Mahatma Gandhi was an outstanding leader and supporter of Indian nationalism in his homeland that has been living under the direct British rule for almost ninety years. Practicing non-violent disobedience among civilians, the national leader inspired freedom and civil rights movements worldwide and eventually led his country to independence in 1947. Mahatma Gandhi was the main architect of a particular form of civil disobedience that, in the course of time, greatly influenced the world. While studying law, one of the strongest personalities of the twentieth century advocated for the fundamental and inalienable rights of Indians, both in South Africa and India. Gandhi became a pivotal figure of the movement for India’s freedom, who organized frequent boycotts against British establishments employing the peaceful form of disobedience. Mohandas Gandhi is deservedly regarded as the father of the Indian Movement for Independence, who spent almost twenty years in South Africa struggling bias and discrimination.
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In 1890, a nationalist leader studied Indian law in London, where he met vegetarians, theosophists, and other personalities; they felt disenchantment with industrialism as well as the heritage of the cultural movement, Enlightenment, its philosophy and thought. These people represented themselves as the unconventional element of British society, which powerfully attracted Gandhi. Moreover, the texts of the main religious traditions affected an activist as well. For the next years, Mahatma Gandhi tried to practice law at home, in India; unfortunately, he realized that he lacked self-confidence at trial and knowledge of Indian law. However, Gandhi was offered a yearlong position while being in South Africa, and finally, he got an opportunity to take the case. It took Gandhi twenty years to oppose and fight discriminatory legislation enacted against Indians. Throughout his life, the anti-war activist was struggling for India’s liberation. The majority of the civil rights leaders of the twentieth century, including Martin Luther King, used and practiced the conception of non-violent protests offered by Mahatma Gandhi as a odel for their own peaceful demonstrations and movements (Rosenberg, 2014).
After his return to India in 1914, Gandhi supported and contributed to the Indian Home Rule Movement. He soon became a leader of the India’s National Congress that promoted a policy of non-violent non-cooperation to reach freedom. The primary goal of Gandhi was to protest against oppressive discrimination, taxation, and help poor laborers and farmers to find a solution to their issues. The spiritual leader of that time struggled to liberate women, eliminate poverty, and cease the caste discrimination. The ultimate objective was to achieve self-government for India. Being involved in civil disobedience campaign that lasted three years from 1919 to 1922, the authorities imprisoned Gandhi for conspiracy (“Mahatma Gandhi”, 2014).
Fighting for his goal, an Indian national leader did not use guns or threats to express his position and point of view. Gandhi and his proponents did not beat the state officials or burn the buildings. Instead, they used disobedience and non-violent refusal to follow and obey the laws that they perceived as prejudiced and unjust. The strong political leader believed that a society could peacefully achieve the desired social and political changes using only the force of love and truth. In addition, Gandhi began organizing the urban laborers, farmers, and peasants to oppose significant land tax. The aims of his nationwide campaigns were ending untouchability, achieving self-rule, expanding rights of women, easing poverty, building ethic and religious friendship. Upon many occasions and for many years, Gandhi has been in prison in India and South Africa. However, he strove to practice truth and non-violence in all situations and advocated
Being in South Africa, an Indian leader set the goal to improve living conditions of the Indian minorities. Gandhi particularly directed his work against racist legislation with a strong religious and Indian commitment also thinking about self-sacrifice. His non-violent method in the struggle for the fundamental human rights was successful. Gandhhi’s method of the truth force was idealistic and supposed no rejection of the basic laws and rules. Indians should remove those principles and laws, which they considered suppressive and unreasonable (Tønnesson, 1999).
The religious Indian personalities with their different thoughts admired Gandhi for his devotion and piety. Other individuals, including political radicals and anti-militarists, were sympathetic to Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent actions and supported him as a critic of imperialism. Public completely realized the overall admiration for Mahatma Gandhi as a pivotal figure. Undoubtedly, he was an ascetic and noble person. Moreover, India deservedly honors, loves and admires the legendary Gandhi.
When a leader returned to India in 1915, the outcomes and success he achieved in South Africa had rapidly spread to his homeland. In addition, during the First World War, Gandhi became a foremost personality of the India’s National Congress (Fischer, 1951). In the interwar period, he initiated non-violent protests and campaigns against the Britain’s authorities. Simultaneously, he attempted to unite Christians, Muslims, and the Indian Hindus and advocated for the emancipation of the untouchables in the Hindu communities. While most of Indian nationalists preferred to use the non-violent methods against Britain following their tactical reasons, non-violent actions of Gandhi were his matter of principle. The leader’s firmness on that notion made the public respect him despite the fact that not many supported religion or the ideology of Indian nationalism. In addition, the British judges, who sentenced Gandhi to imprisonment, deemed him as an exceptional person (Tønnesson, 1999).
In the period 1920-1947, Mahatma Gandhi started leading boycotts against the British goods and services. He also met with villagers to encourage self-reliance and simple living. His actions and peaceful protests had the main purpose: he aimed at eliminating bias and injustice against Indians and bringing independence to his homeland, India (Marty& Todd, 2004).