Indias long struggle for independence started in 1857 with East India Company. British originally came to do business in India but later on took over India. There was a great battle fought in India in 1857. The kingdoms fought east India Company troops with weapons and many lives were lost. However, shortly after that in 1858, British rule was introduced. A British Governor was sent to India and India was made part of British Empire. India felt they needed democracy. They wanted to stop exploitation of Indian people by Britain. This battle was fought to get self-rule and freedom from Britain. In 1869, a great person was born, who spent all his life fighting injustice. His name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Gandhi was a very shy and peaceful man, but very strong minded. He fought injustice and unjust laws at all costs. He dedicated his life to get freedom for India. Gandhi fought with the strongest weapon of nonviolence and non-cooperation.
Gandhi came from very large family. He was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat, India, the smallest city in India He was the fourth born and the last child in his family. As a child Gandhi, was very mischievous, and he tried stupid things like smoking with his cousin, or when his cousins tried to steel a statue from the temple, Gandhi got caught. Scared little Gandhi told the truth and got in big trouble! His father was married four times. Gandhis father was a Diwan (Personal Advisor and Judge) to the king of Porbandar. His father was a very prominent man. Gandhis aunts, uncles and many brothers and sisters all lived in one big house. His mother, Putlibai, was very religious and taught Gandhi the principles that marked his whole life. His mother always told Gandhi to no matter what, you have to tell the truth. Gandhi didnt have any friends because of what his mother told him. He would always tell on people at school. His family was very religious and did not believe in eating meat, although some Indians did. Gandhi was married to Kasturba at the age of 13. Gandhi was sent to England at the age of 19 to study British law.
In 1893 Gandhi started a law practice in South Africa and stayed there for 21 years. In South Africa, Gandhi set up farm communities. People grew their own food, made their own clothes, and built their own homes. White population in South Africa did not consider Indians equal. When Indians started to prosper, whites in power stripped Indians of their rights to vote, to own land and property. This was a great injustice. Gandhi fought to remove this injustice fiercely and practiced nonviolence and civil disobedience to bring down the South African government. As a result of his fight, South Africa restored some of the rights of Indians.
In 1915, Gandhi came home to India. A big crowd and many political leaders of that time greeted him. Gandhi became an instant political leader in India. He practiced the same nonviolence and disobedience, which he had successfully used in South Africa. In India, Gandhi developed a system of communities called Ashram, to which everyone was welcome, including Untouchables (lower cast). Gandhi encouraged people to use the spinning wheel to make their own cotton. This was one way to be self reliance and avoid paying taxes to Britain.
In 1929 the law was passed that Indians can not produce their own salt and must pay salt tax to England. This law was anarchic and to disobey the law, In 1930, Gandhi organized a Salt March and at the end of the march took a pinch of salt without paying tax. Gandhi was arrested without being charged for leading the Salt March. In 1942, he started the Quit India Movement and he was immediately imprisoned. While Ghandi and his wife Kasturba were imprisoned, she became very ill and died six weeks before they were supposed to be freed. He was also ill, but knew that if he died in prison there would be more violence. In 1947 the British left India and India received its freedom. The one of the condition of Freedom was to devide India in to Pakistan and India according to the majority of the population in certain areas. This was a very big blow to Gandhis ideology to have one free India. Gandhi declared that He is willing to wait for one India and He is not prepared to accept freedom at the cot of deviding one India. The congress, however, went against Gandhis wish and agreed to accept devided India. On the eve of Freedom, August 14, 1947 fierce fighting broke out in the boarder towns among Muslims and Hindus. Gandhi declared that this fighting is unjustified and he will fast till there is fighting. He also declared that He will spend rest of the life in creating one India, by uniting India and Pakistan. Many Hindus and Pakistani Muslims did not like this idea of uniting India because that meant that there will be no Pakistan. Godse was one of them. In January 30, 1948 shortly after independence, Mr. Godse, in New Delhi, fired three shots from his gun at Gandhi and killed him instantly. Gandhis last words were Hare Ram. No one really knows, why Godse killed Gandhi. Maybe it was because Godse didnt like Gandhi, but why would he kill him, where everyone could see? No one really knows.
Gandhi joined this struggle in 1915 and gave it a final mode. As a result India became free with minimum blood shade.
Mohandas Gandhi was a beacon of sanity in an insane world. His was the light of reason. His was the voice of love, tolerance, and peace in the century of ultimate violence. The little man in loincloth left behind a legacy of passive resistance and peaceful protest of unjust laws made by men against men. My grandfather was in that huge battle against Britain and India. In 1942 my grandfather and Gandhi went to jail for protesting, and were charged of treason (Going against there own country). That was not true. They were fighting for there own country.
I like the topic I picked because it was fun to learn about and study. I think Mohandas Gandhi was an amazing and brave man.Childrens Publishind Division, 1995
1. Nicholson, Michal. Mahatma Gandhi: The Man Who Freed India and Led the World to a Non violent Change.
United Kingdom: Exley Publacation Ltd., 1987.
2. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Online. Internet:
3. Fisher, Leonard. Ghandi. New York: Simon & Schuster