'Salt satyagraha’ began from Bihar, says Jharkhand CM

'Salt satyagraha’ began from Bihar, says Jharkhand CM

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das. (PTI file photo)

It’s not only Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has been charged with distorting Bihar’s history. Other BJP leaders, holding constitutional posts, continue to twist facts, thereby embarrassing their own party.

In another classic goof-up, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das said that Mahatma Gandhi launched the ‘salt satyagraha’ from Champaran in Bihar.

Das was addressing delegates of Teli and Sahu Samaj (traders community) in Patna where he said that Bihar had always shown the path to others - be it late Jaya Prakash Narayan or Mahatma Gandhi. “Issi Champaran ki dharti se Mahatma Gandhi ne namak satyagraha shuru kiya tha....” said the Jharkhand Chief Minister.

Das was apparently not aware that Mahatma Gandhi actually launched Champaran Satyagrah, also called the indigo movement, in Bihar in 1917. This was Gandhi Ji’s first agitation against the British by taking up the cause of Bihar farmers in Champaran who were forced to cultivate indigo. It was Champaran Satyagrah which eventually catapulted Mahatma Gandhi onto the national scene during the freedom struggle.

As far as the salt satyagraha is concerned, Gandhi Ji carried out the agitation in 1930. Also known as the Dandi march, Gandhi Ji had walked from Sabarmati to Dandi (in Gujarat) to protest the introduction of a tax on salt production.

Das' faux pas is not an isolated incident. His ‘boss’ Narendra Modi too had earlier erred while addressing a rally in Patna when he said “Takshila was in Bihar” and “Chandragupta belonged to Gupta dynasty”. It was Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who later pointed it out that “Takshila was in Pakistan, while Nalanda was in Bihar”. Nitish also pointed it out that Emperor Chandragupta belonged to Maurya dynasty, not the Gupta dynasty.

“What can you expect from BJP leaders who have very little knowledge about Indian history. They are adept in twisting facts as we saw last month in Rajasthan where its State BJP chief said that Humayun while dying, told Babur to take care of cows. The fact is Babur died in 1531 while Humayun passed away in 1556, 25 years after his father’s demise. So about BJP leader’s knowledge of history, the less said the better,” Congress legislator Prem Chandra Mishra told DH on Monday.

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