The biography of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi. He was an Indian political and spiritual leader who played a crucial role in the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule.
Born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, a coastal town in present-day Gujarat, India, Gandhi was a lawyer, a political activist, and a writer who became an icon of non-violent resistance and civil disobedience.
His legacy has inspired many worldwide leaders, movements, and individuals who seek justice, equality, and peace.
This biography offers a glimpse into the life and legacy of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
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Early Life and Education of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Gandhi was born into a Hindu family of the Vaisya (merchant) caste. His father, Karamchand Gandhi, was a local administrator who served as the diwan (prime minister) of Porbandar and other princely states.
His mother, Putlibai, was a devout Hindu who instilled in him the values of religion, morality, and self-discipline. Gandhi was the youngest of three sons and had one sister.
Gandhi was shy, introverted, and a mediocre student as a child. He was interested in nature, religion, and literature but disliked the formal education system.
At 13, he married Kasturbai Makhanji, a girl his age. Their parents arranged the marriage according to the customs of the time.
In 1888, Gandhi left India for England to study law at University College London. He was unhappy with the racial discrimination and cultural alienation he faced in England.
He found solace in the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible, and Henry David Thoreau’s and Leo Tolstoy’s works.
Gandhi returned to India in 1891 and started his law practice in Bombay (now Mumbai), but he needed help to attract clients.
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Political Activism of Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi’s political awakening came in 1915 when the Indian National Congress invited him, a political party that aimed to promote Indian interests and independence, to lead a campaign against the British Raj, the British colonial rule in India.
Gandhi advocated for non-violent resistance and civil disobedience to achieve political and social change.
He believed that British rule had to be opposed not only by political but also by moral and spiritual means.
Gandhi’s first major campaign was the Champaran Satyagraha in 1917, which aimed to support the rights of indigo farmers who were forced to grow indigo by British planters and were exploited by mediators.
Gandhi mobilized a non-violent protest movement that involved boycotts, strikes, and demonstrations.
The campaign successfully got the British government to abolish the indigo system and recognize the farmers’ rights.
Gandhi’s next major campaign was the Kheda Satyagraha in 1918, which aimed to support the rights of farmers in the Kheda district in Gujarat who were affected by a severe drought and could not pay their taxes to the British government.
Gandhi mobilized a non-violent protest movement that involved non-payment of taxes, peaceful protests, and negotiations with British officials.
The campaign successfully got the British government to suspend the collection of taxes and recognize the farmers’ rights.
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Non-Cooperation and Civil Disobedience
Gandhi’s most famous campaign was the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920, which aimed to boycott British goods, institutions, and laws and promote Indian self-reliance and self-rule.
Gandhi called for a mass civil disobedience campaign that involved the non-payment of taxes, the boycott of schools, colleges, and law courts, and the refusal to cooperate with British officials.
The movement was successful in mobilizing millions of Indians and putting pressure on the British.