Gandhi Heritage Sites - Writeups

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Yeravada Jail

Connection with Gandhiji
Among all prisons in India, Gandhiji spent maximum time at Yeravada Central Prison (Yeravada Jail). He spent more than 47 months during his four prison terms in 1922, 1930, 1932, and 1933 there.

First Term at Yeravada Jail
• After a sedition trial at Ahmedabad, Gandhiji was sentenced to six years jail term and was sent to Sabarmati Jail on March 10, 1922. After spending 10 days at Sabarmati Jail, he was shifted to Yeravada Jail. He reached there on March 21, 1922.

• He was kept there as a prisoner till January 11, 1924. He was admitted to Sassoon Hospital, Pune on January 12 due to severe pain of appendicitis and was advised immediate surgery.
• The surgery was performed on January 13 successfully in kerosene lights as electric power went away. He stayed at the hospital as per doctors’ instructions and was unconditionally released on February 5, 1924. He had to remain at Sassoon Hospital till February 10, 1924.

Additional Details
• This was the first imprisonment of Gandhiji in India. His name was removed from Inner Temple’s list of barristers on December 10, 1922.
• Gandhiji started dictating the history of Satyagraha in South Africa in Gujarati to Indulal Yajnik, a fellow prisoner and an associate, from November 26, 1923.
- Satyagraha in South Africa | दक्षिण आफ्रिका के सत्याग्रह का इतिहास | દક્ષિણ આફ્રિકાના સત્યાગ્રહનો ઈતિહાસ

Second term at Yeravada Jail
• After the successful campaign of Salt March from Ahmedabad to Dandi, Gandhiji was arrested on May 5, 1930 from his hut at Karadi near Dandi and was sent to Yeravada Jail.

• He was released on January 26, 1931.

Additional Details
• Gandhiji’s close associate Kaka Kalelkar was shifted from Sabarmati Jail to Yeravada Jail and was kept with Gandhiji. He wrote memoirs of his imprisonment with Gandhiji in Gujarati: Meethane Pratape

• Many of these anecdotes were included in ‘Stray Glimpses of Bapu’ by Kaka Kalelkar

Third term at Yeravada Jail
• Gandhiji participated in the Second Round Table Conference held in London but came back disappointed. He arrived on December 28, 1931 and was arrested on January 4, 1932, early morning at 3 am. A harsh crackdown by the government followed. Gandhiji was taken to Yeravada Jail.

• He was released on May 8, 1933 as he started 21 days fast.

Additional Details
• Gandhiji started fast unto death against the government’s declaration of a separate electorate for the untouchables/the depressed class from September 20, 1932. The fast ended on September 26, 1932 after Poona Pact. Rabindranath Tagore was worried about Gandhiji’s health and rushed to Yeravada Jail. He was there when Gandhiji broke his fast. Rabindranath sang his famous song ‘Jibon Jokhan Shukaye Jay’.

• Gandhiji’s statement to the press after breaking the fast.

• Sardar Patel was also arrested on the same day with Gandhiji and was kept with Gandhiji at Yeravada Jail till the end of Gandhiji’s prison term. Mahadev Desai joined them from March 10, 1932 and remained there till May 19, 1933.

• Mahadev Desai has vividly described his days with Gandhiji and Sardar at Yeravad in his diary.

• English weekly ‘Harijan’, Gujarati weekly ‘HarijanBandhu’, and Hindi weekly HarijanSevak were started from Pune during this time. They were not edited by Gandhiji but became an authentic source of his thoughts and writings.

Fourth term at Yeravad Jail
• After failed attempts of negotiations with the Viceroy, Gandhiji was arrested on August 1, 1933 and sent to Sabarmati Jail. He was shifted to Yeravada Jail the next day.

• He was released on August 4, 1933 with the order to leave the limits of Yeravada. Gandhiji did not obey it and was arrested in an hour. He has sentenced to one-year imprisonment and was sent to Yeravada jail again. But the government released him on August 23, 1933 during his fast unto death, due to grave health condition.

Additional Details
• Gandhiji started his fast unto death on August 16, 1933. After grave deterioration in his health, he was shifted to Sassoon Hospital on August 20. The next day he felt the end was near. He distributed few belongings of his personal use among the hospital staff members serving him. The fast continued during this time. He was released on August 23, 1933. He broke his fast. Gandhiji’s statement on his unexpected release from Yeravada Jail.

Site Address
Yeravada Jail
44, Samrat Ashok Path,
Sector No. 5, Mohanwadi,
Yerawada, Pune, Maharashtra – 411 006
Phone: +91 20 2668 2663


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