Gandhi and the Foundations of a Bloodless Revolution

2462 Words10 Pages
The world knows him as Mahatma Gandhi, a thin, wrinkled, elderly Indian wrapped in white traditional garb and leaning on a cane. Wire-rimmed spectacles frame the broad, aging face that has come to be associated with peace, wisdom, and the independence of India. Because of his untiring efforts to reform the cultural and political systems in India, Gandhi is well-known for his views on vegetarianism, birth control and the caste system. Most know about the peace-loving liberator of India, but what made Gandhi such a powerful force in the destiny of such a great nation? Many factors early in Gandhi’s life, such as his child-marriage, education, and experiences abroad, strongly influenced his philosophies and eventually compelled him to lead the non-violent movement, a “bloodless revolution,” that resulted in India’s independence. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi entered the world in 1869, the youngest son of Karamchand Gandhi, a diwan – one of a group of chief advisors to the princes in the peninsular region of Gujarat, on the western coast of India (Hay, “Two Worlds” 305-307). Born into the Modh Bania caste, a “middle-class” caste, Gandhi enjoyed a fairly secure life as a youth and received a good education. According to one biographer, “the Banias were by tradition traders, moneylenders and grocers, though Gandhi’s family had long since moved away from this occupational niche to become administrators in the princely states” (Arnold 21). This allowed for a fairly comfortable living situation for Gandhi and his family and provided an environment for him to develop an inquisitive and curious mind that would be crucial in his lifelong quest for truth, the driving force behind the non-violent revolution that completely altered ... ... middle of paper ... ...’s First Impressions of British Culture.” Modern Asian Studies. 3.3 (1969): 305-319. JSTOR. Web. 4 March 2010. Hay, Stephen. “The Making of a Late-Victorian Hindu: M.K. Gandhi in London, 1888- 1891.” Victorian Studies 33.1 (1989): 75-98. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 4 March 2010. Heredia, Rudolf C. “Interpreting Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj.” Economic and Political Weekly. 34.24 (1999): 1407-1502. JSTOR. Web. 4 March 2010. Mukherjee, Rudrangshu, ed. The Penguin Gandhi Reader. London: Penguin, 1993. Philips, Cyril. “Was the Partition of India in 1947 Inevitable?” Asian Affairs 17.3 (1986): 243-251. Historical Abstracts. EBSCO. Web. 4 Mar. 2010. Srinivas, M. N. “Gandhi’s Religion.” Economic and Political Weekly. 30.25 (1995): 1489- 1491. JSTOR. Web. 4 March 2010.

    More about Gandhi and the Foundations of a Bloodless Revolution

      Open Document