Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gandhi- Non Violence

Gandhi, the leader of non-violence was 45 and after 12 years in South Africa, he found that his brother passed away by the time he arrived in India by the ship Arabia. He reached Bombay on 19th Jan, 1915. Though unwell, Gokhale travelled from Poona to greet Gandhi. Earlier Gandhi had said that he will follow the foorsteps of Gokhale. On his visit, the biggest reception was attended by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and presided by Feroz Shah Mehta. The last reception was chaired by Barrister Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

Gandhi changed his dress to Indian traditional dhoti and long handed shirts. Everyone was astonished about Gandhi's new dress and his transformation. Gandhi travelled in third class train compartments. Gandhi went to Poona to talk to Gokhale who assured funds for any of Gandhi's organisations. The, Gandhi went to Kathiawar to meet friends and relatives. He also travelled to Calcutta to meet his sons and the Phoenix party in Shantiniketan. He also went to Rangoon to meet Jeevan Mehta who was a jeweller there. His long cloak proved handicap for third class travel and was discarded, footwear was given up for his brother. With a cheap Kashmiri cap replacing his turban, he travelled in dirty compartments.

An Ahmedabad based barrister Jeevan Desai offered his house in Kochrab. Gandhi named it Satyagraha Ashram. Those joining in it would pledge to non violence, Truth, Non-stealing, chastity, non-possession, bread labor, control of palette, fearlessness, respect to all religions,swadesh( Indian made goods) and abolition of untouchability.
            Suddenly, Gokhale died -  the influencial figure who believed in Gandhi, who offered a political and financial umbrella was no more. At a gathering of students, Gandhi said those wanting to terrorize should know that he will rise openly against them and would sacrifice his life for it.Gandhi understood the necessity of discovering a right place on battle fronts. Patient work would be needed to attract all regions. So Gandhi wanted to be cautious in his approach.

On I6th Feb 1916, he went to Madras and northwest Gujarat to towns in Sindh part of Bombay presidency at that time. People turned up in large numbers to visit him. He said that he thought the hearts of India were drawn towards his since he understood the troubles of Indians in South Africa. In him, they sensed a force, and thought he understood their plight and somehow had the power in the face of the British who were ruling the country. Gandhi’s commitment was also drawing attention.

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