Tuesday, September 27, 2011

gandhi unfinished task in South africa

Gandhi unfinished task in South Africa

Some prominent Indian procured permits in night, in secret , yet by 30th November 1907,last date for registration Transvaal government was able to register only 511 out of 13000 living in that territory. The rest had referred to comply. Meanwhile Gandhi was imprisoned 2 months by Johannesburg magistrate. A policeman took Gandhi into a van which took him to city jail, where he found it difficult to don the dirty cloths he was asked to change. He` was later taken  to large  cell where other Indians soon joined him.

On 30th January the superintendent of police Johannesburg took Gandhi to Pretoria to meet Smuts , who said he had accepted Gandhi alternation. Gandhi reminded Smuts in a long talk he too was barrister from London Inns of court and claiming that English speaking white wanted TARA( Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act) more than Boers , Smuts  praised the commitment of Indian registers . According to Satyagraha Smuts added. “ I have consulted General Bot-ha also and I assure you that I will repeal the Asiatic act as soon as most of you undergone voluntary registration. When bill legalizing such registration is drafted, I will send you a copy  for your  criticism.

Gandhi and other let off after Smuts orders. On reaching Johannesburg Gandhi explained the settlement to the chairman of passive  resistance association Yousuf  Mian  and other community leaders. Deeming the settlement a victory he asked Indians to registering voluntarily as they had been opposing compulsion.

In that morning when Gandhi  went to his office he was beaten by MR. Mir Alam giving more blows and kicks to Gandhi at Gandhi Satyagraha  office.  Latter Gandhi said in autobiography “ the people should not prosecute Mir Alam and company in the way they knew against what thought to be wrong. Except for those  with scruples of conscience, Asians should give finger prints and also said that all Satyagrahi’s  fear none and nothing but god .”  By May 1908, about  8, 700 Indians applied for registration. A new law was validated the voluntary registrations but there was no mention of TARA being repealed. Smuts who was touring into South Africa most powerful politician pleaded helplessness in the phase of white opinion. The circular came with official declaration that residents India origin returning to Transvaal’ after May would have to register under TARA and not be allowed voluntary  route, and with enforcement of another anti Indian law, Transvaal immigrants restrictive act ( TIRA) which in effect made it illegal for any Indian new comer no matter well educated to enter territory.

A volunteer on a bicycle brought telegram from government expressing inability to repeal TARA. Meanwhile Mir Alam came forward and he said he had done wrong in assaulting Gandhi at which Gandhi he harbored no resentment against him.

Increasingly curtailed from 1906, Gandhi began legal practice had virtually ceased with his arrest at the end of 1907 though he continued to use his legal knowledge for struggle. During his nine weeks in Volksrust prison  Gandhi and other Indian prisoners broke stones, dug holes for tree and stitched caps on sewing machine. A wire arrived in Volksrust from Abet west in Phoenix, Kasturba was seriously ill. West suggested Gandhi to seek parole or release. Gandhi rejected the idea and decided to be in struggle and to continue Satyagraha. Kasturba survived. Later ( 10th January ) she under went  surgery in Durban without chloroform. Gandhi who was present, marveled at her wonderful bravery  but few days her condition worsened a friend of Gandhi , declared that beef tea she would not recover. Asked Gandhi whether she would  take beef tea. Kasturba  said she would  die in his arms. Gandhi took her by rickshaw to Durban station and carried her in his arms to train which taken them to Phoenix station. West brought  a hammock a party sya    a bottle of hot milk another of hot water. In phoenix Kasturba Gandhi slowly gained strength  under Gandhi’ s hydro pathetic treatment.

But from 25th February to 24th May 1909 Gandhi was put in jail, arrested along with Polak.   He was kept in Volksrust for a week and then transferred in hand cups in Pretoria where he was placed along with murderers in dark  narrow cell. The governor idea was to break Gandhi spirit for he was hand cuffed and marched on foot to a court where evidence was demanded. But Gandhi spirit seemed to emerge stronger from these tests.

Busy organizing the Transvaal Satyagraha , Gandhi made short visits to Phoenix. On those days settlement families  were found good spirits playing with Gandhi .

In one occasion Gandhi said to Manilal his son  that you are not working as a barrister or doctor. We are poor and wishes to remain poor -- have faith in serving others. Changes in Gandhi life style were reflected in Phoenix. Spicy and tasty snakes and meals which every one including Gandhi enjoyed gave away to  non-spiced for which increasingly eaten by Indian settlers. All the while Gandhi spent eighteen years in South Africa.

At forty we should understand what Gandhi has taken as he neared 40th birth day. He was commanding, on behalf of small and not always united a non  violent battle making sure that it remained non-violent, defending Satyagrahi’  in law courts and taking care of their dependents. He was conducted Indian opinion  week by week supervising life in the Phoenix settlement, cultivating his links with friendly whites in South Africa keeping sympathizers in India and England informed and observing the Indian scene which he hoped before long to influence

Making an effort in England at this juncture was unavoidable. Leaders  South Africa whites were visiting England  to secure merger of all four colonies the cape, Natal, the Transvaal and Orange free state- into union of South Africa . London ’s  intervention in defense of Indian rights had sought before merger a united dominion would be stronger vi -vise London. 

In June 1909 according TBIA decided to send Gandhi , Ahmed Calchalia, Haj I Ha bib and  V.A. Chethiar  to London  and another delegation of Fons, including Henry Pollack, to India to mobilize opinion there.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Gandhi's successful visit to South Africa

After reaching Bombay, where Kasturba and his children were lodged with friends, Gandhi proceeded to Indian capital Calcutta for annual session of Indian national congress at the end of 1901 ,boarding train taken over by leaders - Din Shaw Wacha who was president of Calcutta session, Pherozshah Mehta lion of Bombay , Chimanlal Setalwad the renowned lawyer and others. The Gandhi asked the opinion of Mehta about what should be done for Indians in South Africa. Mehta’s response was nothing can be done for South African Indians as long as we have no power in our own land.

Gandhi along with Gokhale helped a resolution on South Africa which was passed without discussion . Gandhi met most of the leaders and came to know the working of the Indian congress. Gandhi in Calcutta met Bengal’s intellectual and political leaders and found a lot of interest in Bengal’s music. But Gandhi was disappointed that he failed to see Swami Vivekananda, as he was told he was in Calcutta and seriously ill and could not be seen.
Gandhi after quick trip to Rangoon from Bengal , decided to visit Banaras, Agra, Jaipur, Palampur before joining his family in Rajkot. Gandhi wanted to travel in India to understand and to know about Indian conditions, as he wanted to engage and educate himself by traveling in third class train.
Gandhi found the third class compartments to be smelly and not suitable for traveling.
Gokhale wanted to join in bar in Bombay but changed his decision to set up practice in Rajkot. Gandhi’s friend and successful advocate Kelvaram Dave insisted Gandhi that Bombay was place for Gandhi to set up law practice. Agreeing to his advice Gandhi set up practice and subsequently shifted to a fine bungalow in Santa Cruz. He had prospered better than he expected in his profession. Gandhi aims were to do public service under the advice of Gokhale, earn enough money to support his family.
But Gandhi’s life was not intended for comfort or pleasure. He had received cable from South Africa. Gandhi gave up practice in November 1902 and went again to South Africa, even though Pherozshah Mehta strongly advised Gandhi not to go South Africa as he could do nothing there. It was in Transvaal now under British rule that Gandhi helped Indians who were dependent on Gandhi .

Though ill-treated, Indians in Transvaal and orange free state had been cited as reason for Britain war against Boers, British victory in fact worsened the Indian position in these two states. Many of their hardships were connected to new Asiatic department in Transvaal , largely staffed by British officials who had migrated from India and Ceylon.

Indians who had left Transvaal during war were required to apply to Asiatic department in Transvaal for to permits to return their homes, jobs or trade and bribing seems to be necessary to obtain permits. Also unlike South African officials who had acquired certain courtesy also extended at times to Indian while officials from Asia used to lording over dark skinned sub sects, thought their below dignity to be courteous with Indians.
Gandhi who had prepared the case of Transvaal Indians had earlier lived Pretoria and Johannesburg was asked to lead a deputation there as well. But Indians were unable to procure a permit for Gandhi . However an hour before Gandhi’s train left, his old friend Alexander still police chief secured a permit for him from Transvaal representative. But Gandhi was told permit was wrongly issued .
Following his exclusion from meeting with Chamberlain, Gandhi chose not to return to India. Gandhi told Tyeb and others that not only would he stay in South Africa he would live in Transvaal , practicing in Pretoria or Johannesburg, deal with Asiatic department and strive to prevent the hounding out Indians. In Transvaal Indian backed Gandhi and elected as a leader Transvaal British Indian association a counter part of Natal Indian congress. After words Gandhi was enrolled in Transvaal supreme court.

Gandhi led the delegation of Indians in Natal that called on Joseph Chamberlains secretary of state colonies and found him polite and found him polite but Chamberlains to satisfy South Africa people to collect 35 million pounds decided not to satisfy the Indians in Natal.
Hearing that bribes were being demanded from Indians and Chinese seeking entry into Transvaal . By arguing the case in law court to come clean to enabling Asian community to save large sums in unpaid bribes. Gandhi prestige rose up.
Gandhi loaned to help to Madanjet Vijavahanik to start non-European Journal four languages English , Gujarati, Tamil and Hindi. The journal published informing Indian events across South Africa and in India. At the end of year, after Gandhi spent around 40,000 rupees on the Journal called “ Indian opinion “ had endeavored never to depart from strict facts in dealing with difficult questions and write nothing to hurt. The writers were asked to write facts that would always place before readers facts in their nakedness. With difficulty Gandhi run the Indian opinion and the Journal never became profitable not even after costs Tamil and Hindi editions were closed in 1906 and survived on Gandhi’s savings.
What was best for his wife and children was not Gandhi’s primary quest. Gandhi in his autobiography said that “ I sacrificed their literary training to what I genuinely, though may be wrongly, believed to service to community. His children doing scavengers job, grinding wheat and speaking fluent Gujarati may have been an admirable example to hierarchical colonized community that saw indignity in manual lab our and in native tongue.

Gandhi autobiography - Zulu ‘Rebellion “ heart searching’s and birth of satya graha -describe the critical phase in Gandhi’s life when he found a certainty about his mission and clarity about his road. Gandhi and his colleagues were active service in Zulu terrain for four weeks in June- July 1906 carrying stretches Zulu friend lies mistakenly shot by British soldiers and nursing them as well as Zulu suspects who wound received British lashes has festered for days . His conscience was some what eased by the fact that he and his corps nursed innocent Zulus who would other wise not have been cared for.
Indians were serving in a sparsely populated, beautiful part of a country. Few and four between hills and dales were scattered kraals of simple and un civilized Zulus. With or without the wounded Gandhi and his colleagues walk long distances at a time 40 miles per day. In his treks through these solemn solitudes Gandhi often felt into deep thought.
But Gandhi quickly saw that the military campaign supported by him was only man hunt. In Zulu country Gandhi sensed that he himself wound fight well and on large canvass. A mission came to me in 1906 namely spread truth and non-violence among man kind in his place of violence and false hood in all walks of life. He may not have used these exact words in 1906, but sense calling was present.
That struggle was ahead was suggested by letters and telegrams to him Zululand asking to him to return Transvaal , when new anti Indian steps were being designed. Within month of rebellion Transvaal Indians launched their first non violence defiance, or as it would eventually called Satya Graha ( truth -force) with Gandhi saying on 11th September 1906, I can boldly declare and with certainty that so long as there even an handful of men true to their pledge, there can be only one end to struggle and that is victory.
In autobiography Gandhi says that Zululand decisions were necessary preliminary to Satyagraha . Zululand had led to the gift of fight that he would share South African Indians and world. Every individual any where had the power resist oppression and non- violent resistance was legitimates
On 22nd August 1906 a ’ Gazette extra ordinary “ of Transvaal government published a draft written by for amending the territory Asiatic law. Arriving in Johannesburg, where he stayed with Hermann Kallenbach in letters house in Orchards three mile out side city Gandhi took a copy of gazette extra ordinary bill near to the house to study the draft law and translate into Gujarati. It required every Indian who has eight or older male or female to obtain a new certificate of registration from registrar of Asiatic Law and provide finger and thumb prints and other marks for certification. Failure to comply would invite a fine and imprisonment and or deportation.
Gandhi resisted law thinking that it will affect 15000 Indians in Transvaal or other areas. Gandhi as he is facing all problems alone he advised Indians south Africa asked them to stand firm and declare their opposition to pledge to laid down in the law and suffer penalties requested for resistance. Gandhi wanted Indians in south Africa to do Satyagraha without violence with non violence.
As Zululand’s experience led to a new principle had separated him from his family and force to leave Johannesburg for rough settlement. Gandhi by starting practicing non-violence called Satyagraha and finding way for South African Indians. Gandhi would allow “Satyagraha “ to translated into English as truth force or love force or soul force.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mahatma Gandhi visit to South Africa for a useful purpose

Gandhi South Africa  visit for a useful purpose

The practice of law in Rajkot cost charm it may  have had for Gandhi. Gandhi feeling thoroughly depressed and exasperated when a letter arrived from Dada Abdullah  & Co a firm of Me man  Muslims in Porbandar, addressing to Lakmidas  the letter asked whether his brother would be willing to go to South Africa, where firm had large business and assist with law suit for a claim of 40,000 pounds.

Discussing the proposal with Abdul Jhaveri, a partner in Dada Abdullah company Mohandas Gandhi learn t that he was envisaged as link between firm and European lawyers. The firm head in South Africa Jhaveri brother Abdullah Sheth was proficient in English and his lawyers knew no Guadalajara . Gandhi help would enable Abdullah to instruct and understand his lawyers. The offer for Gandhi was first class return  fare and a sum of 105 pounds with all facilities. Gandhi promptly closed with the offer though fully realizing that he was asked to go not as a barrister but as a servant of firm and he wanted some how to leave India. There was a fascination with new country. Mohandas seemed to think- or hope and he wished to take a closer look at racial arrogance. 

The lands and resources of Africa of 1893 had been possessed by Europe powers and following Berlin congress of 1885, parceled out among them. South Africa was not yet a single political entity.  Natal on east coast was a crown colony the Cape, in south  west, self governing colony of British, while interior territories  Boer or Afrikaner republics their culture influenced by Dutch and France Hague notes . Paul Kruger  was president in Transvaal .

After the varied blacks ( Zulus , Xhosa and other ) and white, South  Africa third largest group ( living mostly in cape ) were  co lour  mixed  descendants of Indonesians , Malays, whites blacks and ingenious  khoum and Sam. The Indians were next in number.

Gandhi boarded the safari ( ship)  in Bombay on 19th April 1893 and reached Durban on 23rd May.

A shrewd  if practically unlettered man from Porbander  owing ships and running several businesses in Natal as well as  Transvaal Abdullah amassed wealth to late 1880 by newly discovered gold sale to India. He wondering ( Gandhi taught) how Anglicized  barrister would help him and how much his up keep would cost and feared that his brother in Porbandar had sent him white elephant. However after few days of scrutiny  and all discussions, Abdullah  felt reassured.

Gandhi was met on ship by Abdullah Sheth. Glancing around him with eyes sharpened Gandhi noticed that whites boarding the admiral to welcome passengers seemed scornful towards Indians . Many of them greeted Abdullah Sheth, to whom seemed to know in snobbish manner, Gandhi taught. Gandhi also noticed that he himself looked with curiosity . Durban whites had not seen an Indian dressed like him.. Muslim  merchants, including Abdullah wore lose clothes large turbans  with thick beards. They called themselves and were  often called Arabs . Paresis who had come from India traders or clerk were  referred to Persians .
Hindus and Christians were called  “ Sami “ from suffix of many south Indian name in Natal , derived from Sanskrit word Swami ( master).

Gandhi had met some Durban’  leading Indians ( Muslims, Hindus , Christians and Paresis ) learn t racial prejudice  they daily faced. Taking  him on second or third day his arrival to Durban court Abdullah had asked Gandhi to sit next to Abdullah white attorney . After staring at Gandhi  few times the magistrate asked Gandhi to remove his turban . Men like Abdullah could keep turbans  as they were Arabs but Indians like were expected to remove his head gear in the court. Refusing to remove his head gear  Gandhi showing dissatisfaction about the order.  An  unwelcome visitor , cruising Gandhi for not removing his turban a article appeared in the press. Gandhi reply appeared in the “Advertiser”  on May  giving young barrister an unexpected advertisement in South  Africa . 

Gandhi had gone into the details of case for which he had come, the claim of Abdullah and his forum for 40,000 pounds against relative Tyeb Sheth  who lived in Pretoria  the capital of the Transvaal. That was there case being fought where Gandhi has to go.
Gandhi expressed to Abdullah a wish to try if possible to settle the case out of court, since Tyeb was a relative to him and also due to cumbersome legal battle may take long time and both parties loose financially.

Gandhi on his way to Transvaal while traveling in train, he was asked to sit out of  first class compartment even though he was having first class ticket.  Gandhi informed them that he got ticket travel in first class compartment and refused to move out of compartment. However Gandhi was forced down  from  the train. With incident Gandhi shocked and thought of returning India , but was rejected by himself as cowardly option.

Gandhi thought that all human beings creation of same god, have equal value and rights . As Gandhi physically shaken but mentally and morally form as he has reacted to ejection assault and rejection -needle of South Africa racism with dignified defiance and prudence, and also by recording the wrongs in letters and telegrams.

Abdullah has a hint of new comer quickly becoming known and noticed among fellow Indians and also among whites of South Africa. Gandhi met Rev. Andrew Murray one of biggest names in South Africa  Dutch reformed church , and discussed about Christianity . But he saw no reason to change his religion and said so to his Christian friends.  They were disappointed  and some were shocked. But Gandhi could not help. That by his death  and blood Jesus had  redeemed the sins of world was some thing that Gandhi was ready to accept metaphorically but not literally.

Gandhi in his autobiography says  Tolstoy  book whose “ the king of gods is within you “ Gandhi said the book him independent thinking, profound morality, and truthfulness. Elsewhere Gandhi said reading Tolstoy book saved him from violence.  I had faith in it and more in non-violence . There was a  clash in his mind between violence and forgiveness and Tolstoy resolved it against violence.

Abdullah Sheth meanwhile was speaking to Gandhi the beauty of Islam  and suggesting to join in that religion. Gandhi read Sale’s  translation of Koran and gone through Islamic books. Un convinced that he should embrace Christianity or Islam and not certain either that Hinduism with its untouchable and a multitude of sects and castes was perfect religion, Gandhi remembered the Jain  thought that doubt should every certainty.

As regarding the case against Tyeb was his primary commitment in Pretoria. Gandhi conclusion was that facts made Abdullah case strong in deed and also that Abdullah case was  strong in deed and also that Abdullah and as well as Tyeb may be ruined if they fought in courts to bitter and distant end. The two parties two realized this Gandhi has strain every nerve before two signed to arbitration. The Abdullah was awarded 37000 pounds plus costs. Tyeb meant to pay pie less than the amount but was impossible for pay down the whole sum. Gandhi persuaded Abdullah to accept the payment in installments, . Finally both side happy over the decision.

Gandhi was planning to move back India . “ you should all detain Gandhi to fight against racism and untouchable against Indians by south African whites “ Abdullah told his guests. Gandhi clarified he asked to pay for campaign for telegrams, priority some law books ( as he ignorant of their laws) and traveling costs. Gandhi agreed ti fight towards welfare of Indian community in south Africa . In fact  it helped redefine the community for Gandhi  secured participation of all sections traders and clerks Muslims, Hindus, Paresis and Christian the small the greatest.

On public front there were  gains & losses.  Thanking Gandhi lobbying London ( British ruled agreed and instructed that Natal could not discriminate against Indian on the ground of race. After success of his trip,`
On October 1901, Gandhi and his family left for Mumbai.     

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mahatma Gandhi 's visit to London

Mahatma Gandhi’s  London visit

On voyage to England  Mohandas Gandhi  struggled  to speak English he had to frame each sentence in his mind before he could bring out. Eating with knife and fork is difficulty he faced his on way to England. Gandhi find difficulty in climate in which ship he boarded , every body in the ship warned that no one could live without meat and liquor  certainly not with meat. But different seas came and went Mohandas Gandhi survived.

Victoria hotel, one of  London  grandest hotels at that time dazzled Gandhi. He was bowed over  the row of lights, by lift- he was seeing first time. One of  four Indian Gandhi found are Dalpatram Shukla for whom Mohandas has letters.  A Brahman  Kathiawar i and also hoping to become barrister, Shukla accepted Gandhi and accommodated in to his house in Richmond.

In these cheaper rooms where Mohandas passed his 19th birthday, he had to over come his home sickness.

From Gandhi autobiography 37 years later we recollect his life experience in London.
“I would continually think of my house and country. My mother love always haunted me. I knew nothing soothe me. Every thing was strange- the people their ways an even their dwellings. Even dishes that I could eat were taste less and insipid.”

Even though above difficulties he never thought  returning home.

During his stay Richmond house he stayed reading news papers “ daily telegraph “ daily news” and “ pall mall gazette.“ Shukla helped his friend the vegetarian vow. Shukla pressurized Gandhi to eat meat. He never have any idea of eating meat as per the vow he had promised to his illiterate mother who does not know conditions  in London..

But the youth Mohandas  Gandhi was enjoying his walks, often walking several miles a day eating bread in cheap restaurants looking foreword to his legal studies.

The London he had come to alive with ideas and movements. From here Victoria reigned over expanding Europe . The Anglo- Saxons were world supreme race, and Christianity the greatest religion was assumed in London , and also at that time in much Europe and America, but browns and blacks were not disliked in England  partly because of few of them.

Those desirous of being called to bar had to pass two set of examinations one in Roman law and another  in common  law and attend six dinners a term for 12 terms spread over three years. The law course was Prestigious and advanced but not arduous.  At most every thing depend upon on personnel study- there was such thing as campus and there were not much classes or lectures to attend. Because of an Indian aspirant for bar usually waited several months after arrived in London to begin personal study in the earnest. This is same case with Mohandas Gandhi . 

Oxford  and Cambridge too had entered his thoughts, but time and fees required for course , but the time and fees required for course at either of these university seems unaffordable. He was eligible to sit for Roman law examination in Nov 1889 , but close to wait until March 1890, a timing influenced by the demands of matriculation exam, some proficiency in languages totally new him Latin, French as well as English , history , mathematics, physics, chemistry and geography. Studying cheaply but also attending some preparatory classes for matriculation framing time table to minute to minute Mohandas at 19, only youngest of all the roughly 200 students studying than inexpensive notes but Mohandas bought all the costly text books prescribed while enjoying on the whole his demanding studies. Nothing like self preparation he would soon write- he failed in Latin in December 1889. He therefore has to repeat matriculation exam in June 1890, when passed all subjects including Latin.

Mohandas spent a week in Paris immediately prior to writing matriculation exam in June 1890.He lived in vegetarian  boarding house in Paris walked with a map whatever he wanted to go and also climbed Eiffel tower two to three times.

Mohandas also found time to visit ( perhaps  for a meeting of vegetarian, the resort town of Brighton .  There in a hotel he sat at the same table with old widow of moderate  means as he  remembers her in his ( Gandhi ) auto biography .   To help Mohandas conquer his bashfulness the old lady introduced  to young ladies and encouraged him to converse with them particularly marked out for these was a young lady who stayed with her and often left  along entirely  alone together what he did not tell her was that he had a wife and son back in India.

After several attempts Gandhi remembered  in his autobiography that he had mentioned that he had wife and son back in India. After several attempts he( Gandhi ) redrafting a letter to the lady.

“Ever since we met Brighton you have kind enough to me. You also think that I should get married and with that introduction you have been introducing young ladies. I am a married man while yet a boy and I am father of a son. I pained that I have kept this knowledge from you so long will forgive me. “

The old lady replied.

“I have your frank letter. We were both very glad and had heartily laugh over it. My invitation still stands, and we shall certainly expect you next Sunday  and look foreword to hearing about your child marriage and laughing at your expense. “

With memories Gandhi left Paris for London

While living in his Tail stock street room, Gandhi  invested in stove, cooked oat meal porridge for break fast ate lunch out and had bread and cocoa at home for dinner. The meals cost him a total of shilling  and three pence a day. Despite economics the London project would cost Gandhi a total of 13,000 rupees. The bar finals of December 1890 were only few months away, but Gandhi left second half in 1890 for India in June1891 was attractive socially intellectually.

Gandhi was dilemma about which religion he has to be followed. He studied on Buddha  and on Christianity and read bible.  At that time Gandhi was elected to the executive   committee of London vegetarian society.

He had passed his bar finals at time of Brad Laugh’s funeral ( Brad Laugh Britain famous advocate of atheism  whom Gandhi liked). Having sat for these examinations from 15 to 20th December 1890 and he learn t on January 12 he had passed his bar final and decided to leave India.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mahatma Gandhi the man and his boyhood

Mahatma  Gandhi -the man  and his boy hood 

Mahatma Gandhi ( father of nation ) is fearless by nature ,independent and always giving by nature is national leader of India.

Mohandas  Karamchand  Gandhi was born on October 2nd in 1869 in Porbandar a coastal town in Gujarat  in India. The state of Porbandar was ruled by India princes at that time on whom British residents kept a watchful eye. The  India was under British rule. From Rajkot an inland city 120 miles  to the east of Porbandar a British agent  supervised  all primary states of Kathiawar or (Kathiawad) region known as Saurashtra . Gujarati was language of Kathiawar, as  also of adjacent region to its east, where largest city was Ahmadabad and coastal lands ( also red) north  of Mumbai including  port city of Surat , one of Briton Indian out posts.

In 1857, only 12 years before Mohandas Gandhi was born in  Delhi, several places to the east overthrow British rule  including some yellow princely states. They had witnessed a violent rebellion that nearly overthrew British rule in India which had begun a century before.

For generations or more, Mohandas Gandhi’s fore bearers had served Kathiawar princes as administrators. Uttamchand/Ota Gandhi, Mohandas grand father was most successful among them. The ruler of Porbandar made him a diwan or first minister of his territory  and Ota Gandhi who enhanced the state irrigation and revenues obtained his master a class one state from British . Two of Ota’s  sons  Kaba Gandhi,  Mohandas father and his younger son Tulsidas also became divans  of Porbandar.

Gandhi’s belongs to the commercial cast of vanios ( or Banias). In Rajkot Mohandas  Gandhi first went to primary school and soon after to taluka or suburban school. His father wished when Mohandas  was ten that the boy would some day be sent to London for higher education.
Mohandas ‘s  cultural and political impositions were matched by rules laid down for their children by parents like Kaba Gandhi and Putlibai. Kaba Gandhi was faithful to vaishnava tradition he had inherited, which called ceremonies at temples of Rama and Krishna . Kaba and his wife went to “rival’ Siva temple and their home was often visited by Jain monks.

When Mohandas Gandhi was hardly yet twelve Gandhi he resisted his mother Putlibai's orders not to touch, another boy who is cleaning lavatories in their house (untouchables prevalent in India in the past).
Kaba Gandhi advised Mohandas Gandhi not to touch meat and also instructed stating that smoking is
forbidden to him.  Mohandas Gandhi resisted these rules and smoked bide  and also ate meat along with his brother Karsan who is three years elder to him. At that it is clear that conscious of his parents great love for him Mohandas was experiencing intense emotional conflict.

In 1882 when Mohandas Gandhi was 13 years old he was married to Kasturba Makanji  Kapadia  a Porbander  girl who was few months older than him.

Gandhi did not play either cricket or foot ball in school partly because he was needed at his house increasingly for nursing his sick father.
A friend and classmate of Karsan in high school and at racketing students, Mehtab was rakish youth of strength , speed daring-he ran fast long distances and did high and long jumps, swam swiftly and could put up with any amount of corporal punishment. To Mehtab,  Mohandas was strange  and deplorable but was also strong. He was worth capturing to this end. Mehtab( joined by Karsan who left the school after marriage ) mounted a campaign that played on Mohandas Gandhi eagerness to repair his male pride. Mehtab knew from Karsan of Mohandas cowardly fears and his frustration at Kastur’s independence and also of Mohandas Gandhi’s annoyance at white rule. Mehtab forced Mohandas to eat meat and Mohandas initially resisted and finally agreed and ate meat. Mohandas once confessed his stealing gold, trembled as he handed over confession letter to his father. His father read through and tears rolled down his cheeks wetting the paper Mohandas Gandhi cried.  His  inner heart felt that he should not have done the theft. Those pearl drops of  love cleansed his heart and washed away Gandhi sin.

At age of 16 Mohandas Gandhi seems to have spent sometime  each day attending on increasingly sick father. Kaba  Gandhi health worsened. Mohandas Gandhi father died when he just went relieving his other Tulsidas his father brother  who had come Porebander to be of support to Mohandas. The circumstances of father death and fact the poor mite to which Kastur in due course gave birth in three four days, would left  permanent mark on Mohandas Gandhi attitude to sex.

Mohandas  Gandhi was a mediocre student. He was only two reaching matriculation out of  who passed  the high school entrance examination. Though he cleared matriculation in 1987 journeying to Ahmadabad first time he was placed 404th out of about 3000 in western India a decent though not outstanding rank.
Mohandas joined a term in Samaldas college in Bhavnagar Kathiawar’ s  princely towns 90 miles south east of Rajkot . But he was unhappy and home sick there. When after first term  he returned to Rajkot for a break, an old family friend told Mohandas, laxmidas  and their mother that only way to restore the family prestige was to implement kaba’s old idea Mohandas should go to London.

Mohandas Gandhi wanted to go London and qualify for medical profession.  Laxmidas hinted that vaishnavas could not do that. He hinted Mohandas Gandhi should go to bar as his father last wish.