History of Gujarat
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The history of Gujarat, began with settlements of the Indus Valley Civilisation that have been found in the region. With the discovery of large Harappan site of Dholavira in Kutchh District, the history of Gujarat dates back to 5000 BC. Lothal (early Harappan town dating back to 3000 BC) has been established as the oldest known port of the world. Gujarat's coastal cities, chiefly Bharuch, served as ports and trading centers in the Nanda, Maurya, Satavahana and Gupta empires as well as Western Kshatrapas period. After the fall of the Gupta empire in the 6th century, Gujarat flourished as an independent Hindu/Buddhist states. The Maitraka dynasty, descended from a Gupta general, ruled from the 6th to the 8th centuries from their capital at Vallabhi, although they were ruled briefly by Harsha during the 7th century. The Arab rulers of Sindh sacked Vallabhi in 770, bringing the Maitraka dynasty to an end. The Gurjara-Pratihara Empire ruled Gujarat after from the 8th to 10th centuries. As well as, for some periods the region came under the control of Rashtrakuta Empire and Pala Empire. In 775 the first Parsi (Zoroastrian) refugees arrived in Gujarat from Iran.
During the 10th century, the native Solanki dynasty came to power. Under the Solanki dynasty, Gujarat reached to its greatest extent. The Solankis are believed to be descended from the ancient Chalukya dynasty. The Solanki Dynasty ruled Gujarat until the 13th century.
From 1297 to 1300, Allauddin Khilji, Sultan of Delhi, destroyed Anhilwara and incorporated Gujarat into the Delhi Sultanate. After Timur's sacking of Delhi at the end of the 14th century weakened the Sultanate, Gujarat's Rajput Muslim governor Zafar Khan Muzaffar asserted his independence, and his son, Sultan Ahmed Shah (ruled 1411 to 1442), restructured Ahmedabad as the capital. Cambay eclipsed Bharuch as Gujarat's most important trade port. The Sultanate of Gujarat remained independent until 1576, when the Mughal emperor Akbar the Great conquered it and annexed it to the Mughal Empire. The port of Surat become the prominent and main port of India during Mughal rule. Gujarat remained a province of the Mughal empire until the Marathas occupied eastern and central Gujarat in the 18th century; Western Gujarat (Kathiawar and Kutch) were divided among numerous local rulers.
Later in 18th century, Gujarat came under control of the Maratha Empire who dominated the politics of India. Pilaji Gaekwad, first ruler of Gaekwad dynasty, established the control over Baroda and much of Gujarat. After the Battle of Panipat in 1761, all Maratha generals established themselves as an autonomous government while keeping the nominal authority of the Peshwas of Pune and the Chhatrapati in Satara. The British East India Company wrested control of much of Gujarat from the Marathas during the Second Anglo-Maratha War. Many local rulers, notably the Maratha Gaekwads of Baroda (Vadodara), made a separate peace with the British and acknowledged British sovereignty in return for retaining local self-rule. Gujarat was placed under the political authority of the Bombay Presidency, with the exception of Baroda state, which had a direct relationship with the Governor-General of India. From 1818 to 1947, most of present-day Gujarat, including Kathiawar, Kutch, and northern and eastern Gujarat were divided into hundreds of princely states, but several districts in central and southern Gujarat, namely Ahmedabad, Broach (Bharuch), Kaira (Kheda), Panchmahal, and Surat, were ruled directly by British officials. Mohandas Gandhi, considered India's "father of the nation", was a Gujarati who led the Indian Independence Movement against the British colonial rule.
- 1 Ancient Period
- 2 Ahir Clans
- 3 Gurjar Clans
- 4 Medieval Period
- 5 Early Modern Period
- 6 Indian Independence Movement
- 7 Post Independence
- 8 Nav Nirman Movement 1974
- 9 2001 Gujarat Earthquake
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
The early history of Gujarat is full of imperial grandeur of Chandragupta Maurya who conquered a number of earlier states of Gujarat. Pushyagupta, a Vaishya, was appointed Governor of Saurashtra by the Mauryan regime. He ruled (322 BC to 294 BC) Giringer (present Junagadh) and built a dam on the Sudarshan lake. Emperor Ashoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, not only ordered engraving of his famous edicts on the rock at Junagadh, but asked his Governor Tusherpha to take out canals from the lake where an earlier Mauryan Governor had built a dam. Between the decline of the Mauryan power and Saurashtra coming under the sway of Samprati Mauryas of Ujjain, there was a Greek incursion into Gujarat led by Demetrius.
For nearly 300 years from the start of the 1st century AD, Saka rulers played prominent part in Gujarat's history. Weather beaten rock at Junagadh gives a glimpse of the Ruler Rudradaman I (100 AD) of the Saka satraps known as Western Satraps, or Kshatraps. Mahakshatrap Rudradaman I founded the Kardamaka dynasty which ruled from Anupa on the banks of the Narmada up to Aparanta region which bordered Punjab. In Gujarat several battles were fought between the south Indian Satavahana dynasty and the Western Satraps. The greatest ruler of the Satavahana Dynasty was Gautamiputra Satakarni who defeated the Western Satraps and conquered some parts of Gujarat in the 2nd century CE
The Kshatrapa dynasty was replaced by the Gupta reign with the conquest of Gujarat by Chandragupta Vikramaditya. Vikramaditya's successor Skandagupta has left an inscription (450 AD) on a rock at Junagadh which gives details of the repairs of the embankment, damaged by floods, of Sudarshan lake by his Governor. Anarta and Saurashtra regions were both part of the Gupta empire. Towards the middle of the 5th century the Gupta empire started to decline. Senapati Bhatarka, the Maitraka general of the Guptas, took advantage of the situation and in 470 AD he set up what came to be known as the Maitraka state. He shifted his capital from Giringer to Valabhipur, near Bhavnagar, on Saurashtra's east coast. Maitrakas of Vallabhi became very powerful and their rule prevailed over large parts of Gujarat and even over adjoining Malwa. Maitrakas set up a university which came to be known far and wide for its scholastic pursuits and was compared with the famous Nalanda university. It was during the rule of Dhruvasena Maitrak that Chinese philosopher-traveler Xuanzang visited in 640 AD.
In the early 8th century some parts of Gujarat was ruled by the south Indian Chalukya dynasty. In the early 8th century the Arabs of the Umayyad Caliphate established an Empire which stretched from Spain in the west to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east. The Arab rulers tried to expand their Empire in the 8th century and invaded Gujarat but the Arab invaders were defeated by the south Indian general Pulakesi who was sent by the south Indian Emperor Vikramaditya II of the Chalukya Dynasty. After this victory the Arab invaders were driven out of Gujarat. Pulakesi received the title Avanijanashraya (refuge of the people of the earth) by Vikramaditya II for the protection of Gujarat. In the late 8th century the Kannauj Triangle period started. The 3 major Indian Dynasties the northwest Indian Gurjara-Pratihara Dynasty, the south Indian Rashtrakuta Dynasty and the east Indian Pala Empire dominated India from the 8th to 10th century. During this period the northern part of Gujarat was ruled by the north Indian Gurjara-Pratihara Dynasty and the southern part of Gujarat was ruled by the south Indian Rashtrakuta Dynasty.
The Ahir Paratharia community is believed to have derived its name from the Parathar region, their original homeland. According to their traditions, they migrated from Mathura along with Lord Krishna to the Parathar region of Saurashtra. The Paratharia then migrated to Kutch about four to five hundred years ago. They are now distributed in eighty-four villages in Kutch District, out of which thirty-four are in Bhuj Taluka, twenty-four in Anjar Taluka and twelve villages in Nakhtrana Taluka. A few are also found in Saurashtra. The Paratharia are a Gujarati speaking community.The Paratharia community consist of a number of clans, the main ones being the Baththa, Gegal, Dheela, Dangar, Changha, Varjun, Matha and Chod. Each of the clans are of equal status and intermarry. Like neighbouring Hindu communities, the community practice clan exogamy. The Paratharia are a community of small and medium sized farmers. Milk selling is an important subsidiary of the community. A small number are now petty businessmen.
The Sorathia are a sub-group of the Ahir caste found in the state of Gujarat in India. The community is believed to have derived its name from the Sorath region, their original homeland. According to their traditions, they migrated from Mathura along with Lord Krishna.
Some Sorathia claim to be Rajput, while others claim descent from the Soomra Dynasty. The community left Junagadh to escape prosecution at the hands of the Nawabs and settled in Kutch District. They are now found mainly in the Anjar and Bhuj talukas of Kutch District. The Sorathia speak Kutchi.The Sorathia community consist of eight clans, the main ones being the Baldania, Hadia, Chotara, Gudasarania, Vaghamashi and Malsatar. Each of the clans are of equal status and intermarry.
The community is believed to have derived its name from the Panchal region in Saurashtra, their original homeland. According to their traditions, they migrated from Mathura along with Lord Krishna to the Parathar region of Saurashtra. They are distributed over eighteen villages in the Saurashtra region. The community are found mainly in Junagadh, Amreli and Bhavnagar Districts The Pancholi community consist of forty four clans, the main ones being the Kalsaria,kuvad, Kataria, Gujjar,vaghamashi, Dhola, Vania,kachhad,Jhalandra, Nakoom,Hadia and Baldania. Each of the clans are of equal status and intermarry. Like neighbouring Hindu communities,
The Maschoiya are a sub-group of the Ahir caste found in the state of Gujarat in India. The Maschoiya are a community of Ahirs who are said to have settled along the banks of the Machhu-katia river, and the word Maschoiya literally means those from Macchu-katia. According to the traditions of the Maschoiya were originally Soomra Rajputs, and an ancestor left Sindh for Saurashtra, where he married an Ahir girl. His descendents thus became Ahirs.
The Maschoiya Ahir are found mainly in Rajkot District, with a few also found in Junagadh District. They are a Gujarati speaking community. The Maschoiya are divided into a number clans, all of which are of equal status. The main ones being the Gogla,Dangar,chavda, kuvadiya, sonara, chhaiya, boricha, balasara, bakutra, makvana, dav, lavadiya, metra, humbal, khungla, Birda, Meta, Herrla, Kelodia, Kangadh, Khokatara, Shiayar, Unlike other Ahir communities in Gujarat, the Maschoiya practice consanguineous marriage.
The Solanki clan  ruled Gujarat from c. 960 to 1243. Gujarat was a major center of Indian Ocean trade, and their capital at Anhilwara (Patan) was one of the largest cities in India, with population estimated at 100,000 in the year 1000. In 1026, the famous Somnath temple in Gujarat was destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni. After 1243, the Solkanis lost control of Gujarat to their feudatories, of whom the Vaghela chiefs of Dholka came to dominate Gujarat. In 1292 the Vaghelas became tributaries of the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri in the Deccan.
Dadda, the founder of Gurjara Pratihara dynasty, established the Gurjar rule at Nandipur (Nandol). Dadda III wrested Broach from the Maitraks whose citadel had started shaking. In fact, there were three powerful dynasties which were ruling different parts of Gujarat: the Gurjars had their sway over the north, the Chalukyas ruled the south and the Maitraks were saddled in Saurashtra. The vacuum created by the fall of the Maitraka dynasty was filled up by the Gurjara Pratiharas from the north and Rashtrakutas from the south.
As vassals of the Valabhis, Gurjar Chapa or Chavdas held their sway over parts of north Gujarat. They assumed independent control after the fall of Valabhi.Vanraj Chavda, the most prominent of the eight Chavada kings, founded a new capital at ASnhilpur Patan. he reconquered his father's lost territories and founded the Chapa (Gurjara) Dynasty which lasted a shade under a century.
Patel, the last Chavada ruler, did not have an issue and he adopted Mulraj who overthrew him in 942 AD and set up what came to be known as the Solanki dynasty. Ambitious as he was, he started expanding his frontiers and established his complete and total hold over Saurashtra and Kachchh by defeating Grahripu of Junagadh (Saurashtra) and Lakho Fulani of Kachchh. Mulraj Solanki's reign marked the start of the most glorious period in the history of Gujarat during which Gujarati culture flowered as manifested in art, architecture, language and script. It is described as the golden period in Gujarat chequered history. Mulraj himself adopted the title of Gurjaresh (King of Gurjardesh) an aristocratic title. The territoporieds under the sway of the Solanki dynasty same to be known by different variations of the word Gurjar like Gurjardesh, Gurjararastra, Gurjaratta and finally Gujarat.
Two names brightly stand out in the Solanki dynasty. The first is that of Sidhraj Jayasinh who ruled for 47 years from 1094 A.D. and the second prominent Solanki king Kumarpala's reign lasted for 31 years from 1143 to 1174 AD. Both the Kings Sidhraj Jayasinh and Kumarpal had a very learned prominent Jain sage HemChandracharya as their Guide and Guru who greatly guided and influenced their policies that made them immortal in the history of Gujarat. Hemchandracharya was such a learned and visionary person that he is famous in the history as 'Kalikal Sarvagya' ( One who knows every thing in modern Times). Apart from Saurashtra and Kachchh, Sidhraj Jaysinh also conquered Malwa. One of the favourite legends with the Gujarat bards is woven around the siege of Junagadh by Sidhraj Jaysinh. The fort was ultimately captured by him along with Ranakdevi, the Queen of the ruler Rakhengar. However, in the true tradition of the Kshatriyas, Ranakdevi preferred to become a 'sati' rather than marry Sidharaj Jaysinh. Sidharaj was persuaded to allow Ranakdevi to commit 'Sati' by burning herself on a pyre at Wadhavan. A temple was built on the hallowed place where she became 'Sati'. The temple still stands in Wadhavan, Saurashtra, as a mute testimony to the woman who preferred death to marriage with the person who had humbled her husband. The temple is called Ranakdevi's temple.
The guardian family deity of the Solanki's was Somnath at Prabhas. Ironically, it was during the Solanki's rule that the scared shrine was sacked by Mahmud Ghazni who defiled and despoiled the fabulously rich shrine and put 50,000 Hindus to sword. The temple was destroyed with its Linga during the regime of Bhimdev I. Bhimdev's successor Karandev defeated a Bhil chieftain and founded Karnavati. Karandev married Minaldevi by whom he begot Sidhraj who ushered in Gujarat's golden period. Sidhraj's successor Kumarpala encouraged Jainism. Bal Mulraj successfully repelled the incursions of Mahmud of Ghor who had the ambition of repeating the act performed by Mahmud Ghazni.
After the fall of Solanki rule, Vaghelas who were in the service of the Solanki's established a rather short-lived (76 years) but powerful dynasty. The two rulers of this dynasty, Virdhaval and Vishaldev, were responsible for consolidating the stabilizing the prosperity of Gujarat after the fall of the Solankis. While Vishaldev built the famous temples of Dabhoi and founded Vishalnagar, the credit for building magnificent temples at Abu, Girnar and Shetrunjay goes to two distinguished Dewans (chief ministers) - Vastupal and Tejpal - of Virdhaval. After the sack of the Somnath by Mahmud Ghazni, Kinlock Forbes, a British historian, had this to say "Mahmood of Ghuznee had hardly accomplished his disastrous homeward retreat, leaving behind him Unhilwara despoiled and Somnath a heap of ruins, when the sound of the hammer and the chisel was heard upon Arasoor and Aboo, and the stately fanes began to arise at Koobharea and Delwara, in which an elaboration almost incredible and a finish worthy of the hand of a Cellini, seemed to express the founder's steadfast refusal to believe in mlechh invaders, or iconoclastic destroyers, as other than the horrid phantom of a disturbing dream."
Karandev of the Vaghela dynasty was the last Hindu ruler of Gujarat. He was defeated and overthrown by the superior forces of Allauddin Khilji from Delhi in 1297. With his defeat Gujarat not only became part of the Muslim empire but the Gurjar Rajput hold over Gujarat lost for ever.
Before they finally entrenched themselves in 1298, the Muslims had only an occasional contact with this part of India. This was either as sea-farers or traders. They were allowed to establish two small settlements in Cambay (current Khambhat) and Broach (current Bharuch). Abdulla, a missionary from Egypt, who came during Sidhraj Jaysinh's regime and was allowed to preach, is credited with the formation of the Bohra community among the Muslims. However, after the defeat of Karandev Vaghela at the hands of Allauddin Khilji, Muslim rule continued for nearly 400 years either under Delhi's viceroyalty or under Muslim Sultanates till the Mughal viceroy, Monimnkhan was defeated by the Marathas who captured Ahmedabad in 1758.
Zafar Shah, a viceroy of Delhi for Gujarat, was responsible for starting the Sultanate of Gujarat. He fully exploited then prevailing conditions in Delhi to his advantage. He shook off his loyalty to the emperor, declared independence and became the first Sultan. He assumed the title of Muzaffar Shah. His successor Ahmed Shah founded a new city, following a dream, on the banks of the River Sabarmati and named it Ahmedabad after his own name. Since then, this new city became the capital of successive regimes in Gujarat until the state of Gujarat was formed in 1960 and the capital was moved to new city of Gandhinagar later. Ahmedabad grew into a flourishing city and became next only to Delhi in importance.
Mahmud Shah succeeded Ahmed Shah, Mahmud became a powerful ruler and was successful in over powering and subduing most of the Rajput chieftains. As a conqueror Mahmud was ruthless, as an administrator efficient and as a builder a great one. Apart from subduing the Rajput chieftains, Mahmud also tried to remove the Portuguese menace with the help of a naval fleet raised by his slave named Malik Ayyaz. But he was unsuccessful and they set up a powerful naval base at Diu off the Sautrashtra coast.
Under Mahmud Shah, Gujarat once again became prosperous and there was a great deal of progress and state-building activity. Patan, the ancient seat of Hindu learning, once again became a seat of learning in Islamic disciplines. The available infrastructure at Patan was exploited by Mahmud Shah. The decline of the Sultanate started with the assassination of Sikandar Shah. Because of this decline, Gujarat became an easy prey to the great Mughal Emperor Akbar's armies. Bahadur Shah, the last Sultan, was defeated which marked the beginning of the Mughal rule which lasted almost 200 years.
Notwithstanding the fact that Gujarat became a part of the Mughal Empire its importance did not diminish as is apparent from the selection of the ablest princes as Gujarat's viceroys. Murad Baksh, Shah Jahan, Dara Shikoh, Aurangzeb, Muhammad Azam Shah among others, were all made the Viceroys of this West coast region. The formal Muslim rule in Gujarat ended in 1758 when Momin Khan surrendered to the Marathas, however the Islamic influence remained.
Early Modern Period
Maratha Empire & British
When the cracks had started to develop in the edifice of the Mughal empire in the mid-17th century, the Marathas were consolidating their power in the west, Chatrapati Shivaji, the great Maratha ruler, attacked Surat twice first in 1664 and again in 1672. These attacks marked the entry of the Marathas into Gujarat. However, before the Maratha inroads into Gujarat, the Europeans had made their presence felt, with the Portuguese leading them, followed by the Dutch and the English.
The Peshwas had established their sovereignty over Gujarat including Saurashtra, and collected taxes and tributes through their representatives. Damaji Gaekwad and Kadam Bande divided the Peshwa's territory between them, with Damaji establishing the sway of Gaekwad over Gujarat and made Baroda (present day Vadodara) his capital. The ensuing internecine war among the Marathas were fully exploited by the British, who interfered in the affairs of both Gaekwads and the Peshwas.
The British also embarked upon their policy of Subsidiary Alliance. With this policy they established their paramountcy over one princely state after another. Anandrao Gaekwad joined the Alliance in 1802 and surrendered Surat and adjoining territories to the English. In the garb of helping the Marathas, the British helped themselves, and gradually the Marathas' power came to an end, in 1819 in Gujarat. Gaekwad and other big and small rulers accepted the British Paramountcy.
Portugal was the first European power to arrive in Gujarat, acquiring several enclaves along the Gujarati coast, including Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The British East India Company established a factory in Surat in 1614, which formed their first base in India, but it was eclipsed by Bombay (now Mumbai) after the English acquired it from Portugal in 1668. The Company wrested control of much of Gujarat from the Marathas during the Second Anglo-Maratha War. Many local rulers, notably the Maratha Gaekwads of Baroda (Vadodara), made a separate peace with the British, and acknowledged British sovereignty in return for retaining local self-rule. Gujarat was placed under the political authority of Bombay Presidency, with the exception of Baroda state, which had a direct relationship with the Governor-General of India. From 1818 to 1947, most of present-day Gujarat, including Kathiawar, Kutch, and northern and eastern Gujarat were divided into dozens of princely states, but several districts in central and southern Gujarat, namely Ahmedabad, Broach (Bharuch), Kaira, Panch Mahals, and Surat, were ruled directly by British officials.
Indian Independence Movement
The people of Gujarat were the most enthusiastic participants in India's struggle for freedom. Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Morarji Desai, K.M. Munshi, Narhari Parikh, Mahadev Desai, Mohanlal Pandya and Ravi Shankar Vyas all hailed from Gujarat. It was also the site of the most popular revolts, including the Satyagrahas in Kheda, Bardoli, Borsad and the Salt Satyagraha.
See Also: Freedom fighters from Gujarat There is a community of Muslim Gujaratis in neighbouring Pakistan, mainly settled in Sindh for generations. A sizable number migrated after the Partition of India and subsequent creation of independent Pakistan in 1947. These Pakistani Gujaratis belong mainly to the Khoja, Dawoodi Bohra, Chundrigar, Charotar Sunni Vohra, Muslim Ghanchi and Memon groups; however, many Gujaratis are also a part of Pakistan's small but vibrant Hindu community. Many Gujaratis in Pakistan retain ties to their relatives in Muslim communities living in Gujarat, and maintain Gujarati as their native language. However, a growing number are adopting Urdu as their native tongue. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan whose mother tongue was also Gujarati and were Gujarati Hindus before, is one of the most notable people of Gujarati Muslim ancestry who ethnically belonged to the province of Gujarat, but was however born in Karachi. Gujarati Muslims constitute the majority in Saddar Town and form the backbone of the Pakistani economy. The Khatik are found mainly in Eder, Himmatnagar, Khedbrahma, Vijayagar and Bhiloda. They are divided into the Hindu and Muslim sub-groups. The Hindu Khateek do not slaughter animals, which is done by Muslim Khateek, but they simply sell the meat. There are further territorial divisions, the Jaipuria and Bagard Khateek. The community is also split into a number of gotras, the main ones being the Bagod, Demaria, Dindmania, Chauhan, Chaula, Khoiwad, Khinchi, Lindiwal, Chandal, Bagma and Daima. The community is mostly butchers, but a good many of them have now taken up petty trade.
After Indian independence and the Partition of India in 1947, the new Indian government grouped the former princely states of Gujarat into three larger units; Saurashtra, which included the former princely states on the Kathiawar peninsula, Kutch, and Bombay state, which included the former British districts of Bombay Presidency together with most of Baroda state and the other former princely states of eastern Gujarat. In 1956, Bombay state was enlarged to include Kutch, Saurashtra, and parts of Hyderabad state and Madhya Pradesh in central India. The new state had a mostly Gujarati-speaking north and a Marathi-speaking south. Agitation by Marathi nationalists for their own state led to the split of Bombay state on linguistic lines; on 1 May 1960, it became the new states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The first capital of Gujarat was Ahmedabad; the capital was moved to Gandhinagar in 1970.
In Gujarat a few new towns have been established since Indian Independence in 1947. Most of these are more like settlements established near existing urban centres. Gandhidham, Sardarnagar and Kubernagar are three rehabilitation towns more like refugee settlements than self-sufficient towns. The last two now form part of the city of Ahmedabad. They were established for the resettlement of Sindhi Hindu refugees arriving from Pakistan. Ankleshwar and Mithapur were two of the earlier industrial towns established in Gujarat. A complex of three small townships for the oil refinery, the Fertilizer Factory and Petro-chemicals plant also came up near Vadodara. Kandla is the only new port town established in the state. The capital city of Gujarat, Gandhinagar is one of the three planned cities in India and has excellent infrastructure.
Nav Nirman Andolan (Re-invention or Re-construction movement) was a socio-political movement that occurred in 1974 in Gujarat. It was students and middle class people's movement against economic crisis and corruption in public life. This was the first and last successful agitation after Independence of India that ousted an elected government.
On 20 December 1973, students of L.D. College of Engineering, Ahmedabad went on strike in protest against 20% hike in hostel food bill. People from middle class and some factory workers also joined protests in Ahmedabad.People demanded Chief Minister Chimanbhai Patel's resignation. Due to pressure of protests, Indira Gandhi asked Chimanbhai Patel to step down. He resigned on February 9. The governor suspended the state assembly and President’s rule was imposed. Opposition parties led stepped in with demand for dissolution of state assembly.Congress had 140 out of 167 MLAs in state assembly. The resignation of 15 Congress (O) MLAs on 16th February triggered the next phase of the agitation. Three Jan Sangh MLAs also resigned. By March, students had got 95 of 167 to resign. Morarji Desai, leader of Congress (O), went on an indefinite fast on 12 March in support of the demand. On 16 March, the assembly was dissolved bringing end to agitation.
Nav Nirman Yuvak Samiti kept demanding fresh elections and opposition parties joined campaign. Morarji Desai again went on indefinite hunger strike on 6th April, 1975 to support it. Finally Indira Gandhi gave in and fresh elections were held on 10th June and result declared on 12th June, 1975. Verdict on Indira Gandhi's electoral malpractice declared the same day which later resulted in Emergency. Meanwhile Chimanbhai Patel formed new party named Kisan Mazdoor Lok Paksh and contested on his own. Congress lost elections which won only 75 seats. Coalition of Congress (O), Jan Sangh, PSP and Lok Dal known as Janata Morcha won 88 seats and Babubhai J. Patel became Chief Minister. This government lasted nine months and president's rule imposed in March, 1976. Congress won elections in December 1976 and Madhav Singh Solanki became Chief Minister.
2001 Gujarat Earthquake
Gujarat was hit with a devastating earthquake on 26 January 2001 at 8:55am, which claimed a staggering 20,000 lives, injured another 200,000 people and severely affected the lives of 40 million of the population. The economic and financial loss to Gujarat and India is being felt even after a decade.
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