Resistance in India has been commonly characterized by nonviolent tactics for centuries. Mahatma Gandhi popularized this nonviolence globally and coined the term, “satyagraha,” a form of nonviolence resistance in place of using force as a political weapon. The Chipko Movement comes from the word, “chipko,” which means to hug or to cling to. During the 1970s rural villagers held on to trees as a way to protest tree felling in regions, notably in Uttar Pradesh.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, famously known as Mahatma (great-souled) Gandhi, is often credited as the leader of India’s independence movement and the father of nonviolence. The Salt Satyagraha, led by Gandhi, is subsequently recognized as the turning point in the Indian independence movement and the moment at which Gandhi’s practice of civil disobedience gained popularity.
In August 1942, Gandhi famously proclaimed the words “We shall either free India or die in the attempt, we shall not live to see the perpetuation of our slavery.”
The Salt March was one of the most famous early acts of civil disobedience, led by nonviolence leader Mahatma Gandhi as part of India’s protest to gain freedom from the British. In 1882, the British government implemented the Salt Act which prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt, forcing them to buy salt from the British instead.
Mahatma Gandhi is an Indian lawyer, politician, social activist, and writer who became the leader of the nationalist movement against British rule in India. His doctrine of nonviolent protest (satyagraha) and use of the religion principle of ahimsa as a tool of peaceful protest became the model for future social movements around the world.