“First, they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
Then they fight you.
Then you win.”– Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
A prophetic statement by Gandhi, whose advice is still followed by the world today.
Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi is special because his name is still renowned across countries. He died 70 years ago, but he is still hugely popular in India.
In fact, you can agree that he’s one of the most recognizable and iconic figures of the 20th century.
While many great historical figures have significantly impacted India’s history, it would be a hard-fought battle to argue that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is only one of the most influential of them all.
In this article, we’ll time-travel back to the past and show you all the events that made Gandhiji famous as “The Father of the Nation”
Why was Gandhi given the title ”Father of the Nation”?
The term ‘Father/mother of the Nation’ refers to someone who has been a driving force behind a country’s independence. The title “Father of the Nation” was given to Mahatma Gandhi to honor his contribution to the country.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose first used the term to signify Gandhi during his radio address, which the Government of India also recognized.
Gandhi’s Birth & Early Life: October 2, 1989
Gandhi was born as the first child of his parents, Karamchand and Putlibai Gandhi.
His father was a lawyer and political activist who served in the government of the state of Porbandar (in modern-day Gujarat).
He was married at age 13 while still in high school. He graduated from Samaldas College in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, and went to England in 1888 to study law.
Despite his mother’s opposition, Gandhi vowed not to touch women, wine, or meat in England and passed his examination in 1891. On June 12, 1891, he returned to India.
His popularity might be attributed to four qualities, and you might agree on that.
1. Gandhi was a staunch believer in nonviolence and peace
It was not the first time in history that someone pioneered nonviolent resistance as a tactic for change. But according to Mark Shepard’s description of Gandhi, “he raised nonviolent action to a level never before achieved.” Gandhi opposed violence because it perpetuated hatred. Amid violent chaos, Gandhi taught that nonviolence is a blessing.
2. Gandhi aimed for Secularism
Though he was raised in a Hindu family, Gandhi’s life and teachings were almost entirely secular. He had many followers who were not of the Hindu religion but were inspired by his passion for peace and nonviolence.
One of these people was Martin Luther King Jr., an influential civil rights activist who sought to end racial segregation in America through peaceful protest.
King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom two years later. We cannot deny that his influence on the civil rights movement and other causes is still felt today.
3. Gandhi was sheerly committed to democracy
Gandhi’s commitment to democracy is one of the most important aspects of his legacy.
He is remembered for many great things, but his dedication to the democratic process should be recognized as his greatest accomplishment. Gandhi believed in the power of people to come together and make good decisions. He put this belief into action by using nonviolent protest throughout his life.
4. Gandhi was a follower of simple living and high thinking
In addition to his work as a political and spiritual leader of India, Gandhi was also an influential advocate of simple living. He believed that excess is wasteful and leads to unhappiness.
He believed that obtaining material things did not necessarily bring happiness but rather “contentment,” which came from the satisfaction of simple living and dedicating your time to higher pursuits.
He practiced what he preached, adopting simple habits like wearing the same clothes for decades and eating only one meal daily. He was also an avid reader, writing thousands of letters and articles on his political views and other topics.
Other Important Events Of Gandhi’s Life:
During his leadership in India, he participated in and led many movements that directly or indirectly contributed to the freedom of India.
Here are a few events that led to him becoming a leader of the people.
In 1894, Gandhi joined the Indian National Congress
Gandhi returned to India to start his practice after completing his law degree in London. He became involved in public service after returning home. He soon became one of the most prominent leaders in India’s struggle for independence from British rule. He also joined the Indian National Congress at the request of Gopal Krishnan Gokhale.
In 1909, He wrote the book Hind Swaraj
While writing the Hind Swaraj, Gandhi believed that Indians living in South Africa could not lead dignified lives as long as India remained a British colony.
He was convinced that Indians living outside their homeland would be unable to lead a dignified life as long as India remained a British colony.
He was so hurt by the treatment he received at the hands of whites in South Africa that he decided to launch an activist movement. It would organize the people to protest injustice without using violence in thought, word, or action.
In 1917, His philosophy of Satyagraha inspired many freedom fighters
He started the Satyagraha Movement (nonviolent protest) against British rule in India, one of the major factors that led to India’s independence from Britain on August 15, 1947.
When Gandhi returned to India from South Africa, he saw peasants in northern India oppressed by indigo planters. So, he tried to use the same methods in South Africa to organize mass uprisings by people to protest against injustice.
In 1917 & 1918, Gandhi backed the farmers’ cause
Gandhi was one of the first to support the farmers’ cause. He believed that if India were to be free from British rule, it would need to be self-sufficient. That meant protecting farmers and their land because there would be no food or clothing without them.
Gandhi’s first major protest in India was in support of the indigo farmers in Champaran, Bihar, in 1917 and to ensure fair treatment for farmers in Kheda, Gujarat, in 1918.
Gandhi used his method of nonviolent resistance, which he had developed over his years in South Africa and sharpened during his stay in India.
In 1930, Gandhi Played a major role in the Civil Disobedience Movement
Gandhiji launched the Civil Disobedience Movement after the British Government refused to concede meaningful political concessions to Indians. On March 2, 1930, he wrote a letter to Lord Irwin, Viceroy of India, explaining why he was starting the movement and how it would be conducted.
He also communicated his determination to manufacture salt at Dandi, a village on the coast of Gujarat state, in case his demands still needed to be met. As a result, he started the civil disobedience movement in the same year.
In 1930, Gandhi launched an all-out attack on the British Salt Law
The British rulers created the salt tax to monopolize their salt production against all other producers, including those in India.
Gandhi proclaimed that Indians must produce salt and should not pay for it in Britain.
On April 5, 1930, Mahatma Gandhi broke the salt law and marched from his ashram in Ahmedabad to the coastal town of Dandi. He picked up a lump of salt, making him an outlaw in British eyes. This act kick-started a civil disobedience movement that would spread across India.
Is Gandhis’ teaching still relevant in India?
Gandhi’s nonviolent and passive resistance principles, which he used to win India’s independence from British rule in 1947, continue to resonate with people around the globe.
We can all learn something from Gandhi and the example he set.
Even if you don’t have a cause that needs to be fought for at this moment (though there’s certainly never a bad time for activism), there’s little reason why you can’t apply some of his principles to your life and business.
Gandhi’s example may be an option for some, but there are still many ways to practice ahimsa. Rather than being passive about what you see happening around you, consider taking a stand for what you believe in or against something that’s not right. You might not be able to stop an injustice entirely, but by speaking out about it, you’re making it clear that you won’t ignore it.
Speaking in clear words, no matter how much he is criticized today. A man who helped shape an entire generation cannot be called great. His views and ideology were completely different from what we were used to hearing from our leaders then, and he soon became famous because of it. He was not just a politician, and he was not just a freedom fighter. He was someone who truly cared about the people and about their welfare.
Do you consider him ‘The father of the nation?’
Tell us about your opinions in the comments.
By: Kajal Agarwal