Individual Satyagraha – UPSC GS1

What were the objectives of the Individual Satyagraha that Gandhiji launched in 1940 and why was it launched? Was it successful? Critically evaluate. (200 Words)

Individual Satyagraha was direct result of August Offer. August offer was brought during critical period of war by British in 1940. Both Congress and Muslim League rejected August Offer. Congress wished to launch Civil disobedience Movement, but Gandhi saw the atmosphere against such a movement, he didn’t want hamper the War efforts. However, Congress Socialist leaders and All India Kisan Sabha were in favour of immediate struggle. Gandhi was convinced that British would not modify their policy towards India. He decided to launch Individual Satyagraha.
Aims of Individual Satyagraha:
  1. to show that nationalist patience was not due to weakness
  2. To express people’s feeling that they are not interested in the war and that they made distinction between Nazism and double autocracy that ruled in India
  3. To give another opportunity to the Government to accept congress demands peacefully. The demand of the Satyagrahi was using freedom of Speech against the war through an anti-war declaration. If government did not arrest the Satyagrahi, he or she will move repeating it in villages and start march towards Delhi (“Delhi Chalo Movement”).
Vinobha Bhave was first and Nehru was second to offer Satyagraha, by May’1941, 25000, people had been convicted for Satyagraha.
Though the aim of Satyagraha was limited one, it was successful in displaying unity and patience in masses of India. This Satyagraha forced to bring Cripps Proposal which was much different from August offer as it provided way for Constituent Assembly and Option to any Province to withdraw – “a blue print for India’s partition”.