Mahatma Gandhi: Journey of Nonviolent Resistance

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12 Questions

When was Mahatma Gandhi born?

October 2nd, 1869

Where did Mahatma Gandhi study law?

University College London

What philosophy did Gandhi develop during his time in South Africa?

Satyagraha

Who served as the Diwan of Rajkot State when Gandhi was young?

Karsandas Gandhi

What role did Mahatma Gandhi initially take up upon returning to India from England?

Law practice in Bombay

Which parental figure of Gandhi held religious beliefs close to their heart?

Putlibai Gandhi

What was the significance of Gandhi's march against the Rowlatt Act in New Delhi?

It led to nationwide protests demanding independence from colonial rule.

Which of the following tactics did Gandhi NOT use in his nonviolent resistance against oppression?

Employing armed rebellions against the British government

What was the primary purpose of Gandhi's Salt March in 1930?

To collect salt directly from seawater in violation of British salt laws

Where did Gandhi establish the Sabarmati Ashram upon returning to India in 1915?

Ahmedabad

Which of the following is NOT a topic that Gandhi wrote about in his newspaper Young India?

Tax reform

What impact did Gandhi's legal battles have on his understanding?

They deepened his understanding of justice, equality, and human dignity.

Study Notes

Introduction

Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography, titled 'The Story of My Experiments with Truth', is an intriguing account of his personal journey towards self-discovery and nonviolent resistance. It traces his evolution from a young lawyer in South Africa to one of the most influential figures in Indian history. Written over forty years after he first started drafting it, this book serves as both a record of events and a reflection on the philosophical ideas that guided him throughout his life.

Early Life and Education

Born on October 2nd, 1869, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was raised in Porbandar, a coastal town in Gujarat. His mother, Putlibai, held religious beliefs close to her heart while his father, Karsandas Gandhi, served as the Diwan of Rajkot State under the British rule.

Gandhi received his early education in Rajkot before moving to England in 1888 to study law at University College London. He graduated three years later and returned to India, setting up practice in Bombay. In 1893, however, he left for South Africa due to racial discrimination against Indians there.

Journey in South Africa

This period marked a turning point in Gandhi's life. As a young man living far away from home, he faced the harsh realities of segregation. This experience led him to question fundamental truths about human nature and society, ultimately shaping the philosophy known as Satyagraha—nonviolent civil disobedience—that would define his future political activism.

During these years, Gandhi fought several legal battles, some of which were even taken up to the Supreme Court. These experiences only deepened his understanding of justice, equality, and human dignity.

Return to India and Political Activism

In January 1915, Gandhi returned to India. He settled down in Ahmedabad, where he founded the Sabarmati Ashram. Here he began experimenting with new forms of social action through the revival of traditional Indian industries like khadi (handspun cloth), and swadeshi (use of local products) campaigns.

Gandhi also established an underground newspaper called Young India, regularly writing columns discussing issues such as passive resistance, village upliftment, and industrial disputes.

One significant event during this time occurred when Gandhi organized a march of thousands of people to protest against the Rowlatt Act in New Delhi. When British troops opened fire upon them, killing many, including women and children, Gandhi was arrested along with other leaders. However, their release led to nationwide protests demanding full independence from colonial rule.

Gandhi's Nonviolent Resistance Tactics

Throughout his career, Gandhi employed various tactics to resist oppression without resorting to violence. Some key methods included fasting till death if necessary, calling off strikes in response to government suppression, launching civil disobedience movements, and organizing peaceful marches. These strategies gained worldwide attention and admiration, contributing significantly to India gaining its freedom from British Rule.

For instance, in 1930, inspired by Jain monks who fasted until they died rather than submit to authority, Gandhi launched the Salt March. Thousands followed him across 240 miles of rough terrain, eventually reaching Dandi Sea. There they violated British law by collecting salt directly from evaporating seawater instead of buying it regulated and taxed salt.

Conclusion

'The Story of My Experiments with Truth' provides readers with valuable insights into how one individual can transform themselves and impact society profoundly. Gandhi's story demonstrates that change often requires sacrifice, perseverance, and innovation. Despite facing numerous challenges, he remained true to himself and his ideals, leading countless others towards similar paths of peacefulness and integrity.

Explore the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi through his autobiography, 'The Story of My Experiments with Truth', which delves into his personal evolution and principles of nonviolent civil disobedience. Learn about his early life in Porbandar, education in England, transformative years in South Africa, and return to India to lead the fight for independence from British rule.

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