October 2nd, 1869- January 30, 1948
Occupation: Lawyer/Spiritual Leader
Best known for: Nonviolent Protests, Satyagraha
Campaigns, and liberating India from the control of Great
Influenced by: His mother
His exposure to many types of peoples, beliefs and religions
Ghandi is born to Karamchand and Putlibai Gandhi in Porbandar,
India. His family then moved to Rajkot, and Ghandi entered
primary school. He is betrothed to Kasturba Makanji.
Ghandi enters high school in Rajkot. He marries Kasturba
at the age of 13. He was accepted into Samaldas College,
Bhavnagar, Kathiawad but found it to difficult and remained
only one term. His first son is born.
Ghandi traveled to England to study law, but returned after
being called to bar. He began a law practice in Bombay and
Rajkot. He then traveled to South Africa to practice in
an Indian law firm there, and found himself to all kinds
of racism due to the color of his skin. He was persuaded
to stay in South Africa by an Indian colony to do public
work and earn a living as a lawyer. He then drafted his
first petition sent to the South African legislature, and
organized the Natal Indian Congress. After returning to
India for six months, he brought his wife and children with
him to Natal, and was mobbed upon disembarkation for what
Europeans believed he wrote about South Africa while in
India. He then organized the Indian Ambulance Corps for
the British in the Boer War.
Ghandi returned to India with family, and traveled extensively
upon his return. He opened a law office in Johannesburg,
and established a weekly journal, the Indian Opinion. He
established Indian Ambulance Corps for the Zulu Rebellion,
and took a vow of continence for life. He then had his first
satyagraha campaign in protest against proposed Asiatic
ordinance directed against Indian immigrants in Transvaal.
Finally he sailed to England to present India’s case
to the Colonial Secretary, and then organized a second satyagraha
to campaign against compulsory registration of the Asians
(the “Black Act”). Ghandi was then sentenced
to two months in jail for instigating the satyagraha, serving
his first sentence in prison. However, a compromise was
made between Ghandi and General Smuts at Pretoria, and he
was released. For reaching this settlement with Smuts, he
was attacked by an Indian extremist, Mir Alam. After Smuts
broke the agreement, the second satyagraha campaign began
with a bonfire of registration certificates. Ghandi was
imprisoned a second time for this, and was sentenced to
three months in Volksrust and Pretoria jails.
Ghandi helped campaign against the nullification of marriages
not celebrated by Christian rites, with his wife Kasturba
and other women being sentenced for crossing the Transvaal
border without permits. His third satyagraha campaign begun
by leading the "great march" of 2,000 Indian miners
from Newcastle across the Transvaal border in Natal. Ghandi
was then arrested three times in four days sentence to three
months, and then kept in jail for a few days, then moved
to Bloemfontein in Orange Free State. Ghandi was then released
unconditionally. He went on a 14 day fast for the moral
lapse of members of the Phoenix settlement. He organized
the Indian Ambulance Corps in England, but was forced to
return to India due to pleurisy. Ghandi secured the removal
of customs harassment of passengers at Viramgam, the first
developing satyagraha campaign in India. He then led a successful
satyagraha campaign for the rights of peasants on indigo
plantations in Champaran. He also defied an order to leave
area in April, and was arrested at Motihari and then tried,
but his case was withdrawn. Ghandi led a mill worker’s
strike, and was successful. Led another satyagraha campaign
for peasants in Kheda. He then attended a conference at
Delhi and agreed that Indians should be recruited for World
War I. He began recruiting, but became very ill. In the
spring, the Rowlatt Bills passed, and in protest, the first
all-Indian Satyagraha followed. After this, he organized
a nation-wide hartal. Ghandi then fasted at Sabarmati for
three days as punishment for violence and the suspended
satyagraha campaign, which he called a miscalculation because
people were not disciplined enough. Ghandi was the elected
as the president of the All-India Home Rule League.
Gave up wearing clothes and resorted to wearing only a loincloth
in devotion to simplicity. Fasted at Bombay for 5 days for
communal rioting. There then was mass civil disobedience,
and Ghandi invested with “sole executive authority”
on behalf of Congress. It was then suspended however, due
to violence at ChauriChaura, and Ghandi took another 5 day
fast of penance. He was then arrested for sedition in Young
India (his journal), pleaded guilty, and charged with a
six year sentence. While in jail, he wrote part of his autobiography,
and a satyagraha for South Africa. The next year, he was
unconditionally released from prison, and operated on for
appendicitis. Soon after, began a 21-day “great fast.”
He then had another 7 day fast, a year later. In December
of 1928, Ghandi called for independence within one year,
without which would lead to another all-Indian satyagraha.
Again arrested, for burning foreign cloth. The next December,
a third all-Indian satyagraha began, along with a boycott
of the legislature, and a declaration of independence. January
26th was made National Independence day. Soon began the
historic salt march 200 miles to sea at Dandi, and broke
the salt law by taking salt from the seashore. He was then
arrested and thrown in jail without trial.
Soon released from jail. The Ghandi-Irwin Pact was signed,
which ended civil disobedience. Attended the second Round
Table conference in London. Upon returning to India, he
renewed the satyagraha campaign, and once again was arrested.
Soon began the perpetual “fast unto death” while
in prison, which was concluded when the British signed the
“Yeravda Pact” Began another fast, of 21 days
in protest of the untouchable caste, and released from prison.
After disbanding an ashram at Sarambati for use of removing
the untouchable caste, he was arrested and sentenced to
a year in prison. Again began a fast in protest against
being prohibited from working on untouchable’s case
while in prison by British. Was released and brought to
a hospital for poor health. In the summer, there were three
separate assassination attempts on his life. Fasted again,
and his health declined. He moved to Bombay to recover,
and soon traveled to Seagon, deciding to settle there. Began
another fast unto death as part of another satyagraha campaign,
which ended 4 days later when he Viceroy was appointed arbitrator.
A “Quit-India” resolution was passed, the final
nation-wide satyagraha campaign, with Ghandi as leader.
He was arrested along with Kasturba. He began a 21-day fast
to speed up negotiations between Viceroy and Indian leaders.
Kasturba died while in jail at the age of 74 from pneumonia.
Ghandi’s health declined, and was released from jail.
Began to attempt to lessen Hindu-Muslim tension. Began to
fast and pray to stop violence. In January 1948, a bomb
exploded during his prayer meeting at Birla House, in Delhi.
Ten days later he was assassinated at the age of 78 in Birla
House by Nathuram Vinayak Godse.