Bapu, Father of the Nation, Satyagrahi, Satyawadi, social reformer, political leader, lawyer, Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi has perhaps been the most famous leader of all times across India, a very diverse personality and the most key driving factor of the Indian Independence Movement. On his 152nd birthday anniversary, we take a look at his journey from being a barrister in South Africa to becoming India’s most popular political figure. #ThinkWithNiche
Mahatma Gandhi had indeed a truly unique personality which baffled everyone around him, it has been intrigued people across the world how a man with a lean physique, a loincloth, and a shawl managed to challenge the British and bring them to their feet and leave India, once and for all. Even after 150 years since he was born, Gandhi’s legacy remains stringent and sturdy, one becomes curious as to how this one person was able to crystallize the Indian freedom struggle and spread across the country by igniting the flame o independence in the heart of every Indian. Let us go through a whirlwind around Gandhi’s journey from his early days to achieving Independence for India-
Early Life- Gandhiji was born in Porbandar on October 2, 1869, he was raised under a strict disciplinary lifestyle practicing Vaishnavism (worship of the Hindu god Vishnu) and had a strong bent towards Jainism while following principles of ‘ahimsa’ (no harm to any living being), vegetarianism, fasting (for self-purification) and mutual tolerance for each religion and sects. Gandhiji was highly influenced by Harishchandra and Shravana, who were figures of truth in his life. He was married at the age of 13, quite shy by nature, Gandhi’s marriage did not interest him. He received early education at Porbandar, Rajkot, and Bhavnagar state. In 1888, he enrolled at Inner Temple, London for a degree in law, in 1891, he joined the London High Court but left within one year and returned to India.
Gandhi In South Africa- After completing law from London, Gandhiji struggled to get a job and returned to India. In 1893, he was offered to serve as a lawyer in South Africa by a South African shipping company, Gandhi accepted the offer and traveled to South Africa before hitting a focal point that ignited his political career. There are reports and pieces of evidence that suggest that Gandhi suffered discrimination and humiliation at the hands of the British in South Africa, one of the cruelest acts of humiliation against Gandhi took place when he was traveling in a train in South Africa and had booked a first-class ticket, upon seeing him in the compartment reserved for the whites, the officials asked him to leave immediately, when Gandhi resisted saying that he had booked a first-class ticket, he was thrown out of the train along with his luggage. After this incident, Gandhi decided to advocate for human rights and he adopted the policy of ‘satyagraha meaning to protest peacefully.
Gandhi’s Political Career In India- Upon his arrival in India as a social and civil rights activist, Gandhi was invited by Gopal Krishna Gokhale who was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress to join the Indian National Movement against tyrant British Rule. Gokhale acted as a guide and mentor in shaping Gandhi’s journey in India’s freedom struggle.
Champaran Satyagraha in 1917
Khed Satyagrah of 1918
Khilafat Movement (After WW1)
Non-Cooperation Movement 1920
Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930 (Dandi March)
Arbitration at First Round Table Conference of 1931
Quit India Movement of 1942
After a long struggle for Independence and a will to achieve a free Indian state, at the cost of dividing India with another independent state, Gandhiji and other nationalists achieved independence on 15th August 1947. No amount of words can do justice to Gandhiji’s role and contribution to the Indian independence and freedom struggle. On his 152nd birth anniversary, we at Think With Niche salute him for this outstanding contribution and passion towards the country and the citizen by uniting them together and adoping all menthods of ‘Satyagraha’.