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Mahatma Gandhi Living Style


Mahatma Gandhi, whose full name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar, present-day Gujarat, India. Mahatma Gandhi living style covers his family life, education, ideas, experiences in South Africa, freedom struggle in India and his simples living style.

Family Life of Mahatma Gandhi:

Gandhi’s family was part of the Modh Bania community, which emphasized on traditions, values and spirituality. His father, Karamchand Gandhi, was the diwan (chief minister) of the divisional state of Porbandar, and his mother, Putlibai, was a deeply religious and pious woman.

He was married to his courtesan Kasturba Makhanji when he was only 13 years of age, as was the tradition then. They had four children: Harilal, Manilal, Ramdas and Devdas. Kasturba, also known as Baa, was instrumental in Gandhi’s life and social and political activities.

Education Qualification of Mahatma Gandhi:

Gandhi’s early education took place in Porbandar and later in Rajkot. He decided to study law at the age of 18 in London, England. In 1888, he traveled to London to pursue legal studies at University College London. He completed his law degree in 1891.

His education in London and his exposure to Western thought influenced his thoughts and outlook. He got introduced to the ideas of justice, equality and civil rights, which later helped him in his philosophy of dissent and fight for India’s independence from British rule and become one of the most influential figures worldwide. His non-violent resistance and elements of “Satyagraha” became a fundamental cornerstone of his efforts for social and political change.

Mahatma Gandhi’s youth and his experience in South Africa played an important role in shaping his ideology and methods of nonviolent resistance. Here’s an overview:

In 1893, at the age of 24, Gandhi went to South Africa to work as a lawyer for an Indian trading firm. During his time in South Africa, he witnessed and personally experienced the racial discrimination and injustice meted out to the Indians living there, and other non-white communities.

Important experiences of Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa:

  1. Train accident in Pietermaritzburg (1893):

In one of Gandhi’s first experiences, he was thrown out of a train cabin reserved for white people. This incident became the inspiration for his fight against caste segregation and injustice.

  1. Establishment of the Natal Indian Congress (1894):

Gandhi established the Natal Indian Congress to address the grievances of the Indian community there and appeal for their rights. This was the beginning of his involvement in social and political activities.

  1. Resistance against Pass Laws:

In South Africa he campaigned against the draconian pass laws which required Indians to carry identity cards and was incarcerated. He organized demonstrations and faced arrest, but continued to appeal for civil rights.

  1. Satyagraha and nonviolent resistance:

During his time in South Africa, Gandhi developed the concept of “Satyagraha”, which can be translated as “the power of truth” or “the power of the spirit”. This philosophy promoted nonviolent resistance as a way to achieve social and political change.

  1. Tolstoy Farm:

In 1910, Gandhi established Tolstoy Farm, an experimental community based on simple living, self-reliance and non-violence. The farm served as a training ground for Satyagraha and self-rule.

  1. Volunteer Ambulance Corps in the Boer War:

Gandhi volunteered as a doctor during the Boer War, providing medical aid to combat soldiers, regardless of their affiliation. This deepened his commitment to the values of humanity.

  1. Johannesburg March (1913-1914):

Gandhi led the march from Johannesburg to Johannesburg, in which he demonstrated against the unjust treatment of Indians in the Transvaal region.

  1. Amritsar Massacre and Return to India:

His efforts in South Africa majorly influenced his later struggles in India. The 1919 Abhadrata Bagh massacre in Amritsar, Punjab, in which British soldiers killed unarmed Indian protesters, further strengthened their commitment to nonviolent resistance.

His experiences in South Africa were transformative. They introduced him to the difficulties of caste prejudice and discrimination, from which he developed the principles of nonviolence, dissent, and justice. These principles, which he developed in South Africa, later became the fundamental cornerstone of his leadership in India’s fight for independence.

Mahatma Gandhi Living Style

Mahatma Gandhi Living Style

Mahatma Gandhi’s Role in the Indian Freedom Struggle:

Mahatma Gandhi’s role in the Indian freedom struggle was significant and transformative. He not only fought against the British colonial rule but also revolutionized the methods of resistance. The following is an overview of his contributions:

  1. Admirer of Nonviolent Resistance (Satyagraha):

Gandhi introduced the concept of nonviolent resistance or “Satyagraha”, which emphasized truth and strength of spirit. Through this philosophy, he encouraged Indians to confront oppression and injustice through peaceful means, promoting civil disobedience, boycotts, strikes, and other nonviolent actions.

  1. Champaran and Kheda Movement:

Gandhi’s involvement in Champaran and Kheda movement showed his commitment to solve the grievances of the farmers. He organized demonstrations against the oppressive indigo farming projects in Champaran and supported farmers during the Kheda crisis, appealing for their rights and fair treatment.

  1. Non-Consent Movement (1920-1922):

As a reaction to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and the repressive Rowlatt Act, Gandhi launched the Non-Consent Movement. Indians were called upon to boycott British institutions, education and materials, leading to widespread civil disobedience.

  1. Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-1934):

The Salt March, also known as the Dandi March, was a turning point in the Civil Disobedience Movement. Gandhi traveled 240 miles to the Arabian Sea to protest against the salt monopoly on British prosperity, inspiring millions to support the movement.

  1. “Quit India Movement” (1942):

During the world war, Gandhi launched the “Quit India Movement”. Initiated the movement demanding the end of British rule. A large number of demonstrations, strikes and civil disobedience took place during this movement, although it was strongly resisted by the British government.

  1. Expertise in travel:

Gandhi played an important role in negotiating India’s independence from the British. His efforts, combined with the sacrifices made by millions of Indians, were instrumental in finally achieving India’s independence on 15 August 1947.

  1. Commitment towards harmony:

Gandhi worked to unite religious and community bands. He stressed the importance of religious tolerance, unity and respect for all religions, striving towards communal harmony in a diverse nation.

  1. Heritage of Nonviolence:

Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence built on the movements happening around the world towards justice and civil rights. His techniques inspired individuals such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, who followed nonviolent strategies in their own struggles.

Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership and status of nonviolent resistance was not only important in the Indian freedom struggle, but it also left an indelible mark in the world history of social and political change.

Awards and Honors Given to Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi received many important awards and honors during his lifetime for the essential strengths, nonviolent resistance and for his leadership in the Indian freedom struggle.

“Father of the Nation”: Subhash Chandra Bose addressed Mahatma Gandhi as “Father of the Nation” for the 1st time.

Following are some of the important awards and honors:

  1. Time Magazine’s Person of the Year (1930):

Gandhi was chosen as the “Person of the Year” by Time Magazine in 1930, as he led the civil disobedience movement and showed commitment to nonviolent protest.

  1. Nobel Peace Prize Nominations (1937, 1947):

Although he never won the Nobel Peace Prize, he was nominated several times for promoting peace and non-violence.

  1. Kaiser-i-Hind Gold Medal (1915):

Gandhi was awarded the Kaizar-i-Hind Gold Medal by the British Government, as he organized medical volunteers during the Zulu rebellion in South Africa.

  1. Hazari-Hind:

In a BBC poll in 1999, Gandhi was voted the “Hazari-Hind” for his significant influence on world history and his contribution to peaceful change.

  1. Bharat Ratna (1954):

The Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India, was dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi in recognition of his immense leadership and contribution to the Indian freedom struggle.

  1. Gandhi Peace Prize:

This award was instituted by the Government of India in 1995, as a dedication to Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals and philosophy of non-violence. It is awarded to individuals, institutions or movements that have worked towards social, economic and political change through violent means.

  1. International Day of Nonviolence:

In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 2, Gandhiji’s birthday, as the International Day of Nonviolence, to honor his philosophy of nonviolence and peaceful change.

  1. Statue in London’s Tavistock Square:

Gandhi’s statue was installed in London’s Tavistock Square, commemorating his contribution towards humanity and encouraging non-violence and social justice.

These are just a few of the many awards, honors and recognitions that Mahatma Gandhi received for his tireless efforts in nonviolent resistance, civil rights and the Indian freedom struggle. His legacy continues to inspire people around the world to seek social justice and change through social justice and peaceful means.

Influences on Mahatma Gandhi:

Various thinkers, philosophies and experiences influenced Mahatma Gandhi in his life. Some of the main influences on Gandhi were the following:

  1. Leo Tolstoy: Gandhi was deeply influenced by Tolstoy’s ideas of nonviolent resistance, simplicity and the reward of truth. Gandhi communicated with Tolstoy and considered him an important influence on his philosophy.
  2. Henry David Thoreau: Thoreau’s essay on “Civil Disobedience” and his personal discipline and peaceful resistance to unjust laws had a profound influence on Gandhi’s philosophy.
  3. Rabindranath Tagore: Tagore, a poet and philosopher, was a very close friend of Gandhi and shared his concern for social issues. They exchanged views on nationalism, education and the human soul.

4.Bhagavad Gita: The important contribution of this ancient Indian scripture is of special importance in shaping Gandhi’s thoughts. He considered the teachings of the Gita as a guide to his life and action in terms of duty, impeccability and the battle between good and evil.

  1. Religious Texts: Gandhi drew inspiration from various religious texts, such as the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Quran and the writings of Jainism. His philosophy was based on a deep understanding of the fundamentals of various religious doctrines.
  2. Jainism: Growing up in a Jain family deeply influenced Gandhi’s core principles, such as nonviolence, truthfulness and self-control. Jainism matched his core values of inevitability and compassion.
  3. Shrimad Rajchandra: Gandhi’s spiritual development was greatly influenced by the spiritual guidance of Shrimad Rajchandra, whose teachings on untruth, non-violence and self-realization.

Books written by Mahatma Gandhi:

  1. The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Autobiography)
  2. Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule
  3. Satyagraha in South Africa
  4. Key to Health
  5. My Experiments with Truth
  6. Sarvodaya
  7. Constructive Programme
  8. Ashram Observances in Action
  9. The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi
  10. Selected Works of Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi Living Style: Epitome of Simplicity and Principles

Clothes: Symbol of Power

Gandhi’s clothing defiantly revealed his lifestyle. He opted for simple khadi fabrics, which were hand-woven, and signaled a move away from Western materialism. Their clothing reflected the spirit of self-reliance and support of local industries.

Mahatma Gandhi Living Style

Mahatma Gandhi Living Style

 Prestige of Nonviolence and Kindness

Gandhi’s vegetarian diet represented his philosophy of ahimsa (non-violence) and kindness. He recognized the interconnectedness of all living beings and thus his diet was consistent with his respect for the senses and principles of the ethical behavior of animals.

Daily Routine: Spirituality and Self-Reliance

Prayer, meditation and spinning on the spinning wheel were important parts of Gandhi’s daily routine. These activities were not just personal practice, but also representative of his thoughts. The weaving of thread was a symbol of self-reliance and economic independence, while prayer and meditation strengthened them in their principles.

Community Life: Equality and Community Bonds

Gandhi did what he preached. They participated in community life, participated in community prayers and participated in community activities. This life represented their equality, mutual support and the dignity of the values they promoted.

Model of Collection of Principles

Gandhi’s residence was the establishment of his principles. Whether it was in ashrams or in ordinary residences, their living space was limited. Giving up luxuries, he focused on the needs of the downtrodden and worked towards uplifting the society.

 Heritage of Values

Gandhi’s lifestyle was not just personal, but it was a message to the society. His life revealed the power of the choices he made within himself in alignment with his values. Through his simplicity, self-control and his commitment to truth and justice, he proved that the power of living life with principles can make a deep impact on the society and urge others in the same direction.

Conclusion: Gandhi’s Living Style

Mahatma Gandhi’s living style was not just a life; It was in representation of his deepest beliefs. His choices, from clothing to daily routine, were in line with his core principles of non-violence, self-reliance and social justice. His legacy continues to inspire individuals around the world to be motivated to align with his values and make a positive contribution to society.

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