Champaran to spruce up for 100 years of Satyagraha
MOTIHARI: Champaran will soon be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first visit of Mahatma Gandhi and plans are already afoot to make the occasion a big event.
While celebrations have already started at a low key, the state website on the area does not list the sites associated with his visit.
Abhijit Sinha, district magistrate of East Champaran, said that the places associated with the Father of the Nation were to be renovated. A blueprint for their conservation has been sent to the government for sanction of adequate funds.
Gandhi Sanghralaya-cumlibrary located near the station road and the Gandhi memorial column inaugurated on August 23, 2000, are among the memorials listed for a facelift. Several memorablia related to Gandhi have been preserved in the Sangrahalaya.
Gandhi’s visit to Champaran, which later proved to be the first Satyagraha against the British, was based on an invitation from farmers who had earlier revolted against the conditions of indigo cultivation in 1914 at Pipra and Turkaulia. Then, Pandit Raj Kumar Shukla persuaded Mahatma Gandhi to visit Champaran and the ‘Champaran Satyagraha’ began. Gandhi’s historic visit to Champaran was opposed by the British rulers. An order asking him to leave Champaran was served upon him as soon as he arrived at Motihari. Gandhi defied the order.
The movement saw the rallying together of several important personages such
THERE IS A PLAN TO RENOVATE PLACES ASSOCIATED WITH THE FATHER OF THE NATION. A BLUEPRINT FOR THEIR CONSERVATION HAS BEEN SENT TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR SANCTION OF ADEQUATE FUNDS
as Dr Rajendra Prasad, Brajkishore Prasad, Acharya Kriplani, Dr Anugrah Narayan Sinha, Mahadeo Desai, C F Andrews, H S Pollock, Raj Kishore Prasad, Ram Nawami Prasad, Shambhu Sharan, Ramarshi Dev Trivedi and Dharnidhar Prasad and this resulted in the enactment of the Champaran Agrarian Law (Bihar and Orissa Act I) of 1918. That ended the tyranny of British indigo planters
In 1920, Gandhi made an extensive tour of Bihar before launching the non-cooperation movement, which earned full support in the district as well. In 1929, a group of volunteers from Champran district came to demonstrate against the Simon Commission. In the same year, the 21st session of the Bihar students conference was held at Motihari. Later, as a reaction against the failure of the round table conference held in 1932, there was a popular gathering at Motihari to take the pledge for independence.
The East Champaran DM said, another proposal has been sent to the art, culture as well as tourism department regarding acquisition of the house and land of Gorakh Babu, where Gandhi stayed during Satyagrah for seven days from August 15 onwards in 1917. The house was sold to one Madhusudan Singh and later the sale was embroiled in legal adjudication.
Besides Gandhian sites, the birth places of Eric Arthur Blair, better known as celebrated writer George Orwell, the author of 1984 and Animal Farm, too would be renovated to attract foreign visitors. Besides, light and sound system and well appointed parks are to be laid out at his birth place.
Pramod Kumar, local MLA, said, the budget for renovation of Gandhi sites has been pitched at R50 lakh. There are plans to lay a childrens park, lawns besides procuring a generator. Besides, R2.48 crore would be needed to turn Gorakh Babu’s house into a memorial.
The decision to vacate and renovate the house of Gorakh Babu came following the intervention of well known Gandhian, Tarkeshwar Prasad, who had sought chief minister Nitish Kumar’s help during his sewa yatra last year.
George Orwell’s house in East Champaran that is also in the list of places to be spruced up for the occasion.