Gandhi: the Great Soul

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Gandhi had a valuable impact on India as he got independence beginning with time in South Africa as a lawyer. The Salt March was the first Nonviolence Movement (Satyagraha) in India that he started in South Africa. The Nonviolence Movement in South Africa had a great impact on the Indians who are living in South Africa and the Quit India Movement to fight for independence in India. He was later troubled over the Two Nation Theory because Gandhi wanted India and Pakistan together and was upset when the separation occurred in 1947 after independence. Beginning with time in South Africa as a lawyer Gandhi was not a popular lawyer and throughout his journey in South Africa, he was successful and also witnessed some situations which made him think about them and find a solution. Gandhi’s first case in South Africa as a lawyer was when an Indian firm doing business in South Africa asked him to travel to Durban in order to settle a dispute and represent it in a civil suit against another Indian firm (Sofri 56-57).

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While he was going from Durban to Pretoria on the court case that he was handling and working on, he been thrown out of the train. Even though he had a first class ticket the train conductor asked him to move to third class because of his skin color and race. This was a firm event that Gandhi would remember. And his non-violence movement started from then (Sofri 56-57). There were close to 100,00 Indians in South Africa and almost every Indian is treated very badly like, they were ordered to work as slaves, and other low paid and hard working jobs. Gandhi saw how oppresses his countrymen were by the whites (Sofri 56-57).

When Gandhi became Mahatma he created a lot of thoughts and ideas that would help many people. In South Africa, he lived there for over 20 years and elaborated many of the ideas that would lead him to become Mahatma. One major accomplishment that Gandhi did in South Africa is that he created a Nonviolence Movement which is a protest without violence against some laws that hold the Indians back. One example of where the laws holding Indians back is the Balck Act It helped many Indians who were living in South Africa (Sofri 56-57). Many of Gandhi’s followers in South Africa followed him to an ashram which is a place of self-sufficient community where they practiced the ideals of satyagraha and hoped to inspire the outside world to embrace nonviolence. Later, Gandhi was very popular in South Africa due to his Nonviolence Movement (Stockdale).

 The black act was also one of the reasons Gandhi started satyagraha. The black act required Indians in South Africa to be fingerprinted and to carry registration documents with them all times (Vander 41-42). It also declared Indian marriages invalid (Vander 41-42). Gandhi created satyagraha to get the laws out of the Indians way so that they can live freely. After some time it paid off as Indians got freedom in South Africa and were able to do many things like voting and other things that all people do (Vander 41-42). Salt March was the beginning of Gandhi’s Nonviolence Movement in India. Salt March was Gandhi’s most famous non-violence act which began on March 12, 1930. He led his 240-mile anti-salt tax march south from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi beach (Wolpert “Gandhi, Mahatma M. K”).

Many people followed him including his followers, Sarojini Naidu and many other great personalities who want to make India better and get independence (Wolpert “Gandhi, Mahatma M. K”). British imposed hard taxes on basic necessities. During Britishers rule in India, they imposed harsh taxes on basic necessities like salt and other products ( Vander 7-9). Salt is a basic necessity of life and if there are harsh taxes on basic goods like salt, poor people cannot afford to buy it and will have to starve to death ( Vander 7-9). Gandhi criticized the government for taking ( imposing harsh taxes) an important product that nature provided in abundance ( Vander 7-9). On April 6, 1930, Gandhi was in a small village called Dandi and took a mixture of salt and mud and lifted above his head. Many other followers shouted and cheered, hoping for a better future by this movement ( Vander 7-9). Gandhi and other people did this march so as to take an action on tax resistance. Gandhi and his followers conducted this protest in a nonviolent way against the British salt monopoly (Vander 7-9). Many people who participated in this movement have been arrested and put in jail. Gandhi welcomed people who have been arrested and spun cotton while in jail (Wolpert “ Gandhi, Mahatma M.K”).

This movement was great as it gained worldwide attention and gave Indians energy about participating in any activity that would get their Independence (Wolpert “ Gandhi, Mahatma M.K”). The Nonviolence Movement made Indian people get Courage and hope during the British rule. Nonviolence is Gandhi’s preferred way of doing something or anything. Gandhi insisted that truth and love are very important and he said that they will move the world that means anyone can do anything with those characteristics (Wolpert “Gandhi, Mahatma M. K”). Gandhi prayed Rama. He used most ancient yogic weapons instead of physical weapons to control before launching any revolutionary movement. In this case, he did a lot of fasting before he started some movements which went very viral across India (Wolpert “Gandhi, Mahatma M. K”). He did not hate enemies and taught his followers to love instead of harming someone who has a grudge on (Wolpert “Gandhi, Mahatma M. K”). Gandhi’s concept of nonviolence was a moral belief. His concept of non-violence rebuked not only killing but hurting, harming or inflicting suffering on any living being (Sofri 167-169).

Gandhi intended to modify the world, but not to accept it (Sofri 167-169). Gandhi intended to oppose evil actively in order to defeat it. He intended to combat injustice. He did not deny conflict, but only the use of violence to resolve it (Sofri 167-169). Gandhi believed that violence never leads to a lasting or stable solution to the conflict. Gandhi led his struggles with incredible loyalty. He never adopted a strategy of surprise (Sofri 167-169). Gandhi said “Satyagraha is not predominantly civil disobedience, but a quiet and irresistible pursuit of truth” ( qtd. In “Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)”. Gandhi developed the concept of satyagraha (“Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)”. He started satyagraha (nonviolent resistance) in South Africa. Gandhi urged all Indians in South Africa to defy a law requiring registration and fingerprinting of all Indians (“Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)”. This quote is saying that satyagraha is a nonviolent act which holds onto its truth and proceed without any harm to others (“Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)”.

Albert Einstein said,”Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth. He also said ”will scarcely believe” (qtd. in Gandhi). Einstein had in mind Gandhi’s distinctive capacity for nonviolent resistance (Gandhi). Quit India movement was a movement started by Gandhi. Its motto is to send British out of India and get Freedom in India. Gandhi didn’t accept British demands of supporting Britain its allies in WWII (Wolpert “Gandhi, Mahatma M.K”). He insisted that all mass violence is evil and was against just war concept (Wolpert “Gandhi, Mahatma M.K”). He started his Satyagraha movement after the WWII started by sending his disciple Vinoba Bhave to break British martial law (Wolpert “Gandhi, Mahatma M.K”). Gandhi demands the British to leave India(Vander 76-77). On August 8, 1942, Gandhi demanded that the British leave India (Vander 76-77). He told people to carry out nonviolence civil disobedience in what came to be called the Quit India movement (Vander 76-77). When they are participating in the Quit India Movement campaigns and other programs many people like Gandhi, Naidu, Kasturbai were arrested (Vander 76-77). In retaliation, large-scale violence broke out all over India. People burned government officials, exploded bombs, cut off electricity (Vander 76-77). They vandalized railroad stations, telegraph offices, and anything else related to British rule (Vander 76-77).

 British officials were attacked and some were killed. Gandhi, from his jail, began writing letters to British office, demanding rights for the Indian people (Vander 76-77). Gandhi went to Bombay to lead the Congress working committee in one final mass Satyagraha to end the British Raj who have been waiting to arrest Gandhi (Wolpert “Gandhi, Mahatma M. K”). He resolved to demand that every British soldier and civilian must immediately leave by using the quote “Quit India” (Wolpert “Gandhi, Mahatma M. K”). Two Nation Theory states that Pakistan should be a separate country to that of India. Just months before India’s independence, carnage in scale broke out against Hindus in Muslim-dominated Eastern Bengal and against Muslims in Hindu-majority Bihar (Gandhi). Gandhi never accepted the ”Two Nations” theory, which stated that a sanctuary for the subcontinent’s Muslims in a future Pakistan and a natural home for its Hindus in India (Gandhi). Gandhi always wanted India and Pakistan to be like brothers but the British came and destroyed Gandhi dream by separating India and Pakistan (Gandhi). 

On Aug. 15, 1947, as India won its freedom Gandhi didn’t celebrate the independence instead he was in Calcutta, where sectarian riots between India and Pakistan had disfigured life, even as bloody carnage had left hundreds of Hindus dead in Eastern Bengal and Muslims, likewise, in Bihar (Gandhi). On Jan 30, 1948, a Hindu Brahmin who believed Gandhi had betrayed Hindus and supported Muslim killed Gandhi with three bullets fired at point blank. Everybody hopes, that Gandhi was there to support them in all aspects, has vanished and were very sad (Gandhi). Gandhi didn’t show hatred or write a harsh word. But with his toughest resistance which is called satyagraha, he managed to tackle the situation. Many great leaders like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela found this capacity in Gandhi compelling, exemplary and even sublime (Gandhi). Gandhi said, “I am not going to leave Bengal until the last embers of trouble are stamped out”(qtd. in”Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi”).

When Gandhi came from the prison due to the Quit India movement he sought to avert the creation of a separate Muslim state of Pakistan that Muhammad Ali Jinnah was demanding (“Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi”). Gandhi suggested that Jinnah is offered the post of prime minister or defense minister. Jinnah refused and instead declared a direct action day on August 16 (“Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi”). On August 16, many innocent people died and several were wounded in Calcutta (“Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi”). Then he went to Bengal and said this quote. He warned that he would fast to death. Then he went to Noakhali, a Muslim city in Bengal and said: “Do or Die”.He said either Hindus and Muslims would learn to live together, or he would die in the attempt. After this, the situation calmed down for some time but rioting started in elsewhere (“Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi”). Gandhi’s thoughts after independence were downcast as he didn’t achieve what he wanted. Gandhi’s dream of India’s independence came true on August 15, 1947 (Vander 79-80). But he had never wanted religion to divide the people which in this case are the Hindus and Muslims (Vander 79-80). Pakistan and India are divided into two countries on June 3, 1947, and was announced by viceroy Lord Louis Mountbatten (Vander 79-80). Subhash Chandra Bose was attracted to the ideals of socialism and communism while he had lived in western Europe for several years in early 1930 (Wolpert “Bose, Subhash Chandra”). He later preferred fascism and Nazism which he thought he could humanize with an admixture of Indian philosophy, then introduce to India as a potent form of national Indian socialism.

Gandhi is simple and preached non-violence while Bose was attracted to all evil governments systems and influenced many people (Wolpert “Bose, Subhash Chandra”). Bose didn’t join Gandhi’s revolutionary opposition to British rule and he found Gandhi as too nebulous about the goals of his movement, and too worried about avoiding all violence in the national protest. So Bose thought Violence is the only way to end British rule and started to go against Gandhi in many ways (Wolpert). By looking at the thesis statements and looking at what Gandhi did, one would say that Gandhi did way better than Subhash Chandra Bose as Gandhi preached non-violence while Subhash Chandra Bose thought violence is the only way to end British rule. Technically thinking Nonviolence is better as no one would get hurt and things can go smoothly without any harm to anybody. And Bose was also towards Nazism and communism which are some violent type of governments. So Gandhi is way better than Bose as he preached non-violence and did all things smoothly and clearly without any type of harm or mess to anybody.

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Gandhi: The Great Soul. (2019, Aug 06). Retrieved December 4, 2022 , from
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