Gandhi Announces Retirement from Politics to Focus on Village Economics

In the summer of 1934, three unsuccessful attempts were made on his life.

When the Congress Party chose to contest elections and accept power under the Federation scheme, Gandhi decided to resign from party membership. He did not disagree with the party's move, but felt that if he resigned, his popularity with Indians would cease to stifle the party's membership, that actually varied from communists, socialists, trade unionists, students, religious conservatives, to those with pro-business convictions and that these various voices would get a chance to make themselves heard. Gandhi also did not want to prove a target for Raj propaganda by leading a party that had temporarily accepted political accommodation with the Raj.

Work in the village was an arduous and slow affair; it was plodder’s work, as Gandhi once put it. It did not earn banner headlines in the press and did not seem to embarrass the Government. Many of Gandhi’s colleagues did not see how this innocuous activity could help India in advancing to the real goal—that of political freedom. On the other hand, the first official reaction to Gandhi’s village uplift work was to consider it a well-laid plan to spread sedition among the rural masses; the government of India warned the provincial governments to be on their guard and to start counter-propaganda in the villages.