ghandi a great leader



Few men have ever had as much of an effect on our world as Mohandas Gandhi, though he used the message of peace and love, rather than war and destruction. One time a prominent lawyer in South Africa, Gandhi gave up practicing law and returned to India in order to help ease the suffering of the repressed people of his homeland. Gandhi\'s love for people and his religious passion made him a revolutionary in many of his ideas and actions.
On October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, India, a region of Queen Victoria, Mohandas Gandhi was born to Kaba Gandhi and his wife. Although his father, Kaba, was the chief Minister for the Maharaja of Porbandar, he and his family lived in a small house and belonged to a Hindu caste of merchants called "banjas" (Iyer, 34) As he grew, Mohandas became a small, shy and skinny boy, afraid of others\' opinions. At the age of thirteen, he was married to Kastaurbai, a pretty yet strong willed girl of the same caste. Kaba Gandhi died when Mohandas was sixteen.
At eighteen he traveled to England to study law and secretly to see for himself what made the English so powerful. In 1888, he traveled to England to become a barrister-at-law. There were several important influences that he encountered here: the Western material style of life, which he decided not to follow, and in the simple Russian way of living he found: the New Testament, and the Bhagavad-Gita, the bible of the Hare Krishna movement (Fischer, 54). It was here that he developed a sense of the presence of God in his life and the lives of men. Gandhi then returned to India and studied law in Bombay but quickly denounced it, feeling that it was immoral and could not satisfy one\'s conscience (Shirer, 69).
His personal experiences, including being ejected from a train in Maritzburg, of not being allowed the same rights as others lead him to begin a movement to help his people. While in South Africa, Gandhi made himself poor so that he could identify with the peasants. He then proceeded to start a colony that consisted of abused laborers. The colony became very large and many cities were crippled by the lack of laborers. The government reacted to this by jailing Gandhi several times along with many others of his followers.
He desired to see India freed from British rule in a bloodless revolution. He fought for the rights of the Indians. His love for the people of India was boundless; he wanted nothing more than to serve and help them. He proclaimed the power of love, peace and freedom. He also upheld the old Hindu tradition of segregation of castes, indicating that, and “Intertwining and intermarriage have never been a bar to separation, quarrels or worse." (Reynolds, 86). Gandhi also wanted to see the Muslims and Hindus at peace.
Knowing that violence only befuddles violence, he began the practicing of passive resistance, or as he called it, "Satyagraha" which means "holding onto truth" (Shirer 103). He believed that the killing of a man is an unforgivable sin. He taught that the weapon that could be used was the conscience of the aggressor. Hinduism teaches to stay away from temptation through various exercises that test one\'s ability to perform a difficult task; this weakens a person and causes him to act on a non-violent level (Shirer 105). In addition, he taught that one should act rather be held under subservience. The war he fought was one without weapons, already Gandhi was on his way to starting his career of non-violent campaigns. His marches and fasts fired the imagination of oppressed people everywhere.
During the South African War of 1899-1902 and during the Zulu rebellion in 1906, Gandhi organized an ambulance corps consisting of Indians to help the British fight (Judd, 239). He believed that duty dictated that the Indian population had a responsibility to help the British when they were in a time of need. Perhaps he was trying to show them that the Indians put an effort into helping the British forces just like everyone else and deserved the same rights as everyone else. It is interesting to note that Gandhi did not promote fighting, but he helped those