Gandhi

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was, and still is, a remarkable and influential person in our world today. Gandhi was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the India independence movement. Gandhi developed a model to fight for civil rights through nonviolent protest. Through this he achieved political and social progress through total nonviolence for which he is internationally known for. Gandhi led India to its independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbander, India. Porbander is a small town on the western coast of India. Gandhi was born in a middle class family of Vaishya caste. His grandfather had risen to be the Dewan or Prime Minister of Porbander and was succeeded by his son Karamchand, who was Gandhi’s father. (Mandal) Mohandas went to elementary school in his hometown, where he was born. It was said that Gandhi had trouble with simple things like multiplication tables. Many years later Gandhi stated, “My intellect must have been sluggish and my memory raw.” (“Gandhi”) When Gandhi was a little bit older his family moved to Rajkot another town in India. There he attended a primary school and later attended a high school. Through his schooling Gandhi was a mediocre student and excessively shy and timid. Gandhi’s grades showed no indication of his future accomplishments. He moved onto high school and at the age of thirteen he was married to a girl named Kasturba, who was fourteen. When Gandhi was fifteen years old, the couple’s first child was born but only survived a few days. After their first child passed away Gandhi and Kasturba had four more children who are all boys. (Vinay)

After high school, Gandhi joined the Samaldas College in Bhavnagar, where he found his studies to be very difficult. While struggling through all of this, his father died in 1885. After his father’s death a friend of the family suggested that if Gandhi wanted to take his father’s place in the state service he had better become a barrister, which he could do in England in three years. Gandhi thought that this was a great idea and jumped at the opportunity. (Mandal) His mother objected to the idea of going abroad but Gandhi vowed not to touch wine, women, or meat. His caste people looked at crossing the ocean as contamination. They threatened to excommunicate him if he chose to go abroad. Gandhi was persistent in going abroad and in return was excommunicated by his caste. At the age of eighteen he sailed to England to study law at University College London and to train as a barrister. (Vinay)

Gandhi described the first few days from his homeland as “miserable.” He continually thought of his homeland and he found the people and their ways very strange. Although he found his new life very strange he tried to adapt to “English” customs. Gandhi found it very hard to stay true to his vow of being a vegetarian because the food that he was allowed to eat was very bland and he found himself always hungry. Gandhi finally found one of London’s few vegetarian restaurants. After this Gandhi joined the Vegetarian Society which was founded in 1875 to further universal brotherhood, and it was devoted to the study of Buddhist and Hindu literature. Once joining the society, the other members encouraged Gandhi to join them in reading the Bhagavad Gita. (Vinay) Up until this point Gandhi never really showed an interest in religion, but that quickly changed.

Gandhi was called to the bar in June 1891 and left London to go back to India. Gandhi attempted to cultivate a law practice in Bombay, India but it failed because his shyness overcame him in court and he never spoke up. In 1893, he went to work for Dada Abdulla & Company which was an Indian firm in a part of South Africa that was then a part of the British Empire. (“Gandhi”)

Moving to South Africa turned into a permanent home for Gandhi. Gandhi spent twenty...
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