What was Ahmedabad Mill Strike, 1918?

Ahmedabad Mill Strike, 1918 was one of the initial movements led by Gandhi in the beginning of 20th century after his return from South Africa. It was one of the formative events in the political career of Mahatma Gandhi.


Ahmadabad was the second largest city of Bombay Presidency and was a long established commercial centre. Under the British, the cotton industry grew in the city and Ahmadabad became a modern Industrial town of the 20th century.

In February March 1918, there was a situation of conflict between the Gujarat Mill owners and workers on the question of Plague Bonus of 1917. The Mill Owners wanted to withdraw the bonus whole the workers demanded a 50% wage hike. The Mill Owners were willing to give only 20% wage hike.

At this point, Gandhi was invited by Anasuya Ben Sarabai and her brother Ambalal Sarabhai, rich mill-owner of Ahmadabad towards the cause of the mill owners. Anasuya had just returned from England and was a socialist.

Strike and Outcome

In March 1918, under the leadership of Gandhi, there was a strike in the cotton mills. In this strike Gandhi used the weapon of Hunger strike. If Gandhi were not there as a leader of this revolt, may be the shops were picketed, but it was carried out in pure non-violent disciplined way. The result was that the strike was successful and the workers got a 35% wage increase.

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