The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated - Mahatma Gandhi
An in-depth study of Gandhi will clearly show that he was the only statesman to stand for a higher human relationship. He was a rare national leader who forcefully and convincingly demonstrated the power of spirit over material things, in the struggles against the Britishers whom he fought passionately.
His greatness was that he kept his hands clean. Gandhi fought without malice, falsehood or hate. To put it in a nut- shell, Gandhi was the conscience of all mankind. He loved not only men, women and children but also animals. He was a compassionate, kind-hearted gentleman.
Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, 140 years ago.
M. K. Gandhi, Father of The Nation, was one of the great personalities of the 20th century. When in South Africa [1873 -1914] he fought legal battles against the white minority government and secured several civil rights for Asians living there. On returning to India, he led the freedom movement against British rule until the country secured independence in August 1947.
For many generations, the British considered India as a kind of county house they owned. As in every proper county house, there was a fixed hierarchy in those lower regions - butler, housekeeper, cook, valet, maid, footman etc. The Britishers exploited the Indians.
Gandhi Mohandas Karamchand called "Mahatma" ( Great Soul) 1869-1948, was an Indian nationalist, a pacifist (a person who believes in pacifism believes that all war is morally wrong and that disputes should be settled by peaceful means). He led the struggle for independence from the United Kingdom by advocating nonviolent, non cooperation or Satyagraha. He was imprisoned several times by the British authorities and was influential in the Nationalist Congress Party and in the independence negotiations in 1947.
The greatest son born on Indian soil , Republic of India soil, Republic of India, Bharat, was Prince Siddarth, founder of Buddhism, which originated in India in 500 B.C. Then there was Asoka, who remains one of the greatest emperors of India. On October 2, 1869, another great son was born at Porbander also known as Sudampuri, his name was Karamchand Gandhi, considered as the Greatest Man of the 20th Century. He has left behind his footprints on the sands of time and gained immortality.
M. K. Gandhi belonged to the Bania caste. They seem to have originally been grocers. His parents were Kaba Gandhi and Putilibai. His father married four times. His last wife, Putlibahi, bore him a daughter and three sons; Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the youngest.
His father never had any ambition to accumulate wealth and property. Gandhi attended High School; his headmaster was Dorabji Eedujiji Gimi. He was a strict disciplinarian. He was an exemplary teacher.
He made cricket and gymnastics compulsory for boys.Gandhi disliked both; he learned mathematics, English and Sanskrit. He was a very keen student, passed his Matriculation in 1887 and joined Samaldas College.
According to the traditional Indian custom, Gandhi married at the age of 13. At the age of 18 in 1891 he left for England. He passed his final examination in law and became a barrister. He practised as a Lawyer in the courts of London. Gandhi was not a happy man in England. He saw the harassment that the blacks underwent at the hands of the Britishers. After a few years, he returned to India. Then he went in search of new pastures to South Africa. His pattern changed and he became a freedom fighter. Gandhi faced the biggest challenge in Apartheid South Africa. The whites considered blacks and Indians as outcastes and they were ill- treated. Once Gandhi who obtained a first class train ticket was not allowed to get into the first class compartment and he was asked to move into the third class compartment.
As a lawyer, well versed in English, he argued. The South African railway authorities assaulted Gandhi and threw him out of the train. The South Africans called Gandhi "Coolie Barrister" and Indian merchants were named "Coolie Merchants". This clearly shows the anti-Indian attitude.
Gandhi supported the Indian community in Natal in 1893. The Indian community leader in Natal, Sheth Haji Mohammed Haji Dada, was a tower of inspiration to Gandhi. Gandhi fought for their political and trading rights.
In 1896, Gandhi returned home. He visited Bombay, Poona, Madras and Kolkata. He was seeking the assistance of all parties and people. Gokhale and Bhandarkar and Jawaharlal Nehru played an important role in the independence struggle of India. They were imprisoned several times by the British. Once Sri Jawaharlal Nehru stated that when he was in Dehra Dun Gaol, a friend in Ceylon sent him a picture of the Samadhi Buddha statue in Anuradhapura and that he kept it on his little table in his cell. He stated that the picture of Buddha became a precious companion for him.
It helped him to overcome many a period of depression. Buddha had always had a great appeal for Nehru as well as Gandhi. Nehru followed Gandhi and was like the shadow of Gandhi. He followed him.