Mahatma Gandhi

The Great Leader

Introduction about an Indian fighter

Mahatma Gandhi is named after with a great meaning which is " Great Soul " and his full name is " Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi ". This great fighter was born in Porbandar, Gujarat, in North west India , on October 2nd 1869, into a Hindu modh family. In May 1883, aged 13, Gandhi was married to Kasturba Makhanji, a girl also aged 13, through the arrangement of their respective parents, as is customary in India.

Family life and death

Gandhi was cremated as per Hindu custom, and his ashes are interred at the Aga Khan’s palace in Pune, the site of his incarceration in 1942, and the place his wife had also died.

Gandhi's memorial bears the epigraph “Hé Rām” (“Oh God”) although there is no conclusive proof that he uttered these words before death.

Although Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times, he never received it. In the year of his death, 1948, the Prize was not awarded, the stated reason being that “there was no suitable living candidate” that year.

Gandhi's life and teachings have inspired many liberationists of the 20th Century, including Dr . Martin Luther King in the United States, Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko in South Africa, and Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar.

Mahatma Gandhi Biography

Involvement of Mahatma Gandhi to become a great leader

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is widely recognized as one of the twentieth century’s greatest political and spiritual leaders. Honored in India as the father of the nation, he pioneered and practiced the principle of Satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass nonviolent civil disobedience.

While leading nationwide campaigns to ease poverty, expand women’s rights, build religious and ethnic harmony and eliminate the injustices of the caste system, Gandhi supremely applied the principles of nonviolent civil disobedience, playing a key role in freeing India from foreign domination. He was often imprisoned for his actions, sometimes for years, but he accomplished his aim in 1947, when India gained its independence from Britain.

Due to his stature, he is now referred to as Mahatma, meaning “great soul.” World civil rights leaders—from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Nelson Mandela—have credited Gandhi as a source of inspiration in their struggles to achieve equal rights for their people.

Gandhi Clip on the Salt March (teaching clip for non-violence and direct action)

Actions taken by Gandhi to show Leadership

One of the actions that was taken by Gandhi to shows leadership are, In 1913, Judge Searle ruled that only marriages performed under Christian Rites were legal, instantly making Indian, Muslim and other marriages "irrelevant". Gandhi wanted to fill the jails with Indians. October of that year he led a march supporting mineworkers across the Transvaal border, and was arrested several times, including twice in one day. Pressure was mounting on the Government to open an independent inquiry. However, at that time European railway workers went on strike, and the Government was in real jeopardy. So Gandhi called off the Indian actions, as he did not want to take advantage of his Government opponent’s weaknesses.

In any event, in this case Gandhi won. He reached agreement with Smuts in 1914, and the introduction of the Indian Relief Act of 1914 made Indian and other marriages fully legal. The head ("poll") tax was also abolished, which had been a long-standing source of discontent. He did not, however, succeed in reversing the Immigration restrictions.

Another biggest contribution of Mahatma Gandhi

The tale of India's freedom movement is incomplete without remembering the immense contribution of Mahatma Gandhi. The three of the main actions that he took were 1) Non - cooperation movement( 1922 ), 2) Salt march or Civil Disobedience Movement (1930) , 3) Quit India Movement (Bharat Chodo Andolan) or August Movement (1942).
Mahatma Gandhi's Last Words | India Video

Non - Cooperation Movement

It was the first of all non-violent protests in India. Non-cooperation movement officially started the Gandhian era in India. The sole aim behind this movement was to make people of India aware of that the British government can be opposed. During the protest, people refused to buy British goods and adopt the use of local handicrafts. Initially, the protest was going well and encouraged millions of Indians to stand up for the freedom. But, Chauri Chaura clash between police and the protesters ended up the dream of Gandhi Ji. He called off mass non-cooperative movement and went on fast to stop the massacre.
Gandhi Biography

Salt march or Civil Disobedience Movement

After the failure of Non-cooperative Movement, Gandhi Ji started another non-violence movement, namely, Civil Disobedience Movement, in the year 1930. The movement began on March 12, 1930, when Gandhi Ji left Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad, along with some of his followers towards Dandi, a village on the west coast of India. The motive behind the Dandi march was protesting the Salt Law of the British Government that barred Indian people to make salt. During the movement, Gandhi Ji made salt and challenged the British government to stop them from doing so. The Civil Obedience Movement was spread across India and Salt law was challenged everywhere. The movement was completely non-violent and splendidly carried forward the unfinished task of Non-cooperative Movement.

Quit India Movement (Bharat Chodo Andolan) or August Movement

Quit India Movement (Bharat Chodo Andolan) or August Movement was one of the most important movements that had been led by Gandhi Ji. On August 8, 1942, Gandhi Ji addressed around 60,000 people at the Goawalia Tank Maidan in Mumbai and said to the people that this is a moment of Do or Die. He also said that stand by firmly on the demand of freedom, if you want to give free nation to the future generation. The Quit India Movement was effectively routed by British Government, but a strong reply came from their side after American President Winston Churchill pressurized them to fulfill the demands of Indian people. British government promised to give independence only after World War II and imposed a condition that the people of India would have to fight for them. Indians accepted the proposal of British government and fought for them in the World War II.

Natural character traits of Gandhi

Some of Gandhi's natural character traits are being innovative, courageous and wanting to have a non - materialistic life. He is very innovative because of all the actions that were taken by him in WW2 ( fighting for India), and all the contributions he did to make the society better. Its only due to his courage that he was able to come up many different ideas, that is not only coming up with the ideas but it is also shown in the way he executed them even by going through hardship in most of the times. He is a simple man, who wants to be happy with whatever he has and don't wish for extremes in his life. He himself had agreed that " The real wealth is not having loads amount of gold or silver , rather it is your health which is more important comparatively ", which proves that he is not a person who always looks forward to have a rich life with a lot of luxuries etc,, in fact to have a simple life but with happiness.

Three Nelson Mandela's lessons which apply to Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi

1 ) Courage is not the absense of fear - Its inspiring others to move beyond it

This specific lesson applies to Gandhi very much as he believes the same policy. It reflects on all the actions that he took initiative to execute in the society. As one of the examples, Mahatma Gandhi had introduced Non - Violence which is to win people over by changing their hearts and minds, and advocated non - violence in all things. Due to this contribution there were many positive changes that had happened in the society, which made it an overall better society and community to live in.

2 ) Lead from the back - and let others believe that they are in the front

Gandhi had always believed that taking credit for his own work is not a big achievement, rather to lead and support others from behind to show that they can also achieve something in their lives is a lot more satisfying to his soul. For an example the case of untouchables, they were the one who were not allowed to touch anyone or even can be touched by anyone which was called the "Caste System", and that was the time where Gandhi entered the game to get rid of the caste system to get India united without any discrimination and to start fighting for the untouchables , which was by encouraging himself and them to go on hunger strikes and not eat for a weeks of time therefore not to continue that violence any more and to stop it, and to solve that problem with peaceful arms and mindset.

3 ) Appearences matter - and remember to smile

This concept was one of Mahatma Gandhi's main reason to become a great leader and to be remembered by everyone in a life time. He believes that using peaceful weapons on the enemy is better than violence. He had always said that, the way to deal with an enemy is by smiling back at them, and respecting them for who they are as appearances matter. As an example, said by Gandhi " If an enemy slaps you, don't show violence back at them by slapping back at them , rather to show your opposite cheek to get slapped at and always smile when an enemy hurts you." This was a famous saying by Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi, which meant to deal your enemy with peace and happiness. It means to smile back if the enemy yells at you, always to be on the peaceful side in the situation. The most important thing Gandhi mentions is to smile no matter what at any point of time.


" Be the change you wish to see in the world "

" Glory lies in reaching one's goal and not in reaching it "

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever "

" Where there is love , there is life "

" My life is my message "

" An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind "

" The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others"

" God comes to the hungry in the form of food "


By : Bhargavi Tatta

CHV2O0-N-Civics and Citizenship-Dhirani, R