By: Unnikrishnan Kanavillil
Mba II (2004-2006)
“God does not interfere in one's work; neither does He
rewards one for it. It is the inner urge that drives man and he
only reaps the benefit thereof.”
The Life Of Mahatma
Louis Fischer, the son of a fish peddler,
was born in Philadelphia on 29th February,
1896. After studying at the Philadelphia
School of Pedagogy (1914 to 1916) he
became a school teacher
While in the Soviet Union Fischer published several books
including Oil Imperialism: The International Struggle for
Petroleum (1926) and The Soviets in World Affairs (1930)
Books by Fischer include The Life of Mahatma Gandhi
(1950) Stalin (1952) and Lenin (1964) The God That
Failed (1949) Men and Politics (1941).
Gandhi (1869-1948), also known as Mahatma Gandhi,
was born in Porbandar in the present day state of Gujarat
in India on October 2, 1869.
He was educated in law at University College, London.
In 1891, after having been admitted to the British bar,
Gandhi returned to India and attempted to establish a law
practice in Bombay.
Two years later an Indian firm with interests in South
Africa retained him as legal adviser in its office in Durban.
In South Africa, Gandhi was appalled at the widespread
denial of civil liberties and political rights to Indian
immigrants to South Africa. He threw himself into the
struggle for elementary rights for Indians.
Gandhi leaves for Johannesburg for practicing law and is
thrown out of a first class bogie because he is colored.
Mohandas K. Gandhi, 37, speaks at a mass meeting in the
Empire Theater, Johannesburg on September 11 and launches
a campaign of nonviolent resistance (satyagraha) to protest
discrimination against Indians.
Mohandas Gandhi in Transvaal, South Africa leads 2,500
Indians into the in defiance of a law, they are violently arrested,
Gandhi refuses to pay a fine, and is jailed.
Mohandas Gandhi returns to India at age 45 after 21 years of
practicing law in South Africa where he organized a campaign
of “passive resistance” to protest his mistreatment by whites
for his defense of Asian immigrants. He attracts wide attention
in India by conducting a fast—the first of 14 that he will stage
as political demonstrations and that will inaugurate the idea of
the political fast
A civil disobedience campaign against the British in India
begins March 12. The All-India Trade Congress has
empowered Gandhi to begin the demonstrations. Called
Mahatma for the past decade, Gandhi leads a 165-mile march
to the Gujarat coast of the Arabian Sea and produces salt by
evaporation of sea water in violation of the law as a gesture of
defiance against the British monopoly in salt production.
Gandhi begins a “fast unto death” to protest the British
government's treatment of India's lowest caste “untouchables”
whom Gandhi calls Harijans—”God's children.” Gandhi's
campaign of civil disobedience has brought rioting and has
landed him in prison, but he persists in his demands for social
reform, he urges a new boycott of British goods, and after 6
days of fasting obtains a pact that improves the status of the
India becomes free from 200 years of British Rule. A major
victory for Gandhian principles and non-violence in general.
Gandhi is assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu fanatic
at a prayer meeting
"I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or
when the self becomes too much with you, apply the
Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom
you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you
contemplate is going to be of any use to him.
Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control
over his own life and destiny?
In other words, will it lead to swaraj [freedom] for the
hungry and spiritually starving millions?
Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away."
Interview with Gopal Godse
TIME: Did you not admire his principles of non-violence?
Godse: Non-violence is not a principle at all. He did not
follow it. For months he was advising Hindus that they must
never be angry with the Muslims. What sort of ahimsa (non-
violence) is this? His principle of peace was bogus.
TIME: But his philosophy was of turning the other cheek. He
felt one person had to stop the cycle of violence...
Godse: The world does not work that way.
TIME: Is there anything that you admire about Gandhi?
Godse: Firstly, the mass awakening that Gandhi did. In our
school days Gandhi was our idol. Secondly, he removed the
fear of prison.
I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides, and my
windows to be closed. Instead, I want the cultures of all lands
to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I
refuse to be blown off my feet by any.
I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-
violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try
experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could.
To forgive and accept injustice is cowardice.
Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily
admission of one's weakness... It is better in prayer to have
a heart without words than words without a heart.
God is because Truth is.
One must be the change one wishes to see in the world.
Poverty is but the worst form of violence.
Untouchability is a crime against God and Mankind
What Gandhi taught me:
“To accept what you reject
And to embrace what you detest
That and that alone
Is the essence of Religion”
“The Gandhian Religion called Humanity”
It will be time enough to pronounce a verdict
upon my work after my eyes are closed and this
tabernacle is consigned to the flames.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi