Mohandas K. Gandhi: Wikis


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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1940s
Born 2 October 1869(1869-10-02)
Porbandar, Kathiawar Agency, British India
Died 30 January 1948 (aged 78)
New Delhi, Union of India
Cause of death Assassination
Resting place Rajghat in New Delhi
Nationality Indian
Other names Mahatma Gandhi, Bapu
Alma mater University College London, University of London
Known for Prominent Figure of Indian Independence Movement
Propounding the philosophy of Satyagraha and Ahimsa
Religion Hinduism
Spouse(s) Kasturba Gandhi
Children Harilal
Manilal
Ramdas
Devdas
Parents Putlibai Gandhi (Mother)
Karamchand Gandhi (Father)
Signature

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Hindi: मोहनदास करमचंद गाँधी, Gujarati: મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી, pronounced [moːɦən̪d̪aːs kərəmʨən̪d̪ ɡaːn̪d̪ʱiː]  ( listen); 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India during the Indian independence movement. He was the pioneer of satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, a philosophy firmly founded upon ahimsa or total nonviolence—which led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Gandhi is commonly known around the world as Mahatma Gandhi ([məɦaːt̪maː]; Sanskrit: महात्मा mahātmā or "Great Soul", an honorific first applied to him by Rabindranath Tagore),[1] and in India also as Bapu (Gujarati: બાપુ, bāpu or "Father"). He is officially honoured in India as the Father of the Nation; his birthday, 2 October, is commemorated there as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence.

Gandhi first employed non-violent civil disobedience while an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, during the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he organized protests by peasants, farmers, and urban labourers concerning excessive land-tax and discrimination. After assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns to ease poverty, expand women's rights, build religious and ethnic amity, end untouchability, and increase economic self-reliance. Above all, he aimed to achieve Swaraj or the independence of India from foreign domination. Gandhi famously led his followers in the Non-cooperation movement that protested the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (240 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930. Later, in 1942, he launched the Quit India civil disobedience movement demanding immediate independence for India. Gandhi spent a number of years in jail in both South Africa and India.

As a practitioner of ahimsa, he swore to speak the truth and advocated that others do the same. Gandhi lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn he had hand spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, eventually adopting a fruitarian diet, and also undertook long fasts as a means of both self-purification and social protest.

Contents

Early life and background

A young Gandhi c. 1886.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi[2] was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar, a coastal town in present-day Gujarat, India. His father, Karamchand Gandhi (1822–1885), who belonged to the Hindu Modh community, was the diwan (Prime Minister) of Porbander state, a small princely state in the Kathiawar Agency of British India.[3] His grandfather's name was Uttamchand Gandhi, fondly called Utta Gandhi. His mother, Putlibai, who came from the Hindu Pranami Vaishnava community, was Karamchand's fourth wife, the first three wives having apparently died in childbirth.[4] Growing up with a devout mother and the Jain traditions of the region, the young Mohandas absorbed early the influences that would play an important role in his adult life; these included compassion for sentient beings, vegetarianism, fasting for self-purification, and mutual tolerance between individuals of different creeds.[citation needed]

The Indian classics, especially the stories of Shravana and Maharaja Harishchandra from the Indian epics, had a great impact on Gandhi in his childhood. The story of Harishchandra, a well known tale of an ancient Indian king and a truthful hero, haunted Gandhi as a boy. Gandhi in his autobiography admits that it left an indelible impression on his mind. He writes: "It haunted me and I must have acted Harishchandra to myself times without number." Gandhi's early self-identification with Truth and Love as supreme values is traceable to his identification with these epic characters.[5][6]

In May 1883, the 13-year old Mohandas was married to 14-year old Kasturbai Makhanji (her first name was usually shortened to "Kasturba," and affectionately to "Ba") in an arranged child marriage, as was the custom in the region.[7] Recalling about the day of their marriage he once said that " As we didn't know much about marriage, for us it meant only wearing new clothes, eating sweets and playing with relatives." However, as was also the custom of the region, the adolescent bride was to spend much time at her parents' house, and away from her husband.[8] In 1885, when Gandhi was 15, the couple's first child was born, but survived only a few days; Gandhi's father, Karamchand Gandhi, had died earlier that year.[9] Mohandas and Kasturba had four more children, all sons: Harilal, born in 1888; Manilal, born in 1892; Ramdas, born in 1897; and Devdas, born in 1900. At his middle school in Porbandar and high school in Rajkot, Gandhi remained an average student academically. He passed the matriculation exam for Samaldas College at Bhavnagar, Gujarat with some difficulty. While there, he was unhappy, in part because his family wanted him to become a barrister.

Gandhi and his wife Kasturba (1902)

On 4 September 1888, less than a month shy of his 19th birthday, Gandhi traveled to London, England, to study law at University College London and to train as a barrister. His time in London, the Imperial capital, was influenced by a vow he had made to his mother in the presence of the Jain monk Becharji, upon leaving India, to observe the Hindu precepts of abstinence from meat, alcohol, and promiscuity.[10] Although Gandhi experimented with adopting "English" customs—taking dancing lessons for example—he could not stomach the bland vegetarian food offered by his landlady and he was always hungry until he found one of London's few vegetarian restaurants. Influenced by Salt's book, he joined the Vegetarian Society, was elected to its executive committee[10], and started a local Bayswater chapter.[4] Some of the vegetarians he met were members of the Theosophical Society, which had been founded in 1875 to further universal brotherhood, and which was devoted to the study of Buddhist and Hindu literature. They encouraged Gandhi to join them in reading the Bhagavad Gita both in translation as well as in the original.[10] Not having shown a particular interest in religion before, he became interested in religious thought and began to read both Hindu as well as Christian scriptures.[4][10]

Gandhi was called to the bar on June 10, 1891 and left London for India on June 12, 1891,[4] where he learned that his mother had died while he was in London, his family having kept the news from him.[10] His attempts at establishing a law practice in Mumbai failed and, later, after applying and being turned down for a part-time job as a high school teacher, he ended up returning to Rajkot to make a modest living drafting petitions for litigants, a business he was forced to close when he ran afoul of a British officer. In his autobiography, he refers to this incident as an unsuccessful attempt to lobby on behalf of his older brother.[4][10] It was in this climate that, in April 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 British Empire.[4]

Civil rights movement in South Africa (1893–1914)

Gandhi in South Africa (1895)
M.K. Gandhi while serving in the Ambulance Corps during the Boer War.

In South Africa, Gandhi faced discrimination directed at Indians. He was thrown off a train at Pietermaritzburg after refusing to move from the first class to a third class coach while holding a valid first class ticket.[11] Traveling farther on by stagecoach he was beaten by a driver for refusing to travel on the foot board to make room for a European passenger.[12] He suffered other hardships on the journey as well, including being barred from several hotels. In another incident, the magistrate of a Durban court ordered Gandhi to remove his turban - which he refused to do.[13] These events were a turning point in his life, awakening him to social injustice and influencing his subsequent social activism. It was through witnessing firsthand the racism, prejudice and injustice against Indians in South Africa that Gandhi started to question his people's status within the British Empire, and his own place in society.

Gandhi extended his original period of stay in South Africa to assist Indians in opposing a bill to deny them the right to vote. Though unable to halt the bill's passage, his campaign was successful in drawing attention to the grievances of Indians in South Africa. He helped found the Natal Indian Congress in 1894,[4][11] and through this organization, he molded the Indian community of South Africa into a homogeneous political force. In January 1897, when Gandhi landed in Durban he was attacked by a mob of white settlers and escaped only through the efforts of the wife of the police superintendent. He, however, refused to press charges against any member of the mob, stating it was one of his principles not to seek redress for a personal wrong in a court of law.[4]

In 1906, the Transvaal government promulgated a new Act compelling registration of the colony's Indian population. At a mass protest meeting held in Johannesburg on 11 September that year, Gandhi adopted his still evolving methodology of satyagraha (devotion to the truth), or non-violent protest, for the first time, calling on his fellow Indians to defy the new law and suffer the punishments for doing so, rather than resist through violent means. This plan was adopted, leading to a seven-year struggle in which thousands of Indians were jailed (including Gandhi), flogged, or even shot, for striking, refusing to register, burning their registration cards or engaging in other forms of non-violent resistance. While the government was successful in repressing the Indian protesters, the public outcry stemming from the harsh methods employed by the South African government in the face of peaceful Indian protesters finally forced South African General Jan Christiaan Smuts to negotiate a compromise with Gandhi. Gandhi's ideas took shape and the concept of satyagraha matured during this struggle.

Racism and Controversy

Some of Gandhi's early South African articles are controversial. On 7 March 1908, Gandhi wrote in the Indian Opinion of his time in a South African prison: "Kaffirs are as a rule uncivilized - the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live almost like animals."[14] Writing on the subject of immigration in 1903, Gandhi commented: "We believe as much in the purity of race as we think they do... We believe also that the white race in South Africa should be the predominating race."[15] During his time in South Africa, Gandhi protested repeatedly about the social classification of blacks with Indians, who he described as "undoubtedly infinitely superior to the Kaffirs".[16] It is worth noting that during Gandhi's time, the term Kaffir had a different connotation than its present-day usage. Remarks such as these have led some to accuse Gandhi of racism.[17]

Two professors of history who specialize in South Africa, Surendra Bhana and Goolam Vahed, examined this controversy in their text, The Making of a Political Reformer: Gandhi in South Africa, 1893–1914. (New Delhi: Manohar, 2005). They focus in Chapter 1, "Gandhi, Africans and Indians in Colonial Natal" on the relationship between the African and Indian communities under "White rule" and policies which enforced segregation (and, they argue, inevitable conflict between these communities). Of this relationship they state that, "the young Gandhi was influenced by segregationist notions prevalent in the 1890s."[18] At the same time, they state, "Gandhi's experiences in jail seemed to make him more sensitive to their plight...the later Gandhi mellowed; he seemed much less categorical in his expression of prejudice against Africans, and much more open to seeing points of common cause. His negative views in the Johannesburg jail were reserved for hardened African prisoners rather than Africans generally."[19]

Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela is a follower of Gandhi,[20] despite efforts in 2003 on the part of Gandhi's critics to prevent the unveiling of a statue of Gandhi in Johannesburg.[17] Bhana and Vahed commented on the events surrounding the unveiling in the conclusion to The Making of a Political Reformer: Gandhi in South Africa, 1893–1914. In the section "Gandhi's Legacy to South Africa," they note that "Gandhi inspired succeeding generations of South African activists seeking to end White rule. This legacy connects him to Nelson Mandela...in a sense Mandela completed what Gandhi started."[21]

Role in Zulu War of 1906

In 1906, after the British introduced a new poll-tax, Zulus in South Africa killed two British officers. In response, the British declared a war against the Zulus. Gandhi actively encouraged the British to recruit Indians. He argued that Indians should support the war efforts in order to legitimize their claims to full citizenship. The British, however, refused to commission Indians as army officers. Nonetheless, they accepted Gandhi's offer to let a detachment of Indians volunteer as a stretcher bearer corps to treat wounded British soldiers. This corps was commanded by Gandhi. On 21 July 1906, Gandhi wrote in Indian Opinion: "The corps had been formed at the instance of the Natal Government by way of experiment, in connection with the operations against the Natives consists of twenty three Indians".[22] Gandhi urged the Indian population in South Africa to join the war through his columns in Indian Opinion: “If the Government only realized what reserve force is being wasted, they would make use of it and give Indians the opportunity of a thorough training for actual warfare.”[23]

In Gandhi's opinion, the Draft Ordinance of 1906 brought the status of Indians below the level of Natives. He therefore urged Indians to resist the Ordinance along the lines of satyagraha by taking the example of "Kaffirs". In his words, "Even the half-castes and kaffirs, who are less advanced than we, have resisted the government. The pass law applies to them as well, but they do not take out passes."[24]

In 1927 Gandhi wrote of the event: "The Boer War had not brought home to me the horrors of war with anything like the vividness that the [Zulu] 'rebellion' did. This was no war but a man-hunt, not only in my opinion, but also in that of many Englishmen with whom I had occasion to talk."[25]

Struggle for Indian Independence (1915–1945)

In 1915, Gandhi returned from South Africa to live in India. He spoke at the conventions of the Indian National Congress, but was primarily introduced to Indian issues, politics and the Indian people by Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a respected leader of the Congress Party at the time.

Role in World War I

In April 1918, during the latter part of World War I, Gandhi was invited by the Viceroy to a War Conference in Delhi.[26] Perhaps to show his support for the Empire and help his case for India's independence,[27] Gandhi agreed to actively recruit Indians for the war effort.[28] 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 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 with the greatest possible despatch, it is our duty to enlist ourselves in the army."[29] He did however stipulate in a letter to the Viceroy's private secretary that he "personally will not kill or injure anybody, friend or foe."[30] Gandhi's war recruitment campaign brought into question his consistency on nonviolence as his friend Charlie Andrews confirms, "Personally I have never been able to reconcile this with his own conduct in other respects, and it is one of the points where I have found myself in painful disagreement."[31] Gandhi's private secretary also acknowledges that "The question of the consistency between his creed of 'Ahimsa' (non-violence) and his recruiting campaign was raised not only then but has been discussed ever since."[28]

Champaran and Kheda

Gandhi in 1918, at the time of the Kheda and Champaran satyagrahas.

Gandhi's first major achievements came in 1918 with the Champaran agitation and Kheda Satyagraha, although in the latter it was indigo and other cash crops instead of the food crops necessary for their survival. Suppressed by the militias of the landlords (mostly British), they were given measly compensation, leaving them mired in extreme poverty. The villages were kept extremely dirty and unhygienic; and alcoholism, untouchability and purdah were rampant. Now in the throes of a devastating famine, the British levied a tax which they insisted on increasing. The situation was desperate. In Kheda in Gujarat, the problem was the same. Gandhi established an ashram there, organizing scores of his veteran supporters and fresh volunteers from the region. He organized a detailed study and survey of the villages, accounting for the atrocities and terrible episodes of suffering, including the general state of degenerate living. Building on the confidence of villagers, he began leading the clean-up of villages, building of schools and hospitals and encouraging the village leadership to undo and condemn many social evils, as accounted above.

But his main impact came when he was arrested by police on the charge of creating unrest and was ordered to leave the province. Hundreds of thousands of people protested and rallied outside the jail, police stations and courts demanding his release, which the court reluctantly granted. Gandhi led organized protests and strikes against the landlords who, with the guidance of the British government, signed an agreement granting the poor farmers of the region more compensation and control over farming, and cancellation of revenue hikes and its collection until the famine ended. It was during this agitation, that Gandhi was addressed by the people as Bapu (Father) and Mahatma (Great Soul). In Kheda, Sardar Patel represented the farmers in negotiations with the British, who suspended revenue collection and released all the prisoners. As a result, Gandhi's fame spread all over the nation. He is also now called as "Father of the nation" in Indian.

Non-cooperation

Gandhi employed non-cooperation, non-violence and peaceful resistance as his "weapons" in the struggle against British. In Punjab, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of civilians by British troops (also known as the Amritsar Massacre) caused deep trauma to the nation, leading to increased public anger and acts of violence. Gandhi criticized both the actions of the British Raj and the retaliatory violence of Indians. He authored the resolution offering condolences to British civilian victims and condemning the riots which, after initial opposition in the party, was accepted following Gandhi's emotional speech advocating his principle that all violence was evil and could not be justified.[32] But it was after the massacre and subsequent violence that Gandhi's mind focused upon obtaining complete self-government and control of all Indian government institutions, maturing soon into Swaraj or complete individual, spiritual, political independence.

Mahatma Gandhi's room at Sabarmati Ashram
Sabarmati Ashram, Gandhi's home in Gujarat

In December 1921, Gandhi was invested with executive authority on behalf of the Indian National Congress. Under his leadership, the Congress was reorganized with a new constitution, with the goal of Swaraj. Membership in the party was opened to anyone prepared to pay a token fee. A hierarchy of committees was set up to improve discipline, transforming the party from an elite organization to one of mass national appeal. Gandhi expanded his non-violence platform to include the swadeshi policy — the boycott of foreign-made goods, especially British goods. Linked to this was his advocacy that khadi (homespun cloth) be worn by all Indians instead of British-made textiles. Gandhi exhorted Indian men and women, rich or poor, to spend time each day spinning khadi in support of the independence movement.[33] This was a strategy to inculcate discipline and dedication to weed out the unwilling and ambitious, and to include women in the movement at a time when many thought that such activities were not respectable activities for women. In addition to boycotting British products, Gandhi urged the people to boycott British educational institutions and law courts, to resign from government employment, and to forsake British titles and honours.

"Non-cooperation" enjoyed widespread appeal and success, increasing excitement and participation from all strata of Indian society. Yet, just as the movement reached its apex, it ended abruptly as a result of a violent clash in the town of Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh, in February 1922. Fearing that the movement was about to take a turn towards violence, and convinced that this would be the undoing of all his work, Gandhi called off the campaign of mass civil disobedience.[34] Gandhi was arrested on 10 March 1922, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years' imprisonment. He began his sentence on 18 March 1922. He was released in February 1924 for an appendicitis operation, having served only 2 years.

Without Gandhi's uniting personality, the Indian National Congress began to splinter during his years in prison, splitting into two factions, one led by Chitta Ranjan Das and Motilal Nehru favouring party participation in the legislatures, and the other led by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, opposing this move. Furthermore, cooperation among Hindus and Muslims, which had been strong at the height of the non-violence campaign, was breaking down. Gandhi attempted to bridge these differences through many means, including a three-week fast in the autumn of 1924, but with limited success.[35]

Salt Satyagraha (Salt March)

Gandhi at Dandi, 5 April 1930, at the end of the Salt March.

Gandhi stayed out of active politics and, as such, the limelight for most of the 1920s. He focused instead on resolving the wedge between the Swaraj Party and the Indian National Congress, and expanding initiatives against untouchability, alcoholism, ignorance and poverty. He returned to the fore in 1928. In the preceding year, the British government had appointed a new constitutional reform commission under Sir John Simon, which did not include any Indian as its member. The result was a boycott of the commission by Indian political parties. Gandhi pushed through a resolution at the Calcutta Congress in December 1928 calling on the British government to grant India dominion status or face a new campaign of non-cooperation with complete independence for the country as its goal. Gandhi had not only moderated the views of younger men like Subhas Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru, who sought a demand for immediate independence, but also reduced his own call to a one year wait, instead of two.[36] The British did not respond. On 31 December 1929, the flag of India was unfurled in Lahore. 26 January 1930 was celebrated as India's Independence Day by the Indian National Congress meeting in Lahore. This day was commemorated by almost every other Indian organization. Gandhi then launched a new satyagraha against the tax on salt in March 1930. This was highlighted by the famous Salt March to Dandi from 12 March to 6 April, where he marched 388 kilometres (241 miles) 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; Britain responded by imprisoning over 60,000 people.

The government, represented by Lord Edward Irwin, decided to negotiate with Gandhi. The Gandhi–Irwin Pact was signed in March 1931. The British Government agreed to free all political prisoners, in return for the suspension of the civil disobedience movement. Also as a result of the pact, Gandhi was invited to attend the Round Table Conference in London as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress. The conference was a disappointment to Gandhi and the nationalists, because it focused on the Indian princes and Indian minorities rather than on a transfer of power. Furthermore, Lord Irwin's successor, Lord Willingdon, began a new campaign of controlling and subduing the nationalist movement. Gandhi was again arrested, and the government tried to negate his influence by completely isolating him from his followers. But this tactic failed.

Mahadev Desai (left) reading out a letter to Gandhi from the viceroy at Birla House, Bombay, 7 April 1939

In 1932, through the campaigning of the Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar, the government granted untouchables separate electorates under the new constitution. In protest, Gandhi embarked on a six-day fast in September 1932. The resulting public outcry successfully forced the government to adopt a more equitable arrangement via negotiations mediated by the Dalit cricketer turned political leader Palwankar Baloo. This was the start of a new campaign by Gandhi to improve the lives of the untouchables, whom he named Harijans, the children of God. On 8 May 1933, Gandhi began a 21-day fast of self-purification to help the Harijan movement.[37] This new campaign was not universally embraced within the Dalit community, as prominent leader B. R. Ambedkar condemned Gandhi's use of the term Harijans as saying that Dalits were socially immature, and that privileged caste Indians played a paternalistic role. Ambedkar and his allies also felt Gandhi was undermining Dalit political rights. Gandhi, although born into the Vaishya caste, insisted that he was able to speak on behalf of Dalits, despite the presence of Dalit activists such as Ambedkar.

In the summer of 1934, three unsuccessful attempts were made on Gandhi's life.

When the Congress Party chose to contest elections and accept power under the Federation scheme, Gandhi resigned from party membership. He did not disagree with the party's move, but felt that if he resigned, his popularity with Indians would cease to stifle the party's membership, that actually varied from communists, socialists, trade unionists, students, religious conservatives, to those with pro-business convictions and that these various voices would get a chance to make themselves heard. Gandhi also wanted to avoid being a target for Raj propaganda by leading a party that had temporarily accepted political accommodation with the Raj.[38]

Gandhi returned to active politics again in 1936, with the Nehru presidency and the Lucknow session of the Congress. Although Gandhi wanted a total focus on the task of winning independence and not speculation about India's future, he did not restrain the Congress from adopting socialism as its goal. Gandhi had a clash with Subhas Bose, who had been elected president in 1938. Their main points of contention were Bose's lack of commitment to democracy, and lack of faith in non-violence. Bose won his second term despite Gandhi's criticism, but left the Congress when the All-India leaders resigned en masse in protest of his abandonment of the principles introduced by Gandhi.[39]

World War II and Quit India

Jawaharlal Nehru sitting next to Gandhi at the AICC General Session, 1942.

World War II broke out in 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. Initially, Gandhi favoured offering "non-violent moral support" to the British effort, but other Congressional leaders were offended by the unilateral inclusion of India in the war, without consultation of the people's representatives. All Congressmen resigned from office.[40] After long deliberations, Gandhi declared that India could not be party to a war ostensibly being fought for democratic freedom, while that freedom was denied to India itself. As the war progressed, Gandhi intensified his demand for independence, drafting a resolution calling for the British to Quit India. This was Gandhi's and the Congress Party's most definitive revolt aimed at securing the British exit from India.[41]

Gandhi's handwriting, on a note preserved at Sabarmati Ashram

Gandhi was criticized by some Congress party members and other Indian political groups, both pro-British and anti-British. Some felt that not supporting Britain more in its life or death struggle against the evil of Nazism was unethical. Others felt that Gandhi's refusal for India to participate in the war was insufficient and more direct opposition should be taken, while Britain fought against Nazism yet continued to contradict itself by refusing to grant India Independence. Quit India became the most forceful movement in the history of the struggle, with mass arrests and violence on an unprecedented scale.[42] Thousands of freedom fighters were killed or injured by police gunfire, and hundreds of thousands were arrested. Gandhi and his supporters made it clear they would not support the war effort unless India were granted immediate independence. He even clarified that this time the movement would not be stopped if individual acts of violence were committed, saying that the "ordered anarchy" around him was "worse than real anarchy." He called on all Congressmen and Indians to maintain discipline via ahimsa, and Karo Ya Maro ("Do or Die") in the cause of ultimate freedom.

Gandhi and the entire Congress Working Committee were arrested in Bombay by the British on 9 August 1942. Gandhi was held for two years in the Aga Khan Palace in Pune. It was here that Gandhi suffered two terrible blows in his personal life. His 50-year old secretary Mahadev Desai died of a heart attack 6 days later and his wife Kasturba died after 18 months imprisonment in 22 February 1944; six weeks later Gandhi suffered a severe malaria attack. He was released before the end of the war on 6 May 1944 because of his failing health and necessary surgery; the Raj did not want him to die in prison and enrage the nation. Although the Quit India movement had moderate success in its objective, the ruthless suppression of the movement brought order to India by the end of 1943. At the end of the war, the British gave clear indications that power would be transferred to Indian hands. At this point Gandhi called off the struggle, and around 100,000 political prisoners were released, including the Congress's leadership.

Freedom and partition of India

Caricature of Gandhi by Gosławski (1932)

As a rule, Gandhi was opposed to the concept of partition as it contradicted his vision of religious unity.[43] Of the partition of India to create Pakistan, he wrote in Harijan on 6 October 1946:

[The demand for Pakistan] as put forth by the Moslem League is un-Islamic and I have not hesitated to call it sinful. Islam stands for unity and the brotherhood of mankind, not for disrupting the oneness of the human family. Therefore, those who want to divide India into possibly warring groups are enemies alike of India and Islam. They may cut me into pieces but they cannot make me subscribe to something which I consider to be wrong [...] we must not cease to aspire, in spite of [the] wild talk, to befriend all Moslems and hold them fast as prisoners of our love.[44]

However, as Homer Jack notes of Gandhi's long correspondence with Jinnah on the topic of Pakistan: "Although Gandhi was personally opposed to the partition of India, he proposed an agreement...which provided that the Congress and the Moslem League would cooperate to attain independence under a provisional government, after which the question of partition would be decided by a plebiscite in the districts having a Moslem majority."[45]

These dual positions on the topic of the partition of India opened Gandhi up to criticism from both Hindus and Muslims. Muhammad Ali Jinnah and contemporary Pakistanis condemned Gandhi for undermining Muslim political rights. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and his allies accused him of politically appeasing Muslims while turning a blind eye to their atrocities against Hindus, and for allowing the creation of Pakistan, despite having publicly declared that "before partitioning India, my body will have to be cut into two pieces".[46] This continues to be politically contentious: some, like Pakistani-American historian Ayesha Jalal argue that Gandhi and the Congress's unwillingness to share power with the Muslim League hastened partition; others, like Hindu nationalist politician Pravin Togadia indicated that excessive weakness on Gandhi's part led to the division of India.

Gandhi also expressed his dislike for partition during the late 1930s in response to the topic of the partition of Palestine to create Israel. He stated in Harijan on 26 October 1938:

Several letters have been received by me asking me to declare my views about the Arab-Jew question in Palestine and persecution of the Jews in Germany. It is not without hesitation that I venture to offer my views on this very difficult question. My sympathies are all with the Jews. I have known them intimately in South Africa. Some of them became life-long companions. Through these friends I came to learn much of their age-long persecution. They have been the untouchables of Christianity [...] But my sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of justice. The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after return to Palestine. Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood? Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct.[47]

Gandhi advised the Congress to reject the proposals the British Cabinet Mission offered in 1946, as he was deeply suspicious of the grouping proposed for Muslim-majority states—Gandhi viewed this as a precursor to partition. However, this became one of the few times the Congress broke from Gandhi's advice (though not his leadership), as Nehru and Patel knew that if the Congress did not approve the plan, the control of government would pass to the Muslim League. Between 1946 and 1948, over 5,000 people were killed in violence. Gandhi was vehemently opposed to any plan that partitioned India into two separate countries. But an overwhelming majority of Muslims living in India, alongside Hindus and Sikhs, favoured partition. Additionally Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim League, commanded widespread support in West Punjab, Sindh, North-West Frontier Province and East Bengal. The partition plan was approved by the Congress leadership as the only way to prevent a wide-scale Hindu-Muslim civil war. Congress leaders knew that Gandhi would viscerally oppose partition, and it was impossible for the Congress to go ahead without his agreement, for Gandhi's support in the party and throughout India was strong. Gandhi's closest colleagues had accepted partition as the best way out, and Sardar Patel endeavoured to convince Gandhi that it was the only way to avoid civil war. A devastated Gandhi gave his assent.

He conducted extensive dialogue with Muslim and Hindu community leaders, working to cool passions in northern India, as well as in Bengal. Despite the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, he was troubled when the Government decided to deny Pakistan the 55 crores (550 million Indian rupees) due as per agreements made by the Partition Council. Leaders like Sardar Patel feared that Pakistan would use the money to bankroll the war against India. Gandhi was also devastated when demands resurged for all Muslims to be deported to Pakistan, and when Muslim and Hindu leaders expressed frustration and an inability to come to terms with one another.[48] Gandhi's arrival in Delhi, turned out to an important intervention in ending the rioting, he even visited Muslims mohallas to restore faith of the Muslim populace. He launched his last fast-unto-death on January 12, 1948, in Delhi,[49] asking that all communal violence be ended once and for all, Muslims homes be restored to them and that the payment of 550 million rupees be made to Pakistan. Gandhi feared that instability and insecurity in Pakistan would increase their anger against India, and violence would spread across the borders. He further feared that Hindus and Muslims would renew their enmity and that this would precipitate open civil war. After emotional debates with his life-long colleagues, Gandhi refused to budge, and the Government rescinded its policy and made the payment to Pakistan. Hindu, Muslim and Sikh community leaders, including the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Hindu Mahasabha assured him that they would renounce violence and call for peace. Gandhi thus broke his fast by sipping orange juice.[50]

Assassination

Raj Ghat: Gandhi's ashes at Aga Khan Palace (Pune, India).

On 30 January 1948, Gandhi was shot while having his nightly public walk on the grounds of the Birla Bhavan (Birla House) in New Delhi. The assassin, Nathuram Godse, was a Hindu nationalist with links to the extremist Hindu Mahasabha, who held Gandhi responsible for weakening India by insisting upon a payment to Pakistan.[51] Godse and his co-conspirator Narayan Apte were later tried and convicted; they were executed on 15 November 1949. Gandhi's memorial (or Samādhi) at Rāj Ghāt, New Delhi, bears the epigraph "Hē Ram", (Devanagari: हे ! राम or, He Rām), which may be translated as "Oh God". These are widely believed to be Gandhi's last words after he was shot, though the veracity of this statement has been disputed.[52] Jawaharlal Nehru addressed the nation through radio:[53]

"Friends and comrades, the light has gone out of our lives, and there is darkness everywhere, and I do not quite know what to tell you or how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the father of the nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that; nevertheless, we will not see him again, as we have seen him for these many years, we will not run to him for advice or seek solace from him, and that is a terrible blow, not only for me, but for millions and millions in this country." - Jawaharlal Nehru's address to Gandhi

Gandhi's ashes were poured into urns which were sent across India for memorial services. Most were immersed at the Sangam at Allahabad on 12 February 1948 but some were secretly taken away.[54] In 1997, Tushar Gandhi immersed the contents of one urn, found in a bank vault and reclaimed through the courts, at the Sangam at Allahabad.[54][55] On 30 January 2008 the contents of another urn were immersed at Girgaum Chowpatty by the family after a Dubai-based businessman had sent it to a Mumbai museum.[54] Another urn has ended up in a palace of the Aga Khan in Pune[54] (where he had been imprisoned from 1942 to 1944) and another in the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in Los Angeles.[56] The family is aware that these enshrined ashes could be misused for political purposes but does not want to have them removed because it would entail breaking the shrines.[54]

Gandhi's principles

Truth

Gandhi dedicated his life to the wider purpose of discovering truth, or Satya. He tried to achieve this by learning from his own mistakes and conducting experiments on himself. He called his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth.

Gandhi stated that the most important battle to fight was overcoming his own demons, fears, and insecurities. Gandhi summarized his beliefs first when he said "God is Truth". He would later change this statement to "Truth is God". Thus, Satya (Truth) in Gandhi's philosophy is "God".

Nonviolence

Although Mahatama Gandhi was not the originator of the principle of non-violence, he was the first to apply it in the political field on a huge scale.[57] The concept of nonviolence (ahimsa) and nonresistance has a long history in Indian religious thought and has had many revivals in Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Jewish and Christian contexts. Gandhi explains his philosophy and way of life in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth. He was quoted as saying:

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always."

"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?"

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

"There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for."

In applying these principles, Gandhi did not balk from taking them to their most logical extremes in envisioning a world where even government, police and armies were nonviolent. The quotations below are from the book "For Pacifists."[58]

The science of war leads one to dictatorship, pure and simple. The science of non-violence alone can lead one to pure democracy...Power based on love is thousand times more effective and permanent than power derived from fear of punishment....It is a blasphemy to say non-violence can be practiced only by individuals and never by nations which are composed of individuals...The nearest approach to purest anarchy would be a democracy based on non-violence...A society organized and run on the basis of complete non-violence would be the purest anarchy

I have conceded that even in a non-violent state a police force may be necessary...Police ranks will be composed of believers in non-violence. The people will instinctively render them every help and through mutual cooperation they will easily deal with the ever decreasing disturbances...Violent quarrels between labor and capital and strikes will be few and far between in a non-violent state because the influence of the non-violent majority will be great as to respect the principle elements in society. Similarly, there will be no room for communal disturbances....

A non-violent army acts unlike armed men, as well in times of peace as in times of disturbances. Theirs will be the duty of bringing warring communities together, carrying peace propaganda, engaging in activities that would bring and keep them in touch with every single person in their parish or division. Such an army should be ready to cope with any emergency, and in order to still the frenzy of mobs should risk their lives in numbers sufficient for that purpose. ...Satyagraha (truth-force) brigades can be organized in every village and every block of buildings in the cities. [If the non-violent society is attacked from without] there are two ways open to non-violence. To yield possession, but non-cooperate with the aggressor...prefer death to submission. The second way would be non-violent resistance by the people who have been trained in the non-violent way...The unexpected spectacle of endless rows upon rows of men and women simply dying rather than surrender to the will of an aggressor must ultimately melt him and his soldiery...A nation or group which has made non-violence its final policy cannot be subjected to slavery even by the atom bomb.... The level of non-violence in that nation, if that even happily comes to pass, will naturally have risen so high as to command universal respect.

In accordance with these views, in 1940, when invasion of the British Isles by Nazi Germany looked imminent, Gandhi offered the following advice to the British people (Non-Violence in Peace and War):[59]

"I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions...If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourselves, man, woman, and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them."

In a post-war interview in 1946, he offered a view at an even further extreme:

"Hitler," Gandhi said, "killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs… It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany… As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions."[60]

However, Gandhi was aware that this level of nonviolence required incredible faith and courage, which he realized not everyone possessed. He therefore advised that everyone need not keep to nonviolence, especially if it were used as a cover for cowardice:

"Gandhi guarded against attracting to his satyagraha movement those who feared to take up arms or felt themselves incapable of resistance. 'I do believe,' he wrote, 'that where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.'"[61]

"At every meeting I repeated the warning that unless they felt that in non-violence they had come into possession of a force infinitely superior to the one they had and in the use of which they were adept, they should have nothing to do with non-violence and resume the arms they possessed before. It must never be said of the Khudai Khidmatgars that once so brave, they had become or been made cowards under Badshah Khan's influence. Their bravery consisted not in being good marksmen but in defying death and being ever ready to bare their breasts to the bullets."[62]

Gandhi also came under some political fire for his criticism of those who attempted to achieve independence through more violent means. His refusal to protest against the hanging of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Udham Singh and Rajguru were sources of condemnation among some parties.[citation needed]

Of this criticism, Gandhi stated, "There was a time when people listened to me because I showed them how to give fight to the British without arms when they had no arms...but today I am told that my non-violence can be of no avail against the [Hindu–Moslem riots] and, therefore, people should arm themselves for self-defense."[63]

Winston Churchill said that it was "nauseating" to see Gandhi, "a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well-known in the Middle East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Vice-regal palace . . . to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor".[64]

He continued this argument in a number of articles reprinted in Homer Jack's The Gandhi Reader: A Sourcebook of His Life and Writings. In the first, "Zionism and Anti-Semitism," written in 1938, Gandhi commented upon the 1930s persecution of the Jews in Germany within the context of Satyagraha. He offered non-violence as a method of combating the difficulties Jews faced in Germany, stating,

If I were a Jew and were born in Germany and earned my livelihood there, I would claim Germany as my home even as the tallest Gentile German might, and challenge him to shoot me or cast me in the dungeon; I would refuse to be expelled or to submit to discriminating treatment. And for doing this I should not wait for the fellow Jews to join me in civil resistance, but would have confidence that in the end the rest were bound to follow my example. If one Jew or all the Jews were to accept the prescription here offered, he or they cannot be worse off than now. And suffering voluntarily undergone will bring them an inner strength and joy...the calculated violence of Hitler may even result in a general massacre of the Jews by way of his first answer to the declaration of such hostilities. But if the Jewish mind could be prepared for voluntary suffering, even the massacre I have imagined could be turned into a day of thanksgiving and joy that Jehovah had wrought deliverance of the race even at the hands of the tyrant. For to the God-fearing, death has no terror.[65]

Gandhi was highly criticized for these statements and responded in the article "Questions on the Jews" with "Friends have sent me two newspaper cuttings criticizing my appeal to the Jews. The two critics suggest that in presenting non-violence to the Jews as a remedy against the wrong done to them, I have suggested nothing new...what I have pleaded for is renunciation of violence of the heart and consequent active exercise of the force generated by the great renunciation.[66]

Gandhi's statements regarding Jews facing the impending Holocaust have attracted criticism from a number of commentators.[67] Martin Buber wrote a sharply critical open letter to Gandhi on 24 February 1939. Buber asserted that the comparison between British treatment of Indian subjects and Nazi treatment of Jews was inappropriate; moreover, he noted that when Indians were the victims of persecution, Gandhi had, on occasion, supported the use of force.[68]

Gandhi commented upon the 1930s persecution of the Jews in Germany within the context of Satyagraha. In the November 1938 article on the Nazi persecution of the Jews quoted above, he offered non-violence as a solution:

The German persecution of the Jews seems to have no parallel in history. The tyrants of old never went so mad as Hitler seems to have gone. And he is doing it with religious zeal. For he is propounding a new religion of exclusive and militant nationalism in the name of which any inhumanity becomes an act of humanity to be rewarded here and hereafter. The crime of an obviously mad but intrepid youth is being visited upon his whole race with unbelievable ferocity. If there ever could be a justifiable war in the name of and for humanity, a war against Germany, to prevent the wanton persecution of a whole race, would be completely justified. But I do not believe in any war. A discussion of the pros and cons of such a war is therefore outside my horizon or province. But if there can be no war against Germany, even for such a crime as is being committed against the Jews, surely there can be no alliance with Germany. How can there be alliance between a nation which claims to stand for justice and democracy and one which is the declared enemy of both?"[69][70]

Vegetarianism

As a young child, Gandhi experimented with meat-eating. This was due partially to his inherent curiosity as well as his rather persuasive peer and friend Sheikh Mehtab. The idea of vegetarianism is deeply ingrained in Hindu and Jain traditions in India, and, in his native land of Gujarat, most Hindus are vegetarian and so are almost all Jains.[71][72] The Gandhi family was no exception. Before leaving for his studies in London, Gandhi made a promise to his mother, Putlibai and his uncle, Becharji Swami that he would abstain from eating meat, taking alcohol, and engaging in promiscuity. He held fast to his promise and gained more than a diet: he gained a basis for his life-long philosophies. As Gandhi grew into adulthood, he became a strict vegetarian. He wrote the book The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism[73] and several articles on the subject, some of which were published in the London Vegetarian Society's publication, The Vegetarian.[74] During this period, the young Gandhi became inspired by many great minds and was befriended by the chairman of the London Vegetarian Society, Dr. Josiah Oldfield.

Having also read and admired the work of Henry Stephens Salt, the young Mohandas met and often corresponded with the vegetarian campaigner. Gandhi spent much time advocating vegetarianism during and after his time in London. To Gandhi, a vegetarian diet would not only satisfy the requirements of the body, it would also serve an economic purpose as meat was, and still is, generally more expensive than grains, vegetables, and fruits. Also, many Indians of the time struggled with low income, thus vegetarianism was seen not only as a spiritual practice but also a practical one. He abstained from eating for long periods, using fasting as a form of political protest. He refused to eat until his death or his demands were met. It was noted in his autobiography that vegetarianism was the beginning of his deep commitment to Brahmacharya; without total control of the palate, his success in Bramacharya would likely falter.

For much of his adult life, Gandhi was a fruitarian, stating in his autobiography, "I decided to live on a pure fruit diet, and that too composed of the cheapest fruit possible ... Raw groundnuts, bananas, dates, lemons and olive oil composed our usual diet."[75] However, late in life he broke his discipline and started taking goat's milk on the advice of his doctor. This lapse of discipline bothered him to his dying day, and he wrote, "The memory of this action even now rankles my breast and fills me with remorse, and I am constantly thinking how to give up goat's milk." He never took dairy products obtained from cows because of his view initially that milk is not the natural diet of man, disgust for cow blowing,[76] and, specifically, because of a vow to his late mother.

Brahmacharya

When Gandhi was 16 his father became very ill. Being very devoted to his parents, he attended to his father at all times during his illness. However, one night, Gandhi's uncle came to relieve Gandhi for a while. He retired to his bedroom where carnal desires overcame him and he made love to his wife. Shortly afterward a servant came to report that Gandhi's father had just died. Gandhi felt tremendous guilt and never could forgive himself. He came to refer to this event as "double shame." The incident had significant influence in Gandhi becoming celibate at the age of 36, while still married.[77]

This decision was deeply influenced by the philosophy of Brahmacharya — spiritual and practical purity — largely associated with celibacy and asceticism. Gandhi saw Brahmacharya as a means of becoming close with God and as a primary foundation for self realization. In his autobiography he tells of his battle against lustful urges and fits of jealousy with his childhood bride, Kasturba. He felt it his personal obligation to remain celibate so that he could learn to love, rather than lust. For Gandhi, Brahmacharya meant "control of the senses in thought, word and deed."[78].

Towards the end of his life, it became public knowledge that Gandhi had been sharing his bed for a number of years with young women.[79][80] He explained that he did this for bodily warmth at night and termed his actions as "nature cure". Later in his life he started experimenting with brahmacharya in order to test his self control. His letter to Birla in April, 1945 referring to 'women or girls who have been naked with me' indicates that several women were part of his experiments.[81] He wrote five editorials in Harijan discussing the practice of brahmacharya.[82]

As part of these experiments, he initially slept with his women associates in the same room but at a distance. Afterwards he started to lie in the same bed with his women disciples and later took to sleeping naked alongside them .[83] According to Gandhi active-celibacy meant perfect self control in the presence of opposite sex. Gandhi conducted his experiments with a number of women such as Abha, the sixteen year old wife of his grandnephew Kanu Gandhi. Gandhi acknowledged "that this experiment is very dangerous indeed", but thought "that it was capable of yielding great results".[84] His nineteen year old grandniece, Manu Gandhi, too was part of his experiments. Gandhi had earlier written to her father, Jaisukhlal Gandhi, that Manu had started to share his bed so that he may "correct her sleeping posture".[84] Gandhi saw himself as a mother to these women and would refer to Abha and Manu as "my walking sticks".

Gandhi called Sarladevi, a married woman with children and a devout follower, his "spiritual wife". He later said that he had come close to having sexual relations with her.[85] He had told a correspondent in March, 1945 that "sleeping together came with my taking up of bramhacharya or even before that"; he said he had experimented with his wife "but that was not enough".[84] Gandhi felt satisfied with his experiments and wrote to Manu that "I have successfully practiced the eleven vows taken by me. This is the culmination of my striving for last thirty six years. In this yajna I got a glimpse of the ideal truth and purity for which I have been striving".

Gandhi had to take criticism for his experiments by many of his followers and opponents. His stenographer, R. P. Parasuram, resigned when he saw Gandhi sleeping naked with Manu.[86] Gandhi insisted that he never felt aroused while he slept beside her, or with Sushila or Abha. "I am sorry" Gandhi said to Parasuram, "you are at liberty to leave me today." Nirmal Kumar Bose, another close associate of Gandhi, parted company with him in April, 1947 post Gandhi's tour of Noakhali, where some sort of altercation had taken place between Gandhi and Sushila Nayar in his bedroom at midnight that caused Gandhi to slap his forehead. Bose had stated that the nature of his experiments in bramhacharya still remained unknown and unstated.[86][87]

N. K. Bose, who stayed close to Gandhi during his Noakhali tour, testified that "there was no immorality on part of Gandhi. Moreover Gandhi tried to conquer the feeling of sex by consciously endeavouring to convert himself into a mother of those who were under his case, whether men or women". Dattatreya Balkrishna Kalelkar, a revolutionary turned disciple of Gandhi, used to say that Gandhi's "relationships with women were, from beginning to end, as pure as mother's milk".[88].

Simplicity

Gandhi earnestly believed that a person involved in public service should lead a simple life. He first displayed this principle when he gave up wearing western-style clothing, which he associated with wealth and success. When he returned to India he renounced the western lifestyle he lead in South Africa, where he had enjoyed a successful legal practice.

Gandhi dressed to be accepted by the poorest person in India, advocating the use of homespun cloth (khadi). He and his followers adopted the practice of weaving their own clothes from thread they themselves spun, and encouraged others to do so. While Indian workers were often idle due to unemployment, they had often bought their clothing from industrial manufacturers owned by British interests. It was Gandhi's view that if Indians made their own clothes, it would deal an economic blow to the British establishment in India. Consequently, the spinning wheel was later incorporated into the flag of the Indian National Congress. He subsequently wore a dhoti for the rest of his life to express the simplicity of his life.

The practice of giving up unnecessary expenditure, embracing a simple lifestyle and washing his own clothes, Gandhi called "reducing himself to zero".[89] On one occasion he returned the gifts bestowed to him from the Natals for his diligent service to the community.[90]

Gandhi spent one day of each week in silence. He believed that abstaining from speaking brought him inner peace. This influence was drawn from the Hindu principles of mauna (Sanskrit:मौनं — silence) and shanti (Sanskrit:शांति — peace). On such days he communicated with others by writing on paper. For three and a half years, from the age of 37, Gandhi refused to read newspapers, claiming that the tumultuous state of world affairs caused him more confusion than his own inner unrest.

After reading John Ruskin's Unto This Last, he decided to change his lifestyle and create a commune called Phoenix Settlement.

Faith

Gandhi was born a Hindu and practised Hinduism all his life, deriving most of his principles from Hinduism. As a common Hindu, he believed all religions to be equal, and rejected all efforts to convert him to a different faith. He was an avid theologian and read extensively about all major religions. He had the following to say about Hinduism:

Hinduism as I know it entirely satisfies my soul, fills my whole being...When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and when I see not one ray of light on the horizon, I turn to the Bhagavad Gita, and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. My life has been full of tragedies and if they have not left any visible and indelible effect on me, I owe it to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.
Gandhi Smriti (The house Gandhi lodged in the last 4 months of his life has now become a monument, New Delhi)

Gandhi wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita in Gujarati. The Gujarati manuscript was translated into English by Mahadev Desai, who provided an additional introduction and commentary. It was published with a Foreword by Gandhi in 1946.[91][92]

Gandhi believed that at the core of every religion was truth and love (compassion, nonviolence and the Golden Rule). He also questioned what he saw as hypocrisy, malpractices, and dogma in all religions, including his own, and he was a tireless advocate for social reform in religion. Some of his comments on various religions are:

Thus if I could not accept Christianity either as a perfect, or the greatest religion, neither was I then convinced of Hinduism being such. Hindu defects were pressingly visible to me. If untouchability could be a part of Hinduism, it could but be a rotten part or an excrescence. I could not understand the raison d'être of a multitude of sects and castes. What was the meaning of saying that the Vedas were the inspired Word of God? If they were inspired, why not also the Bible and the Koran? As Christian friends were endeavouring to convert me, so were Muslim friends. Abdullah Seth had kept on inducing me to study Islam, and of course he had always something to say regarding its beauty.
As soon as we lose the moral basis, we cease to be religious. There is no such thing as religion over-riding morality. Man, for instance, cannot be untruthful, cruel or incontinent and claim to have God on his side.
The sayings of Muhammad are a treasure of wisdom, not only for Muslims but for all of mankind.
I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.

Later in his life, when he was asked whether he was a Hindu, he replied, "Yes I am. I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew."

In spite of their deep reverence to each other, Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore engaged in protracted debates more than once. These debates exemplify the philosophical differences between the two most famous Indians at the time. On 15 January 1934, an earthquake hit Bihar and caused extensive damage and loss of life. Gandhi maintained this was because of the sin committed by upper caste Hindus by not letting untouchables in their temples (Gandhi was committed to the cause of improving the fate of untouchables, referring to them as Harijans, people of Krishna). Tagore vehemently opposed Gandhi's stance, maintaining that an earthquake can only be caused by natural forces, not moral reasons, however repugnant the practice of untouchability may be.[93]

Gandhi took a keen interest in theosophy. He empathized with theosophy's message of "universal brotherhood and consequent toleration", as he put it in 1926.[94]

Swaraj

Gandhi was a self-described philosophical anarchist,[95][96] and his vision of India meant India without an underlying government.[97] He once said that "the ideally nonviolent state would be an ordered anarchy."[98] While political systems are largely hierarchical, with each layer of authority from the individual to the central government have increasing levels of authority over the layer below, Gandhi believed that society should be the exact opposite, where nothing is done without the consent of anyone, down to the individual. His idea was that true self-rule in a country means that every person rules his or herself and that there is no state which enforces laws upon the people.[99][100] This would be achieved over time with nonviolent conflict mediation, as power is divested from layers of hierarchical authorities, ultimately to the individual, which would come to embody the ethic of nonviolence. Rather than a system where rights are enforced by a higher authority, people are self-governed by mutual responsibilities. On returning from South Africa, when Gandhi received a letter asking for his participation in writing a world charter for human rights, he responded saying, "in my experience, it is far more important to have a charter for human duties." [101] A free India for him meant the existence of thousands of self sufficient small communities (an idea possibly from Tolstoy) who rule themselves without hindering others. It did not mean merely transferring a British established administrative structure into Indian hands which he said was just making Hindustan into Englistan.[102] He wanted to ultimately dissolve the Congress Party after independence and establish a system of direct democracy in India,[103] having no faith in the British styled parliamentary system.[102]

Literary works

Young India, a journal published by Gandhi

Gandhi was a prolific writer. For decades he edited several newspapers including Harijan in Gujarati, Hindi and English; Indian Opinion while in South Africa and, Young India, in English, and Navajivan, a Gujarati monthly, on his return to India. Later Navajivan was also published in Hindi.[104] In addition, he wrote letters almost every day to individuals and newspapers.

Gandhi also wrote several books including his autobiography, An Autobiography of My Experiments with Truth, Satyagraha in South Africa about his struggle there, Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule, a political pamphlet, and a paraphrase in Gujarati of John Ruskin's Unto This Last.[105] This last essay can be considered his program on economics. He also wrote extensively on vegetarianism, diet and health, religion, social reforms, etc. Gandhi usually wrote in Gujarati, though he also revised the Hindi and English translations of his books.

Gandhi's complete works were published by the Indian government under the name The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi in the 1960s. The writings comprise about 50,000 pages published in about a hundred volumes. In 2000, a revised edition of the complete works sparked a controversy, as Gandhian followers argue that the government incorporated the changes for political purposes. The Indian government later withdrew the revised edition.[106]

Legacy and depictions in popular culture

The word Mahatma, while often mistaken for Gandhi's given name in the West, is taken from the Sanskrit words maha meaning Great and atma meaning Soul. Rabindranath Tagore is said to have accorded or popularised the title for Gandhi.[107] In his autobiography, Gandhi nevertheless explains that he never valued the title, and was often pained by it.[108]

Followers and influence

Gandhi influenced important leaders and political movements. Leaders of the civil rights movement in the United States, including Martin Luther King and James Lawson, drew from the writings of Gandhi in the development of their own theories about non-violence.[109][110][111] Anti-apartheid activist and former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was inspired by Gandhi.[20] Others include Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan,[112] Steve Biko, Aung San Suu Kyi [113] and Philippine opposition leader during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, Benigno Aquino, Jr.

"Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma Gandhi the tactics." - Martin Luther King Jr, 1955 [114]

Gandhi's life and teachings inspired many who specifically referred to Gandhi as their mentor or who dedicated their lives to spreading Gandhi's ideas. In Europe, Romain Rolland was the first to discuss Gandhi in his 1924 book Mahatma Gandhi, and Brazilian anarchist and feminist Maria Lacerda de Moura wrote about Gandhi in her work on pacifism. In 1931, notable European physicist Albert Einstein exchanged written letters with Gandhi, and called him "a role model for the generations to come" in a later writing about him.[115] Lanza del Vasto went to India in 1936 intending to live with Gandhi; he later returned to Europe to spread Gandhi's philosophy and founded the Community of the Ark in 1948 (modeled after Gandhi's ashrams). Madeleine Slade (known as "Mirabehn") was the daughter of a British admiral who spent much of her adult life in India as a devotee of Gandhi.

In addition, the British musician John Lennon referred to Gandhi when discussing his views on non-violence.[116] At the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in 2007, former U.S. Vice-President and environmentalist Al Gore spoke of Gandhi's influence on him.[117] Finally, prior to becoming President of the United States, then-Senator Barack Obama noted that:

Throughout my life, I have always looked to Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration, because he embodies the kind of transformational change that can be made when ordinary people come together to do extraordinary things. That is why his portrait hangs in my Senate office: to remind me that real results will come not just from Washington – they will come from the people.[118]

Obama at the Wakefield High School speech in Sept 2009, said that his biggest inspiration came from Mahatma Gandhi. It was when a question posed on him as 'who was the one person, dead or live, that he would choose to dine with?' and his quick reply was 'Gandhi!'. He continued and said that - "He's somebody I find a lot of inspiration in. He inspired Dr. King with his message of nonviolence. He ended up doing so much and changed the world just by the power of his ethics".

National holidays

Gandhi's birthday, 2 October, is a national holiday in India, Gandhi Jayanti. On 15 June 2007, it was announced that the "United Nations General Assembly" has "unanimously adopted" a resolution declaring 2 October as "the International Day of Non-Violence."[119] India observes January 30, the day of his assassination, as Martyr's Day, to commemorate those who gave up their lives in service of the Indian nation.

On 30 January every year, on the anniversary of the death of Mahatma Gandhi, in schools of many countries is observed the School Day of Non-violence and Peace (DENIP), founded in Spain in 1964. In countries with a Southern Hemisphere school calendar, it can be observed on 30 March or thereabouts.

Awards

Time magazine named Gandhi the Man of the Year in 1930. Gandhi was also the runner-up to Albert Einstein as "Person of the Century"[120] at the end of 1999. Time Magazine named The 14th Dalai Lama, Lech Wałęsa, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Aung San Suu Kyi, Benigno Aquino, Jr., Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela as Children of Gandhi and his spiritual heirs to non-violence.[121] The Government of India awards the annual Mahatma Gandhi Peace Prize to distinguished social workers, world leaders and citizens. Nelson Mandela, the leader of South Africa's struggle to eradicate racial discrimination and segregation, is a prominent non-Indian recipient.

Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace Prize, although he was nominated five times between 1937 and 1948, including the first-ever nomination by the American Friends Service Committee,[122] though he made the short list only twice, in 1937 and 1947.[123] Decades later, the Nobel Committee publicly declared its regret for the omission, and admitted to deeply divided nationalistic opinion denying the award.[citation needed] Gandhi was nominated in 1948 but was assassinated before nominations closed. That year, the committee chose not to award the peace prize stating that "there was no suitable living candidate" and later research shows that the possibility of awarding the prize posthumously to Gandhi was discussed and that the reference to no suitable living candidate was to Gandhi.[123] When the 14th Dalai Lama was awarded the Prize in 1989, the chairman of the committee said that this was "in part a tribute to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi."[123]

Film and literature

Mahatma Gandhi has been portrayed in film, literature, and in the theater. Ben Kingsley portrayed Gandhi in the 1982 film Gandhi. Gandhi is also a central theme in the 2006 Bollywood film Lage Raho Munna Bhai. The 2007 film, Gandhi, My Father explores the relationship between Gandhi and his son Harilal. The 1996 film, The Making of the Mahatma, documents Gandhi's 21 years in South Africa.

Several biographers have undertaken the task of describing Gandhi's life. Among them are: D. G. Tendulkar with his Mahatma. Life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in eight volumes, and Pyarelal and Sushila Nayar with their Mahatma Gandhi in 10 volumes.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi (1997), The Mahatma and the Poet, New Delhi: National Book Trust, India, p. 1 
  2. ^ Gandhi means "grocer" in Gujarati (L. R. Gala, Popular Combined Dictionary, English-English-Gujarati & Gujarati-Gujarati-English, Navneet), or "perfumer" in Hindi (Bhargava's Standard Illustrated Dictionary Hindi-English).
  3. ^ Fischer, Louis (1954), Gandhi:His life and message for the world, Mentor 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Tendulkar, D. G. (1951), Mahatma volume 1, Delhi: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India 
  5. ^ Pitirim Aleksandrovich Sorokin, The ways and power of love, 2002
  6. ^ Lloyd I. Rudolph , Gandhi, the traditional roots of charisma, 1983
  7. ^ Gandhi 1940, pp. 5–7
  8. ^ Gandhi 1940, p. 9
  9. ^ Gandhi 1940, pp. 20–22
  10. ^ a b c d e f Brown, Judith M (1989), Gandhi:Prisoner of Hope, New Haven: Yale University Press, p. 22 
  11. ^ a b Fischer, Louis (1962), Essential Gandhi, New York: Random House 
  12. ^ Gandhi 1940, p. 99
  13. ^ Gandhi 1940, p. 93
  14. ^ The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. 8. p. 199. 
  15. ^ The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. 3. p. 255. 
  16. ^ The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. 2. p. 270. 
  17. ^ a b Rory Carroll, "Gandhi branded racist as Johannesburg honours freedom fighter", The Guardian, 17 October 2003.
  18. ^ The Making of a Political Reformer: Gandhi in South Africa, 1893–1914. Surendra Bhana and Goolam Vahed, 2005: p.44
  19. ^ The Making of a Political Reformer: Gandhi in South Africa, 1893–1914. Surendra Bhana and Goolam Vahed, 2005: p.45
  20. ^ a b Nelson Mandela, The Sacred Warrior: The liberator of South Africa looks at the seminal work of the liberator of India, Time Magazine, 3 January 2000.
  21. ^ The Making of a Political Reformer: Gandhi in South Africa, 1893–1914. Surendra Bhana and Goolam Vahed, 2005: p.149
  22. ^ Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi Vol 5 Document#393 from Gandhi: Behind the Mask of Divinity p106
  23. ^ "Sergeant Major Gandhi". Gandhism.net. http://www.gandhism.net/sergeantmajorgandhi.php. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  24. ^ Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi VOL 5 p 410
  25. ^ Gandhi: An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth, trans. Mahaved Desai, (Boston, Beacon Press, 1993) p313
  26. ^ http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Chronology_of_Mahatma_Gandhi%27s_life/India_1918 Chronology of Mahatma Gandhi
  27. ^ http://wikilivres.info/wiki/The_Story_of_My_Experiments_with_Truth/Part_V/Recruiting_Campaign Gandhi's Autobiography
  28. ^ a b http://www.wikilivres.info/wiki/Day_to_Day_with_Gandhi/Volume_1/Preface Day to Day with Gandhi by Mahadev Desai
  29. ^ http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL017.PDF 67. APPEAL FOR ENLISTMENT, NADIAD, June 22, 1918
  30. ^ http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL017.PDF 8. LETTER T0 J. L. MAFFEY, NADIAD, April 30, 1918
  31. ^ Gandhi's Ideas Including Selections from His Writings Andrews, C.F. (1930) Mahatma Gandhi's Ideas (Macmillan) P.133 Chapter VII The Teaching of Ahimsa
  32. ^ R. Gandhi, Patel: A Life, p. 82.
  33. ^ R. Gandhi, Patel: A Life, p. 89.
  34. ^ R. Gandhi, Patel: A Life, p. 105.
  35. ^ R. Gandhi, Patel: A Life, p. 131.
  36. ^ R. Gandhi, Patel: A Life, p. 172.
  37. ^ R. Gandhi, Patel: A Life, pp. 230–32.
  38. ^ R. Gandhi, Patel: A Life, p. 246.
  39. ^ R. Gandhi, Patel: A Life, pp. 277–81.
  40. ^ R. Gandhi, Patel: A Life, pp. 283–86.
  41. ^ R. Gandhi, Patel: A Life, p. 309.
  42. ^ R. Gandhi, Patel: A Life, p. 318.
  43. ^ reprinted in The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas., Louis Fischer, ed., 2002 (reprint edition) pp. 106–108.
  44. ^ reprinted in The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas.Louis Fischer, ed., 2002 (reprint edition) pp. 308–9.
  45. ^ Jack, Homer. The Gandhi Reader, p. 418.
  46. ^ "The life and death of Mahatma Gandhi", on BBC News, see section "Independence and partition."
  47. ^ reprinted in The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas, Louis Fischer, ed., 2002 (reprint edition) pp. 286-288.
  48. ^ R. Gandhi, Patel: A Life, p. 462.
  49. ^ Zamindar, Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali (2007). The long partition and the making of modern South Asia: refugees, boundaries, histories. Columbia University Press. pp. 37–38. ISBN 023113846. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=EfhqQLr96VgC&pg=PA34&dq=Purana+Qila. 
  50. ^ R. Gandhi, Patel: A Life, pp. 464–66.
  51. ^ R. Gandhi, Patel: A Life, p. 472.
  52. ^ Vinay Lal. ‘Hey Ram’: The Politics of Gandhi’s Last Words. Humanscape 8, no. 1 (January 2001): pp. 34–38.
  53. ^ Nehru's address on Gandhi's death. Retrieved on 15 March 2007.
  54. ^ a b c d e "Gandhi's ashes to rest at sea, not in a museum" The Guardian, 16 January 2008
  55. ^ "GANDHI'S ASHES SCATTERED" The Cincinnati Post, 30 January 1997 "For reasons no one knows, a portion of the ashes was placed in a safe deposit box at a bank in Cuttack, 1,100 miles (1,800 km) southeast of New Delhi. Tushar Gandhi went to court to gain custody of the ashes after newspapers reported in 1995 that they were at the bank."
  56. ^ Ferrell, David (2001-09-27). "A Little Serenity in a City of Madness". Los Angeles Times: pp. B 2. 
  57. ^ Asirvatham, Eddy. Political Theory. S.chand. ISBN 8121903467. 
  58. ^ Bharatan Kumarappa, Editor, "For Pacifists," by M.K. Gandhi, Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, India, 1949.
  59. ^ Gandhi, Mahatma (1972). Non-violence in peace and war, 1942–[1949]. Garland Publishing. ISBN 0-8240-0375-6. 
  60. ^ Louis Fischer (1950), The life of Mahatma Gandhi, Harper, p. 348, http://books.google.com/books?id=pHcGAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA348&q=%22cliffs%22 
  61. ^ Bondurant, p. 28.
  62. ^ Bondurant, p. 139.
  63. ^ reprinted in The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas., Louis Fischer, ed., 2002 (reprint edition) p. 311.
  64. ^ http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/kevin-myers/armistice-day-poppycock-threatens-our-free-speech-1925850.html
  65. ^ Jack, Homer. The Gandhi Reader, pp. 319–20.
  66. ^ Jack, Homer. The Gandhi Reader, p. 322.
  67. ^ David Lewis Schaefer. What Did Gandhi Do?. National Review, 28 April 2003. Retrieved 21 March 2006; Richard Grenier. "The Gandhi Nobody Knows". Commentary Magazine. March 1983. Retrieved 21 March 2006.
  68. ^ Hertzberg, Arthur. The Zionist Idea. PA: Jewish Publications Society, 1997, pp. 463-464.; see also Gordon, Haim. "A Rejection of Spiritual Imperialism: Reflections on Buber's Letter to Gandhi." Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 22 June 1999.
  69. ^ Jack, Homer. The Gandhi Reader, Harijan, 26 November 1938, pp. 317–318.
  70. ^ Mohandas K. Gandhi. A Non-Violent Look at Conflict & Violence Published in Harijan on 26 November 1938
  71. ^ Laidlaw, James: Riches and Renunciation. Religion, economy, and society among the Jains, Oxford 1995, p. 166-169.
  72. ^ Jain Society: Some Discrepancies Between Principles And Practice. Retrieved on February 14, 2009.
  73. ^ Gandhi, Mahatma (1959). The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism. Online Books Page. http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupid?key=olbp17620. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  74. ^ "International Vegetarian Union — Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869–1948)". http://www.ivu.org/history/gandhi/. 
  75. ^ Gokhale's Charity, My Experiments with Truth, M.K. Gandhi.
  76. ^ The Rowlatt Bills and my Dilemma, My Experiments with Truth, M.K. Gandhi.
  77. ^ "Time magazine people of the century". Time.com. http://www.time.com/time/time100/poc/magazine/mohandas_gandhi12b.html. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  78. ^ The Story of My Experiments with Truth — An Autobiography, p. 176.
  79. ^ Birkett, Dea; Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, Lloyd I Rudolph. Gandhi: The Traditional Roots of Charisma. Orient Longman, 56. ISBN 0002160056
  80. ^ Caplan, Pat; Patricia Caplan (1987). The Cultural construction of sexuality. Routledge, 278. ISBN 0415040132
  81. ^ a b Parekh, Bhikhu C. (1999). Colonialism, Tradition and Reform: An Analysis of Gandhi's Political Discourse. Sage, 210. ISBN 0761993835.
  82. ^ Kumar, Girja (1997). The Book on Trial: Fundamentalism and Censorship in India. Har-Anand Publications, 98. ISBN 8124105251.
  83. ^ ^ a b Parekh, Bhikhu C. (1999). Colonialism, Tradition and Reform: An Analysis of Gandhi's Political Discourse. Sage, 210. ISBN 0761993835.
  84. ^ a b c ^ a b c Tidrick, Kathryn (2007). Gandhi: A Political and Spiritual Life. I.B.Tauris, 302–304. ISBN 1845111664.
  85. ^ ^ Tidrick, Kathryn (2007). Gandhi: A Political and Spiritual Life. I.B.Tauris, 160. ISBN 1845111664.
  86. ^ a b ^ a b Wolpert, Stanley (2001). Gandhi's Passion: The Life and Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. Oxford University Press, 226–227. ISBN 019515634X.
  87. ^ ^ Kumar, Girja (1997). The Book on Trial: Fundamentalism and Censorship in India. Har-Anand Publishers, 73-107. ISBN 8124105251.
  88. ^ ^ Ghose, Sankar (1991). Mahatma Gandhi. Allied Publishers, 356. ISBN 8170232058.
  89. ^ The Story of My Experiments with Truth — An Autobiography, p. 177.
  90. ^ The Story of My Experiments with Truth — An Autobiography, p. 183.
  91. ^ Desai, Mahadev. The Gospel of Selfless Action, or, The Gita According To Gandhi. (Navajivan Publishing House: Ahmedabad: First Edition 1946). Other editions: 1948, 1951, 1956.
  92. ^ A shorter edition, omitting the bulk of Desai's additional commentary, has been published as: Anasaktiyoga: The Gospel of Selfless Action. Jim Rankin, editor. The author is listed as M.K. Gandhi; Mahadev Desai, translator. (Dry Bones Press, San Francisco, 1998) ISBN 1-883938-47-3.
  93. ^ "Overview of debates between Gandhi and Tagore". Indiatogether.org. http://www.indiatogether.org/2003/may/rvw-gndhtgore.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  94. ^ http://www.gandhiserve.org/information/questions_and_answers/faq9/faq9.html What about Gandhi and theosophy?
  95. ^ Snow, Edgar. The Message of Gandhi. SEP, March 27, 1948. "Like Marx, Gandhi hated the state and wished to eliminate it, and he told me he considered himself 'a philosophical anarchist.'"
  96. ^ Articles on and by Gandhi, Retrieved on 7 June 2008.
  97. ^ Jesudasan, Ignatius. A Gandhian theology of liberation. Gujarat Sahitya Prakash: Ananda India, 1987, pp 236–237
  98. ^ From Discussion with BG Kher and others, August 15, 1940. Gandhi's Wisdom Box (1942), edited by Dewan Ram Parkash, p. 67 also in Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi Vol. 79 (PDF), p. 122
  99. ^ Murthy, Srinivas.Mahatma Gandhi and Leo Tolstoy Letters. Long Beach Publications: Long Beach, 1987, pp 13
  100. ^ Murthy, Srinivas.Mahatma Gandhi and Leo Tolstoy Letters. Long Beach Publications: Long Beach, 1987, pp 189.
  101. ^ Easwaran, Eknath. Gandhi, The Man. Nilgiri Press, 1998. Pg. 33.
  102. ^ a b Chapter VI Hind Swaraj by M.K. Gandhi
  103. ^ Bhattacharyya, Buddhadeva. Evolution of the political philosophy of Gandhi. Calcutta Book House: Calcutta, 1969, pp 479
  104. ^ Peerless Communicator by V.N. Narayanan. Life Positive Plus, October–December 2002
  105. ^ Gandhi, M. K. (in English; trans. from Gujarati) (PDF). Unto this Last: A paraphrase. Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House. ISBN 81-7229-076-4. http://wikilivres.info/wiki/Unto_This_Last_%E2%80%94_M._K._Gandhi. 
  106. ^ Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG) Controversy (gandhiserve)
  107. ^ Dutta, Krishna and Andrew Robinson, Rabindranath Tagore: An Anthology, p. 2.
  108. ^ Desai, Mahadev H. (1983). Autobiography: the story of my experiments with truth. Mineola, N.Y: Dover. pp. [http://books.google.com/books?id=OXoRs7Kxs_YC&pg=PR1&. ISBN 0-486-24593-4. 
  109. ^ King’s Trip to India
  110. ^ King moved, as father was, on trip to Gandhi's memorial
  111. ^ Placido P. D'Souza (2003-01-20). "COMMEMORATING MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: Gandhi's influence on King". Sfgate.com. http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/01/20/ED163673.DTL. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  112. ^ Abdul Ghaffar Khan (February 2002). "A pacifist uncovered". Findarticles.com. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1295/is_2_66/ai_83246175/print. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  113. ^ "An alternative Gandhi". Tribuneindia.com. 2004-02-22. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2004/20040222/spectrum/book1.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  114. ^ Life Magazine: Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. 40 Years Later. Time Inc, 2008. Pg 12
  115. ^ "Einstein on Gandhi". Gandhiserve.org. 1931-10-18. http://www.gandhiserve.org/streams/einstein.html. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  116. ^ Lennon Lives Forever. Taken from rollingstone.com. Retrieved on 20 May 2007.
  117. ^ Of Gandhigiri and Green Lion, Al Gore wins hearts at Cannes. Taken from exchange4media.com. Retrieved on 23 June 2007.
  118. ^ "Obama reluctant to seek changes in nuclear deal". The Hindu. 2008-12-07. http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/thscrip/print.pl?file=2008071260521800.htm&date=2008/07/12/&prd=th&. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  119. ^ Chaudhury, Nilova (15 June 2007). "2 October is global non-violence day". hindustantimes.com (Hindustan Times). http://www.hindustantimes.com/storypage/storypage.aspx?id=54580f5e-15a0-4aaf-baa3-8f403b5688fa&&Headline=October+2+is+Int'l+Non-Violence+Day. Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  120. ^ "The Time 100". Time Magazine Online. http://www.time.com/time/time100/leaders/profile/gandhi.html. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  121. ^ The Children Of Gandhi. Time (magazine). Retrieved on 21 April 2007.
  122. ^ AFSC's Past Nobel Nominations.
  123. ^ a b c Tønnesson, Øyvind (1 December 1999). "Mahatma Gandhi, the Missing Laureate". nobelprize.org. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/articles/gandhi/index.html. 

Further reading

  • Bhana, Surendra and Goolam Vahed. The Making of a Political Reformer: Gandhi in South Africa, 1893–1914. New Delhi: Manohar, 2005.
  • Bondurant, Joan V. Conquest of Violence: The Gandhian Philosophy of Conflict. Princeton UP, 1988 ISBN 0-691-02281-X
  • Chernus, Ira. American Nonviolence: The History of an Idea, chapter 7. ISBN 1-57075-547-7
  • Chadha, Yogesh. Gandhi: A Life. ISBN 0-471-35062-1
  • Dalton, Dennis (ed). Mahatma Gandhi: Selected Political Writings. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 1996. ISBN 0-87220-330-1
  • Eswaran, Eknath. Gandhi The Man. ISBN 0-915132-96-6
  • Fischer, Louis. The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas. Vintage: New York, 2002. (reprint edition) ISBN 1-4000-3050-1
  • Fischer, Louis. The Life of Mahatma Gandhi. Harper & Row, New York, 1950. ISBB 0-06-091038-0 (1983 pbk.)
  • Gandhi, M.K. Satyagraha in South Africa
  • Gandhi, M.K. The Gandhi Reader: A Sourcebook of His Life and Writings. Homer Jack (ed.) Grove Press, New York, 1956.
  • Gandhi, M.K. (1940), An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments With Truth, Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House. 2nd edition. Pp. xii, 404. (also available at wikisource), ISBN 0-8070-5909-9 
  • Gandhi, Mahatma. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India, 1994.
  • Gandhi, Rajmohan. Patel: A Life. Navajivan Publishing House, 1990 ISBN 81-7229-138-8
  • Grenier, Richard. The Gandhi Nobody Knows. Commentary, March 1983
  • Gordon, Haim. A Rejection of Spiritual Imperialism: Reflections on Buber's Letter to Gandhi. Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 22 June 1999.
  • Hunt, James D. Gandhi in London. New Delhi: Promilla & Co., Publishers, 1978.
  • Mann, Bernhard, The Pedagogical and Political Concepts of Mahatma Gandhi and Paulo Freire. In: Claußen, B. (Ed.) International Studies in Political Socialization and Education. Bd. 8. Hamburg 1996. ISBN 3-926952-97-0
  • Rühe, Peter. Gandhi: A Photo biography. ISBN 0-7148-9279-3
  • Sharp, Gene. Gandhi as a Political Strategist, with Essays on Ethics and Politics. Boston: Extending Horizon Books, 1979.
  • Singh, Col. G. B. Gandhi Behind the Mask of Divinity. Prometheus Books, 2004. ISBN 978-1573929981
  • Singh, Col. G. B. and Watson, Dr. Tim Gandhi Under Cross Examination, Sovereign Star Publishing, 2008. ISBN 0981499201
  • Sofri, Gianni. Gandhi and India: A Century in Focus. (1995) ISBN 1-900624-12-5

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi article)

From Wikiquote

Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time. I must continue to bear testimony to truth even if I am forsaken by all. Mine may today be a voice in the wilderness, but it will be heard when all other voices are silenced, if it is the voice of Truth.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 186930 January 1948), commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi (Sanskrit: महात्मा mahātmā — "Great Soul") and in India as Bapu (Gujarati: બાપુ bāpu—"Father"), was an advocate and pioneer of nonviolent social protest in the form he called Satyagraha. He led the struggle for India's independence from British colonial rule.

Contents

Sourced

General

One of the objects of a newspaper is to understand popular feeling and to give expression to it, another is to arouse among the people certain desirable sentiments, and the third is fearlessly to expose popular defects.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
If India adopted the doctrine of love as an active part of her religion and introduced it in her politics. Swaraj would descend upon India from heaven. But I am painfully aware that that event is far off as yet.
The cry for peace will be a cry in the wilderness, so long as the spirit of nonviolence does not dominate millions of men and women.
The ideally non-violent state will be an ordered anarchy. That State is the best governed which is governed the least.
Religions are different roads converging to the same point. What does it matter that we take different road, so long as we reach the same goal. Wherein is the cause for quarrelling?
  • One thing we have endeavoured to observe most scrupulously, namely, never to depart from the strictest facts and, in dealing with the difficult questions that have arisen during the year, we hope that we have used the utmost moderation possible under the circumstances. Our duty is very simple and plain. We want to serve the community, and in our own humble way to serve the Empire. We believe in the righteousness of the cause, which it is our privilege to espouse. We have an abiding faith in the mercy of the Almighty God, and we have firm faith in the British Constitution. That being so, we should fail in our duty if we wrote anything with a view to hurt. Facts we would always place before our readers, whether they are palatable or not, and it is by placing them constantly before the public in their nakedness that the misunderstanding between the two communities in South Africa can be removed.
  • Why, of all places in Johannesburg, the Indian location should be chosen for dumping down all kaffirs of the town, passes my comprehension. Of course, under my suggestion, the Town Council must withdraw the Kaffirs from the Location. About this mixing of the Kaffirs with the Indians I must confess I feel most strongly. I think it is very unfair to the Indian population, and it is an undue tax on even the proverbial patience of my countrymen.
    • Letter to Dr. Porter, Medical Officer of Health for Johannesburg (15 February 1905); later published in The Indian Opinion.
  • In this instance of the fire-arms, the Asiatic has been most improperly bracketed with the native. The British Indian does not need any such restrictions as are imposed by the Bill on the natives regarding the carrying of fire-arms. The prominent race can remain so by preventing the native from arming himself. Is there a slightest vestige of justification for so preventing the British Indian?
    • Comments on a court case in The Indian Opinion (25 March 1905)
  • You say that the magistrate's decision is unsatisfactory because it would enable a person, however unclean, to travel by a tram, and that even the Kaffirs would be able to do so. But the magistrate's decision is quite different. The Court declared that the Kaffirs have no legal right to travel by tram. And according to tram regulations, those in an unclean dress or in a drunken state are prohibited from boarding a tram. Thanks to the Court's decision, only clean Indians or coloured people other than Kaffirs, can now travel in the trams.
    • Comments on a court case in The Indian Opinion (2 June 1906)
  • Leo Tolstoy's life has been devoted to replacing the method of violence for removing tyranny or securing reform by the method of non­resistance to evil. He would meet hatred expressed in violence by love expressed in self­suffering. He admits of no exception to whittle down this great and divine law of love. He applies it to all the problems that trouble mankind.
    • Introduction to the publication of Tolstoy's A Letter to a Hindu (1909)
  • Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.
    • Satyagraha Leaflet No. 13 ( 3 May 1919)
  • I came in contact with every known Indian anarchist in London. Their bravery impressed me, but I felt that their zeal was misguided. I felt that violence was no remedy for India's ills, and that her civilisation required the use of a different and higher weapon for self-protection.
    • "A Word of Explanation" on his work Hind Swaraj (1908) in Young India (January 1921)
  • If India adopted the doctrine of love as an active part of her religion and introduced it in her politics. Swaraj would descend upon India from heaven. But I am painfully aware that that event is far off as yet.
    • "A Word of Explanation" in Young India (January 1921)
  • I have even seen the writings suggesting that I am playing a deep game, that I am using the present turmoil to foist my fads on India, and am making religious experiments at India's expense. I can only answer that Satyagraha is made of sterner stuff. There is nothing reserved and nothing secret in it.
    • "A Word of Explanation" in Young India (January 1921)
  • If one has no affection for a person or a system, one should feel free to give the fullest expression to his disaffection so long as he does not contemplate, promote, or incite violence.
    • Statement during his trial for "exciting disaffection toward His Majesty's Government as established by law in India" (18 March 1922)
  • Nonviolence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed.
    • Opening words of his defense speech at his trial Young India (23 March 1922)
  • I wanted to know the best of the life of one (Muhammad) who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind. I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle.
  • Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.
    • A list closing an article in Young India (22 October 1925); Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi Vol. 33 (PDF) p. 135
    • Variant: The seven blunders that human society commits and cause all the violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, and politics without principles.
      • A written list given to his departing grandson Arun Gandhi (October 1947), as quoted in Marriot (Spring 1998). Some alternative or erroneous translations exist that use intros "There are seven sins in the world:", "Seven Blunders of the world:", "The things that will destroy us are", and items "politics without principle", "education without character", or "business without morality".
  • The cry for peace will be a cry in the wilderness, so long as the spirit of nonviolence does not dominate millions of men and women.
    An armed conflict between nations horrifies us. But the economic war is no better than an armed conflict. This is like a surgical operation. An economic war is prolonged torture. And its ravages are no less terrible than those depicted in the literature on war properly so called. We think nothing of the other because we are used to its deadly effects. ...
    The movement against war is sound. I pray for its success. But I cannot help the gnawing fear that the movement will fail if it does not touch the root of all evil — man's greed.
    • "Non-Violence — The Greatest Force" in The World Tomorrow (5 October 1926)
  • I have been known as a crank, faddist, madman. Evidently the reputation is well deserved. For wherever I go, I draw to myself cranks, faddists, and madmen.
    • Young India (13 June 1929); also in All Men Are Brothers : Autobiographical Reflections (2005) edited by Krishna Kripalani, p. 163
  • The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
    • "Interview to the Press" in Karachi about the execution of Bhagat Singh (26 March 1926); published in Young India (2 April 1931), reprinted in Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi Online Vol. 51. Gandhi begins by making a statement on his failure "to bring about the commutation of the death sentence of Bhagat Singh and his friends." He is asked two questions. First: "Do you not think it impolitic to forgive a government which has been guilty of a thousand murders?" Gandhi replies: "I do not know a single instance where forgiveness has been found so wanting as to be impolitic." In a follow-up question, Gandhi is asked: "But no country has ever shown such forgiveness as India is showing to Britain?" Gandhi replies: "That does not affect my reply. What is true of individuals is true of nations. One cannot forgive too much. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
  • An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self sustained.
    • Young India 1924-1926 (1927), p. 1285
  • I’m a lover of my own liberty, and so I would do nothing to restrict yours. I simply want to please my own conscience, which is God.
    • Young India, January 21, 1927
  • I came to the conclusion long ago … that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu … But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian.
    • Young India (19 January 1928)
  • To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man's injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man's superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?
    • Young India (4 October 1930)
  • On all occasions of trial He has saved me. I know that the phrase 'God saved me' has a deeper meaning for me today, and still I feel that I have not yet grasped its entire meaning. Only richer experience can help me to a fuller understanding.
    But in all my trials — of a spiritual nature, as a lawyer, in conducting institutions, and in politics — I can say that God saved me. When every hope is gone, 'when helpers fail and comforts flee', I experience that help arrives somehow, from I know not where.
    • Young India (24 April 1931), p. 274
  • It is beyond my power to induce in you a belief in God. There are certain things which are self proved and certain which are not proved at all. The existence of God is like a geometrical axiom. It may be beyond our heart grasp. I shall not talk of an intellectual grasp. Intellectual attempts are more or less failures, as a rational explanation cannot give you the faith in a living God. For it is a thing beyond the grasp of reason. It transcends reason. There are numerous phenomena from which you can reason out the existence of God, but I shall not insult your intelligence by offering you a rational explanation of that type. I would have you brush aside all rational explanations and begin with a simple childlike faith in God. If I exist, God exists. With me it is a necessity of my being as it is with millions. They may not be able to talk about it, but from their life you can see that it is a part of their life. I am only asking you to restore the belief that has been undermined. In order to do so, you have to unlearn a lot of literature that dazzles your intelligenqe and throws you off your feet. Start with the faith which is also a token of humility and an admission that we know nothing, that we are less than atoms in this universe. We are less than atoms, I say, because the atom obeys the law of its being, whereas we in the insolence of our ignorance deny the law of nature. But I have no argument to address to those who have no faith.
  • England has got successful competitors in America, Japan, France, Germany. It has competitors in the handful of mills in India, and as there has been an awakening in India, even so there will be an awakening in South Africa with its vastly richer resources — natural , mineral and human. The mighty English look quite pigmies before the mighty races of Africa. They are noble savages after all, you will say. They are certainly noble, but no savages and in the course of a few years the Western nations may cease to find in Africa a dumping ground for their wares.
    • Statement at Oxford (24 October 1931)
  • I worship God as Truth only. I have not yet found Him, but I am seeking after Him.
    • An Autobiography (1936); also in All Men Are Brothers : Autobiographical Reflections (2005) edited by Krishna Kripalani, p. 63
  • It is impossible for me to reconcile myself to the idea of conversion after the style that goes on in India and elsewhere today. It is an error which is perhaps the greatest impediment to the world’s progress toward peace … Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu to Christianity? Why should he not be satisfied if the Hindu is a good or godly man?
    • Harijan (30 January 1937)
  • If there ever could be a justifiable war in the name of and for humanity, a war against Germany, to prevent the wanton persecution of a whole race, would be completely justified. But I do not believe in any war. A discussion of the pros and cons of such a war is therefore outside my horizon or province.
  • The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after return to Palestine. Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood?
    • Gandhi's Collected Works, Vol 74 (1938) [1][2]
  • Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and in-human to impose the Jews on the Arabs.
    • Gandhi's Collected Works, Vol 74 (1938) [3][4]
  • Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.
    • Gandhi, An Autobiography, p. 446 (Beacon Press paperback edition)
  • It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
    • Harijan (17 February 1940)
  • I do not want to see the allies defeated. But I do not consider Hitler to be as bad as he is depicted. He is showing an ability that is amazing and seems to be gaining his victories without much bloodshed. Englishmen are showing the strength that Empire builders must have. I expect them to rise much higher than they seem to be doing.
    • Letter to Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, regarding the military situation between England and Germany (May 1940), quoted in Collected Works (1958), p. 70. It should be noted that in May 1940 the battles of World War II were just beginning after the German invasion of Poland. The subsequent blitzkrieg invasions of The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France, were indeed swift and relatively bloodless compared to the trench battles of the First World War. Furthermore the persecution of the Jews in the eyes of the world was at this point limited to lowered civil rights, and the use of concentration camps and ghettos: the facts of Nazi genocidal strategies were not widely known until towards the end of that war, in 1945.
  • I appeal for cessation of hostilities ... because war is bad in essence. You want to kill Nazism. Your soldiers are doing the same work of destruction as the Germans. The only difference is that perhaps yours are not as thorough as the Germans ... I venture to present you with a nobler and a braver way, worthy of the bravest soldiers. I want you to fight Nazism without arms or ... with non-violent arms. I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions. Let them take possession of your beautiful island, with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these but neither your souls, nor your minds. If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourself, man, woman and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them ... I am telling His Excellency the Viceroy that my services are at the disposal of His Majesty's Government, should they consider them of any practical use in advancing the object of my appeal.
    • "To Every Briton" (1940)
  • The ideally non-violent state will be an ordered anarchy. That State is the best governed which is governed the least.
    • From Discussion with BG Kher and others, August 15, 1940. Gandhi's Wisdom Box (1942), edited by Dewan Ram Parkash, p. 67 also in Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi Vol. 79 (PDF), p. 122
  • Religions are different roads converging to the same point. What does it matter that we take different road, so long as we reach the same goal. Wherein is the cause for quarrelling?
    • Speaking of the conflict between Muslims and Hindus, in Hind Swaraj, Or Indian Home Rule (1946), p. 36
  • If you want to give a message again to the West, it must be a message of 'Love', it must be a message of 'Truth'. There must be a conquest — [audience claps] — please, please, please. That will interfere with my speech, and that will interfere with your understanding also. I want to capture your hearts and don't want to receive your claps. Let your hearts clap in unison with what I'm saying, and I think, I shall have finished my work. Therefore, I want you to go away with the thought that Asia has to conquer the West. Then, the question that a friend asked yesterday, "Did I believe in one world?" Of course, I believe in one world. And how can I possibly do otherwise, when I become an inheritor of the message of love that these great un-conquerable teachers left for us? You can redeliver that message now, in this age of democracy, in the age of awakening of the poorest of the poor, you can redeliver this message with the greatest emphasis.
  • Had we adopted non-violence as the weapon of the strong, because we realised that it was more effective than any other weapon, in fact the mightiest force in the world, we would have made use of its full potency and not have discarded it as soon as the fight against the British was over or we were in a position to wield conventional weapons. But as I have already said, we adopted it out of our helplessness. If we had the atom bomb, we would have used it against the British.
    • Speech (16 June 1947) as the official date for Indian independence approached (15 August 1947) , as quoted in Mahatma Gandhi : The Last Phase (1958) by Pyarelal, p. 326. The last sentence of this statement has sometimes been quoted as if it was being made as an affirmation of extreme hostility to the British, rather than as part of an affirmation of the strength of non-violence, and the ultimate weakness of those who needlessly resort to violence if it is within their power.
  • Truth never damages a cause that is just.
    • Non-Violence in Peace and War (1948); also in Gandhi on Non-violence : Selected Texts from Mohandas K. Gandhi's Non-Violence in Peace and War (1965) edited by Thomas Merton Google Books link ISBN 0811200973
  • In the dictionary of Satyagraha, there is no enemy.
    • Non-Violence in Peace and War (1948); also in Gandhi on Non-violence : Selected Texts from Mohandas K. Gandhi's Non-Violence in Peace and War (1965) edited by Thomas Merton
  • Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs. As it is, they succumbed anyway in their millions.
    • The Life of Mahatma Gandhi (1950) by Louis Fischer. The quote is in the the context of Gandhi's argument to his biographer that collective suicide would have been a heroic response that would have "aroused the world and the people of Germany to Hitler's violence".
  • Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time. I must continue to bear testimony to truth even if I am forsaken by all. Mine may today be a voice in the wilderness, but it will be heard when all other voices are silenced, if it is the voice of Truth.
    • Basic Education (1951) p. 89
  • You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
    • Gandhi : His Life and Message for the World (1954), by Louis Fischer, p.177
  • We need to be the change we wish to see in the world.
    • As quoted in "Arun Gandhi Shares the Mahatma's Message" by Michel W. Potts, in India - West [San Leandro, California] Vol. XXVII, No. 13 (1 February 2002) p. A34; Arun Gandhi indirectly quoting his grandfather. See also. "Be the change you wish to see: An interview with Arun Gandhi" by Carmella B'Hahn, Reclaiming Children and Youth [Bloomington] Vol.10, No. 1 (Spring 2001) p. 6
  • I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. The materialism of affluent Christian countries appears to contradict the claims of Jesus Christ that says it's not possible to worship both Mammon and God at the same time.
    • As quoted by William Rees-Mogg in The Times [London] (4 April 2005) {not found}. Gandhi here makes reference to a statement of Jesus: “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (Luke 16:13); also partly quoted in Christianity in the Crosshairs : Real Life Solutions Discovered in the Line of Fire (2004) by Bill Wilson

Hind Swaraj (1908)

Full text online
  • In reality there are as many religions as there are individuals.
  • One of the objects of a newspaper is to understand popular feeling and to give expression to it; another is to arouse among the people certain desirable sentiments; and the third is fearlessly to expose popular defects.
    • Sect. 1
  • I believe that the civilization India evolved is not to be beaten in the world. Nothing can equal the seeds sown by our ancestors, Rome went, Greece shared the same fate; the might of the Pharaohs was broken; Japan has become Westernized; of China nothing can be said; but India is still, somehow or other, sound at the foundation. The people of Europe learn their lessons from the writings of the men of Greece or Rome, which exist no longer in their former glory. In trying to learn from them, the Europeans imagine that they will avoid the mistakes of Greece and Rome. Such is their pitiable condition. In the midst of all this India remains immovable and that is her glory. It is a charge against India that her people are so uncivilized, ignorant and stolid, that it is not possible to induce them to adopt any changes. It is a charge really against our merit. What we have tested and found true on the anvil of experience, we dare not change. Many thrust their advice upon India, and she remains steady. This is her beauty: it is the sheet-anchor of our hope.
    Civilization is that mode of conduct which points out to man the path of duty. Performance of duty and observance of morality are convertible terms. To observe morality is to attain mastery over our mind and our passions. So doing, we know ourselves. The Gujarati equivalent for civilization means “good conduct”.
    • Sect. 13
    • Variant translations: I believe that the civilisation into which India has evolved is not to be beaten in the world. Nothing can equal the seeds sown by our ancestry. Rome went; Greece shared the same fate; the might of the Pharaohs was broken; Japan has become westernised; of China nothing can be said; but India is still, somehow or other, sound at the foundation.
      Greece, Egypt, Rome — all have been erased from this world, yet we continue to exist. There is something in us, that our character never ceases from the face of this world, defying global hostility for centuries.

An Autobiography (1927)

An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1927) Full text online at WIkisource These should eventually have citation by translation, edition, and section or page numbers
  • It is not my purpose to attempt a real autobiography. I simply want to tell the story of my experiments with truth...as my life consists of nothing but those experiments.
  • I am a Hindu by birth. And yet I do not know much of Hinduism, and I know less of other religions. In fact I do not know where I am, and what is and what should be my belief. I intend to make a careful study of my own religion and, as far as I can, of other religions as well.
  • Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.
  • Jealousy does not wait for reasons.
Part I, Chapter 4, Playing the Husband
  • I saw that bad handwriting should be regarded as a sign of an imperfect education.
Part I, Chapter 5, At the High School
  • Nothing is impossible for pure love.
Part I, Chapter 4, Playing the Husband
  • Every Hindu boy and girl should possess sound Sanskrit learning.
Part I, Chapter 5, At the High School
  • It is now my opinion that in all Indian curricula of higher education there should be a place for Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic and English, besides of course the vernacular.
Part I, Chapter 5, At the High School
  • Today I know that physical training should have as much place in the curriculum as mental training.
Part I, Chapter 5, At the High School
  • A man of truth must also be a man of care.
Part I, Chapter 5, At the High School
  • One golden rule is to accept the interpretation honestly put on the pledge by the party administering it.
Part I, Chapter 17, Experiments in Dietetics
  • A convert's enthusiasm for his new religion is greater than that of a person who is born in it.
Part I, Chapter 17, Experiments in Dietetics
  • Supplication, worship, prayer are no superstition; they are acts more real than the acts of eating, drinking, sitting or walking. It is no exaggeration to say that they alone are real, all else is unreal.
Part I, Chapter 21, 'Nirbal Ke Bala Rama'
  • Selfishness is blind.
Part II, Chapter 4, The First Shock
  • But all my life though, the very insistence on truth has taught me to appreciate the beauty of compromise. I saw in later life that this spirit was an essential part of Satyagraha. It has often meant endangering my life and incurring the displeasure of friends. But truth is hard as adamant and tender as a blossom.
Part II, Chapter 18, Colour Bar
  • I had learnt at the onset not to carry on public work with borrowed money.
Part II, Chapter 19, Natal Indian Congress

Disputed

  • An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.
    • First appeared as "An-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye ... ends in making everybody blind" in The Life of Mahatma Gandhi (Louis Fischer, 1950) and was popularised by its use in the 1982 film Gandhi. The Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence says that Gandhi's family believes it authentic, but it has never been sourced to Gandhi. Yale Book of Quotations (2006) by Fred R. Shapiro
  • First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    • Describing the stages of a winning strategy of nonviolent activism. A close variant of the quotation first appears in a 1914 US trade union address by Nicholas Klein:
And, my friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement. First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you. And that, is what is going to happen to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.
  • If you don't ask, you don't get.
    • Widespread late 20th century aphorism that appears to have been first attributed to Gandhi in various self-help books of the early 2000s. Google Books
  • Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
    • Variant on aphorism "Study as if you were to live forever. Live as if you were to die tomorrow" pre-dating Gandhi, variously attributed to Isidore of Seville (c. 560 - 636), in FPA Book of Quotations (1952) by Franklin Pierce Adams, or to Edmund Rich (1175 – 1240) in American Journal of Education (1877).
  • Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
    • No contemporaneous citations. Widespread attribution to Gandhi begins in post-1990 inspirational books.

Misattributed

  • As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world — that is the myth of the "atomic age" — as in being able to remake ourselves.

Quotes about Gandhi

  • It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious middle temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half-naked up the steps of the viceregal palace, while he is still organizing and conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the king-emperor.
    • Winston Churchill addressing the Council of the West Essex Unionist Association (23 February 1931); as quoted in "Mr Churchill on India" in The Times (24 February 1931)
  • A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back — but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.
    • Marian Wright Edelman, as quoted in The Art of Winning Commitment : 10 Ways Leaders Can Engage Minds, Hearts, And Spirits (2004) by Dick Richards, p. 11
  • Taken on the whole, I would believe that Gandhi's views were the most enlightened of all the political men of our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence for fighting for our cause, but by non-participation of anything you believe is evil.
  • Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.
    • Albert Einstein, statement on the occasion of Gandhi's 70th birthday (1939); Einstein archive 32-601, published in Out of My Later Years (1950).
    • Variant: Generations to come, it may be, will scarcely believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.
  • Everyone concerned in the better future of mankind must be deeply moved by the tragic death of Mahatma Gandhi. He died as the victim of his own principles, the principle of nonviolence. He died because in time of disorder and general irritation in his country, he refused armed protection for himself. It was his unshakable belief that the use of force is an evil in itself, that therefore it must be avoided by those who are striving for supreme justice to his belief. With his belief in his heart and mind, he has led a great nation on to its liberation. He has demonstrated that a powerful human following can be assembled not only through the cunning game of the usual political manoeuvres and trickeries but through the cogent example of morally superior conduct of life.
    The admiration for Mahatma Gandhi in all countries of the world rests on recognition, mostly sub-conscious, recognition of the fact that in our time of utter moral decadence, he was the only statesman to stand for a higher level of human relationship in political sphere. This level we must, with all our forces, attempt to reach. We must learn the difficult lesson that an endurable future of humanity will be possible only if, also in international relations, decisions are based on law and justice and not on self-righteous power, as they have been upto now.
    • Albert Einstein, as quoted in Mahatma Gandhi and the U.S.A.‎ (1949) by Pasupuleti Gopala Krishnayya, p. 399
  • I could find no explanation worthy of the Mahatma for his decision to accept leadership of the khilafat movement. The decision, it seemed to me, revealed the great man's proverbial Achilles' heel.
    • Girilal Jain in The Hindu Phenomenon, p. 52 ISBN 81-86112-32-4
  • But, he was a bhakt not of Ram in his totality, that is of Ram the warrior also, but of Ram as Purushottam Purusha, that is, of Ram who set the ideal for ethical life.
    • Girilal Jain in The Hindu Phenomenon, p. 152 ISBN 81-86112-32-4

See also

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