GANDHI Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi • 1869 - 1948 • Born in India • A Hindu • Civil Rights Leader • Practiced “Ahimsa” (non-violent resistance) • Led India to independence from Britain
‘An for an makes the whole world blind.’ Mohandas Gandhi
Violence • 'I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary: the evil is permanent.'
Gandhi’s Principles • His beliefs were a blend of Hindu and Christian beliefs • Non-violent resistance to end injustice • Satyagraha = truth force – convert the wrongdoer • Inspiration • Hindu – nonviolence, respect for all life • Christianity – love one’s enemies
GANDHI Mohandas Gandhi, often called the Mahatma or “Great Soul” was born in India on October 2, 1869. He and his followers threw the King of England and his great armies out of India without using weapons of any kind - unless you call a cotton spinning wheel a weapon! Let me quickly tell you part of his story.
Once upon a time England, the country that once ruled over our United States, also ruled over India. For over 200 years it ruled over India until this tiny man, who lived a poor and simple life, changed all that. He had been a lawyer in South Africa. Here he is dressed in a fancy suit, sitting outside his law office. But when he experienced how badly the white South Africans were treating people of color, Indians like himself and black Africans, he decided to do something about it.
1869 Mohandas Gandhi was born in Porbandar, India. He was the youngest child of the Prime Minister of Porbandar.
Early Life/Background Info • Born in Porbandar, India • Born on October 2, 1869 • Father was Diwan (Prime Minister) of Porbander • Porbander was a small state in the Kathiawar Agency of British India
Early Life/Background Continued • Mother was Putlibai • Grew up with the Jain traditions • Jainism is an ancient religion of India • Traditions were vegetarianism, religious tolerance, fasting, and compassion
Social Position • Gandhi was born into the second highest caste in Hindu society – the Ruler-Warrior Caste. Modern Porbandar, India
1876 At age seven Gandhi began to become aware of the faults and unfairness of the Indian Caste System. Gandhi, age 13.
Life As a Teenager • Married Kasturbai Makhanji at 13 years old • This was an arranged child marriage • Had 4 sons with Kasturbai Makhanji
At the age of thirteen Mohandas was married to Kasturba. The marriage had been arranged for him by his family. They had four sons.
1883 Gandhi married Kasturbai Makanji through his parents' arrangements (both age 13). They had 4 sons. * Picture to the left was taken in 1915.
Education • Average student in school • Went to England in 1888 to study law at University of London • Also learned to become a barrister • Barristers are special kinds of lawyers that have more direct contact with clients
1888 At the age of 19, Gandhi moved to London, England to study law.
When he was 18, Gandhi came to London to train as a barrister. He tried behaving like an Englishman and took up ballroom dancing. We know that he took a dislike to his landlady’s boiled cabbage! In these days he got ‘stage fright’ when speaking in court.
1891 Gandhi returned to India to practice law.
He returned to India in 1891, then accepted a job at an Indian law firm in South Africa.
1893 Gandhi sails to Durban, South Africa to start a law firm.
Journey to South Africa • Traveled to South Africa in 1893 • Treated very unfairly by European people • Thrown off train and beaten by driver • Gandhi began to question Indian status in the British Empire
His experience of racism in South Africa proved to be a turning point in his life. He was refused admission to hotels, beaten up when he refused to give up his seat to a white man on a stage coach ….. …and thrown off a train when he refused to move to a third class compartment, after he had paid for a first class ticket.
1896 While in South Africa, Gandhi was thrown off a train and beaten by white South Africans – for travelling in the first class section. This began his campaign of “passive resistance” to protest the mistreatment of colored people by white Europeans.
On Your Left Side: Answer ONE of the following prompts--- • If you were Gandhi, what would you have done after being thrown off the South African train? Why? • Have you ever had an experience similar to Gandhi’s on the South African train? • How did you feel? Why? • How did you respond? Why?
1896-1914 Gandhi outside the prison with fellow non-violent resisters in South Africa in 1908. From 1896 to 1914, Gandhi lead a number of non-violent protests, fighting for improvements in the treatment of minority Indians in South Africa. He was imprisoned a number of times, but did succeed in getting the British government to repeal some discriminatory laws.
He led huge non-violent protests to change the laws so that people working for the railroads would be treated more fairly. He started dressing in plain, white clothing that wrapped around his body, like the common people and he began to live very simply. After he had helped some of the people in South Africa get better treatment, he returned to India.
Policeman confronting Gandhi , 1913. Newspaper published by Gandhi, 1913. Gandhi in prison clothes.
South Africa Continued • Stayed in Africa longer to assist Indians in opposing a bill that did not let them vote • Helped found Natal Indian Congress in 1894 • This was a political force
September 11, 1906 • Birth of Satyagraha at Jewish Empire Theatre in Transvaal, South Africa. • Indians present take oath to resist pass laws. • First called “passive resistance”.
Civil Disobedience • Refusal to obey a law on the grounds that it is immoral or unjust in itself, or furthers injustice. Disobedience within a framework of obedience to law. • Appeals to the majority’s sense of justice, in order to get them to reconsider and change public policy. • Goal: to put the issue on the public’s agenda, to call attention to an unjust law. Disobedience must be open and public.
Over the next seven years Gandhi led a non-violent campaign of resistance to laws which were unfair to ‘coloured’ people. During this time thousands of Indians, including Gandhi, were flogged or jailed, and many were shot for striking or burning their registration cards.
Eventually the government was forced to seek a compromise with Gandhi, and when he left South Africa, conditions for Indian people had greatly improved.
When he was about to return to India, he heard that a law was going to be passed to prevent Indian people from voting. He decided to draw attention to this injustice and became an activist.
1915 Gandhi returns to India at age 45. He receives a hero’s welcome, and continues his non-violent protests against the mistreatment and discrimination of Indians.
Appealing to all Indians – Returned to India 1915 • Gandhi won the support of all groups by stressing India’s heritage • Examples • Gave up Western ways • Spun his own cotton, wore simple white clothing • Vegetarianism • Wanted to reform caste system (untouchables) • Included Muslims
On your Left Side: • What does Gandhi mean by this quote? • Referring back to what we have learned in this unit, give two examples that support his view.
Ashram/Khedi Helping the Poorest People in India
In 1915, back in India, Gandhi set up an ‘ashram’ - a self-sufficient community, where he ate a simple diet, and lived like the poorest villagers.
Kheda • Gandhi began to clean up villages in Khedi • Villages were dirty and full of crime and alcoholism • Built schools and hospitals and encouraged people to work together to stop conflicts and crimes
Kheda Continued • Arrested by police on charges of creating unrest • People protested outside jail until Gandhi’s release • Led protests against landlords until they signed an agreement • It granted farmers more control over their farming and cancelled collections until they were more wealthy • Gandhi named “Father of the nation”
At this time Indian villagers were poorly paid, and many were dying of famine. In 1918 Gandhi began a campaign to get them to stand up for themselves against the British who were ruling India.
Role in World War I • Invited by Viceroy to War Conference in Delhi in 1918 • Invited to show support to Empire and to recruit Indians for war • Attempted to recruit combatants • “Appeal for Enlistment” in 1918 • Gandhi told Viceroy’s secretary that he will not hurt anybody
The First World War saw hundreds of thousands of Indians fight for Britain. In return for this service Indians hoped for a greater say in running their own affairs. This was not to be. Britain actually increased the restrictions in 1919. Gandhi felt betrayed by Britain's action. He called a general strike - throughout India for one day. On the day, 300 million people brought India to a standstill by praying and fasting. Against Gandhi's wishes, violence broke out in some areas. Actions & Reactions- Response to Rowlett Act - 1919 Hartal