About Mahatma Gandhi : Wiki, Life, Bio, Death, History and other Information
Gandhi was born in Porbandar, a city in the state of Gujarat, India, as the son of the diwan of the province of Porbandar. His mother was a devout devotee of Vaishnava Hinduism and the village was strongly influenced by Jainism. Gandhi had grown up with the principle of ahinsa (do not hurt all beings) and was a vegetarian.
Kasturba Makharji was married to him at the age of thirteen. Gandhi would later criticize child marriage, later and still very common in India. Gandhi was a mediocre student at the University of Bombay. In 1888, at the age of nineteen, he had the opportunity to study law at University College London. England was very disappointing to him, because he was almost unable to eat vegetarian food and there was also a lot of alcohol in his area. Gandhi joined the Vegetarian Society and started a regional department.
Gandhi completed his studies in 1891 and returned to India. His law firm had little success and in 1893 he accepted work offered in Natal in South Africa.
Gandhi in South Africa
The period in South Africa was very important for its later formation. He was kicked out of the train in Pietermaritzburg because of his skin color because he refused to sit in third class with his first class ticket. There had also been racism in England, but there he was often seen as a member of the elite. In South Africa, however, he was often treated as scum. This harsh confrontation made him look at the world differently.
Gandhi began to interfere with lawsuits that concerned the civil rights of Indian immigrants. He soon became a prominent advocate of the rights of the Indian minority. Gandhi was about to return to India when he read in the newspaper that Indians would lose the right to vote. In 1894 he was co-founder of the Natal Indian Congress. In 1896 he briefly returned to India to visit his wife and children.
In September 1906, at a meeting in Johannesburg, Gandhi introduced the satyagraha (nonviolent protest) and set out his plans for peaceful protest. Gandhi called on the people to oppose the pass legislation, but no violence should be used or even abused. In the seven years that followed, thousands were beaten, imprisoned and humiliated, but no violence was used on the part of the Indians. The public in South Africa began to get more and more sympathy for Gandhi and eventually General Jan Christian Smuts was forced to negotiate with Gandhi.
In 1914, Gandhi decided to return to India. For his merit for the ambulances in South Africa, Gandhi received the exclusive Kaisar-i-Hind from the British Viceroy of India.
Gandhi in India
In 1915, Gandhi returned to India and was introduced to politics by Gopal Krishna Gokhale, the leader of the Congress party. Gandhi founded an ashrama (Hindu community) in Ahmedabad, the Sabarmati Ashram. In 1918 he led a large-scale civil disobedience movement in Champaran, where farmers were forced to indigoto renovate. He started to reorganize the villages and build schools and hospitals. The authorities arrested Gandhi, resulting in massive protests by hundreds of thousands. Gandhi was released and led a protest strike against landowners. Gandhi emerged as the victor. Around this time he was given the nicknames Bapu (father) and Mahatma (great soul), with which he had already been designated in South Africa.
In 1919, the Rowlatt law came into effect that enabled the government to put people in prison without trial. Gandhi and the Congress party organized mass protests. All towns and villages were on strike and the government decided to declare a state of emergency. In Punjab, during a peaceful protest, the Slaughter of Amritsar took place where, according to official sources, 379 civilians were killed by the army. Other sources hold it to more than 1000 victims. This slaughter caused enormous trauma in the country and anger and violence could not be suppressed.
In protest, Gandhi returned his Kaisar-i-Hind granted in South Africa to the British-Indian government.
In 1946, Gandhi rejected the British government's proposals. He did not agree that the Muslim League would divide India into Muslim and Hindu states. Congress accepted the proposal against its advice. The Congress not only wanted to take over the power of the British as quickly as possible, but also had little interest in forming a coalition with the Muslim League. After much consultation, Gandhi finally gave permission to divide the land.
The division of the British Indies into a Muslim and Hindu state resulted in a large displacement of people, because many villages and towns had a mixed population, and was the cause of much violence. Between 1946 and 1947, an estimated number of one million people died as a result of violence between religious groups. The new Muslim country was created from areas in the east and west of India. Called West Pakistan and East Bengal, it was to fall apart in 1971 into two states: Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Gandhi did not celebrate independence, but spent the day in Calcutta where he mourned the division and tried to find a solution to the violence between the two groups.
Murder of Gandhi
On January 30, 1948, Gandhi had to go to a meeting in the Burma House about the splitting of Congress in the afternoon. Gandhi wanted to prevent this and also wanted to resolve the disagreements between Nehru and Patel, minister of New Delhi. Patel agreed with his decision to let the split of Congress stop for a short time.
4:00 pm: Gandhi was still negotiating with Patel.
5.10 pm: Gandhi was late for his daily prayer. Abha and Manu, second cousins of Gandhi, accompanied Gandhi to his prayer room.
Nathuram Godse approached and took his gun from his coat. Manu saw that. Godse then pulled Manu away from Gandhi and shot it in the chest three times. The last two words of Mahatma Gandhi were: Hai Ram ("O God").
5.17 pm: Gandhi lay dead on the ground.
The next day a million people came to New Delhi to say goodbye to their Mahatma. A sea of people followed the funeral procession. They made a joint trip on foot from Birla Bhavan to Raj Ghat, a distance of approximately 9 km.