satyagraha movement 1917 – easy explain




TermSatyagraha Movement
DateLate 19th and early to mid-20th century
LocationPrimarily in India, but also worldwide
LeaderMahatma Gandhi
PurposeNonviolent resistance against oppression
Key PrinciplesNonviolence, Truth, and Civil Disobedience
Key Events– Champaran Satyagraha (1917)
 – Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-1922)
 – Salt March (Dandi March, 1930)
 – Quit India Movement (1942)
LegacyInstrumental in India’s independence
 Influence on civil rights movements
 Worldwide as a model for nonviolence



Introduction to Satyagraha

satyagraha movement, a term coined by Mahatma Gandhi, is a philosophy and practice of nonviolent resistance. It played a pivotal role in the Indian independence movement and had a profound impact on global civil rights movements. One of the most significant aspects of Gandhi’s application of Satyagraha was his unwavering struggle against racial discrimination, particularly in South Africa.

Early Life of Mahatma Gandhi

To understand Gandhi’s fight against racial discrimination, we must first delve into his early life. Born in 1869 in Porbandar, India, Gandhi’s upbringing was marked by principles of honesty, truth, and nonviolence instilled by his parents.

Gandhi’s Experience with Racial Discrimination

Gandhi’s life took a significant turn when he moved to South Africa in 1893. Here, he encountered the harsh realities of racial discrimination firsthand. Despite his education and legal profession, he faced discrimination solely based on the color of his skin.

Birth of Satyagraha

It was in South Africa that Gandhi developed the concept of Satyagraha. This nonviolent form of resistance was born out of his experiences with racial prejudice and injustice. Gandhi believed in confronting oppression with unwavering truth and nonviolence.

The Impact of Satyagraha

Gandhi’s use of Satyagraha led to significant changes in South Africa. His efforts in the early 20th century resulted in improved rights for Indian laborers and residents in the country. He demonstrated that nonviolent resistance could be a powerful tool against injustice.

Salt March: A Defining Moment

One of the most iconic moments in Gandhi’s struggle against racial discrimination was the Salt March in India. In 1930, he led a 240-mile march to the Arabian Sea to protest the British monopoly on salt production. This peaceful protest garnered international attention and showcased the effectiveness of Satyagraha.

Gandhi’s Philosophy of Nonviolence

Central to Gandhi’s approach was the philosophy of nonviolence or “ahimsa.” He believed that love and compassion could conquer hatred and violence. His dedication to nonviolence as a means of social and political change continues to inspire activists worldwide.

Satyagraha’s Influence on Civil Rights Movements

Gandhi’s principles of Satyagraha had a profound influence on civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States. King adopted nonviolent resistance as a strategy to combat racial segregation and discrimination, leading to significant progress in the American civil rights movement.

Legacy of Satyagraha

Gandhi’s legacy and the principles of Satyagraha remain relevant in today’s world. They serve as a reminder that peaceful resistance and the pursuit of justice can lead to profound societal changes. The struggle against racial discrimination continues, and Gandhi’s teachings provide valuable guidance.


Mahatma Gandhi’s relentless struggle against racial discrimination through the principles of Satyagraha left an indelible mark on the world. His life’s work exemplified the power of nonviolence, truth, and unwavering resolve in the face of oppression. Gandhi’s legacy continues to inspire individuals and movements fighting against racial discrimination and injustice.


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