BANGALORE: The unique personality and charisma of Bapu continues to win more and more followers around the world. He is indeed the greatest leader of India. But, unfortunately, today in India, you find people prejudiced against Gandhi. Let alone elders, even children are saying nonsensical things about him. The children of my generation should however understand the importance of Mahatma Gandhi.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Gujarat. He finished his schooling in Porbandar and married Kastur (later called Kasturba Gandhi).
A little after that, he lost his father. He set sail for England to study law, and practised in India for some time and then went to South Africa. There, he took the lead against Apartheid, as he was upset watching Blacks and Indians being treated badly by the Whites. He protested against this injustice and was successful in resisting Apartheid to an extent.
After spending a few years in South Africa, he came back to India. He plunged into the freedom struggle, hoping to drive away the British by non-violent means.
He not only wanted to drive away the British, but also to change their hearts. He wanted the British government to understand the injustices they had committed in India. Thus a distinct non-violent freedom struggle took shape.
Finally, Gandhiji and the people of India were succes ful in driving away the British. But the day India got freedom, Gandhiji was in Kolkata feeling miserable because communal riots had broken out. He was successful in bringing back peace. But soon after that, a wave of riots took place. Partition of India shook Gandhi. He vowed to fast unto death. Peace returned.
Though Gandhi had won millions of admirers and comrades in India and the world, he had also attracted a handful of enemies. They did not like Gandhi’s idea of secularism. Unfortunately, on January 30, he was shot dead, and the whole country was in tears. People in Pakistan also supposedly skipped their meals on hearing this terrible news. He was cremated at Rajghat, Delhi, with the whole world mourning.
H N Shoyinka
(Class IX, Sri Jnanakshi Vidyanikethan, RR Nagar)