Mahatma Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2 1869 in Porbandar Kathiawar, West India. He studied Law in London in 1888 even without the permission of his elders. At the age of 13, he was married to Kasturbai and had a son named Harilal, whom he left when he studied in London. He lived a very simple and peaceful kind of life and focused more on studying and educating himself. He passed the bar in June 10, 1981 and came back to India. He worked in Natal, South Africa when he was 23. This was also the start of Gandhi’s transformation as a strong-willed and resilient leader against discrimination. Gandhi suffered many injustices during his trips as he seeks for knowledge. He spent the next 20 years studying and working to have a better knowledge of Indians’ rights so as there laws. On May 22 1894, the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) began for the wealthy but Gandhi was able to expand it. He was greatly influenced by Hinduism and also parts of Jainism, Christianity. Principles from aparigraha (non-possesion) and sambhava (equability) became the basis for Gandhi’s work.
In 1906, believing that family life was taking away from his full potential as a public advocate, Gandhi took the vow of brahmacharya, a vow of abstinence against sexual relations even with one’s own wife. Gandhi also developed the satyagraha (devotion to truth), a new non-violent way to redress wrongs. In 1914, the South African government approved many of Gandhi’s demands. He believed the English phrase of “passive resistance” did not represent the true spirit of Indian resistance because it was often thought to be used by the weak and was a tactic that could potentially be done in anger. He first used this as opposed to the Asiatic Registration Law (Black Out). For this reason, Gandhi got arrested. He sailed back in India by January 1915 and was considered as a national hero because of his undertaking in South America. In 1919, the British gave Gandhi something specific to fight against – the Rowlatt Act. There were a lot of times when Gandhi was put to jail because of the change he wanted to have in the minds of the people.
In 1930, Gandhi protested again the government’s claim on the tax of salt that Indians cannot buy or sell it unless it was produced by the British government. This started the Salt March in which people marched near the sea to protest and they succeed with their goal. In 1931, he attended The Round Table of London as the primary representative of the NIC. In 1934, Gandhi resigned, giving to Jawaharlal Neru the title of leader of the Congress. In August 1947, India became independent from Britain. On January 30, 1948, Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic in Delhi. With his unexpected kind of death, his visions and ideals in life marked evidently on people’s minds and hearts. With his large contributions, he was indeed a remarkably good example to all, not only to his people but also to the world.
“Historic Figures”, n.d.
“Gandhi”, Rosenberg, n.d.
“Mahatma Gandhi”, n.d.
Vinay Lal, 2001, 2012