Historical Figures

31. Begar stopped in Gujarat due to the efforts of Vallabhbhai

It was a practice in Gujarat that when a government official used to visit a village, all the arrangements for his accommodation and food were made by the villagers and the people had to be given free service, Which was called begar. A resolution to abolish forced labor was passed in the Godhra session.

The resolutions passed in the session were approved by Sardar Patel, Bombay Commissioner Mr. Sent to Prat and wrote that the government should clarify its stand on these proposals. Pret was enraged upon reading this draft and he tore the draft and threw it away. When Prat's reply did not come for several days, Vallabhbhai wrote another letter.

When that too was not answered, Vallabhbhai wrote a third letter and warned that if he did not respond to this letter in ten days, he would adopt the path of struggle and would distribute pamphlets against forced labor and distribute it among the public.

Prat sent a reply this time that you should come and meet me someday. On this Vallabhbhai wrote that what is the need to meet, If there is any law for taking Begari, send a copy of it or Mr. Pret come to my office and talk. Prat did not respond to this.

On this Vallabhbhai according to his earlier warning, By printing pamphlets calling for not giving begari, they were distributed in the villages. After this, when the government officials went on tour in the villages, people refused to give forced labor and the practice of taking forced labor from the villagers stopped by the officials.