The leader of many, known as the ‘father of the nation’, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is a nationalist and politician. His struggle to make India independent is known by all. he has brought glory and peace to the country. From dealing with the British rulers to getting India free from their reign, Mohandas walked a long path to becoming ‘Mahatma’. Let’s Read More into Mahatma Gandhi Biography.
He was born on 2nd October 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat. his birth name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. His birthplace was located in Kathiawad district under British rule. His parents were Karamchand and Putlibai Gandhi. His father was Chief Minister of Porbandar in Western India. His mother was a religious woman who believed in God and used to worship a lot.
At first, Gandhi used to be a very shy child and an outstanding student. He was praised by all of his teachers in school. Though he wished to be a doctor, his father wanted him to be a minister like himself. He is the reason Gandhi went abroad in 1888 to study law.
His journey in South Africa
In 1891, he came back after completing his studies and busied himself in becoming a good lawyer. although he had to struggle a lot at first. After a year he signed a contract to work as a lawyer in South Africa.
The lifestyle of Indian immigrants in South Africa pained him. he was disturbed by the racial and cultural discriminations. He was insulted times and again upon talking against the British Government’s behavior. An incident in 1893 made him want to reach the roots of these discriminations and uproot it all. he vowed to fight against it. Since that day, a fighter started to form inside him which resulted in Natal Indian Congress being formed in 1894.
After a year, when Gandhi’s one-year contract was about to end, the Natal Legislative Assembly passed a law to deprive the Indian immigrants of their right to vote. Gandhi could not bend the law but brought injustice into international light. After that, he came back to India only to return with his wife and children in 1897. He convinced his fellow Indians to fight in the Boer War and support the British. He believed that if the Indians can get the right to citizenship, they should the rulers.
In 1906, when the South African Transvaal government made new laws that restricted the recognition of Hindu marriages, Gandhi began to lead the first mass civil disobedience campaign. The world witnessed the first “Satyagraha”. The protest went on for years. In 1913, after numerous Indians were arrested the leader, the government had no other way but to negotiate with the protestors. Finally, Hindu marriage got recognition, and a poll tax for Indians also was removed.
In 1914, he began his journey back to India but got stuck in London for the outbreak of the First World War. Upon coming back, he founded an ashram in Ahmedabad that allowed all humans to enter irrespective of their castes. he inclined into daily prayer and meditation. It was the time when he started being addressed as “Mahatma”.
Fight for Independence
The Rowlatt Act was enacted in 1919, which let the British rulers imprison anyone they suspected of sedition without any proof. To fight the law, Gandhi called for “Satyagraha”. The peaceful campaign inspired numerous other Indians making then join the protest. But through a massacre in Amritsar violence broke out. The Britishers killed around 400 people by firing machine guns. It became impossible to keep his calm and Gandhi returned all his medals which he earned by serving in World War I in South Africa.
Gandhi requested the Indian government workers to stop serving. He called for mass boycotts. He made fellow Indians stop working for the government, stop buying British goods, let go of wearing Western clothes. He set up a new way to produce clothes by using spinning wheels. He made everyone learn how to do it.
His motto of leading the campaign was non-violence and non-cooperation. In 1922 he was arrested and imprisoned for 3 years. but he was released in 1924. Again he started to oppose the British reign.
In 1930, Gandhi led the Salt March to fight against the prohibitions for Indians to collect and sell salt. With a stick in hand, Gandhi started his journey to Dandi followed by less than a hundred people. When they finally reached Dandi, thousands of people joined them. Ignoring the law, Gandhi went on to make salt from seawater.
Around 60 thousand people were imprisoned for breaking the law, including Gandhi. But his fighting spirit became globally known. He became Time’s “Man of the Year”. The following Gandhi was released and he agreed with Lord Irwin to end the Satyagraha campaign in exchange for the release of the other prisoners. However, people who inhabited near the coastal areas got to make salt from seawater.
Leading India’s Independence
When Great Britain was fighting in World War II in 1942, Gandhi started the “Quit India” movement. The campaign was to remove British law from India forever. He was arrested for creating such a movement. He was released in 1944 for health issues. After the general election in 1945, finally, the talks of Indian independence began. With the National Congress and the Muslim League, the British government started to negotiate the rules of long-awaited independence.
The talks of dividing the nation created mass riots in many of India. Gandhi pledged for peace throughout his time. Finally, on August 15 in 1947, independence was gained. Gandhi kept on asking the rioters to make peace.
The great soul and amazing leader had to pass away on 30th January 1948. He was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist, who reasoned Gandhi’s Muslim tolerance for killing him. Even though the man no longer exists, his beliefs and views have inspired millions of people all over the globe. People have learned to hope following Gandhi’s ideologies. And his soul keeps living among the mass.