Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatama Gandhi
About Mahatma Gandhi

Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi was better known as Mahatma Gandhi. He was born on 2nd October 1869 in Porbandar into the middle class Vaishya family. He was a son of Karamchand and Putlibai. He studied at the elementary school in porbandar till the age of seven and later at Rajkot. He was married to Kasturba at the age of thirteen while still in high school.During his school days he did not show any extraordinary trait, was a bit shy. He matriculated and went to England in 1888 for the study of law. Though his mother opposed this trip but the opposition was overcome by Gandhi's strict vow of not touching women, wine and meat in the foreign land. He passed his examination in 1891 and on 12th June 1891 sailed back to India. He remained in India for almost two years but could not establish himself as a successful lawyer. In 1893 he went to South Africa to fight a lawsuit on behalf of Dada Abdullah & Company. It was the place, which changed the course of Gandhi's life and the history of India. While traveling in a first class rail compartment, Gandhi was thrown out by railway officials just because a white man objected to his presence in the first class compartment. This and some other such incidents made Gandhi feel that being quiet will not do any good.
He stood up for the cause of all the Indians residing there who were suffering humiliation daily. After fighting for the cause of the Indian people in South Africa. He returned to India in 1915. But he was not the same man who left India. He was much transformed - now he had nothing but one resolve - to serve the masses of his country. He was in the battlefield to fight for the independence of his own country, but his ways were totally different. He did not ever use any weapon. 'Satyagraha', 'Asahyog Andolan' and 'Savinay Avagya Andolan' were his weapons. His first Satyagraha was in Champaran, Bihar in 1917 for the cause of peasants of Champaran. The harsh Rowlatt Act introduced by the British government brought him actively into Indian politics and he remained at its centerstage till his death in 1948. With his Non Cooperation Movement, the struggle for independence became the struggle of the masses. He got enormous support in his campaign. He was arrested by the British government and was sentenced to six years of imprisonment. On his release, he undertook the famous 'Dandi March' in 1930, to break the salt law of the British and he was again arrested but later released unconditionally. On 29th August 1931 he sailed to England for the second round table conference as a delegate of the Congress but returned empty handed. In 1942 he organized Quit India Movement and gave the slogan of 'Do or Die'. He prepared to organize a Satyagraha but along with other freedom fighters was arrested.

History remembers Mahatma Gandhi as a great political and spiritual leader of India. Renowned for his non-violent campaigns of civil disobedience, people all across the world were impressed by his charisma, courage and the ability to influence people's conscience. Albert Einstein's comment on Gandhi: "I believe that Gandhi's views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil."

The emergence of Gandhi played a pivotal role in the history of Indian Nationalism. The development of Indian Nationalism occurred in three separate phases. It was the third phase of Indian Nationalism that witnessed the rise of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, as the man who took the country by storm with his novel political ideologies centered on the cardinal principles of ahimsa and satyagraha.

Armed with these ideological tools Gandhi shouldered critical responsibilities in the momentous events that finally led Indian to the path of freedom. The emergence of Gandhi, on the Indian political scenario was not the mere instance of another emerging new leader, but it was the rise of a whole new philosophy that permeated into every sphere of the Indian psyche.

Mahatma Gandhi Facts and Information

NameMahatma Gandhi
Consistuency -
Political PartyIndian National Congress
Full NameMohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Age78 yrs
Date of Birth1869, 2 Oct
Date of Death1948, 30 Jan
Place of BirthPorbandar, Kathiawar Agency
SchoolingAttended primary school in Rajkot.
Education QualificationsUniversity College London, Samaldas,College at Bhavnagar, Gujarat.
Profession before joining politicsLawyer
Spouse NameSmt. Kasturba Gandhi
ChildrenFour Sons: Harilal, Manilal, Ramdas, Devdas
Political CareerIn 1915
Civil rights movement in South Africa (1893-1914)
In 1893 April : Sailed for South Africa to become lawyer for an Indian firm. Found himself subjected to all kinds of color discrimination. Prepared to return to India after completing law case, but was persuaded by Indian colony to remain in South Africa and do public work and earn a living as a lawyer.

In May 1894 - Dec 1896 : Organised Natal Indian Congress and then returned to India for six months to bring back his wife and two children to Natal. Sailed for South Africa with family. He was mobbed when he disembarked at Durban for what Europeans thought he wrote about South Africa when he was in India.

In 1899: Organised Indian Ambulance Corps for British in Boer War.

In 1901: Embarked with family for India, promising to return to South Africa if Indian community there needed his services again. Traveled extensively in India, attended Indian National Congress meeting in Calcutta and opened law office in Bombay. Again he returned to South Africa after urgent request from Indian community.

1903 to 1906: Opened law office in Johannesburg; Organised Phoenix Settlement near Durban, after reading Ruskin's Unto this Last; Organised Indian Ambulance Corps for Zulu "Rebellion.

Sept 1906: First satyagraha campaign began with meeting in Johannesburg in protest against proposed Asiatic ordinance directed against Indian immigrants in Transvaal.

June 1907: Organised Satyagraha against compulsory registration of Asians ("The Black Act"). But he Stood trial for instigating Satyagraha and was sentenced to two months' imprisonment in Johannesburg jail. Attacked and wounded by Indian extremist, Mir Alam, for reaching settlement with Smuts. His struggled was continue more over 20 years for Indians in South Africa. Step by step he founded option for Indian community how we took the freedom from Johannesburg jail, Arrested for not having certificate, and sentenced to two months' imprisonment in Volksrust jail, Sailed for England again to present Indians' case.

In 1913: Third satyagraha campaign begun by leading "great march" of 2,000 Indian miners from Newcastle across Transvaal border in Natal. Arrested three times in four days (at Palmford, Standerton, and Teakworth) and sentenced at Dundee to nine months' imprisonment; tried at Volksrust in second trial and sentenced to three months' imprisonment with his European co-workers, Polak and Kallenbach. Imprisoned in Volksrust jail for a few days and then taken to Bloemfontein in Orange Free State.

In Jan - July 1914 :Satyagraha campaign suspended, with pending agreement between Smuts, C.F. Andrews, and Gandhi, and with ultimate passage of Indian Relief Act. Left South Africa forever, sailing from Cape town for London with Kasturba and Kallenbach, arriving just at beginning of World War I.

Struggle for Indian Independence (1915-47)
In 1915: Gandhi returned to India permanently and then entered in Politics through the revolution. Secured removal of customs harassment of passengers at Viramgam; first incipient satyagraha campaign in India. May 1915, Established Satyagraha Ashram at Kochrab, near Ahmedabad, and soon admitted an untouchable family; in 1917 moved ashram to new site on Sabarmati River. He gave speech at opening of Hindu University at Benares. Helped secure removal of recruiting of South African indenture workers in India.

In 1917: Led successful satyagraha campaign for rights of peasants on indigo plantations in Champaran. Defied an order to leave area in April, was arrest at Motihari and tried, but case was withdrawn. Mahadev Desai joined him at Champaran.

In 1918: His major achievements came in 1918 with in Champaran and Khada algagtions, Bihar and gujarat.Then he Led strike of mill workers at Ahmedabad. Mill owner agreed to arbitration after his three-day fast in Feb, 1918 and also led satyagraha campaign for peasants in Kheda on march 1918. Attended Viceroy's War Conference at Delhi and agreed that Indians should be recruited for World War I. Began recruiting campaign, but was taken ill and came near death; agreed to drink goat's milk and learned spinning during convalescence.

In 1919: On April, Organized nation-wide hartal - suspension of activity for a day - against Rowlatt Bills. Arrested at Kosi near Delhi on way to Punjab and escorted back to Bombay, but never tried. Fasted at Sabarmati for three days in penitence for violence and suspended satyagraha campaign, which he called a "Himalayan miscalculation" because people were not disciplined enough. Assumed editorship of English weekly, Young India, and Gujarati weekly, Navajivan and in month of Oct, After five months' refusal, authorities allowed him to visit scene of April disorders in Punjab. Worked closely with Motilal Nehru. Conducted extensive inquiry into violence in many Punjab villages.

In 1920: Successfully urged resolution for a satyagraha campaign of non-cooperation at Moslem Conference at Allahabad and at Congress sessions at Calcutta (Sept.) and Nagpur (Dec.) Again Second all-India satyagraha campaign began when he gave up Kaisari-Hind medal in Aug 1920.

In 1928: They moved compromise resolution at Congress session at Calcutta, calling for complete independence within one year, or else the beginning of another all-Indian satyagraha campaignin the month of December.

In 1929: Started Congress session at Lahore declared complete independence and a boycott of the legislature and fixed January 26 as National Independence Day. Third all-Indian satyagraha campaign began.

In 1930: In March 12,Set out from Sabamarti with 79 volunteers on historic salt march 200 miles to sea at Dandi. Broke salt law by picking salt up at seashore as whole world watched. During this march the arrested by armed policemen at Karadi and imprisoned in Yeravda jail without trial. There are one hundred thousand persons arrested. There was no Congress in December because all leaders were in jail.

A Divided Movement In 1931: In 1931, after British authorities made some concessions, Gandhi again called off the resistance movement and agreed to represent the Congress Party at the Round Table Conference in London, where he was met by C.F. Andrews. There are some of his party colleagues-particularly Mohammed Ali Jinnah, a leading voice for India's Muslim minority. Unluckily Gandhiji arrested in Bombay with Sardar Patel and detained without trial at Yeravda prison.

In 1932: He began "perpetual fast unto death" while in prison in protest of British action giving separate electorates to untouchables through the campaigning of the Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar and Concluded "epic fast" with historic cell scene in presence of Tagore after British accepted "Yeravda Pact" Pune.

On 8 May 1933: Gandhi began a series of hunger strikes in protest of the treatment of India's so-called "untouchables" (the poorer classes), whom he renamed Harijans, or "children of God." The fasting caused an uproar among his followers and resulted in swift reforms by the Hindu community and the government. Disbanded Sabarmati ashram, which became centre for removal of untouchability.

In 1940: At the time of launched limited, individual civil-disobedience campaign against Britain's refusal to allow Indians to express their opinions regarding World War II - 23,000 persons imprisoned within a year.

In Aug 1942: Congress passed "Quit India" resolution, the final nation-wide satyagraha campaign-ship with Gandhi as leader.

Partition of India and PakistanAfter the Britain Labor Party took power in 1947, negotitions over indian home rule began between the British, the Congress Party and the Muslim League. But the British Created partition in two Dimensions between India And Pakistan.

In 1947, During the Partition of the religions, Gandhi strongly opposed Partition, but he agreed to it in hopes that after independence Hindus and Muslims could achieve peace internally. Gandhi urged Hindus and Muslims to live peacefully together, and undertook a hunger strike until riots in Calcutta ceased.

Death of Mahatma GandhiIn January 1948: He carried out Fasted for five days in Delhi for communal unity. On January 30, 12 days after that fast ended, Gandhi was on his way to an evening prayer meeting in Delhi when he was shot to death by Nathuram Vinayak Godse. 1 millions people are follow the procession as Gandhi's body was carried in state through the streets of the city and cremated on the banks of the holy Jumna River.
Important positions heldIn 1893: To become lawyer for an Indian firm in South Africa.
In 1920: Elected president of All-India Home Rule League.
In 1924: Presided over Congress session at Belgaum as president.
In 1934: Took retirement from politics and resigned from the Congress Party.
In 1940: Came Back into the party as a freedom fighter, session of World War II
AchievementsLeadership of Indian independence movement; philosophy of Satyagraha; Ahimsa or nonviolence; Pacifism; Major play a role to fight in Champaran and Kheda aligations; and Civil Rights for the harijan, Shudra, Women, Dalit Community, Vaishya caste, so called-"Untouchable people".
Play a role in 1920s Salt Satyagraha (Salt March)
As a Leader in 1940, World War II and Quit India an Forcefully end of British Sarkar on 1947 for the Indian Freedom.

Last Updated on : September 30, 2014