Mahatma Gandhi, An Exemplary Leader
Wilmington University, Delaware
Class MGT-6503 Leadership Development and Change Management
Professor – Sherry L. Read
B.P, Department of Business Management, Wilmington University, Delaware Keywords: leadership, traits of leadership, emergent leader, credibility, honesty, integrity, visionary, follower-centric, transformational and charismatic, quality
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, (born on October 2nd 1869 in Porbandar, India – died January 30th 1948 in New Delhi, India) was a leader of Indian Nationalist Movement opposing British rule, considered to be ‘Father of the Nation’. His father Karamchand Gandhi served as a high official to the ruler of Porbandar State (Rajkot).
When he was 13 year old he was married to Kasturbai Makhanji according to the customs of the region which believed in early child marriage. In 1885 his father died along with the son which was born to the couple earlier in the same year. Later they were blessed with four more sons.
At the age of 19 he went to London to study Indian Law at University College of London where he was trained to be a barrister. In 1891 he returned home to practice law at Bombay when failed he traveled to South Africa in 1893 on a one year contract with an Indian Firm located there.
Civil Rights Movement in South Africa
The political career started here where he launched a Civil Disobedience Movement against the racial behavior meted out to Asian immigrants. It was here in South Africa that he developed his political views, leadership skills and ethics. Racial humiliation and discrimination was met by most of the Indians which was not new in the culture hence led Gandhi to defend his dignity as a human not accepting any injustice. In 1894, he founded the Natal Indian Congress of which he himself became the diligent leader. Through this organization, he infused a stream of solidarity in the conglomerate Indian Community. In 1987 when he returned to Durban he was assaulted by a white mob, later the government of Natal put charges on the guilty men but Gandhi refused to further prosecute his assailants. He addressed saying it was not his principle to seek redress of a personal wrong in the court of law.
Anglo – Boer War (1899-1902)
On the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899, Gandhi argued that the Indians who claimed the rights of citizenship in the British crown colony were bound to defend it. He gathered 1100 volunteers, included were barristers, accountants, artisans and even laborers. Gandhi instilled in them a spirit of service to those whom they claimed as their oppressors. By his efforts; British victory about the war, brought solace to the Indians in South Africa.
Emergence as Leader of Nationalist India
In 1914, he returned to India declining to join any political agenda, instead he favored of supporting the British in World War I and also recruiting soldiers for the British Indian Army. At the same time, he did not avoid criticizing the British officials for acts of arrogance or from taking up the trouble of the long-suffering peasantry in states of India. Provoked by the rule of the Rowlatt Bill of 1919, empowering the authorities to imprison those suspected without trial led Gandhi to the announcement of Satyagraha Struggle.
Gandhi tried to draw the Hindu and Muslim communities out of their suspicion by reasoning and persuasion and after a serious communal outbreak led to a three week fast to arouse the people into following the path of truth and nonviolence. By 1920, Gandhi was the dominant figure charging an influence never procured by any political leader. He employed non-nonviolence, cooperation and tranquil resistance as his weapons in the struggle against British. He further altered the Indian National Congress into an effective political instrument of Indian ethnocentricity.
Leadership Qualities & Style
Gandhi is widely acknowledged as one of...
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