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Mahatma Gandhi is such a name that on hearing it, truth and non-violence are remembered. A personality who used it on himself before giving advice to someone else. Who did not leave the path of non-violence even in the biggest trouble. Mahatma Gandhi was a political leader of great personality.
He played an important role in the independence of India. Gandhiji was a supporter of simple living, high thought, and he used to implement it completely in his life. The image of this thought is reflected in his entire life. This is the reason that in 1944, Netaji Subhash Chandra addressed him as the Father of the Nation.
Table of Contents
Biography of Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948)
Birth, place of birth and early life
Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat at the house of Karamchand Gandhi. The first three wives of Karamchand Gandhi died during childbirth. During the British rule, his father was the first Diwan of Porbandar and later of Rajkot and Bankaner respectively.
Mahatma Gandhi’s real name was Mohandas and his father’s name was Karamchand Gandhi. That is why his full name was Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi. He was the youngest of his three brothers. His mother, Putlibai, was a very religious woman, which had a profound effect on Gandhi’s personality.
Which he himself told his friend and secretary Mahadev Desai in Pune’s Yerwada Jail, “Whatever purity you see in me, I have not found from my father, but from my mother… the only thing she put on my mind.” The effect left was the effect of saintliness.
Gandhi was brought up in a Vaishnavite family, and Indian Jainism had a profound influence on his life. This is the reason why he believed a lot in truth and non-violence and followed them throughout his life time.
Marriage of Gandhiji (Marriage) / Married life of Gandhiji
Gandhiji was married to Kasturba Makhanji, 14 years old, in May 1883, as soon as he completed the age of 13. Gandhiji shortened her name to Kasturba and later people started lovingly calling her Baa. Kasturba Gandhi’s father was a wealthy businessman. Kasturba Gandhi was illiterate before marriage. She was an ideal wife and stood firmly by Gandhiji in every work he did. He supported Gandhiji in all his works.
In 1885, when Gandhi was 15 years old, his first child was born. But she only lived for a short time. His father Karamchand Gandhi also died in the same year. Gandhiji had 4 children and all were sons:- Harilal Gandhi (1888), Manilal Gandhi (1892), Ramdas Gandhi (1897) and Devdas Gandhi (1900).
Gandhiji’s education- Initiation
Gandhiji’s early education took place in Porbandar. From Porbandar he got his education till middle school. Due to the change of his father to Rajkot, Gandhiji’s further education took place in Rajkot. He had no particular interest in studies.
Although Gandhiji remained an average student, but he also won prizes and scholarships in any competition and sport. On 21 January 1879 he joined a local school in Rajkot. Here he studied arithmetic, history and the Gujarati language.
Higher education in England
After the death of Gandhi’s father, Bhavji Dave, a close friend of his family, advised him to practice law and said that after studying as a barrister, he would get his civil post as he was the successor of his father.
Gandhiji left for England on 4 September 1888. However, Gandhi’s early life in England was full of troubles. He had to be ashamed many times due to his food and dress. But he obeyed the promise given to his mother in every situation.
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Later he joined the London Vegetarian Society and became its executive member. Gandhi started participating in the conferences of the London Vegetarian Society and writing articles in its magazine. Staying here for three years (1888-1891) completed his barrister studies and returned to India in 1891.
Gandhi’s period from 1891-1893
When Gandhi returned to India in 1891, he received the sad news of his mother’s death. He was very disappointed to learn that advocacy was not the basis of a stable professional life. Here he started the work of writing the applications of the people. This work also stopped due to anger of a British officer.
Gandhi’s Africa tour
After a year of unsuccessful law practice, Gandhi accepted the offer of South African businessman Dada Abdulla to become a legal advisor. In 1883, Gandhiji left for Africa (Durban). This journey and the experiences there gave an important turn to the life of Gandhiji. During this visit Gandhiji saw discrimination against Indians.
Some such incidents happened to him that he experienced the atrocities being done to Indians and blacks such as: On 31 May 1883, while going to Pretoria, he was pushed out of the car by a white officer despite having a first class ticket and he shivered.
Spent the night because he could not ask anyone for fear of being humiliated again, in another incident he was beaten up by a horse driver because he refused to travel on a pedestal by giving a seat to a white Englishman, for Europeans Ban on going to safe hotels etc. were some such incidents which changed the course of Gandhiji’s life.
In Natal (Africa) this humiliation was common to Indian merchants and workers and a new experience for Mahatma Gandhi. From here a new chapter started in the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji thought that it would be cowardice to return to India from here, so he decided to stay there and oppose this injustice. After this resolution, he remained in South Africa for the next 20 years (1893-1894) and fought for the rights and respect of Indians.
Conflict in South Africa
Phase I (1884-1904) –
During this first phase of the struggle, Mahatma Gandhi political activities remained soft. During this he only sent petitions related to his problems and works to the government. On 22 August 1894, “Natal Indian Congress” was formed to tie the Indians together. Started the process of publishing a newspaper called “Indian Opinion”. This struggle is known as the movement of traders and lawyers.
The second stage of the struggle
The second phase of the conflict in Africa began in 1906. At this time there was a change in the political situation of the colonies, so Mahatma Gandhi started the movement from a new level. This is the beginning of the original Gandhian system. Establishment of Tolstoy and Phoenix Center in Johannesburg on 30 May 1910. Training of non-violence and satyagraha to the Congress workers.
Mahatma Gandhi’s arrival in India
In 1915, at the age of 46, Mahatma Gandhi returned to India, and made a detailed study of the situation in India. On the advice of Gopal Krishna Gokhale (Gandhi’s political mentor), Mahatma Gandhi spent a year peacefully without any movement. During this time he traveled all over India to get acquainted with the real situation of India.
In 1916, Mahatma Gandhi established the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. In February 1916, Mahatma Gandhi gave a speech on the stage for the first time at the Banaras Hindu Vishwavidyalaya. Which was discussed all over India.
Active role in Indian independence movement
Champaran and Kheda Movement (1917–1918)
In the year 1917, Mahatma Gandhi started a movement for the rights of the farmers living in Champaran district of Bihar. This was Gandhi’s first active movement in India, which brought Gandhiji’s first political success. In this movement, he made non-violent Satyagraha his weapon and also achieved the expected success in this experiment.
At the end of the 19th century, the farmers of Kheda district of Gujarat became helpless due to famine and at that time the prices of consumption goods had also increased greatly. In such a situation, the farmers were absolutely unable to pay the taxes.
Mahatma Gandhi took this matter into his own hands and after a thorough investigation with the members of the Servant of India Society, spoke to the British Government and said that the farmers who are in a position to pay the rent, they will give it automatically provided the government gives the poor farmers Forgive the fee. The British government accepted this proposal and waived the rent of the poor farmers.
Hunger strike for the rights of Ahmedabad mill workers in 1918
In 1918, the mill owners of Ahmedabad wanted to reduce the bonus given from 1917 onwards even after the price increase. The workers demanded a 35% increase in wages in place of bonus, while the mill owners did not want more than 20% increase. Mahatma Gandhi demanded the handing over of the matter.
But the millers kept their promise and increased by 20%. Against which Mahatma Gandhi launched a hunger strike for the first time. This was the most special thing about this strike. Due to the hunger strike, the mill owners had to accept the demands of the workers.
Khilafat Movement (1919-1924)
There was a movement launched by Muslims across the country to re-establish the post of Caliph of Turkey. It was a politico-religious movement, which was run to put pressure on the British. Gandhiji supported this movement. The main purpose of supporting this movement was to get the support of Muslims in the freedom movement.
Non-Cooperation Movement (1919-1920)
During the First World War (1914–1918) these strict rules were continued by a committee headed by Sir Sidney Rowlett to order restrictions on the press and arrest without investigation. Which came to be known as Rowlatt Act.
Which led to widespread protests across India. That opposition movement was named the Non-Cooperation Movement. The main reason for the birth of the non-cooperation movement was the Rowlatt Act and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre (1919).
A country-wide strike was organized on 30 March 1919 and 6 April 1919 under the chairmanship of Gandhiji. Seeing all around, all government work came to a standstill. The British officers became helpless in front of this weapon of non-cooperation. In 1920, Mahatma Gandhi became the President of the Congress and inspired the Indian public to participate in this movement. Inspired by the inspiration of Mahatma Gandhi, every Indian participated enthusiastically in it.
To make this movement more effective and with the aim of strengthening Hindu-Muslim unity, Mahatma Gandhi linked the non-cooperation movement with the Khilafat movement.
According to government figures, in the year 1921, 396 strikes were organized in which 6 lakh workers took part and during this there was a loss of about 70 lakh working days. Students stopped attending government schools and colleges, lawyers refused to advocate, and the working class went on strike.
In this way, every Indian citizen contributed in his own way in making this movement of Mahatma Gandhi a success. This was the biggest movement after the revolt of 1857, which threatened the existence of British rule in India.
Chauri-Chaura Incident (1922)
By 1922, it had become the biggest movement in the country. During a peaceful protest rally of a strike, it suddenly turned violent. During the protest rally, the police arrested the protesters and put them in jail. And in February 1922, a group of farmers set fire to a police station named Chauri-Chaura.
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Civil Disobedience Movement (12 March 1930)
The aim of this movement was to achieve complete independence. Mahatma Gandhi and other leading leaders were beginning to doubt the intentions of the British whether they would fulfill their declaration of providing colonial independence or not. Mahatma Gandhi led another movement on 6 April 1930 to put pressure on the British government, which is known as the Civil Disobedience Movement.
It is also called Dandi March or Salt Law. Mahatma Gandhi took out this Dandi March from Sabarmati Ashram. The purpose of this movement was to collectively tilt the government by doing some specific illegal actions. Seeing the strength of this movement, the government sent the then Viceroy Lord Irwin for settlement.
Quit India Movement (August 1942)
After the failure of the Cripps Mission, Gandhiji decided to launch his third major movement against the British. The aim of this movement was to attain independence immediately. On 8 August 1942, at the Bombay session of the Congress, the slogan of British India left was given and on 9 August 1942, at the behest of Gandhiji, the whole country joined the movement. The British government took a very strict attitude against this movement.
Partition and Independence of India
The British divided India into two parts even after leaving. The position of the British became very weak during the Second World War. He had given signs to liberate India. With the independence of India, there was also a demand for a separate state of Pakistan under the leadership of Jinnah. Gandhiji did not want to allow the partition of the country. But due to unfavorable circumstances at that time, the country was divided into two parts.
Death of Mahatma Gandhi (30 January 1948)
Nathuram Godse and his associate Gopaldas shot and killed Mahatma Gandhi at Birla House on 30 January 1948 at 5:17 pm. Jawaharlal Nehru informed about the assassination of Gandhiji in these words, ‘The light has gone out of our lives and today there is darkness all around. I don’t know what to tell you and how to tell. Our beloved leader, Father of the Nation, Bapu is no more.
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