This page will contain videos about Michael Faraday, as they become available.|
Michael FaradayMichael Faraday
Michael Faraday (September 22, 1791 – August 25, 1867) was a British scientist (a physicist and chemist) who contributed significantly to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. He also invented the earliest form of the device that was to become the Bunsen burner, which is used almost universally in science laboratories as a convenient source of heat.
Michael Faraday was one of the great scientists in history. Some historians of science refer to him as the greatest experimentalist in the history of science. It was largely due to his efforts that electricity became a viable technology. The SI unit of capacitance, the farad (symbol F) is named after him.
Michael Faraday was born in Newington Butts, near present-day Elephant and Castle, London. His family was poor (his father was a blacksmith) and he had to educate himself. At fourteen he became apprenticed to bookbinder and seller George Riebau and, during his seven year apprenticeship, read many books, developing an interest in science and specifically electricity.
At the age of twenty Faraday attended lectures by the eminent scientist Sir Humphry Davy, president of the Royal Society, and John Tatum, founder of the City Philosophical Society. After Faraday sent Davy a sample of notes taken during the lectures, Davy said he would keep Faraday in mind but should stick to his current job of book-binding. After Davy damaged his eyesight in an accident with nitrogen trichloride, also known as trichloramine, he employed Faraday as a secretary. When John Payne of the Royal Society was fired, Davy recommended Faraday for the job of laboratory assistant. Faraday eagerly left his bookbinding job as his new employer, Henry de la Roche, was hot-tempered.
In a class-based society, Faraday was not considered a gentleman; it has been said that Davy's wife, Jane Apreece, refused to treat him as an equal and, when on a continental tour, made Faraday sit with the servants. However, it was not long before Faraday surpassed Davy.
His greatest work was with electricity. In 1821, soon after the Danish chemist, Hans Christian Ørsted, discovered the phenomenon of electromagnetism, Davy and William Hyde Wollaston tried but failed to design an electric motor. Faraday, having discussed the problem with the two men, went on to build two devices to produce what he called electromagnetic rotation: a continuous circular motion from the circular magnetic force around a wire. A wire extending into a pool of mercury with a magnet placed inside would rotate around the magnet if charged with electricity by a chemical battery. This device is known as a homopolar motor. These experiments and inventions form the foundation of modern electromagnetic technology. Unwisely, Faraday published his results without acknowledging his debt to Wollaston and Davy, and the resulting controversy caused Faraday to withdraw from electromagnetic research for several years.
Ten years later, in 1831, he began his great series of experiments in which he discovered electromagnetic induction, though the discovery may have been anticipated by the work of Francesco Zantedeschi. He found that if he moved a magnet through a loop of wire, an electric current flowed in the wire. The current also flowed if the loop was moved over a stationary magnet.
His demonstrations established that a changing magnetic field produces an electric field. This relation was mathematically modelled by Faraday's law, which subsequently became one of the four Maxwell equations. These in turn evolved into the generalization known as field theory.
Faraday then used the principle to construct the electric dynamo, the ancestor of modern power generators.
Faraday proposed that electromagnetic forces extended into the empty space around the conductor, but did not complete his work involving that proposal. Faraday's concept of lines of flux emanating from charged bodies and magnets provided a way to visualize electric and magnetic fields. That mental model was crucial to the successful development of electromechanical devices which dominated engineering and industry for the remainder of the 19th century.
In 1845 he discovered what is now called the Faraday effect and the phenomenon that he named diamagnetism. The plane of polarization of linearly polarized light propagated through a material medium can be rotated by the application of an external magnetic field aligned in the propagation direction. He wrote in his notebook, "I have at last succeeded in illuminating a magnetic curve or line of force and in magnetising a ray of light". This established that magnetic force and light were related.
In his work on static electricity, Faraday demonstrated that the charge only resided on the exterior of a charged conductor, and exterior charge had no influence on anything enclosed within a conductor. This is because the exterior charges redistribute such that the interior fields due to them cancel. This shielding effect is used in what is now known as a Faraday cage.
He gave a successful series of lectures on the chemistry and physics of flames at the Royal Institution, entitled The Chemical History of a candle; this was the origin of the Christmas lectures for young people that are still given there every year and bear his name.
Faraday was known for designing ingenious experiments, but lacked a good mathematics education. (However, his affiliation with James Clerk Maxwell helped in this regard, as Maxwell was able to translate Faraday's experiments into mathematical language.) He was regarded as handsome and modest, declining a knighthood and presidency of the Royal Society (Davy's old position).Michael Faraday on a British £20 banknote.
His picture has been printed on British £20 banknotes.
His sponsor and mentor was John 'Mad Jack' Fuller, who created the Fullerian Professorship of Chemistry at the Royal Institution. Faraday was the first, and most famous, holder of this position to which he was appointed for life.
Faraday was also devoutly religious and a member of the small Sandemanian denomination, an offshoot of the Church of Scotland. He served two terms as an elder in the group's church.
Faraday married Sarah Barnard in 1821 but they had no children. They met through attending the Sandemanian church.
He died at his house at Hampton Court on August 25, 1867.
This page about Michael Faraday includes information from a Wikipedia article.
Additional articles about Michael Faraday
News stories about Michael Faraday
External links for Michael Faraday
Videos for Michael Faraday
Wikis about Michael Faraday
Discussion Groups about Michael Faraday
Blogs about Michael Faraday
Images of Michael Faraday
He died at his house at Hampton Court on August 25, 1867. The city of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, home to the infamous 1893 ejection of Gandhi from a first-class train, now hosts a commemorative statue of the Indian independence figure, installed a century a. They met through attending the Sandemanian church. National Historic Site in Atlanta, outside the Honolulu Zoo in Kapiolani Park, Hawaii, and near the Indian Embassy in the Dupont Circle neighbourhood of Washington, DC. Faraday married Sarah Barnard in 1821 but they had no children. In the United States, there are statues of Gandhi outside the Ferry Building in San Francisco, in Herman Park, Houston Garden Center in Houston, in Union Square Park in New York City, at the Martin Luther King, Jr. He served two terms as an elder in the group's church. In the United Kingdom, there are several prominent statues of Gandhi, most notably in Tavistock Gardens, London, near University College London, where he studied law.
Faraday was also devoutly religious and a member of the small Sandemanian denomination, an offshoot of the Church of Scotland. The Making of the Mahatma, directed by Shyam Benegal and starring Rajat Kapur, is a film about Gandhi's 21 years of life in South Africa. Faraday was the first, and most famous, holder of this position to which he was appointed for life. However, the film has since been criticised by post-colonial scholars who argue that it depicts Gandhi as single-handedly bringing India to independence, and ignores other prominent figures (both elite and subaltern) in the anti-colonial struggle. His sponsor and mentor was John 'Mad Jack' Fuller, who created the Fullerian Professorship of Chemistry at the Royal Institution. The best-known artistic depiction of his life is the film Gandhi (1982), directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Ben Kingsley (himself half-Gujarati) in the title role. His picture has been printed on British £20 banknotes. Such acceptance is consistent with the widespread perception of his deeply held religious beliefs and commitment to non-violence.
(However, his affiliation with James Clerk Maxwell helped in this regard, as Maxwell was able to translate Faraday's experiments into mathematical language.) He was regarded as handsome and modest, declining a knighthood and presidency of the Royal Society (Davy's old position). The wide acceptance of this title outside India may in part reflect the complexities of the relationship between India and Britain during Gandhi's lifetime. Faraday was known for designing ingenious experiments, but lacked a good mathematics education. As stated in his autobiography, Gandhi never accepted the title because he found himself unworthy of it. He gave a successful series of lectures on the chemistry and physics of flames at the Royal Institution, entitled The Chemical History of a candle; this was the origin of the Christmas lectures for young people that are still given there every year and bear his name. It was given in response to Gandhi conferring the title of "Gurudev" (Great Teacher; Guru: Teacher Dev: God/Holy) upon Tagore. This shielding effect is used in what is now known as a Faraday cage. The word "Mahatma," while often mistaken for Gandhi's given name, is taken from the Sanskrit term of reverence "mahatman," meaning “Great Soul.” The title "Mahatma" was accorded Gandhi in 1915 by his admirer Rabindranath Tagore (the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature).
This is because the exterior charges redistribute such that the interior fields due to them cancel. Nelson Mandela, the leader of South Africa's struggle to end racial discrimination and segregation, is a prominent non-Indian recipient of this honor. In his work on static electricity, Faraday demonstrated that the charge only resided on the exterior of a charged conductor, and exterior charge had no influence on anything enclosed within a conductor. The Government of India awards the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Prize to distinguished social workers, world leaders and citizen leaders. This established that magnetic force and light were related. and Nelson Mandela titled "Children of Gandhi" to recognise his influence on the future generations of leaders. He wrote in his notebook, "I have at last succeeded in illuminating a magnetic curve or line of force and in magnetising a ray of light". The Time had named Gandhi as the runner-up in "Person of the Century" and had an article with write-ups on Dalai Lama, Lech Walesa, Martin Luther King Jr.
The plane of polarization of linearly polarized light propagated through a material medium can be rotated by the application of an external magnetic field aligned in the propagation direction. The official Nobel e-museum has an article discussing the issue.. In 1845 he discovered what is now called the Faraday effect and the phenomenon that he named diamagnetism. When the Dalai Lama was awarded the Peace Prize in 1989, the chairman of the committee said that this was "in part a tribute to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi". He also discovered the laws of electrolysis and popularized terminology such as anode, cathode, electrode, and ion. Decades later however, the Nobel Committee publicly declared its regret for the omission, and admitted to deeply divided nationalistic opinion denying the award to Gandhi.
That mental model was crucial to the successful development of electromechanical devices which dominated engineering and industry for the remainder of the 19th century. See Gandhism for a better understanding of Gandhi's own beliefs and mindset, and the criticism surrounding him. Faraday's concept of lines of flux emanating from charged bodies and magnets provided a way to visualize electric and magnetic fields. The false construction of Gandhi as a socialist has made him the target of those upset with the four decades India spent in miserable economic conditions thanks to a lack-lustre socialist economic system. Faraday proposed that electromagnetic forces extended into the empty space around the conductor, but did not complete his work involving that proposal. Gandhi is often the target of criticism which should really be directed at the administration of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Faraday then used the principle to construct the electric dynamo, the ancestor of modern power generators. The Gujarat government is controlled by Narendra Modi, Chief Minister and man demonized by his defence of and protection of Hindu extremist mobs that caused the 2002 Gujarat violence, in which over 2,000 people died and thousands were displaced.
These in turn evolved into the generalization known as field theory. In 2004, the state of Gujarat was criticized for including anti-Gandhi passages in its mandated school history textbooks. This relation was mathematically modelled by Faraday's law, which subsequently became one of the four Maxwell equations. Members of hard-right Hindu political parties have often been quoted making anti-Gandhi remarks. His demonstrations established that a changing magnetic field produces an electric field. Supporters of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and the Hindu hard-right seem to believe that Gandhi is single-handedly to blame for partition, and for the mollycoddling of Muslims at the expense of the concerns, feelings and rights of Hindu communities. The current also flowed if the loop was moved over a stationary magnet. All 350 million of them.
He found that if he moved a magnet through a loop of wire, an electric current flowed in the wire. But he did something, without which there would be no one country but 500, and no real freedom for the so-called common Indian. Ten years later, in 1831, he began his great series of experiments in which he discovered electromagnetic induction, though the discovery may have been anticipated by the work of Francesco Zantedeschi. It may be too much to say he made a nation, for India is as timeless and boundless as the whole world itself. Unwisely, Faraday published his results without acknowledging his debt to Wollaston and Davy, and the resulting controversy caused Faraday to withdraw from electromagnetic research for several years. Gandhi's all-cultures, democratic organization laid the foundation for a nation that would genuinely be free, and where all religions, ethnic and linguistic groups would have genuine respect, love and brotherhood for one another. These experiments and inventions form the foundation of modern electromagnetic technology. And above all, he made them work together for something common, and develop a common sense of identity and brotherhood.
This device is known as a homopolar motor. He gave voice to Muslim and Hindu women, and brought Muslims and Hindus together for the first time in history in a peaceful and righteous common cause. A wire extending into a pool of mercury with a magnet placed inside would rotate around the magnet if charged with electricity by a chemical battery. He knew there could be no freedom when a system of slavery remained a part of Hindu society, called untouchability. Faraday, having discussed the problem with the two men, went on to build two devices to produce what he called electromagnetic rotation: a continuous circular motion from the circular magnetic force around a wire. Gandhi made this Indian National Congress fight for the causes of common man: he led the fights against poverty, alcoholism, illiteracy, disease while simultaneously fighting the British. In 1821, soon after the Danish chemist, Hans Christian Ørsted, discovered the phenomenon of electromagnetism, Davy and William Hyde Wollaston tried but failed to design an electric motor. And all these Indians, numbering more than 15 million, were united in a nationwide struggle for something called freedom and democracy.
His greatest work was with electricity. It contained men and women of all religions, 18 different language groups and from the poorest villages of the farthest corners of the Indian subcontinent. However, it was not long before Faraday surpassed Davy. It was Gandhi who created the first-ever nationwide organization truly representative of the common Indians. In a class-based society, Faraday was not considered a gentleman; it has been said that Davy's wife, Jane Apreece, refused to treat him as an equal and, when on a continental tour, made Faraday sit with the servants. The Rebellion of 1857 touched something deep in many common Indians, but failed to do anything more. Faraday eagerly left his bookbinding job as his new employer, Henry de la Roche, was hot-tempered. None had touched or changed the lives of the people.
When John Payne of the Royal Society was fired, Davy recommended Faraday for the job of laboratory assistant. It had seen over 1,000 years of oppression, tyranny and invasion, new rulers coming and going. After Davy damaged his eyesight in an accident with nitrogen trichloride, also known as trichloramine, he employed Faraday as a secretary. In reality, India had not been united since Emperor Ashoka over 1,500 years ago. After Faraday sent Davy a sample of notes taken during the lectures, Davy said he would keep Faraday in mind but should stick to his current job of book-binding. It claimed to represent a country united only in poverty and ignorance. At the age of twenty Faraday attended lectures by the eminent scientist Sir Humphry Davy, president of the Royal Society, and John Tatum, founder of the City Philosophical Society. Language differences and religious antagonism made it a body of talk, not action or results.
At fourteen he became apprenticed to bookbinder and seller George Riebau and, during his seven year apprenticeship, read many books, developing an interest in science and specifically electricity. Before Gandhi, the Congress Party itself had been segregated by caste and ethnicity. His family was poor (his father was a blacksmith) and he had to educate himself. Gandhi helped a silent nation that had suffered through 1,000 years of tyranny, oppression and invasion, to stand up for themselves, their beliefs and way of life, and tear down a world-wide empire. Michael Faraday was born in Newington Butts, near present-day Elephant and Castle, London. It instead gave voice and strength to the poorest farmers, the most downtrodden of a huge society, the youngest of men and women and the most timid housewife. . It did not require men becoming armed militants and leading the lives of the hunted.
The SI unit of capacitance, the farad (symbol F) is named after him. Gandhi gave the universal weapon of Satyagraha to ordinary human beings to fight injustice, tyranny and oppression. It was largely due to his efforts that electricity became a viable technology. Yet he led a rebellion of 300 million people from the front and tore down the British Empire. Some historians of science refer to him as the greatest experimentalist in the history of science. He had not been a distinguished student or great professional. Michael Faraday was one of the great scientists in history. Gandhi was a simple, frail and timid-looking man.
He also invented the earliest form of the device that was to become the Bunsen burner, which is used almost universally in science laboratories as a convenient source of heat. Mahatma Gandhi's biggest contributions to India and the world were:. Michael Faraday (September 22, 1791 – August 25, 1867) was a British scientist (a physicist and chemist) who contributed significantly to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. Gandhi himself stated that "truth and non-violence are as old as the hills" and that he had taught nothing new to the world. Full text of The Chemical History Of A Candle from Project Gutenberg. India's independence was not won by Gandhi alone, but by the work and sacrifice of 100 million Indians over three to four generations. Michael Faraday Directory. The working English, if not their government, understood how the manufactures were hurting poor Indians, and that Gandhi wanted friendship with the British, but only on equal terms and with a free India.
The Christian Character of Michael Faraday. When he traveled to England in 1931, he was lovingly greeted by Lancashire textile workers, whose produced goods he had himself advocated to be burned in India. Publish." - his well-known advice to the young William Crookes. While he was the victim of Raj propaganda attempting to defame him and break up the freedom fighters, Gandhi's image in the United Kingdom proper was of a holy man, a lovable, saint-like gentle soul. Finish. To his direct and main opponents, the British, Gandhi was always most gracious and civil. "Work. When the World War ended and the INA surrendered to the British, Gandhi openly lauded their bravery and encouraged the Congress to itself take up the work of rehabilitating INA soldiers, supporting the families of the soldiers and honoring their sacrifices.
"Nothing is too wonderful to be true.". Even at the height of the tensions between the Congress and the Muslim separatists, Gandhi never refrained from openly talking to Jinnah, calling him "my brother." After Pakistan was created, Gandhi had planned to visit to heal the wounds of partition, and re-create an atmosphere of friendship and goodwill, instead of the mistrust and hatred that poisoned inter-community and inter-nation relations for decades after Gandhi. ISBN 1400060168. To Gandhi, men like Subhas Bose, Jinnah and Bhagat Singh were all Indians, and thus partners in the freedom struggle. A Life of Discovery: Michael Faraday, Giant of the Scientific Revolution. Random House, New York. And Savarkar attacked him as being a "traitor" by conceeding Pakistan and mollycoddling Muslims at the expense of Hindus. Hamilton, James (2004). Jinnah called him a hypocrite, and openly accused him of suppressing Muslims.
ISBN 0007163762. For example, Subhas Bose had repeatedly declared from Europe that Gandhi's leadership had failed. Harper Collins, London. There were never harsh words from Gandhi for anybody, even when he was on the receiving end of some terrible criticism. Faraday: The Life. When their differing approaches were brought up, Gandhi always openly encouraged everybody to abandon violence and remain united, to prevent the British from justifying repression and dividing the Indian political leaders. Hamilton, James (2002). But Gandhi always admired the courage of revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh and Azad, and strongly protested the execution sentence handed to them.
Indian heroes like Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad also did not meet with Gandhi's approval, who absolutely despised violent means of gaining freedom. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was a Hindu fundamentalist, who was implicated in the assassination of the Mahatma. Mohammad Ali Jinnah was opposed to Gandhi's satyagraha methodology, and became the leader of Muslim separatists. Such leaders included Subhas Chandra Bose, who sided openly with Germany and Japan in World War II and organized the Indian National Army to militarily liberate India from colonial rule.
Throughout the Gandhi Era (1918-1948), there were many political leaders who fought for India's freedom but did not share Gandhi's views, and sometimes outrightly opposed them. Luckily, the hundred million followers of Gandhi made sure this encouragement was not necessary. Rabindranath Tagore wrote a poem for Gandhi, which famously and beautifully asked him to press forward, do the right thing and walk forth, even if it meant walking alone. But he only fascinated them, despite the reality that he was disloding a departing generation and ushering in a new era, far more different than their own.
Besant and Tilak opposed the satyagraha of the early 1920s, and Tagore clashed with Gandhi from time to time. Rabindranath Tagore, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Annie Besant, Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Motilal Nehru were all senior leaders of the Indian cultural conscience and the freedom movement before Gandhi came along. Gandhi's open and humble nature also won him the admiration, mentorship and support of distinguished men who clashed with him ideologically on several issues at different times. Gandhi's optimistic, sweet nature won him the undying loyalty and reverence of thousands of co-workers, and led them to openly confide with him and ask his guidance upon the most personal issues of the lives of each person.
Both are widely regarded as having carried the flame of Gandhi's non-political work and legacy, as Nehru is seen to have carried on Gandhi's political mission. Kalelkar and Bhave built ashramas in Maharashtra, and worked hard against economic injustice, social reform, against discrimination, untouchability, the opression of women and human freedom. Badshah Khan was a Pathan leader, who in stark contrast to the common perceptions of his people, built an organization more committed to non-violent resistance than the Congress itself. Narhari Parikh was the architect of many inspired revolts and battles in Gujarat against the British, and a close associate of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel himself.
Mahadev Desai was a young lawyer who had abandoned his ambitions to become his most loyal secretary, gaining an insight into the Mahatma which Wikipedia and countless historians would have loved to have. Meerabehn was a young Englishwoman Madeleine Slade who had left England inspired by Gandhi's teaching and had come to live by his side, utterly devoted to her guru and his teachings. Gandhi inspired spiritually and emotionally many men and women like Kala Kalelkar, Vinoba Bhave, Meerabehn, Mahadev Desai, Narhari Parikh and Badshah Khan. While Nehru's relationship with Gandhi is more celebrated and fantasized about by Indian media, school books and common people, the Gandhi-Patel relationship produced the phenomenon, the wonder of absolute self-less patriotism and dynamic revolution that propelled a disunited, enslaved and divided India into freedom, unity and the future.
It was the observation of his closest associates and Patel's own confession that it was Gandhi's tragic murder and Patel's bottling up of immense grief that caused his own shy with death. He was saved only by the divine-sent presence of his nurse. Sardar Patel himself suffered a heart attack one month after Gandhi's death. This would last till the Sardar's own death in 1950, although it would undergo more rocky bumps.
Before Gandhi's body later that evening, a distraught Nehru emotionally embraced the Sardar and gave his pledge for their united partnership. He was assassinated half an hour later. Sardar Patel thus became the last of Gandhi's closest associates to see and talk with him. Gandhi then asked Patel to tell Nehru about his wishes, and left for his prayer meeting.
Gandhi asked Patel to continue as Deputy Prime Minister, and equal partner in India's leadership team. On January 30th 1948, Gandhi and Patel had the most crucial talk of both their lives. Gandhi was the referee in the Patel-Nehru disputes, and in early 1948, it was widely assumed that an exhausted Patel would be asked to leave the Government in Nehru's hands entirely by the Mahatma. After independence, Patel became the Deputy Prime Minister, and the rivalry that fostered there drew Patel to the limit of his emotions and constitution.
The relations between the Sardar and Nehru were never personally affectionate, but of camaderie despite ideological differences. And if Gandhi gave birth to the modern rebellion and oversaw its nationwide expansion, it was the Sardar who saw the nationalists and India through the finish line and safely into a free future. But the Sardar's loyalty and affection for Gandhi, and vice versa were higher than thirst for power or office. Even the British acknowledged that Sardar Patel was the only man who could stand up to Gandhi.
Had Patel openly objected to Gandhi's leadership at any of these junctures, it would have wrecked the Congress right down the line. Patel was Gandhi's foundation pillar of support and execution during the Civil Disobedience Movement and the controversial and divisive, yet India's largest mass revolt, the Quit India Movement, and of course, at anything that happened in Gujarat. Patel was the architect of the Congress Party's election strategy in 1934, 1937, 1946 and 1947. Patel on the other hand was the chief of India's most nationalistic province.
Without Gandhi's patronage and mentorship, Nehru's raw, temperate political judgment would have won him no kudos from the Congress Party. While Gandhi sparked the inner fires of Sardar Patel, he actually made Nehru. Nehru was energetic and young, while both Gandhi and Patel were in their 70s in 1947. Gandhi knew that Nehru's appeal to the hundreds of millions of common Indians, to the Muslim community and to young Indians would serve as a uniter, especially in the poisonous, suspicion-filled climate of partition-era India.
The PM would be the public image, which would form the public's trust with the Government. Gandhi saw all his flaws, but knew that Nehru's energy, passion and rapport with the public was more advantageous to a young nation when a leader was to be picked. Nehru was often a political liability, speaking his radical views at the embrassment of the Congress, and was never actually responsible for a singular initiative in the movement, or commanding the loyalty of Congress organization. Nehru and Subhas Bose were considered the young radicals of the Congress in the 1920s, but Nehru had, like Patel, agreed with the Mahatma or stuck to his line more than Subhas Bose did.
Scion of a political family, Nehru was more radical in ideas, more glamorous in persona and the darling of the masses. Why did Gandhi pick Nehru? Contemporary media often portrays the Gandhi-Nehru relationship as that of a father and son. Yet Patel never hesitated to relinquish the honor, and remained very close to Gandhi. In 1946 especially, it was the greatest sacrifice to forgo becoming India's first Prime Minister.
Both in 1929 and 1946, Patel obeyed the Mahatma. After pointing out to Nehru the fact that no PCC had nominated him, and measuring Nehru's frigid response, Gandhi asked Patel in a written note to withdraw, even though the election was his. Despite receiving no nomination, Nehru's candidacy was backed by the Working Committee. 11 out of 15 Congress provincial committees had submitted Patel's name.
This election was crucial because the elected man would go on to head a free India's new government. Gandhi also famously asked Patel to stand down from the election for the party's presidency in 1946. In 1929, a Sardar Patel who had just won a great victory in Gujarat over the British was passed up for the Congress Presidency for the glamourous, unseasoned and suave Nehru. There were notable incidents in the Gandhi-Patel relationship.
Gandhi in turn, developed a deep affection for Patel. Patel realized that Gandhi's true power lay in inspiring common people to fight for their rights and freedom, that the purity of non-violent resistance empowered a wide majority of Indians. Patel developed a deep respect for Gandhi's political instincts, and did not disagree with him until the partition crisis in 1946-47. Sardar Patel grew very close to Gandhi and his wife Kasturba, personally serving Gandhi as a younger brother when they were incarcerated in the early 1930s at Yeravda.
This political phenomenon in 1918, had been a bridge-playing, sharp-witted, sophisticated barrister in the Gujarat Club, cracking jokes about loose-mouthed politicians and the newcomer from South Africa. Gandhi almost single-handedly inspired the re-birth of a proud, hard-charging barrister, who became the most aggressive and action-minded of all nationalist leaders, the undisputed leader of Gujarat, the paramount contributor state to the Indian Independence Movement and the "Ironman of India"; a man who single-handedly brought 565 princely states into the Union to form a united India by independence; led the charge to fight-back the communal riots in Punjab and Delhi and rehabilitate over 10 million refugees, and defended the young nation's unity and peace by swift action against the rogue state Hyderabad and Pakistan's invasion and claims over Jammu and Kashmir and Junagadh. But in 1918, with the Kheda Satyagraha, Patel volunteered to head the movement with Gandhi, and abandoned his life of comfort and riches. Sardar Patel was a settled, successful middle-aged barrister in Ahmedabad, earning wealth and respect and with no hankering for the stylish politics of pre-Gandhi Congressmen.
The most closely analyzed of all personal relationships with the Indian leaders by historians, is the Triumvirate of Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru. The relationships he shared with men and women working with him will go a long way in testifying of the phenomenon that he was. He inspired a team of Indian leaders, a generation of Indian people. Gandhi was a leader of men and women.
Although discrimination still exists in many parts of the society, having the vast majority of society, clergy and government united behind the forces of freedom, education and justice is an advantage created simply by the inspiration of Gandhi. Although a controversial figure due to the tragedy of partition for some fundamentalist Hindus, Gandhi did more for Hindu society than anyone in the last 500 years. Untouchability, suttee, dowry, child marriage, the purdah were outlawed in independent India and casteism was denied official recognition or use. Much of the vast momentum in society to break with 1,000-year old "traditions" of discrimination, violence and ignorance were fueled by Gandhi's leadership and the freedom movement he cultivated and strengthened.
With his study of the Bible and the Quran, Gandhi imbibed reforms that Islam and Christianity could bring to Hinduism, but also noted that neither faith had anything that Hinduism did not already inspire, and that Hinduism's boundaries extended far beyond any modern religion. It helped destroy the image of Hinduism as a backward, oppressive and pagan faith system, and liberate the consciousness of Hinduism as a system of religion, philosophy and knowledge more diverse and rich than possibly any other system in the world. Gandhi's efforts exposed the rich heritage, philosophy and deep mystery of Hinduism, over its more visible social traditions. Deeply inspired in life and work by the Gita's teachings, Gandhi's teachings and employ of truth, non-violence and devotion to win freedom and reform society made Hinduism a positive source of inspiration for modern Indians and millions of Westerners.
Gandhi studied the Bhagavad Gita closely, as well as the epics of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Ambedkar, political leader of the untouchables to agree to rejecting separate electorates shows the formidable respect he commanded in the eyes of tens of millions of harijans in India. The fact that Gandhi's fast at Yeravda Jail forced B.R. Gandhi though never allowed the British government and other political groups to divide Hindu society along caste lines by granting them special political status.
Thousands of prominent Hindus worked to destroy the evil practices within Hindu society, and Gandhi even inspired Hindu nationalist and reformist public organizations like the Rashtriya Swayemsevak Sangh. Adopting the call of the freedom struggle, tens of millions of orthodox Hindus invited untouchables to eat with them, and the Congress and social groups opened schools and hospitals by the dozen in different parts of the country. He worked strongly against the practice of suttee, child marrriage, the social castigation of widows and alcoholism, which had ruined the lives of countless women by claiming their husbands. Gandhi also wanted Hindu women to receive equal treatment in the eyes of the law, and a position of respect and honour in mainstream society.
Gandhi knew that as long as Hindu society retained this system of oppression within itself, the nation could never truly be free in spirit and character, which was more important than merely controlling the government. Gandhi also struck out against Brahmin corruption and oppression of common people by corrupt priests and for villages and towns to work together to clean their neighborhoods, and ending the undignified isolation and discrimination of low caste and untouchable Hindus. Gandhi pressed for education as a mass weapon for salvation, freedom and success in life. Gandhi succeeded in defending common Hindu traditions, customs and values against the attacks of Christian missionaries and the Westernized elite of England-educated Indians and Britishers in India, without being xenophobic or racist.
Gandhi was a champion of women's freedoms and rights (especially dowry, child marriage, the "purdah" or veil, and widow-burning, or Suttee), and helped Hindus develop a cleaner, healthier social relationship with Muslims and Christians. He brought uniformity, a sense of common identity and unity to millions of Congressmen and hundreds of millions of people who were divided by caste, religion, language and ethnicity. Gandhi struck out firmly against untouchability and caste discrimination. These qualities gave him the means to touch Hindu society in a way comparable only to the Avatara of the Supreme Lord Vishnu.
His Ashram inspired the equality of all mankind and service to humanity, and he was always approachable. His ascetic lifestyle, stringent adherence to moral values despite any cost (He stopped a national civil disobedience campaign over the murder of a few policemen by a rowdy mob of agitators in 1922). Gandhi was the member of the third caste, but reverred by thousands of Brahmin priests as an expert on Hindu religion and a leader of Hindus. Mahatma Gandhi was perhaps the greatest modern leader of Hinduism and Hindu society, along the path marked by great saints like Kabir, Ramakrishna and Sai Baba but with a considerably wider impact.
Tagore vehemently opposed Gandhi's stance, maintaining that an earthquake can only be caused by natural forces, not moral reasons, however repugnant the practice of untouchability may be. Gandhi maintained this was because of the sin committed by upper caste Hindus by not letting untouchables in their temples (Gandhi was committed to the cause of improving the fate of untouchables, referring to them as Harijans, people of Krishna). On January 15, 1934, an earthquake hit Bihar and cause extensive damage and loss of life. These debates exemplify the philosophical differences between the two most famous Indians at the time.
In spite of their deep reverence to each other, Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore got involved in protracted debates more than once. Gandhi felt that one should be aware of worshiping the symbols and idols of the religion and not its teachings, such as worshipping the crucifix whilst ignoring its significance as a symbol for self-sacrifice, for example. He was deeply influenced by the Christian teaching of nonresistance and "turning the other cheek", once stating that if Christianity practised the Sermon on the Mount, he would indeed be a Christian. Gandhi believed that at the core of every religion was Truth (satya), Love/Nonviolence (ahimsa) and the Golden Rule.
Later in his life when he was asked whether he was a Hindu, he replied:. On Islam he said:. The concept of Islamic jihad can also be taken to mean a nonviolent struggle or satyagraha, in the way Gandhi practiced it. He also said the following about Hinduism:.
Gandhi was critical of the hypocrisy in organised religion, rather than the principles on which they were based. He then went on to say:. He wrote in his autobiography:. Although Gandhi was born a Hindu he was critical of most religions, including Hinduism.
On the subject of Christianity he noted that:. Gandhi questioned religious practices and doctrines regardless of traditions or beliefs. Consequently, the spinning wheel was later incorporated into the flag of the Indian National Congress. It was Gandhi's view that if Indians made their own clothes, it would deal an economic blow to the British establishment in India.
While Indian workers were often idle due to unemployment, they had often bought their clothing from industrial manufacturers owned by British interests. Gandhi and his followers adopted the practice of weaving their own clothes from thread they themselves spun, and encouraged others to do so. He advocated the use of homespun cloth (khadi). He dressed to be accepted by the poorest person in India.
Returning to India from South Africa, where he had enjoyed a successful legal practice, he gave up wearing Western-style clothing, which he associated with wealth and success. For three and a half years, from the age of 37, Gandhi refused to read newspapers, claiming that the tumultuous state of world affairs caused him more confusion than his own inner unrest. On such days he communicated with others by writing on paper. This influence was drawn from the Hindu principles of mouna (silence) and shanti (peace).
He believed that abstaining from speaking brought him inner peace. Gandhi spent one day of each week in silence. Part of this may also have been influenced by the fact that his father passed away while he was making love to his wife. He felt it his personal obligation to remain celibate so that he could learn to love, rather than lust.
In his autobiography he tells of his battle against lustful urges and fits of jealousy with his childhood bride, Kasturba. Gandhi did not however believe that this was something that everyone should take up. This decision was deeply influenced by the Hindu idea of [brahmacharya]]—spiritual and practical purity—largely associated with celibacy. Gandhi gave up sexual intercourse at the age of 36, becoming totally celibate while still married.
He refused to eat until his death or his demands were met. He abstained from eating for long periods, using fasting as a political weapon. However he was flexible for his time and had little reservations on eating table eggs as seen in his 1948 article Key to Health . He experimented with various diets and concluded that a vegetarian diet should be enough to satisfy the minimum requirements of the body.
The idea of vegetarianism is deeply ingrained in Hindu and Jain traditions in India, and, in his native land of Gujarat, most Hindus were vegetarian. He wrote books on the subject while in London, having met vegetarian campaigner Henry Salt at gatherings of the Vegetarian Society. Although he experimented with eating meat in India when he was very young, he later became a strict vegetarian. It lives within us, that little voice that tells us what to do, but also guides the universe.
It shares all the characteristics of the Hindu concept of God, or Brahman. Satya (Truth) in Gandhi's philosophy IS God. Gandhi summarized his beliefs first when he said "God is Truth," but as typical of Gandhi, he evolved, later to correct himself and state that "Truth is God." The first statement seemed insufficient to Gandhi, as the mistake could be made that Gandhi was using Truth as a description of God, as opposed to God as an aspect of satya. But rather, "to exist" meant to exist within the realm of truth, or to use the term Gandhi did, satya.
For Gandhi, "to be" did not mean to exist within the realm of time, as it has in the past with the Greek philosophers. One of the greatest contributions of Mahatma Gandhi was in the realm of ontology and its association with truth. He noted the solution to problems could normally be found just by looking in the mirror. He thought it was all too easy to blame people, governing powers or enemies for his personal actions and wellbeing.
He said that the most important battle to fight was in overcoming his own demons, fears and insecurities. As Gandhi said:. All it took was time to achieve traction and gain momentum. However he also discovered that once the truth was on the march nothing could stop it.
He found that uncovering the truth was not always popular as many people were resistant to change, preferring instead to maintain the existing status quo because of either inertia, self-interest or misguided beliefs. He tried to achieve this by learning from his own mistakes and conducting experiments on himself. The embracing of nonviolence was part of Gandhi's wider mission to seek truth (The Story of My Experiments with Truth). In 1940, when invasion of the British Isles by the armed forces of Nazi Germany looked imminent, Gandhi offered the following advice to the British people:.
In applying these principles, Gandhi did not balk from taking them to their most logical extremes. He was quoted with saying:. Gandhi explains his philosophy and way of life in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth. The concept of nonviolence (ahimsa) and nonresistance has a long history in Indian religious thought and has had many revivals in Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Christian contexts.
Gandhi's principles and his ideas of satya and ahimsa were influenced by the Bhagavad Gita, Hinduism, Jainism and Christian anarchism. See also: Gandhism. With India and Pakistan no where near trust, friendship and a permanent solution, Gandhi is hardly the man to be criticized for the consequences of partition. The consequences of war between India and Pakistan today are horrendous and far worse than in 1947: over 1.2 billion people inhabit the Indian subcontinent, and nuclear weapons are capable of killing 10 million people in a matter of months.
Even though many great Congress leaders and freedom fighters and Mohammed Ali Jinnah and his supporters felt that only good could come out of it, that the dam had been sealed from explosion, Gandhi felt a hole, invisible as it was, had indeed been carved out. He regarded the partition as his personal failure. In his last months, Gandhi was a broken man inside. In a country of 350 million, the horrors would pale the Holocaust into insignificance.
All the work of 30 years would be undone in moments, and Gandhi was old and weak, unable to retaliate with civil disobedience or popular protests. Jinnah threatened to go to violence if his demands were not met, and one hole in the dam would be sufficient to unleash a torrent of bloodshed, and an orgy of violence which Gandhi himself so deeply opposed. Already Jinnah's Direct Action Day in 1946 had killed over 5,000 people. Gandhi consented to partition only when his closest associates had pointed out the brutual truth, the consequences of not doing so: outright Hindu-Muslim civil war.
It is the very partition debate that is today being carried out, now with nuclear weapons on the debate teams. Pakistan today contends for Kashmir only because of its Muslim-majority, which it claims only it can protect and represent, and India refutes that contention with its own military force because it believes Hindus and Muslims are one nation, and can live in freedom together. The conflicts to come would be territorial, but they principally would arise from the Hindu-Muslim problem. It would tie-down generations of Indians in a bitter, poisonous, continous war of attrition.
He foresaw, what many others did not, that the matter would not end there. Already above 75 years in age, thin, frail and with delicate health, exhausted after 30 years of struggles, all of Gandhi's soul, intelligence and health were expended in his desperation to avoid the partition of India. In these years of the division process (1946-1947), Gandhi was a desperate man. Gandhi had fought and led millions of Indians with a vision of individual freedom, and genuine cultural and religious respect and harmony, not merely "tolerance." He wanted the people to develop the spirit of love and brotherhood, and not just create a legal system imposing these virtues to an unresponsive population.
He did not want big Government, but a government limited to protecting people, giving justice and spreading opportunities. Gandhi wanted the people to help themselves: for the rich to help the poor, respect each other as brother and sister. Gandhi wanted untouchability, casteism in Hindu society to be absolutely eliminated, and all Hindus to be equal and united, proud of their faith and heritage. Gandhi wanted women to be equal to men, live with dignity, security and enjoy opportunities of personal progress.
He wanted each to be free to express themselves, worship and enjoy their heritage and culture, especially with each other. He wanted Muslims and Hindus to live in absolute freedom with respect and friendship. What Gandhi had really wanted was a united India, absolutely free in every possible sense of the word. During the riots, Gandhi was again criticized for protecting Muslims in India even as Hindus in Pakistan were hurtled out in refugee caravans or simply murdered by extremists and the unsympathetic new government and Pakistani army.
Savarkar's modern-day supporters point to damning evidence that Gandhi had at one point offered to hand over the entire Government of a free India to be run exclusively by Jinnah and his party, if he would drop his Pakistan demand. Gandhi was blamed directly by men like Vinayak Damodar Savarkar for mollycoddling Jinnah and his Muslims, and thus increasing his political importance, treating him and his League as equals of the Congress. The anger of Hindu extremists and the antagonism of Pakistan advocates and extremist Muslims have left blurred the vision of India cherished by the Mahatma and his followers. It has also been claimed that when Gandhi fell to the ground dying, he clasped his hands together in the form of the namaste.
Some sources state that Gandhi's last words were "He Ram, He Ram" or "Rama, Rama". While some are sceptical of this, evidence from a number of witnesses supports the claim that he made this utterance (see External links). The words are inscribed upon his tomb in New Delhi. This is seen as an inspiring signal of his spirituality as well as his idealism regarding the possibility of a unifying peace.
It is indicative of Gandhi's long struggle and search for God that his dying words were said to have been an homage to the Hindu conception of God, Rama: "He Ram!" (Oh God!). A prominent revolutionary and Hindu extremist, the president of the Mahasabha, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was accused of being the architect of the plot, but was acquitted due to lack of evidence. Godse was later tried, convicted, and executed. He was assassinated in Birla House, New Delhi, on January 30, 1948 by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu radical with alleged links to right-wing Hindu organisations, like the Hindu Mahasabha, who held him responsible for weakening the new government by insisting upon a payment to Pakistan.
On the day of the transfer of power, Gandhi did not celebrate independence with the rest of India, but was alone in Kolkata, mourning the partition. It was originally called West and East Pakistan, which now correspond to Pakistan and Bangladesh, respectively. This new Muslim homeland was created from areas on the east and west of India. Although the Muslim League was a minority group, they achieved the break up of India, carving out a third of Indian land into a separate Muslim homeland.
However, many Muslims lived side by side with Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, Christians, and Jews, and were in favor with a united India. The Muslim League argued that the Muslim minority would be systematically oppressed by the Hindu majority in a united India, and that a separate Muslims homeland was the only just solution. He was vehemently opposed to any plan that partitioned India into two separate countries. It is said that he ended riots through his mere presence.
Gandhi had great influence among the Hindu and Muslim communities of India. It was here that Gandhi suffered to the worst blows of his life: his wife Kasturba passed on, just a few months after Mahadev Desai, his 42-year old, son-like secretary died of a heart attack. Following this, he was arrested in Mumbai by British forces on August 9, 1942, and held for two years the Aga Khan Palace in Pune. He even hinted at an end for his otherwise unwavering support for non-violence, saying that the "ordered anarchy" around him was "worse than real anarchy".
Gandhi and his supporters made it clear they would not support the war effort unless India were granted immediate independence. This sparked the largest movement for Indian independence to date, with mass arrests and violence on an unprecedented scale. Thus apart from his age and health, it was probably likely to be his final initiative. Many political parties actually opposed Gandhi's call.
Some felt that opposing Britain in its life-death struggle was immoral, and others were angered that Gandhi wasn't doing enough. Gandhi was criticized by some Congressmen and other Indian political groups, pro-British and anti-British. This was Gandhi's and the Congress Party's most definitive, all-out revolt aimed at securing the British exit from Indian shores. As the war progressed, Gandhi increased his demands for independence, drafting a resolution calling for the British to Quit India.
They began fomenting tension between Hindus and Muslims. The British government's response was entirely negative. He said he would support the British if they could show him how the war's aims would be implemented in India after the war. After lengthy deliberations with colleagues in the Congress, he declared that India could not be party to a war ostensibly being fought for democratic freedom while that freedom was denied in India herself.
Gandhi was fully sympathetic with the victims of fascist aggression. World War II broke out in 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. Main Article: Quit India Movement. He staged another fast at the end of the decade in Bombay on March 3, 1939.
He lived a simple life during these years at a village in central India called Sevagram. He continued his fight against untouchability, promoted handspinning and other cottage industries, and attempted to create a new system of education suited to the rural areas. Gandhi also did not want to prove a target for Raj propaganda by leading a party that had temporarily accepted political accomodation with the Raj. He did not at all disagree with the party's move, but felt that if he resigned, his iconic status to common Indians would cease to stifle the party's membership, that actually varied from communists, socialists, trade unionists, students, religious conservatives, pro-business and property rights.
When the Congress Party chose to contest elections and accept power under the Federation scheme, Gandhi decided to resign from party membership. In the summer of 1934, three unsuccessful attempts were made on his life. On May 8, 1933 Gandhi began a 21-day fast to protest British oppression in India. This began a new campaign by Gandhi to improve the lives of the untouchables, whom he named Harijans, the children of God.
In protest, Gandhi embarked on a six-day fast in September 1932, successfully forcing the government to adopt a more equitable arrangement via negotiations mediated by the Dalit cricketer turned political leader Palwankar Baloo. Ambedkar, the government granted untouchables separate electorates under the new constitution. R. In 1932, through the campaigning of the Dalit leader B.
This tactic was not successful. Gandhi was again arrested, and the government attempted to destroy his influence by completely isolating him from his followers. Furthermore, Lord Irwin's successor, Lord Willingdon, embarked on a new campaign of repression against the nationalists. The conference was a disappointment to Gandhi and the nationalists as it focused on the Indian princes and Indian minorities rather than the transfer of power.
Furthermore, Gandhi was invited to attend the Round Table Conference in London as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress. In it, the British Government agreed to set all political prisoners free in return for the suspension of the civil disobedience movement. The Gandhi-Irwin pact was signed in March 1931. The government, represented by Lord Irwin, decided to negotiate with Gandhi.
This campaign was one of his most successful, resulting in the imprisonment of over 60,000 people. Thousands of Indians joined him on this march to the sea. Making good on his word in March 1930, he launched a new satyagraha against the tax on salt, highlighted by the famous Salt March to Dandi from March 21 to April 6, 1930, marching 400 kilometres (248 miles) from Ahmedabad to Dandi to make his own salt. This day was commemorated by almost every other Indian political organization which strived for the country's independence or the socio-political empowerment of different peoples.
January 26, 1930 was celebrated by the Indian National Congress, meeting in Lahore as India's Independence Day. Gandhi pushed through a resolution at the Calcutta Congress in December 1928 calling on the British government to grant India dominion status within a year or face a new campaign of non-violence with complete independence for the country as its goal. The result was a boycott of the commission by Indian political parties. The year before, the British government appointed a new constitutional reform commission under Sir John Simon numbering not a single Indian in its ranks.
He returned to the fore in 1928. Gandhi stayed out of the limelight for most of the 1920s, preferring to resolve the wedge between the Swaraj Party and the Indian National Congress, and expanding initiatives against untouchability, alcoholism, ignorance and poverty. Gandhi attempted to bridge these differences through many means, including a three-week fast in the autumn of 1924, but with limited success. Furthermore, cooperation among Hindus and Muslims, which had been strong at the height of the nonviolence campaign, was breaking down.
Without Gandhi's forceful personality to keep his colleagues in check, the Indian National Congress began to splinter during his years in prison, splitting into two factions, one led by Chitta Ranjan Das and Motilal Nehru favoring party participation in the legislatures, and the other led by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, opposing this move. Beginning on March 18, 1922, he only served about two years of the sentence, being released in February 1924 after an operation for appendicitis. This was not the first time he had been jailed, but it was to be his longest term of imprisonment. Now vulnerable, Gandhi was arrested on March 10, 1922, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years.
Fearing that the movement was about to take a turn towards violence, and convinced that this would be the undoing of all his work, Gandhi called off the campaign of mass civil disobedience. This new program enjoyed wide-spread appeal and success, empowering the Indian people as never before, yet just as the movement reached its apex, it ended abruptly as a result of a violent clash in the town of Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh, in February 1922. In addition to boycotting British products, Gandhi urged the people to boycott British educational institutions and law courts, to resign from government employment, to refuse to pay taxes, and to forsake British titles and honours. This was a strategy to include women in the movement at a time when many thought that such activities were not 'respectable' for women.
Gandhi exhorted Indian men and women, rich or poor, to spend time each day spinning khadi in support of the independence movement. Linked to this was his advocacy that khadi (homespun cloth) be worn by all Indians instead of British-made textiles. Gandhi expanded his non-violence platform to include the swadeshi policy – the boycott of foreign-made goods, especially British goods. A hierarchy of committees was set up to improve discipline and control over a hitherto amorphous and diffuse movement, transforming the party from an elite organization to one of mass national appeal.
Membership in the party was opened to anyone prepared to pay a token fee. Under Gandhi's leadership, the Congress was reorganized and given a new constitution, with the goal of swaraj (independence). He was invested with executive authority on behalf of the Indian National Congress in December 1921. In April 1920, Gandhi was elected president of the All-India Home Rule League.
The violence led Gandhi to end the struggle, but he had succeeded in placing himself at the center of the Indian national movement. Gandhi called for a satyagraha that soon led to violent outbreaks across the country, most notably the Amritsar Massacre of 379 Indians by the British army, and martial law. This changed in February 1919, when the Rowlatt Act, empowering the government to imprison those accused of sedition without trial, was passed. He did speak out against specific incidents of British oppression and supported the peasantry of Bihar and Gujarat, but he did not entirely break with the British, remaining on the periphery of the Indian nationalist movement.
As he had done in the South African War, Gandhi urged support of the British War effort in World War I and was active in recruiting Indians to serve in the military. See also: Indian Independence Movement. Upon the outbreak of World War I, Gandhi decided to return to India, bringing all that he had learned from his experiences in South Africa with him. Gandhi's years in South Africa as a socio-political activist were when the concepts and techniques of civil disobedience and non-violent resistance were developed.
Gandhi was also inspired by the American writer Henry David Thoreau's famous essay Civil Disobedience. The letter by Tolstoy applies Hindu philosophy from the Vedas and the sayings of Krishna to the growing Indian nationalism. The two corresponded until Tolstoy's death in 1910. Gandhi translated Tolstoy's A Letter to a Hindu (available at wikisource), written in 1908 in response to aggressive Indian nationalists.
During his years in South Africa, Gandhi drew inspiration from the Bhagavad Gita and the writings of Leo Tolstoy (especially The Kingdom of God is Within You ), who in the 1880s had undergone a profound conversion to a personal form of Christian anarchism. While the government was successful in repressing the Indian protesters, the public outcry stemming from the harsh methods employed by the South African government in the face of peaceful Indian protesters finally forced South African General Jan Christian Smuts to negotiate a compromise with Gandhi. This plan was adopted, leading to a seven-year struggle in which thousands of Indians were jailed (including Gandhi himself on many occasions), flogged, or even shot, for striking, refusing to register, or engaging in other forms of non-violent resistance. At a mass protest meeting held in Johannesburg that September, Gandhi adopted his platform of satyagraha (devotion to the truth), or non-violent protest, for the first time, calling on his fellow Indians to defy the new law and suffer the punishments for doing so rather than resist through violent means.
In 1906, the Transvaal government promulgated a new act compelling registration of the colony's Indian population. At the conclusion of the war, however, the situation for the Indians did not improve, but continued to deteriorate. At the onset of the South African War, Gandhi argued that Indians must support the war effort in order to legitimize their claims to full citizenship, organising a volunteer ambulance corps of 300 free Indians and 800 indentured laborers. In an early indication of the personal values that would shape his later campaigns, he refused to press charges on any member of the mob, stating it was one of his principles not to seek redress for a personal wrong in a court of law.
When he returned in January 1897, a white mob attacked and tried to lynch him. Gandhi returned briefly to India in 1896 to bring his wife and children to live with him in South Africa. Through this organization, he formed the Indian community of South Africa into a heterogeneous political force, inundating government and press alike with statements of Indian grievances and evidence of British discrimination in South Africa. He founded the Natal Indian Congress in 1894 with himself as secretary.
Supporters convinced him to remain in Durban to continue fighting against the injustices levied against Indians in South Africa. Though unable to halt the bill's passage, his campaign was successful in drawing attention to the grievances of Indians in South Africa. He circulated several petitions to both the Natal Legislature and the British government in opposition to the bill. When he brought this up with his hosts, they lamented that they did not have the expertise necessary to oppose the bill and implored Gandhi to stay and help them.
However, at a farewell party in his honor in Durban, he happened to glance at a newspaper and learned that a bill was being considered by the Natal Legislative Assembly to deny the vote to Indians. When Gandhi's contract was up, he prepared to return to India. Addressing a public meeting in Bombay on September 26, 1896 (Collected Works Volume II, page 74), Gandhi said:. In fact Gandhi has been accused of racism himself through some of his remarks made in his early life against the native Africans.
It was in South Africa through witnessing racism, prejudice and injustice first-hand that he started to question his countrymens status and his own place in society. This experience led him to more closely examine the hardships his people suffered in South Africa during his time in Pretoria. He suffered other hardships on the journey as well, including being barred from many hotels on account of his race. Later, travelling further on by stagecoach, he was beaten by a driver for refusing to travel on the footboard to make room for a European passenger.
He was literally thrown off a train at Pietermaritzburg after refusing to move from first class to a third class compartment, normally used by coloured peoples, while travelling on a valid first class ticket. A turning point in his life, often acknowledged in biographies, that would serve as the catalyst for his activism occured several days later when he began a journey to Pretoria. One day in court in the city of Durban, the magistrate asked him to remove his turban, which he refused to do, and Gandhi stormed out of the courtroom. South Africa changed him dramatically as he faced the humiliation and oppression that was commonly directed at Indians in that country.
He had read his first newspaper at age 18 and was prone to horrible stage fright when speaking in court. At this point in his life, Gandhi was a mild-mannered, diffident, politically indifferent individual. It was in this climate that (in 1893) he accepted a year-long contract from an Indian firm to a post in Natal, South Africa. In his autobiography, he describes this incident as a kind of unsuccessful lobbying attempt on behalf of his older brother.
He ended up returning to Rajkot to make a modest living drafting petitions for litigants but was forced to close down that business as well when he ran afoul of a British officer. He applied for a part-time job as a teacher at a Bombay high school but was turned down. By this time, the legal profession was overcrowded in India, and Gandhi was not a dynamic figure in a courtroom. Trying to establish a law practice in Bombay, he had limited success.
He returned to India after being admitted to the British bar. Although he had not shown a particular interest in religion before, he began to read works of and about Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism and other religions. They encouraged Gandhi to read the Bhagavad Gita. The Theosophists were devoted to the study of Buddhist and Hindu Brahmanistic literature.
Blavatsky to further universal brotherhood. Some of the vegetarians he met were members of the Theosophical Society, which had been founded in 1875 by H.P. He later credited this with giving him valuable experience in organising and running institutions. He joined the Vegetarian Society, was elected to its Executive Committee, and founded a local chapter.
Rather than simply go along with his mother's wishes, he read about, and intellectually converted to vegetarianism. She pointed him towards one of London's few vegetarian restaurants. Although Gandhi experimented with becoming "English", taking dancing lessons for example, he could not stomach his landlady's mutton and cabbage. His time in London, the Imperial capital, was influenced by a vow he had made to his mother upon leaving India to observe the Hindu precepts of abstinence from meat and alcohol.
At the age of 19, Gandhi went to University College London to train as a barrister. Unhappy at Samaldas College, he leapt at the opportunity to study in England, which he viewed as "a land of philosophers and poets, the very centre of civilization.". He did not stay there long, however, as his family felt he must become a barrister if he were to continue the family tradition of holding high office in Gujarat. Gandhi was a mediocre student in his youth at Porbandar and later Rajkot, barely passing the matriculation exam for the University of Bombay in 1887, and joining Samaldas College, Bhavnagar.
They had four sons: Harilal Gandhi, born in 1888; Manilal Gandhi, born in 1892; Ramdas Gandhi, born in 1897; and Devdas Gandhi, born in 1900. At the age of 13 Gandhi was married through arrangement to Kasturba Makharji, who was the same age as he. He was born into the vaishya, or business, caste. Growing up with a devout Vaishnava mother and surrounded by the Jain influences of Gujarat, Gandhi learned from an early age the tenets of non-injury to living beings, vegetarianism, fasting for self-purification, and mutual tolerance between members of various creeds and sects.
He was the son of Karamchand Gandhi, the dewan (Chief Minister) of Porbandar, and Putlibai, Karamchand's fourth wife, a Hindu of the Vaishnava sect. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born into a Hindu family in Porbandar, Gujarat, India in 1869. . Truth and nonviolence are as old as the hills.".
As Gandhi said: "I have nothing new to teach the world. Gandhi often stated that his principles were simple; drawn from traditional Hindu beliefs: truth (satya) and nonviolence (ahimsa). However not all these leaders kept to Gandhi's strict principle of nonviolence and nonresistance. Gandhi's principle of satyagraha (from Sanskrit; satya for truth and agraha for endeavor), often translated as "way of truth" or "pursuit of truth", has inspired other freedom activists such as the Dalai Lama, Lech Walesa, Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela.
By means of nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi helped bring about India's independence from British rule, inspiring other colonial peoples to work for their own independence and ultimately dismantling the British Empire. Apart from being considered one of the greatest Hindu and Indian leaders of all time, he is revered by many in India as the "Father of the Nation" or Bapu (Hindi for Father). Although he was much averse to honory addresses, Gandhi is still today commonly referred to as Mahatma Gandhi, and not Mohandas Gandhi, all over the world. From the start of the Champaran struggle in 1918, he was lovingly reverred as "Mahatma", or "Great Soul" by millions of people.
Mohandas Gandhi was, and still is, a deeply popular icon and inspiration to many Indians since he took charge of the freedom struggle and the Indian National Congress in 1918. His philosophy of nonviolence, for which he coined the term satyagraha, has influenced national and international nonviolent resistance movements to this day, including the American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) led by Martin Luther King Jr.. Throughout the struggle he opposed any form of terrorism or violence, instead using only the highest moral standards. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948) (Devanagari: मोहनदास करमचन्द गांधी, Gujarati મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી) was a national icon who led the struggle for India's independence from British colonial rule, empowered by tens of millions of common Indians.