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02 October 2023-Special Article

October 2, 2023 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


“Be the Change you wish to see”

Such an apt quote that is distinctively applicable in any generational evolutionary trajectory. Gandhiji was one of the 20th century’s best-known political and spiritual personalities. Born in a small town, he was aware of the hardships people were going through at the time.

He developed his beliefs about human unity. He became the voice of the voiceless and crafted the Independence path of the nation.

He was a person who made significant contributions to the nation’s rise from the shackles of British tyranny. He’s none other than Mahatma Gandhi.

Who was Mahatma Gandhi?

Mahatma Gandhi (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi) was born on 2nd October 1869 in the princely state of Porbandar, in modern-day Gujarat. He pursued Law as his profession and went to London at 18.

After completing his graduation, he returned to India and made non-violent protests and movements for the growth and development of the country.

Gandhi is considered one of the most important leaders of the nation. His father was a government official.

Mahatma Gandhi and Law

Gandhi was a lawyer for almost 25 years before he became a disciple of nonviolent revolution.

While leading the Indian independence movement, Gandhi worked as a journalist and edited Young India, Navajivan and the Harijan. 

In South Africa, Gandhi led a civil disobedience movement to combat racist laws on various occasions.

“Gandhi eventually lost faith in the traditional legal system – courts, judges, lawyers, litigation – but he never lost faith in the law,”.

Gandhiji in South Africa

  • Gandhi propagated the philosophy of Satyagraha in South Africa and motivated the country towards a no-class or ethnic discrimination society. Gandhi arrived in Durban aboard SS Safari in 1893.
  • From 1893 to 1914, Gandhi worked as an attorney and a public worker. Gandhi stated, “he was born in India but was made in South Africa.”
  • In 1901, Gandhiji returned to India from South Africa and started practicing in Mufassil Courts.

Gandhiji on Indian Judiciary

  1. Gandhi remained a bitter critic of Indian courts and lawyers.
  2. He had a belief that the Indian justice system rewarded the wealthy and worsened the miseries of the poor.
  3. He advised lawyers to write their petitions in simple language.
  4. He advised lawyers not to bury the truth just to win over a case.

Contribution of Mahatma Gandhi in Indian freedom struggle

Many of us are aware of the movements of Mahatma Gandhi. Let’s take a look at it

  1. World war I– At a conference on war, Gandhi was called to Delhi by Lord Chelmsford, then-viceroy of India. Gandhi consented to unite the people to enlist in the military for World War I to win the faith of the empire. However, he promised in a letter to the Viceroy that he “personally will neither kill nor damage anybody, friend or foe.”
  2. Champaran– Gandhi’s first direct involvement in Indian freedom politics was the Champaran agitation in Bihar. Farmers in Champaran were compelled to cultivate indigo. Through a well-planned nonviolent protest, Gandhi persuaded the authorities to grant them concessions.
  3. Kheda Satyagraha – The local farmers in Gujarat’s Kheda village requested the authorities to cancel the taxes due to severe floods. Gandhi then launched a signature-gathering drive-in in which peasants vowed to forgo paying taxes. The government loosened the terms for paying revenue tax in 1918 until the famine was over.
  4. Khilafat movement – Gandhi had a tremendous impact on the Muslim population. His participation in the Khilafat Movement served as evidence of this.
  5. Non-cooperation movement– Gandhi understood that the Indians’ cooperation was the sole reason the British were allowed to remain in India. He urged a movement of non-cooperation in light of this.

The non-cooperation movement began on the foreboding day of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. Swaraj, or self-governance, was Gandhi’s stated objective and has since evolved into the guiding principle of the Indian freedom struggle.

  1. Salt March– Gandhi’s Salt March, also known as the Dandi Movement, is regarded as a crucial event in the history of the freedom struggle. He marched 388 kilometres from Ahmedabad to Dandi in Gujarat to manufacture salt. One of the largest marches in Indian history was made possible by the thousands of people who joined him.
  2. Quit India Movement– Gandhi was committed to dealing the British Empire a decisive blow that would ensure their expulsion from India during the Second World War. When the British began enlisting Indians in the war, this occurred.

Conclusion on his contributions to Freedom Struggle

Gandhi vehemently objected, claiming that since India is not a free nation, Indians cannot participate in a war in support of democracy.

The colonizers were driven out of this nation within a half-decade after this argument revealed their duplicitous nature. This was Mahatma Gandhi freedom struggle.

Interesting facts about Mahatma Gandhi

  1. Gandhi called for Non-violent resistance to British rule.
  2. He studied Law in London.
  3. He lived in South Africa for 21 years.
  4. He supported British Empire in South Africa.
  5. He was assassinated by a Hindu Nationalist.
  6. Gandhi Memorial Museum was founded in 1959. It is situated in the Tamil Nadu city of Madurai.
  7. According to some authors, he was given the title to him by the Nobel Prize-winning Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore.
  8. His birthday (2nd October) is commemorated worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence.
  9. “Gandhi in 1982” is an epic historical drama film based on Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who won the Academic Award for the best motion picture. 
  10. The portrait of Mahatma Gandhi used on banknotes is not a caricature. It has been traced from an original picture that was clicked outside the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Civil Disobedience Movement

Civil disobedience, also called passive resistance, is the refusal to obey the demands or commands of a government or occupying power, without resorting to violence or active measures of opposition.

The modern concept of civil disobedience was most clearly formulated by Mahatma Gandhi. Drawing from Eastern and Western thought, Gandhi developed the philosophy of satyagraha, which emphasizes nonviolent resistance to evil. He first used this as a tool in the Transvaal of South Africa.

Civil disobedience is a symbolic or ritualistic violation of the law rather than a rejection of the system as a whole.

How Critics see it

A variety of criticisms have been directed against the philosophy and practice of civil disobedience.

The radical critique of the philosophy of civil disobedience condemns its acceptance of the existing political structure; conservative schools of thought, on the other hand, see the logical extension of civil disobedience as anarchy and the right of individuals to break any law they choose, at any time.

Activists themselves are divided in interpreting civil disobedience either as a total philosophy of social change or as merely a tactic to be employed when the movement lacks other means.

On a pragmatic level, the efficacy of civil disobedience hinges on the adherence of the opposition to a certain morality to which an appeal can ultimately be made.

Gandhi’s portrait on Banknotes

Being the “father of the nation,” Mahatma Gandhi was featured on the currency notes as he was the leader of the entire nation’s struggle.

Though people now talk about bringing in a change in this, it would be difficult to find a leader who has made such a remarkable contribution in the birth of an independent nation like India.


He and his ideologies became inspiration throughout the world, barring none.

Drawing in part on Gandhi’s example, the American civil rights movement, which came to prominence during the 1950s, sought to end racial segregation in the southern United States by adopting the tactics and philosophy of civil disobedience through such protests as the Greensboro (North Carolina) sit-in (1960) and the Freedom Rides (1961).

Martin Luther King, Jr., a leader of the movement from the mid-1950s to his assassination in 1968, was an articulate defender of its strategy of nonviolent protest.

Later the tactics of civil disobedience were employed by many protest groups within a variety of movements, including the women’s movement, the anti-nuclear and environmental movements, and the anti-globalization and economic equality movements.



October 2, 2023
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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