Essay Preview: Mahamtma Gandhi
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“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Mahatma Gandhi was a major spiritual and political leader of the Indian Independence Movement. He fought for the Independence of India through the Quit India Movement and was fiercely opposed to the partition of India. This is the story of his life.
Gandhi was born in 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat in India. In that time, India was under British rule; the country was divided into states who only were allowed autonomy in domestic and internal affairs. As a child he was introduced to the basics of vegetarianism, fasting and mutual tolerance. When he turned 18, Gandhi set sail for England where he attended University College London. He was educated to be a barrister. He tried to adopt English customs but could not get used to the English kitchen. Because of his devoted vegetarianism he met many vegetarians who also had an interest in religion. He had never shown a particular interest in religion before but in England he was introduced to Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.
After being admitted to the bar of England and Wales, Gandhi returned to India in 1891. In 1893 Gandhi decided to accept an offer from an Indian businessman in South Africa to work as a legal adviser. He would stay in South Africa for over 20 years. Here he became aware of the fact that Europeans were discriminating Indians and South African people. Gandhi himself experienced discrimination when he was thrown out of a first-class compartment car though he held a first class ticket. His awareness of European racism against Indians made him decide to emerge as the leader of the Indian community. This was the turning-point for the work he has done throughout his life. In Africa he preached his non-violent philosophy satyagraha, based on non-violent resistance. He used this theory to end ÐÒapartheidÐÒ in South Africa and British rule over India. In 1894 he founded the Natal Indian Congress through which he strengthened the Indian community of South Africa into a homogeneous political force. This organization published documents describing evidence of British discrimination in South Africa. The strategy of the Natal Indian Congress was non-cooperation; it called upon Indians to withdraw from British institutions and in this way diminish British power. The movement had limited success; only at some places British administration was paralyzed. A brutal killing of Indian policemen by a crowd of a small market town marked the ending of the movement in 1922.
In 1915 Gandhi returned to India. His first real achievements came in 1918 when the first Satyagraha revolutions occurred in the Champaran district of Bihar and in the Kheda district in Gujarat. The Indians were extremely poor and lived in unhealthy conditions. What Gandhi did was establishing an ashram in Kheda. An ashram is an unintentional community formed primarily for spiritual healing, headed by a religious