We need more of his kind



Full name: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Ghandi
Date of birth: born the 2nd of October 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat, India - dead the 30th of January 1948 in New Delhi, India.
Parents: son of
Karamchand Gandhi and his fourth wife, Putlibai.
Family status: At the age of 13 he was married to
Kasturba Makhanji, with whom, he got five children. external image Gandhi.jpg
Main project/aim: fought with non-violent tools for the independence of India.
Profession: the political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement.
Religion: Hinduism
Type of hero: non-fictional, political

Gandhi’s life and Gandhi himself is in many ways difficult to explain because is was so eventful and complex. One of the main reasons, why he had become such a “hero” is primarily because of his use of non-violence to achieve the independence of India. Also civil disobedience, passive resistance, was one of the things that he used to gain attention. Simply by refuse to cooperate with Great Britain. For Gandhi, religion, politics and social work, was all one – for instance was his politics very influenced by the Hinduism way of thinking, that every living creature is fantastic and should be treated and respected equally. That statement is a huge contrast to the Indian society, where everything is divided in castes.
Read on, and try to get a taste of what kind of man Mahatma Gandhi really was…

Africa – 1893 - 1914


Ghandi was educated in law at University College in London. In 1891 he returned to India and tried to start a law practice, though he didn’t have much success. In 1893 he went down to Africa and threw him self into the struggle for elementary right for Indians in Africa. This was the beginning of a lifelong struggle for Indian rights. It was in Africa, where Gandhi started developing his policy about civil disobedience, ahimsa (non-violence and love) and sataygraha, (the power of truth and soul) as tools in the political struggle. Gandhi stayed in Africa for 21 years, and it was first in 1915, that he returned to India.


India – 1915 - 1948


Back from India, Gandhi travelled around the entire country and was involved in numerous local struggles. He build him self a considerable reputation. After the First World War, Gandhi became the leader of The Indian National Congress and was thereby handed political power. In 1920 he led his first non-cooperative campaign against Great Britain. The campaign was about a national boycott of the British goods. Gandhi’s ideas and way of thinking soon spread out through the entire India, and soon many people followed his example with civil disobedience. For instance a lot of Indians in public jobs resigned, people refused to buy British goods, they blocked the streets, sitting in lotus position and refused to rise, even when they were beaten by the police. Because they did it all without violence, the British couldn’t really do anything about it. Gandhi soon became the international symbol of a free India. He lived a spiritual and ascetic life of prayer, fasting and meditation. Fasting was also one of his ways to practice passive resistance. All he ate was vegetables, juices and goat milk, even his clothes was simple and primitive, Gandhi detested anything superficial. By the practice of non-violence, Gandhi held that Great Britain would eventually consider violence useless and leave India. Gandhi was arrested a lot of times, but since he hadn’t really done something, the British had to release him. His first civil disobedience campaign ended in 1922, because of a series of armed revolts against the British. Gandhi admitted that his campaign had went wrong and called it of. The British seized the situation and Gandhi was once again imprisoned, this time until 1924.

The breakthrough



When Gandhi in 1924 was released from jail, he didn’t return to politics, but performed a lot of social work, another of Gandhi’s main focus points. But, unavoidably you might say, he actually did get involved with politics once again. In 1930 he proclaimed a new campaign of civil disobedience; this time with the purpose to get the Indian population to refuse to pay taxes, particular the tax on salt. Salt was the monopole of the English superiority, and to release a campaign with the purpose not to buy salt, was a great signal about a peaceful revolution from the Indian people. The campaign consisted of a great march to the sea, where Gandhi took some water and let it evaporate. Thereby, he had made his very own salt round the British. This event in particular draw attention from around the world, and made the British realise, that this Gandhi-guy was not just messing around, but was all serious.
To see the salt march: click here:
Image:Salt March.jpg
Image:Salt March.jpg





In 1931 Gandhi represented the Indian National Congress at a conference in London, which helped to gain further attention to India and Gandhi’s case. Because of all of his campaigns the British’s prestige was weakened and they were well aware, that the only way they could survive, was if the Indian people was willing to cooperate. After the salt march, Gandhi went through a couple of other campaigns, mostly protesting by fasting.
In 1931 he spoke at Geneva, hear his speech here:Mahatma Gandhi - Soldier of Peace it tells a about what kind of person Gandi really was. But be aware; Indian-English is not easy to understand, so to see it on text, click here: http://www.gandhiserve.org/information/listen_to_gandhi/lec_11_france_genevawtrans/augven_geneva_01.html
Gandhi formally resigned from politics in 1934 and returned to perform his social work.
Although in 1942 he started his last big campaign “Quit India”. Finally in 1947 India became independent.


The tragedy



Just one year later Mahatma Gandhi, Mahatma means “saint” and so the Indian people called him, got assassinated by a fanatic Hindu who was angry with him because of his attempts to reconcile Muslims and Hindus. And just like that, one of the most important personalities of the 20th century was gone.
Gandhi’s death was an international disaster. He had managed only by non-violent methods to make India independent and free them from Great Britain. That only is nothing but an absolute fantastic achievement. Apart from that, he worked for the values of love, truth, peace, harmony, ahimsa, sataygraha, the right to live, women’s rights, improve the relationship between Muslims and Hindus, help the Indian people in Africa and so many other things, in the attempts to make the world a better place to live. We can only admire him for all the things he did, and try to follow in his footsteps.

civil disobedience: civil ulydighed
opponent: modsætning
cooperative: samarbejdsvillig
ascetic: asketisk
superficial: overfladisk
assassinated: myrdet

Links



To check out our portrait of the hero Spiderman, click here: Spiderman
We also compared the two heroes. Go see what we found out here: The complete contrast

If you want to know more about Mahatma Gandhi, check out the links below:
www.da.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandhi
www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prize/peace/articles/gandhi/index.html


Sources:



Gyldendals DVD leksikon
www.religion.dk
www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandhi
www.da.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandhi
www.free-biscet.org/biscetarticles/gandhi.htm
www.sscnet.ucla.edu
http://www.gandhiserve.org/</span>