Mahatma Ghandi

Topics: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, India, Civil disobedience Pages: 10 (3154 words) Published: March 30, 2013
Year 11 Community and Family Studies
Individuals and Groups - Leadership
Term 2 Assessment


Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi, known as Mahatma , or ‘Great Soul’ was a successful leader who managed to cause major political change in countries that experienced an abundance of racial discrimination and cultural inferiority .The two most significantly effected countries that experienced direct positive empowerment because of Mahatma Ghandi were South Africa and India. Reason for Ghandi’s immense success with each goal he set was his strong self belief, resilience, persistence and determination. Apart from these characteristics allowing Ghandi to achieve his goals, they made him an exceptional example of an effective leader. In South Africa Mahatma Ghandi fought for Indian civil rights, his success resulted in the reformation of the anti- Indian Legislation, by South African Officials. Throughout the history of South Africa racial discrimination was always prevalent among society. Native Africans, Indians and Asians were constantly subject to racial injustices, particularly from the 1800’s to 1959. Examples of this are evident throughout the legislations and laws that were directed at Indians; Indians; -Could only freely migrate to South Africa as indentured Labourers (labourers on contract) - They had none of the rights of full citizenship - Were not allowed to own property or land - Were only granted temporary residence -Forced to pay of sum of £3 if they were ex-indentured Indians that failed to reindenture or chose to return to India after their labour contracts were completed . - Had to live in government allocated areas for ‘sanitation’ purposes - Were the only race that had to complete a educational, health, age and means test in order to gain admission into the country with the exclusion of Indian indentured labourers. (this purpose of this test was to stop further immigration of ‘free Indians’ (Indians that came to South Africa not indentured) ). -Were prohibited from marrying the ‘Whites’ (People of European descent e.g. Dutch, German, French ) These government policies were discriminatory against the Indian race and resulted in them (Indians) being assumed as an inferior race in society which further resulted in the excessive mistreatment of Indians. Being exposed to these racial inequalities, and having been of Indian race Mahatma Ghandi was well aware of these racial inequalities as he stated “I discovered that as a man and as an Indian I had no rights”. He recognised that change needed to occur in order for the Indian race in South Africa to be equalised within society. This recognition then lead Ghandi proposing an action plan of ‘passive resistance’ which he was leader of. The result of his passive resistance which was taken up by hundreds of other supporting Indians in South Africa was the


reformation of the anti- Indian Legislation ( mentioned previously). This meant that the Indian Relief Act was passed, consequently improving Indian civil rights. The act; - Abolished the £3 poll tax -Recognised marriages contracted in terms of traditional Hindu and Muslim rites - Indian children of parents living in South Africa are allowed to immigrate Although these modified policies of legislation did improve Indian Civil Rights, there were still major parts which remained law that were racially unjust. For example; Indians were still prohibited from owning property in Transvall and Orange Free State. -Indians were not allowed to reside in Orange Free State. - Restrictions still existed on Indian trades.

In 1869 India was part of the British Empire, which meant that Britain ran the government, made laws and took advantage of India’s natural riches in particularly salt, in order to make profit. The fact that the British Empire ruled India, basically meant that the Indian’s own country had to a degree been taken from them; they were living in a country that was not theirs. After fighting in the...
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