Mahatma Gandhi Facts and Information
|Political Party||Indian National Congress|
|Full Name||Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi|
|Father Name||Karamchand Gandhi|
|Date of Birth||2 Oct, 1869|
|Date of Death||30 Jan, 1948|
|Age (at the time of death)||78 yrs|
|Place of Birth||Porbandar, Kathiawar Agency|
|Schooling||Attended primary school in Rajkot.|
|Education Qualifications||University College London. Samaldas College Bhavnagar, Gujarat.|
|Profession before joining politics||Lawyer|
|Spouse Name||Smt. Kasturba Gandhi|
|Children||Four Sons: Harilal, Manilal, Ramdas, Devdas|
|Political Career||In 1915|
Biography of Mahatma Gandhi
History remembers Mahatma Gandhi as a great political and spiritual leader of India. Renowned for his non-violent campaigns of civil disobedience, people all across the world were impressed by his charisma, courage and the ability to influence people's conscience. Albert Einstein's comment on Gandhi: "I believe that Gandhi's views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil."
The emergence of Gandhi played a pivotal role in the history of Indian Nationalism. The development of Indian Nationalism occurred in three separate phases. It was the third phase of Indian Nationalism that witnessed the rise of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, as the man who took the country by storm with his novel political ideologies centered on the cardinal principles of ahimsa and satyagraha.
Armed with these ideological tools Gandhi shouldered critical responsibilities in the momentous events that finally led India to the path of freedom. The emergence of Gandhi, on the Indian political scenario was not the mere instance of another emerging new leader, but it was the rise of a whole new philosophy that permeated into every sphere of the Indian psyche.
Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi, better known as Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar in Gujarat into the middle class Vaishya family. He was the son of Karamchand and Putlibai. He studied at the elementary school in Porbandar till the age of seven and later at Rajkot. He was married to Kasturba at the age of thirteen while still in high school. He matriculated from Samladas College in Bhavnager, Gujarat and went to England in 1888 to study law. Though his mother opposed this trip, but the opposition was overcome by Gandhi's strict vow of not touching women, wine and meat in the foreign land. He passed his examination in 1891 and on 12 June 1891 sailed back to India.
Initiation into Public Movements
He remained in India for almost two years and in 1893 he went to South Africa to fight a lawsuit on behalf of Dada Abdullah & Company. It was the place, which changed the course of Gandhi's life and the history of India. While traveling in a first class rail compartment, Gandhi was thrown out by railway officials just because a white man objected to his presence in the first class compartment. This and some other such incidents made Gandhi feel that being quiet will not do any good. He stood up for the cause of all the Indians residing there who were suffering humiliation daily. After fighting for the cause of the Indian people in South Africa, he returned to India in 1915. But he was not the same man who left India. He was much transformed - now he had nothing but one resolve - to serve the masses of his country. He was in the battlefield to fight for the independence of his own country, but his ways were totally different.
Gandhi's Struggle for India's Independence
After returning to India permanently, he began his struggle for Independence after joining the Indian National Congress. He got acquainted with the issues in India, politics and the problems faced by the Indian people. Soon, he became a prominent leader of the Congress. To attain Independence for the country, Gandhi initiated several movements which helped him achieve his goals.
Gandhi launched his weapons of "non-cooperation", "non-violence" and "peace" during his struggle against the British raj. The movement emerged as an outcry over the Jallianwala Bagh massacre at Amritsar. Gandhi induced the British government to grant Swaraj or self government under this movement. The movement was strengthened by his support to the Muslim campaign against Turkey's dismemberment post World War I.
Civil Disobedience Movement
The Civil Disobedience Movement brought a milestone in the history of struggle for Indian Independence. It was formed with an ideology to defy the rules and laws of the British government. It was launched in the year 1930 and the main factor after its formation was the Simon Commission which included only the British members. It also resulted in the imprisonment of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. The movement at times is also considered for being non resistance.
Dandi March, another important event in the struggle for India's Independence began on 12 March 1930. The Dandi Salt March triggered the Civil Disobedience Movement and proved to be a direct challenge to the British government. The March began from Sabarmati Ashram to the Dandi village, Navsari town. Mahatma Gandhi produced salt in Dandi without paying taxes to the British government. He was supported by millions of Indians in his campaign.
Quit India Movement
Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement in August 1942. The movement demanded immediate end to the British rule. The Congress party initiated the mass struggle on the lines of non-violence. Gandhi gave a slogan 'Do or Die' during this campaign and every Indian started dreaming of a free India after this movement.
Weapons during Freedom Struggle
Mahatma Gandhi did not believe in violence. 'Satyagraha' and 'Ahimsa' were his weapons to fight against the British raj. His first Satyagraha was in Champaran, Bihar in 1917 for the cause of peasants of Champaran.
The overall process of non-violent actions was known as Satyagraha by Mahatma Gandhi. For him, Satyagraha was an outgrowth of nonviolence. He used this term for the first time during his struggles in South Africa. He used it as a major tool in his struggle against British to gain Independence for India. The first Satyagraha campaign was launched in Champaran in 1917 for the cause of the peasants. This first campaign was followed by this economic boycotts and fasts as the tools of Satyagraha.
Non-violence is the principle of Gandhi's spirituality and his political philosophy. He used non violence as a tool against the British rule during his struggle for Independence. He believed that violence is a weapon which could not resolve problems but on the other hand increase the problem itself. Non-violence was preached in different religions; Jains, Budhhists and Christanity. Gandhi believed in truth, humanity and world peace and practicing non-violence was his biggest ideologies. He not only followed the path of non-violence, but also managed to gain Independence for the country.
Mahatma Gandhi desired that India will become a country where Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians will be treated alike. He had a vision to create a secular state where the religious beliefs, values and discourse are respected and practiced in all spheres of life. He lay emphasizes on non-violence, prayers and celibacy. It was his belief that salvation was the ultimate goal of life. The secular theories of Mahatma Gandhi put significance on the Indian national movement. His secular beliefs were evident from the instances such as his support to the Muslims during the Khilafat movement. His first public speech in India after his South Africa tour demonstrated his secular ideologies and beliefs.
Gandhi's Views on Women
Mahatma Gandhi not only worked for the political emancipation in India, but he equally believed and worked towards the betterment and liberation of the oppressed and suppressed section of the society. His work and emphasis towards the awakening of women, not only brought light into the lives of the female section, but also gave rise to self-esteem and dignity within them. He was against such dogmatic practices of society women such as child marriage, Purdah system, Sati etc.
Gandhi's Economic Ideologies
The economic thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi are assimilated from his overall philosophy. He had a holistic approach and always aimed at socio-economic development of the society. His ideals were governed by the moral and ethical considerations. He had an unconditional sympathy towards the poor and the underprivileged class of the society. He also believed that the capitalist endeavours were the root of all the sufferings. He worked towards the betterment of the society and worked for the reformation of the economy.