Mohandas karamchand gandhi

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Mohandas karamchand gandhi

  1. 1. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Born 2 October 1869 Porbandar, Kathiawar Agency,British Indian Empire[1] Died 30 January 1948 (aged 78) New Delhi, Dominion of India Cause of Assassination by shooting death Resting Cremated at Rajghat, Delhi. place 28.6415°N 77.2483°E Nationality Indian Other Mahatma Gandhi, Bapu, Gandhiji names Ethnicity Indo-Aryan (Gujarati)
  2. 2. Alma mater Alfred High School, Rajkot, Samaldas College, Bhavnagar, Inner Temple, London Known for Prominent figure of Indian independence movement, propounding the philosophy ofSatyagraha and Ahimsa advocating non-violence, pacifism Religion Hinduism, with Jain influences Spouse(s) Kasturba Gandhi Children Harilal Manilal Ramdas Devdas Parents Putlibai Gandhi (Mother) Karamchand Gandhi (Father) SignatureMohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 1869[1] – 30 January 1948), commonly knownas Mahatma Gandhi, was the preeminent leader of Indian Nationalism in British-Ruled India.Employing non-violentcivil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspiredmovements for non-violence, civil rights and freedom across the world.The son of a senior government official, Gandhi was born and raised in a HinduBania community in coastal Gujarat, and trained in law in London. Gandhi became famous byfighting for the civil rights of Muslim and Hindu Indians in South Africa, using new techniques of
  3. 3. non-violent civil disobedience that he developed. Returning to India in 1915, he set aboutorganising peasants to protest excessive land-taxes. A lifelong opponent of "comunalism"basing politics on religion) he reached out widely to all religious groups. He became a leader ofMuslims protesting the declining status of the Caliphate. Assuming leadership of the IndianNational Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expandingwomens rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, increasing economicself-reliance, and above all for achieving Swaraj—the independence of India from Britishdomination.Gandhi led Indians in protesting the national salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi SaltMarch in 1930, and later in demanding the British to immediately Quit India in 1942,during World War II. He was imprisoned for that and for numerous other political offenses overthe years. Gandhi sought to practice non-violence and truth in all situations, and advocated thatothers do the same. He saw the villages as the core of the true India and promoted self-sufficiency; he did not support the industrialization programs of his disciple Jawaharlal Nehru.He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditionalIndian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn he had hand spun on a charka. His chief politicalenemy in Britain was Winston Churchill who ridiculed him as a "half-naked fakir. He was adedicated vegetarian, and undertook long fasts as means of both self-purification and politicalmobilization.In his last year, unhappy at the partition of India. Gandhi worked to stop the carnage betweenMuslims and Hindus and Sikhs that raged in the border area between India and Pakistan. Hewas assassinated on 30 January 1948 by a Hindu nationalist who thought Gandhi was toosympathetic to Indias Muslims. 30 January is observed as Martyrs Day in India. Thehonorific ―Mahatma ("Great Soul"), was applied to him by 1914. In India he was alsocalled Bapu ("Father"). He is known in India as the Father of The Nation, his birthday, 2October, is commemorated there as Gandhi Jayanti, anational holiday, and world-wide asthe International Day of Non-Violence. Gandhis philosophy was not theoretical but one ofpragmatism, that is, practicing his principles in real time. Asked to give a message to thepeople, he would respond, "My life is my message.‖
  4. 4. Early life and backgroundGandhi in his earliest known photo, aged 7, c. 1876Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar, a coastaltown which was then part of the Bombay Presidency, British India. He was born in hisancestral home, now known as Kirti Mandir. His father, Karamchand Gandhi (1822–1885), who belonged to the Hindu Modh community, served as the diwan (a highofficial) of Porbander State, a small princely state in the Kathiawar Agency ofBritish India. His grandfather was Uttamchand Gandhi, also called Utta Gandhi. Hismother, Putlibai, who came from the Pranami Vaishnava community, wasKaramchands fourth wife, the first three wives having apparently died in childbirth.The Indian classics, especially the stories of Shravana and king Harish Chandra, hada great impact on Gandhi in his childhood. In his autobiography, he admits that they leftan indelible impression on his mind. He writes: "It haunted me and I must have actedHarishchandra to myself times without number." Gandhis early self-identification withtruth and love as supreme values is traceable to these epic characters.In May 1883, the 13-year-old Mohandas was married to 14-year-old KasturbaiMakhanji (her first name was usually shortened to "Kasturba", and affectionately to"Ba") in an arranged child marriage, according to the custom of the region. In the
  5. 5. process, he lost a year at school. Recalling the day of their marriage, he once said, "Aswe didnt know much about marriage, for us it meant only wearing new clothes, eatingsweets and playing with relatives." However, as was prevailing tradition, the adolescentbride was to spend much time at her parents house, and away from her husband. In1885, when Gandhi was 15, the couples first child was born, but survived only a fewdays. Gandhis father, Karamchand Gandhi, had also died earlier that year.Mohandas and Kasturba had four more children, all sons: Harilal, born in 1888; Manilalborn in 1892; Ramdas, born in 1897; and Devdas, born in 1900. At his middle school inPorbandar and high school in Rajkot, Gandhi remained a mediocre student. He shoneneither in the classroom nor on the playing field. One of the terminal reports rated himas "good at English, fair in Arithmetic and weak in Geography; conduct very good, badhandwriting." He passed the matriculation exam at Samaldas College in Bhavnagar,Gujarat, with some difficulty. Gandhis family wanted him to be a barrister as it wouldincrease the prospects of succeeding to his fathers post.English barristerGandhi and his wife Kasturba (1902)In 1888, Gandhi travelled to London, England, to study law at University CollegeLondon, where he studied Indian law and jurisprudence and to train as a barrister atthe Inner Temple. His time in London was influenced by a vow he had made to hismother upon leaving India, in the presence of a Jain monk, to observe the Hinduprecepts of abstinence from meat and alcohol as well as of promiscuity. [21] Gandhi triedto adopt "English" customs, including taking dancing lessons for example. However, hecould not appreciate the bland vegetarian food offered by his landlady and wasfrequently hungry until he found one of Londons few vegetarian restaurants. Influenced
  6. 6. by Henry Salts writing, he joined the Vegetarian Society, was elected to its executivecommittee,[22] and started a local Bayswater chapter.[13] Some of the vegetarians he metwere members of the Theosophical Society, which had been founded in 1875 to furtheruniversal brotherhood, and which was devoted to the studyof Buddhist andHindu literature. They encouraged Gandhi to join them in readingthe Bhagavad Gita both in translation as well as in the original.[22] Not having showninterest in religion before, he became interested in religious thought.Gandhi was called to the bar in June 1891 and then left London for India, where helearned that his mother had died while he was in London and that his family had keptthe news from him.[22] His attempts at establishing a law practice in Bombay failedbecause he was too shy to speak up in court. He returned to Rajkot to make a modestliving drafting petitions for litigants, but he was forced to close it when he ran afoul of aBritish officer.[13][22] In 1893, he accepted a year-long contract from Dada Abdulla & Co.,an Indian firm, to a post in the Colony of Natal, South Africa, then part of the BritishEmpire.[13]Civil rights movement in South Africa (1893–1914)Purported photograph of Gandhi in South Africa (1895)Gandhi was 24 when he arrived in South Africa[23] to work as a legal representative forthe Muslim Indian Traders based in the city of Pretoria.[24]He spent 21 years in SouthAfrica, where he developed his political views, ethics and political leadership skills.Indians in South Africa were led by wealthy Muslims, who employed Gandhi as alawyer, and by impoverished Hindu indentured laborers with very limited rights. Gandhiconsidered them all to be Indians, taking a lifetime view that "Indianness" transcended
  7. 7. religion and caste. He believed he could bridge historic differences, especially regardingreligion, and he took that belief back to India where he tried to implement it. The SouthAfrican experience exposed handicaps to Gandhi that he had not known about. Herealised he was out of contact with the enormous complexities of religious and culturallife in India, and believed he understood India by getting to know and leading Indians inSouth Africa.[25]In South Africa, Gandhi faced the discrimination directed at all coloured people. He wasthrown off a train at Pietermaritzburg after refusing to move from the first-class. Heprotested and was allowed on first class the next day.[26] Travelling farther on bystagecoach, he was beaten by a driver for refusing to move to make room for aEuropean passenger.[27] He suffered other hardships on the journey as well, includingbeing barred from several hotels. In another incident, the magistrate of a Durban courtordered Gandhi to remove his turban, which he refused to do.[28]These events were a turning point in Gandhis life and shaped his social activism andawakened him to social injustice. After witnessing racism,prejudice and injustice againstIndians in South Africa, Gandhi began to question his place in society and his peoplesstanding in the British Empire.[29]Gandhi extended his original period of stay in South Africa to assist Indians in opposinga bill to deny them the right to vote. In regards to this bill Gandhi sent out a memorial toJoseph Chamberlin, British Colonial Secretary, asking him to reconsider his position onthis bill.[24] Though unable to halt the bills passage, his campaign was successful indrawing attention to the grievances of Indians in South Africa. He helped foundthe Natal Indian Congress in 1894,[13][26] and through this organisation, he moulded theIndian community of South Africa into a unified political force. In January 1897, whenGandhi landed in Durban, a mob of white settlers attacked him[30] and he escaped onlythrough the efforts of the wife of the police superintendent. He, however, refused topress charges against any member of the mob, stating it was one of his principles not toseek redress for a personal wrong in a court of law.[13]In 1906, the Transvaal government promulgated a new Act compelling registration ofthe colonys Indian population. At a mass protest meeting held in Johannesburg on 11September that year, Gandhi adopted his still evolving methodologyof Satyagraha (devotion to the truth), or non-violent protest, for the first time.[31] Heurged Indians to defy the new law and to suffer the punishments for doing so. Thecommunity adopted this plan, and during the ensuing seven-year struggle, thousands of
  8. 8. Indians were jailed, flogged, or shot for striking, refusing to register, for burning theirregistration cards or engaging in other forms of non-violent resistance. The governmentsuccessfully repressed the Indian protesters, but the public outcry over the harshtreatment of peaceful Indian protesters by the South African government forced SouthAfrican leader Jan Christiaan Smuts, himself a philosopher, to negotiate a compromisewith Gandhi. Gandhis ideas took shape, and the concept of Satyagraha matured duringthis struggle.Gandhi and the AfricansGandhi in South Africa (1909)Gandhi focused his attention on Indians while in South Africa and opposed the idea thatIndians should be treated at the same level as native Africans while in SouthAfrica.[32][33][34] After several treatments he received from Whites in South Africa, Gandhibegan to change his thinking and apparently increased his interest in politics.[35] Whiterule enforced strict segregation among all races and generated conflict between thesecommunities. Bhana and Vahed argue that Gandhi, at first, shared racial notionsprevalent of the times and that his experiences in jail sensitized him to the plight ofblacks.In 1906, the British declared war against the Zulu Kingdom in Natal, Gandhi encouragedthe British to recruit Indians.[36] He argued that Indians should support the war efforts inorder to legitimise their claims to full citizenship.[36] The British accepted Gandhis offerto let a detachment of 20 Indians volunteer as a stretcher-bearer corps to treat woundedBritish soldiers. This corps was commanded by Gandhi and operated for less than twomonths.[37] The experience taught him it was hopeless to directly challenge the
  9. 9. overwhelming military power of the British army—he decided it could only be resisted innon-violent fashion by the pure of heart.[38]After the black majority came to power in South Africa, Gandhi was proclaimed anational hero with numerous monuments.[39]Struggle for Indian Independence (1915–47)See also: Indian independence movementIn 1915, Gandhi returned to India permanently. He brought an international reputationas a leading Indian nationalist, theorist and organizer. He joined the Indian NationalCongress and was introduced to Indian issues, politics and the Indian people primarilyby Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Gokhale was a key leader of the Congress Party bestknown for his restraint and moderation, and his insistence on working inside the system.Gandhi took Gokhales liberal approach based on British Whiggish traditions andtransformed it to make it look wholly Indian.[40]Gandhi took leadership of Congress in 1920 and began a steady escalation of demands(with Intermittent compromises or pauses) until on 26 January 1930 the Indian NationalCongress declared the independence of India. The British did not recognize that andmore negotiations ensued, with Congress taking a role in provincial government in thelate 1930s. Gandhi and Congress withdrew their support of the Raj when the Viceroydeclared war on Germany in September 1939 without consulting anyone. Tensionsescalated until Gandhi demanded immediate independence in 1942 and the Britishresponded by imprisoning him and tens of thousands of Congress leaders for theduration. Meanwhile the Muslim League did cooperate with Britain and moved, againstGandhis strong opposition, to demands for a totally separate Muslim state of Pakistan.In August 1947 the British partitioned the land, with India and Pakistan each achievingindependence on terms Gandhi disapproved.[41]Role in World War ISee also: The role of India in World War IIn April 1918, during the latter part of World War I, the Viceroy invited Gandhi to a WarConference in Delhi.[42] Perhaps to show his support for the Empire and help his casefor Indias independence,[43] Gandhi agreed to actively recruit Indians for the wareffort.[44] In contrast to the Zulu War of 1906 and the outbreak of World War I in 1914,when he recruited volunteers for the Ambulance Corps, this time Gandhi attempted to
  10. 10. recruit combatants. In a June 1918 leaflet entitled "Appeal for Enlistment", Gandhi wrote"To bring about such a state of things we should have the ability to defend ourselves,that is, the ability to bear arms and to use them...If we want to learn the use of arms withthe greatest possible despatch, it is our duty to enlist ourselves in the army."[45] He did,however, stipulate in a letter to the Viceroys private secretary that he "personally willnot kill or injure anybody, friend or foe."[46]Gandhis war recruitment campaign brought into question his consistency onnonviolence as his friend Charlie Andrews confirms, "Personally I have never been ableto reconcile this with his own conduct in other respects, and it is one of the points whereI have found myself in painful disagreement."[47] Gandhis private secretary also hadacknowledged that "The question of the consistency between his creed of Ahimsa(non-violence) and his recruiting campaign was raised not only then but has beendiscussed ever since."[44]Champaran and KhedaMain article: Champaran and Kheda SatyagrahaGandhi in 1918, at the time of the Kheda and Champaran SatyagrahasGandhis first major achievements came in 1918 with the Champaran and Khedaagitations of Bihar and Gujarat. The Champaran agitation pitted the local peasantryagainst their largely British landlords who were backed by the local administration. Thepeasantry was forced to grow Indigo, a cash crop whose demand had been declining
  11. 11. over two decades, and were forced to sell their crops to the planters at a fixed price.Unhappy wIth this, the peasantry appealed to Gandhi at his ashram in Ahmedabad.Pursuing a strategy of non-violent protest, Gandhi took the administration by surpriseand won concessions from the authorities.[48]In 1918, Kheda was hit by floods and famine and the peasantry was demanding relieffrom taxes. Gandhi moved his headquarters to Nadiad,[49] organising scores ofsupporters and fresh volunteers from the region, the most notable being VallabhbhaiPatel.[50] Using non-cooperation as a technique, Gandhi initiated a signature campaignwhere peasants pledged non-payment of revenue even under the threat of confiscationof land. A social boycott of mamlatdars and talatdars(revenue officials within the district)accompanied the agitation. Gandhi worked hard to win public support for the agitationacross the country. For five months, the administration refused but finally in end-May1918, the Government gave way on important provisions and relaxed the conditions ofpayment of revenue tax until the famine ended. In Kheda, Vallabhbhai Patelrepresented the farmers in negotiations with the British, who suspended revenuecollection and released all the prisoners.[51]Khilafat movementIn 1919 Gandhi, with his weak position in Congress, decided to broaden his base byincreasing his appeal to Muslims. The opportunity came from the Khilafat movement, aworldwide protest by Muslims against the collapsing status of the Caliph, the leader oftheir religion. The Ottoman Empire had lost the World War and was dismembered, asMuslims feared for the safety of the holy places and the prestige of theirreligion.[52] Although Gandhi did not originate the All-India Muslim Conference,[53] whichdirected the movement in India, he soon became its most prominent spokesman andattracted a strong base of Muslim support with local chapters in all Muslim centers inIndia.[54] His success made him Indias first national leader with a multicultural base andfacilitated his rise to power within Congress, which had previously been unable to reachmany Muslims. In 1920 Gandhi became a major leader in Congress.[55][56] By the end of1922 the Khilafat movement had collapsed.[57]Gandhi always fought against "communalism", which pitted Muslims against Hindus inpolitics, but he could not reverse the rapid growth of communalism after 1922. Deadlyreligious riots broke out in numerous cities, including 91 in U.P. (Uttar Pradesh)alone.[58][59] At the leadership level, the proportion of Muslims among delegates toCongress fell sharply, from 11% in 1921 to under 4% in 1923.[60]
  12. 12. Non-cooperationMain article: Non-cooperation movementMahatma Gandhi spinning yarn, in the late 1920sWith Congress now behind him in 1920, Gandhi had the base to employ non-cooperation, non-violence and peaceful resistance as his "weapons" in the struggleagainst the British Raj. His wide popularity among both Hindus and Muslims made hisleadership possible; he even convinced the extreme faction of Muslims to supportpeaceful non-cooperation.[61] The spark that ignited a national protest wasoverwhelming anger at the Jallianwala Bagh massacre (or Amritsar massacre) ofhundreds of peaceful civilians by British troops in Punjab. Many Britons celebrated theaction as needed to prevent another Mutiny like 1857, an attitude that caused manyIndian leaders to decide the Raj was controlled by their enemies, and was more anobstacle than a pathway. Gandhi criticised both the actions of the British Raj and theretaliatory violence of Indians. He authored the resolution offering condolences to Britishcivilian victims and condemning the riots which, after initial opposition in the party, wasaccepted following Gandhis emotional speech advocating his principle that all violencewas evil and could not be justified.[62]After the massacre and subsequent violence, Gandhi began to focus on winningcomplete self-government and control of all Indian government institutions, maturingsoon into Swaraj or complete individual, spiritual, political independence.[63] During thisperiod, Gandhi claimed to be a "highly orthodox Hindu" and in January 1921 during aspeech at a temple in Vadtal, he spoke of the relevance of non-cooperation to HinduDharma, "At this holy place, I declare, if you want to protect your Hindu Dharma, non-cooperation is first as well as the last lesson you must learn up.".[64]
  13. 13. Sabarmati Ashram, Gandhis home in GujaratIn December 1921, Gandhi was invested with executive authority on behalf of the IndianNational Congress. Under his leadership, the Congress was reorganised with a newconstitution, with the goal of Swaraj. Membership in the party was opened to anyoneprepared to pay a token fee. A hierarchy of committees was set up to improvediscipline, transforming the party from an elite organisation to one of mass nationalappeal. Gandhi expanded his non-violence platform to include the swadeshi policy—theboycott of foreign-made goods, especially British goods. Linked to this was hisadvocacy thatkhadi (homespun cloth) be worn by all Indians instead of British-madetextiles. Gandhi exhorted Indian men and women, rich or poor, to spend time each dayspinning khadi in support of the independence movement.[65]Gandhi even invented a small, portable spinning wheel that could be folded into the sizeof a small typewriter.[66] This was a strategy to inculcate discipline and dedication toweeding out the unwilling and ambitious and to include women in the movement at atime when many thought that such activities were not respectable activities for women.In addition to boycotting British products, Gandhi urged the people to boycott Britisheducational institutions and law courts, to resign from government employment, and toforsake British titles and honours.[67]"Non-cooperation" enjoyed widespread appeal and success, increasing excitement andparticipation from all strata of Indian society. Yet, just as the movement reached itsapex, it ended abruptly as a result of a violent clash in the town of Chauri Chaura, UttarPradesh, in February 1922. Fearing that the movement was about to take a turntowards violence, and convinced that this would be the undoing of all his work, Gandhi
  14. 14. called off the campaign of mass civil disobedience.[68] This was the third time thatGandhi had called off a major campaign.[69] Gandhi was arrested on 10 March 1922,tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years imprisonment. He began his sentence on18 March 1922. He was released in February 1924 for an appendicitisoperation, havingserved only 2 years.[70]Without Gandhis unifying personality, the Indian National Congress began to splinterduring his years in prison, splitting into two factions, one led by Chitta RanjanDas and Motilal Nehru favouring party participation in the legislatures, and the other ledby Chakravarti Rajagopalachari and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, opposing this move.Furthermore, cooperation among Hindus and Muslims, which had been strong at theheight of the non-violence campaign, was breaking down. Gandhi attempted to bridgethese differences through many means, including a three-week fast in the autumn of1924, but with limited success.[71] In this year, Gandhi was persuaded to preside overthe Congress session to be held in Belgaum. Gandhi agreed to become president of thesession on one condition that Congressmen should take to wearing khadi (made ofhomespun cloth). In his long political career, this was the only time when he presidedover a Congress session.[72]Salt Satyagraha (Salt March)Main article: Salt SatyagrahaOriginal footage of Gandhi and his followers marching to Dandi in the Salt SatyagrahaGandhi stayed out of active politics and, as such, the limelight for most of the 1920s. Hefocused instead on resolving the wedge between the Swaraj Party and the IndianNational Congress, and expanding initiatives against untouchability, alcoholism,ignorance and poverty. He returned to the fore in 1928. In the preceding year, theBritish government had appointed a new constitutional reform commission under Sir
  15. 15. John Simon, which did not include any Indian as its member. The result was a boycottof the commission by Indian political parties. Gandhi pushed through a resolution at theCalcutta Congress in December 1928 calling on the British government to grantIndia dominion status or face a new campaign of non-cooperation with completeindependence for the country as its goal. Gandhi had not only moderated the views ofyounger men like Subhas Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru, who sought a demandfor immediate independence, but also reduced his own call to a one year wait, insteadof two.[73]The British did not respond. On 31 December 1929, the flag of India was unfurledin Lahore. 26 January 1930 was celebrated as Indias Independence Day by the IndianNational Congress meeting in Lahore. This day was commemorated by almost everyother Indian organisation. Gandhi then launched a new Satyagraha against the tax onsalt in March 1930. This was highlighted by the famous Salt March to Dandi from 12March to 6 April, where he marched 388 kilometres (241 mi) from Ahmedabad to Dandi,Gujarat to make salt himself. Thousands of Indians joined him on this march to the sea.This campaign was one of his most successful at upsetting British hold on India; Britainresponded by imprisoning over 60,000 people.[74]WomenSalt as a household necessity was of special interest to women. Gandhi stronglyfavoured the emancipation of women, and he went so far as to say that "the womenhave come to look upon me as one of themselves." He opposed purdah, childmarriage, untouchability, and the extreme oppression of Hindu widows, up to andincluding sati. He especially recruited women to participate in the salt tax campaignsand the boycott of foreign products.[75] Sarma concludes that Gandhis success inenlisting women in his campaigns, including the salt tax campaign, anti-untouchabilitycampaign and the peasant movement, gave many women a new self-confidence anddignity in the mainstream of Indian public life.[76]Gandhi as folk heroCongress in the 1920s appealed to peasants by portraying Gandhi as a sort of messiah(the long-awaited savior of an entire people), a strategy that succeeded in incorporatingradical forces within the peasantry into the nonviolent resistance movement. Inthousands of villages plays were performed that presented Gandhi as the reincarnationof earlier Indian nationalist leaders, or even as a demigod. The plays built supportamong illiterate peasants steeped in traditional Hindu culture. Similar messianic imagery
  16. 16. appeared in popular songs and poems, and in Congress-sponsored religious pageantsand celebrations. The result was that Gandhi became not only a folk hero but theCongress was widely seen in the villages as his sacred instrument.[77]NegotiationsMahadev Desai (left) reading out a letter to Gandhi from the viceroy at Birla House, Bombay, 7 April1939The government, represented by Lord Edward Irwin, decided to negotiate with Gandhi.The Gandhi–Irwin Pact was signed in March 1931. The British Government agreed tofree all political prisoners, in return for the suspension of the civil disobediencemovement. Also as a result of the pact, Gandhi was invited to attend the Round TableConference in London as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress. Theconference was a disappointment to Gandhi and the nationalists, because it focused onthe Indian princes and Indian minorities rather than on a transfer of power. Lord Irwinssuccessor, Lord Willingdon, taking a hard line against nationalism, began a newcampaign of controlling and subduing the nationalist movement. Gandhi was againarrested, and the government tried and failed to negate his influence by completelyisolating him from his followers
  17. 17. Struggle for Indian Independence (1915–47)See also: Indian independence movementIn 1915, Gandhi returned to India permanently. He brought an international reputationas a leading Indian nationalist, theorist and organizer. He joined the Indian NationalCongress and was introduced to Indian issues, politics and the Indian people primarilyby Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Gokhale was a key leader of the Congress Party bestknown for his restraint and moderation, and his insistence on working inside the system.Gandhi took Gokhales liberal approach based on British Whiggish traditions andtransformed it to make it look wholly Indian.[40]Gandhi took leadership of Congress in 1920 and began a steady escalation of demands(with Intermittent compromises or pauses) until on 26 January 1930 the Indian NationalCongress declared the independence of India. The British did not recognize that andmore negotiations ensued, with Congress taking a role in provincial government in thelate 1930s. Gandhi and Congress withdrew their support of the Raj when the Viceroydeclared war on Germany in September 1939 without consulting anyone. Tensionsescalated until Gandhi demanded immediate independence in 1942 and the Britishresponded by imprisoning him and tens of thousands of Congress leaders for theduration. Meanwhile the Muslim League did cooperate with Britain and moved, againstGandhis strong opposition, to demands for a totally separate Muslim state of Pakistan.In August 1947 the British partitioned the land, with India and Pakistan each achievingindependence on terms Gandhi disapproved.[41]Role in World War ISee also: The role of India in World War IIn April 1918, during the latter part of World War I, the Viceroy invited Gandhi to a WarConference in Delhi.[42] Perhaps to show his support for the Empire and help his casefor Indias independence,[43] Gandhi agreed to actively recruit Indians for the wareffort.[44] In contrast to the Zulu War of 1906 and the outbreak of World War I in 1914,when he recruited volunteers for the Ambulance Corps, this time Gandhi attempted torecruit combatants. In a June 1918 leaflet entitled "Appeal for Enlistment", Gandhi wrote"To bring about such a state of things we should have the ability to defend ourselves,that is, the ability to bear arms and to use them...If we want to learn the use of arms withthe greatest possible despatch, it is our duty to enlist ourselves in the army."[45] He did,
  18. 18. however, stipulate in a letter to the Viceroys private secretary that he "personally willnot kill or injure anybody, friend or foe."[46]Gandhis war recruitment campaign brought into question his consistency onnonviolence as his friend Charlie Andrews confirms, "Personally I have never been ableto reconcile this with his own conduct in other respects, and it is one of the points whereI have found myself in painful disagreement."[47] Gandhis private secretary also hadacknowledged that "The question of the consistency between his creed of Ahimsa(non-violence) and his recruiting campaign was raised not only then but has beendiscussed ever since.

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