What a pedagogical thinker Gandhiji was

Gandhi, Mahatma



I chose this topic because I had wanted to take a closer look at Mahatma Gandhi for a long time, as I was very impressed by his attitude. What I've learned about his life so far has also been very interesting.

On October 2nd, 1869, Mohandas Karamchand was born on the Kathiawar peninsula in the small coastal town of Porbandar as the last of 4 children. His family belonged to the Bayan caste, a class of entrepreneurs and merchants. Gandhi's father Karamchand was neither an entrepreneur nor a merchant, but a relatively high official of the state of Porbandar. He served as a member of the Rajasthani court and for a time also served as prime minister. His mother Putlibai was very religious, as evidenced by the fact that she never ate a meal without the daily prayers. Illness was also no reason for them to read or even interrupt the fasting period. The family was a follower of the Vishnu cult. Gandhi is said to have been a shy, calm, obedient, fearful boy. In the beginning he hardly had any friends because there was always the fear of being laughed at. In his childhood, as was customary in India, he was engaged three times until he was married to Kasturbai Nakanji of the same age in 1882 at the age of 13. He was a normal, mediocre student who finished school without any fuss. He barely passed his high school diploma, but a single semester at Samaldar College, a complete failure, showed his parents that his only chance was to send him to London and study law at the Inner Temple. This university was said to have passed even the dumbest student. In September 1888, Mohandas had just become the father of Harilal, his first son, and he went to London. There he first tried to adapt, read the Bible, only the New Testament impressed him, but especially the Sermon on the Mount ("... that you should not resist evil; but if someone gives you a stroke on your right cheek, offer And if someone takes your skirt from you, leave him your coat too "), but later belonged to the leading representatives of the local vegetarian society. In 1891 he actually passed his exam and returned to India. After many unsuccessful attempts, he finally found a job as a lawyer in Bombay. A year later his second son, Manilal, was born. In 1893 he went to South Africa to work in the branch of an Indian company. It was here that Gandhi first came into contact with racial discrimination. The most famous example cites a biography like this ...

"He was in the first class compartment and a white South African came in and said he should leave the compartment because he didn't want to sit in the compartment with an Indian. Gandhi did not leave and when the ticket inspector came he showed him his ticket and said that he was studying in London. The conductor told him to leave the compartment, otherwise he would be thrown out at the next stop. After being pushed head first off the train and lying alone on the platform, he was faced with a choice. He had to decide whether he would tolerate this oppression, whether he would just go back to India, or whether he would fight against oppression and xenophobia, and he has chosen the latter and also made two rules for himself by which to follow should live his whole life, first, that he will never again tolerate being oppressed and second, that he will never use violence in his struggles, even if others use violence against him turn. " This is one of the reasons why he developed his concept of Satyagraha *, non-violent resistance, during this time. That was one of the reasons why he stayed in South Africa for 21 years instead of the originally planned 12 months. Because of his passive resistance, Mohandas Gandhi was captured several times. In 1897 and 1900 Kasturbai gave birth to his last two sons, Ramdas and Devadas. In 1904 he founded the India Opinion magazine and the phoenix farm in Natal to lead a simple life as a farmer. During the Boer War in 1899 and the Zulu Uprising in 1906, he persuaded the Indians to side with the British in the war, although they were only allowed to do medical services. Gandhi himself did it because he saw it as a civic duty. Those who claim their rights must also fulfill their duties. He hoped that this would gain the goodwill of the British and improve the rights of Indians in South Africa. That same year, in September, the Indians, led by Gandhi, resisted the planned registration of all Indians living in South Africa. That is why Gandhi was sentenced to two months' imprisonment in 1907. A year later, in August 1908, more than 2,000 Indians burned theirs

Registration cards. The South African reply to this was immediate; they tightened immigration laws. In 1909 he and a friend founded the Tolstoi farm in the Transvaal, which served both as a place of residence for Gandhi and his family and as a place of refuge for the followers of the Satyagraha movement. In 1914 he returned to an India still occupied by the British. A year later he got his famous nickname "Mahatma" (the great soul) from the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore. In 1919 Mahatma called on the people to passive resistance. When violent riots broke out, Gandhi ended the operation, but the British soldiers caused a bloodbath: 400 Indians died in Amritsar in the Punjab province. Gandhi and his colleagues responded with civil disobedience, including a two-year boycott of British goods and institutions and a waiver of participation in administrative tasks. One year later, in 1920, Mahatma Gandhi took over the leadership of the INC (Indian National Congress) until 1934.

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During this time Gandhi promoted domestic spinning as a side income for the farmers and at the same time the English textile industry was boycotted. This Satyagraha campaign attracted a lot of attention, which is why there is still a spinning wheel on the Indian flag today.

On March 10, 1922, Mahatma was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment, which was broken off in 1924 after 2 years because of his poor health. During this time the INC divided, against Gandhi's will, into a Hindu and a Muslim wing. Gandhi was only able to settle the dispute with great difficulty, including a 21-day fast.

On March 11, 1930, Gandhi began the with his followers

so-called "salt march" against the salt tax and the British salt monopoly. In 24 days they ran 385 km to the coastal town of Dandi. He explained to the people that they had gathered on the beach to learn how to easily win free salt. As a result, English salt was boycotted and the illegal trade in Indian "beach salt" flourished. During this action, many of Gandhi's supporters, including himself, were arrested but soon released due to pressure from the international press. A year later, the Indian salt was allowed to be sold legally.

In 1931 Gandhi finally managed to take part in the "Round Table Conference" in London, from which he hoped, unfortunately in vain, to resolve the conflict. When he returned to India, he was also arrested. He used his time in prison to go on a hunger strike against the electoral laws, which called for separate elections for Hindus and the "untouchables".

In October 1934 he resigned the board of directors of the INC for 5 years, so he took it back in 1941. A year later, Gandhi vigorously demanded independence from England. He was then arrested again, but the people stood behind him and there were mass uprisings across the country, most of which were brutally suppressed. His wife Kasturbai died while in custody. Mahatma himself contracted severe malaria, for which he was discharged in 1944.

In 1947 his greatest dream finally came true: India became independent, but unfortunately only in the form of two separate states: Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India. Mahatma then tried to mediate, but when this attempt was unsuccessful, Gandhi began to fast. His state of health became more and more alarming, which finally prompted the governments of both countries to guarantee peace, at least temporarily. In doing so he drew the hatred of fanatical followers of both religions.

On January 30, 1948, at the age of 79, he was murdered three times by a fanatical Hindu at a prayer meeting in New Delhi. He died with the word "God" on his lips. The perpetrator, Nathuram Vinayak Godse, was later hanged.

The news of Gandhi's death caused mourning all over the world. The United Nations raised its flags at half mast. From the Vatican to the Kremlin, condolences were expressed. Huge funeral marches took place all over the world.

Even today, the pacifists, the Church and the (left) radical movement refer to Gandhi. Even on the internet you can find email appeals from the peace movement referring to Gandhi's words "An eye for an eye and the whole world will be blind". If you ask experts how Gandhi would have reacted in Bush's place, they say that he called for the renunciation of force and initiated public demonstrations. He would have used all of these 20th century political tools that we have from him. Peaceful demonstrations, the fact that people willingly allow themselves to be arrested and imprisoned.

I think Gandhi was a remarkable man in every way. Many people today can take an example from him, since in many different situations, both in private life and in (inter) national politics, more can be achieved by means other than violence. Nowadays, the political means are often not consistently exhausted. B trade boycott. Military means are used far too quickly in the event of a conflict.

* The word Satyagraha is a word created by Gandhi. He was of the opinion that the Gujarat (language from Gandhi's home principality Gujarat) expression for passive resistance did not reflect his fighting method correctly, since passive resistance is a weapon of the weak and is associated with violence. So he wrote a competition in his newspaper, the Indian Opinion, to give his movement its own name. So the term, which is composed of the words Sat (truth) and Agraha (strength), was invented. By Satyagraha, Gandhi understood the power that is born from the search for truth, love and nonviolence. From then on, Satyagraha was understood to mean the Gandhian movement, which fought for their rights without violence. Gandhi developed and tested this form of resistance in South Africa and also used it in India. Probably the best known Satyagraha campaign was the Salt March of 1930.

Quotes on Gandhi

"Gandhi's way of thinking can lead directly to the political structures of the future world, in which a nation may be much better protected if it does not have nuclear weapons than if it does, structures in which it may be more effective in pursuing its own interests when considering the interests of other nations rather than ignoring them, it was the unique example given by Gandhi that showed that persistent personal engagement, combined with the total rejection of violence, can lead to great political success We are all indebted to him for setting this example. "

[Werner Heisenberg]

"Mahatma Gandhi will always be remembered as long as free men and those who love freedom and justice live."

[Haile Selassie I.]

"The name Mahatma Gandhi has become synonymous with right and justice; towards this end it has become an inspiration to millions of oppressed people and has kindled the light of liberty."

[Haile Selassie I.]

"Then Gandhi's star rose. It showed that a doctrine of nonviolence was possible."

[Arnold Zweig]

"With Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolent resistance, I found ... the only morally and practically viable method for the freedom struggle of oppressed people."

[Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.]


Literature: - Louis Fischer, Gandhi Prophet of Nonviolence Book: - George Woodcock, Mahatma Gandhi

Internet: - www.dadalos.org/deutsch/Vorbilder/vorbilder/gandhi/gandhi.htm