[Its Meaning & Place]

constructive programme

[Its Meaning & Place]

Table of Contents

About This Book

Written by : M. K. Gandhi
First Edition : 1941
Total : 1,30,000 copies
ISBN : 81-7229-067-5
Printed and Published by : Jitendra T. Desai
Navajivan Mudranalaya,
© Navajivan Trust, 1941


Chapter-14: Kisans

The programme is not exhaustive. Swaraj is a mighty structure. Eighty crores of hands have to work at building it, Of these *kisans*, i.e., the peasantry are the largest part. In fact, being the bulk of them (probably over 80%) the *kisans* should be the Congress, But they are not, When they become conscious of their non-violent strength, no power on earth can resist them.
They must not be used for power politics. I consider it to be contrary to the non-violent method. Those who would know my method of organizing *kisans* may profitably study the movement in Champaran when *Satyagraha* was tried for the first time in India with the result all India knows. It became a mass movement which remained wholly non-violent from start to finish. It affected over twenty lakhs of *kisans*. The struggle centered round one specific grievance which was a century old. There had been several violent revolts to get rid of the grievance. The *kisans* were suppressed, The non-violent remedy succeeded in full in six months. The *kisans* of Champaran became politically conscious without any direct effort. The tangible proof they had of the working of non-violence to remove their grievance drew them to the Congress, and led by Babu Brijkishoreprasad and Babu Rajendraprasad they gave a good account of themselves during the past Civil Disobedience campaigns.
The reader may also priofitably study the kisan movements in Kheda, Bardoli and Borsad, The secret of success lies in a refusal to exploit the *kisans* for political purpose outside their own personal and felt grievances. Organization round a specific wrong they understand. They need no sermons on non-violence. Let them learn to apply non-violence as an effective remedy which they can understand, and later when they are told that the method they were applying was non-violent, they readily recognize it as such.
From these illustrations Congressmen who care could study how work can be done for and among *kisans*. I hold that the method that some Congressmen have followed to organize *kisans* has done them no good and has probably harmed them. Anyway they have not used the non-violent method. Be it said to the credit of some of these workers that they frankly admit that they do not believe in the non-violent method. My advice to such workers would be that they should neither use the Congress name nor work as Congress-men.
The reader will now understand why I have refrained from the competition to organize *kisans* and Labour on an all- India basis. How I wish that all hands pulled in the same direction! But perhaps in a huge country like ours it is impossible. Anyway, in non-violence there is no coercion. Cold reason and demonstration of the working of non-violence must be trusted to do the work.
In my opinion, like labour, they should have under the Congress, a department working for their specific question.