Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Childhood to Assassination (1869-1948) PREPARED BY-----BHUPINDER SAWHNEY About Gandhi ji
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was undoubtedly one of the greatest spiritual and political figures of all times. He entered the troubled scenario of the Indian Nationalist movement against the British colonialist rule in the early 1900s and immediately shot to fame with his non-violent modes of civilian resistance. His spiritual beliefs revolutionized all aspects of the Indian life Gandhi's ideologies made a deep impression on the minds of thinkers as well as the common people across the globe and he soon became one of the most revered personalities of the modern world. His countrymen graced him with the sobriquet (title) of the 'Mahatma' or the great soul, a name by which he became known to his millions of countrymen. He was also referred to as 'Bapu' or the 'father' by his thousands of admirers who looked up to him for inspiration guidance. His life was a living example of piety and simplicity. His works became an inspiration to millions, and his mission became an ideal to
follow. Gandhi was the founder of satyagraha, a mode of non-violent resistance based on ethical and moral strength, against aggressive and armed revolutions that characterized political endeavors till then. It was the beginning of a new era, a new guiding light in the world. Gandhi at the age of seven Childhood and Early Years M.K. Gandhi was born on 2nd October, 1869 at Porbandar in the state of Gujarat of
India. Right from his early years, his sensitive mind was often stormed by various moral and ethical questions. In his autobiography, Gandhi has put down in detail the various spiritual and moral questions that troubled his young mind. Committed towards leading a meaningful life right from his early years, Gandhi was disturbed by the condition of the poor and the deprived. His studies of various religious and philosophical works also helped him to develop a unique and individualistic view of the world, which although at its nascent stage, would finally reach maturity in later years. However, in the early years, there was nothing in Gandhi's life that would portend the great things that would follow. Being married at a tender age of 13 to Kasturba Bai, Gandhi sired four children. Gandhi left for his legal studies to London in 1891 and stayed there for two years. Soon after his return to India, Gandhi left for South Africa for a one year contractual legal job. The incidents there changed his life for ever, shaping and strengthening him for the great endeavors that he would undertake in the
later part of his life. Gandhi in South Africa (1893-1915) Experiences in South Africa changed Gandhi's life for ever. Gandhi in 1893, on his arrival at South Africa, was already well versed in various theologies and philosophies. Ruskin, Tolstoy and Thorough, with their theories of passive resistance, were particularly strong influences on him. He was pained by the treatment that was meted out to the Indians in South Africa by the British authorities. However, history has shown us that it always takes the immediacy of some
momentous incident to finally bring into light what has been latent for a long time. For Gandhi, it happened at Petermaritzberg. Gandhi where he was traveling on a first class compartment with a valid ticket when he was asked by some British train officials and passengers to move to the third class. On refusing to do so, he was thrown out of the train. This changed Gandhi's life. He initiated an organized resistance against the British rule with the Indians settled in South Africa .He was instrumental in establishment of natal congress in 1894 & Transvaal British Indian association in 1903. He pioneered a movement for acquiring voting rights for the Indians living there. It was during this movement that Gandhi introduced the idea of the satyagraha, a spiritual ideology based on non-violence and commitment to truth, with clear political connotations - as the guiding principle of his political activism. This non-violent mode of civilian resistance was hardly employed before, if not altogether unheard of. Gandhi met with exemplary success with his satyagraha in South Africa. Soon after that, his period of stay in South Africa came to a close and he returned to India in 1915.
Gandhi as a barrister in South Africa Gandhi with the Indian Ambulance Corps during the Boer War Gandhi and the Indian Struggle for Freedom (1915-1948) Gandhi and Kasturba on their return to
India, January 1915 Return to India , Jan 1915 When Gandhi returned to India in the year 1915, he did not directly enter the political scenario, following the advice of his political mentor Gopal Krishna Gokhle. However, in the period between 1917 and 18, he rendered leadership to some local disputes and thus rose to prominence. He supported the cause of the oppressed cultivators of Champaran district of Bihar against the unbearable exploitation of the indigo farmers of the region , associated himself with the
campaign of the peasants of the Kheda district in Gujarat and also backed the textile workers of Ahmedabad, who were fighting for their wages . During this phase, Gandhi was loyal to the colonial government and even volunteered for the recruitment of soldiers to fight on behalf of the English, during the First World War. However, the Gandhi's role as a co-operator of the British government did not last long. The Rowlatt Act, followed by the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre and the Khilafat issue embittered Gandhi's feelings towards the British government. Gandhi stance changed to that of a non-co-operator of the British government and he soon after launched the Non-Cooperation Movement. Major Movements Fought under leadership of Gandhi ji Three important milestones of India's pre independence history
The Non-Cooperation Movement (1920) Civil Disobedience Movement (1930) The Quit India Movement (1942) Satyagraha or passive civilian resistance and ahimsa or non violence was the unique weapons of Indian National Movements. Non-Cooperation
Movement (Aug 1920-22) Non-Cooperation Movement Gandhi urged the Congress to launch a NonCooperation Movement on three issues Redressal of the wrongs committed in Punjab that entailed the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and the atrocities related to the marital laws
Khilafat Issue. Accomplishment of swaraj. Non-Cooperation Movement Program & policy Promotion of swadeshi and boycott of foreign made articles
Surrender of honorary posts and titles Rejection of official Durbars Progressive rejection by lawyers of British courts Boycott of elections appointing new Councils Boycott of Government run and state assisted schools Promotion of khadi
Result of Non-Cooperation Movement In contradiction to the approach of non violence championed by Mahatma Gandhi, the Non-Cooperation Movement sparked off an incident of mob violence in Chauri Chaura in the United Provinces. A few police constables were killed, following an attack of a police outpost on February 5th, 1922. Disillusioned by this incident, Gandhi called for the suspension of the movement in 1922.
Gandhi ji return all the medals he had received in recognition of his war services from the British government (Kaiser-IHind" gold medal ). Non-cooperation Movement Non-cooperation Movement Gandhi's arrest in 1922 immediately after suspension of non cooperation movement Gandhi returned from a brief hibernation following
his imprisonment & launch the Civil Disobedience movement in 1930 (Defying government orders ) Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-34) Factor leading to Civil Disobedience Movement
Accused of being an 'All-White Commission', the Simon Commission was rejected by all political and social segments of the country . Demand for status of dominion . Demand for release of the political prisoners . Holding the suggested Round Table Conference for reflecting on the problems regarding the constitution of the country. But None of the efforts made by the Congress received any favorable response from the British government & Gandhi ji decided to launch Civil disobedience
movement Gandhi inaugurated The Civil Disobedience Movement by conducting the historic Dandi Salt March, where he broke the Salt Laws imposed by the British Government. On 6th April 1930, Gandhi with the accompaniment of seventy nine satyagrahis, violated the Salt Law by picking up a fistful of salt lying on the sea shore. They manually made salt on the shores of Dandi. The entire nation amalgamated under the call of a single man, Mahatma Gandhi . Dandi Salt March had an immense impact on the entire nation. Each and every corner of the country was gripped in a
unique fervor of nationalism Civil Disobedience Movement Program & policy (1930) Breaking of the Salt Laws.
Picketing of shops selling foreign goods and liquor. Bonfire of foreign cloths. Refusal to pay taxes. Avoidance of offices by the public officers and Schools by the students. Result of Civil Disobedience Movement Garndhi-Irwin Pact
In the March of 1930, Gandhi met with the Viceroy, Lord Irwin and signed an agreement known as the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. The two main clauses of the pact entailed; Congress participation in the Round Table Conference and cessation of The Civil Disobedience Movement. The Government of India released all satyagrahis from prison Gandhi attended The Second Round Table Conference in London accompanied by Smt. Sarojini Naidu . The Second Round Table Conference proved to be futile for the Indians and Gandhi returned to the country without any positive result. The political scene in India thereafter assumed an acute dimension. The Viceroy, Lord Willingdon, in the absence of Gandhi, adopted the policy of repression. The Gandhi-Irwin Pact was violated and the Viceroy took to the suppression of the Congress
Gandhi resumed the movement in January 1932 & it lasted for six moths. Sardar Patel, the President of Congress and Gandhi were arrested, along with other Congressmen . The Civil Disobedience Movement was suspended, when Mahatma Gandhi withdrew mass satyagraha on July 14th 1933. The movement ceased completely
on April 7th 1934. Although The Civil Disobedience Movement failed to achieve any positive outcome, it was an important juncture in the history of Indian independence. The leadership
of Mahatma Gandhi had a beneficial
impact. Gandhi ji speech during Civil Disobedience Movement Dandi yatra End of Dandi yatra Quit India Movement Quit India Movement (Factors)
In 1939, with the outbreak of war between Germany and Britain, India was announced to be a party to the war for being a constituent component of the British Empire & congress criticized the decision as taken without Indian consent. The Cripps' Mission and its failure also played an important role in Gandhi's call for The Quit India Movement British government on 22nd March, 1942, sent Sir Stafford Cripps to talk terms with the Indian political parties and secure their support in Britain's war efforts. A Draft Declaration of the British
Government was presented, which included terms like establishment of Dominion, establishment of a Constituent . These would be, however, granted after the cessation of the Second World War. According to the Congress this Declaration only offered India a promise that was to be fulfilled in the future. Commenting on this Gandhi said; "It is a post dated cheque on a crashing bank." Gandhi's Call for Quit India The Quit India Movement, inaugurated at the call of the Mahatma, unfolded in four phases. In the first phase there were strikes, processions, demonstrations and processions. This phase lasted for a period of three to four days and commenced
from the day of Gandhi's arrest on August 9th , 1942. The factory and mill workers rose to the cause and displayed maximum vigor and enthusiasm. The government took recourse to repressive measures to subdue the movement. Raids of municipal and government buildings characterized the second phase of the movement. Police stations, post offices and railway stations were attacked and set ablaze. Attempts were made by the agitated mobs to capture court buildings. Troops fired to control mob fury. September 1942, marks the beginning of the third phase of the movement. It is said that during this phase of the movement, the mob threw bombs on the police in Madhya Pradesh, Bombay and Uttar Pradesh. With the emergence of the movement into the fourth phase, it gained back its peaceful character and extended till Mahatma Gandhi was released from prison in May, 1944.
Towards Independence August 1946 Viceroy of India announces invitation to Congress to form Provisional Government; Gandhi opposes partition of India
June 1947 Indian leaders accept Mountbatten partition plan; Gandhi opposes it. July 1947 Independence of India Bill passed August 14, 1947 Gandhi hails August 15 as a day for rejoicing for the independence of India but deplores the division of the country January 12, 1948 Gandhi begins fast for communal peace in Delhi. January 18,1948 Gandhi ends fast after communal harmony is assured when antagonistic parties came to a common platform to settle the differences Assassination of Gandhi
The political turmoil in India continued long after the Independence was granted to India. Great degree of migration followed the partition and riots were rampant on both sides of the border. It was a virtual nightmare for Gandhi who earnestly believed in secularism all through his life, and earnestly hoped that the Hindus and the Muslims of India would stay side by side as brothers and sisters. He travelled across the riot-ridden country trying to spread the message of peace and brotherhood, but with little success. The independence that came at the cost of partition was summarily unacceptable to him. But Gandhi had to pay the price with his life. He became the martyr for ideals, when Nathuram Godse, an assassin with radical Hindu
fundamentalist ideology, assassinated him at a prayer meeting in Delhi on 30th January, 1948. A pall of gloom enveloped the country after the incident. Despite his bodily death, the legacy of Gandhi's ideals stayed on as India marched bravely on through its new era of independence. Place where Gandhi ji shot dead Emergence of Gandhi as the Father of the Nation Gandhi ji in the hearts of millions of Indians as The Father of the Nation, for the path breaking role that he played not in the Indian struggle for
independence but for moulding the national character and the lives of the Indians alike. At a time when the fabric of the Indian society was tearing apart, he accomplished the Herculean task of unifying the nation. Confronted with diverse political ideologies like hard line extremism, the moderate approach and the newly emerging communist forces .The confused Indians found solace in the simple philosophies of Gandhi. He worked hard for the upliftment of the dalits and gave them a new identity. Women, under his Support, found back their long lost confidence and actively participated in the tasks of national cause. As a visionary, he realized right at the onset that the real strength of India lies in communal harmony and brotherhood. Thus, the emergence of Gandhi, as a national leader, as a humanist, as a visionary, as a social and political reformer and most importantly as a
spiritual leader has been critically instrumental in shaping a new India, firmly rooted in its historical past and at the same time welcoming the progressive trends of modernity. Thanks
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