1. Filling of political void:
• Their greatest accomplishment was filling a political void at a time when the national movement was regaining strength. And they did so without succumbing to the colonial regime's influence. ‘We have stood firm,' Motilal Nehru wrote to his son.
• While some members of their ranks fell by the wayside due to the parliamentary framework, the overwhelming majority showed their mettle and stood firm.
• They worked in the legislatures in a disciplined and orderly manner, withdrawing when the call came.
2. Work in legislature:
They demonstrated that it was possible to use legislatures in innovative ways while promoting self-reliant anti-imperialism politics.
• They also succeeded in exposing the flaws in the 1919 Reform Act and demonstrating to the public that India was ruled by lawless laws.
3. Work of no-changers:
• Meanwhile, the no-changers continued their laborious, quiet, unobtrusive grass-roots construction work on behalf of khadi and spinning, national education, Hindu-Muslim unity, the fight against untouchability, and the boycott of foreign cloth.
• Hundreds of ashrams sprung up across the country, where political cadres received practical training in khadi work and working with the lower castes and tribal people.
• Example, Vedchi Ashram in Bardoli taluqa, Gujarat, where Chimanlal Mehta, Jugatram Dave, and Chimanlal Bhatt dedicated their entire lives to spreading education among the adivasis or kaliparaj; or Ravishankar Maharaj's work among the lower caste Baralyas of Kheda district.
4. Constructive work of Gandhi:
It had a wide range of topics. It provided much-needed relief to the poor, aided the nation-building process, and familiarised urban-based and upper caste cadres with the conditions of villages and lower castes.
• It provided political workers or cadres to the Congress.
• Continuous and effective work in the passive phases of the national movement aided in the development of their organising capacity and self-reliance, as well as their bonds with those sections of the masses who had previously been untouched by politics.
• It instilled new hope in the rural masses and increased Congress's influence among them.
5. Boycott of foreign goods:
• There could be no united struggle against colonialism without the uplift of the lower castes and Adivasis.
• The boycott of foreign cloth was a brilliant move that demonstrated the Indian people's determination to be free to rulers and the rest of the world.
Significance of constructive work:
o Young men were educated in alternative, non-colonial ideological frameworks at national schools and colleges. Many of the young men and women who dropped out in 1920-21 returned to officially recognised educational institutions, but many of them went on to become full-time cadres in the movement.
o Constructive work was a major channel for the recruitment of freedom fighters and their political training, as well as the selection and testing of their "officers" and "leaders" in general.
o In the active Satyagraha phase of the nationalist movement, constructive workers were to act as the steel frame. It was thus no coincidence that khadi bhandar workers, students and teachers at national schools and colleges, and inmates of Gandhian ashrams served as the backbone of civil disobedience movements
as organisers and active Satyagrahis.
The years 1922-1927 were marked by a series of contradictory events. While both the Swarajists and the Gandhian constructive workers were active in their own right, both camps were plagued by virulent factionalism and indiscipline. By 1927, a general sense of apathy and frustration had begun to pervade the country. ‘My only hope, therefore, lies in prayer and answer to prayer,' Gandhiji wrote in May 1927.