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Entertainment
Historic Unedited Photos They Don’t Want You To See
Publication: Historical History.
Posted by
760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
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Mahatma Gandhi

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Where:
New Delhi
When:
1948-01-30
Summary:
Nathuram Godse (left in the foreground) confronts Gandhi in a crowd. Godse, an advocate of Indian nationalism, assassinated Ghandi with a firearm

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Mahatma Gandhi



  Where:
New Delhi

  When:
1948-01-30

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“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Affectionately known as “Bapu” or “Papa” in his native India, Mahatma Gandhi was an Indian activist known for promoting nonviolent civil disobedience during the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. A former law student in London, Gandhi returned to India in 1915 and worked to bring change to his native land over the next several decades. He was elected the leader of the Indian National Congress in the 1920s and led Indians in challenging British standards. Advertisements:


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As a result of his work and nonviolent rebellion, he was imprisoned for many years in South Africa and India but remained dedicated to his cause until his death on January 30, 1948, when he was killed at point-blank on his way to a prayer meeting. His assassination marked a great tragedy in India as the Prime Minister remarked, “The light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere.”

Life and Career

Mohandas Karamchand “Mohatma” Gandhi came into this world on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar on the Kathiawar Peninsula where his father was the chief minister of the Porbandar state. Described as a restless child, Gandhi was naturally curious and studied Indian classics of King Harishchandra and Shraavana. “It haunted me, and I must have acted Harishchandra to myself times without number,” Gandhi later said after identifying with the supreme values of truth and love. In school, Gandhi was a mediocre student and, in 1883 at the age of 13, married 14-year-old Kasturbai Makhanji Kapadia in an arranged marriage. Although the marriage caused him to lose a year of school, he later returned to his studies and graduated from high school in Ahmedabad in 1887.

Gandhi’s family couldn’t afford college, but a family friend encouraged him to study law in London, which is how Gandhi ended up in England without his wife and family. He studied at the University College, London and was invited to enroll at the Inner Temple with the intention of becoming a barrister. He overcame his naturally shy nature with a public speaking group and he adopted various English customs. He passed the bar in June 1891 and returned to India where he struggled to establish his own law practice in Bombay. He later returned to his home town and worked drafting petitions for clients before his cousin hired him as a lawyer in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Gandhi spent the next two decades in South Africa where, immediately upon his arrival, he was discriminated against because of his skin color and Indian heritage. Often denied basic rights and physically beaten when he refused to go against his beliefs, Gandhi started questioning the British Empire’s influence. He developed strong political and ethical views as he employed nonviolent civil disobedience in his activism against British colonial rule in South Africa.

He returned to India in 1915 and used nonviolent disobedience to organize peasants, farmers, and laborers in protest against British rule in his homeland. Over the next few years, his role as an activist blossomed as he assumed leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921. Before long, he led nationwide campaigns for various social causes promoting self-rule throughout India. Because of his role as an activist, he was imprisoned numerous times in India and South Africa, which came as little shock to him since he lived a modest life and ate a vegetarian diet when he wasn’t fasting to cleanse himself of impurities.

Gandhi’s struggle for an independent India was often challenged throughout the 1940s, but he saw part of his dream come true in August 1947 when Britain granted independence and portioned the British Indian Empire into two dominions—a Hindu-majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan. As a result of the separation, religious violence broke out. Gandhi visited all the affected areas in the hopes to provide peace and even undertook several fasts to stop the violence that plagued India throughout the final months of his life.

Death and Legacy

As Gandhi fasted in the hopes of ending the religious violence, he faced many harsh critics who thought he was too accommodating. One of those critics was Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist who took matters into his own hands on January 30, 1948, when he fired three bullets into Gandhi’s chest at point-blank range. Gandhi was killed instantly and Godse was later captured, convicted, and executed.

India and South Africa mourned the loss of Gandhi as Prime Minister Jawaharlai Nehru delivered the devastating news on the All-India Radio. “Friends and comrades, the light has gone out of our lives, and there is darkness everywhere, and I do not quite know what to tell you or how to say it,” he said. “Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the father of the nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that; nevertheless, we will not see him again, as we have seen him for these many years, we will not run to him for advice or seek solace from him, and that is a terrible blow, not only for me, but for millions and millions in this country.”

Over two million people joined the five-mile long funeral procession. Gandhi was later cremated in accordance with Hindu tradition and his ashes were poured into urns that were later sent across India for various memorial services. His legacy as an activist and leader lives on as his dedication to truth, love, and equality is ingrained in Indian history and culture. “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind,” he once said. “It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”

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