An essay on Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi


Born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

2 October 1869

Porbandar, Kathiawar Agency, British India

Died 30 January 1948 (aged 78)

New Delhi, Dominion of India

Cause of Death Assassination (gunshot wounds
Citizenship British subject (until 1947)

Dominion of India (from 1947)

Alma Mater Alfred High School, Rajkot (1880–1887)Samaldas Arts College, Bhavnagar (1888)Inner Temple, London (1888–1891)University College London (1888–1889)
Occupations Lawyer anti-colonialist political ethicistnon-violence activist
Known for Leadership of the campaign for India’s independence from British rule non violent resistance
Notable work The story of My Experiments with Truth
Political party Indian National Congress (1920–1934)[1
Term President of the Indian National Congress
Era British Raj
Years Active 1893–1948
Spouse Kasturba Gandhi

(m. 1883; died 1944)

Children Harilal, Manilal, Ramdas, Devdas
Other Relatives Family of Mahatma GandhiC. Rajagopalachari (father-in-law of Devdas)

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 into a Gujarati Hindu Modh Bania family in Porbandar (also known as Sudamapuri), a coastal town on the Kathiawar Peninsula and then part of the small princely state of Porbandar in the Kathiawar Agency of the British Raj. His father, Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi (1822–1885), served as the dewan (chief minister) of Porbandar state. His family originated from the then village of Kutiana in what was then Junagadh State.

Born and raised in a Hindu family in coastal Gujarat, Gandhi trained in the law at the Inner Temple, London, and was called to the bar at age 22 in June 1891. After two uncertain years in India, where he was unable to start a successful law practice, he moved to South Africa in 1893 to represent an Indian merchant in a lawsuit. He went on to live in South Africa for 21 years. It was here that Gandhi raised a family and first employed nonviolent resistance in a campaign for civil rights. In 1915, aged 45, he returned to India and soon set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest against exploitation like excessive land-tax and discrimination.

Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women’s rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, and, above all, achieving swaraj, and at that point of time Swaraj’s meaning was different fir every single person. For some Swaraj meant to attain freedom from British Raj, and for some it meant no slavery of the Britishers and like wise every Indian the idea of self freedom meant different but goal remained same. Gandhi adopted the short dhoti woven with hand-spun yarn as a mark of identification with India’s rural poor. He began to live in a self-sufficient residential community, to eat simple food, and undertake long fasts as a means of both introspection and political protest. Bringing anti-colonial nationalism to the common Indians, Gandhi led them in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930 and in calling for the British to quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned many times and for many years in both South Africa and India.

Gandhi’s vision of an independent India based on religious pluralism was challenged in the early 1940s by a Muslim nationalism which demanded a separate homeland for Muslims within British India. In August 1947, Britain granted independence, but the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two dominions, a Hindu-majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan. As many displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs made their way to their new lands, religious violence broke out, especially in the Punjab and Bengal. Abstaining from the official celebration of independence, Gandhi visited the affected areas, attempting to alleviate distress. In the months following, he undertook several hunger strikes to stop the religious violence. The last of these, begun in Delhi on 12 January 1948 when he was 78, also had the indirect goal of pressuring India to pay out some cash assets owed to Pakistan. Although the Government of India relented, as did the religious rioters, the belief that Gandhi had been too resolute in his defence of both Pakistan and Indian Muslims, especially those besieged in Delhi, spread among some Hindus in India. Among these was Nathuram Godse, a militant Hindu nationalist from western India, who assassinated Gandhi by firing three bullets into his chest at an interfaith prayer meeting in Delhi on 30 January 1948.

Hailed as the greatest figure of modern India, his birthday, 2 October, is commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence. Gandhi is commonly considered the Father of the Nation in India and is commonly called Bapu (Gujarati: endearment for father, papa).