On January 30th 1948, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as the Mahatma or Bapu (Father), was assassinated.
60 years later, India is paying homage to the father of the country and some of his ashes are scattered in the Arabian sea near Mumbaï.
I never speak about news events, but as I studied enough the Mahatma to be impressed by his life, I will do so today.
I wrote a paper on leadership on him for my Master’s degree at Audencia, and I propose you some excerpts of it.
Mohandas Gandhi’s life begun in the state of Gujarat, in India in 1869, As a son of the Chief Minister of this state he was able to pursue high studies.
The principles he earned by his parents during his education were the principles that made his way of acting, which are primarily “non-injury to living beings, vegetarianism and tolerance”.
After having studied in India, he took the opportunity at the age of 19 to go in the United Kingdom to study to become a barrister. After being admitted as a member of the English bar, he went back to India.
At that time, Mohandas Gandhi was lacking charisma in the courtroom and his law practice failed. He hence decided to accept a contract for a Indian company in South Africa.
There, he faced various humiliations because of him being Indian, he began to more closely examine the hardness of the life conditions his people suffered in South Africa.
In 1906, he adopted his style of non violent protest for the first time. He ask his fellow Indians to defy the law and suffer the punishments for doing so rather than act in a violent way.
Being successful in South Africa, Gandhi went back to India in 1915. At that time, several regions of the country were suffering from famine. This fact was strongly hitting the poor populations of farmers who were forced to grow crops which could be sold rather than growing food crops.
The situation were worsened when the British government levied a tax increase on this people. After having gained the confidence of the villagers he began cleaning the villages, built hospitals for the poor and various actions.
When Gandhi was arrested for creating unrest, thousands of people protested and Gandhi was released from custody. Thereafter, he won his battle against the landlords who improved conditions of the farmers. Thanks to these actions, Gandhi grew famous in whole India.
After a massacre in Punjab in 1919, Gandhi began to thought that the British occupation was oppressive and his awareness of the fact that India needed Independence raised.
Gandhi kept on fighting peacefully for Indian Independence, with among others the Salt March in 1930. His action gained almost total support from the local population as well as foreign awareness.
Gandhi and his followers increased the pressure on the British governance during World War II, with the campaign called “Quit Britain” until he was arrested in 1942.
Independence of India finally became reality in 1947 and Gandhi was assassinated in 1948. His death was a strong shock worldwide and many countries around the world expressed their condolences, The United Nations also declared a period of mourning.
With his means of nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi inspired many other leaders after him. Among them we can mention Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States, the Dalaï Lama, Lech Walesa in Poland, and finally Nelson Mandela in South Africa.
Few people inspired such an amount of leaders in the world and one can say that Gandhi’s life and fight will remain for a long time a source of inspiration for world leaders.
I hope you enjoyed this article, If you want to read my whole paper, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I will gladly answer you.