Father of the Nation  “Mahatma Gandhi” 

 

Mahatma Gandhi was possibly the greatest Indian patriot ever. His personality was unimaginably great. He has also made unmatched efforts to secure Indian freedom. The greatest point is that without him, independence would have taken a long time to achieve. The British eventually left India in 1947 as a result of his persuasion.


 

Also See :  “Essay on Mahatma Gandhi in Hindi” 

 

 
 

Introduction

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also referred to as the “Father of the Nation,” was a social reformer and a freedom fighter who put up a lot of effort to liberate Bharat from the control of the British Raj. He adhered to the tenets of “Ahinsa” which means non-violence in his religious as well as political views. The world-renowned Mahatama Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was born on October 2nd, 1869, in the Gujarati town of Porbandar. Given that he made a significant contribution to the nation, his birthday on October 2nd is designated as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday in his honor. At the time, Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi served as the state’s dewan. Putlibai, Mahatma Gandhi’s mother, was a devoted and fearful woman who had a significant impact on him as a youngster. He grew up in a Hindu household and only consumed vegetarian meals. When he was a young child, Mahatma Gandhi’s family relocated from Porbandar to Rajkot, where he attended the Alfred School. When Kasturba Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi got married, he was 13 and she was 14. Gandhi attended law school in London and, after a few years of unsuccessful practice in India, moved to South Africa. Gandhiji practiced law and fought for civil rights in South Africa. In South Africa, he was the founder of the nonviolent protest movement. In addition, Mahatma Gandhi developed the idea of Satyagraha, a nonviolent method of fighting injustice. He fought against discrimination for 20 years in South Africa.
 

 
 

Childhood to Early life

Porbandar lacked enough educational opportunities; all of the students at the local school would write with their fingers in the dirt. He was fortunate, nevertheless, because his father rose to the position of chief minister in Rajkot which is another city. He had a mediocre education. He missed a year of school when he was thirteen because of his marriage. He wasn’t the best kid in the class or on the field, but he always followed the elders’ instructions. Because of this, he did not experience the entirety of adolescence like other children. Because of their parents’ views, he never got to eat the meat he wanted to. Gandhi graduated from the University of Bombay’s matriculation program in 1887 and enrolled in Samaldas College in Bhavnagar. He realized at that point that he would need to become a lawyer if he wanted to continue his family’s heritage and serve in a high position in Gujarat.

 

 
 

Education and Work life

Gandhi was offered the chance to continue his education in London when he was 18 years old, and as he was dissatisfied at Samaldas College, he took the offer and traveled to London in September 1888. He struggled to understand both the English language and the culture after he got to London. He enrolled in Inner Temple, one of the 4 London law colleges, a few days after arriving.

It was difficult for him to transition from a city in India to a college in England, but he took his studies extremely seriously and began to review his Latin and English. Being a vegetarian became a really awkward topic for him because everyone else in his environment was eating meat.

Several of his new acquaintances in London warned him against doing things like not eating meat since it would weaken both his physical and mental health. However, he soon discovered a vegetarian restaurant and a book that clarified the motivation of becoming a vegetarian. He always wanted to eat meat, but his parents prevented him from doing so. Now that he was in London, he was sure he had finally converted to vegetarianism and had stopped considering eating meat altogether.

He eventually joined the London Vegetarian Society actively and began to attend all of the conferences and magazines. Gandhi not only came into contact with food faddists in England, but also with some individuals who were quite knowledgeable about the Bhagavad-Gita, the Bible, the Mahabharata, and other texts. He gained a lot of knowledge about several religions from them, including Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism.

Gandhi eventually acquired politics, personality, and most crucially, ideas from the rebels he encountered who were against the Victorian system. His home country of India had some distressing news for him when he returned after completing his studies in England and becoming a lawyer. Though Gandhi was still in London, his mother passed away in January 1891.

In July 1891, he returned to India and began his legal practice. However, his first case ended in failure. He quickly came to the conclusion that there was a severe shortage of attorneys, and he switched his direction. A teaching position in a high school in Bombay was then given to him, but he declined it and went back to Rajkot. He started to write petitions for litigants with the hope of leading a good life, but this quickly drew the ire of a local British commander. Fortunately, he received a job opportunity in 1893 that would allow him to travel to Natal, South Africa, and take a job for an Indian company there for a year on a contract basis.
 

 
 

Association with India’s freedom struggle

When the British began arresting and imprisoning people in India in 1919 whom they suspected of sedition, Gandhi rose up and began practicing nonviolent civil disobedience. After a horrific episode in which the British soldiers opened fire on over 20000 protesters in the city of Amritsar, Gandhi’s desire for Indian independence was realized.

There were 1000 injuries and 400 fatalities. He urged everyone to avoid working for the British and initiated widespread boycotts of British products and institutions. He was arrested once more in 1922, and this time he received a 6-year prison term. He began the well-known salt march in 1930, which involved trekking 390 kilometers to the Arabian Sea coastlines. Gandhi was one of the 60,000 salt act protesters that were jailed. Gandhi launched his Quit India movement during World War II to end British rule in the nation. He was once more detained and imprisoned alongside numerous other illustrious leaders of the Indian Congress. On part of the INC (Indian National Congress), he met with King George V, but little progress was made.

After the war, Britain’s government was replaced, and this time things moved forward since they were eager to talk about India’s independence. However, a tragic event led to the country being divided into India and Pakistan. India attained independence in 1947.

Some of the Major movements of Mahatma Gandhi are as follows:

  • Champaran Satyagraha (1917): Under the Tinkathiya system, the situation of indigo farmers in Bihar’s Champaran district deteriorated dramatically. In accordance with this method, the farmers were compelled to grow indigo on the best 3/20th of their land and sell it for less money. Due to unfavorable weather and high taxation, the situation for farmers grew worse. Rajkumar Shukla met Mahatma Gandhi in Lucknow and extended an invitation. In Champaran, Mahatma Gandhi started protests and strikes against the landowners using the tactics of the civil disobedience campaign. As a result, the government established the Champaran agrarian committee, which included Gandhi Ji as a member. All of the growers’ demands were granted, and the Satyagraha was fruitful.
  • Kheda Satyagraha (1917 -1918): In 1917, Mohan Lal Pandey launched a campaign against taxes in Gujarat’s Kheda hamlet, demanding that taxes be waived in the event of a meager agricultural production or crop failure. Mahatma Gandhi accepted the invitation and joined the cause on March 22, 1918. He began Satyagraha there. Indulal Yagnik and Vallabhbhai Patel also joined the cause. The British government finally complied with the demands, and the effort was successful.
  • Khilafat Movement (1919): The Ali brothers founded the Khilafat movement to protest unfair treatment of Turkey following the First World War. To restore the historic standing of the Caliph in Turkey, a movement was started under Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership that was directed at the British authorities. Mahatma Gandhi was chosen to preside over the All India Conference in Delhi. Additionally, he gave back the awards he had won against the British Empire in South Africa. He became the nation’s leader as a result of the Khilafat movement’s success.
  • Non-Cooperation Movement (1920): Due to the Amritsar Massacre, Mahatma Gandhi started the non-cooperation movement in 1920. Mahatma Gandhi believed that this would persist and the British would continue to enjoy their dominance over Indians. Gandhi ji persuaded people to launch the non-cooperation movement peacefully with Congress’ assistance, which was a necessary step toward achieving independence. He developed the idea of Swaraj, which was a key tenet of the Indian independence movement. As the campaign gathered traction, people began to boycott British government-owned businesses and institutions, including government agencies, colleges, and schools. But because 23 police officers were killed in the Chauri Chaura tragedy, Mahatma Gandhi decided to put an end to the agitation.
  • Civil-Disobedience Movement (1930): In a speech published in the Young India newspaper in March 1930, Mahatma Gandhi declared his willingness to put an end to the struggle if his eleven requests were granted by the government. However, Lord Irwin was in charge of the government at the moment, and he ignored him. Mahatma Gandhi started the movement vigorously as a result. Between March 12 and April 6, 1930, he led the Dandi March, which launched the movement. On 6 April 1930, Mahatma Gandhi and his supporters started marching from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in the coastal Navsari District of Ahmedabad and defied the salt prohibition by producing salt. Students dropped out of college and government employees quit their jobs as a result of this campaign. boycotting imported clothing, burning clothing in public, failing to pay taxes, having women hold a dharna outside the government liquor store, etc. Indian National Conference declined to attend the London Round Table Conference that Lord Irwin’s government organized in 1930. So, in 1931, he made a deal with Mahatma Gandhi to guarantee that Congress would attend conferences. It was referred to as the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. It emphasizes the liberation of all political prisoners and the repeal of repressive legislation.
  • Quit India Movement (1942): In an effort to end British control in India, Mahatma Gandhi started the Quit India movement on August 8, 1942, during World War II. Mahatma Gandhi gave a speech called “Do or Die” during the movement. As a result, all representatives of the INC (Indian National Congress) were detained by British authorities and held without charge. However, there was still a nationwide protest. By the end of World War II, the British government had decided to cede control to India. Millions of captives were released after Mahatma Gandhi put an end to the struggle.

 

 
 

Contributions by Gandhiji

Mahatma Gandhi was a well-known individual. He played a crucial part in social and political development. Above all, he eliminated these social ills from society. Because of his efforts, many oppressed individuals felt a profound sense of release. These actions helped Gandhi establish himself as a well-known personality around the world. He also became a hot topic in a number of international media publications.

Mahatma Gandhi made important contributions to the preservation of the environment. The most important thing he mentioned was that everyone should eat according to their requirements. How much should an individual consume? was the key query he posed. Gandhi undoubtedly raised this issue.

Gandhi’s sustainability philosophy is also quite relevant in contemporary India. This is due to India’s existing high population density. Small-scale irrigation systems and renewable energy were promoted. Gandhiji’s initiatives against excessive industrial development are to credit for this.

Probably his most significant contribution is his nonviolence philosophy. Ahimsa is the name of this nonviolence ideology. Most notable of all, Gandhiji wanted to achieve freedom without using force. After the Chauri-Chaura event, he made the decision to leave the Non-Cooperation movement. This was a result of the Chauri Chaura incident’s brutality. As a result, many people were angry about this choice. Gandhi was steadfast in his Ahimsa concept, though.

Gandhi also made a contribution to secularism. He thought that no one religion should be the sole source of knowledge. Mahatma Gandhi undoubtedly promoted interreligious tolerance.
 

 
 

Conclusion

The person who made the greatest contribution to India’s freedom from British control was Mahatma Gandhi. His entire life was dedicated to helping his nation and its citizens, and the international stage served as the public face of Indian leadership. Even today, young people all around the world are inspired and motivated by him because he was a man of principles, morals, and discipline. Gandhi Ji was renowned for his strict discipline as well. He frequently emphasised the value of self-control in daily life. He held that it aids in achieving larger objectives, which he also put into practise in the manner in which he preached his Ahimsa ideas. Hard discipline, as he demonstrated through his own life, may assist in achieving any objective in life, provided we make an effort to stay to it and dedicate ourselves to it. He was a remarkable leader who is still admired and respected today, decades after his departure, because of these traits. And his reputation and the respect accorded to his ideals continue to be felt not just in India but also around the world.