Sample Essay on Mahatma Gandhi: The Greatest Leader of India
Mahatma Gandhi is probably one of the most famous names on earth. The primary leader of the independence movement in India, Gandhi is also known as an architect of the non-violent civil disobedience that had a significant impact on the world.
Born on October the 2nd, 1869, Indian nationalist leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi originally comes from Porbandar, Kathiawar that is located in India. At the time, Porbandar was a part of the British Empire. Gandhi’s mother, Putlibai, was a truly religious lady, while his father, Karamchand Gandhi, worked as the Porbandar chief minister. In his early years, Gandhi was taught to worship the Hindu god Vishnu, as well as follow Jainism that propagated vegetarianism and nonviolence.
As a teenager, Gandhi was shy and timid. It is known that the boy slept with the lights on even at the age of 13. Exactly at that time he got married to a merchant’s daughter Kasturba Makanji. A few years later, the boy rebelled by eating meat and smoking.
In 1885, shortly after the passing of his father, Gandhi endured the death of his baby. Even though young Gandhi was mainly interested in becoming a doctor, his parents hoped he’d give his preference to the legal profession. At the age of 18, Gandhi became a father for the fourth time and sailed to UK to study law. It wasn’t an easy task for the young man to transit to the Western culture. For that reason, Gandhi became more committed to vegetarianism and joined London Vegetarian Society.
In 1891, Gandhi was going to return to his motherland. Upon his returning, he learnt that his mother had passed away just a few weeks earlier. After the tragedy, Gandhi made the first steps in his career as a lawyer that wasn’t successful. After the birth of the other child, Gandhi set off to South African state of Natal.
A breakthrough in his life came on June 7, 1893. Gandhi was on the trip to Pretoria, when a white man objected to Gandhi’s presence in the first-class compartment. Gandhi refused to move to the back of the train and was immediately thrown off the machine. The hardships that people like Gandhi faced made him devote his life to fighting the color prejudice, as well as upholding civil rights.
In 1906, Mahatma Gandhi ran his first civil-disobedience campaign known as ‘Satyagraha’ as an immediate reaction to the new restrictions on the rights of Indians. The Transvaal government refused to recognize the nature of the Hindu marries, which was one of the reasons Gandhi organized the campaign. A lot of protestants were imprisoned by the government and Gandhi was one of them. Fortunately, the authorities decided to accept the compromise and recognize the Hindu marriages.
Mahatma Gandhi became a prominent person in the home-rule movement of India. He urged to call government authorities to stop working for Britain, soldiers to give up their posts and students to leave their schools in order to stop paying taxes to the crown.
After keeping away from politics, Gandhi appeared with the protests against the British Salt Acts. The latter did not allow Indians to both collect and sell salt, as well as imposing a huge tax that the poorest people could not pay. Mahatma had led a new ‘Satyagraha’ campaign which involved a 240-mile march right to the Arabian Sea, where Gandhi collected salt and later was named Time’s ‘Man of the Year’.
- Erikson, Erik. H. Gandhi’s Truth: On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence. New York: Norton, 1969.
- Tendulkar, D. G. Mahatma, life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Bombay, Vithalbhai. Jhaveri and D. G. Tendulkar, 1951, 1952, 1953 and 1954 (8 vols.).
- Fischer, L. (1982). The life of Mahatma Gandhi. London: Granada Publishing Ltd.
- Cf. James Manor, ‘Pragmatic Progressives in Regional Politics: The Case of Devaraj Urs’, Economic and Political Weekly, annual issue, February 1980.
- Wolpert, Stanely. Gandhi’s Passion: The Life and Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
- S.R. Bakhi, Gandhi and his social thought. Criterian publication New Delhi 1986 pp. 175 – 176.
- Sheridan, C. (1939). The great little Mahatma. In S. Radhakrishnan, (Ed.), Mahatma Gandhi – Essays and reflections on his life and work (pp. 268-276). Woking, Great Britain: Unwin Brothers Limited.