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India Wins Freedom
Apostle of Peace
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A Pinch of Salt!
Saga of Indian Revolutionaries
Bardoli
Gandhiji Withdraws from Political Activities
The Himalayan Blunder
A People Reject Their Rulers
Jallianwala — The Aftermath
Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh
The Gentle Satyagrahi
Gandhi in Champaran
Carrot and Stick
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From Swadeshi to Swaraj
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Partition of Bengal
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The Monk Who Shook The Nation
Father of Indian Unrest
An Old Man's Dream
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Pressing On !
Europeans Take To The Street!
The British Raj in Black and White
Mamool Raj
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Hunger Deaths
The Delhi Durbar
Return to Swadeshi
Barbarous Britannia
‘Rani Ka Hookum’
Perishing in Peace
The Blue Mutiny
English Education
The Trial of the Last Emperor
Roll of Honour
The Empire Strikes Back
British Authority Collapses
Sepoys on the Move
Tribal Uprisings
The Empire Builders
For God and Country

Bardoli

In 1928 the government raised the taxes payable by landowners of Bardoli in Gujarat by a whopping 22 per cent. It was an ill-considered move that unwittingly helped to establish the civil disobedience movement there.
On Gandhiji's advice, Vallabhbhai Patel who was then the mayor of Ahmedabad resigned from his post and went to Bardoli to lead a no-tax campaign. Addressing a meeting of farmers, Patel said: "The Government's stand is unjust and it is therefore your duty to oppose it. If that is fixed in your minds then no amount of the Government's brute strength is going to have the slightest effect. They wish to collect money but it is for you to give. It is for you to decide whether you will pay the revised land revenue or not. If you make up your minds that you will not give even one pie, whatever the government may do, however many confiscations it carries out, however many fields it takes away, the Government will not be able to collect the revised land revenue which you are unwilling to accept... This is a fight against the government's practice of not giving any hearing to the agriculturists."
The people of Bardoli however showed a tendency to give in when pressured by the authorities. Seeing this, Patel urged the farmers to stand up and fight for their rights. In a hard-hitting speech he said to them:
"In this taluka even dogs don't bark at strangers. It is this excessive gentleness of yours that is now your biggest difficulty. Therefore, let some pride show itself in your eyes and your expression and learn to fight for justice and against injustice."
The farmers responded enthusiastically. "Even if we are cut to pieces," said one villager, "we shall keep our pledge not to co-operate with the government!"
When the government decided to take action against some of the farmers and issued notices to seven landholders warning them that their lands would be attached if they failed to pay the land revenue, one of the villagers replied thus to the revenue official who had issued the notice:
"You must regard me as the weakest landholder in the whole mahal (small revenue unit) and therefore, have selected me for serving this first notice. But now, like all others, I, too am determined not to pay land revenue until justice is done. You and I have been on friendly terms and have enjoyed good social relations. For that reason and as a well-wisher of yours I would like to advise you that it would be more honourable for you to resign from your service rather than carry out the work of attaching land belonging to peasants."

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