Mahatma Gandhi Story – Early Life

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 into a Gujarati Hindu Modh Baniya family in Porbandar in Gujarat.

As a child, Gandhi was restless as mercury, either playing or roaming about. One of his favourite pastimes was twisting dogs’ ears.

At age 9, Gandhi entered the local school in Rajkot, near his home. There he studied the rudiments of arithmetic, history, the Gujarati language and geography.

Mahatma Gandhi Story
Mahatma Gandhi Story

At age 11, he joined the High School in Rajkot. He was an average student, won some prizes, but was a shy and tongue tied student, with no interest in games; his only companions were books and school lessons.

In May 1883, parents of the 13-year-old Mohandas married to 14-year-old Kasturbai Makhanji Kapadia in an arranged marriage.

In late 1885, Gandhi’s father Karamchand died. Gandhi, then 16 years old, and his wife of age 17 had their first baby, who survived only a few days. The two deaths anguished Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi Story – Education

Gandhi came from a poor family, and he had dropped out of the cheapest college he could afford.

On 10 August 1888, Gandhi aged 18, left Porbandar for Mumbai, then known as Bombay. Gandhi attended University College, London which is a constituent college of University of London.

Gandhi, at age 22, was called to the bar in June 1891 and then left London for India. Soon he learned that his mother had died while he was in London and that his family had kept the news from him.

Mahatma Gandhi Story – Political Activity

In 1893, a Muslim merchant in Kathiawar named Dada Abdullah contacted Gandhi. In April 1893, Gandhi aged 23, set sail for South Africa to be the lawyer for Abdullah’s cousin. He spent 21 years in South Africa, where he developed his political views, ethics and politics

At the request of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, conveyed to him by C. F. Andrews, Gandhi returned to India in 1915.

Gandhi took leadership of the Congress in 1920 and began escalating demands until on 26 January 1930 the Indian National Congress declared the independence of India.

In April 1918, during the latter part of World War I, the Viceroy invited Gandhi to a War Conference in Delhi. Gandhi agreed to actively recruit Indians for the war effort.

The appeal of “Non-cooperation” grew, its social popularity drew participation from all strata of Indian society. Police arrested Gandhi on 10 March 1922, tried for sedition, and court sentenced her to six years’ imprisonment. He began his sentence on 18 March 1922.

After his early release from prison for political crimes in 1924, over the second half of the 1920s, Gandhi continued to pursue swaraj.

On 31 December 1929, he unfurled the flag of India in Lahore. Gandhi led Congress celebrated 26 January 1930 as India’s Independence Day in Lahore.

During the discussions between Gandhi and the British government over 1931–32 at the Round Table Conferences, Gandhi, now aged about 62, sought constitutional reforms as a preparation to the end of colonial British rule, and begin the self-rule by Indians.

Mahatma Gandhi Story – Independence Movement

After Gandhi returned from the Second Round Table conference, he started a new satyagraha. He was arrested and imprisoned at the Yerwada Jail, Pune.

Later Gandhi opposed providing any help to the British war effort and he campaigned against any Indian participation in the World War II.

Gandhi’s campaign did not enjoy the support of Indian masses and many Indian leaders such as Sardar Patel and Rajendra Prasad. His campaign was a failure.

Over 2.5 million Indians ignored Gandhi, volunteered and joined the British military to fight on various fronts of the allied forces.

After the war Gandhi called for the British to Quit India. However, the Muslim League demanded “Divide and Quit India”.

At the end of the war, the British gave clear indications that power would be transferred to Indian hands. At this point Gandhi called off the struggle, and British government released around 100,000 political prisoners, including the Congress’s leadership.

Soon Gandhi opposed partition of the Indian subcontinent along religious lines. Gandhi spent the day of independence not celebrating the end of the British rule but appealing for peace among his countrymen by fasting and spinning in Calcutta on 15 August 1947.

At 5:17 pm on 30 January 1948, Gandhi was with his grandnieces in the garden of the former Birla House.

On his way to address a prayer meeting, when Nathuram Godse fired three bullets from a Beretta M1934 9mm Corto pistol into his chest at point-blank range.

Gandhi was cremated in accordance with Hindu tradition. His family poured Gandhi’s ashes into urns and sent it across India for memorial services.

Most of the ashes were immersed at the Sangam at Allahabad on 12 February 1948, but some were secretly taken away.

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