Mohandas Gandhi’s “Fight” for Freedom and Justice

Since the 1600s, India, the birthplace of great ancient civilizations like the Indus Valley civilization, had become occupied by the British Empire.  In 1857, India became an official colony of Great Britain and came under complete control of the British government.  For nearly a century, Indian civilians were unhappy with foreign rule and domination, with the British placing unfair laws and taxes on Indian citizens and ignoring their culture and traditions.  Many audacious people amassed thousands of supporters to protest and express their discontent towards the British.  They believed that Indians should be treated fairly and be given the same equal rights the British possessed, and also believed that India should be an independent nation.   The most prominent and successful of these figures was Mohandas Gandhi.

Mohandas Gandhi, born in India on October 2, 1869, studied law at Oxford University in England.  There, he learned about the customs and laws in Britain and learned how everyone had equal rights and were all respected as unique individuals.  When he traveled to South Africa and later back to India, he saw how Indians were being beat by the British, discriminated, and barely being treated like human beings.  Gandhi demanded social equality for Indians, the repulsion of unfair laws, and the expulsion of Britain from India.  He and hundreds of thousands of his supporters stood up against the British for what they believed in.

Gandhi started his civil rights movement in South Africa, where he first experienced racial discrimination against Indians.  He was thrown off a train for refusing to move to a third class coach when he had a valid first class ticket.  Another time, he was beaten for refusing to make room for a European passenger.  Gandhi was determined to bring an end to discrimination and fight for civil rights.  One of his campaigns in South Africa was opposing a bill that required the registration of the Indian population in South Africa.  Using his new methodology of satyagraha, or nonviolent civil disobedience, he and his supporters “battled” the government for seven years.  They nonviolently resisted authority by passively burning their registration cards and other nonviolent measures.  Consequently, thousands of Indians were flogged, jailed, and even shot for refusing to register.

When he returned back to India in 1915, he continued to show his unflagging determination in standing up against the British for civil rights and independence.  He used his technique of satyagraha against the British to show the world how Indians were being beaten, imprisoned, and even killed by just passively resisting the British.  Gandhi led many supporters in protests, non-cooperation, and fasting to resist against the British.  Gandhi and his followers would publicly ignore unjuste laws and would not fight back when police came to beat and imprison them.  Many people also boycotted British goods like clothing by making their own clothing at home.  One of Gandhi’s most famous civil disobeidence movements was the Salt March of 1930 where thousands of his supporters marched 400 kilometers to the sea to make salt, which was illegal.  The government responded by arresting over 60,000 people who violated this law.

Gandhi spent the rest of his life time continuing to lead movements opposing against the British and for Indian Independence.  He eventually reached his goal when Great Britain granted India and Pakistan independence in 19497.  Gandhi had spent over fifty years struggling against discrimination, unfair laws, and foreign domination using only nonviolence.  In addition, he was arrested four times for simply disobeying and ignoring government laws nonviolently.  Mohandas Gandhi demonstrated how he stood up for what he believed in and despite facing many challenges and roadblocks, never stopped in his goal to rid his country of unfair laws and foreign domination.

March 17, 2011.     Category: Uncategorized.   4 Comments.



4 Responses to “Mohandas Gandhi’s “Fight” for Freedom and Justice”

  1.   jjkanach Says:

    Felix,
    a well done paper on Ghandi

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