In the previous post, we have read Champaran Satyagraha. It was the first movement under the leadership of Gandhi. Now in this post, we shall read about the Ahmedabad Mill Strike.
Ahmedabad Mill Strike 1918
In 1918, Saurashtra region faced plague. So, with the end of the plague, Mill owner of Ahmedabad Mill decided to end the Plague bonus. But workers of the Mill protested on the ground that natural plague ie disease is over. But after the World War-I, the worldly plague ie inflation came into existence.
So, this started tension between the Mill Owner and Mill Workers. Therefore in this crisis, Gandhi was invited by the collector of Ahmedabad to deal with the issue.
Gandhi at first time to solve crisis established tribunal. This tribunal had members from workers and mill owners. So, the tribunal agreed to give 20 percent of existing bonus. But Gandhi made a calculation on the following grounds,
But this demand of 35 percent was rejected by mill owners. So, this became a cause for conflict between Gandhi and Mill owner. So, Gandhi took mill workers on strike. This was Ahmedabad Mill Strike of 1918.
Although, Mill workers took the step of the strike. But after 6-7 days they started returning to their work. Gandhi became alone. The people for which Gandhi was fighting left him behind and went for their work.
So, from here, Gandhi learned the biggest principle of his life that common people cannot fight forever. Therefore the political formula of Gandhi became Struggle-Truce-Struggle. Gandhi applied this formula throughout his political career.
But to save his own prestige in Ahmedabad Mill Strike, Gandhi sat on fast unto death. So, this created pressure on Mill owners. Therefore, finally, Mill owner agreed to pay the bonus of 35 percent.
This was all about the Ahmedabad Mill Strike of 1918. Here also Gandhi played the desired role. This led to the next movement in Kheda, under the leadership of Gandhi. We shall discuss this in the next coming post.
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