Mahatma Gandhi and Indian Independence

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What did Gandhi adopt as a mark of identification with India's rural poor?

What did Gandhi do to both introspect and protest politically?

What happened in 1947 that led to India's independence?

Summary

  • Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in the town of Porbandar in Gujarat, India.
  • Gandhi studied law at the Inner Temple in London and was called to the bar in 1891.
  • He moved to South Africa in 1893 to represent an Indian merchant in a lawsuit.
  • Gandhi first employed nonviolent resistance in a campaign for civil rights.
  • In 1915, aged 45, he returned to India and soon set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination.
  • Gandhi assumed leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921.
  • Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding womens rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, and, above all, achieving swaraj or self-rule.
  • Gandhi adopted the short dhoti woven with hand-spun yarn as a mark of identification with Indias rural poor.
  • Gandhi began to live in a self-sufficient residential community, to eat simple food, and undertake long fasts as a means of both introspection and political protest.
  • In the months following, he undertook several hunger strikes to stop the religious violence.
  • Gandhi was imprisoned many times and for many years in both South Africa and India.
  • Gandhi's vision of an independent India based on religious pluralism was challenged in the early 1940s by a Muslim nationalism which demanded a separate homeland for Muslims within British India.
  • In 1947, Britain granted independence to India and the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two dominions, a Hindu-majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan.
  • As many displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs made their way to their new lands, religious violence broke out, especially in the Punjab and Bengal.
  • Abstaining from the official celebration of independence, Gandhi visited the affected areas, attempting to alleviate distress.
  • The last of these, begun in Delhi on January 12, 1948, had the indirect goal of pressuring India to pay out some cash assets owed to Pakistan.

Mahatma Gandhi was a successful lawyer who used nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India's independence from British rule. He also inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Gandhi adopted the short dhoti woven with hand-spun yarn as a mark of identification with India's rural poor. He began to live in a self-sufficient residential community, to eat simple food, and undertake long fasts as a means of both introspection and political protest. In 1947, Britain granted independence to India and the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two dominions, a Hindu-majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan. As many displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs made their way to their new lands, religious violence broke out, especially in the Punjab and Bengal. Gandhi

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Test your knowledge about Mahatma Gandhi, his leadership in the Indian independence movement, his use of nonviolent resistance, and the partition of British India into India and Pakistan.

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