Historical Figures

33. Sardar Patel proved that the path of Satyagraha is effective

The Kheda movement was going on that Gandhiji had to go to Champaran again. Due to this the entire responsibility of leadership fell on Vallabhbhai. Vallabhbhai fulfilled this responsibility diligently. He went from village to village to raise the morale of the farmers so that they should not be afraid of the atrocities of the government and do not pay rent to it. The movement dragged on but Vallabhbhai did not allow it to break in the middle.

When the Ghori government saw that the atmosphere was being created against it from village to village, it announced that the farmers who are not in a position to pay their rent would be waived off, but those farmers who could pay the rent would be charged. There was no difficulty in accepting this declaration so the movement was called off.

Kheda Satyagraha is considered important for two reasons. For one, it has been proved that satyagraha is an effective way to overthrow the government. The second importance was that this movement made Vallabhbhai a national leader, although this was Sardar Patel's first success. The closing ceremony of Kheda Satyagraha was held at Nadiad on 29 June 1918 in which Gandhiji also came.

A huge procession was taken out and a public meeting was organized on the occasion. The citizens of Nadiad showered heavy flowers on the procession along the way and welcomed the processioners. A letter of honor was presented to Gandhiji in the public meeting. Gandhiji gave a speech on this occasion in which he gave all the credit for the success of this movement to Vallabhbhai.