Throughout history, many important leaders have emerged with a mission to dramatically change the fate of the society in which they live. These great leaders not only led their nation’s struggle for existence but also took upon themselves the challenging task of changing and improving the society in which they lived. However, among these leaders, only one had been promoted to the rank of ‘Supreme Spirit’! Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, or Mahatma Gandhi, known as the “Supreme Soul” or “Mahatma” by the Indian people, remains one of the most important political figures in modern history. The movement of “civil disobedience” and “passive resistance” that he started against the British colony in India is still an important struggle, an important form of resistance. Here are 10 things you need to know about Mahatma Gandhi, the symbol of passive resistance.
1. Developed the Sanskrit doctrine of passive resistance called “satyagraha” which means “holding on to the truth”
The Indian people were able to get rid of the British colony and gain their independence thanks to this doctrine and the methods of passive resistance it contained, which formed the foundations that Mahatma Gandhi used to define the elements of nonviolent resistance against evil.
2. Mahatma Gandhi was also influenced by religious concepts while developing the doctrine of Satyagraha which would have a great influence in world political history
Gandhi, who was called the supreme soul by the Indian people, has Asian ancestry like Jainism and Hinduism. Ethics, tolerance, harmlessness to any living thing, and keeping away from all kinds of violence were among the simplest teachings of these beliefs. Accordingly, while developing the doctrine of Satyagraha, Gandhi was also influenced by these religious beliefs prevalent in India.
3. Mahatma Gandhi, who was the leader of the struggle for independence against England, studied law in England.
4. He lived in South Africa for 21 years, before the struggle for independence in India
Gandhi was subjected to racism many times during his years in South Africa, and his struggle against racism and exploitation began in South Africa long before his Indian days.
5. During the Second Boer War 1899-1902, he joined the war from the British side
Moreover, he was calling people of Indian descent living in Africa to the front to fight on behalf of the British. Of course, Gandhi had a reason to fight for the British. According to him, if the Indians took the side of the British during this war in Africa, the Indians would have equal citizenship rights. However, the British did not accept the Indians as equal citizens after the war.
6. After returning to India in 1915, Gandhi became leader of the Indian National Congress in 1921
Gandhi, who became the voice of the desire for independence in India, began organizing the Indian people to protest against colonial rule. In addition, during the same period, she organized various campaigns to reduce poverty in the country, expand women’s rights, ensure peace between religious and ethnic elements, and end caste discrimination.
7. In 1930 he carried out the Salt March, which is considered one of the most important acts of civil disobedience in history.
Salt was just one of dozens of items monopolized by the British in colonial India for many years. This was a great opportunity for action for Gandhi, who was a symbol of passive resistance.
Along with Mahatma Gandhi, thousands of people embarked on the famous Salt March on March 12, 1930 to abolish the salt monopoly in the country. People led by Gandhi walked about 400 kilometers to reach the village of Dandi on the coast of the Indian Ocean. At the end of the march, thousands of people broke the law that the British had applied since 1762, and became the first to mine salt in their country many years later. At the end of this work, 60,000 people were imprisoned. But the British Salt Act is no longer in effect.
8. Gandhi, who led the Indian people’s march for independence, was called the Supreme Spirit
The great leader of the Indian people is still seen in India today as a messianic figure.
9. He lived a very modest life
In the early 1920s, he adopted the “self-sufficient” concept of life.
10 Killed by Hindu nationalist Nathuram Godse on January 30, 1948
Sevahral Nehru, a leading figure in the independence movement and the first Prime Minister of independent India, announced the news of Gandhi’s death. Gandhi’s birthday, October 2, is one of the national holidays in India. It is celebrated as the “International Day of Nonviolence” all over the world.
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