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Gandhi was one of the most famous leaders that the world would ever have. He was a leader who had a different lifestyle and a different way of approaching politics and a leader who influenced many political figures and is still influencing them today. Gandhi has impacted my life in many ways, being a unique leader and having unique capabilities. Gandhi has taught me about truth being the primary weapon against all the enemies and his continued influence of non –violent struggle that can still be felt today in many non-violent peace organizations around the world bearing his name or teaching his philosophy.
The period from 1920 to 1947 had been described as the Gandhi Era in Indian politics. During the period, Gandhi spoke the final word on behalf of the Indian National Congress in negotiating with the British Government for constitutional reforms, and for chalking out a programme for the national movement. Mahatma Gandhi led the national freedom struggle against British rule. The unique thing about this struggle was that it was completely nonviolent. The nonviolent struggle started with the Non-Co-operation Movement in (1920), Civil. Disobedience Movement (1930) and quit India movement (1942). In 1921; Gandhiji gave the call for Non-cooperation movement against the ills of British rule. Gandhiji’s call roused the sleeping nation. Many Indians renounced their titles and honors; lawyers gave up their practice and students left colleges and schools this situation led schools to be empty and many of the own British companies being without the workers.
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Non-Cooperation Movement also brought women into the domain of freedom struggle for the first time (Rolland, 2000). A battle in which women were given the opportunity to fight for freedom. The Non-cooperation Movement severely jolted the British government. But the two movements ended in an anti-climax in February 1922. An outbreak of mob violence in Chauri Chaura shocked and pained Gandhi so much that he refused to continue the campaign and fasted for five days to atone for a crime committed by others in a state of mob hysteria (Rolland, 2000).
As Gandhi’s main aim was to have a peaceful demonstration without any violence because he wanted his struggle to based on non-violence. Although the Non-Co-operation movement in 1920 which was not friendly as the way Gandhi wanted, Gandhi was sentenced to six years imprisonment but was released in 1924 for medical reasons. As the main concern was that if they occurred a religious difference then the independence would not be successful and there would be the internal conflict a religious conflict that would lead to having a community fighting with each other rather then fighting against the rulers.
The Civil Disobedience Movement started on March 12, 1930, whereby Gandhi started the historic Dandi March to break the Law which had deprived the poor man of his right to make his salt. On April 6, 1930, Gandhiji broke the Salt law at the sea beach at Dandi. Nation-Wide defiance of the law immediately followed this simple act. This movement galvanized the whole nation (“Life and works,”2010). The law was mainly to fight against the ruler and to unite the entire country and fight for independence and helped to open the eyes of the people against the British rule.
As Gandhi began to work day and night for the freedom of his country, he and his brave followers went to jail again and again and suffered terrible hardships. Thousands of them were starved, beaten, and ill-treated and killed, but they remained faithful to their master. At last his noble efforts bore fruit, and on August 15, 1947, and India became free and independent. Gandhi defeated the mighty British Empire, not with swords or guns but using strange and utterly new weapons of truth and Ahimsa a weapon which influenced many people in this world and was trying to opt the same thing but has not managed. He worked all through his life for Hindu-Muslim unity and the abolition of untouchable (Brick, 2008). The main reason he worked through his life on Hindu-Muslim unity was that he feared the consequences of the differences that would lead to the destruction of the country as religion is considered to be the biggest reason when people fight for.
The Nonviolence struggle by Mahatma Gandhi has taught the world that violence is not the way to move forward in life and achieve independence, but nonviolence is. There are challenges each of us to seek God through our active pursuit of truth and nonviolence, and pursue the spiritual, political, economic and social depths of peace with the same fierce determination and sacrifice that Gandhi undertook. This urges us to let go of our desire for fame, fortune, power, and ego, and instead to walk with the poor, simplify our lives, pray to God each day, practice nonviolence.
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