CHAMPARAN SATYAGRAH OF 1917 CHAMPARAN movement was rather a greater movement of the people of BIHAR against the British Raj . CHAMPARAN is a small district town of BIHAR . It was an INDIGO planters’ movement where seeds of the All India Gandhian Movement was shown . It was in the 31st conference of the ALL INDIA NATIONAL CONGRESS in 1916 ( under the Presidentship of SATYENDRA PRASANNO SINHA outgoing and AMBICA CHARAN MAJUMDAR in coming ) in LAKHNOW that two fold resolutions on the problems of BIHAR were adopted : 1. On the bill of PATNA UNIVERSITY ; 2. On the inquiry of conditions of the RAYIOTS working on the INDIGO plantation fields . CHAMPARAN MOVEMENT was against the exploitation of farmers who used to grow INDIGO for the Whitemen .
The INDIGO plantation was of two types : 1. JIRAT and 2. AASAMIBAR . The first type of plantation was done on the land possessed by the INDIGO GROWERS’ HOUSES ( mostly possessed by the white men of the European origin ) where the farmers used to cultivate INDIGO by ploughing the land through their own oxen and in return they used to get some wages but not to their satisfaction as such . The second type of plantation was done by the RAYIOTS in their own land on terms and conditions decided by the INDIGO GROWERS’ HOUSES . Till 1860 , the RAYIOTS were compelled to cultivate INDIGO in 5 KATTHA* of lands out of per BIGGHA**. By 1867 5 KATTHA of the land were reduced to 3 KATTHA . That’s why this was called as TEEN KATTHIA*** system . This was a sort of exploitation hurled upon the farmers by the British INDIGO GROWERS’ HOUSES which invited popular movement many times in the past . But the matter had come to the surfeit as when the farmers did not grow INDIGO then they had to pay Rs.3 as PAIN KHARCHA for irrigation purposes of their lands ; they had to pay land revenue for their lands if they were non-INDIGO growers ; in case of death of RAYIOTS , their successors had to pay the BAPAHI-PUTHI TAX for replacement of their names from land records ; in case of marriage of their daughters the farmers had to pay Rs.1 to the INDIGO GROWERS’ HOUSES as MARVAN TAX ; for widow remarriage Rs.5 were collected as SAGAURA TAX ; for possessing and running oil-crushing machine or sugarcane-machine the farmers had to pay KOLUHUAWAN TAX ; for Termeric growers , who sometimes used soil hearths for boiling Termeric , had to pay CHULHIYAWAN TAX as Rs.1 ; from the sellers of milk or edable oil Rs.1 was collected as the BATCHHAPI TAX ; from the grains sellers Rs.1 per annum was collected as BECHAI TAX ; visiting officials of the INDIGO GROWERS’ HOUSES in a village used to take Rs.1 as AAMDI SALAMI TAX ; SARIDAWAN TAX was collected as one AANA**** from the farmers on each and every land revenue receipt . Such was the exploitative taxes hurled upon the farmers which compelled farmers of CHAMPARAN to resort to movement . They first put up petition to the Collector of CHAMPARAN on August 14 , 1907 but of no use . Then dissatisfaction among the farmers grew many folds .
MAHATMA GANDHI & CHAMPARAN MAHATMA GANDHI reached CHAMPARAN on April 10, 1917 after persuasion of Pt. RAJKUMAR SHUKLA. On April 11, he met J.M. WILSON , the president of the BIHAR INDIGO PLANTERS’ ASSOCIATION at MUZAFFARPUR with demands of the farmers . But of no avail . WILSON was not ready to heed to his demands at all . Being disappointed , GANDHI took appointment from L.F. MORSAND , the divisional Commissioner of TIRHUT and put before him the demands of farmers and for spot survey of the conditions of the farmers of CHAMPARAN . But in vain . His demands were not heard and he was rather prohibited to reach CHAMPARAN . The moment he with RAM NAVAMI PRASAD reached CHAMPARAN on April 14 , 1917 , a notice for violation of Section 144 was waiting for him . He was arrested for violation of Section 144 and took before the Magistrate for trial . When the news of the MAHATMA GANDHI’S arrest reached farmers and RAYIOTS of CHAMPARAN , they started assembling before the Magistrate Court . The trial started . Rs. 100 was imposed as fine on the MAHATMA for violation of Section 144 . But in the court of Magistrate he flatly denied to pay the fine by saying that he had neither a Bailer or any money for paying the fine as such . Outside the court mob was vehemently demanding for immediate release of the MAHATMA . Disobedience of the court order might have led to jail for the MAHATMA . So , situation was quite volatile . The Magistrate in the court was now trapped into Catche-22 situation . At last , the Magistrate himself decided to pay the fine and fill up the Bail bond . And then the MAHATMA was released and the case was withdrawn .
The MAHATMA met people of BETIA . He was welcomed with garlands and flowers by the people of BETIA . BABU BRAJKISHORE PRASAD was allowed to take statements of the suffering farmers . As per directions of the Collector of CHAMPARAN , W.H. LIVISH , the Magistrate of BETIA helped BABU BRAJKISHORE PRASAD in taking the statements of the farmers . They were also helped by J.T. VITI , the manager of the BETIA RAJ (STATE) . GANDHIJI continued visiting villages like SINGCHHAPARA & BELBA KOTHI with BABU BRAJKISHORE PRASAD & RAJKUMAR SHUKLA . On the other hand , on the persuasion of the BIHAR INDIGO PLANTERS ASSOCIATION, an inquiry committee was constituted of which GANDHIJI was also a member . Now started taking statements of the farmers so that any conclusion could be reached upon . The report of the committee was submitted on October 4, 1917 which was accepted by the the Government on October 18 , 1917 and apart from the TEEN KATTHIA SYSTEM other unfair taxes imposed upon the farmers were waved off and the farmers of CHAMPARAN were relieved of their exploitation and excess by the INDIGO GROWERS HOUSES as such …..etc.
* 20 KATTHA = 1 BIGGHA ( A LOCAL MEASUREMENT OF LAND ) ** BIGGHA ( A LOCAL MEASUREMENT OF LAND ) *** TEEN KATTHIA SYSTEM ( THREE KATTHA OF ONE BIGGHA ) **** AANA ( A DENOMINATION OF ONE RUPEES , 16 AANA = 1 RUPEE , NOW IT IS NOT PREVALENT AS SUCH)