Hero in India!
By: Chris O'Brien
There is a hero in India. His name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Gandhi is helping the Indian people escape the grasp of the controlling British. However, he isn't using force. He is rebelling against the British using peaceful methods such as boycotting their goods. But who is Gandhi exactly? Let's find out.
Quote from Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma means "Great Soul" in Sanskrit
March 12, 1930
Gandhi leading a march against the British's control on salt
Gandhi's Early Life
Gandhi was born on October 2nd, 1869 in Porbandar, India. His mother was very religious and would fast often. Gandhi was not allowed to eat meat because of his religion. He got married at the age of 13 and by the age of 16 his dad died and his first child died. After this rough patch, he decided to go to London to study in law school. He came back to india 3 years later and found his mother was dead as well. Gandhi decided he should keep moving on and decided to find a job with his law school degree. On his first case, since Gandhi was so timid, he didn't know what to ask when cross-examining a witness. He ran out the court-room and asked his client if he could get his legal fee. After having much troubles finding cases in India, Gandhi gets a contract to go to South Africa for his law services.
Gandhi Sees the Racism in South Africa
On Gandhi's first case in South Africa, someone asks Gandhi to remove his turban. When he refuses and leaves the courtroom, they call him an "Unwelcome VIsitor" in the newspaper. After many more acts of discrimination, something in Gandhi finally clicked after a white man on a train told Gandhi to sit in the third class train car instead of first class even though Gandhi had a ticket. Gandhi refused and was thrown off the train. At that moment, Gandhi finally sees that something has to be done about the colored prejudice.
Gandhi's Peaceful Fight Against the British Power
Gandhi first tried to convince the British that the Indians could handle having full rights by creating an ambulance corps to help wounded British in the Boer War. This didn't change the British's view on Indians. Gandhi began civil-disobedience campaigns after the British passed the "Rowlatt Act" allowing the British to arrest Indians accused of even talking about rebellion without a trial. These civil-disobedience campaigns were meant to be peaceful. However, the peace was gone when the British fired machine guns into a crowd of protesters and killed nearly 400 innocent people. This failed protest was known as the "Massacre of Amritsar". After the massacre, Gandhi started leading more protests and trying to get British soldiers and civilians to go against the British rule. He started bringing a spinning wheel for clothes because he had to boycott all of the British items.
The British Salt Acts
When the British put laws in action saying the Indians couldn't collect or sell salt, Gandhi knew he had to do something about it. Gandhi started a march to the coastal town of Dandi to collect the seawater. He then evaporated the seawater to get salt from it. Many other Indians followed in his example to collect free salt and almost 60,000 Indians were jailed.
The Death of a Great Hero
Gandhi was jailed many times after the salt acts and ended up letting his followers run many protests. Gandhi however saw the fight between Muslims and Hindus and tried to join in to help stop the fighting. Gandhi seemed to be more sympathetic to the Muslims and the Hindus saw this as a threat. Then one night as Gandhi was being led to a prayer meeting, a Hindu extremist pretended to bow down and worship Gandhi. But then, the Hindu pulled out a pistol and shot Gandhi three times from point blank range. After everything Gandhi went through, he was killed by the one thing he protested against, violence. Such a great man, gone, from a religious dispute.
I knew Gandhi went through many hardships in his life, but I never really actually knew how bad he had it. This project has really shown me how much of a hero Gandhi was and how much he helped India. Gandhi is an amazing role model for everyone to follow. I would still love to research more about Gandhi.
"Gandhi Leads Civil Disobedience." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2016.
"Mahatma Gandhi Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2016.
"Mahatma Gandhi, the Apostle of Non-Violence!" Purplerays. N.p., 02 Oct. 2013. Web. 15 Jan. 2016.