In Kheda, Vallabhbhai Patel represented the farmers in negotiations with the British, who suspended revenue collection and released all the prisoners. In after the World War I was over, Gandhi aged 49 sought political co-operation from Muslims in his fight against British imperialism by supporting the Ottoman Empire that had been defeated in the World War. Before this initiative of Gandhi, communal disputes and religious riots between Hindus and Muslims were common in British India, such as the riots of — Gandhi had already supported the British crown with resources and by recruiting Indian soldiers to fight the war in Europe on the British side.
This effort of Gandhi was in part motivated by the British promise to reciprocate the help with swaraj self-government to Indians after the end of World War I. The British colonial officials made their counter move by passing the Rowlatt Act , to block Gandhi's movement. The Act allowed the British government to treat civil disobedience participants as criminals and gave it the legal basis to arrest anyone for "preventive indefinite detention, incarceration without judicial review or any need for a trial".
Gandhi felt that Hindu-Muslim co-operation was necessary for political progress against the British. He leveraged the Khilafat movement , wherein Sunni Muslims in India, their leaders such as the sultans of princely states in India and Ali brothers championed the Turkish Caliph as a solidarity symbol of Sunni Islamic community ummah. It initially led to a strong Muslim support for Gandhi. However, the Hindu leaders including Rabindranath Tagore questioned Gandhi's leadership because they were largely against recognising or supporting the Sunni Islamic Caliph in Turkey.
The increasing Muslim support for Gandhi, after he championed the Caliph's cause, temporarily stopped the Hindu-Muslim communal violence. It offered evidence of inter-communal harmony in joint Rowlatt satyagraha demonstration rallies, raising Gandhi's stature as the political leader to the British.
Mahatma Gandhi - Wikipedia
Jinnah began creating his independent support, and later went on to lead the demand for West and East Pakistan. By the end of the Khilafat movement had collapsed. Deadly religious riots re-appeared in numerous cities, with 91 in United Provinces of Agra and Oudh alone. With his book Hind Swaraj Gandhi, aged 40, declared that British rule was established in India with the co-operation of Indians and had survived only because of this co-operation.
If Indians refused to co-operate, British rule would collapse and swaraj would come. In February , Gandhi cautioned the Viceroy of India with a cable communication that if the British were to pass the Rowlatt Act , he would appeal to Indians to start civil disobedience. The satyagraha civil disobedience followed, with people assembling to protest the Rowlatt Act. On 30 March , British law officers opened fire on an assembly of unarmed people, peacefully gathered, participating in satyagraha in Delhi.
People rioted in retaliation. On 6 April , a Hindu festival day, he asked a crowd to remember not to injure or kill British people, but express their frustration with peace, to boycott British goods and burn any British clothing they own. He emphasised the use of non-violence to the British and towards each other, even if the other side uses violence. Communities across India announced plans to gather in greater numbers to protest. Government warned him to not enter Delhi. Gandhi defied the order. On 9 April, Gandhi was arrested.
People rioted. On 13 April , people including women with children gathered in an Amritsar park, and a British officer named Reginald Dyer surrounded them and ordered his troops to fire on them. The resulting Jallianwala Bagh massacre or Amritsar massacre of hundreds of Sikh and Hindu civilians enraged the subcontinent, but was cheered by some Britons and parts of the British media as an appropriate response.
Gandhi in Ahmedabad, on the day after the massacre in Amritsar, did not criticise the British and instead criticised his fellow countrymen for not exclusively using love to deal with the hate of the British government. The massacre and Gandhi's non-violent response to it moved many, but also made some Sikhs and Hindus upset that Dyer was getting away with murder. Investigation committees were formed by the British, which Gandhi asked Indians to boycott. With Congress now behind him, and Muslim support triggered by his backing the Khilafat movement to restore the Caliph in Turkey,  Gandhi had the political support and the attention of the British Raj.
Gandhi expanded his nonviolent non-co-operation 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.
Gandhi thus began his journey aimed at crippling the British India government economically, politically and administratively. The appeal of "Non-cooperation" grew, its social popularity drew participation from all strata of Indian society. Gandhi was arrested on 10 March , tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years' imprisonment.
Gandhi: Reckless teenager to father of India
He began his sentence on 18 March With Gandhi isolated in prison, the Indian National Congress split 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. Muslim leaders left the Congress and began forming Muslim organisations.
The political base behind Gandhi had broken into factions. Gandhi was released in February for an appendicitis operation, having served only two years. After his early release from prison for political crimes in , over the second half of the s, Gandhi continued to pursue swaraj. He pushed through a resolution at the Calcutta Congress in December calling on the British government to grant India dominion status or face a new campaign of non-co-operation with complete independence for the country as its goal.
The British did not respond favourably to Gandhi's proposal. British political leaders such as Lord Birkenhead and Winston Churchill announced opposition to "the appeasers of Gandhi", in their discussions with European diplomats who sympathised with Indian demands. This day was commemorated by almost every other Indian organisation. Gandhi then launched a new Satyagraha against the tax on salt in March Gandhi sent an ultimatum in the form of a polite letter to the viceroy of India, Lord Irwin, on 2 March.
A young left wing British Quaker by the name of Reg Reynolds  delivered the letter. Gandhi condemned British rule in the letter, describing it as "a curse" that "has impoverished the dumb millions by a system of progressive exploitation and by a ruinously expensive military and civil administration It has reduced us politically to serfdom.
Who Was Mahatma Gandhi?
The march took 25 days to cover miles with Gandhi speaking to often huge crowds along the way. Thousands of Indians joined him in Dandi. On 5 May he was interned under a regulation dating from in anticipation of a protest that he had planned.
The protest at Dharasana salt works on 21 May went ahead without its leader, Gandhi. A horrified American journalist, Webb Miller , described the British response thus:. In complete silence the Gandhi men drew up and halted a hundred yards from the stockade. A picked column advanced from the crowd, waded the ditches and approached the barbed wire stockade Not one of the marchers even raised an arm to fend off blows.
They went down like ninepins. From where I stood I heard the sickening whack of the clubs on unprotected skulls Those struck down fell sprawling, unconscious or writhing with fractured skulls or broken shoulders. This went on for hours until some or more protesters had been beaten, many seriously injured and two killed. At no time did they offer any resistance. Among them was one of Gandhi's lieutenants, Jawaharlal Nehru. According to Sarma, Gandhi recruited women to participate in the salt tax campaigns and the boycott of foreign products, which gave many women a new self-confidence and dignity in the mainstream of Indian public life.
After Gandhi's arrest, the women marched and picketed shops on their own, accepting violence and verbal abuse from British authorities for the cause in a manner Gandhi inspired. According to Atlury Murali, Indian Congress in the s appealed to Andhra Pradesh peasants by creating Telugu language plays that combined Indian mythology and legends, linked them to Gandhi's ideas, and portrayed Gandhi as a messiah , a reincarnation of ancient and medieval Indian nationalist leaders and saints.
The plays built support among peasants steeped in traditional Hindu culture, according to Murali, and this effort made Gandhi a folk hero in Telugu speaking villages, a sacred messiah-like figure. According to Dennis Dalton, it was the ideas that were responsible for his wide following. Gandhi criticised Western civilisation as one driven by "brute force and immorality", contrasting it with his categorisation of Indian civilisation as one driven by "soul force and morality". These ideas are evidenced in his pamphlets from the s, in South Africa, where too he was popular among the Indian indentured workers.
After he returned to India, people flocked to him because he reflected their values. Gandhi also campaigned hard going from one rural corner of the Indian subcontinent to another. He used terminology and phrases such as Rama -rajya from Ramayana , Prahlada as a paradigmatic icon, and such cultural symbols as another facet of swaraj and satyagraha. The government, represented by Lord Irwin , decided to negotiate with Gandhi.
The Gandhi—Irwin Pact was signed in March The British Government agreed to free all political prisoners, in return for the suspension of the civil disobedience movement. According to the pact, Gandhi was invited to attend the Round Table Conference in London for discussions and as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress. The conference was a disappointment to Gandhi and the nationalists. Gandhi expected to discuss India's independence, while the British side focused on the Indian princes and Indian minorities rather than on a transfer of power.
Lord Irwin's successor, Lord Willingdon , took a hard line against India as an independent nation, began a new campaign of controlling and subduing the nationalist movement. Gandhi was again arrested, and the government tried and failed to negate his influence by completely isolating him from his followers. In Britain, Winston Churchill , a prominent Conservative politician who was then out of office but later became its prime minister, became a vigorous and articulate critic of Gandhi and opponent of his long-term plans. Churchill often ridiculed Gandhi, saying in a widely reported speech:.
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 Vice-regal palace Churchill's bitterness against Gandhi grew in the s. He called Gandhi as the one who was "seditious in aim" whose evil genius and multiform menace was attacking the British empire. Churchill called him a dictator, a "Hindu Mussolini ", fomenting a race war, trying to replace the Raj with Brahmin cronies, playing on the ignorance of Indian masses, all for selfish gain.
It gained Churchill sympathetic support, but it also increased support for Gandhi among Europeans. The developments heightened Churchill's anxiety that the "British themselves would give up out of pacifism and misplaced conscience". During the discussions between Gandhi and the British government over —32 at the Round Table Conferences , Gandhi, now aged about 62, sought constitutional reforms as a preparation to the end of colonial British rule, and begin the self-rule by Indians. The British negotiators proposed constitutional reforms on a British Dominion model that established separate electorates based on religious and social divisions.
The British questioned the Congress party and Gandhi's authority to speak for all of India. Ambedkar as the representative leader of the untouchables. After Gandhi returned from the Second Round Table conference, he started a new satyagraha. He was arrested and imprisoned at the Yerwada Jail , Pune. While he was in prison, the British government enacted a new law that granted untouchables a separate electorate.
It came to be known as the Communal Award. In Gandhi resigned from Congress party membership. He did not disagree with the party's position but felt that if he resigned, his popularity with Indians would cease to stifle the party's membership, which actually varied, including communists, socialists, trade unionists, students, religious conservatives, and 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.
Gandhi returned to active politics again in , 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 Chandra Bose, who had been elected president in , and who had previously expressed a lack of faith in nonviolence as a means of protest.
Pattabhi Sitaramayya ; but left the Congress when the All-India leaders resigned en masse in protest of his abandonment of the principles introduced by Gandhi. Gandhi opposed providing any help to the British war effort and he campaigned against any Indian participation in the World War II. His campaign was a failure. Gandhi opposition to the Indian participation in the World War II was motivated by his belief 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, calling for the British to Quit India in a speech in Mumbai. In , Gandhi now nearing age 73, urged his people to completely stop co-operating with the imperial government. In this effort, he urged that they neither kill nor injure British people, but be willing to suffer and die if violence is initiated by the British officials. Gandhi's arrest lasted two years, as he was held in the Aga Khan Palace in Pune.
During this period, his long time secretary Mahadev Desai died of a heart attack, his wife Kasturba died after 18 months' imprisonment on 22 February ; and Gandhi suffered a severe malaria attack. Gelder then composed and released an interview summary, cabled it to the mainstream press, that announced sudden concessions Gandhi was willing to make, comments that shocked his countrymen, the Congress workers and even Gandhi.
The latter two claimed that it distorted what Gandhi actually said on a range of topics and falsely repudiated the Quit India movement. Gandhi was released before the end of the war on 6 May because of his failing health and necessary surgery; the Raj did not want him to die in prison and enrage the nation.
He came out of detention to an altered political scene — the Muslim League for example, which a few years earlier had appeared marginal, "now occupied the centre of the political stage"  and the topic of Muhammad Ali Jinnah 's campaign for Pakistan was a major talking point. Gandhi and Jinnah had extensive correspondence and the two men met several times over a period of two weeks in September , where Gandhi insisted on a united religiously plural and independent India which included Muslims and non-Muslims of the Indian subcontinent coexisting.
Jinnah rejected this proposal and insisted instead for partitioning the subcontinent on religious lines to create a separate Muslim India later Pakistan. While the leaders of Congress languished in jail, the other parties supported the war and gained organizational strength. Underground publications flailed at the ruthless suppression of Congress, but it had little control over events. At this point Gandhi called off the struggle, and around , political prisoners were released, including the Congress's leadership.
Gandhi opposed partition of the Indian subcontinent along religious lines. Jinnah rejected Gandhi's proposal and called for Direct Action Day , on 16 August , to press Muslims to publicly gather in cities and support his proposal for partition of Indian subcontinent into a Muslim state and non-Muslim state.
Thousands of Hindus and Muslims were murdered, and tens of thousands were injured in the cycle of violence in the days that followed. Archibald Wavell , the Viceroy and Governor-General of British India for three years through February , had worked with Gandhi and Jinnah to find a common ground, before and after accepting Indian independence in principle. Wavell condemned Gandhi's character and motives as well as his ideas. Wavell accused Gandhi of harbouring the single minded idea to "overthrow British rule and influence and to establish a Hindu raj", and called Gandhi a "malignant, malevolent, exceedingly shrewd" politician.
The British reluctantly agreed to grant independence to the people of the Indian subcontinent, but accepted Jinnah's proposal of partitioning the land into Pakistan and India. Gandhi was involved in the final negotiations, but Stanley Wolpert states the "plan to carve up British India was never approved of or accepted by Gandhi". The partition was controversial and violently disputed.
Gandhi spent the day of independence not celebrating the end of the British rule but appealing for peace among his countrymen by fasting and spinning in Calcutta on 15 August The partition had gripped the Indian subcontinent with religious violence and the streets were filled with corpses. Others do not. Archibald Wavell, for example, upon learning of Gandhi's assassination, commented, "I always thought he [Gandhi] had more of malevolence than benevolence in him, but who am I to judge, and how can an Englishman estimate a Hindu? According to some accounts, Gandhi died instantly.
There he died about 30 minutes later as one of Gandhi's family members read verses from Hindu scriptures. 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.
Gandhi's assassin Godse made no attempt to escape and was seized by the witnesses. He was arrested. In the weeks that followed, his collaborators were arrested as well. At his trial, Godse did not deny the charges nor express any remorse. According to Claude Markovits, a French historian noted for his studies of colonial India, Godse stated that he killed Gandhi because of his complacence towards Muslims, holding Gandhi responsible for the frenzy of violence and sufferings during the subcontinent's partition into Pakistan and India.
Godse accused Gandhi of subjectivism and of acting as if only he had a monopoly of the truth. Godse was found guilty and executed in Gandhi's death was mourned nationwide. Over two million people joined the five-mile long funeral procession that took over five hours to reach Raj Ghat from Birla house, where he was assassinated.
Gandhi's body was transported on a weapons carrier, whose chassis was dismantled overnight to allow a high-floor to be installed so that people could catch a glimpse of his body. The engine of the vehicle was not used; instead four drag-ropes manned by 50 people each pulled the vehicle. Gandhi's assassination dramatically changed the political landscape.
Nehru became his political heir. According to Markovits, while Gandhi was alive, Pakistan's declaration that it was a "Muslim state" had led Indian groups to demand that it be declared a "Hindu state". He linked Gandhi's assassination to politics of hatred and ill-will. According to Guha, Nehru and his Congress colleagues called on Indians to honour Gandhi's memory and even more his ideals. Gandhi's death helped marshal support for the new government and legitimise the Congress Party's control, leveraged by the massive outpouring of Hindu expressions of grief for a man who had inspired them for decades.
For years after the assassination, states Markovits, "Gandhi's shadow loomed large over the political life of the new Indian Republic". The government quelled any opposition to its economic and social policies, despite they being contrary to Gandhi's ideas, by reconstructing Gandhi's image and ideals. Gandhi was cremated in accordance with Hindu tradition. Gandhi's ashes were poured into urns which were sent across India for memorial services.
In , Tushar Gandhi immersed the contents of one urn, found in a bank vault and reclaimed through the courts, at the Sangam at Allahabad. On 30 January , the contents of another urn were immersed at Girgaum Chowpatty. These are widely believed to be Gandhi's last words after he was shot, though the veracity of this statement has been disputed.
Gandhi's statements, letters and life have attracted much political and scholarly analysis of his principles, practices and beliefs, including what influenced him. Some writers present him as a paragon of ethical living and pacifism, while others present him as a more complex, contradictory and evolving character influenced by his culture and circumstances. Gandhi grew up in a Hindu and Jain religious atmosphere in his native Gujarat, which were his primary influences, but he was also influenced by his personal reflections and literature of Hindu Bhakti saints, Advaita Vedanta , Islam , Buddhism , Christianity , and thinkers such as Tolstoy , Ruskin and Thoreau.
Gandhi was influenced by his devout Vaishnava Hindu mother, the regional Hindu temples and saint tradition which co-existed with Jain tradition in Gujarat. Cribb states that Gandhi's thought evolved over time, with his early ideas becoming the core or scaffolding for his mature philosophy. He committed himself early to truthfulness, temperance , chastity , and vegetarianism. Gandhi's London lifestyle incorporated the values he had grown up with.
When he returned to India in , his outlook was parochial and he could not make a living as a lawyer. This challenged his belief that practicality and morality necessarily coincided. By moving in to South Africa he found a solution to this problem and developed the central concepts of his mature philosophy. Ruskin inspired his decision to live an austere life on a commune, at first on the Phoenix Farm in Natal and then on the Tolstoy Farm just outside Johannesburg, South Africa. Additional theories of possible influences on Gandhi have been proposed. For example, in , N. Toothi stated that Gandhi was influenced by the reforms and teachings of the Swaminarayan tradition of Hinduism.
According to Raymond Williams, Toothi may have overlooked the influence of the Jain community, and adds close parallels do exist in programs of social reform in the Swaminarayan tradition and those of Gandhi, based on "nonviolence, truth-telling, cleanliness, temperance and upliftment of the masses. Along with the book mentioned above, in Leo Tolstoy wrote A Letter to a Hindu , which said that only by using love as a weapon through passive resistance could the Indian people overthrow colonial rule.
Tolstoy responded and the two continued a correspondence until Tolstoy's death in Tolstoy's last letter was to Gandhi. However, they differed sharply on political strategy. Gandhi called for political involvement; he was a nationalist and was prepared to use nonviolent force. He was also willing to compromise. Gandhi credited Shrimad Rajchandra , a poet and Jain philosopher, as his influential counsellor. Mehta's residence in Bombay. Gandhi exchanged letters with Rajchandra when he was in South Africa, referring to him as Kavi literally, "poet".
In , Gandhi wrote, "Such was the man who captivated my heart in religious matters as no other man ever has till now. But Kavi's influence was undoubtedly deeper if only because I had come in closest personal touch with him. Gandhi, in his autobiography, called Rajchandra his "guide and helper" and his "refuge [ He had advised Gandhi to be patient and to study Hinduism deeply. During his stay in South Africa , along with scriptures and philosophical texts of Hinduism and other Indian religions, Gandhi read translated texts of Christianity such as the Bible , and Islam such as the Quran.
Gandhi joined them in their prayers and debated Christian theology with them, but refused conversion stating he did not accept the theology therein or that Christ was the only son of God. His comparative studies of religions and interaction with scholars, led him to respect all religions as well as become concerned about imperfections in all of them and frequent misinterpretations.
He attended Khanqah gatherings there at Riverside. According to Margaret Chatterjee, Gandhi as a Vaishnava Hindu shared values such as humility, devotion and brotherhood for the poor that is also found in Sufism. Gandhi participated in South African war against the Boers, on the British side in He stated that "when the war was declared, my personal sympathies were all with the Boers, but my loyalty to the British rule drove me to participation with the British in that war".
According to Gandhi, he felt that since he was demanding his rights as a British citizen, it was also his duty to serve the British forces in the defence of the British Empire. During World War I — , nearing the age of 50, Gandhi supported the British and its allied forces by recruiting Indians to join the British army, expanding the Indian contingent from about , to over 1. In parallel, Gandhi's fellowmen became sceptical of his pacifist ideas and were inspired by the ideas of nationalism and anti-imperialism.
In a essay, after the World War I, Gandhi wrote, "where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence. Further, it would also show the British that his fellow Indians were "their subjects by choice rather than out of cowardice. According to Arthur Herman, Gandhi believed that his campaign would strike a blow to imperialism.
Gandhi dedicated his life to discovering and pursuing truth, or Satya , and called his movement as satyagraha , which means "appeal to, insistence on, or reliance on the Truth". It was the satyagraha formulation and step, states Dennis Dalton, that deeply resonated with beliefs and culture of his people, embedded him into the popular consciousness, transforming him quickly into Mahatma. Gandhi based Satyagraha on the Vedantic ideal of self-realization, ahimsa nonviolence , vegetarianism, and universal love. William Borman states that the key to his satyagraha is rooted in the Hindu Upanishadic texts.
Bruce Watson states that some of these ideas are found not only in traditions within Hinduism, but also in Jainism or Buddhism, particularly those about non-violence, vegetarianism and universal love, but Gandhi's synthesis was to politicise these ideas. Gandhi stated that the most important battle to fight was overcoming his own demons, fears, and insecurities.
Gandhi summarised 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". The essence of Satyagraha is "soul force" as a political means, refusing to use brute force against the oppressor, seeking to eliminate antagonisms between the oppressor and the oppressed, aiming to transform or "purify" the oppressor. It is not inaction but determined passive resistance and non-co-operation where, states Arthur Herman, "love conquers hate". It arms the individual with moral power rather than physical power.
Satyagraha is also termed a "universal force", as it essentially "makes no distinction between kinsmen and strangers, young and old, man and woman, friend and foe. Gandhi wrote: "There must be no impatience, no barbarity, no insolence, no undue pressure.
The Death of Mahatma Gandhi
If we want to cultivate a true spirit of democracy, we cannot afford to be intolerant. Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. This end usually implies a moral upliftment or progress of an individual or society. Therefore, non-co-operation in Satyagraha is in fact a means to secure the co-operation of the opponent consistently with truth and justice.
While Gandhi's idea of satyagraha as a political means attracted a widespread following among Indians, the support was not universal. For example, Muslim leaders such as Jinnah opposed the satyagraha idea, accused Gandhi to be reviving Hinduism through political activism, and began effort to counter Gandhi with Muslim nationalism and a demand for Muslim homeland. Churchill stated that the civil disobedience movement spectacle of Gandhi only increased "the danger to which white people there [British India] are exposed". Although Gandhi was not the originator of the principle of nonviolence, he was the first to apply it in the political field on a large scale.
Gandhi's views came under heavy criticism in Britain when it was under attack from Nazi Germany , and later when the Holocaust was revealed. He told the British people in , "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 , he said, "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 It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions.
Gandhi believed that Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism were traditions of Hinduism, with shared history, rites and ideas. At other times, he acknowledged that he knew little about Buddhism other than his reading of Edwin Arnold 's book on it. Based on that book, he considered Buddhism to be a reform movement and the Buddha to be a Hindu. Sikhism, to Gandhi, was an integral part of Hinduism, in the form of another reform movement.
Sikh and Buddhist leaders disagreed with Gandhi, a disagreement Gandhi respected as a difference of opinion. Gandhi had generally positive and empathetic views of Islam , and he extensively studied the Quran. He viewed Islam as a faith that proactively promoted peace, and felt that non-violence had a predominant place in the Quran. 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.
However, Gandhi's empathy towards Islam, and his eager willingness to valorize peaceful Muslim social activists, was viewed by many Hindus as an appeasement of Muslims and later became a leading cause for his assassination at the hands of intolerant Hindu extremists. While Gandhi expressed mostly positive views of Islam, he did occasionally criticize Muslims. Gandhi believed that numerous interpreters have interpreted it to fit their preconceived notions. Gandhi criticised Muslims who "betray intolerance of criticism by a non-Muslim of anything related to Islam", such as the penalty of stoning to death under Islamic law.
To Gandhi, Islam has "nothing to fear from criticism even if it be unreasonable". One of the strategies Gandhi adopted was to work with Muslim leaders of pre-partition India, to oppose the British imperialism in and outside the Indian subcontinent. By , Ataturk had ended the Caliphate, the Khilafat Movement was over, and Muslim support for Gandhi had largely evaporated. In , Gandhi gave another reason to why he got involved in the Khilafat movement and the Middle East affairs between Britain and the Ottoman Empire. Gandhi explained to his co-religionists Hindu that he sympathised and campaigned for the Islamic cause, not because he cared for the Sultan, but because "I wanted to enlist the Mussalman's sympathy in the matter of cow protection".
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Naeem Qureshi, like the then Indian Muslim leaders who had combined religion and politics, Gandhi too imported his religion into his political strategy during the Khilafat movement. In the s, Gandhi pooled ideas with some Muslim leaders who sought religious harmony like him, and opposed the proposed partition of British India into India and Pakistan.
For example, his close friend Badshah Khan suggested that they should work towards opening Hindu temples for Muslim prayers, and Islamic mosques for Hindu prayers, to bring the two religious groups closer. The Hindu nationalist groups objected and began confronting Gandhi for this one-sided practice, by shouting and demonstrating inside the Hindu temples, in the last years of his life. Gandhi criticised as well as praised Christianity. He was critical of Christian missionary efforts in British India, because they mixed medical or education assistance with demands that the beneficiary convert to Christianity.
It did not lead to inner transformation or moral advance or to the Christian teaching of "love", but was based on false one-sided criticisms of other religions, when Christian societies faced similar problems in South Africa and Europe. It led to the converted person hating his neighbours and other religions, it divided people rather than bringing them closer in compassion. According to Gandhi, "no religious tradition could claim a monopoly over truth or salvation". According to Gandhi, the message of Jesus wasn't to humiliate and imperialistically rule over other people considering them inferior or second class or slaves, but that "when the hungry are fed and peace comes to our individual and collective life, then Christ is born".
Gandhi believed that his long acquaintance with Christianity had made him like it as well as find it imperfect. He asked Christians to stop humiliating his country and his people as heathens, idolators and other abusive language, and to change their negative views of India. He believed that Christians should introspect on the "true meaning of religion" and get a desire to study and learn from Indian religions in the spirit of universal brotherhood. Some colonial era Christian preachers and faithfuls considered Gandhi as a saint. Recent scholars question these romantic biographies and state that Gandhi was neither a Christian figure nor mirrored a Christian saint.
According to Kumaraswamy, Gandhi initially supported Arab demands with respect to Palestine. He justified this support by invoking Islam, stating that "non-Muslims cannot acquire sovereign jurisdiction" in Jazirat al-Arab the Arabian Peninsula. In the post-Khilafat period, Gandhi neither negated Jewish demands nor did he use Islamic texts or history to support Muslim claims against Israel.
Gandhi's silence after the Khilafat period may represent an evolution in his understanding of the conflicting religious claims over Palestine, according to Kumaraswamy. Gandhi discussed the persecution of the Jews in Germany and the emigration of Jews from Europe to Palestine through his lens of Satyagraha. Gandhi thought the Zionists in Palestine represented European imperialism and used violence to achieve their goals; he argued that "the Jews should disclaim any intention of realizing their aspiration under the protection of arms and should rely wholly on the goodwill of Arabs.
No exception can possibly be taken to the natural desire of the Jews to find a home in Palestine. But they must wait for its fulfillment till Arab opinion is ripe for it. In , Gandhi stated that his "sympathies are all with the Jews. I have known them intimately in South Africa. Some of them became life-long companions. Gandhi reiterated his stance that "the Jews seek to convert the Arab heart", and use " satyagraha in confronting the Arabs" in Gandhi was brought up as a vegetarian by his devout Hindu mother. Gandhi believed that any form of food inescapably harms some form of living organism, but one should seek to understand and reduce the violence in what one consumes because "there is essential unity of all life".
Gandhi believed that some life forms are more capable of suffering, and non-violence to him meant not having the intent as well as active efforts to minimise hurt, injury or suffering to all life forms. He believed that slaughtering animals is unnecessary, as other sources of foods are available. Food to Gandhi was not only a source of sustaining one's body, but a source of his impact on other living beings, and one that affected his mind, character and spiritual well being. Beyond his religious beliefs, Gandhi stated another motivation for his experiments with diet.
He attempted to find the most non-violent vegetarian meal that the poorest human could afford, taking meticulous notes on vegetables and fruits, and his observations with his own body and his ashram in Gujarat. His experiments with food began in the s and continued for several decades. He believed that each vegetarian should experiment with his or her diet because, in his studies at his ashram he saw "one man's food may be poison for another".
Gandhi championed animal rights in general. Other than making vegetarian choices, he actively campaigned against dissection studies and experimentation on live animals vivisection in the name of science and medical studies.
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He wrote, "Vivisection in my opinion is the blackest of all the blackest crimes that man is at present committing against god and his fair creation. Gandhi used fasting as a political device, often threatening suicide unless demands were met. Congress publicised the fasts as a political action that generated widespread sympathy. In response the government tried to manipulate news coverage to minimise his challenge to the Raj.
He fasted in to protest the voting scheme for separate political representation for Dalits; Gandhi did not want them segregated. The British government stopped the London press from showing photographs of his emaciated body, because it would elicit sympathy. Gandhi's hunger strike took place during a two-year prison term for the anticolonial Quit India movement. The government called on nutritional experts to demystify his action, and again no photos were allowed. However, his final fast in , after the end of British rule in India, his hunger strike was lauded by the British press and this time did include full-length photos.
Alter states that Gandhi's fasting, vegetarianism and diet was more than a political leverage, it was a part of his experiments with self restraint and healthy living. He was "profoundly skeptical of traditional Ayurveda", encouraging it to study the scientific method and adopt its progressive learning approach. Gandhi believed yoga offered health benefits. He believed that a healthy nutritional diet based on regional foods and hygiene were essential to good health . These records indicate that despite being underweight at He avoided modern medication and experiemented extensively with water and earth healing.
While his cardio records show his heart was normal, there were several instances he suffered from ailments like Malaria and was also operated twice for piles and appendicts. Despite health challenges Gandhi was able to walk about kms in his lifetime which comes to an average of 18 kms per day and is equivalent to walking around the earth twice . Gandhi strongly favoured the emancipation of women, and urged "the women to fight for their own self-development. At various occasions, Gandhi credited his orthodox Hindu mother, and his wife, for first lessons in satyagraha.
Some historians such as Angela Woollacott and Kumari Jayawardena state that even though Gandhi often and publicly expressed his belief in the equality of sexes, yet his vision was one of gender difference and complementarity between them. Women, to Gandhi, should be educated to be better in the domestic realm and educate the next generation. His views on women's rights were less liberal and more similar to puritan-Victorian expectations of women, states Jayawardena, than other Hindu leaders with him who supported economic independence and equal gender rights in all aspects.
Gandhi's experiment with abstinence went beyond sex, and extended to food. He consulted the Jain scholar Rajchandra, whom he fondly called Raychandbhai. Gandhi began abstaining from cow's milk in , and did so even when doctors advised him to consume milk. Gandhi tried to test and prove to himself his brahmacharya. The experiments began some time after the death of his wife in February At the start of his experiment he had women sleep in the same room but in different beds.
He later slept with women in the same bed but clothed, and finally he slept naked with women. In April , Gandhi referenced being naked with several "women or girls" in a letter to Birla as part of the experiments. Manu stated that the experiment had no "ill effect" on her.
Gandhi also shared his bed with year-old Abha, wife of his grandnephew Kanu. Gandhi would sleep with both Manu and Abha at the same time. Those who went public said they felt as though they were sleeping with their ageing mother. According to Sean Scalmer, Gandhi in his final year of life was an ascetic, looked ugly and a sickly skeletal figure, already caricatured in the Western media. It was an outcome which would have profoundly horrified Gandhi himself. Skip to main content.
Google Tag Manager. Months Past. The Death of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was shot on 30 January by the Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse. Related Articles. Makers of the Twentieth Century: Gandhi. Gandhi and Nehru: Frustrated Visionaries? A comprehensive collection of his observations includes no such remark among twelve entries for "Civilization. The earliest located on google books being Reader's Digest, Volume 91 from , p. A discussion of the quote on "The Quote Investigator" website here mentions that on "The Italians" the quote was attributed to Gandhi. What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.
Earliest instance of this quote found on google books is the book Forest primeval: the natural history of an ancient forest by Chris Maser, but there it appears to be Maser's own thought see p. To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest. Ghandi" [sic].
However, very similar quotes are found in the nineteenth century: "Have you sorrows or trials that seem very heavy to bear? Then let me tell you that one of the best ways in the world to lighten and sweeten them is to lose yourself in the service of others Misattributed [ edit ] 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. There is no record of Gandhi saying this.
A close variant of the quotation first appears in a 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.
No vital movement can be killed except by the impatience, ignorance or laziness of its authors. A movement cannot be 'insane' that is conducted by men of action as I claim the members of the Non-co-operation Committee are. Both give place to respect when they fail to produce the intended effect. Whether it will now be met by repression or respect remains to be seen. In a civilized country when ridicule fails to kill a movement it begins to command respect. In a biographical article about screenwriter John Briley , Jon Krampner wrote, "…Gandhi never said it.
Michigan graduate John Briley put those pithy words in his mouth. Shapiro states that the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence stated that Gandhi's family believes it authentic, but did not provide any further reference and provided no year, place or body of work. God has no religion. Aphorism pre-dating Gandhi, e. This is variant of a traditional Christian proverb; ie : " Hate the sin, but love the sinner " in Sermons, Lectures, and Occasional Discourses Edward Irving , and similar expressions date to those of Augustine of Hippo : " Love the sinner and hate the sin.
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. Michael N. Nagler in his foreword to Gandhi the Man by Eknath Easwaran, p. The phrase is adjacent to a Gandhi quote in at least one list of quotations alphabetized by last name.
There is enough wealth in the world to satisfy everyone's needs,