A Leader is someone who leads or commands a group of people or a country. India had seen many Leaders during the Struggle for Independence Era, like Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose, and Lala Lajpat Rai etc. Mahatma Gandhi was the leader who led all the leaders of pre independence time. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that he was the “Leader of the Leaders”.
Long Essay on Mahatma Gandhi in English
The following essay on Mahatma Gandhi caters to the need of anyone looking for an insight into the life and policies of Mahatma Gandhi.
By going through the Mahatma Gandhi essay you will know the methods that he applied for the Independence of India and the incidents and people from his early life who played a instrumental role in framing his political career and personality.
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Mahatma Gandhi Long Essay (1500 Words)
The whole India from North to South or from East to West was unified under the Leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. His appeal to the Indian masses, especially the poor class had never been witnessed before by any leader. People from all then sections of society; gather in Millions on one call of Mahatma Gandhi or Bapu (as he was fondly known throughout India), forgetting their Religious and Caste differences.
His strict adherence to the policy of non violence and Satyagraha had won him accolades, from the world over. He had and still has a good number of followers in South Africa where he fought for the Civil Rights of native Africans and resident Indians.
His contribution to the Indian Freedom Struggle was unprecedented and it is still believed that it was only through his policies of Nonviolence and Satyagraha that India was able to achieve independence on 15th August 1947.
Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2nd October 1869 as the youngest son to Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi (1822-1885) and Putlibai (1844-1891). Though he had only basic education, Karamchand was known for his skills and hard work and served as a Diwan (chief Minister) of the princely state of Porbandar (Gujarat). In 1874 Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi left for Rajkot to serve as a counselor to the Maharaja of Rajkot. In 1876 he was appointed as Diwan of Rajkot. Gandhi Ji’s initial schooling was done at Porbandar.
He was an average student, winning some prize but was extremely shy and introvert. He was deeply influenced by the stories of Shravan Kumar and Satyavadi Raja Harish Chandra, which played an important role in framing his career and objectives. Mahatma Gandhi was also deeply influenced by his Mother Putlibai, who was an ardent devotee, beginning her day’s work from a prayer. She is also known to keep two to three continuous fasts in a week.
Gandhi aged 13 was married to Kasturbai Makhanji Kapadia, then aged 14 in May 1883.After their first son died early surviving only for few days; the couple had four sons, Harilal (1888), Manilal (1892), Ramdas (1897) and Devdas (1900). The death of Gandhi’s father Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi in 1985, followed by the death of his first son, deeply disturbed him.
Gandhi Ji graduated High school from Ahmadabad in November 1887 and enrolled for higher studies in Samaldas College Bhavnagar, but he dropped out to join his family at Porbandar.
Graduate in Law from London
Mavji Dave Joshiji, a Brahmin and family friend of Gandhi’s suggested Mahatma Gandhi going to London to pursue a Law degree from Inner Temple, London. Though Gandhi readily agreed, his mother Putlibai was adamant in not sending him to London, fearing that he would take to liquor and meat eating. But she gradually gave in when Gandhi gave his word to abstain from Liquor, meat and women.
He then left Porbandar for Mumbai on 10th August 1888. During in Bombay, he was declared an outcaste by the person responsible to sail him to London, as he thought that Gandhi will get involved in liquor, meat and women. Gandhi paid no attention to such criticism and finally sailed for London on 4th September 1988, seen off by his elder brother Laxmidas.
Gandhi was called to the Bar at aged 22 and left London to return to India on June 1891.
Barrister in India
Gandhi ji left London for India on June 1891. He for a short while practiced as a Barrister in Mumbai, but wasn’t much successful as he was not able to cross question the witnesses. He then returned to Rajkot, where he drafted petitions for litigants to earn modestly, but was forced to stop because of a conflict with a British Officer.
Civil Rights Activist in South Africa (1893- 1914)
During his practice in Rajkot, Gandhi Ji was approached by wealthy Muslim merchant from Kathiawar, Dada Abdullah. Abdullah ran a successful shipping business in South Africa and was in need of a Lawyer, preferably from Kathiawar region, for an ongoing case in South Africa. Gandhi Ji enquired about his remunerations and finding them satisfactory, left for Johannesburg (South Africa) in 1893.
Upon arriving South Africa Gandhi witnessed racial discrimination based on the color of his skin. He was thrown out of the First class train coach which he boarded, and protested by sitting whole night at Railway Station shivering from cold, but refusing to board another coach. He was allowed to board, the next day but the incident influenced him deeply and sows the seeds of Civil Rights movements in South Africa as well as India.
The case for which Gandhi Ji went to Africa got concluded in 1894. The Indian community of merchants organized a fair well party for Gandhi, and he was persuaded to extend his stay for providing legal help to the merchants and laborers, as most of them were not very well educated and could barely read or write English. With the trust and responsibility of Indian Community bestowed upon him Mahatma Gandhi agreed to stay.
During his stay in South Africa, Gandhi fought for the Civil rights of Natal Indians demanding equal status for them as White skinned people. He fought against the discrimination in travel, hotels and other public places. Gandhi Ji found Natal Indian Congress in 1894, for advocating equal rights for Indians in South Africa.
Later he also fought for the voting rights of native Africans and led many protests advocating “Right to Vote” for native Africans. Gandhi Ji was declared a National hero when black Africans gained Right to vote in 1994, and many statues of Mahatma Gandhi could be still seen in South Africa.
Indian Independence Movement (1915-1947)
Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa in 1915 and was enraged by the suppressive policies of British Empire. He fought for the unfair Tax Rules applied on Indians by the British Government, strictly adhering to his policy of non violence and civil disobedience. The honorific Mahatma (Great Soul) was first given to him by Rabindra Nath Tagore on 6th March 1915.
Gandhi palyed an important role during the First World War by appealing to the Indian youths to get enlisted in army for defending themselves. Mahatma Gandhi assumed the leadership of Indian National Congress in 1931. He organized a number of protest against the oppressive policies and unfair Tax rules of the British Empire.
Some of them were The Champaran agitation, the Khera agitation, Khilafat movement, Non co-operation movement were some of the important movements led by him. He led a dandi march protesting against the tax levied by British Administration on the production of salt by Indians in the coastal town of Dandi (Gujarat).
The march was aimed at producing salt from sea water, as it was commonly practiced by Indians, especially the coastal regions, to meet their salt requirements. The march lasted for 25 days from 12th March 1930 to 6th April 1930, with British rulers finally bowing down to the demands of protestors.
Apart from the Salt Satyagraha he also organized number of protests against British Empire like the Swadeshi Movement, Quit India Movement, and various others leading India towards the path of total Independence or “Purna Swaraj” or Self Rule.
After Independence, on division of India and Pakistan, millions of people from both sides cross the borders which they thought will provide them safety of religious majority. Communal riots of massive proportions broke out, and millions from both sides lost their life. At the time when other National Leaders were celebrating Independence, Gandhi was travelling to far away places in Punjab and Bengal, appealing to people to resort to peace and non-violence.
Death of the Father of the Nation
Mahatma Gandhi had many fasts unto death during the Independence Movement. One of his last was for demanding money for the newly formed Pakistan, from the Indian Government as was agreed upon. Indian government had paid 25 crores to Pakistan out of 75 crores, but refused to pay the remaining after the Pakistan Army attacked Jammu and Kashmir.
Indian Government thought that the money it pays wiil be used by Pakistani forces against India. But, Gandhi was against the decision stating that it will mean going back on the agreement between the two. He sat on a fast unto death till his demands are met. HE was shot on 30th Jan 1948 by a Hindu radical Nathuram Godse, who thought Gandhi’s support for Pakistan was anti-Indian.
Throughout his life Mahatma Gandhi fought for Civil rights, strictly adhering to the policies of non violence and civil disobedience. He was the greatest leader of Indian origin, who fought for the civil rights of Indians as well as native South Africans when in South Africa and played an instrumental role in Indian Independence Movement. His appeal to the masses had earned him names like Mahatma, Bapu and he was declared Father of the Nation. His Birthday on 2nd October is observed as a National Holiday in India and as International Day of Nonviolence the world over.