Mahatma Gandhi was referred to as the father of the nation because he carried the values of nonviolence. He certainly lived up to his mantra of “simple living and elevated thought.”
He was an attorney who also supported nationalism and political ethics. He was the primary impetus behind India’s freedom struggle and sought to enact that political and social reform through his nonviolent beliefs.
Mahatma Gandhi Early Life
Bapu, also known as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was born in Porbandar, Gujarat, on October 2, 1869, to Putlibai and Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi. His father served as Porbandar’s Dewan (Chief Minister).
The father of Gandhi, Karamchand, was married four times; his first two wives died giving birth to his daughters, and the third wife was born without children.
After his third marriage, he begged his third wife for permission to remarry, and it was at that point that he wed Putlibai, a member of a Pranami Vaishnava household. Lakshmidas Karamchand Gandhi and Karsandas Gandhi were Gandhi’s two brothers. Raliatbehn Gandhi was his sister. His sister, Raliatbehn, described him as a restless youngster who constantly yearned to play or go around.
He had revealed his fascination in his autobiography when he claimed, “it tormented me and I must have acted Harishchandra to myself times beyond number.” He had been inspired by the writings of Shravana and Harishchandra.
Gandhi’s mother’s religious convictions had a big impact on him. She belonged to the Pranami tradition, which included 14 works that included the Vedas, the Quran, and the Bible in addition to religious literature from the Bhagavad Gita, the Bhagavad Purana, and other traditions.
His father Karamchand was appointed dewan of Rajkot in 1876, and afterward Tulsidas, his father’s brother, was appointed dewan of Porbandar.
At the age of nine, Gandhi enrolled in a local Rajkot school. There, he learns math, history, geography, and Gujarati. He joined Alfred High School at the age of 11. He was a very shy and average student who had no interest in games and won a few prizes. He only loved his books and enjoyed his school lessons.
When he was just 13 years old, he married Kasturbai Makhanji Kapadia. This cost him a year of education, which he was able to make up later. His brother and cousin were also married at the same time as him in a united ceremony.
The passing of Gandhi’s father occurred in 1885. He was only 16 at the time. The same year, he and his wife gave birth to their first child, who lived only a short time. They had four boys: Hiralal(1888), Manilal (1892), Ramdas(1897), and Devdas(1900).
In November 1887, Gandhi received his high school diploma. In January 1888, he enrolled at Samaldas College in the state of Bhavnagar but left before finishing. He then went back to live with his family in Porbandar.
Mahatma Gandhi Education
Gandhi left Porbandar and moved to Mumbai when he was 18 years old. He remained with the Modh Bania community when he got there, where he was warned about the different concessions he would have to make if he went to London. He was informed that he would be required to consume foods and beverages that he never would normally, yet despite this, he felt inspired to leave India. On September 4, he eventually boarded a ship for London, where he enrolled in University College.
He began his legal studies at University College, London, and afterward enrolled at Inner Temple to pursue a career as a lawyer. He joined a group that practised public speaking because he had always been bashful.
Gandhi was called to the bar in June 1891, which is a legal phrase used to become a barrister. He later left London for India and learned that his mother had passed away while he was in London. In Rajkot, he attempted to practise law after being unable to do so in Bombay, but a British commander ordered him to cease.
Gandhi first saw a South African businessman in Kathiawar in 1893 who told him that his cousin in Johannesburg needed a lawyer. Gandhi accepted the opportunity and was given a salary of 105 pounds sterling, plus travel expenses. He accepted the offer and travelled to South Africa in April 1893 to study law. He spent the next 21 years of his life there practising law.
Mahatma Gandhi Civil Right Activist in South Africa
Gandhi experienced prejudice as soon as he arrived in South Africa due to the cultural heritage he shared and the colour of his skin. He was instructed to sit on the floor next to the driver instead of sharing a seat with the European passengers in the train coaches. If he disputed it, they would beat him up. He encountered discrimination on numerous occasions, including when he was pushed into a gutter or thrown out of a moving train, but he never gave up and kept protesting.
Gandhi organised a group and enlisted in the Boer War in 1900. In order to aid the British battle the Boers, he organised 1100 Indian volunteers. Gandhi and his troops also assisted the injured at the Battle of Spion Kop, carrying their miles to a nearby hospital because ambulances could not go in that terrain. The Queen’s South Africa Medal was given to him and his 37 other members.
Gandhi first embraced his Satyagraha ideal on September 11, 1906, at a large-scale protest gathering staged in Johannesburg.
After Return India
Gandhi returned to India in 1915 at the invitation of Gopal Krishna Gokhale. He joined the Indian National Congress and became involved in the country’s ongoing political and social challenges.
In 1920, Gandhi became the leader of the Indian National Congress, and in 1942, he claimed independence. In response, the British arrested him and several others. The Muslims backed the British and advocated for a separate Muslim homeland, Pakistan. Both countries gained independence in August 1947, becoming India and Pakistan, respectively.
Mahatma Gandhi’s Role In World War 1
During World War I, Gandhi received an invitation from the Viceroy to attend a war meeting in Delhi in April 1918. He consented to enlist his men in both the Ambulance Corps and the war effort. Over this, his position on nonviolence was questioned.
Champaran Agitation In Bihar
Gandhi’s Champaran agitation in Bihar in 1917 was a major success. The farmers were compelled to produce and market indigo at a set cost. Gandhi was approached by the farmers, and through his demonstrations, he was able to secure concessions.
Gandhi was able to accomplish the peasants’ desire for tax relief during the 1918 famine in Kheda by enlisting the help of volunteers like Vallabhbahi Patel. The British were compelled to relax taxes and release all the captives.
Non-Cooperation Movement Under the Mahatma Gandhi
The Indian National Congress, under the direction of Mahatma Gandhi, began the non-cooperation movement on September 5, 1920, during a Congress meeting in Calcutta. From September 1920 to February 1922, it ruled. A series of incidents, beginning with the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and concluding with the Chauri Chaura incident in 1922, was caused by the Rowlatt Act, which was marked in order to prevent the British government from signing it.
Gandhi’s 388-kilometer march from Ahmedabad to Dandi is regarded as one of the major historical occurrences to date. Gandhi began his salt march on March 12 and arrived in Dandi on April 6 with 78 volunteers. It took 78 days to finish the salt march. Gandhi’s only motivation was to violate the salt prohibitions.
In March 1931, Lord Irwin led the government’s decision to ratify the Gandhi-Irwin contract in order to engage Gandhi in negotiations. In exchange for ending the civil disobedience movement, they agreed to release all the detainees. Later, Gandhi joined the round table conference in London on behalf of the Indian National Congress.
Indian National Congress Resignation
Gandhi left the Indian National Congress in 1934. But in 1936, he went back to politics.
Quit India Movement
Gandhi opposed World War II because he believed India could not participate in a war when the nation was engaged in a struggle for independence. Many influential people opposed him, notably Sardar Patel and Rajendra Prasad.
Gandhi called on the British to leave India during the war by supporting the Quit India Movement in 1942 while giving a lecture in Mumbai. The British immediately responded by detaining him and his fellow volunteers. His wife passed away in 1944 while he was serving a two-year prison sentence. On May 6, 1944, he was let go.
India ultimately won its freedom in 1947 after a considerable fight. Undoubtedly the greatest freedom fighter and most tenacious leader was Mahatma Gandhi. He could guide the nation to freedom by upholding the swaraj and nonviolence values he believed in.
Mahatma Gandhi Death
Gandhi was killed on January 30, 1948, at 5:17 p.m. by Hindu nationalist Nathuram Godse. The father of the country was killed by three gunshots that were fired into his chest.