Gandhi

Changing the history of independence forever

Back ground information

  • Gandhi, also known as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born October 2nd 1869 in the town of Porbander in the state of what is now Gujarat.

  • Ghandi was the last child of his father and fathers fourth wife. Gandhi described his mother as deeply religious woman who attended temple service daily.

  • His father (Karamchand Gandhi) served as the prime minister to the ruler of three small city-states. Gandhi's family was from one of the higher castes (Indian social classes)

His cause and methods

Gandhi was an Indian revonlutionary and religous leaderwho used his religous power for political and social reform. Gandhi was the main force behind the second-largest nation in the worlds struggle for independence.

While in South Africa Gandhi was travelling in a first class train in Natal, a white man asked Gandhi to leave. Gandhi got off the train and spent the night in a train station meditating. He contemplated whether he should go back home to India or stay and fight the discrimination. He decided to work towards ending racial discrimination. He planned to stay in South Africa for only one year, but this new cause kept him in the country for longer. This then launched his campaign for imporved legal status for Indians in South Africa, who at that time suffered the same discrimination as black people.

Gandhi spent twenty years in South Africa working to fight against discrimination. It was there that he created a new way of protesting, a non-wiolent way of protesting against injustice.

During the first three years in South Africa Gandhi learned more about Indian grievances, studied the law, wrote letters to officals, and organised petitions. Gandhi then decided to sail back to India after a few years of living in South Africa to bring back his wife and two sons. During the bubonic plauge out-break in India, Gandhi offered his help to inspect lantrines and offered suggestions for better sanitation since it was believed that sanitation was the cause of the spread of the plauge. Gandhi personally and willingly inspected the latrines of the unntouchables as well as the rich.

Gandhi started to become well-known for his activism, his acts were even being covered by newspapers in India and England. In a few short years, Gandhi had become a leader of the Indian community in South Africa

On November 30, 1896, Gandhi and his family headed back to South Africa. Gandhi didn't realise that while he was away from South Africa, his pamphlet of Indian grievances, also known as the green pamphlet had been completely disorted and exaggerated. When Gandhi's ship reached the Durban harbour, there was a delay and his ship was quarantined for 23 days. The reason behind that was that there was a huge, angry mob of whites at the dock who believed that Gandhi was returning with two ship loads of Indian people to overrun South Africa. When allowed off the ship, Gandhi successfully sent his family off to safety while he was assulted with bricks, rotten eggs, and fists, Thankfully Police arrived in time to save Gandhi from the mob and escort him to safety. Gandhi refused the prosecutions for those who had assulted him, the violence against him stopped.

All this leads to Gandhi's belief, a practice called satyagraha. Satyagraha is a focused and forceful nonviolent resistance to a particular injustice, meaning a person would refuse to follow an unjust law without using any forms of violence. In doing so, he would not get angry, he would put up freely with physical assaults and the confiscation of his property, and would not use foul language against his opponent. The aim for this is not for there to be a winner or a loser of the battle, but rather that all would eventually see and understand the truth and agree to overturn the unjust law.

Having spent twenty years in South Africa helping fight discrimination, Gandhi decided to head back to India in July 1914. On his way home, Gandhi was scheduled to make a short stop in England. However, when World War I broke out during his journey, Gandhi decided to stay in England and form another ambulance corps of Indians to help the British. When the British air caused Gandhi to take ill, he sailed to India in January 1915. It was during his first year back in India that Gandhi was given the honorary title of Mahatma meaning "Great Soul". The title represented the feelings of the millions of Indian peasants who viewed Gandhi as a "holy man". Gandhi never liked the title because it seemed to mean he was special while he viewed himself as ordinary.

India finally became independant in 1947, but Gandhi was un happy with the settlement because it seperated India into two states, India and Pakistan. The first largely for Hindu's and the second largely for for Musilms.

As you can see, Indian independence did not come quickly, Gandhi had to undertake many different challanges towards getting to where he got. Sadly, not everyone was as happy with his peace plan. There were a few Hindu groups who believed that India should never be split, in part they blamed Gandhi for the seperation, On January 30, 1948, 78 year-old Gandhi was going about his day, mostly disscussing issues with various groups and individuals. At a few minutes past 5pm, it was time for the prayer meeting, Gandhi began to walk towards Birla house. A crowd had surrounded him while he was walking, including two of his grandnieces. In front of him, a young man that goes by the name of Nathuram Godse, stopped before Gandhi and bowed. As Gandhi bowed back, Godse rushed forward and shot Gandhi three times. Gandhi had survived five other attempts of assassination before, but not this time, Gandhi dropped dead to the ground.

Salt March

Details

Date: March 12 1930

The salt march is a nationwide campaign to boycott the salt tax. We will march from Sabarmati Ashram to the sea. About 200 miles away. When we get to a town on the coast of Dandi we will pray all night long.

Judgement

In my opinon, it took a while for Gandhi's method to work. But with most things you need patience. Having a method that included no violence and not using other peoples disadvantages against them is a good method, I believe this because that makes it harder for people to accuse you of things.

For me I would have done a few things differently, sending out the pamphlet was a good idea but it ended up getting exaggerated and disorted. Instead I would have made a speech, to tell and eplain to people exactly what I meant, sure, he had meetings with people but when you tell someone one thing, they can twist it around and make it sound bad.

All in all Gandhi's method was a good method and it seemed to work for the most part, there is more independence in the world.

Bibliography

1. About; history1900s.about.com

2. Peace Pledge Union; www.ppu.org.uk