Full name- Mohan Das Karam Chandra Gandhi
Birth Date & place- 2 October 1869 in the Kathiawar Peninsula village in Porbandar, Gujarat
Death date & place- 30th January 1948, Central Delhi (in Birla house)
Parent's name- Karam Chand Uttam Chand Gandhi and Putli bai
Occupation- Leader, Social activist, and lawyer
Spouse name- Kasturba Gandhi (Baa)
Children name- Harilal Gandhi, Manilal Gandhi, Ramdas & Devdas Gandhi
Popular names & nicknames- Bapu, Mahatma Gandhi, father of the nation, etc.
Father of Nation, popular as "Mahatma Gandhi," originally known as Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi was a leader, lawyer, and a great social activist. He was not only a great socialist who played an amazing role as a leader in the Independence of India but also a leader who always supported nonviolence and organized Satyagrah protests against British rule; he and thousands of Indians supported his non-violent approach and took part in his Protest with peace. Indian public had huge respect for him and addressed him as "Bapu", which means "father" in Gujarati. Thousands of people used to follow him and gather and join his ways whenever he took any stands against British rule.
Many times he went to jail for the freedom of the country, and not only in India but in the entire world, he was popular. He spent all his life for the country, and in 1948, he also died while working for the country. All his sacrifices and efforts gave him great reorganization as he got the title of "Mahatma", which means saint in Hindi. Mahatma Gandhi's popularity didn't even stop after his death, and now he is known as one of the most popular personalities in the world and is taught as "father of Nation" in textbooks for schools. Many great personalities like Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela followed his principles, and many still are; he is an inspiration worldwide.
Birth and Early Life
The youngest son of the Hindu Gujarati Family, Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi, was born on 2nd October 1869 in the town "Kathiawar Peninsula" in the small state of Porbandar (now in Gujarat). He was the son of Porbandar's Deewan (Chief Minister) Karam Chand Uttam Chand Gandhi. Karam Chand married four 4 times, and her last wife, Putlibai, was the mother of Mahatma Gandhi. His mother and Father have 3 more children (a daughter and 2 sons except him). Also, there were two daughters from his Father and his previous wives. Karam Chand was a great Chief Minister and was loved by his people. Mohandas was a restless child who was a little naughty but inspired by the stories such as "Harish Chandra" and "Shravan Kumar", which made him too inspired by loyalty, truth, and love. His entire life, he followed these values and lived a simple life.
In 1874 his Father shifted to Rajkot on the basis of the security of Deewan, and in 1876, he became the deewan of Rajkot and called his family there. In Rajkot, Mahatma Gandhi went to school at the age of 9, the school was near his home and as he was interested in studies, his Father put him in "Alfred High School" at the age of 11, but he was an average student who didn't much speak and wasn't interested in sports much. Books were his friend, and companions were school lessons.
Remembering his marriage at the age of 13 to a young 14-year-old bride Kasturbai Makhanji Kapadiya (popular Kasturba where "ba" is used for mother), he told once that those days marriage was just all about new clothes, sweets, and playing with the relatives because of no information about marriage. Because of this marriage, he had to leave his school for a year but later joined his school back. Still, according to the rituals at those times, the bride was mostly at her parents' home and didn't stay with her husband, who bought many lusty thoughts in his head, and he regrets his thoughts later in his writings.
At the age of 18, in November 1887, Mohandas graduated high school in Ahmadabad. Later, he enrolled in a Samaldas College in Bhavnagar State, but later, he left his college and returned to his family in Porbandar.
In 1885 when his father died and his 17-year-old young wife's child of a few days died, it made him very sad that it took so much time to heal from his two beloved deaths. He and Kasturba had their first child in 1888 and then 3 more sons in the years 1892, 1897, and 1990. Name of his sons were Harilal, Manilal, Ramdas and Devdas. All of them gave their support to their Father in freedom fighting. Still, Ramdas wasn't much into the idea of his Father's fight against the British Government and stayed mostly in South Africa but still supported his Father many times and went to Jail for him.
His life as a law student
He went to London and took admission to the cheapest law college University College. Still, his mother and wife weren't happy with his decision as he was leaving his family, wife, and son, but after promising his mom that he would stay away from meat, wine, and other women, he got permission. But this was not the only hurdle for him to go to London; another issue was money as his dad died soon; they were out of money, but one of his elder brothers Laxmidas (a lawyer), helped him with money, and he started his journey. While he was going to college in Bombay, where he stayed for some time, people warned him that he could be asked to leave his religion and follow their culture and food in England. Mahatma Gandhi ignored this and went to London after saying bye to his brother who was with him to see off him. After a few days of reaching London, He joined Inner Temple, the law college of London.
At University College, he started studying to become a barrister, his shyness didn't leave him there, but after he started practicing and meeting the public, He overcame his shyness. He focused on his career only there, but he struggled a lot with the food and clothes of western culture and mostly because of his vegetarianism. Later, he joined the London Vegetarian Society and attended their conferences and other activities. There he read the Bible and English translation version of "Bhagwat Geeta", but his shyness came to an end when Gandhi came forward when Hill came against LVS member Allison's "Birth Control Methods" by describing "dangers of Birth Control" but also on the other hand by defended Allison Right to differ, but this doesn't create any hatred among them as Hill threw a Farewell dinner for him when he announced to go to India.
Gandhi's way back to his country
In June 1891, as a Barrister, he returned to India. Still, he found a sad surprise or shock when he came to know his mom died when he was in London and news was told to him and later he came to Know that his Barrister degree wasn't enough for his successful career as there were too much Law professionals in the country. Still, he had his first case in Bombay High court, but it wasn't good, and he couldn't be focused on his work, so he left his part-time job as a teacher and headed back to Rajkot but here, a British Officer Sam Sunny stopped him. So even without choice, he accepted a work offer from an Indian Firm in Natal, South Africa, and a new journey in his life began from there.
Mohan Das in South Africa
Gandhi went to South Africa at the age of 23 in 1893 and went there for 21 years and came back to India. In 1914, His two youngest children of four were born there, and he faced many challenges there. In his starting days there, he faced differences because of his color, and once even he was thrown into the mud because he refused to go out of first class. He had two choices: he could return to India or Protest against discrimination, and he gladly chose to stay there and protest. Later in a Durban court, he was asked to remove his turban, he refused and left Courtroom, but the struggle didn't stop there on a street. A policeman kicked him from the footpath without warning as He was an Indian, and Indians were not allowed to walk on a footpath. For the first time, these things triggered Gandhi, and he gave an aggressive reaction that was unexpected by his nature.
He tried to teach all the fellow Indians in Pretoria about their rights and duties, but till then, he had no intention to stay there, but an incident there in Natal made him stay there for a long while when they announced to deny the right to vote for the Indians. Gandhi and his fellows opposed the bill and asked Joseph Chamberlain, who was the British Colonial Secretary, to take a second thought on the bill and fight on their behalf. Although he wasn't able to make any big change in the bill, he got enough attention for the positions of Indians in South Africa.
Neither as a student nor a barrister, he was interested in politics, but when he was only 25, he was a very well-known political campaigner. In 1894, he founded Natal Indian Congress so that he could create Political support for the Indians in South Africa. In 1896, when he went back to India to bring his wife and children to South Africa, he tried to get the political support of big politicians there, which was, unfortunately, a cause of the issue among European politicians, and in 1897, a group of white mob attacked him when he landed in Durban. Somehow he survived that situation and refused to take any mob name in a press conference as he didn't want to bring any personal issue to court.
In 1899, when the war of Boer took place, Gandhi asked Indians to defend Natal British Colony as they called themselves citizens, and that's their duty; he raised 1100 Natal Indian ambulance Crop who were medical certified and trained to give medical help. The British won, and Gandhi and other 37 people received a medal from South Africa's Queen. In1906, the Transvaal Government announced a new act of humiliating registrations of his Indian and Chinese population. A huge mass protest meeting was organized in Johannesburg, and Gandhi was the leader of the meeting in which they all took a pledge of not accepting the law and facing all the penalties or punishment as a result. This is from where the Idea of Satyagrah ('devotion of truth') was born: they will face all the sufferings without showing any violence and keep walking on the path of truth. The struggle of the Indian community kept going for 7 years, and in 1913, many Indians, including females, went to Jail. Many Indians scarify their livelihood in this process. However, not only for Indians but for the South African Government, it was a hard time, and under the pressure of Governments, compromise happened between Indians and Government. This was his last Protest as a leader, and Gandhi left South Africa, but still, the protests kept going. After lots of suffering in 1994, finally, Indians got the right to vote in South Africa, and even after his death, Gandhi was known as National Hero with many monuments.
Gandhi's Role in Indian Independence
Gandhi left South Africa and went to London because he received an invitation from Gopal Krishna Gokhle to come back to India because, at that time, he was a reputed Indian nationalist and leader all over the world. In 1915, he went to India back, and for three years, he didn't join any political activity and supported British Army. Still, on the other hand, he criticized British Government for their actions in Gujarat and Bihar. In 1919, when British Government passed Rowlett Acts, Gandhi officially came against it and joined Indian National Congress. He announced SatyaGrah and started a huge non-violent war against British Government.
His role during First World War
In 1914, when Gandhi went to the War Conference in New Delhi and accepted the offer of recruiting Indians for British Soldiers, and till 1918, he even recruited them. Still, in 1918, Gandhi refused to support any kind of harm or killing to anybody. When he started recruiting the soldiers, his principle of nonviolence and kindness were questioned. Still, he stopped helping the Government after an awful law by Government.
In 1917, Bihar Farmers when to the ashram of Gandhi and asked him for help against the Government as they were forced to grow the crop of Indigofera (used as a dye) and sell their Crops to Government at a fixed price which wasn't enough for their life living. Gandhi supported them, and with the idea of Non-violence, they got the victory as the authority accepted their demands.
In 1918, Kheda at Gujarat was influenced by the flood but still didn't have any relief from Government and asked for the taxes when Gandhi came to know about this. He started a non-violent protest he picked up new young volunteers for this. Vallabh Bhai Patel was the leader of farmers in this and this Protest; he used a non-co-operation trick where he and the farmers signed a non-payment of income even when the Government threatened them for seizing the land, they didn't agree. After struggling for a long while (for Five months) in the end, the Government agreed and relaxed the taxes also freed the farmer they jailed, and gave relief to Gujarat.
"Jaliyawala Bagh" (Massacre Of Amritsar )
When the British Government announced Rowlett Act, Gandhi warned Government that he would ask the public to disobey them if they applied that Act, but the Government ignored him and applied it. So In 1919, Gandhi and his SatyaGrah civil disobeyed them with the Rowlett Act and started Satyagrah with silence. Still, British Law officers fired on the people who had any armors, which made the Indian public angry and started riots. Still, Mahatma Gandhi gathered them at a Hindu Festival and asked them to show their anger in a peaceful manner by not using British goods and burning their British clothes. His followers followed what he said and used a non-violent manner even when the other side showed Violence.
A huge crowd was arranged, and they all were going to Delhi when the Government stopped them and warned them not to enter, but they disagreed and entered Delhi. So on 9th April, Gandhi was arrested in Delhi for disobeying the British Government. There was a wave of huge anger among people for this, and they kept protesting and rioting. They organized a gathering in Amritsar Punjab. Many people, including Females and children, were gathered in the Park, and a British officer named Reginald Dyer surrounded them and shot them. Hundreds of Sikhs and Hindu citizens were killed in that ParkPark. Many more were injured; they all were unarmed, and this incident is called Amritsar Massacre or Jaliyawala Bagh Massacre.
When people in India came to know about this, there was a huge number of hatred and anger in India. On the next day, instead of showing any anger or saying anything bad to Government, Gandhi asked the Indian public to be polite and reply to them with love and nonviolence. But the condition kept getting worse, and Gandhi took a pledge of Fasting till death to Stop Violence and property destruction.
After this Massacre, a huge amount of the Sikh and Hindu Community was in a huge rage that they wanted to kill Dyer. Even the British Government itself criticized him for the decision and asked to find other and less harmful ways to control the CrowdCrowd. Later they fired Dyer from the Punjab position and asked him to go back to his country. Still, neither Indian nor Gandhi was happy with their decision, and he understood that there was no other way except for the "Swaraj" (Self-rule) to get the right manner of Justice and equal human rights for Indians.
Back to Congress
In the 1919 massacre, nearly 400 Indians died and didn't get the right justice which made Gandhi sure to start a new Journey of Independence, and he started it by rejoining the Congress Party and getting Political support from the British Raj and India; he picked a month of Christmas to deliver a message to Indian that it's not because of British Guns but imperfections and less unity of Indians that keep their country under others.
In 1921, Gandhi became the leader of the Indian National Congress and extended his nonviolence plan to the Swadeshi Policy, where he asked Indians to Boycott all Goods of British manufacturers. He starts wearing Khadi (homespun Cloth). Many Indians doesn't matter if they were Men, Women, Young, Old, Rich, or Poor; they joined him and started supporting him by manufacturing and wearing the Cloth with him. After this, Gandhi asked Indians to leave all the jobs offered by Government and to return the honors given by the British Government. He also asked students to not take admissions to British Universities and colleges. This was a Smart move by Gandhi to attack British Indian Government economically and politically, but Gandhi was being arrested and sent to jail for 6 years for "Tried for agitation". After he went to Jail, the Indian National Congress was divided into two parts. Later, many Muslim leaders also left the Party and started making their Muslim Parties. So with Gandhi's Jail, all his political support and Congress were divided and weakened, but because of his operation, he was released early from prison, and in 1924 he was back to his Swaraj policy.
In 1919, the Muslim Community got political support from Gandhi against British Rule. There was a huge issue between the Hindu and Muslim communities and Riots against each other at that time. Still, Gandhi said for freedom, the Hindus and Muslims must work together, and he supported a Khilafat Movement In which the Sunni Muslims from India were leaders of India. Turkish Caliph Community (ummah) was trying to get Islamic laws or Islam in Caliph. Gandhi supported the Khilafat movement to get mixed results, and Muslims started supporting him back. His support for this movement helped get good political support and sideline Mohammad Ali Jinnah, a Muslim leader. He announced his non-support to Gandhi for his non-violent approach.
In 1922, the Khilafat Movement ended, and all the political support that Gandhi was getting parted into different parts created a rage among Hindus and Muslims again. Also, 91 new riots took place at that and created hard situations in both communities.
Chauri Chaura Violence
On 2nd February, some people in the non-cooperation movement, which retired Policemen led, were marching against British Government because of the high prices of food and sale of liquor at Gauri Baazar in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. But inspector arrested many leaders and put them in Chauri Chaura Police Station. In response, Protestors Organized another Protest on 4th February. They shouted Anti British slogans, and Armed Forces were there to control the Crowd in order to scare them, they fired in the air, but this move went wrong, and the public started throwing stones at them. Police found them with no choice and fired on some people whom three people died and left were injured, and the Crowd went out of control due to being Furious.
Frightened Policemen went to the "Chowki" (police stations) to save their life, but Crowd was so angry that they lit up the station, and nearby 22-23 Policemen were burned alive there. In which a policeman named "Jhathai Ram" wasn't in police chauki but he was thrown into the burning station. When Gandhi came to know about this incident, he was disappointed and blamed himself for this as he made India aware of their Independence. Now they are in extreme danger that they are not ready for fighting against British Government. Many people were arrested for this incident, and later Gandhi himself was arrested and jailed for 6 years, but before going to Jail, he called off his Civil Obedience. Many leaders in National Congress were against Gandhi's this decision as they found India trying hard for Independence.
Salt March (salt Satyagrah)
In 1924 when Gandhi came out of Jail early, he again started to chase the Swaraj; in 1928, he asked British Government to grant them their freedom or to be ready to face another non-cooperation campaign, but till then, after the failure of the old movements, many leaders and freedom fighters were against his nonviolence approach. The fight for freedom was divided into two parts. Few leaders like Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh were in the team who were saying "violence is the only key to getting independence". In contrast, some supported Gandhi in their Nonviolence approach, but the entire nation had only a goal of Full Independence. Gandhi waited for a year but did not get any relevant answer from the British Government. Many British leaders showed their anger and announced that Gandhi's Appraisal was wrong and did not let it get fulfilled any Indian Demands. On the last day of the year 1929, an Indian Flag was fluttered by the Indians in Lahore (now in Pakistan).
In 1930, from 12th March to 6th April, Gandhi marched 388 Kilometers from Ahmadabad to Dandi (Gujarat) to create salt by himself and break Salt Law. Thousands of Indians joined him for support. This wasn't easy, and British Soldiers used "lathi (bamboo sticks) on the protestors to stop them, and beat them for hours, but the Protest went on for many days. The British Government was upset with this Protest and arrested almost 60,000 people, including Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru. But this Protest included Indian Females, and even after the arrest of Gandhi, females led to the Protest with new and positive confidence. This smart move of Gandhi to take out a householder worked so well, and British Government was stressed by the Protest.
British Politicians continuously criticized Gandhi's idea for Independence, and one of them described him as an evil person with selfish causes. Still, he also said that the British Government would automatically leave India for silence and pacification.
Round Table Conference
The Round Table of Conference was held in 1931-1932 between Gandhi and the British Government. The British Government questioned Gandhi and Congress to speak on behalf of the whole of India. They asked for calling regional leaders such as Sikhs, Muslims, and Bheem Rav Ambedkar for the untouchable community. Gandhi refused as he doubted that it would divide India instead of combining them and refused the British Government's offer to stay in an expensive hotel and stayed in a working-class East End.
During this conference, Gandhi asked them to let India have their own rule and be free from British Rule, but British Government said that it would small Indian subcontinent Colony and offered the British Domain Model of dividing India into social and religious domains. Thus this conference didn't satisfy Gandhi, and he went back to India with no result. After returning from the second conference, he again started protesting for the new Satyagrah and went to Jail. He decided to keep a fast till death there. Still, B.R Ambedkar gave his award for the Poona pact and supported Gandhi in protesting to stop the British Government from giving the upper caste a special position.
World war second and Independence
In 1934, He resigned from Congress so that his popularity would not end to any particular party and opposed giving any help from Indians for World War II. Still, millions of Indians (including many leaders) were against Gandhi and joined Force. In 1942, Gandhi gave a speech in Mumbai and asked the British to "Quit India", British Government responded fast and Put him in Jail. Still, Indian people showed their anger against his arrest and burned many Government properties. Later Gandhi again asked Indians to co-operate with the British Government. He said that Protest is not going to stop anyways even if British Government used Violence; he gave a slogan of "Karo Ya Maro (Do or Die)".
Gandhi was in prison for two years now, and his Secretary and wife died there when he had a malaria attack; British Government didn't want him to die there and freed him. When he came out, there was another conflict waiting for him. Jinnah was demanding for Pakistan at that time, and Gandhi decided to meet him. He asked to make a new Independent India into the religious division into Muslim and non-Muslim areas, but Jinnah refused his proposal and asked for a new Muslim India.
Gandhi and Indian National Congress asked to "Quit India". In contrast, Jinnah asked for a "Divide and Quit India", but Gandhi tried to work with them until Independence. Still, he refused but later agreed to his proposal of dividing India into Muslim, Non-Muslim States, which led to mass violence in the entire country. Gandhi tried visiting riot areas to stop massacres. In February 1947, the British Government accepted the Independence of India but with Jinaah's Proposal to divide India and Pakistan, the Violence kept going in India as Hindu- Muslim Riots. Gandhi didn't get time to celebrate Independence and spent that time worshipping and fasting for Indian Peace and silence in August 1947.
On 30th January 1948, while he was going for his evening prayer in the Garden of his Birla House (now known as Gandhi Smriti), a Hindu nationalist Nathuram Godse shot three bullets in his chest from very close range. According to many people, Gandhi died instantly on the spot, but many others say he was taken inside the Birla House and died there. Anyway, the journey of these great political ended there, and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru told the entire nation about this sad news by addressing them on Radio.
"Friends and comrades, the light has gone out of our lives, and there is darkness everywhere, and I do not quite know what to tell you or how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the Father of the nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that; nevertheless, we will not see him again, as we have seen him for these many years, we will not run to him for advice or seek solace from him, and that is a terrible blow, not only for me but for millions and millions in this country."
Entire India cried on Gandhi's Death, over millions of people joined his funeral, which was five-hour-long as he was taken to Raj Ghat (Delhi). His body was kept in a Weapon carrier which was prepared high floored so that the Last glimpse of Gandhi could be visible to millions of people, and 200 people pulled it with the help of four ropes. All world's Indian associates were closed that day, and many people from different Faiths and Indians from all over Britain watched the coverage from the Indian House in London.
Gandhi's funeral was organized according to Hindu tradition, But as millions of Indians loved Gandhi, his ash was poured into several places. Most of the ash was poured into Sangam at Allahabad (now Prayagraj). Still, some parts were poured into the Nile River, Girgaon Chowpatty (Mumbai), and left were poured into Aga khan Palace (Pune), Self Realization Fellowship Lake (Los Angeles). After many years in 1997, his Great Grandson Tushar Gandhi found some part of urns in his family's bank vault and poured them into the Sangam.
Raghuram Godse neither tried to escape nor wanted to. He was arrested immediately, and on his first hearing, he admitted that he killed Gandhi. According to him, he was the reason for all the violence and suffering that happened in India at the time of Partition as he (Gandhi) was a Muslim supporter. His presence was dangerous for Hindus, and by killing him, he did great justice to this nation (mentioned in a book by Gopal Godse (brother of Nathuram Godse). After listening to his Statements and whole proceedings, Justice Khosla made his decision to hang Godse, and in 1949 he was hanged dead.
Gandhi's death was a loss to the country. Still, somewhere Indian Prime Minister used it as a weapon to stop the demands of all Hindu Parties from making India a Hindu State as while Gandhi was alive, "Pakistan' was stated as a "Muslim state". There was huge hatred among both religions, but Gandhi wasn't in support when he died. Jawahar Lal Nehru became a national hero and favorite Politian. He used his power and Gandhi's death to stop the conflicts taking place in the entire country. He linked Gandhi's death to politics and called it the cause of ill mentality and hatred. Gandhi's death helped the Indian Government get marshal support and made Congress more strong Party. They made Hindus feel sad about the person who inspired them for decades, and they temporarily banned RSS and made nearly 200000 arrests of RSS members, Muslim Guards, and Khaksars, and stopped all the ways to any new conflict or hatred. They made new social and economical policies and kept using Gandhi's ideas and policies even after many years of his death with the help of his identity and image.
Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi was a great leader, influencer, and person. He inspired thousands of people, and his principle and ideas are still the base of the Indian Government and thousands of people worldwide. The wars he fought in South Africa proved him a Great hero and justice lover man, but the wars he fought in India proved him a national hero and Father of the nation. Gandhi proved that it is not important to hate or fight with swords; a fight can also be non-violent and can be won with no blood loss or Violence. We can't ever refuse the fact that he was one of the best leaders, and his part in Indian Independence is irreplaceable. There is a fight among many Scholars about his place in history, but they all agreed on the fact that he always supported Discipline, Nonviolence, and justice. In current India, Gandhi's principles are hard to follow as they don't implement in modern and updated Economics. However, in politics, they are still used to ignoring violence and justice, and nonviolence is still the first rule for any protest in India.
2nd October is known as Gandhi Jayanti (his birth anniversary). It is a National holiday in the country, whereas 30th January is known as Martyr's day, and in every Indian note, there is a Gandhi Image. There are many movies and books on Mahatma Gandhi all over the world, and still, it is a trending topic in Movie Industries as people still want to know more about him. Generations are following him, and he will be known by many more generations and will be loved by them.
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