Hello MSB viewers. It’s your girl Matey. I like looking at the lives of different people because I believe I can learn a lot from their stories and I can also find the courage to create my story that will one day be told to many If Jesus tarries. I have decided we will be looking at this together so I’m introducing ‘Their stories Thursday’ which is the day in the week that I will dedicate to looking at the stories of great people, both dead and alive and of different races and backgrounds. I hope you will join me every Thursday and you will tell people about it. If you want to share someone’s story or yours and you know we will learn a great deal from it, you can send me a mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or send me a BBM request (2a7411f3). stay safe…
Let’s look at the life of Mahatma Gandhi…
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi popularly known as ‘GANDHI’ which means Great soul was born in Porbandar Gujarat, In North West India on the 2nd of October 1869.
He was born into a privileged caste and though he was fortunate enough to receive comprehensive education, he was a mediocre student. At the age of 13, May 1883, a marriage was arranged for him by his parents as was the custom in India at the time. He got married to Kasturba Makhanji who was also 13. He gained admission into Samaldas college at the university of Bombay and while he was there, his wife gave birth to four boy. While there, he was unhappy and he later went to University College London at the age of 18 to further his studies. He studied law.
He wasn’t happy with his job so when he got an offer for a one year contract at an Indian Firm in Natal, South Africa, he took the job though South Africa was already in the Apartheid period. After finishing his one year contract, he decided to stay back and spent the next 21 years in South Africa railing against the injustice of racial segregation. He saw how his countrymen and blacks were treated unjustly and that motivated him to start a political movement known as the Natal Indian Congress and he developed his theoretical belief in non-violent civil protest.
He returned to India in 1916 and continued his practice of non-violent civil disobedience against the colonization of Britain and encouraged some local country men to develop themselves. As a result of his civil protests, his help in the country, his obvious virtue and his simplistic lifestyle, he was endeared to the people and his fame spread, so did his political influence. He worked diligently to both remove British rule from India as well as better the lives of India’s poorest classes. By 1921 he was leading the Indian National Congress, and reorganizing the party’s constitution around the principle of complete political independence from the British. His encouragement of mass civil disobedience led to his arrest on 10th March 1922, and trial on sedition charges, for which he served 2 years, of a 6-year prison sentence.
Following his release from Prison in February 1924, he returned four years later in 1928 to campaign for the granting of ‘dominion status’ to India by the British. When the British introduced a tax in salt in 1930, he famously led a 250-mile march to the sea to collect his salt. Recognizing his political influence nationally, the British authorities were forced to negotiate various settlements with Gandhi over the following years, which resulted in alleviation of poverty, enshrined rights for women and led to India’s political independence from Britain.
Gandhi suffered six known assassination attacks during the course of his life. Gandhi was placed under increasing pressure by his political contemporaries to accept the British proposed partition of India into Muslim Partition and Hindu India as the only way to avoid civil war in India. He reluctantly concurred with its political necessity and India celebrated its independence day on 15th August 1947.
On 30th January 1948, whilst Gandhi was on his way to a prayer meeting, he was shot three times in the chest by Nathuram Godse who had earlier made several attempts on his life. While the Hindu Radicalists in Pune and other areas of India rejoiced upon hearing about the death of Gandhi, the rest of the world was horrified by the death of a man nominated five times by the Nobel Peace Prize though he never received the awards. He died on the 30th of January 1948 and his birthday till today remains a National holiday in India. Godse and his co—conspirator, Narayan Apte were both imprisoned for the death of Gandhi on 8th November 1949 and were executed a week later in Ambala jail.
Gandhi’s life and teachings have inspired many liberationists of the 20th century including Dr Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko.
Some of his quotes…
“Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty” … I think this is an important advice that we have to adhere to especially in this period that the world currently is in. We have got to believe in Humans and try our possible best to restore moral back to the world by living a moral and Godly life ourselves.
The major lesson I learnt from the life of Gandhi is the effect taking actions in a peaceful way can have. I know sometimes, you might have been pushed so far to the wall and your oppositions don’t seem like they will back down unless you attack them violently via your words and actions, peace is still always a better option. It reminds me of the bible verse in Matthew where Jesus said we should turn to the right cheek if we are slapped on the left cheek. I interpret that bible passage as God admonishing us to never answer violence with violence.
Through the life he lived, I have seen what it truly means to be a leader. He led by showing. He didn’t tell them what to do without him leading them first. Leaders should always be the ones to take the first step and through their courage, their followers can do the same.
Did you learn anything from Mahatma Gandhi’s story, please do tell and don’t forget to share. Let’s help spread the message of peace.0