Primitive Leader of India’s Independence – Mahatma Gandhi

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Mahatma Gandhi the primitive leader of India’s independence, not only did he fought for India’s independence but also employed nonviolent civil obedience and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2nd, 1869 in Porbandar, Kathiawar, India, which was then a part of the British Empire. Gandhi belonged from a hindu family, growing up he was deeply influenced by this mother piousness. At the age of 9 he joined a local school in Rajkot, near his home where he studied rudiments of arithmetic. At the age of 11 he joined high school where he was known as shy, tongue tied and spend more of his time reading books. At a tender age of 13, he was arranged married to Kasturbai Makhanji Kapadia, in the process of getting married Ghandi missed a year of school which he later made up. Getting married in such a young age Mohandas would describe his wedding to be sensual which would distract him at school. Only three years after his marriage Ghandis father passed away and his first baby who lived for few days passed away which left Ghandi anguished, Ghandi had 4 sons subsequently.

After graduating from high school at 18 years, he enrolled in the college within his region and later dropped out. After seeking guidance from a priest In July 1888 he agreed on going to London for Law school which required him to leave his son, his wife and his old mother alone. On 10 August 1888 Gandhi left to attend University College, London. At age 22 he was called to the bar in June 1891, he returned back to India to open his own practice, which didn’t work out for him because unfortunately upon arrival he learned his mother had passed away. In April 1893 Gandhi set sail for South Africa to be a lawyer. In South Africa he faced a lot of discrimination because of his skin color. Withstanding all the atrocities he managed to draw attention to the grievances of Indians in South Africa. He helped found the Natal Indian Congress in 1894 a bill opposing Indians to vote in South Africa which gathered a lot of public attention. racked down on Indian civil liberties after World War I, Gandhi began to organize nonviolent protests. The Amritsar Massacre, in which British troops gunned down peaceful Indian protestors, convinced Gandhi and India of the need for self-rule, and in the early ’20s Gandhi organized large-scale campaigns of non-cooperation that paralyzed the subcontinent’s administration–and led to his imprisonment, from 1922 to 1924. After his release, he withdrew from politics for a time, preferring to travel India, working among the peasantry. But in 1930, he wrote the Declaration of Independence of India, and then led the Salt March in protest against the British monopoly on salt. This touched off acts of civil disobedience across India, and the British were forced to invite Gandhi to London for a Round-Table Conference. When World War II broke out, India erupted into violence, and many nationalist leaders, including Gandhi, went to prison. After the war, the new British government wanted to get India off its hands quickly. But Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the head of the Muslim League, demanded that a separate state be created for India’s Muslims, and to Gandhi’s great distress, the Congress leaders and the harried British agreed. August of 1947 saw India’s attainment of independence–as well as its partition into two countries, India and Pakistan. However, both measure didn’t served to solve India’s problems, and the country immediately fell apart: Hindus and Muslims killed each other in alarming numbers while refugees fled toward the borders. Heartbroken, Gandhi tried to calm the country, but to no avail. He was assassinated by a Hindu nationalist in Delhi on January 30, 1948, and India mourned the loss of its greatest hero.

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Gandhi’s life is a perfect example of how Levinson’s laid out his comprehensive theory of adult development which is refers to as “The Seasons of life” which starts off with early adult transition from age (17-22). Ghandi was the youngest of his six siblings. Ghandi was known to be a very shy kid and kept so himself. He would spend most of his time reading books after school. He was exceptional in geometry because it involved reasoning. After getting married at the age of 13 and his father passing away at age 16 he had to quickly leave behind his adolescence and begin making choices about adult life. He witnessed what’s Levinson’s “Early Adult transition” and decided on going to London to join college to start law school and at the age of 22 becoming a lawyer. After Law school he entered the stage “Entering the Adult World (Age 22-28) “where he started working for the rights of Indians in South Africa regardless of all the discrimination and atrocities he had to face because of this skin color. He got elected to stay in South Africa, and founded the Natal Indian Congress. On Ian 1897 Ghandi got beaten up by a mob in South Africa but refused to press charges against the attacker which gained him public admiration and support. He fought in 1950 for abolishing the population registration Act which required that each inhabitant of South Africa be classified and registered in accordance with his or her racial characteristics as part of the system of apartheid.

During Levinson theory “Age 30 Transitions” during this age Ghandi worked relentlessly to protect the interest of Indian and got people to more intently boycott British products and encourages people to start making their own clothes rather than buying British clothing after the Rowlatt act. In 1942 after British imposing the salt act, Ghandi launched the biggest campaign which demanded India’s declaration of independence. During the” Mid-Life Transition (Age 40-45)” Ghandi worked adamantly to get independence from the British reign. During the proposal of the fighting for independence Ghandi got imprisoned multiple time which didn’t stop him from fighting for his cause. During Late Adulthood Ghandi was very close to his goal that he had worked so diligently for. Ghandi 73 year old initiated a hunger strike that lasted for 21 days, he demanded a new independent country and in 1946 March – India becomes an independent nation. Subsequently in 1947 Tensions between Hindu and Muslim factions resurface and escalate into violence. India is divided into Pakistan and India. In 1948 January 30 Gandhi is killed by a member of a Hindu organization angered by Gandhi’s peacemaking efforts. Gandhi was shot on his way to evening prayers. This teaching and his nonviolence movement are still looked upon.

Mahtma Ghandi belonged from a strict Authoritative Hindu family. His father was the chief minister of the state he was born and his mother was the fourth wife of this father. His mother Putlibai , an extremely pious lady who “”would not think of taking her meals without her daily prayers . He had many opportunities to interact with people from different faiths. He took the religion principle of Ahminsa (doing no harm) from his Jain friends which he later turned into his motto in life. As a child his moral was tested when he was told to copy his neighbors spelling in school but he refused to do so. Belonging from a strict vegetarian family he refrained from consuming meat even when he was for college. Being a son or a pious Hindu mother, Ghandi was disgusted by how Indian were so ill-treated in south Africa, all being attacked by a mob he did not press charges against the attacker. Believer in equality and justice, he fought for independence from the British rule so both Hindus and Muslims could practice their faith freely. Ghandis excellence character and his campaign for no violence shows his exceptional upbringing.

Gandhi’s life transition seemed to be Idiosyncratic, growing up he was shy and had limited interaction with his peers and spend most of this time reading books. At an age of 13 he got married which made him self- direct and independent. Only three years after is marriage Gandhis father and his first baby born passed away which left him anguished. Most of Gandhi life was ignoring the convention, he would get harassed, beaten up by a mob, faced racism but he lived his life no violence and never pressed any chargers against the culprits. Seeing the Indians in South Africa being treated so poorly he sympathized and worked towards bettering their future. He demanded an independent country for which he was imprisoned multiple times and starved for over 21 days to provide for a better future for Hindus by having their separate country.

Gandhi’s health has not been always great, since childhood he lived prolong periods in depression. He also attempted to commit suicide when he was a teenager. In school he was known as sensitive, shy and reserved to himself. He avoided conversing with his peer rather spend time reading books. Following India’s independence he took a big hit when he saw the citizen enduring poverty and hunger which weighed heavily on his health since he was “the father of his nation”. Gandhi had sense of failure which led to depression because of his constant self-doubt. He starved himself for 21 days as a fight for independence, sacrificing his health for the love of his country. He had a sense of fatalism in him, he always believed that he would die for his country and he did, he got shot by an extremist who believed that he was favoring Muslims.

E.H. Erikson (1963) is often credited with the recognition of the importance of generativity in human development. In general, Erikson attempts to explain human development through an eight stage psychosocial scheme. Each of these eight stages is characterized by a specific conflict that must be resolved by the individual. The resolution of the specific conflict at a particular stage provides the foundation for the individual’s movement toward the next developmental stage. It should be noted, however, that the eight stages are not independent of one another. Rather, the successful resolution of the conflicts that exist at each of the stages unite to provide the individual with the cumulative strength to continue to the next developmental stage. Erikson locates generativity as the seventh stage 3 in his eight-stage developmental scheme. Generativity is the longest of Erikson’s stages and encompasses the span of middle adulthood. Generativity demands a faith, hope and trust in humankind and a belief in the continuity of generations. Erikson’s (1969) case study of Gandhi is an example of how generativity can exist distinct from the procreative realm and extend to the welfare of generations of present and future people. Erikson describes how Gandhi’s capacity to be a great leader rests on his ability to create for himself and others “”new choices and new cares””. As a “”father”” of modern India, Gandhi was able to create a legacy in his people to whom he passed down and taught his values.

Ghandi faced a lot of grief in his early life and coping up with it was hard. He seemed to be more of “Dissonant mourners” who encountered a conflict between the way he experience his grief internally and the way they he expressed it outwardly, which produces a persistent discomfort and lack of harmony. The “dissonance” or conflict was because he lost his father in such an early age, getting married so early in life and seeing his first born pass away few days after birth. He had to leave his family, his mother, his wife and kids back to study law in a different country where he faced a lot of criticism and hardship. Although is grief may be profound and strongly felt, he struggled to hide his true feelings in order to preserve the image he wished to project to the public. Others may condemn themselves and feel very guilty for not feeling whatever they think is expected of them to feel. He put aside all of his personal problems so he could fight for the rights of Indian and eventually give them a free land to practice their rights and religion.

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During pre-Gandhian times gender inequality and gender violence were all pervasive. Women were regarded as the root cause of all evil and responsible for downfall of men. Women had a decidedly inferior status and were totally dependent on men. Women were confined to the family and remained under legal and customary subjection of their husbands or other male family members. Gandhi gave a totally new perspective regarding gender equality and nonviolence. He not only opposed the harmful practices and encouraged regeneration of women but gave the ideal that women are not just equal and different but superior to men. Gandhi opposed practices which were injurious to women and girls even if such practices had the sanction of Dharma Shasta, law and tradition. Female infanticide: He was against the practice of female infanticide. He discovered that the birth of a girl was generally unwelcome as she was to be married off and had to live and work in her marital home. Gandhi believed that lack of education and information was the roots cause of all the evils against women. It is important to remember that Gandhi was neither a feminist nor anti-feminist. He was a great soul who was saddened by the deplorable condition of Indian women and wanted to uplift their status; rid them of suppressive customs; and wanted them to play important role in social, political and economic life of India. He advocated and worked for gender equality and end of gender violence from the above angle and was successful in making positive change in the lives of many women.

Gandhi gave a nation. To the world, he gave satyagraha, arguably the most revolutionary idea of a long and ravaged century. He showed that political change could be affected by renouncing violence; that unjust laws could be defied peacefully and with a readiness to accept punishment; that “”soul-force,”” as much as armed force, could bring down an empire. He drew this lesson from his readings of the Bible and Tolstoy and the Bhagavad-Gita, and he taught it to Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and countless other political protestors who would follow his example in the years to come. In some sense, Gandhi’s greatest achievement lay in his legacy; for his ideals, and the example he provided in living them out, inspired, and continue to inspire, people of all nations to take up the peaceful struggle for freedom from oppression.

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Primitive Leader of India’s Independence - Mahatma Gandhi. (2019, Feb 12). Retrieved from