Mohandis Karamchand Gandhi was born in October 2,1869. He grew up in a middle-class Hindu family. He married at the age of 13 to Kasturbu a girl his age. As a young boy, he traveled to England to study law. In 1891, he returned to India but did not succeed as a lawyer. Gandhi thought it would be better off if he moved to South Africa to practice law but all he got was a taste of the Apartheid. This is where he starts a non-violent fight called Ahimsa. He called it Satyagraha or “truth force.”
Satyagraha was in truth civil disobedience. This was rooted by Hindu beliefs and Christian traditions. Also, philosopher Henry David Thoreau influenced Gandhi. His goal was to “convert the wrongdoer.” To make the world aware of British injustice laws we allow the government to punish him with out striking back. One example of this is when Gandhi burned a pass that was required carried with you if you were not white the British officials beat him up for this. Another example was The Salt March in 1930 when Gandhi led his followers from his home to the coast (200 miles) so they could make there own salt in stead of buying the heavily priced salt. In both situations, Gandhi was arrested but it did spark a lot of attention.
In 1915 Gandhi left South Africa and went to India. When World War two started the INC (Indian National Congress) refused to help Britain unless they were granted freedom. When they were denied Gandhi and members from congress started the “Quit India” movement. They asked the people of India not to corporate with the British. In turn, Gandhi was once again imprisoned along with 20,000 congress members. As the war went on Britain was becoming to weak to hold on to India.
As independence came near Hindu-Muslim violence broke out. The Muslims felt that their rights would not be respected in a Hindu dominating country. As tension grew Gandhi tried very hard to fight this. He almost fasted to his death. By 1946, widespread rioting broke out. Instead of fighting Britain, India was fighting it’s self. Britain decided to partition India in two: One nation was Hindu dominated India lead by Jawaharal Nehru as Prime Minister and the other was Pakistan with most of the population Muslim lead by Jinnah as governor general. Finally, India was independent.
He was deeply distressed by the religious partition of the country into India and Pakistan. When violence broke out between Hindus and Muslims, he resorted to fasts and visits to the troubled areas in efforts to end the violence. He was on one such prayer vigil in New Delhi when a Hindu extremist who objected to Gandhi’s tolerance for the Muslims fatally shot him.
Gandhi was a great Indian nationalist and spiritual leader who developed the practice of nonviolent disobedience that forced Great Britain to grant independence to India (1947). He dedicated his life to better the world. He even got the title of Mahatma, which means “Great Soul.” It was a lost to every one when he died.