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Mahatma Gandhi: world changer and idol

Mahatma Gandhi is actually called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The freedom fighter from India first had to earn the distinction of "great soul". You can read here how he changed the world

Mahatma Gandhi: Brief profile

  • Surname: Mahatma Gandhi
  • Life data: October 2, 1869 to January 30, 1948
  • Nationality: Indian
  • Power: Known as an Indian freedom fighter
  • Quote:"There is no way to peace, because peace is the way."

The so-called "great soul" fought for the peace of his compatriots without arms or violence. He changed the world by leading the Indians into independence in his country as well as in South Africa.

Mahatma Gandhi: His Life in Brief

Mahatma means "great soul" - an honorary title that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi only earned in the course of his life. At first he didn't care that Great Britain ruled his homeland India. His sense of justice only awakens when he lived in South Africa for a while as a young man. Because of their dark skin, the approximately 40,000 Indians living there are treated as second-class people. Gandhi stands up for her indignantly.

And when he returned to India in 1915, he continued to fight - for the independence of his country. As a pacifist, Gandhi relies on peaceful means. For example, he calls on his compatriots to no longer obey orders from the British. His spinning wheel campaign caused a sensation: In order to make India independent of British textile imports, Gandhi promoted home spinning.

Finally, the foreign rulers collapse. India becomes independent in 1947. But the country is splitting into largely Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. Gandhi, who campaigns for a peaceful coexistence of religions, attracts the hatred of fanatics: On January 30, 1948, a radical Hindu shoots the gentle revolutionary.

Biography: How Mahatma Gandhi lived

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Gujarat, India. He grew up with his three brothers in Porbandar, a small port town in India. In the Gandhi family belief - Hinduism - citizens were divided into four castes. Merchants like her belonged to the third caste and were seen as the social and political upper class.

His faith shaped the boy from an early age. Gandhi lived strictly without violence, ate no meat and did not drink alcohol. At the age of thirteen he was married to Kasturba Makthaji, a girl of high standing. During the course of their marriage, the two had four children.

After his family moved to the city of Rajkot in 1876, the father worked as a judge. Mohandas Gandhi graduated from school with great success and was admitted to the university in 1887. Against his mother's wishes, but at the request of his late father, he decided to study law in England.

But he promised his worried mother that he would continue to live Hinduism in London and not adapt to the western "immoral" way of life, as she felt it to be. But because no one from his caste had previously traveled abroad, it was decided at a meeting to expel Gandhi. He has always been considered a so-called casteless person and was no longer accepted within the society of his country.

In 1888 he therefore traveled to London and enrolled at Inner Temple University. He got to know foreign religions and read the Bible. He was also fascinated by fashion, the relaxed way of life and the freedom of the country. He integrated quickly, but remained true to Hinduism and its duties - just as he had promised his mother. Gandhi graduated in 1891. From now on he was allowed to work as a lawyer.

How Mahatma Gandhi changed the world

He went to South Africa to work as a lawyer for a business company. Here he experienced for the first time that people treat him differently because of his skin color, i.e. discriminate against him. He was only allowed to do some things with permission, and barbers and doctors even refused to treat him. That made him angry and from now on he wanted to stand up for the roughly 60,000 Indians in South Africa, who had felt the same way. His story as a world changer began.

In 1894 he was the first Indian lawyer to be admitted to South Africa. In this way he could stand up for the needs of his and other, foreign religions. He wrote essays and sold them to newspapers, and he founded a small community in which he gave speeches against discrimination against Indians.

In 1904 he founded the Indian Opinion newspaper, which was sold in English as well as various Indian languages. He achieved fame and reputation - not just among the Indian population. In addition, he developed more and more selflessly, only ate raw and unseasoned food. His newly developed religion, which represented a mix of views from several castes, is now called Neohinduism.

In 1914, however, he moved back to India, where he was already called "Mahatma", meaning "great soul". The name is an honorary award. Gandhi himself was never convinced of this and for a long time refused to accept the name. Today, however, it is far more common than his birth name.

The Indian people that Gandhi found in his country were oppressed by the British. Unfair and discriminatory laws restricted residents. He called for a boycott, i.e. non-violent resistance, for the first time. So all Indians withdrew from the public eye: They no longer went to school, went to court and no longer did any work. As a result, Gandhi often broke the applicable laws and had to go to prison. But since he never used violence, he could not be held for long.

The Indian people began to understand and imitate his way of fighting. There was a peaceful resistance against the ruling country. This movement got the name "Satyagraha".

His best-known march, and certainly the most effective, took place in 1930. Gandhi called for a salt march, calling on the government to abolish the food tax that has been introduced. He ran 385 kilometers and more and more Indians joined on the way. There were several thousand. In the end, the Indians got their way, the tax disappeared and Gandhi was invited to London by the British government.

During the Second World War (1939-1945) the Japanese then occupied the country. Meanwhile, Gandhi was in prison and had to exercise restraint. But his people had learned of his kind and carried out actions according to his example.

After Gandhi's release, India achieved independence on August 15, 1947. Since the country was still divided into two states (Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India), the peace fighter went on a hunger strike. Neither side wanted to answer for his death, which seemed seriously close. Therefore, peace was made for a short time.

Without the movements initiated by Gandhi, it would probably never have happened in this form. To his own disadvantage, however, he aroused hatred with this action. Followers of the two rival religions were suddenly against Gandhi. A madman who found Gandhi guilty shot him dead on January 30, 1948. Gandhi died.

The whole world was dismayed at the death of the peaceful fighter. The world still celebrates him today as a role model and national hero.

People who changed the world