Mohandas Gandhi, Whom most people know as Mahatma, meaning ‘GreatSoul,’; is one of the most prevalent images in the minds of those who think about greatleaders, in the movement for human rights and non-violence. However, not much isknown about his life as a child and his achievements in the early twentieth century. Allthe staging grounds in Gandhi’s stance towards non violence, human rights, and peacetook place in the years leading up to the twentieth century and the first decade after.
Gandhi was born in Porbandar, India on October 2, 1869. His family, whichconsisted of two brothers and one sister lived a rather good life. Gandhi’s’ father,Karamanchand Gandhi, was a government official for the state of Porbandar. His mothercould neither read nor write, but was very religious and was known to go on extendedfasts. Gandhi’s mother affected her young son at a very young age. In the state thatGandhi lived there were over two dozen religions.
Gandhi learned to accept all of thedifferent religions at a very young age. Gandhi’s child hood was not very different fromthat of a normal child, the only exemption is that Gandhi always felt a sense ofresponsibility and duty. When Gandhi was seven years old his father got a new job asprime minister of Rajkot. Gandhi continued his education and his life as if nothing hadever changed, until he was married at the age of thirteen in 1882. Kastura Makinji was Gandhi’s first wife.
They were both the same age, and justlike Gandhi’s’ mother Kastura could not read or write. She was the daughter of amerchant and like Gandhi lived a rather comfortable life. The two lived apart more thanthey did together, spending more time with parents rather than with each other. Later inhis life Gandhi joked that he was a stupidly jealous husband, he said ‘I must say I waspassionately fond of her. Even at school I used to think of her, and the thought of nightfall and our subsequent meeting was ever haunting me.
I have already said that Kasturbawas illiterate. I was very anxious to teach her, but lustful love left me no time (Gold 24). ‘;Squire 2Aside from the problems of marriage, Gandhi faced another huge turning point inhis life when his father died. Gandhi respected his father Karamchand Gandhi deeply. Although Karamchand was hot tempered at times, he had a reputation of having highintegrity. During his dieing days, Gandhi would sit by Karmchands’ bed for hoursnursing after him and massaging his body.
During the final hours of Karchands life,Gandhi left his side to be with his wife. This turned out to be a major regret in Gandhi’slife. His father died a few minutes after Mahatma left him. His wife was pregnant at thattime and was sleeping in another bed room. Gandhi said, ‘I saw that, if animal passionhad not blinded me, I should have been spared the torture of separation from my fatherduring his last moments. It is a blot I have never been able to efface or forget, and Ialways thought that, although, my devotion to my parents knew no bounds I would havegiven up anything for it, yet it was weighed and found unpardonable wanting because mymind was at the same time in the grip of lust (Dalton 147).
‘; In 1892 Gandhi traveled to South Africa. It turned out to be a major staging pointfor his unwavering stance towards non violence and equal rights. Gandhi faced manyhardships and obstacles in Africa. When he arrived in Natal he met with his employerand a week later was sent, by train, to Pretoria, Transvaal.
This is were his strife began. Gandhi employer had purchased a first class ticket for his travel, but when a Europeanpassenger saw the little brown skinned Indian sitting in first class he called a railroademployee to throw the ‘coolie’; out of first class. Even though Gandhi had a valid ticket,Indians were simply not allowed in first class. Gandhi refused to leave first class andmove to the third class compartment. He was thrown off the train and spent the night atthe station freezing because he was too upset to get his luggage from the stationmaster.
Gandhi’s refusal to leave the first class compartment because of his ethnicity is .