Mahatma Gandhi Essay

936 words - 4 pages

Throughout history, there have been people to stand up, become leaders, and fight for what is right. Some of these names include John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon B. Johnson, Benjamin Franklin, and Nelson Mandela. All of these people are remembered for speaking out and defending people who cannot defend themselves, due to intolerance and love of power. Perhaps, one of the greatest of them all is Mohandas K. Gandhi. Gandhi did the same thing as all these other liberators, but with a difference approach. The approach of peace and nonviolence.
Gandhi was born October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, India (Jegen 17). He was born in to a rich, successful, well-off family. His father, Karamchand Gandhi, was a politician with no formal schooling and his mother, Putlibai Gandhi, was illiterate, yet devout to her Hindu faith (Sarvodaya). Growing up, Gandhi did poorly and school and hardly made any friends. He started smoking at the age of twelve, and to support this habit, he stole money from a servant and his brother. Eventually, he saw the error of his ways. In fact, he was so sorry that he wrote a letter of apology to his father in expectation of a furious reaction. His father cried instead (Jegen 18). This showed him a prime example of ahimsa, or nonviolence- something that he would later shape his whole career around. Gandhi got married at the age of thirteen to Kasturbai Makanji. He still remained in his shell and still had the same childhood fears, such as ghosts, serpents, and the dark. These fears inhibited him to remain in his shell and induced shame, especially when his wife, Kasturbai, would go out at night and he would remain home. Their servant, Rambha, tried changing his outlook by saying, “It is best to deal with fear not by running from it, but by standing one’s ground, all the while repeating “God, God.” Just as elephants going through a market will reach with their trunks for fruits and vegetables unless they are given a stick of bamboo to hold, the mind is centered by a mantram that will carry it through fears, distractions, and danger (Jegen 18).” This later became the center of Gandhi’s practices in his devotion. Against his Hindu beliefs, he started eating meat in private, but that habit ended right before he went off to school in London, where he would get a degree in law (Jegen 18-19). Little did he know, that one day, he would lead a movement for the liberation of his people.
Gandhi and Kasturbai conceived their first child in 1988, Harilal. Gandhi sailed off to Britain for law school, leaving behind his wife and newly-born son. Before he left, he had a monk administer an oath saying that he would swear off...

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