Who is Mahatma Gandhi?

Who is mahatma gandi
Who is mahatma gandi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Gujarati; October 2, 1869 - January 30, 1948) is the political and spiritual leader of the Indian and Indian Independence Movement. His views are called Gandism. It is the pioneer of the Satyagraha philosophy, which is about active and violent resistance to truth and evil. This philosophy made India independent and inspired citizenship rights and freedom advocates around the world. Gandhi is known in India and in the world as mahatma (Sanskrit), which means the supreme soul, given by Tagore, and bapu (Gujarati), which means father. Officially declared the Father of Ulus in India, and his birthday, October 2, is celebrated as a national holiday under the name Gandhi Jayanti. On June 15, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared October 2 as “World No Violence Day”. Gandhi was ranked 8th in the list of people with the most written works.

Gandhi first implemented a peaceful uprising for the citizenship rights of the Indian community in South Africa. After returning from Africa to India, he organized poor farmers and laborers to protest against repressive taxation policy and widespread discrimination. Under the leadership of the National Congress of India, he conducted nationwide campaigns on the reduction of poverty across the country, freedom of women, brotherhood among different religions and ethnic groups, ending discrimination of caste and immunity, attaining the country's economic competence, and most importantly, Swaraj, the liberation of India from foreign domination. . Gandhi led the country's rebellion against Britain with the 1930-kilometer Gandhi Salt Walk in 400 against the British salt tax in India. In 1942, he made an open call to the British and asked them to leave India. He was imprisoned many times in both South Africa and India.

Gandhi practiced these views, advocating pacifism and truth in any case. He had a simple life by establishing a self-sufficient ashram. He made his own clothes such as traditional dhoti and veil knitted with spinning wheel. While he was a vegetarian, he started to feed only on fruit. He sometimes held over a month of fasting for both personal purification and protest purposes.


Young Mohandas

Mohandas Karamçand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar as the son of a Hindu Modh family. His father, Karamchand Gandhi, was the diwan or chief vizier of Porbandar. Her mother, Putlibai, was her father's fourth wife and a Hindu from the Pranami Vaishnava sect. The first two wives of Karamchand died after an unknown reason after giving birth to a daughter. During his childhood with a religious mother, Gandhi learned about the teachings such as the harmlessness of living things, inability, fasting for personal purification, and mutual tolerance among members of caste. It belongs to the innate vaisia ​​or the caste of employees.

In May 1883, at the age of 13, she married 13-year-old Kasturba Makhanji at the request of her family. The first one had five children who died when they were babies; Harilal was born in 1888, Manilal in 1892, Ramdas in 1897 and Devdas in 1900. Gandhi was an average student in Porbandar and Rajkot in his youth. He won the entrance exam to Samaldas College in Bhavnagar. His family was also unhappy in the college because he wanted him to be a lawyer.

At age 18, on September 4, 1888, Gandhi entered University College London to study law to become a lawyer. During his time in the imperial capital of London, Caynu was influenced by his promise to his mother in front of the monk Becharji, that he would follow Hindu rules, such as avoiding meat, alcohol and sex. Although she tried to practice English traditions by taking dance lessons, for example, she could not eat the dishes made by the host's mutton, and she was eating at one of London's few eternal restaurants. Instead of just blindly following his mother's wishes, he read intellectually and embraced this philosophy by reading articles on inability. He joined the Etyemezler Association, was elected to the board of directors and established a branch. Later, the association said that it gained its organizing experience here. Some of the etiologies he faced were members of the Theosophical Society, which was established in 1875 for the establishment of universal fraternity and dedicated themselves to researching Buddhist and Hindu literature. These encouraged Gandhi to read Bhagavadgita. Gandhi, who had not paid any special attention to religious issues before, read the scriptures of Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and other religions and their works. After entering England and Wales bar, he returned to India but did not succeed in lawyership in Mumbai. Later, when he applied to work as a high school teacher and was not successful, he returned to Rajkot and started to work as desire, but he had to close this job as a result of a dispute with a British officer. In his autobiography, he mentions this incident as an unsuccessful lobbying attempt for his brother. In 1893, he accepted a one-year job proposed by an Indian company in Natal, a part of the British Empire at that time, in South Africa.

When Gandhi returned to London in 1895, he met radically-sighted Colonial Minister Joseph Chamberlain. Later, Neville Chamberlain, the son of this minister, would become the Prime Minister of Great Britain in the 1930s and try to stop Gandhi. Joseph Chamberlain admitted that the Indians were approached barbarically, but he was not willing to make any amendments to the law to correct this situation.

Gandhi suffered discrimination against Indians in South Africa. It was first thrown off the train in Pietermaritzburg because it did not pass to the third position even though it had a first position ticket in hand. Later, while on his way, he was beaten by the driver for refusing to travel on the steps outside the car to make room for a European passenger. He faced various difficulties such as not being taken to some hotels during his journey. In one of the other similar incidents, a Durban court objected when the judge ordered his turban to be removed. These events, which caused him to wake up in the face of social injustices, became a turning point in his life and formed the basis for his subsequent social activism. He directly witnessed racism, prejudice and injustice suffered by Indians in South Africa and began to question the place of his people in the British Empire and his place in the community.

Gandhi has extended his stay here to help Indians oppose a bill that prevents Indians from voting. Although it could not prevent the law from coming out, its campaign was successful in drawing attention to the problems of Indians in South Africa. He founded the Natal Indian Congress in 1894, and using this organization he was able to gather the Indian community in South Africa behind a common political force. A group of white men attacking Gandhi who returned to South Africa after a short trip to India in January 1897 wanted to lynch him. In this incident, which is one of the first manifestations of his personal values ​​that will shape his subsequent campaigns, he refused to file a criminal complaint against those who attacked him, claiming the principle of not bringing the wrongs against him to the court.

In 1906 the Transvaal government adopted a law requiring forced registration of the Indian population of the colony. During the mass demonstration in Johannesburg on September 11 of the same year, he was still developing the satyagraha (truthfulness) or passive protest method for the first time and called on his Indian supporters to oppose the new law and endure it instead of violently. This proposal was accepted and thousands of Indians, including Gandhi, were imprisoned, whipped and even shot, due to various non-violent revolts in the seven-year struggle, such as strikes, refusing to register, and burning registration cards. Although the government was successful in suppressing Indian protesters, South African general Jan Christiaan Smuts had to come to a compromise with Gandhi as a result of public objection to the peaceful Indian protesters by the heavy methods implemented by the South African government. During this struggle, Gandhi's ideas took shape and the concept of Satyagraha matured.

Role in the Zulu War

After the British put another tax in 1906, the Zulis in South Africa killed two British officers. In retaliation, the British declared war on the Zulu. Gandhi strived for the British to recruit Indians. He argued that the Indians must support the war to legalize their claims of full citizenship. However, the British refused to rank the Indians in their army. Nevertheless, by adopting Gandhi's proposal, a group of volunteers allowed the Indians to carry out stretchers to treat injured British soldiers. On July 21, 1906, Gandhi wrote in his own Indian Opinion newspaper - "The union established for trial purposes by the Natal Government consists of twenty-three Indians." Gandhi encouraged the Indians in South Africa to participate in the war with his articles in the Indian Opinion - "If the Government finds out what kind of cautious force is wasted, it will want to use it and give the Indians a complete training for true methods of war."

According to Gandhi's view, the 1906 Recruitment Regulation dropped the Indians to a lower level than the Indians. So, he invites Indians to oppose this regulation in accordance with Satyagraha, citing indigenous blacks, and said: “Even the less developed hybrid caste and kaffirs (indigenous blacks) opposed the government. The pass law is applied to them too, but none of them gets a pass ”.

Indian Struggle for Independence (1916-1945)

He made speeches at the meetings of the National Congress of India, but was mainly encouraged to think about the Indian people, politics and other issues, by Gopal Krishna Gokhale, one of the prominent leaders of the Congress Party.

Çamparan and Kheda

Gandhi achieved its first major successes in 1918 during the Çamparan confusion and Kheda Satyagraha. The peasants, who were mostly oppressed by the militia forces of landowners, who were British, were in extreme poverty. The villages were extremely rink and unhygienic. Alcoholism, discrimination due to caste system and discrimination against women were very common. Despite a devastating famine, the British insisted on increasing new taxes. The situation was hopeless. The problem was the same in Kheda in Gujarat. Gandhi has established an ashram here with long-time supporters and new volunteers from the region. The bad living conditions, the suffering suffered and the brutality applied were recorded with a detailed examination of the villages. He pioneered the cleaning of the villages and the establishment of schools and hospitals by gaining the trust of the villagers. He encouraged the village leaders to eliminate the social problems mentioned above.

But the real effect came when the police were asked to arrest and leave the state because of the unrest. Hundreds of thousands of people protested in front of prisons, police stations and courts, demanding Gandhi to be released. The court reluctantly had to release Gandhi. Gandhi organized protests and strikes against landowners. Under the direction of the British government, landowners signed a treaty to help the poor peasants of the region more, consume what they produce and remove taxes until the famine ends. During this confusion, people began to call Gandhi Bapu (Father) and Mahatma (Supreme Spirit). In Kheda, Sardar Patel represented the peasants in bargains with the British. After the negotiations, taxes were suspended and all prisoners were released. As a result, Gandhi's fame spread all over the country.

Not Collaborating

Gandhi's “guns” against injustice were not cooperating and peaceful resistance. In Punjab, the Jallianwala Bagh or Amritsar massacre, in which British troops killed civilians, caused increasing anger and violence in the country. Gandhi criticized both the British and the Indians retaliating against them. He wrote the statement, which condemned the British civil victims and condemned the rebellions. It was accepted after Gandhi's emotional speech that he advocated the principle that all kinds of violence is bad and therefore unfair, although it was opposed within the party. However, after the massacre and the violence that followed it, Gandhi focused on the idea of ​​self-governing and taking control of all Indian government institutions. As a result, Swaraj, which means full personal, spiritual and political independence, has matured.

In December 1921 Gandhi was empowered to run at the National Congress of India. Under his leadership, Congress was organized under a new constitution whose purpose was Swaraj. Everyone who paid the entrance fee started to be accepted to the party. A series of committees were set up to increase discipline, and the party turned from an elite organization into an organization that attracted the attention of the national audience. Gandhi also incorporated the principle of swadeshi, namely the boycott of foreign products, especially British products, into its nonviolent movements. Accordingly, he advocated all Indians to use hand-woven khadi fabric instead of British fabrics. Gandhi recommended that all Indian men and women, without calling the poor rich, support khadi fabric every day to support the independence movement. This was a strategy to exclude unwilling and ambitious people from the movement and to establish discipline, and to engage women who were not eligible to participate in such activities until then. In addition to British products, Gandhi urged the public to boycott British educational institutions and courts, to resign from the government business and not to use British titles.

"Not to cooperate" has been a great success as a result of wide participation from all layers of Indian society. However, when the movement reached its climax, it ended suddenly in February 1922 as a result of violent conflict in the city of Chauri Chaura in Uttar Pradesh. Fearing that the movement would move towards violence and that it would destroy all what was done, Gandhi ended the national disobedience campaign. Gandhi was arrested on March 10, 1922, sentenced to six years in prison for trial against incitement. His sentence, which started on March 18, 1922, ended two years later in February 1924 after he was released for appendicitis surgery.

The National Congress of India, which could not benefit as long as Gandhi's unifying personality remained in prison, was divided and two factions formed. One was led by Chitta Ranjan Das and Motilal Nehru, who wanted the party to participate in the elections, opposed to other faction elections, and was chaired by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Also, during non-co-operation, cooperation between Hindu and Muslims began to crumble. Gandhi tried to eliminate these differences by using three-month fasting methods in the fall of 1924, but he was not very successful.

Swaraj and Salt Satyagraha (Salt Walk)

At the annual meeting of the National Congress of India held in Haripura with its president Subhas Chandra Bose (1938)
Gandhi remained out of sight in the 1920s. He tried to resolve the differences between the Swaraj Party and the National Congress of India and popularized its efforts to eradicate parity, alcoholism, ignorance and poverty. It came to the fore in 1928. A year ago, the British government appointed a new constitutional reform commission headed by Sir John Simon, which did not even have a single Indian among them. As a result, Indian political parties boycotted the commission. In December 1928, Gandhi ensured that a decision was made at the Calcutta congress that the British government granted India a subsidiary administration to the Commonwealth of Nations, or that this time they would face a new non-co-operation campaign with full independence. Gandhi not only softened the views of young people like Subhas Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru, who wanted immediate independence, but also changed their views and agreed to hold this call for two years instead of two. The British left this unanswered. On December 31, 1929, the Indian flag was opened in Lahore. January 26, 1930, was celebrated as the Independence Day of India by the National Congress of India, held in Lahore. It was celebrated by almost all Indian organizations that day. In his promise, Gandhi launched a new satyagraha against salt tax in March 1930. The Salt March, where he walked 12 kilometers from 6 March to 400 April from Ahmedabad to Dandi to make his own salt, is the most important part of this passive resistance. During this march towards the sea, thousands of Indians accompanied Gandhi. This was his most disturbing campaign against the British administration, and the British responded to imprisoning over 60.000 people in prison.

The government, represented by Lord Edward Irwin, decided to meet with Gandhi. Gandhi – Irwin Pact was signed in March 1931. The British government agreed to release all political prisoners in response to the cessation of the civil uprising movement. In addition, Gandhi, as the only representative of the National Congress of India, was invited to a round table conference in London. The conference, which focused on Indian princes and Indian minorities rather than changing the administrative power, was a disappointment for Gandhi and nationalists. Moreover, Lord Willingdon, the successor of Lord Irwin, embarked on a new action to suppress nationalists. Gandhi was arrested again and tried to destroy his influence by isolating his supporters, but he was not successful. In 1932, as a result of the campaign conducted under the leadership of Dalit leader BR Ambedkar, the government gave the constitution the right to choose separately in the new constitution. Protesting this, Gandhi forced the government to engage in more egalitarian practices after the six-day fast in September 1932, as a result of negotiations mediated by Dalit political leader Palwankar Baloo. This was the beginning of a new campaign by Gandhi to improve the living conditions of the Parias called children of Harijans, the children of God. On May 8, 1933, Gandhi began a 21-day fast for personal purification to support the Harijan movement.

In the summer of 1934, he failed three assassination attempts.

When the Congress Party decided to participate in the elections and accept the Federation bill, Gandhi decided to resign from party membership. He was not against the Party's movement, but if he resigned, he thought that his popularity over the Indians would not block his membership of the party, which included a wide spectrum from communists, socialists, trade unionists, students, religious conservatives, and pro-employers. Gandhi also did not want to be a target for Raj's propaganda by running a party that reached a temporary political agreement with Raj.

Gandhi took over again in 1936 at the Congress's Lucknow session and chaired by Nehru. Gandhi wished that only focus on achieving independence and not speculating about the future of India did not oppose Congress' choice of socialism as a goal. Gandhi had a conflict with Subhas Bose, who was elected president in 1938. The main points that he did not agree with Bose were that Bose had no link to democracy and belief in the non-violent movement. Despite the criticism of Bose Gandhi, he won the presidency in the second term, but left because of Gandhi's abandonment of all the leaders of India due to his abandonment of the principles he brought.

II. World War II and Abandoning India

When Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, II. World War I started. Initially, Gandhi favored British efforts to “support non-violence spiritual support”, but Congressional leaders were uncomfortable with India's unilateral engagement without consulting the people's representatives. All congress members preferred to resign from their duties collectively. After long thinking about it, Gandhi declared that he would not participate in this seemingly democratic war, while refusing to give democracy to India. As the war progressed, Gandhi further intensified his desires for independence and, with his call, asked the British to Abandon India. This was the most determined revolt by Gandhi and the Congress Party to enable the British to leave India.

Gandhi was criticized by both pro-British and anti-British groups and some of the Congressional party members. Some said it was immoral to oppose Britain in this difficult time, while others thought Gandhi was not struggling enough. Abandon India was the strongest action in the history of the struggle, mass arrests and violence reached unpredictable dimensions. Thousands of activists were killed or injured by police fire, and hundreds of thousands of activists were arrested. Gandhi and his followers made it clear that if India is not given immediate independence, they will not support the war. He even said that this time the action would not be stopped even if there were individual acts of violence, and that the “regular anarchy” around him was “worse than real anarchy”. In his call to all Congressmen and Indians, he asked them to achieve discipline with ahimsa and Karo Ya Maro (“Do or Die”) to achieve freedom.

Gandhi and the Congress Working Committee were all arrested by the British on 9 August 1942 in Mumbai. Gandhi was held in Aga Khan Palace in Pune for two years. While he was here, his secretary, Mahadev Desai, died at the age of 50 from a heart attack, after 6 days, his wife Kasturba, who had been detained for 18 months, died on February 22, 1944. Six weeks later Gandhi had a severe malaria crisis. He was released on May 6, 1944 before the war ended, due to his poor health and the need for surgery. The British did not want to anger the country when Gandhi died in prison. Although the Abandonment of India failed to fully achieve its goal, the brutal suppression of the action brought order to India in late 1943. At the end of the war, the British made clear statements that the administration would be given to the Indians. At this point Gandhi stopped fighting, and around 100.000 political prisoners were released, including leaders of the Congress party.

Freedom and Division of India

Gandhi proposed to the Congress party to reject the British Cabinet Mission's proposals in 1946, because he was skeptical that the grouping formed by the state proposals, where Muslim majority gathered, was a pioneer of division. However, this was one of the rare times when the Congress party went beyond Gandhi's proposal, because Nehru and Patel knew that the government would pass the Indian Muslims if they did not approve the plan. More than 1946 people died in violent acts between 1948 and 5.000. Gandhi was strongly against any plan that would divide India into two separate countries. The vast majority of Muslims living in India with hindu and sikh were in favor of separation. The leader of the Muslim League, Mohammed Ali Cinnah, had great support in Punjab, Sindh, North-West Frontier Province and East Bengal. The division plan was accepted by Congress leaders as the only way to prevent a large-scale Hindu-Muslim war. Congress leaders knew that Gandhi, who had great support in the party and in India, could not proceed without his approval, and Gandhi completely rejected the division plan. Gandhi's closest colleagues agreed that division was the best exit, and Sardar Patel granted Gandhi's consent, as he did not want, as a result of his efforts to convince Gandhi that this was the only way to prevent civil war.

He held intense meetings with the leaders of the Muslim and Hindu communities in order to calm the environment in Northern India and Bengal. Despite the India-Pakistan War in 1947, he was uncomfortable with the government's decision not to give the 550 million rupees set by the Division Council. Leaders like Sardar Patel feared that Pakistan would use this money to continue the war against India. Gandhi was also very upset when all Muslims were asked to be sent to Pakistan by force, and Muslim and Hindu leaders did not agree with each other. He started his last death fast in Delhi to stop all inter-communal violence and pay 550 million rupees to Pakistan. Gandhi feared that the atmosphere of instability and insecurity in Pakistan would increase anger towards India and violence would move across the border. He also feared that hostility between Hindus and Muslims would turn into an open civil war. As a result of long emotional conversations with lifelong colleagues, Gandhi did not leave his fast and canceled his government decisions and paid them to Pakistan. Hindu, Muslim and Sikh community leaders, including Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Hindu Mahasabha, convinced Gandhi that they would call for peace by rejecting violence. So Gandhi finished his fast by drinking orange juice.


On January 30, 1948, he was shot and died while marching in the garden of Birla Bhavan (Birla House) in New Delhi. Assassin Nathuram Godse was a Hindu radical and was linked to the extremist Hindu Mahasabha, who insisted on paying Pakistan that defended Gandhi as weakening India. [20] Godse and his stooge Narayan Apte were later tried and found guilty in the court where they were released. They were executed on November 15, 1949. Gandhi's monument in New Delhi can be translated as "Hē Ram", (Devanagari: He Rām), writer and "Oh my God" above Rāj Ghāt. Although their accuracy is controversial, they are claimed to be their last words after Gandhi was shot. Jawaharlal Nehru said in his speech to the country with radio:

“Friends, comrades, light has left us and there is only darkness everywhere, and I still do not know what to say or how to tell you. Our dear leader, Bapu, the father of the country is no longer there. Maybe I shouldn't say that, but still, as we've seen for so many years, we will no longer be able to see it, run it to get advice or cheer, and it's a terrible blow not only for me, but for millions and millions in this country.

Gandhi's ashes were placed in containers and sent to various parts of India for memorials. Many were poured into Sangam in Allahabad on February 12, 1948, but some were secretly sent elsewhere. In 1997, Tushar Gandhi poured the ashes in a container in a bank safe that he could take with a court order in Sangam in Allahabad. On January 30, 2008, his family was poured into the water in Girgaum Chowpatty by ashes in another container sent by a businessman from Dubai to Mumbai museum. Another vessel came to the Aga Khan Palace in Pune (where he was detained between 1942 and 1944) and another came to the Lake of Evidence Union Lake Temple in Los Angeles. His family is aware that these ashes found in temples and monuments can be used for political purposes. and they did not want back because they knew that they could not take them without destroying the monuments.

Mahatma Gandhi Principles

Gandhi devoted his life to finding truth or "Satya". He tried to achieve this goal by learning from his own mistakes and doing experiments on himself. He called his autobiography the Story of My Experiences with Truth.

Gandhi stated that the most important struggle is to overcome their demons, fears and insecurities. Gandhi first summarized his beliefs by saying “God is Truth”. Later, he changed this expression to "Truth is God". In other words, in Gandhi's philosophy, Satya (Truthfulness) is “God”.

Passive resistance
Mahatama Gandhi is not the finder of the principle of passive resistance, but it is the first practitioner in the political arena on an enormous scale. The concepts of passive resistance (ahimsa) or non-resistance date back to ancient times in the history of religious thought in India. In his autobiography Story of My Experience with Truth, Gandhi explains his philosophy and view of life as follows:

“When I fall in despair, I remember that truth and love have always gained throughout history. Tirana and murderers have been, even thought to be invincible for a while, but in the end they always lose, think always. ”

"What would madly destroy the cause of totalitarianism or under the name of freedom and democracy change for the dead, orphans and homeless?"

“The eye-to-eye principle blinds the whole world.”

"There are many cases that I will risk dying for, but there are no cases that I will kill for."

Applying these principles, Gandhi went to the extreme limits of logic and dreamed of a world where even governments, police and the army were against violence. The quotations below are from the book "For Pacifists."

Combat simply leads a scholar to pure dictatorship. The science of nonviolence only translates to pure democracy…. The power of love is thousands of times more effective and permanent than the fear of punishment ... It is unbelief to say that nonviolence can only be practiced by individuals and cannot be applied by nations that are formed by individuals. It is democracy based on…. A society organized and functioning on complete anti-violence is the purest anarchy….

I came to the conclusion that even in a non-violent state, police force is needed…. The police will be selected from those who believe in nonviolence. People will instinctively help them all, and they can easily cope with the ever-decreasing confusion as a result of a joint work. Severe disagreements and strikes between labor and capital will be less in a non-violent state because the impact of the majority of nonviolence will ensure that basic principles are applied in society. Similarly, there will be no contradictions between communities….

An anti-violence army does not act like armed people in times of war or peace. Their task is to bring together societies that fight with each other, to make peace propaganda, to take actions that will enable them to engage with each person in their place and association. Such an army must be prepared to deal with emergencies, and to die to stop the flood of violent gangs. … Satyagraha (the power of righteousness) brigades can be organized in every village and in every neighborhood. There are two ways to anti-violence [if there is an outside attack on the non-violent community]. Giving domination but not cooperating with the attacker ... Prefer death rather than bowing. The second way is the passive resistance of people trained by the nonviolent method…. The unexpected image created by men and women who prefer to die instead of obeying the will of the aggressor will soften both the aggressor and his soldiers .... Even the grenade cannot condemn slavery…. If this happens to the level of nonviolence in this country, it will naturally rise so much that it will be universally respected.

In accordance with these views, when it came to the occupation of the British Isles by Nazi Germany in 1940, Gandhi gave the British people the following advice (Passive Resistance in War and Peace):

“I would like you to leave the weapons you have because they are not enough to save you or humanity. Invite Herr Hitler and Sinyor Mussolini to get whatever they want from the countries you count as your own presence…. If these gentlemen want to enter your homes, you should leave your homes. If they don't let you go freely, let the men, women and children kill you, but refuse to give them your devotion. ”

He explained an even more extreme view in a post-war interview in 1946:

“Jews had to present themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves from the cliffs into the sea. ”

Gandhi, however, knew that this level of nonviolence required incredible faith and courage, and not everyone had it. So he also advised that not everyone should remain anti-violence, especially if it is used as a cover against cowardice:

“Gandhi warned those who are afraid of arming and resisting not to participate in the satyagraha movement. 'I believe that,' he said, 'I would advise violence if I had to choose between cowardice and violence.

“I made the following warning at every meeting. Those who believe that they have acquired infinitely more power from the power they knew to use with their passive resistance before, should not have any relation with passive resistance and retake the weapons they left. We can never say that the once brave Khudai Khidmatgar ("servants of Allah") became cowardly under the influence of Badşah Khan. Their courage is not only because they are good snipers, but also because they risk death and open their breasts against incoming bullets. ”


Gandhi tried to eat meat as a little boy. The reason for this is both his curiosity and his close friend Sheikh Mehtab who convinced him. In India, eternalism was one of the basic principles of Hindu and Caynu beliefs, and the Gandhi family could not be in Gujarat, the region where he was born, as the majority of Hindu and Caynu were. Before going to London to study, his mother Putlibay and uncle Becharji swore that he would refrain from eating meat, drinking alcohol, and prostitution. Following his word, he gained not only a form of nutrition, but also a basis for his philosophy throughout his life. Gandhi became a rigid agent as he reached adolescence. In addition to the book The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism, he also wrote many articles on this subject. Some of these have been published in The Vegetarian, the media of the London Etyemezler Association. [31] Inspired by many prominent intellectuals, Gandhi was the president of the London Etyemezler Association. He also became friends with Josiah Oldfield.

The young Mohandas, who had read and admired the works of Henry Stephens Salt, spoke to and corresponded to this person who was campaigning for effectiveness. Gandhi spent a lot of time in London and later to support inability. An inefficient diet for Gandhi not only met the requirements of the human body, but also served an economic purpose. Meat is still more expensive than cereals, vegetables and fruits. Since many of the Indians of that time had very low income, inefficiency was not only a spiritual practice, it was also practical. He avoided eating meat for a long time and used fasting as a method of political protest. He refused to eat until he died or his wishes were accepted. In his autobiography, he writes that ineffectiveness is the beginning of his deep attachment to Brahmaçarya. He states that he will fail in Brahmaçarya without fully controlling his appetite.

Bapu started eating only fruit after a while, but with the advice of his doctors, he started drinking goat milk. He never used dairy products from cow's milk. The reason for this is both his philosophical views and the reason he had disgusted from phocoa, which is a method of getting more milk from the cow, and that he made a promise to his mother.


When Gandhi was 16 years old, his father got very sick. Because he was very fond of his family, he was at the head of his father during his illness. However, one night Gandhi's uncle was replaced by Gandhi for a short time. After passing in the bedroom, he was with his wife, unable to resist the body's desires. Soon after, a maid reported that her father had just died. Gandhi was deeply guilty and could never forgive himself. He refers to this incident as "double shame." This incident has had such an impact on Gandhi that, when he is still married, he gives up sexuality at the age of 36 and chooses celibacy.

Brahmaçarya philosophy, which advocates purely spiritual and practical purity, has a great influence on this decision. Sexuality and asceticism are part of this idea. Gandhi saw brahmaçarya as the main basis for getting closer to God and to prove himself. In his autobiography, he describes his struggle with the lustful urges and jealousy crises he felt for his wife Kasturba, whom he married at a very young age. He felt that it was his personal obligation to learn to love rather than lust while staying away from sexuality. For Gandhi, brahmaçarya meant "control of emotions in thought, word and action".


Gandhi wholeheartedly believed that a person serving society should have a simple life. This simplicity will bring that person to the brahmaçarya. He started simplicity by leaving his Western-style lifestyle in South Africa. He called it “reducing himself to zero,” cutting off unnecessary expenses, choosing a simple lifestyle and even washing his own clothes. He once turned down the gifts given to him because of his service to the community.

Gandhi spent one day without talking every week. He believed that refraining from talking gave him peace of mind. These practical Hindu principles were influenced by mahogany (Sanskrit: silence) and job site (Sanskrit: tranquility). On such days, he was communicating with others by writing on paper. For three and a half years after the age of 37, Gandhi refused to read the newspaper because the turbulent situation of the world affairs caused more confusion than his own unrest.

After reading John Ruskin's Unto This Last essays, he decided to change his lifestyle and set up a commune called the Phoenix Colony.

After returning to India from South Africa, where he had a successful legal life, he stopped wearing Western style clothes, which he identified with wealth and success. He began to dress as the poorest person in India could accept, and advocated the use of home weaving khadinin. Gandhi and his friends started to weave the fabric of their own clothing with the thread they were spinning and encouraged others to do so. Although Indian workers were mostly idle due to unemployment, they were buying their clothes from industrial garments owned by British capital. It is Gandhi's opinion that if the Indians make their own clothes, the British capital in India will be hit hard. Based on this, the traditional spinning wheel of Indians was put on the flag of the Indian National Congress. To show the simplicity of her life, she only wore a dhoti for the rest of her life.


Gandhi was born Hindu, practiced Hinduism all his life and took most of his principles from Hinduism. As an ordinary Hindu, he believed that all religions were equal and opposed efforts to believe in other religions. He was a very curious religious scientist and read many books about all major religions. He said the following about Hinduzim:

“As far as I know, Hinduism completely satisfies my soul and fills my entire self… When doubts run after me, when disappointments look at my face and do not even see a ray of light on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad Gita and find a piece that will comfort me and start to smile immediately. If my life was full of tragedies and they did not show visible and permanent effects on me, I owe it to the teachings of Bhagavad Gita. ”

Gandhi Bhagavad wrote a Gujarati comment on Gita. The Gujarati text was translated into English by Mahadev Desai and a preface was added. It was published in 1946 with an introduction by Gandhi.

Gandhi believes that truth and love lie at the heart of every religion. He has also questioned hypocrisy, bad practices and dogma in all religions and is a tireless social reformer. Some of his comments on various religions are as follows:

“The reason why I couldn't regard Christianity as the perfect or greatest religion was because I had been previously convinced that Hinduism was like that. The shortcomings of Hinduism were quite evident to me. If immunity can be part of Hinduzim, it is either a stinking part or a product. I do not understand the raison d'être (reason for existence) of many orders and intent. What does it mean to say that the Vedas are the Word of God? If it was written with the inspiration of God, why should the Bible and the Quran not be like that? Like my Christian friends, my Muslim friends tried to return me to their religion. Abdullah Şet constantly encouraged me to study Islam, and he always had a say about how beautiful he was. ”

“When we lose the moral foundation, we also move away from being religious. There is nothing like a religion above morality. Man cannot for example claim that he is a liar, a cruel, cannot control his soul, and that God is with him. ”
"The hadiths of Muhammad are a treasure of wisdom not only for Muslims but for all humanity."
When asked if he was a Hindu later in his life, he replied:

"Yes I am. I am also Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and Jewish. ”
Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore have been in long-standing debates many times, although they have great respect for each other. These discussions illustrate the philosophical differences of the two most famous Indians of their time. An earthquake in Bihar on January 15, 1934 caused enormous loss of life and harm. Gandhi stated that this was due to the sins of the upper caste Hindus, who did not accept the immunity into their temples. Tagore strongly opposed Gandhi's view and argued that even though the practice of immunity was only repulsive, only natural causes could lead to earthquakes, not moral causes.


Gandhi was a productive writer. While in South Africa for many years, Harijan in Gujarati, Hindi and English; After returning to India with Indian Opinion, he edited many newspapers and magazines such as the English Young India newspaper he published and the monthly magazine Gujarati Navajivan. Later, Navajivan was also published in Hindi language. In addition, he wrote letters to people and newspapers almost every day.

Gandhi's story about Satyagraha in South Africa (Satyagraha in South Africa), a political leaflet, about the struggle in South Africa, including the autobiography of my experience with accuracy, Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule, and John Ruskin's Unto This Last He has written many works, such as his interpretation in the Gujarati language. This last attempt is counted as an experiment on economics. He also wrote extensively on issues such as ineffectiveness, nutrition and health, religion, and social reforms. Gandhi generally wrote in Gujarati but also corrected the Hindi and English translations of his books.

Gandhi's works were published by the Indian government in 1960 under the name The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (All Works of Mahatma Gandhi). The articles consist of 50.000 pages, collected in about a hundred volumes. In 2000, a disagreement came about when the revised edition of all works accused Gandhi of his followers for making changes for their political purposes.


Gandhi's birthday, October 2, is a national holiday celebrated in India as Gandhi Jayanti. On 15 June 2007, it was announced that the "United Nations General Assembly" unanimously accepted October 2 as "World No Day for Violence".

The word Mahatma, which is often believed to be Gandhi's first name in the West, comes from the words Sans in the Sanskrit Uha, and the throw words, which means spirit.

Many sources, such as Dutta and Robinson's Rabindranath Tagore: An Anthology book, state that Mahatma titles were first attributed to Gandhi by Rabindranath Tagore. It is stated in other sources that this title was given by Nautamlal Bhagavanji Mehta on January 21, 1915. In his autobiography, Gandhi reveals that he never thought he was worthy of this honor. According to Manpatra, the title of Mahatma was given for the careful dedication of Gandhi for justice and righteousness.

Time Magazine named Gandhi the man of the year in 1930. Time Magazine Dalay Lama, Lech Wałęsa, Dr. He named Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Aung San Suu Kyi, Benigno Aquino, Jr., Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela as the children of Gandhi and stated that they are spiritual heirs for nonviolence. The Indian government annually presents the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Prize to those elected for the community, world leaders and citizens. Nelson Mandela, the leader of South Africa, struggling to eliminate racial discrimination, is among the well-known non-Indians of the award.

In 1996, the Indian government launched the Mahatma Gandhi series on 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 rupees banknotes. Today, there is the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on all the coins circulating in India. In 1969, the United Kingdom issued a series of postage stamps in memory of the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's birth.

There are many Gandhi sculptures in Great Britain. The most notable of these is the statue in Tavistock Square, London, near University College London, where he studied law. January 30 is celebrated in the UK as the "National Day of Remembrance of Gandhi". Martin Luther King, Jr. in Union Square Park in New York, USA, and Atlanta, Atlanta. On the National Historic Site, there are Gandhi statues on Massachusetts Avenue near the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC. A memorial statue is found in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa (where it was thrown from the first position on the train in 1893). Madame Tussaud has waxworks in his museums in London, New York and other cities.

Gandhi did not receive the Nobel Peace Prize, although it was nominated five times between 1937 and 1948. [58] Years later, the Nobel Committee reported to the public the deep sadness of not being able to give this award and accepted that there were extreme nationalist views in the award. Mahatma Gandhi would receive the award in 1948, but he was not able to get it as a result of his assassination. Yenhi was also an important factor in the war between India and Pakistan that was created that year. The Peace Prize in the year of Gandhi's death in 1948 was not given under the pretext that "there is no viable candidate", and when the Dalay Lama was awarded in 1989, the chairman of the committee stated that "this was partly due to respect for Mahatma Gandhi."

Birla Bhavan (or Birla House), which Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948 in New Delhi, was taken by the Indian government in 1971 and opened to the public in 1973 as Gandhi Smriti or Gandhi Memory. The room where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last four months of his life and the place he was shot while walking at night is under protection.

There is now a Martyr Column in the place where Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated.

Every year on January 30, when Mahatma Gandhi died, it is celebrated every year as the Anti-Violence and Peace Day in the schools of many countries. It was first celebrated in Spain in 1964. In countries using the Southern Hemisphere school calendar, this day is celebrated on March 30 or recently.

Ideal and criticism

Gandhi's strict view of ahimsa includes pacifism, so he has been subjected to various criticisms from every wing of the political spectrum.

The concept of division

In principle, Gandhi was against political division as it clashed with the view of religious unity. He wrote in Harijan on October 6, 1946 about the division of India and the establishment of Pakistan:

I do not hesitate to say that Pakistan's desire to be created, that the Union of Muslims is put forward by Islam is non-Islamic and even sinful. It is based on the unity of Islam and the brotherhood of humanity, not to disturb the unity of the human family. Therefore, those who most likely try to divide India into two warring groups are the enemies of both India and Islam. They can tear me apart, but they cannot expect me to agree on an opinion that I think is wrong. Despite crazy conversations, we should not give up our desire to try to make all Muslims friends and we must keep them as prisoners of our love.

However, in the long correspondence of Homer Jack Gandhi with Cinnah on Pakistan, he notes: “Although Gandhi is personally against the division of India, it is primarily to cooperate under a temporary government to be established in cooperation with the Congress of the Muslims and the Union of Muslims. then he proposed an agreement to decide on the issue of division by a popular vote in regions that are mostly Muslims. ”

Gandhi was criticized by both Hindus and Muslims because of this double view of India's division. Muhammed Ali Cinnah and his contemporary Pakistani accused Gandhi of undermining Muslim political rights. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and his allies accused Gandhi of closing the eyes of the Muslims' brutality against the Hindus and letting the creation of Pakistan politically. This has become a politically contentious issue: some such as Pakistani-American historian Ayesha Jalal argue that Gandhi and Congress's unwillingness to share power with the Muslim League accelerated the split; Others, such as the Hindu nationalist politician Pravin Togadia, say that India was divided as a result of the extreme weakness led by Gandhi.

Gandhi also expressed his discontent with the division in 1930 when he wrote about the division of Palestine and the establishment of the state of Israel. On October 26, 1938, he wrote in Harijan:

I receive various letters asking me to give my views on the Arab-Jewish issue in Palestine and what Jews are living in Germany. I am hesitant to report my views on this very difficult question. I sympathize with all Jews, I got to know them closely in South Africa. Some of them have been my friends for life. Thanks to these friends, I became aware that Jews have been persecuted for ages. They were untouchables of Christianity, but my sympathy does not blind my eyes despite the requirements of justice. A national cry for Jews is not very attractive to me. The permission for this was sought in the Bible, and the Jews who returned to Palestine sought it. Why could they not accept the countries where they were born and earned their lives as their own homeland like other people in the world? Just as Britain belongs to the British and France to France, Palestine belongs to the Arabs. It is both wrong and inhuman to try to impose the will of the Jews on the Arabs. What is currently happening in Palestine cannot be explained by any moral rules.

Refusal of violent resistance

Gandhi also became a target in the political arena because it criticized employees for gaining independence through violent methods. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Udham Singh and Rajguru's refusal to protest their hangings has been the cause of their accusation by some.

As regards these criticisms, Gandhi said: “Once upon a time there were people who listened to me for showing how to fight unarmed with the British when they do not have weapons, but today I am told that my anti-violence [against the Hindu-Muslim uprisings] is not the solution and therefore people should be armed for self-defense.”

He used this argument in a few more articles. In his article "Zionism and Anti-Semitism," (Zionism and Anti-Semitism), he first interprets the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany in the context of Satyagraha. It offers passive resistance as a method of opposing the persecution Jews face in Germany,

If I was a Jew, and if I was born in Germany and earned my life there, I would see Germany as my homeland, at least as much as the tall white German, and would tell him to either shoot me or throw me into the dungeon; I would refuse to be deported or discriminatory. In doing so, I would not expect my Jewish friends to participate in this civil resistance because I would trust that those who remained would eventually follow my example. If a Jew or all Jews accept the solution proposed here, they will not get worse than they are now. And the voluntary suffering will give them joy with a resistance to resist. Hitler's violence against these actions can be a general massacre of Jews. But if the Jewish mind prepares itself for voluntary suffering, even this dream of massacre can turn into a day of gratitude and joy that Jehovah will save the race from the hands of a tyrant. There is nothing frightening in death for those who fear God.

Gandhi has been criticized a lot for these statements. In his article "Questions on the Jews", he replied: "Friends sent me two clippings that criticize my request for Jews. In both criticisms, the Jews have been told that I do not suggest anything new by suggesting passive resistance for the mistakes made against them… ..It is a waiver of violence from the heart I defended and this is an effective practice resulting from this great waiver. He responded to the criticism with his articles "Reply to Jewish Friends" and "Jews and Palestine": "The waiver of violence from my heart and this is an effective practice resulting from this great waiver."

Gandhi's views on Jews facing the Jewish Holocaust caused criticism from many commentators. On 24 February 1939, Gandhi published a very hard open letter, as opposed to Zionism. Buber stated that it was inconvenient to compare the British behavior towards Indian nationals and what the Nazis did against the Jews; and even stated that Gandhi once supported force use when the Indians were victims of persecution.

Gandhi interpreted the persecution of the Jews from the Nazis in the 1930s in terms of Satyagraha. In his article in November 1938, he proposed passive resistance as a solution to this persecution:

The persecution of Jews by the Germans seems to be unprecedented in history. The tyrants of ancient times had never reached the level of madness that Hitler reached today. Hitler continues this madness with religious determination. Therefore, all kinds of inhuman behavior required by the elite and militant nationalism religion it is trying to spread is a human behavior that will be rewarded now and later. The blame for a frankly crazy but daring youth collapses over the entire race with incredible brutality. If there is a war that can be considered to be fought on behalf of humanity, the war to be opened to Germany to prevent the persecution of an entire race will be completely justified. It is beyond my horizon to discuss the good and bad aspects of such a war. Even if there is no war for these crimes against Germany and Jews, an alliance with Germany cannot be entered. How can an alliance be established with a nation that says it fights for justice and democracy but is the enemy of both? ”

Glenn C. Altschuler morally questions the counsel of Gandhi to allow the British to be occupied by Nazi Germany. Gandhi told the British, “If they want to invade your homes, get out of your homes. "If they do not let you go freely, let men, women and children be slaughtered that you will accept the commitment to them."

Early South African articles

Some articles written by Gandhi in the first years in South Africa were the subject of discussion. As reprinted in his collection of "The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi," published by all his works, Gandhi wrote about the South African prison of his time in the "Indian Opinion" newspaper in 1908: "The vast majority of domestic prisoners are only one step above the animals and often problematic among themselves." they fight. " In his speech, again published in the same collection, on September 26, 1896, Gandhi speaks of "raw kaffir, which will gather enough flock of animals to hunt for one prey, and to buy a profit with one ambition, and then spend his life in sleepiness and naked." Today, the term Kaffir has a derogatory meaning, but it should be noted that Gandhi's meaning in time was different from today. Some accused Gandhi of racism for comments like this.

Surendra Bhana and Goolam Vahed, two history professors with extensiveness in South Africa, discussed these discussions in The Making of a Political Reformer: Gandhi in South Africa, 1893-1914. (New Delhi: Manohar, 2005) (Development of a Political Reformer: Gandhi in 1893-1914 in South Africa). In the first chapter, "Gandhi, Africans and Indians in Colonial Natal" under "White rule", they focus on the relations between African and Indian communities and policies that cause racial discrimination and thus tensions between these communities. According to their conclusion from these relations, "young Gandhi was influenced by the concepts of racial discrimination prevailing in the 1890s." He also said that Gandhi's experiences in prison caused him to be more sensitive about the situation of Africans, and that Gandhi later softened; They state that when expressing their prejudices against Africans, they are less categorical and more open to seeing common goals. ” "They say that their negative views in Johannesburg prison are for Africans who have been sentenced for a long time, rather than for Africans."

Former South African president Nelson Mandela was a follower of Gandhi, despite attempts to prevent the opening of a Gandhi statue in Johannesburg in 2003. Bhana and Vahed commented on the events related to the opening of the statue in the conclusion section of his work The Making of a Political Reformer: Gandhi in South Africa, 1893-1914. In the “Gandhi's Legacy to South Africa” section, “Gandhi has inspired many generations of South African activists trying to end the White administration. This legacy connects him to Nelson Mandela so that in a sense, Mandela has completed the start of Gandhi. ” They continue by referring to the discussions that took place during the opening of Gandhi's statue. On these two different perspectives about Gandhi, Bhana and Vahed conclude: “Those who try to use Gandhi for their political purposes in post-apartheid South Africa cannot add anything to their case when they are ignorant of some facts about Gandhi, and they simply say it is racist. degrees of events. ”

Recently, Nelson Mandela attended a conference from January 100 to January 29, 30 in New Delhi, which coincided with the 2007th anniversary of satyagrahan's entrance to South Africa. Also, Mandela Gandhi appeared in the South African premiere of the movie My Father in July 2007 with a video clip. Anil Kapoor, the film's producer, talked about this clip as follows: “Nelson Mandela sent a special message for the opening of the movie. Mandela spoke not only about Gandhi, but also about me. It is my thanks to me for making this movie that warms my heart and makes me feel modest. However, I should have thanked them for letting me shoot this film in South Africa and make the world premiere here. Mandela supported the movie very much. ” South African president Thabo Mbeki joined this opening with the rest of the South African government.

Other reviews

The Dalitian caste leader BR Ambedkar Gandhi condemned the term Harijans, which he used when referring to the Dalit society. The meaning of this term is "Children of God"; and it has been interpreted by some as that Dalits do not reach social maturity and that privileged Indian caste means a paternalistic attitude. Ambedkar and his allies also felt that Gandhi was undermining Dalit's political rights. Gandhi insisted that even though he was born in Vaishya caste, Dalit activists like Ambedkar could speak on behalf of Dalits.

The Indian scientist Koenraad criticized Gandhi in Elst. He questioned the effectiveness of Gandhi's theory of passive resistance and stated that it could only make a few compromises from the British. Elst also claimed that the independence of India was accepted because the British were afraid of violent acts, not passive resistance (also with the depletion of resources after World War II). According to Elst, an example of this is the support of the Indian community of Subpast Chara Bose to the Indian National Army. As praise, he states: “The main reason why Gandhi became famous is that he is the only leader among freedom leaders in colonial societies that produces policies and strategies that come from local culture rather than Western models (such as nationalism, socialism, anarchism).”


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