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Satyagraha. Meaning "force or firmness of truth, Mohandas Gandhi worked and lived by this word. By peaceful, non-violent demonstrations he little by little took hold of the people of India's love and honor and freed them from British rule. This is his story:
On October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, India, a region of Queen Victoria, Mohandas Gandhi was born to Kaba Gandhi and his wife. Although his father, Kaba, was the chief Minister for the Maharaja of Porbandar, he and his family lived in a small house and belonged to a Hindu caste of merchants called "banjas." As he grew, Mohandas became a small, shy and skinny boy, afraid of others' opinions. He never spoke out, but although he was never a clever child, others were
surprised by his gentleness. At the age of thirteen, he was married to Kastaurbai, a pretty yet strongwilled girl of the same caste. He would now live with his wife,
instead of his mother and father whom he had cared for for so long. Before this, Mohandas had told lies, had smoked, and had eaten meat, which was strictly forbidden of Hindus. Now, suddenly, he felt guilty and that he had hurt himself and in some ways those who he cared for. So, in desperation, he told his father, and they cried together. One year later Kaba Gandhi died. Mohandas was sixteen.
At eighteen he traveled to England to study law and secretly to
see for himself what made the English so powerful. He enrolled in a
college of law but quit after one term. He felt that he didn't fit
in, so he studied the " Standard Elocutionist" for use and knowledge
of proper ettiquitte. After a while he quit this also because he saw
no use anymore. Quitting became a popular theme in his early life.
Sometimes he quit because he was bored with something and just grew
out of it, or sometimes when he just couldn't accomplish anything.
For example, he took English dancing and violin lessons to become more
distinguished, but he was very clumsy and quit after six lessons.
He did not quit every thing though. He worked at some things if
he thought that it would in some way help him. He studied material on
Common & Roman laws and had to pass major exams on it. Despite all of
the quiting and studying, he became a lawyer. He was not a very
distinguished or even good one at first, but later became respected
by his friends and clients after his work on a case in South Africa.
Becoming a moral leader was a very long and slow process. Gandhi
was not looking for success or fame but something more; equality,
respect, but most of all, peace. He had seen the hate the white man
had for Indians. And for what reason? Their color or heritage? This
did not seem right to him, so he began his life long struggle of never
ending peaceful protests and his silent fight for justice for all.
Mohandas Gandhi died in January of 1948. (The actual date is in
dispute. The information from my book said that his death was on the
30th, but the World Book Encyclopedia says that it was Jan. 13th) He
was shot 3 times by Godse, a Hindu himself. The whole world mourned
for Gandhi, a man who had no authority in government, but definitely
had earned the respect and most importantly, the love of his people.
Showing love and humanity through peaceful acts, he became well-
known and well-liked. For instance, in 1906 the Zulus in Africa
(blacks) rebelled. A new tax had been forced upon them and they had
refused to pay and decided to instead, fight. Sadly, they were almost
at once crushed by the well-armed white people. There were many
wounded so showing as much fortitude as possible, Gandhi and a group
of his volunteers marched 40 miles a day through hilly country
carrying much needed medical supplies to heal them. At first some of
the soldiers wouldn't let him go, but eventually they understood.
Some even thanked him.
Gandhi also, no matter how they hated this, wanted peace between
the Muslims and the Hindus. Their religions were always against each
other and were fighting. The Hindus thought that Gandhi was becoming
a traitor and siding with the Muslims. This was far from the truth-
Gandhi was only looking for peace. He felt strongly about
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