Monday, January 30, 2017

Mahatma Gandhi - Nonviolent struggle for freedom

In the collective imagination, the figure of Mahatma Gandhi is the dedication and commitment of a man against a right ideal, a strict fight violence, intolerance, racism and misunderstanding between individuals.

In the course of his life, the Mahatma in Sanskrit means Great Soul, an epithet which was awarded for the first time by the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore. He clashed constantly with the injustices perpetrated by greed and the lust for power on behalf of exploited and marginalized populations, particularly in India and South Africa.

The unusual forms of political activism that marked him nonviolence and civil disobedience have helped to make it one of the main symbols of the culture of peace, and in a more general way many civil rights movements of the past few decades have been inspired by its dictates and teachings.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, a fishing town in the current state of Gujarat, India. In 1886 he left to study to be a lawyer at the University College of London, an experience in which Gandhi tries to assimilate as much as possible of European culture, but despite not being a practicing Hindu, remains faithful to the precepts of abstinence from alcohol and vegetarianism. On his return to India in 1891, Gandhi moved to Rajkot the city in which he had attended school to work for his brother, also a lawyer.

South Africa is of paramount importance in the development of his political and civil engagement, indeed for the first time came into contact with apartheid and in particular with racial prejudice and slavery like conditions in which they live his 150,000 compatriots who work in South Africa. Several incidents with local authorities led him to political activism on behalf of civil rights of his people.

Mahatma Gandhi wallpaper

On the verge of leaving for India on the expiry of his contract, is driven to stay for an additional event which will help to portray it as the main defender of the cause of the Indian minority and allow him to make himself known in his country of origin. In fact, when the government of Natal decided to abolish the voting rights of the Indians and to tax them heavily at the end of the contract, should not return to his homeland.

Gandhi organized the circulation of several petitions addressed to the Government of Natal, against this measure. This campaign allows you to draw attention to the difficulties of the Indians in South Africa and is developing a spirit of solidarity between the various components of the Indian community.

After reading the sacred books of Hinduism and he approached the religion, in 1903, decided to buy about 50 acres of land in Phoenix, near Durban South Africa, where he printed the journal Indian opinion founded by Gandhi himself and where he resided with his family and his staff. Here, all members of the community, including the editors of Indian opinion participated in agricultural work and were paid the same wage regardless of their nationality or skin color.

The Phoenix farm is the first model of ashram place of meditation in the Indian tradition in which they practice, in a regime of monastic life, voluntary poverty, manual labor, and prayer. In 1906, during a protest against yet another racist law that obliges the Indians residing in the Transvaal to be filed, for the first time Gandhi refers to a concept that would become his workhorse and will accompany him for the rest of his life, it is the methodology of satyagraha, a new word was coined as a result of a competition of Indian opinion, calling his comrades to defy the new law and to suffer the punishments provided for, without resorting to violence.

This method is used and leads to a fight that lasts several years. Thousands of Indians, including Gandhi, and Chinese are imprisoned and flogged for striking, refusing to register, for burning their registration card or for having resisted in a non-violent. Some of them are even killed. Gandhi came into contact with two figures whose writings will help to forge ideas, or Henry David Thoreau and Leo Tolstoy, with the latter start a match that ends with the death of the Russian writer in 1910.

In 1915 he returned to India where he was welcomed as a national hero. Subsequently, he decides to undertake a train journey with the aim to know the real India and the condition of the villages of the peninsula. In 1919, Gandhi joined the Indian Congress Party, the organization of the political elite Indian with moderate which will fight for the independence of his country.

The main objective of Gandhi is to get the complete independence of India, according to him, this objective can only be achieved through a strategy that sets clear limits to the fight, relying solely on the concept of satyagraha.

This new line marginalizes the radical currents of the Congress party, some of which proposed the use of terrorist actions. In a short time Gandhi became the leader of the anti-colonial movement in India, and in 1921 became the president of the Congress party. He points autonomy and economic self-sufficiency of the country through the use of local goods.

In fact, Gandhi says that one country remains in poverty, material and spiritual, if not developed his craft and its industries and lives the life of a parasitic importing manufactured goods from abroad. He starts the boycott of foreign products, and in particular those of the British. It also calls for a boycott of the colonial judicial institutions and students, at discharge from government posts and the rejection of British titles and honors. At that time he began his real battle against the British colonial regime and in favor of the total independence of his country.

This struggle results in several campaigns of the Indian people, marches, protests and resolutions, such as Quit India in response to British policy which the main objective is to create a rift between the Hindu and Muslim populations. Gandhi appeals to national sentiment through the invitation to the total non-violent rebellion. In the face of the largest movement for Indian independence from the British all-time react with mass arrests, violence, and repression unprecedented.

Thousands of separatists are killed or injured by the police, hundreds of thousands of others were arrested. Gandhi pointed out that the movement will not stop even if there are individual violence, saying that the ordered anarchy around him is worse than real anarchy. Call all Indians and members of Congress to maintain discipline.

Gandhi and all the party leaders were arrested in Bombay on August 9, 1942 Despite the violent repression in India has brought relative calm at the end of 1943, the movement Quit India fails to get results: in fact, once the war ended, the New British Prime Minister Clement Attlee who succeeded Churchill announces that the power will be transferred into the hands of the Indians.

Gandhi then announces the end of the struggle, and around 100,000 political prisoners were freed. Shortly after the Viceroy Wavell Instructs Jawaharlal Nehru to form an interim government of independent India. Following the UK sells fully to the demands of the separatists and March 24, 1947, appointed Viceroy and Governor General of India Lord Mountbatten who has the difficult task of preparing for independence.

On 30 January 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, who was held liable for excessive appeasement towards the new government of Pakistan formed in 1947 after the detachment from India.