Gandhi: The Great
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi well known as the Mahatma Gandhi was the leader of Indian Independence at the time of British Regime. Gandhi played a vital role in Indian Independence. He was in a favors of Non-Violent methods to make India independent. Major Works of Gandhi towards Indian Independence as Champaran and Kheda Civil Disobedience, Non-Cooperation Movement, Dandi March, Untouchability etc.
Gandhi was born on 2 Oct, 1869 at Porbandar, Gujarat. He was the son of senior Government officer. He trained in Law in London. He became famous by fighting for civil rights of Muslims and Hindus in South Africa. The Indian classics, especially the stories of Shravana and king Harishchandra had a great impact on Gandhi in his childhood. In his autobiography, he admits that they left an indelible impression on his mind. He writes: "It haunted me and I must have acted Harishchandra to myself times without number." Gandhi's early self-identification with truth and love as supreme values is traceable to these epic characters. In May 1883 Gandhi married to Kashturba in arranged marriage according to customs of his religion.
Struggle for Indian Independence:
Gandhi returned to India in 1915 and joined Indian National Congress. At that time Gandhi meets to Gopal Krishna Gokhale was very well known name in Indians. Gokhale was a key leader of the Congress Party best known for his restraint and moderation, and his insistence on working inside the system. Gandhi took Gokhale's liberal approach based on British Whiggish traditions and transformed it to make it look wholly Indian. Gandhi took leadership of Congress in 1920 and began a steady escalation of demands (with intermittent compromises or pauses) until on 26 January 1930 the Indian National Congress declared the independence of India. Gandhi and Congress withdrew their support of the Raj when the Viceroy declared war on Germany in September 1939 without consulting anyone.
Gandhi's first major achievements came in 1918 with the Champaran and Kheda agitations of Bihar and Gujarat. The Champran agitation pitted the local peasantry against their largely British landlords who were backed by the local administration. The peasantry was forced to grow Indigo, a cash crop whose demand had been declining over two decades, and were forced to sell their crops to the planters at a fixed price. Unhappy with this, the peasantry appealed to Gandhi at his ashram in Ahmadabad. Pursuing a strategy of non-violent protest, Gandhi took the administration by surprise and won concessions from the authorities.
Gandhi and Rowlett act:
In the year 1919 British Government passed a bill namely Rowlett act. According to this act British Government had authority and power to arrest people and keep them in prisons and without any trail if they are suspected with the charge of terrorism. Gandhi agitated by this act and they oppose this. Gandhi said that everyone cannot be punished for isolated political crime. Gandhi and other leaders of Congress found it futile and to take the measure of constitutional opposition. In this regard Indians suspended their business and show their hatred for the British legislation and this called ‘Hartal’.
Non Cooperation Movement:
In 1920 Gandhi with INC, had the base to employ struggle against British Government through his weapons as non violence and peacefully. His great popularity among both Hindus and Muslims made him leader. In December 1921, Gandhi was invested with executive authority on behalf of the Indian National Congress. Under his leadership, the Congress was reorganized with a new constitution, with the goal of Swaraj. Membership in the party was opened to anyone prepared to pay a token fee. In this way Gandhi expanded his work of Non Violence upto the boycott of Foreign made things especially British made clothes. In this regard Gandhi suggested to worn Khadi. Gandhi gets great support from all Indians and it was at apex. It ended abruptly as a result of violent clash of Chora-Chori in 1922. Due to this Gandhi was arrested and sentenced to imprisonment of six years.
Salt Satyagraha well known, started with Dandi march on March 12, 1930. It was an important part of Independence Movement. It was a direct action Campion against tax resistance and non violent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India. Mahatma Gandhi led the Dandi March from his base Sabarmati ashram (Ahmadabad) to the sea coast near Dandi . He continued on this 24 day, 240 mile (390 km) march to produce salt without paying the tax, growing numbers of Indians joined him along the way.
Quit India Movement:
On Aug. 8, 1942 Gandhi gave the birth of Quit India Movement or Bharat Chhodo Aandolan. After the arrest of Gandhi disorders broke down immediately and many violent demonstrations took place. Quit India became the most famous and powerful freedom struggle in Indian history of Independence.
Independence and Gandhi:
On 20th Feb. 1947, Mr. Attlee, Prime Minister of England announced, in the house of Commons, that power would be handed over to an Indian Government before June, 1947. Meanwhile Lord Mountbatten became Viceroy and Governor General on 24th March, 1947.He made negotiation with the party members and outcome was that- Power would be transferred earlier than June 1948, The Indian Independence act, which provide for the setting up of a dominion of India and Pakistan on 15th August, 1947 and The execution of the business of partition in six weeks. On 14th and 15th Aug. Indian Congress committee met in New Delhi and took the decision to accept the creation of Independent Pakistan. Later on Indian Independence bill was passed in July 1947 by British Parliament and India got freedom or British control over India was ended.
Gandhi used his weapons as Non-Violence, Non-Cooperation and truthfulness and he won in the battle against Britishers. If we look back towards History we will find that Napoleon fought and fell, Hitler prostrated Europe and perished, but Gandhi suffered and succeeded in his efforts . On January30, 1948, Gandhiji was shot by N. Godse in New Delhi.
Other Major Works of Mahatma Gandhi:
Gandhi campaigned to improve the lives of the untouchables, whom he called Harijans (children of God). He promoted equitable rights, including the right to vote in the same electorates as other castes. The Cabinet Mission sent by the British government proposed for the bifurcation of India along communal lines which Gandhi vehemently protested. But eventually he had to relent and on the eve of independence thousands lost their lives in communal riots. Gandhi urged for communal harmony and worked tirelessly to promote unity among the Hindus and Muslims. But Mahatma's act of benevolence angered Hindu fundamentalists and on January 13, 1948 he was assassinated by Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse.
Political views of Gandhi:
Gandhi was totally in favors of equality. They want that everyone is equally treated and there is no discrimination on the basis of sex, caste, economy and any other this type of things. Gandhi was the ultimate civil rights activist. He wants freedom and peace. In doing so they fought against Britishers long time and in doing so they never used violent method. He said that political problems must be solved in the Gandhian way: "Gandhi's nationalism contains none of those elements which makes nationalist movements of the West seem a menace to peace." This is a plea for a Gandhian approaches to political problems which are now, generally speaking, the German elite's view of Gandhi's nonviolence. Let us see the attitude to Gandhian nonviolence of the greatest physicist of the modern world after Einstein, Werner Heisenberg. In an essay on Gandhi he says that "Gandhi's teaching of nonviolence could prove to be stronger than the vague impersonal conception of an international court of justice. Gandhi's unique example shows that a true personal involvement together with the total rejection of force could be very successful politically."
Religious views of Gandhi:
According to Gandhi True Religion is not a narrow dogma. It is belief in God and living in the presence of God. It is not an external Observation. It means faith in future life, truth and Ahimsa. Gandhi believed in Vedas and Puranas and they called him Santana Hindu. He believed in protection of cow. Apart from Hinduism he believed that every religion is made by God and he respects all religions. He said that all religions are equal but we people made differences on the basis of worship or this type of things. Gandhi said that God cannot be defined. We all feel the presence of God but we are not conscious of it, God is the source of all light and life. Even an atheist believes in God by way of altruism since God is conscience itself which everybody possesses howsoever bad he or she may be. Therefore Gandhi believed in universal religion.
In short we can say that Gandhi spent his whole life for Indian Independence and they worked for India and for Indians till death. He had a great soul and so he called as “Mahatma Gandhi” and “Bapu” or “Father of Nation”.
1. Dr. Patil S.H., Gandhi and Swaraj, Deep and Deep Publications, 1983.
2. Das Nibedita, Life and Thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi, Dominant Publishers and Distributors, 2006.
3. Gandhi Mahatma, an Autobiography- The Story of My Experiments with Truth, 1927.
10. Mahatma Gandhi Indian Spiritual/Political Leader and Humanitarian 1869 - 1948
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