The Sabarmati Ashram still echoes with the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi. No matter how many times you go there, you will be touched by the ideas of the man who matched kindness with wisdom and had an astute understanding of the common Indian. But few who walk into the Sabarmati Ashram realise just how important the city of Ahmedabad was in sowing the seeds of the people’s movement that Mahatma Gandhi led. It is in his years in Ahmedabad between 1915 and 1930 that he managed to experiment and then transform India’s Freedom Struggle from a small scale, upper class initiative to a mass movement.
To get a sense of how he laid the groundwork of this transformation, you have to head to a little known bungalow in an area called Kochrab just opposite the crowded walled city of Ahmedabad. Within four months of his landing in India from South Africa in 1915, Gandhi set up a ‘Satyagraha Ashram’ here. This was his first base.