Mohandas Gandhi: A Peace Maker

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a distinguished freedom activist and the important political leader who played the most important part in India’s struggle of freedom. He worked all his life for his people and tried to show his people the right way of living. Apart from serving India success in its struggle for freedom against the British rule, he led a very simple and virtuous life, for which he is most remembered.

  Companions of Gandhi shared a large part of their lives, observing and learning from his life. Whether it was Gandhi’s daily routine or a big political step, he always thought it was way to teach his people the accurate way of living personally and socially.

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  This fond name for Gandhi, Bapu, which basically means dad, but the book that Manu published after the title Bapu- my mom, is an odd way to describe a man who has been a father to the whole nation. As a matter of fact, Manu’s mother had died when she was just a baby. Gandhi’s wife deiced to take care of Manu. After the death of Gandhi’s wife, he accepted the parental role. He prepared and cared for her, and Manu mentioned this in her book by saying that he was filled with affection higher than any mother would think. Manu and Gandhi spent a life time together and she was able to share her views and experiences with Gandhi and learn from his struggles and way of living. (manu,1962)

 She stood by him throughout his life and never complaint or revealed her feelings about Gandhi’s experiments in any sexual form. she said, “So Bapu mothered me. He had, no doubt, brought up quite a number of girls but to me he often said, “Have I not become your mother? I have been father to many but only to you I am mother. A father does of course concern himself with the bringing up of his children, but the real education of a girl comes from her mother. If a girl does not know some household work, the mother-in-law or the sister-in-law rebukes her saying, ‘Your mother does not seem to have taught you anything.’ No one finds fault with her father.” (Manu, 1962)

 Apart from Manu, Nirmal Kumar Bose, Gandhi’s secretary, spend a lot of time with Gandhi, especially during the last phase of Gandhi’s life. He thought that Gandhi was going through a change in his political and emotional life at that time. (Bose,1948). It was during 1946-1948 that personal and public life had reached climax for him. Both these were inter-linked, and Bose had a very close experience to witness all of it.

  After three years of Gandhi’s wife, the real struggle time had started for him. It was not only a struggle for him but the whole nation as the partition of India was the headline. After the world war II, Jinaah, the representative of Muslim community was demanding a separate state, Pakistan. Gandhi found this totally unacceptable. In east India and northwest, Muslims were more in population but there was no line between Hindus and Muslims and they lived mostly side by side. Gandhi’s main argument at this point was how the partition would cause chaos and forced migration.

  Gandhi was a man of rights. We have known his famous Brahmacharya and Satyagarha. He had full believe in his people but at this time, things seemed to go in a different direction. Churchill lost the British elections in 1945 and the labor party came to power. They planned on pushing the idea of independence into practice and get rid of governing the subcontinent as a whole. Gandhi at this point was very upset. The political debate was increasing and to some extend un reasonable to him. After the new elections held in India for provincial legislatures, which appointed Muslim league representatives in their majority areas. Gandhi’s point was that the gulf was not between British and Indians anymore, but between Indians.  He thought that he had reached the end of one chapter of his old life and a new one was about to begin. (Bose, pg 101). 

 In May 1946, a cabinet mission was appointed by the British. Apart from advising against partition, it offered a federal system in which any vote on a religious issue would require a majority of both Hindus and Muslims.

Gandhi did not support the cabinet-mission, but things seemed to get out of his hand very quickly. A provisional government was formed with Nehru as the leader to pave the way for a transition to independence. Muslims were totally against this decision and the took this moment to fight for themselves.

 Religious riots broke out in Calcutta. Gandhi took this as a great chance and thought to preach his people. He would walk through out the villages and preach about brotherhood and compassion. In a speech on 4th Jnurary, he said that he had not come to talk to people of politics, nor to weaken the influence of Muslim league but to talk about peace and non-violence.  (Bose, pg123). Thousands of people came to hear him. At this time, the political events were changing rapidly. The labor government wanted to get rid of India so Mountbatten arrived in India in 1947. He was appointed as an in charge to bring in the independence within a year. In order to do so, Mountbatten decided to arrange a meeting between Gandhi and Jinnah.

The meeting was of no good use. Jinnah was stubbornly refusing to change his opinion or course of action. On the other hand, congress leader, led by Nehru, though this as a turning point and accepted partition as the price of independence.

Huge disaster and violence was being experienced throughout the country hence, Mountbatten turned all the extreme demands offered by Jinnah and a Pakistan-India border was established. Gandhi was truly heartbroken and thought that his people had stopped listening to him. His ides of non-violence was totally rejected by all his people and everyone seemed that there was no such thing that could help them. Gandhi has been reported to say, non-violence has brought us nearer to swaraj as never before. We dare not exchange it even for swaraj, for swaraj thus got will be no true swaraj. This question is not what we do after swaraj. This it whether under given conditions we have give up non-violence to win swaraj. Again do you expect to win real independence without non-violence? Independence for me means that the independence of the humblest and poorest among us. It cannot be obtained by joining the war.” (Bose, pg 5)

There was no doubt that Gandhi had a great influence but this time it was very hard to sway an entire nation that had been gone mad with violent acts. Gandhi at this time felt that his people had forgotten what he had taught them and he never was, and never will be a part of their way of living.

Even after the Indian independence, he was not satisfied with congress government in free India.  Gandhi thought that even congress had won political freedom, it did not had won moral, ethical and economic freedom. (Bose, pg 6).

At several occasions he bought up that he would never be a part of the party where they wanted navy, air force and machines. He said that if they will be able to give all of this away and live a life he had told them to his physical incapacity and depression will vanish In no time and he will be there man forever.

 For Gandhi, personal and political life went side by side. Any disturbance on one side resulted in effecting the other one. By this time his health had gone really bad. He tried to maintain a good diet and an active lifestyle, restraining all the western medicines and trying to recover naturally. (manu, 1962).

 All the riots the happened during this time and the way it was dealt with, using a violent way, was the top most reason for Gandhi’s depression and loneliness. How his people did not trust him with his ideas anymore and the non-cooperation methods being used in the congress made him heart sick. (Bose, pg 6).

Gandhi was a peace maker and wanted his people to live a simple life. It was one Friday evening Januray 30th 1948, he was in his garden when he was shot and he was martyred.

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