- Name : Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
- Date of Birth : Oct 02, 1869
- Passed Away On : Jan 30, 1948
- Religion : Hindu
- Death Place : New Delhi
- Address : Porbandar
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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who is popularly known as ‘Father of The Nation’ was an influential leaders of the Indian Independence Movement. His Non Violent or philosophy of ‘Ahimsa’ played a vital role in liberating India from the British rule.
Karamchand Gandhi was born in a Gujarati merchant family. His father was
Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi who served as a Diwan of Porbandar state.
He studied Law at the Inner Temple, London. Also, he first employed the non-violent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa in the resident Indian community’s struggle for civil rights.
As a Civil Rights Activist in South Africa
Gandhi was 24 years old when he arrived in South Africa in the year 1893 to work as a legal representative for the Muslim Indian Traders based in the city of Pretoria. Gandhi spent 21 years in South Africa. It was during this time that he developed his political views, ethics and political leadership skills.
Indians in South Africa included wealthy Muslims, who employed Gandhi as a lawyer. It was during this time that he believed that he could bridge historic differences of religion, and he took that belief back to India where he tried to implement it.
However, it was not easy to implement such philosophy in India owing to the complexities of religious and cultural life in India.
other hand Gandhi faced racial discrimination
against people with coloured skin. He himself reported such discrimination when
he was thrown off a train at Pietermaritzburg when he refused to move from the
first class coach. In another incident he was kicked by a police officer out of
the footpath onto the street without warning as Indians were not allowed to
walk on footpaths in South Africa.
Such events inspired him to inspire people against social injustices.
His role in World War 1
During the latter part of World War 1 i.e. the April 1918, the Viceroy invited Gandhi to a War Conference in Delhi. Gandhi showed his support for the Empire and found it essential for India's independence. Therefore, he agreed to actively recruit Indians in the war. This recruitment campaign of Gandhi raised questions on his consistency on nonviolence.
As a leader of the Indian National Congress
Gandhi returned to India in the year 1915. On his return he compelled farmers, peasants, and urban labourers as well to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination. Also, he assumed the leadership of Indian National Congress in the year 1921.
As a leader, he organized various campaigns that too nation-wide against poverty and untouchability, in favour of women’s rights expansion and building religious and ethnic amity. Apart from these issues, his major focus was to attain ‘Swaraj’ i.e. self-rule.
His role in Khilafat Movement
In the year 1919, Gandhi decided to broaden his political base and therefore wished to gain the confidence of Muslims. He got this opportunity in the form of Khilafat movement which was a worldwide protest by Muslims against the collapsing status of the Caliph, the leader of their religion.
The Ottoman Empire had lost the First World War and was disintegrated. Consequently, Muslims started fearing for the safety of the holy places and the prestige of their religion.
Gandhi did not originate the All-India Muslim Conference, which directed the movement in India but he soon became its most prominent spokesman and attracted Muslim support in large numbers.
He returned the medals that had been bestowed on him by the
British government for his work in the Boer and Zulu Wars as a mark of
solidarity with Indian Muslims.
This successful attempt of Gandhi during Khilafat Movement
made him India's first national leader with a multicultural base. Also, he rose
to power within Congress as well and in the year 1920 he became a major leader
in the party.
The Famous Dandi March
Gandhi openly challenged British-imposed salt tax and many people came forward in his support. As a protest, Gandhi started a 400km (250 miles) Dandi Salt March in the year 1930.
Later on he also protested against British rule and asked the Imperial rule to Quit India in the year 1942.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated on 30 January 1948 in the garden of the former Birla House presently known as Gandhi Smriti.
He was accompanied by his grand nieceses, Gandhi was on his
way to address a prayer meeting, when his assassin, Nathuram Godse, fired three bullets
into his chest.
Godse was a Hindu nationalist with links to the extremist Hindu Mahasabha. He held Gandhi guilty of favouring Pakistan and also strongly opposed his doctrine of nonviolence.