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A review on the life and principles of mohandas k gandhi

In truth, it was probably the power of his conscience and his compassion for others that moved him to greatness. His father, Karamchand Gandhi, was the diwan or chief minister of Porbandar under the British—a position earlier held by his grandfather and great-grandfather before him.

His mother, Putlibai, was a devout Hindu of the Pranami Vaishnava order, and Karamchand's fourth wife. Gandhi grew up surrounded by the Jain influences common to Gujarat, so learned from an early age the meaning of ahimsa non-injury to living thingvegetarianism, fasting for self-purification, and a tolerance for members of other creeds and sects.

They had four sons: Gandhi continued his studies after marriage, but was a mediocre student at Porbandar and later Rajkot. He barely passed the matriculation exam for Samaldas College at Bhavnagar, Gujarat in He was unhappy at collegebecause his family wanted him to become a barrister.

He leapt at the opportunity to study in Englandwhich he viewed as "a land of philosophers and poets, the very centre of civilization. Prior to leaving India, he made a vow to his mother, in the presence of a Jain monk Becharji, the he would observe the Hindu abstinence of meat, alcohol, and promiscuity. He kept his vow on all accounts. English boiled vegetables were distasteful to Gandhi, so he often went without eating, as he was too polite to ask for other food.

When his friends complained he was too clumsy for decent society because of his refusal to eat meat, he determined to compensate by becoming an English gentleman in other ways. This determination led to a brief experiment with dancing. By chance he found one of London's few vegetarian restaurants and a book on vegetarianism which increased his devotion to the Hindu diet.

He joined the Vegetarian Society, was elected to its executive committee, and founded a local chapter.

He later credited this with giving him valuable experience in organizing institutions. While in London, Gandhi rediscovered other aspects of the Hindu religion as well. Two members of the Theosophical Society a group founded in to further universal brotherhood through the study of Buddhist and Hindu Brahmanistic literature encouraged him to read the classic writings of Hinduism. This whetted his appetite for learning about religion, and he studied other religions as well—Christianity, Buddhism and Islam.

It was in England that he first read the Bhagavad Gita, from which he drew a great deal of inspiration, as he also did from Jesus ' Sermon on the Mount. He later wrote a commentary on the Gita.

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He interpreted the battle scene, during which the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna takes place, as an allegory of the eternal struggle between good and evil.

He returned to India after being admitted to the bar of England and Wales. His readjustment to Indian life was difficult due to the fact that his mother had died while he was away his father died shortly before he left for Englandand because some of his extended family shunned him—believing that a foreign voyage had made him unclean and was sufficient cause to excommunicate him from their caste.

After six months of limited success in Bombay Mumbai establishing a law practice, Gandhi returned to Rajkot to earn a modest living drafting petitions for litigants. After an incident with a British officer, he was forced to close down that business as well.

In his autobiography, he describes this incident as a kind of unsuccessful lobbying attempt on behalf of his older brother. Civil rights movement in South Africa — Gandhi, a young lawyer, was mild-mannered, diffident and politically indifferent. He had read his first newspaper at the age of 18, and was prone to stage fright while speaking in court.

The discrimination commonly directed at blacks and Indians in South Africa changed him dramatically. Two incidents are particularly notable. In court in the city of Durban, shortly after arriving in South Africa, Gandhi was asked by a magistrate to remove his turban. Gandhi refused, and subsequently stormed out of the courtroom.

Not long after that he was thrown off a train at Pietermaritzburg for refusing to ride in the third-class compartment while holding a valid first-class ticket. Later, on the same journey, a stagecoach driver beat him for refusing to make room for a European passenger by standing on the footboard. Finally, he was barred from several hotels because of his race.

This experience of racism a review on the life and principles of mohandas k gandhi, prejudice and injustice became a catalyst for his later activism. The moral indignation he felt led him to organize the Indian community to improve their situation. Gandhi in South Africa At the end of his contract, preparing to return to India, Gandhi learned about a bill before the Natal Legislative Assembly that if passed, would deny Indians in South Africa the right to vote.

His South African friends lamented that they could not oppose the bill because they did not have the necessary expertise. He circulated petitions to the Natal Legislature and to the British Government opposing the bill. Though unable to halt the bill's passage, his campaign drew attention to the grievances of Indians in South Africa.

Supporters convinced him to remain in Durban to continue fighting against the injustices they faced. Gandhi founded the Natal Indian Congress inwith himself as the secretary and used this organization to mold the Indian community of South Africa into a heterogeneous political force. He published documents detailing their grievances along with evidence of British discrimination in South Africa.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

InGandhi returned briefly to India to bring his wife and children to live with him in South Africa. While in India he reported the discrimination faced by Indian residents in South Africa to the newspapers and politicians in India. An abbreviated form of his account found its way into the papers in Britain and finally in South Africa. As a result, when he returned to Natal in Januarya group of angry white South African residents were waiting to lynch him.

His personal values were evident at that stage: Gandhi opposed the British policies in South Africa, but supported the government during the Boer War in Gandhi argued that support for the British legitimized Indian demands for citizenship rights as members of the British Empire.

But his volunteer ambulance corps of three hundred free Indians and eight hundred indentured laborers the Indian Ambulance Corpsunlike most other medical units, served wounded black South Africans. He was decorated for his work as stretcher-bearer during the Battle of Spion Kop.

Inhe considered his work in South Africa to be done, and set up a trust fund for the Indian community with the farewell gifts given to him and his family. It took some convincing for his wife to agree to give up the gold necklace which according to Gandhi did not go with their new, simplified lifestyle.

They returned to India, but promised to return if the need arose. At the conclusion of the war the situation in South Africa deteriorated and Gandhi was called back in late Inthe Transvaal government required that members of the Indian community be registered with the government.

At a mass protest meeting in JohannesburgGandhi, for the first time, called on his fellow Indians to defy the new law rather than resist it through violence. The adoption of this plan led to a seven-year struggle in which thousands of Indians were jailed including Gandhi on many occasionsflogged, or even shot, for striking, refusing to register, burning their registration cards, or engaging in other forms of non-violent resistance.

The public outcry a review on the life and principles of mohandas k gandhi the harsh methods of the South African government in response to the peaceful Indian protesters finally forced South African General Jan Christian Smuts to negotiate a compromise with Gandhi. This method of Satyagraha devotion to the truthor non-violent protest, grew out of his spiritual quest and his search for a better society.

He came to respect all religionsincorporating the best qualities into his own thought. Instead of doctrine, the guide to his life was the inner voice that he found painful to ignore, and his sympathy and love for all people.

Rather than hatred, he advocated helping the opponent realize their error through patience, sympathy and, if necessary, self-suffering. He often fasted in penance for the harm done by others. He sought to emulate these ideals in his two communal farms—Phoenix Colony near Durban and Tolstoy Farm near Johannesburg.

Residents grew their own food and everyone, regardless of caste, race or religion, was equal. Gandhi published a popular weekly newspaperIndian Opinion, from Phoenix, which gave him an outlet for his developing philosophy.

He gave up his law practice.

Devotion to community service had led him to a vow of brahmacharya in Thereafter, he denied himself worldly and fleshly pleasures, including rich food, sex his wife agreedfamily possessions, and the safety of an insurance policy.

Striving for purity of thought, he later challenged himself against sexual arousal by close association with attractive women—an action severely criticized by modern Indian cynics who doubt his success in that area. He sought to improve Hinduism by eliminating untouchability and other outdated customs.

As he had done in South AfricaGandhi urged support of the British during World War I and actively encouraged Indians to join the army, reasoning again that if Indians wanted full citizenship rights of the British Empirethey must help in its defense.

His rationale was opposed by many. His involvement in Indian politics was mainly through conventions of the Indian National Congress, and his association with Gopal Krishna Gokhale, one of most respected leaders of the Congress Party at that time.

Champaran and Kheda Gandhi first used his ideas of Satyagraha in India on a local level in in Champaran, a district in the state of Bihar, and in Kheda in the state of Gujarat.

In both states he organized civil resistance on the part of tens of thousands of landless farmers and poor farmers with small lands, who were forced to grow indigo and other cash crops instead of the food crops necessary for their survival. It was an area of extreme poverty, unhygienic villages, rampant alcoholism and untouchables.

In addition to the crop growing restrictions, the British had levied an oppressive tax. He led the villagers in a clean up movement, encouraging social reform, and building schools and hospitals. For his efforts Gandhi was arrested by police on the charges of unrest and was ordered to leave Bihar. Hundreds of thousands of people protested and rallied outside the jail, police stations and courts demanding his release, which was unwillingly granted.

  1. The Government discontinued coercive measures.
  2. Rising discontent The discontent against the British Government was increasing.
  3. Mohan was frail and used to be afraid even to go out alone in the dark. Mohan's father died when Mohan was 16.
  4. He stuck to the friendship despite warnings from family-members.

Gandhi then organized protests and strikes against the landlords, who finally agreed to more pay and allowed the farmers to determine what crops to grow.

The government cancelled tax collections until the famine ended. The success in these situations spread throughout the country.

  1. Gandhi thought that it had grave implications. Gandhi studied the case.
  2. Indian leaders began hectic efforts to save Gandhi's life. It was fired upon, and many persons were killed.
  3. It was a heterogeneous group. Others renounced titles and honors, there were bonfires of foreign cloth, lawyers resigned, students left school, urban residents went to the villages to encourage non violent non-cooperation.
  4. The people then pressed him to stay for some time.
  5. He ignored the order.

Non-Cooperation The charkha of Gandhi's spinning machine was used as the emblem of the nationalist flag Gandhi used Satyagraha on a national level inthe year the Rowlatt Act was passed, allowing the government to imprison persons accused of sedition without trial. Gandhi criticized both the British and the Indians.

Arguing that all violence was evil and could not be justified, he convinced the national party to pass a resolution offering condolences to British victims and condemning the Indian riots. This matured into Swaraj or complete individual, spiritual, political independence. Inthe Indian National Congress invested Gandhi with executive authority. Under his leadership, the party was transformed from an elite organization to one of mass national appeal and membership was opened to anyone who paid a token fee.

Congress was reorganized including a hierarchy of committeesgot a new constitution and the goal of Swaraj. Instead of foreign textileshe advocated the use of khadi homespun clothand spinning to be done by all Indian men and women, rich or poor, to support the independence movement. It was also a clever way to include women in political activities generally considered unsuitable for them. Gandhi had urged the boycott of all things British, including educational institutions, law courts, government employment, British titles and honours.