Gandhi’s principles of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience. The farmers, from different castes and classes, stood in solidarity and displayed remarkable unity. They faced repression from the colonial authorities, including arrests and property seizures. However, their unwavering commitment to nonviolence and their determination to fight for their rights garnered attention and support from across the country. Gandhi led negotiations with the British administration, and after months of resistance, the government finally relented. In June 1918, the tax collection was suspended, and some relief was provided to the farmers. This victory not only brought immediate relief to the people of Kheda but also inspired subsequent acts of civil disobedience and propelled the independence movement forward.

The significance of the Kheda Satyagraha extends beyond its immediate impact. It demonstrated the power of unity and nonviolent resistance in challenging oppressive colonial policies. The success of this movement further solidified Gandhi’s position as a leader and advocate for peaceful resistance. The Kheda Satyagraha inspired countless individuals throughout India, encouraging them to stand up against injustice and fight for their rights. It remains an important milestone in the history of India’s struggle for independence and continues to serve as a testament to the enduring legacy of Mahatma Gandhi’s principles and methods of nonviolent activism.

Kheda Satyagraha 1918

Kheda Satyagraha, which took place in 1918, was a significant nonviolent protest led by Mahatma Gandhi during the Indian independence movement. It occurred in the Kheda district of Gujarat, India. The movement emerged in response to the oppressive tax policies imposed by the British colonial government on the farmers of the region. Despite facing severe famine and crop failure, the farmers were burdened with heavy taxes. In response, Gandhi and other leaders organized a mass civil disobedience campaign, urging the farmers to withhold payment of taxes until their demands for relief were met.

The Satyagraha gained widespread support and showcased the power of nonviolent resistance, ultimately leading to the suspension of tax collection and some relief for the farmers. The Kheda Satyagraha of 1918 remains an important milestone in India’s struggle for independence and highlights the effectiveness of peaceful protest in bringing about change.

Kheda Satyagraha Movement Features

Mahatma Gandhi played a prominent intellectual role in leading the campaign in Gujarat, supported by local lawyers and advocates such as Indulal Yagnik, Shankarlal Banker, and Mahadev Desai. With the assistance of Satyagraha leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, they toured the countryside, mobilizing and providing political guidance to the residents. While the movement attracted angry participants from Ahmedabad and Vadodara, Gandhi and Patel discouraged involvement from individuals outside of Gujarat, aiming to keep the conflict localized. The Kheda peasants, facing a famine, submitted a petition requesting the removal of this year’s levy, which was rejected by the Bombay administration.

Threats of property confiscation and imprisonment were issued if the taxes were not paid, leading to the seizure of real estate, and agricultural land, and the looting of property and livestock by government officials. The farmers, however, refrained from aggression or evading arrest. Instead, they contributed money and jewels to the Gujarat Sabha, which helped to officially organize the protest.

Kheda Satyagraha Effects

The administration made sincere efforts to facilitate a peaceful resolution between the parties involved. As part of the agreement, confiscated property was to be returned, the rate increase was to be reduced, and taxes for the current and following year would be postponed. This compromise sparked a new awakening among the peasants, who realized that achieving complete independence for their nation was essential to escape injustice and exploitation.

The Kheda Satyagraha stands as a shining example of India’s remarkable triumphs. What sets this movement apart is the unwavering commitment to nonviolence throughout the entire campaign. Despite facing numerous challenges, the members of the movement conducted themselves with grace and humility. The resilient and peaceful struggle of the Kheda Satyagraha laid the foundation for a sense of patriotism among Indian peasants and ignited a surge of national pride.

The success of the Kheda Satyagraha reverberated across the nation, instilling hope in the hearts of Indians for their ultimate freedom. This pivotal movement served as a catalyst, inspiring people to fight ardently for the independence of their beloved nation, after enduring numerous struggles and hardships.


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What was the main demand of Kheda Satyagraha?

A decrease in income payments was the main demand of the Kheda peasants.

Why did Gandhiji went to Kheda?

Gandhiji led the agitation in 1917 in Gujarat’s Kheda area, calling for a relaxation of the revenue tax because the farmers there were suffering from poverty due to the plague outbreak and crop failure.

When did Kheda Satyagraha started?

On March 11, 1918, barely four days after the massive mill strike in Ahmedabad, the Kheda Satyagraha got underway.

What was the aim of Kheda Satyagraha?

Gandhi directed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to lead the farmers in a demonstration against tax collection after the famine. The initiative is supported by residents of the district of all castes and races.

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