Throughout history, many important leaders have emerged who have a mission to significantly change the fate of the society in which they live. These great leaders not only led their nation’s struggle for existence, but also took on the difficult task of changing and improving the society in which they lived. However, among these leaders, only one was elevated to the rank of “Supreme Spirit”! Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of the Indian Independence Movement, or Mahatma Gandhi, known to the Indian people as the “Supreme Spirit” or “Mahatma”, continues to be one of the most important political figures in recent history. The “civil disobedience” and “passive resistance” movement he started against the British colony in India is still an important struggle, an important form of resistance. Here are 10 things you need to know about Mahatma Gandhi, the symbol of passive resistance.
1. Developed the Sanskrit doctrine of passive resistance called “satyagraha”, which means “clinging to the truth.”
The Indian people managed to get rid of the British colony and gain independence thanks to this doctrine and the methods of passive resistance contained in it, which formed the basis and were used by Mahatma Gandhi to define the elements of non-violent resistance to evil.
2. Mahatma Gandhi was also influenced by religious concepts in the development of the doctrine of Satyagraha, which had a significant impact on world political history.
Gandhi, who was called the Supreme Spirit by the Indians, was of Asian origin, such as Jainism and Hinduism. Morality, tolerance, harmlessness to no living being, and abstinence from all forms of violence were some of the most basic teachings of these beliefs. Accordingly, in developing the doctrine of Satyagraha, Gandhi was also influenced by these religious beliefs prevalent in India.
3. Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the independence struggle against England, studied law in England.
4. He lived in South Africa for 21 years, before the start of the struggle for independence in India.
Gandhi encountered racism many times during his years in South Africa, and he began his fight against racism and exploitation in South Africa long before his time in India.
5. During the Second Boer War 1899-1902. entered the war on the side of the British.
Moreover, he called on people of Indian origin living in Africa to fight for the British at the front. Of course, Gandhi had reasons to fight for the British. According to him, if the Indians had sided with the British during this war in Africa, the Indians would have had equal civil rights. However, after the war, the British did not accept Indians as equal citizens.
6. Returning to India in 1915, Gandhi became the leader of the Indian National Congress in 1921.
Gandhi, who became the voice of the desire for independence in India, began by organizing the Indian people in protest against colonial rule. In addition, during the same period, she organized various campaigns to reduce poverty in the country, expand women’s rights, ensure peace between religious and ethnic elements, and eliminate caste-based discrimination.
7. In 1930, he led the Salt March, which is considered one of the most important acts of civil disobedience in history.
Salt was just one of dozens of items monopolized by the British in colonial India over the years. This was a great opportunity for Gandhi, who was a symbol of passive resistance.
Together with Mahatma Gandhi, thousands of people went on the famous Salt March on March 12, 1930 to abolish the salt monopoly in the country. People led by Gandhi walked about 400 kilometers to reach the village of Dundee on the coast of the Indian Ocean. At the end of the march, thousands of people broke the law enforced by the British since 1762, and many years later became the first people to mine salt in their country. At the end of this action, 60 thousand people were sent to prison. But the British salt law was no longer in effect.
8. Gandhi, who led the movement of the Indian people for independence, was called the Supreme Spirit.
The great leader of the Indian people is still perceived in India as a messianic figure.
9. He lived very modestly
In the early 1920s, he adopted a “self-sufficient” understanding of life.
10 Assassinated by Hindu nationalist Naturam Godse on January 30, 1948.
The news of Gandhi’s death was reported by a prominent figure in the independence movement and the first prime minister of independent India, Jevahirlal Nehru. Gandhi’s birthday, October 2, is one of the national holidays in India. Around the world, it is celebrated as the “International Day of Non-Violence”.
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