Mahatma Gandhi Biography
Gandhi's life changed when he was thirteen. His parents arranged for him to be married! gandhi's young bride was named Kasturba. Gandhi and Kasturba stayed married until she died more than sixty years later. They raised four sons together.
One day, while riding a train, a white man refused to ride with the brown-skinned Gandhi. Gandhi would not move and was pushed off the train. After this experience, Gandhi promised to fight for the rights of Indians in South Africa. He demanded equal treatment under the law. Gandhi gained a lot of support for his views and began to build a strong following.
Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.
Explain what you think Gandhi meant by this statement.
What change would like to see in the world and your own personal life?
Changing the World
Gandhi was a hero when he returned to India in 1915. He was called Mahatma, or "Great Soul," for his work in South Africa. Gandhi decided to use satyagraha to help Indians gain their independence from Britain.
Gandhi traveled around India peacefully helping farmers and factory workers receive fair pay for their work. Gandhi vowed not to eat until the workers got better pay. Finally, the factory owners gave in to Gandhi's demands. Fasting became a part of Gandhi's nonviolent satyagraha movement.
Gandhi encouraged Indians to weave their own cotton clothes so they wouldn't have to buy expensive British cloth. Each day, Gandhi spun yards of thread on a spinning wheel. Gandhi's simple spinning wheel became symbol of the Indian struggle for self-rule. Today, the shape of a spinning wheel is on Indian's flag.
Gandhi and thousands of his peaceful followers were put in jail for their protests against the British. Gandhi read when he was in jail. He wrote. He prayed. He spun cotton thread and he fasted. Once he went without food for twenty-one days. People around the world were again concerned about Gandhi's health.
Gandhi's perseverance would eventually overcome Britain's rule on India. India became independent on August 15, 1947. Despite the victory for independence, India was split into two countries-Indian and Pakistan. Most Hindus would live in India while Muslims would live in Pakistan.
Unfortunately, not all Indians supported Gandhi. On January 30, 1948, Gandhi was assassinated. Gandhi, who believed in nonviolence, had died violently,
"Our beloved leader, Bapu (Papa) as we called him, the Father of the Nation, is no more...The light has gone out."