|Gandhi in London, at the age of 18, working as a Barrister|
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who was also known as Mahatma, "Great Soul" Gandhi, was a hero, as well as a political and spiritual leader of India. He was of the Hindu faith, of which I am too. Mohandas brought India to independence by using non-violent resistance. He thought that there was injustice being served to the Indians, especially to the immigrants by the South Africans. Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, Kathiawar, now known as Gujarat. Gandhi passed away at the age of 78 on January 30, 1948. Mahatma Gandhi was brought up in India near Rajkot, where he did most of his studies. In 1888, Gandhi went to London, leaving his wife and son behind, to pursue his degree in law. Later in 1893, Gandhi went to South Africa to work and found that there was a lot of prejudice towards Indians. That was the reason Gandhi began protesting and eventually he became an inspiring hero for millions. The three main qualities that define Gandhi as a hero are his strong leadership, simplicity and bravery.
Leadership was one of Gandhi's heroic qualities. One way he demonstrated leadership was by encouraging people in his village to start using homespun clothing. Homespun was one of Gandhi’s favorite hobbies. Introducing homespun to his village promised the growth of the village’s economy. The poor became employed to make homespun clothes for others in the village and outside of their own village. This drastically diminished the poverty in Gandhi’s village. Moreover, Gandhi ended the issue of discrimination against untouchables. Back in those days, the Hindus used to discriminate against the untouchables, who were their own kind but just low in the caste system. The untouchables are just another word to describe poor, less educated people who really didn’t fit in with the middle class people. Gandhi made the Hindus realize that what British people were doing to them is the same thing that they were doing to the untouchables. This made the Hindus realize what they were doing to the untouchables. Last but not least, the Indian Independence Movement was the all-time heroic deed led by Gandhi. This movement was accomplished in 1947 by Mahatma. This movement took place because India was governed by the British, and Gandhi wanted India to become independent. Therefore, Gandhi showcased many outstanding leadership skills that made him a hero.
|Gandhi making homespun cloth|
Simplicity is the second most heroic quality that Gandhi demonstrated. Gandhi believed in living a simple life. He wanted a simple life, with only the necessities that he needed. Even though he was a barrister (a lawyer), he had no arrogance. He dressed like a poor person and he only wore clothes that were homespun, made out of khadi (cotton). He was a vegetarian and then became a fruitarian; many days he would go without eating and would not complain. He was also a man of truth because everything he did and said, he did it with truth. Because he believed in truth, he wrote a book titled, The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Moreover, even though he did many heroic things, he claimed to be an average man: "I claim to be no more than an average man with less than average ability" (pg 112). This quote tells the readers that he did not want to be known as Gandhi, he did not want everyone worshiping him, and he was just proving that he is an average person like others. In addition, what made him a hero can make anyone a hero, only if they have the will to do the right thing and if they believe in truth, nonviolence and creating peace among others. As a result, Gandhi believed that simplicity and truth can make anyone a hero.
|Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi|
Bravery is another quality that describes Gandhi. Gandhi did many big things that show how brave he was. The first example of his brave work was the Dandi March. The Dandi March was an Indian march led by Gandhi for salt. This was the first act of opposition towards the British and the beginning of the movement to get India's independence. Gandhi broke the Salt Law made by the British and was imprisoned for many years. The Dandi March, with more than enough Indians and with the support of Gandhi, diminished the Salt Tax that people had to pay. Gandhi was also very brave to fight for his country on his own and also to sacrifice himself. Many times he got beaten up by the British people, but he did not say one word. He did not execute any type of violent behavior towards them. This is because he was a strong believer in nonviolence. Lastly, Gandhi showed bravery by doing what he believed was right. He believed that things can be done with love and not war, which definitely results in peace. He believed in his own principles for many years till he died, and he fought for India believing that the only way to end the hatred and war is through peace and love. For that reason, Gandhi is a true hero to all because of his bravery and what he did for India’s independence.
|Gandhi, at the Dandi Salt March,|
grabbing salt (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/
In conclusion, Gandhi was an astonishing hero. He possessed countless qualities, many things that an ordinary person could not have had. He set several examples for our countries to look up to and learn from. He fought for something that he believed in and he never gave up. He fought through all the obstacles that came his way with love and peace. Leadership, simplicity and bravery were the three most outstanding qualities in Gandhi.
Page created on 7/7/2008 12:00:00 AM
Last edited 7/7/2008 12:00:00 AM
M.K. Gandhi Institute For Nonviolence - is a nonprofit that works to realize the vision of its historic namesake by helping individuals and communities create public awareness of nonviolence as knowledge critical to human thriving.
Gandhi Peace Foundation - seeks to create an environment for study and research on the teaching and practice of Gandhiji
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
Who has never imagined that he could be a role model for the whole world? I think that it is a dream, a desire of every human being to leave a legacy for humanity. By choosing a hero, you have the opportunity to not only realize something indirectly, but above all, to share your opinions, even if you have never met your hero. A hero allows you to express an ideal either because of his physical appearance, his talent or his influence in the world.
I think it is difficult to say that people will have only one hero in their lifetime because, in time, they may change their mind and notice that what this person embodies is no longer what is the most important to them. So, I would like to present my “current hero,” Mahatma Gandhi.
"Whenever you are confronted
with an opponent,
conquer him with love."
I don’t really remember how I discovered him. At first, I was very intrigued by him because I couldn’t imagine how he managed to obtain the independence of India using non-violence, while a lot of other countries resorted to war. That is why I read articles about him.
By reading his biography and comparing it to the social situation nowadays, I realized that his speech still has its place. For example, he fought against discrimination, but always on legal grounds. Indeed, he studied in England and became a lawyer. To achieve India's independence, Gandhi knew that he would not manage it with violence, so he decided to educate Indians to help them become better citizens. Here we can see that he is a man with convictions and that, in spite of his social rank and his several journeys abroad, Gandhi never forgot his country and gave the population the benefit of his knowledge. That is why I find him brave and persevering, which are important qualities.
Gandhi was a supporter of non-violence. He knew that Indians weren’t as strong as the British armies. If they wanted to get their independence, they would have to show the English people that they didn’t need them. Gandhi's most significant success came in 1930 when he challenged the British government by saying that he would personally defy the Salt Tax if it was not rescinded within the following ten days. This action showed how he felt involved. From that day on, he became a real icon because he brought people together from very different social ranks.
I admire Gandhi for all that he did and the risks that he took. He was jailed many times. He was also a precursor when he defended women’s rights, and it is mainly thanks to him that women have an important social and political role in India. The only thing that he didn’t manage to avoid is the civil war between Muslims in Pakistan and Hindus in India. Can non-violence prevent the world from religious wars? I don’t really know, but it is an alternative to armies. Many world leaders, including Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, have successfully employed Gandhi's technique of non-violence to achieve extraordinary success in their own political struggles. That is why I can say that Gandhi is not only a real role model for me, but for the world.
Page created on 9/18/2010 12:36:12 PM
Last edited 9/18/2010 12:36:12 PM