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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s Emergence as an Indian Leader

Mahatma Gandhi
A2FP81 Rare studio photograph of Mahatma Gandhi taken in London England UK at the request of Lord Irwin 1931

Mahatma Gandhi’s real name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, India—died on January 30, 1948, in Delhi. Gandhi in his life time beacme an Indian lawyer, politician, social activist and  the writer who later became the leader of the nationalist movement against the British rule of India. As such, he came to be consider the father of his country. Gandhi is  esteem for his doctrine of nonviolent protest (satyagraha) to achieve political and social progress.

Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi

Indian Leader

In the eyes his fellow Indians, Gandhi was  known as the Mahatma (“Great Soul”). The lame adoration of the huge crowds that gathered to see him all along the route of his tours made them a severe ordeal he could hardly work during the day or rest at night. “The woes of the Mahatmas,” he wrote, are known only to the Mahatmas.His fame spread worldwide during his lifetime and only increased after his death. The name Mahatma Gandhi is now one of the most popularly  recognized  name on earth.

Mahatma Gandhi’s Youth and his Family

Gandhiji was the youngest child of the fourth wife of his father his . His father—Karamchand Gandhi, who was the Dewan (chief minister) of Porbandar, the capital of a small area in western India (in what is now Gujarat state) under British suzerainty. He was an able administrator who knew how to steer his way between the unpredictable princes, their long-suffering subjects, and the headstrong British political officers in power.

Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhiji’s mother, Putlibai, was completely into religion, did not care much for finery or jewellery, divided her time between her home and the temple, fasted frequently, and spent her days and nights, nursing whenever there was sickness in the family. Mohandas grew up  in Vaishnavism—worship of the Hindu god Vishnu—with a strong tinge of Jainism, a morally rigorous Indian religion whose chief tenets are nonviolence and the belief that everything in this universe is eternal. Thus, he took  ahimsa (noninjury to all living beings) for granted, vegetarianism, fasting for self-purification, and mutual tolerance between adherents of various creeds and sects.

Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi’s Education and marriage at young age

The educational facilities at Porbandar were basic in the primary school that Mohandas attended, the children wrote the alphabet in the dust with their fingers. Fortunately for him, his father became Dewan of Rajkot, another princely state. Though Mohandas occasionally won prizes and scholarships at the local schools, his record was on the whole mediocar. One of the terminal reports rated him as “good at English, fair in Arithmetic and weak in Geography ,conduct : very good, bad handwriting.”

Mahatma Gandhi

He got married at the age of 13 and thus lost a year at school. A medest child, he shown neither in the classroom nor on the playing field. He loved to go out on long solitary walks when he was not nursing his ailing father (who died soon thereafter) or helping his mother with her household chores.

He had learned,  “to carry out the orders of the elders, not to scan them” with such extreme passivity, it is not surprising that he should have gone through a phase of adolescent rebellion, marked by secret atheism, petty thefts, furtive smoking, and—most shocking  a boy born in a Vaishnava family—meat-eating. His adolescence was probably not that rebellious than that of most children of his age and class. What was extraordinary was that his  way of youthful transgressions ended.

“Never again” he  promise to himself after each escapade. And he kept his promise. Insteadof  an unprepossessing exterior, he concealed a burning passion for self-improvement that led him to take even the heroes of Hindu mythology, such as Prahlada and Harishcandra—legendary embodiments of truthfulness and sacrifice—as living models.

In 1887,Mohandas scraped through the matriculation examination of the University of Bombay (now University of Mumbai) and joined Samaldas College in Bhavnagar (Bhaunagar).

Mahatma Gandhi’s Emergence as a political and social activist

What led him to emerge as a socio-political activist?

Gandhi got quickly expose to the racial discrimination practice in South Africa. In a Durban court, he got ask by the European magistrate to take off his turban; he refuse and left the courtroom. A few days later, while travelling to Pretoria, he got unceremoniously chuck out of a first-class railway compartment and fell shivering and brooding at the rail station in Pietermaritzburg.

Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi

In the further course of that journey, he got beatings by the white driver of a stagecoach because he would not travel on the footboard to make room for a European passenger, and finally, he shut from hotels reserved “for Europeans only.” Those humiliations are the daily lot of Indian traders and labourers in Natal. Who has learn to pocket them with the same resignation with which they pocket their meagre earnings?

What was new ,was not Gandhi’s experience but his reaction.So far he has not been conspicuous for self-assertion or aggressiveness. But something happened to him as he started, the insults heaped upon him. In retrospect the journey from Durban to Pretoria struck him as one of the most creative experiences of his life  it was his moment of truth. Henceforth he would not accept injustice as part of the natural or unnatural order in South Africa he would defend his dignity as an Indian and as a man.

About the author

Sugandh chetry

Hola! I'm a writer on the outside and singer in the inside. Pen and paper has always been my go-to buddies. Observing people, situation and adding a dash of my perspective to issues has always been an inseparable element. This quirky soul in me is an absolute music freak. I love listening to music and singing my heart out. In short "Mai udna chahti hu, daudna chahti hu, girna chahati hu, baas rukna nahi chahti". If you are looking for some good content you are at a best place!