The father of India – Mahatma Gandhi

Published by Praveen kumar Gouda on

 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, India, and died on January 30, 1948, in Delhi. He belonged to a middle-class family. One of the few men who had fought for  Indian lawyers, politician, social activists, and writers who became the leader of the nationalist movement against the British rule of India. Also, consider the father of his country. Gandhi is internationally esteemed for his nationalism of nonviolent protest to achieve political and social progress.

Family:

Gandhi was the youngest child of his family. His father name Karamchand Gandhi, who was the dewan (chief minister) of Porbandar, the capital of a small principality in western India (in what is now Gujarat state under British suzerainty did not have much in the way of formal education and also known as Kaba.  Mother name Putlibai was completely absorbed in religion, did not care much for finery or jewelry, divided her time between her home and the temple.  He has six brothers and sisters.

Childhood:

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the full name of Gandhi. And he is also known as Bapu. He was born in a Vaishnava family. Bapu was very shy and he never told a lie. Harishchandra and Sharavana are stories that had a great impact on childhood. With these stories and his personal experiences, he realized that truth and love are among the supreme values. His family moved to Rajkot, a nine-year-old Bapu was rolled at a local school, where he studied the basics of arithmetic, history, geography, and languages.

When he was 11 years old, he attended a high school in Rajkot. He dropped one year because of his marriage. Bapu got married at the age of 13 to  Kasturba and all the siblings married in triple marriage in order to save money and time. Bapu was actually a coward but Kasturba was a different character free from all banish. She was illiterate. By nature, she was simple, independent, persevering. And these qualities made Bapu love her to the limit and he wanted to spend every time but traditional not allowed them. After he didn’t concentrate on his education.

Early life:

Gandhi dropped one year because of marriage. Later rejoined Rajkot in a local school and completed his matriculation examination at the University of Bombay ( now at the University of Mumbai) in 1887. Then joined samples college in Bhavnagar ( Bhaunagr). He had suddenly changed his native language to Gujarati. After he found so many difficult to understand lectures. His family was debating his future after left this college. He wanted to become a doctor. But his family motivated him to build his carrier in a barrister and he agreed. Then to study in England, the biggest problem was money. Moreover, his mother feared that he would lose his caste if he crossed the ocean because people in London ate meat and drunk wine. So he would become addicted to the bad company. After some conservation all right all matter.

On 1888 September 4, Mohandas left Bombay for England. Dressed in western style, he stood on the deck as the ship slowly steamed out of the harbor. He was sad, but he was also excited. Mohandas never forget his first morning on board. He wore a black suit, a white shirt, a stiff collar pinched him. It was quite a job to knot his tie property. He thought that Indian dress was much more comfortable than the western dress.  Yet glance in the mirror made him feel proud of himself.

He thought he looked very impressive. He ate his food there alone. Gandhi was not sure of all those unknown dishes served in the shop. He thought they might contain meat. He did not wish to break his promise to his mother, so he lived mainly on the sweets he had taken with him. Gandhi avoided non-vegetarian restaurants. He joined the London vegetarian society. Some vegetarians he met were members of the Theosophical Society, which had been founded in 1875 to further universal brotherhood, and which was devoted to the study of Buddhist and Hindu literature. These members encouraged Gandhi to join them in reading the Bhagavad Gita both in translation as well as in the original.

Gandhi had a friendly and productive relationship with Hills, but the two men took a different view on the continued LVS membership of fellow committee member Dr. Thomas Allinson. Their disagreement was the first known example of Gandhi’s challenging authority, despite his shyness and temperamental disinclination towards confrontation. He was enrolled in the inner temple for twenty-four months in that his mother Putlibai. He completed his law studied and also called the bar in June 1891. After the farewell, he returned to India.

After coming to India Gandhi established a law practice in Bombay. But he failed because he was psychologically unable to cross-examine witnesses. He returned to Rajkot to make a modest law in the local area.

Gandhi in South Africa:

After returning to India, Gandhi struggled to find work as a lawyer. In 1893, Dada Abdullah, a merchant who owned a shipping business in South Africa, asked if he would be interested to serve as his cousin’s lawyer in South Africa. Gandhi gladly accepted the offer and left for South Africa, which would serve as a turning point in his political career. In South Africa, he faced racial discrimination directed towards blacks and Indians. He faced humiliation on many occasions but made up his mind to fight for his rights. This turned him into an activist and he took upon him many cases that would benefit the Indians and other minorities living in South Africa.

Indians were not allowed to vote or walk on footpaths as those privileges were limited strictly to the Europeans. Gandhi questioned this unfair treatment and eventually managed to establish an organization named ‘Natal Indian Congress’ in 1894.

After he came across ancient Indian literature known as ‘Tirukkural’, which was originally written in Tamil and later translated into many languages, Gandhi was influenced by the idea of Satyagraha (devotion to the truth) and implemented non-violent protests around 1906. After spending time of 21 years in South Africa, where he fought for civil rights, he had transformed into a new person and he returned to India in 1915.

Gandhi and the Indian National Congress:

After his long stay in South Africa and his activism against the racist policy of the British, Gandhi had earned a reputation as a nationalist, theorist, and organizer. Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a senior leader of the Indian National Congress, invited Gandhi to join India’s struggle for independence against the British Rule. Gokhale guided Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi about the persisting political situation in India and also the social issues of the time. He joined the Indian National Congress and before taking over the leadership in 1920, headed many agitations which he named Satyagraha.

Champaran Satyagraha:

The Champaran agitation in 1917 was the first major success of Gandhi after his arrival in India. The peasants of the area were forced by the British landlords to grow Indigo, which was a cash crop, but its demand had been canceling. To make the matters worse, they were forced to sell their crops to the planters at a fixed price. The farmers turned to Gandhi for help. Pursuing a strategy of nonviolent disturbance, Gandhi took the administration by surprise and was successful in getting grants from the authorities. This campaign marked Gandhi’s arrival in India.

Kheda Satyagraha:

Farmers asked the British to free the payment of taxes as Kheda was hit by floods in 1918. When the British failed to pay heed to the requests, Gandhi took the case of the farmers and led the protests. He instructed them to refrain from paying revenues no matter what. Later, the British gave in and accepted to free the revenue collection and gave its word to Vallabhbhai.

Khilafat Movement Post World War I:

Gandhi had agreed to support the British during their fight in World War I. But the British failed to grant independence post the war, as promised earlier, and as a result of this Khilafat Movement was launched. Gandhi realized that Hindus and Muslims must unite to fight the British and urged both the communities to show solidarity and unity. But his move was questioned by many Hindu leaders. Despite the opposition from many leaders, Gandhi managed to amass the support of Muslims. But as the Khilafat Movement ended suddenly, all his efforts evaporated into thin air.

Non-cooperation Movement and Gandhi:

Non-cooperation Movement was one of the most important against Gandhi’s from British. Gandhi’s pushed his fellow countrymen to stop co-operation with the British. He believed that the British successfully ruled in India only because of the co-operation of the Indians. He had warned the British not to pass the Rowlatt Act, but they did not pay any attention to his words and passed the Act. As announced, Gandhiji asked everyone to start civil disobedience against the British. The British began suppressing the civil disobedience movement by force and opened fire on a pacific crowd in Delhi.

The British asked Gandhi not to enter Delhi which he resisted as a result of which he was arrested and this further enraged people and they rioted. He urged people to show unity, non-violence, and respect for human life. But the British responded aggressively to this and arrested many persons.

On 13 April 1919, a British officer, Dyer, ordered his forces to open fire on a peaceful gathering, including women and children, in Amritsar’s Jallianwala Bagh. As a result of this, hundreds of innocent Hindu and Sikh civilians were killed. The incident is known as the ‘Jallianwala Bagh Massacre’. But Gandhi criticized the protesters instead of blaming the English and asked Indians to use love while dealing with the hatred of the British. He urged the Indians to refrain from all kinds of non-violence and went on fast-to-death to pressure Indians Swaraj.

The concept of non-cooperation became very popular and started spreading through the length and breadth of India. Gandhi extended this movement and focused on Swaraj. He urged people to stop using British goods. He also asked people to resign from government employment, quit studying in British institutions, and stop practicing in law courts. However, the violent clash in Chauri Chaura town of Uttar Pradesh, in February 1922, forced Gandhiji to call-off the movement all of a sudden. Gandhi was arrested on 10th March 1922 and was tried for sedition. He was sentenced to six years imprisonment but served only two years in prison.

Simon Commission & Salt Satyagraha (Dandi March):

In the period of 1920s, Mahatma Gandhi concentrated on resolving the wedge between the Swaraj Party and the Indian National Congress. In 1927, the British had appointed Sir John Simon as the head of a new constitutional reform commission, popularly known as the ‘Simon Commission’. There was not a single Indian in the commission. Agitated by this, Gandhi passed a resolution at the Calcutta Congress in December 1928, calling on the British government to grant India dominion status. In case of non-compliance with this demand, the British were to face a new campaign of non-violence, having its goal as complete independence for the country.

The resolution was rejected by the British. The flag of India was unrolled by the Indian National Congress on 31st December 1929 at its Lahore session. January 26, 1930, was celebrated as the Independence Day of India. But the British failed to recognize it and soon they levied a tax on salt and Salt Satyagraha was launched in March 1930, as an opposition to this move. Gandhi started the Dandi March with his followers in March, going from Ahmadabad to Dandi on foot. The protest was successful and resulted in the Gandhi-Irwin Pact in March 1931.

Negotiations over Round Table Conferences:

Post the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, Gandhi was invited to round table conferences by the British. While Gandhi pressed for Indian independence, the British thought Gandhi’s motives and asked him not to speak for the entire nation. They invited many religious leaders and B. R. Ambedkar to represent the untouchables. The British promised many rights to various religious groups as well as the untouchables. The distress this move would divide India further, Gandhi protested against this by fasting. After learning about the true intentions of the British during the second conference, he came up with another Satyagraha, for which he was once again arrested.

Quit India Movement:

As World War II progressed, Mahatma Gandhi intensified his protests for the complete independence of India.Gandhi resolution calling for the British to Quit India. The ‘Quit India Movement’ or the ‘Bharat Chhodo Andolan’ was the most aggressive movement launched by the Indian national Congrees under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was arrested on 9th August 1942 and was held for two years in the Aga Khan Palace in Pune, where he lost his secretary, Mahadev Desai, and his wife, Kasturba. The Quit India Movement came to an end by the end of 1943 when the British gave hints that complete power would be transferred to the people of India. Gandhi called off the movement which resulted in the release of 100,000 political prisoners.

Five Principle of Mahatma Gandhi for ourselves:

  1. Change yourself first
  2. Strength –Through peace
  3. Violence is unnecessary
  4. Pursue the truth 
  5. Watch your thoughts  
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Praveen Kumar Gouda
Being a Graphics Designer I always enjoy with my creativity and experiments.

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