Remember Gandhi now
Why should we remember him right now? A shy schoolboy in the past. An adult who did not know how to apply himself and what was his destiny. The man who even did not choose his wife, accepting the chosen one by his parents …
It seems to us that it is worth remembering Mahatma Gandhi right now, in conditions when the world is crumbling, and we have to overcome great difficulties fighting for our life, freedom and health. Why? Because, despite who Gandhi was at the beginning of his journey, despite the mistakes he made when his world collapsed around him, and more than once, this man stood and led other people, inspiring the whole world to observance of humanistic ideals of man.
We suggest that you get acquainted with the main feats that the liberator of India took, and understand that the principles of the activities of the Gandhi resistance are universal and relevant even today.
A man kicked out of a train. Beginning of resistance
After Gandhi learned to be a lawyer in England and went home to work, one event happened to him that determined his whole his future life. He, a respectable lawyer, bought a train ticket, from which he was subsequently kicked out at the request of one white gentleman. Moreover, it was not the white man who threw him out, but the police, who came in the end in order to eliminate the disorder.
From that day on, Gandhi decided that he would devote his life to the resistance against inequality and oppression. He will continue this in South Africa, where he will eventually work at the insistence of his father, and where at that time many Indians lived and worked.
Gandhi took the principle of “non-violent resistance” developed by himself as the basis of fighting. He was ready to endure pain, suffering and humiliation, but to remain true to himself in any situation. This method also called for the rejection of violence, thereby affecting the mind and conscience of opponents. The goal of this was not the enemy himself, but the problem that arose between the two warring parties.
However not all of Gandhi’s supporters liked this method. Not everyone was ready for such dedication, especially after a long period of oppression of the Indians by the English Empire. Then, Gandhi claimed that if Indians are not ready to follow their principles patiently, they are not ready for independence.
At first, the British only laughed at the naive eccentric. However, they gradually realized that they had nothing to oppose to a courageous, strong rival – it was impossible to bribe or seduce him, he stood firmly on his feet.
So Gandhi became a moral authority not only for the people of India, but for the whole world. It was then that the writer Rabindranath Tagore, a Nobel laureate, first called Gandhi “Mahatma” (“great soul”). Gandhi himself believed that he was not worthy of such a high-profile title.
One of the most famous actions of Gandhi and his followers was the so-called “salt campaign” of 1930. After the end of the 390-kilometer campaign, during which more and more followers joined the group of protesters, its participants began demonstratively evaporating salt from sea water, and also ceased to pay the gigantic salt taxes that England imposed on them.
Angry colonial authorities threw Gandhi to jail, but the action continued after his arrest. About 80 thousand people were imprisoned, but even this did not stop people from protesting. In the end, the authorities released Gandhi.
The Salt Camp had a huge propaganda effect. Mahatma Gandhi and his principles were gaining popularity around the world, including England, to the great dismay of the authorities of the British Empire.
Opponent of the split
In 1947, the main goal of his fight was achieved – India became independent. But the achievement was perhaps the main disappointment of his life – in August 1947, not one, but two states appeared on the map: the Republic of India and Muslim Pakistan.
However, even then Gandhi did not give up and went on an indefinite hunger strike. Death was rather more preferable to him, than watching the split of India. And it was this act that suspended the fierce resistance of the parties.
Gandhi was not afraid of death, although numerous assassinations were committed against him. Unfortunately, one of them succeeded.
In the evening, Mahatma went out to the front lawn for evening prayer, where dozens of supporters waited for him. By tradition, Gandhi’s followers wanted to touch his feet. Among them was Nathuram Godze, editor of a radical newspaper, who considered Gandhi to be the culprit of the split in India. At close range, Godze fired three shots at Gandhi. The first two bullets passed right through, the third was stuck in the lung near his heart. The weakening Mahatma whispered: “Oh, Rama! Oh, Rama! ” Then he showed with gestures that he forgives the killer, and he died on the spot.
In 2000, according to a survey conducted by the BBC among the inhabitants of England, Gandhi was called “a man of the millennium.” In 2007 was established International Day of Non-Violence, celebrated on October 2 – the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.
It was the man with a big heart, who loved all the humanity so much. His life is an example and we are its inheritors.