Mahatma Gandhi Biography: Education, Family, Quotes & Religion

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Mahatma Gandhi Biography: Introduction

Mahatma Gandhi's full name was Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi. He made a huge contribution to the independence of India. Mahatma Gandhi was also a famous politician, writer, Activist, and lawyer by profession. He is also known as the Father of the Nation. Mahatma Gandhi did many things for the upliftment of Dalits and the poor. He followed the policy of truth and non-violence. His birthday is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti. Mahatma Gandhi was a source of inspiration for many freedom fighters, everyone used to call him Babu, In this article, we will learn briefly about the biography of Mahatma Gandhi.


Mahatma Gandhi Biography: Overview

Name

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Father Name

Karamchand Gandhi

Mother Name

Putlibai Gandhi

Born

2 October, 1869

Porbandar, Gujarat

Death

30 January, 1948

Education

Samaldas Arts College,

University College London,

Inns of Court School of Law,


Cause Of Death

Assassination 

Nationality

British Empire (1869–1947),

Dominion of India (1947–1948)


Spouse

Kasturba Gandhi

Children

Harilal Gandhi, Manilal Gandhi, Ramdas Gandhi, and Devdas Gandhi

Profession

Politician, Lawyer, Activist and Writer

Awards

Time Person of the Year (1930)

Religion

Hinduism



Mahatma Gandhi: Early Life, Family and Education

Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2 October 1989 in Porbandar, Gujarat, his father's name was Karamchand Gandhi and his mother's name was Putlibai. He was born into a Hindu family of the Vaishya (trading) caste. His father, Karamchand Gandhi, served as the diwan (chief minister) of Porbandar. At the age of 13, Gandhi ji was married to Kasturba Bai who became his lifelong companion and played a crucial role in supporting his social and political activities. The couple had four children – Harilal, Manilal, Ramdas, and Devdas.


Mahatma Gandhi was 9 years old when he was admitted to a local school at Rajkot. He studied, history, arithmetic, the Gujarati language, and geography. At the age of 11, he joined Alfred High School in Rajkot. He was a mediocre student but was exposed to the values of truth, non-violence, and simplicity through the teachings of his mother and the Jain traditions of his family.



Mahatma Gandhi: Three Years in London

In 1888, at the age of 18, Gandhi went to London to study law at University College London. His time in London exposed him to Western culture and thinking. Although he focused on his legal studies, he also explored literature, philosophy, and different religious traditions during his stay in England.


Mahatma Gandhi: Civil rights Activist in South Africa

Mahatma Gandhi's journey to South Africa began in the year 1893. Where he worked as a lawyer in Natal, South Africa. Initially, he intended to stay in South Africa for one year but ended up spending more than 20 years in the region.

Gandhi Ji faced racial discrimination and had first-hand experience of it. He has been kicked out from a train despite having a valid ticket, which marked the turning point in his life.

He became actively involved in the struggle for civil rights and social justice for the Indian community in South Africa. He founded the Natal Indian Congress in 1894 and used nonviolent resistance to address issues such as the poll tax on Indians and discriminatory legislation.

Gandhi developed the concept of "satyagraha," which translates to "truth force" or "soul force." Satyagraha became the cornerstone of his philosophy, emphasizing nonviolent resistance, civil disobedience, and the pursuit of truth.

Gandhi's efforts in South Africa led to significant reforms and concessions for the Indian community. After spending 21 years in South Africa, he returned to India in 1914, having become a prominent international figure in the fight against discrimination and injustice.


Mahatma Gandhi: Struggle for Indian Independence

Gandhi's return to India in 1915 marked the beginning of his leadership in the Indian independence movement. He was introduced to Indian issues, politics, and the Indian people primarily by Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Gandhi Ji joined the Indian National Congress and took the leadership of Congress in 1920. Mahatma Gandhi played a central role in the struggle for Indian independence through his philosophy of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience. Here's an overview of Gandhi's contribution to the Indian independence movement

  • Championing Nonviolent Resistance (Satyagraha): Gandhi's philosophy of satyagraha, or nonviolent resistance, became the guiding principle of the Indian independence movement. He believed in confronting injustice and oppression through peaceful means, emphasizing the power of truth and moral force over violence.

  • Champaran and Kheda Movements (1917-1918): Gandhi's first major involvement in Indian politics came with the Champaran and Kheda movements. In Champaran, he led protests against the forced cultivation of indigo, and in Kheda, he supported farmers in their struggle against the oppressive tax policies.
  • Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-1922): Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation Movement, urging Indians to nonviolently resist British rule by boycotting government institutions, schools, and British goods. The movement gained widespread support but was suspended after the Chauri Chaura incident in 1922.
  • Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-1934): The Civil Disobedience Movement began with the Salt March in 1930, where Gandhi and a group of followers walked to the Arabian Sea to produce salt in defiance of the British salt monopoly. The movement expanded to include nonviolent protests, boycotts, and nonpayment of taxes.
  • Gandhi-Irwin Pact (1931): The Civil Disobedience Movement led to negotiations between Gandhi and the British viceroy, Lord Irwin. The resulting Gandhi-Irwin Pact allowed for the release of political prisoners and marked a temporary truce in the movement.
  • Quit India Movement (1942): In 1942, Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement, a mass protest demanding an end to British rule. Despite widespread arrests, the movement inspired intense public participation and demonstrated the growing sentiment for independence.
  • Role in Partition and Independence (1947): As India approached independence, communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims escalated. Gandhi, despite his opposition to the partition of India, worked to maintain communal harmony. The Mountbatten Plan in 1947 led to the creation of independent India and Pakistan.

Mahatma Gandhi: Death

Mahatma Gandhi, the iconic leader of India's independence movement, was assassinated on January 30, 1948. As he walked to a prayer meeting in New Delhi, he was shot at close range by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist who disagreed with Gandhi's approach to the partition of India. Gandhi's commitment to nonviolence and religious harmony made him a target for extremists. Godse, who believed Gandhi favored Muslims over Hindus, was later executed for the assassination.


Mahatma Gandhi: Books

Mahatma Gandhi wrote extensively on various topics, sharing his thoughts on nonviolence, civil disobedience, religion, politics, and more. Here are some of the key books written by or about Mahatma Gandhi:

1. Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1927):
Gandhi's autobiography provides insight into his personal and philosophical development. He reflects on his life, beliefs, and the principles that guided his actions.

2. Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule (1909):
In this work, Gandhi discusses his vision for India's self-governance and critiques modern civilization and the impact of Westernization on Indian society.

3. The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi (Translated by Mahadev Desai, 1946):
Gandhi considered the Bhagavad Gita a spiritual guide. This book includes his interpretations and commentary on this sacred Hindu scripture.

4. Satyagraha in South Africa (1928):
This compilation presents Gandhi's writings and speeches during his time in South Africa, where he first developed the concept of satyagraha.

5. Constructive Programme: Its Meaning and Place (1941):
Gandhi outlines his philosophy of constructive work for social change, emphasizing the importance of building a just and equitable society through positive actions.

6. Key to Health (1948):
Focused on natural living and well-being, this book explores Gandhi's views on health, diet, exercise, and the importance of living a simple and balanced life.

7. Selected Letters of Mahatma Gandhi (Edited by Pyarelal):
This collection offers insights into Gandhi's personal and political life through his correspondence with various individuals, including world leaders.

8. Gandhi: An Autobiography – The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Edited by Louis Fischer):
This edition of Gandhi's autobiography is edited by Louis Fischer and provides additional context and commentary on Gandhi's life and principles.

9. Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World (Louis Fischer, 1954):
A biography by Louis Fischer explores Gandhi's life, philosophy, and the impact of his ideas on a global scale.

10. Gandhi Before India (Ramachandra Guha, 2013):

An in-depth biography by historian Ramachandra Guha, focusing on Gandhi's early years and experiences that shaped his philosophy.

These books offer a comprehensive understanding of Mahatma Gandhi's life, philosophy, and contributions to the principles of nonviolence and social justice.


Mahatma Gandhi: Quotes

Mahatma Gandhi was known for his profound wisdom and powerful insights. Here are some notable quotes attributed to him:
"Be the change that you wish to see in the world."

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind."

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

"You must be the change you want to see in the world."

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

"First, they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

"A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes."

"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver."

"In a gentle way, you can shake the world."

"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes."

"The future depends on what you do today."

"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

"Poverty is the worst form of violence."

"You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind."

"There is no path to peace. Peace is the path."

"Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man."

"The only tyrant I accept in this world is the 'still small voice' within me."

"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed."

These quotes reflect Gandhi's commitment to nonviolence, justice, self-discipline, and the pursuit of a better world through personal and social transformation.


Conclusion

Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India's independence movement, left an indelible mark on the world through his principles of nonviolence, truth, and justice. His life's work and philosophy, encapsulated in quotes such as "Be the change you wish to see in the world" and "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others," continue to inspire people globally.



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