by Vikal from Flushing

"Nonviolence is the answer to all mankinds problems."

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Mahatma Gandhi was born on Oct 2, 1869, in India in a Hindu family. His father was the dewan ("Prime Minister") of the princely state of Porbandar, population about 72,000. Gandhi got married at the age of 13 with Kasturbai Makanji with the arrangements of their families. After marriage, Gandhi didn't become a family guy unlike other people, but he went to London when he was 19 to study law. In 1891, Gandhi enrolled in the High Court of London. However, he returned to India later that year. In India he didn't have a success at studying law, so he took an offer to be a legal advisor in South Africa and remained in South Africa for 20 years. Over there Gandhi started seeing the discrimination against Indians from the Europeans. Gandhi was thrown out of his railway cart even though he had an appropriate ticket. His views started seeing the discrimination and the segregation against Indians.

Gandhi became the Indian Leader in the Indian community in South Africa, and practiced nonviolent resistance to the government in South Africa. There in South Africa Gandhi followed three rules; he developed three rules which were to shape the rest of his life: satyagraha or truth-force ("The term denotes the method of securing rights by personal suffering; it is the reverse of resistance by arms"); ahimsa or non-violence ("He who injures others, is jealous of others, is not fit to live in the world"); and brahmacharya or sexual abstinence ("A man or woman completely practicing Brahmacharya is absolutely free from passion. Such a one therefore lives nigh unto God, is Godlike.") So, Gandhi followed these rules fighting for justice in South Africa and after 21 years he returned to India and started fighting for justice for the Indians from the British.

Gandhi did not separate religion and politics to get justice to all Indians. He joined the Indian National Congress, India's largest political party, which in 1920 consisted of anglicized lawyers, all talk and no action. One of the great differences between Gandhi and other revolutionaries in the whole world was that Gandhi believed in nonviolence, so he followed a peace path to get India its independence from Great Britain. Gandhi persuaded the Congress to adopt his plan of non-cooperation, a total boycott of all things British; so Indian lawyers quit their practice in the British-run courts, students stopped attending British-run universities, and everyone gave up their British-made clothes. So he started making homespun, which became a uniform for the people in the politics in India, the congress party.

Gandhi's next campaign was in 1930. Salt is a staple in India's climate, but the government held a monopoly on its production and imposed a tax on its sale. Gandhi planned to march to the sea and make salt in defiance of the government monopoly, setting off a nationwide campaign. He began the march at his meeting place, with a few satyagrahis. The Salt Campaign was Gandhi's most successful, resulting in civil disobedience throughout India. Because of his salt marching Gandhi was sent to jail and got released in 1931. The British had proposed a new constitution for India, which included a separate electorate for untouchables. Gandhi saw this as one more barrier, and he began a "fast to the death" in protest. In 1942, Gandhi mounted his final independence campaign, "Quit India." He was jailed almost immediately.

With the end of World War II, the British realized they would have to let India go. They could not afford the manpower and material to continue suppressing the Indian independence movement. At the same time Muhammed Ali Jinnah and his Muslim League were lobbying hard for a separate Islamic nation. India gains its independence in the year of 1947. Gandhi and his followers played a very significant role getting India's its independence. On January 30, 1948, Gandhi was walking toward his evening prayer meeting in front of a congregation of about five hundred people when a Hindu extremist named Nathuram Godse approached him. Gandhi put his palms together in a traditional gesture of greeting. Godse pulled out a pistol and shot three bullets into Gandhi's chest at point-blank range. For a moment Gandhi continued to move forward; then he crumpled and died. And the whole nation mourns into grief.

Page created on 6/7/2013 3:13:16 PM

Last edited 6/7/2013 3:13:16 PM

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Related Links

M.K. Gandhi Institute For Nonviolence - is a nonprofit that works to realize the vision of its historic namesake by helping individuals and communities create public awareness of nonviolence as knowledge critical to human thriving.
Gandhi Peace Foundation - seeks to create an environment for study and research on the teaching and practice of Gandhiji

Extra Info

Mohan K. Gandhi is not only my hero but he is also my ideal role model. I really appreciate the work he did and for that I would like to tell everyone to read his book from your local libraries or buy them on the Internet. The two famous books that have been published are Mohandas K. Gandhi leadership India gained independence from Britain. And Mohandas K. Gandhi freed India from British oppression through non-violent protest. Thank You.

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