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Under One Flag
The Light Has Gone Out
India Wins Freedom
Apostle of Peace
The Last War of Independence
Quit India
Leave India to God… or to Anarchy
Gandhi and Ambedkar
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
Revolutionaries Outside India
Heroes and Martyrs
Gandhi in South Africa
From Swadeshi to Swaraj
Swadeshi Enterprise
The New Spirit of India
The Great Divide
Partition of Bengal
The Battle is Taken to the Legislature!
The Monk Who Shook The Nation
Father of Indian Unrest
An Old Man's Dream
Women : Crossing the Threshold
The Battle Lines are Drawn
The Battle For A Free Press
Pressing On !
Europeans Take To The Street!
The British Raj in Black and White
Mamool Raj
The One-Man Army
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

The Gentle Satyagrahi

On his return to India from South Africa, Gandhi made Ahmedabad his home and set up his Satyagraha Ashram there. In the beginning there were many people helping him monetarily but they stopped doing so when he took in a family of 'untouchables' from Bombay and earned their displeasure. The ashram was in dire straits and just when it looked as if he would have to close it down, help came unexpectedly. One evening a stranger drove up to the ashram, handed over a bundle of currency notes, enough to meet the ashram's expenses for a year and drove away, refusing to reveal his identity. This unsolicited help left Gandhiji speechless.
A year later when mill-workers of Ahmedabad were agitating for a pay hike, some mill-hands approached Gandhi and asked him to lead them. A social worker, Anasuyabhen urged Gandhi to help them and he decided to take up their cause.
One day he led a delegation of mill-workers to a meeting with mill-owners. To his surprise the leading mill-owner turned out to be the same man who had come to the rescue of his ashram, some months earlier. He was Sheth Ambalal Sarabhai. The social worker, Anasuyabehn turned out to be the tycoon's sister, providing another curious twist to the tale.
Gandhi was respected both by the mill-owners and the workers but neither side was prepared to yield an inch. When the mill-owners refused to refer the question of a pay hike to a tribunal, Gandhi advised the workers to go on strike but gave them a list of do's and don'ts. They were never to resort to violence; they were to stay firm no matter how long the strike lasted; they were to earn their bread elsewhere but through honest means during the period of the strike.
The workers took a pledge to stand firm in their demands but as the strike dragged on, their resolve began to weaken and some of them got ready to resume work. Then Gandhi took a strong stand. He declared that unless the workers continued the strike till a settlement was reached, he would not take any food.
The fast was meant to persuade the mill-workers to stand firm. But it made an impact on the mill-owners too. On the third day of the fast they agreed to arbitration and ultimately the workers got the 35 per cent hike in wages they were agitating for.
No sooner had the mill-workers' strike ended than Gandhi turned his attention to the plight of ryots in Kheda district in Gujarat.

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