Indigo is a short story authored by Louis Fischer. This text is based on his interview with Mahatma Gandhi held in 1942 at his ashram in Sevagram. This story tells about the Indigo revolution in India that started in 1917. The account has a lot of historical data and facts that were instrumental in creating nationalism in India. Mahatma Gandhi's entry into the field of politics started from the Champaran movement in 1917.
The British signed an agreement with Indian landlords to grow 15% of the land with indigo on a contractual basis and surrender their entire produce as rent. Indigo became the chief crop in Champaran. As soon as Germany developed synthetic indigo, the English estate owners demanded compensation from the peasants, releasing the 15% condition. Some farmers opposed the injustice by landholders, Raj Kumar Shukla being one of them. He went to Gandhiji for legal advice. Gandhi's support for the sharecroppers inspired other national leaders to stand up for their rights.
Mahatma Gandhi took the responsibility to bring up this issue to higher courts. Gandhi's nature of carrying forward the mission spread like wildfire. He censured the other lawyers for charging the poor sharecroppers heavily for fighting their case. He, along with other lawyers, managed to get justice for the peasants after a long fight. He also made sure that the peasants and their families receive education, a healthy atmosphere to live in, and they learn the need for hygiene. This is a great example of one person's willpower and self-reliance.
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