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Life And Work Of Mahatma Gandhi History Essay

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who is also know as Mahatma Gandhi or "bapu" was the leader of Indian nationalism who was born on October 2nd, 1869, at Porbandar in the state of Gujarat, India. He was born in the moderate wealthy family and he was the youngest child in the family of one sister and three brothers. Also, he was born into political and religious belief family. His father Karmchand Gandhi was Diwan (Chief Minister) of Porbandar. His mother, Putlibai was very simple and religious person. She had devoted her life between house chores and temple. She was very much into the religious activity and that is why she made sure to raise her children with the same value. Gandhi grew up in very religious atmosphere and followed Vaishnavism religion. From beginning Gandhi used to go to temples and used to learn about different religions. At age of seven he was sent to school. In school Gandhi was an average student, who was very shy to talk to any student in the class as he thought that they will make fun of him. He was very introvert student in the school but he always kept his honesty and sincerity. Gandhi got married in 1882 at the age of 13, as it was custom back in India at that time to do child marriage. He married to Kasturbai Mukhanji and there after they had four children all boys. Gandhi passed matriculation exam in 1887 and went back home as he found the studies in college very tough. Then he decided to go to London for further studies. In 1888, at age of 19 he traveled to London to study law. Before he traveled to London to study in University of London, he had to face opposition from his mother and other relatives for his decision to go abroad. He had to vow not to touch girls, drink liquor or eat meat while he is abroad and only then his mother allowed him to go to London for further studies. In 1891, Gandhi passed his law exam in second attempt. Even though, He was admitted to British bar he decided to return to Indian. He then went to Bombay High Court and start doing his practice. He was not doing that great there and the main reason for that was that he did not like to take false or un-ethical cases. Due to that his practice in Bombay High Court did not help him to establish and after that he moved to Rajkot. Even there he was not doing that great and at the end he decided to go to South Africa, where he took year long contract from one Indian Law Company who was based in South Africa. In April, 1893 he sailed to South Africa to stay there for one year.

Gandhi's real journey started in South Africa. Here he learned a lot of things and also practiced his law. Gandhi was only 24 when he arrived in Africa. At that time South Africa was under British rule and he soon discovered the racism is faced by black people and Indian's over in South Africa. He did not like that at all from the beginning and soon he was the victim of same racisms that he saw faced by all the Indian's living in South Africa. In early June of 1893, Gandhi was beaten up and thrown out of train, because he was traveling through first class passenger cabin and he refused to move to third class train cabin just because he was Indian. Back then South Africa was ruled by British and the racism was so high that it was clearly written in first class cabin that "dogs and Indians are not allowed" and even then Gandhi dared to traveled in first class cabin. This incident shook Gandhi and it became the turning point of his life. This incident influenced him so much that he decided to stay in South Africa till the time all the Indian's who lives in South Africa gets their right. From here on he started his journey to become Mahatma Gandhi the leader. In 1894, Gandhi founded the Natal Indian Congress and he was the secretary. During the Boer War in 1899, Gandhi argued that Indian should support this war and participate in it also to show full citizenship towards the country. He created Ambulance Corps of about 300 Indians and 800 local laborers. In 1903, He found the new paper called Indian Opinion. Main reason to open this new paper printing was to spread ideas and awareness among local Indians about their rights. During this time Gandhi lead many campaigns and he also edited a newspaper, Indian Opinion. In 1906, September 11th Gandhi called for mass meeting which was attended by thousands of Indian's in Johannesburg. During this mass meeting Gandhi announced his new strategy called "Satyagraha". Satyagraha is a non-violent protest where the protesters do not attack back if some one hit them. This strategy got the attention they needed toward their demand and protest. During next seven years Gandhi and his man strongly protest through Satyagraha strategy and due to that thousands of people got jailed including Gandhi him self was sent to jail more then four times. At the end in 1914, Gandhi's and his supporter's effort forced South African General Jan Christiaan Smuts to negotiate reform package. This was the end of Gandhi's civil right movements in South Africa. This was one the Gandhi's significant achievement. While he was fighting hard in South Africa, his effort was already being recognized in India. Every movement of his in South Africa was being published and recognized in India through Indian news papers. So, when Gandhi decided to go back to India in 1915 he was already a hero and role model back home for thousands of youngsters and politicians.

In 1915, Gandhi left the South Africa for ever and went back to India. He might have shifted from one country to another but his motto and hunger for justice did not left behind in South Africa. It actually became more when he came to India. India was ruled by British back then and Gandhi was completely against it. He wanted British to leave the India and for that he started his movement. He initially established an "ashram" in Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat. This became his base for political and social activities. From here he started his new journey to fight against British to leave Indian for ever. Gandhi played an extremely important role for India to get its freedom from British. Gandhi's campaign in India started from Champaran and Kheda. They name this as Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha. This fight was for the indigo farmers who were being havily tax by British. These taxes were so high that not even a single farmer was able to pay tax on time and that made British to charge them more tax every year. These had left villages to be in bad condition; families of farmers don't get enough food and can't afford to send to school or colleges. Gandhi saw all this and decided to fight against it. This campaign got his main impact when Gandhi was arrested by the British police and was ordered to leave the area. These made thousands and thousands of people furious and they all got together and protested against it. They all rallied by jail, police station and court. At the end British Government had no choice but to release Gandhi. Also, it was during this time people of India started mentioning him as a "bapu" (father) or "mahatma" (good soul). At the end his campaign got the end result which was fair and much needed. This made his fame spread all over the India.


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