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At the time when violence was almost omnipresent in the world, a great soul lived. He was a very special man with sublime ideas and goals. His name was Mohandas K. Gandhi! He was a little man with a great mind. Everything he pursued in his life, he did so in a peaceful way. After having succeeded in removing some impartial laws in South Africa, Gandhi returned to his native land, India, with his own vision of an Independent India, and continued his work as the great leader of the independence movement. Always using passive resistance, Gandhi achieved at least a big part of his goals, even if he was not really sure himself of what he had accomplished. However, what is certain is that he showed to the world a new way to fight against injustices.
Gandhi was seen as a great leader for many reasons. His first trials were in South Africa, where he raised some movements for the liberties of Indians who had migrated there. However, he was called the Indian leader mostly for his work done in India. In 1918, he organized a movement for the independence of India, the Satyagraha. This was the first of many movements he led. His mind and his ideas helped him to be placed at the head of the Congress party. Even when he had been succeeded by Jawaharal Nehru, he continued to be active behind the scenes by giving his suggestions and views. He was like a mentor; his friends had to ensure that their ideas were approved by him. One example of his leadership occurred at a speech he made against the British government’s Rowlatt Acts, where he roused the Indian crowd gathered there only by stating what he thought of it and by telling how they should counter it.
Furthermore, Gandhi’s views were very unorthodox. His vision of the Independent India was not acclaimed by all, though all respected it. His vision consisted of eliminating the caste system in India. He hated the inequalities, and his first goal was to improve the standard of life of all Indians. He believed that all humans were equal and that no one should have privileges. One of his ideas to counter this was to develop small self-sufficient villages all across India, but this was never achieved. Although he wanted to get rid of the British authorities, the little man was not really hostile to them.
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Mohandas Gandhi also reinvented the way to fight against oppression and injustices. He believed in the power of non-violence; as he said : “An eye for an eye and the world will go blind”. Instead of using violence to achieve his goal, he formed non-violence and non-cooperation movements. Furthermore, in contrast with his party colleagues, he lived and dressed like the poor majority of Indian villagers. He thought that in this way he would bring more people on his side for the struggle because they would see him as equal to them. In fact, Gandhi not only made his own clothes to be closer to the Indian people, but also to obtain economic independence by not buying British goods from the cotton mills of Lancashire. Thus, when all these actions were not working or if there was some sort of violence raising among his people, he was starting a strain. It was working most of the time.
Even if he did achieve a lot, the great soul was not sure that he had succeeded, because after all the non-violence he preached, his people, the Muslims and the Hindus, were fighting against each other. Then, mostly because of this conflict and how he positioned himself with regard to it, in 1948, he was assassinated. That day, the world lost a significant leader. After all, Gandhi will always be remembered for his non-violent actions and he is still a model for people who suffer injustices in the world. Now and forever, Monhandas K. Gandhi will be synonym of Peace.