Bounded by Indian Ocean (south); Arabian Sea (southwest) and the Bay of Bengal (southeast), Pakistan, Nepal, China, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh.
Capital: New Delhi (largest city: Mumbai)
Languages: Hindi, English
Religion: Hinduism (79%), Islam (1/4), Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism…
Government: Federal Parliamentary constitutional republic
Independence: 1947 from United Kingdom, Republic in 1950
Total area : 3 287 263 km²
Population: around 1 310 069 000
On March 12, Gandhi set out from Sabarmati with 78 followers on a 241-mile march to the coastal town of Dandi on the Arabian Sea.
Britain’s Salt Acts prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt, a predominant in the Indian regime. Citizens were forced to buy the vital mineral from the British, who, in addition to applying a cartel over the manufacture and sale of salt. Defying the Salt Acts, Gandhi figure out, would be an expertly simple way for many Indians to break a British law non-violently. He announced defiance to British salt policies to be the unifying argument for his new campaign of Satyagraha, or mass civil disobedience.
Gandhi and his supporters were to defy British policy by making salt from brine. During the way, he transmitted it to large crowds, and with each passing day an increasing number of people joined the salt satyagraha. By the time they attain Dandi on April 5. Gandhi was at the head of a crowd of tens of thousands.
Civil disobedience arise all across India, soon affected millions of Indians, and British authorities arrested more than 60,000 people. Gandhi himself was arrested on May 5, but the satyagraha continued without him.
In January 1931, Gandhi was liberated from prison. He later met Lord Irwin, the viceroy of India, and admit to abandon the satyagraha in exchange for a role at a London conference on India’s future.
The meeting was a disappointment, but British leaders had confirmed him as a force they could not abolish or ignore.
Gandhi had won his political obligation through organising the Indian community against the vicious system of discrimination in South Africa. During his battle, he adopted an austere traditional Indian style of living, which won him large popularity. When he arrived in India he began to revitalise the freedom movement that had create on the streets. His aim was to bring all classes and religious sects together, especially Hindus and Muslims.
During the World War 1, Gandhi played an active part in organising campaigns and encouraged his policy of "Satyagraha". Satyagraha was a method of non-violent resistance, often called "non-cooperation" that he and his partners used to great effect against the governments in South Africa.
Gandhi and Women Empowerment
In his political movement “Satyagraha”, Gandhi also fight for women liberty. One of the noteworthy consequences of his life-work has been the awaking of women, which made them discard their ingrained sense of inferiority and rise to dignity and self-esteem. For Gandhi, "When woman, whom we all call abala becomes sabala, all those who are helpless will become powerful". The interest of the weaker sections of society was close to his heart. He had no hesitation about the priority of social over political ends.
"Women must have votes and an equal status. But the problem does not end there. It only commences at the point where women begin to affect the political deliberations of the nation."
Gandhi revolutionised not only Indian politics, but also the whole perception of life for women.
C – How did he fight ?
Gandhi used nonviolent civil disobedience during a campaign in 1930 and 1931 to pave the way for Indian independence. His efforts started with the Salt March, which undermined British authority and gave Indians a sense of national solidarity.
The British not only forced Indians who wanted salt to purchase it from them, but they also leveraged a colossal tax on the commodity. Gandhi believed the march would address the direct issue along with helping to unify Indians.
Gandhi continued to lead nonviolent protests, eventually gaining the attention of the British government. British leaders believed that Gandhi was too prolific to ignore. They gave India its independence in 1947. A Hindu extremist assassinated Gandhi not quite six months later.
III – His impact
A – What and who did he inspire?
People and movement he had inspired
Today, Indians, anti-war protestors and authors, for the many interesting quotes he provided, celebrate Gandhi as a preeminent figure. Not 20 years after his death, Gandhi also had a direct impact on the history of the United States. Gandhi inspires civil rights.
Martin Luther King Jr. is said to be have been heavily influenced by Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence, believing it to be the only logical approach to the problem of race relations in America.
During his India visit, Martin Luther King was very moved to learn how Gandhi dealt with those who were labeled as “untouchables” and denied entrance into temples.
“Gandhi was probably the first person in history to lift the love ethic of Jesus above mere interaction between individuals to a powerful and effective social force on a large scale” King remarked.
Gandhi had a great effect on Cesar Chavez. Chavez the Latino civil rights leader traced his political awakening to a newsreel he saw at the age of 11 or 12 showing that “this half-naked man without a gun had conquered the might of the British Empire.” Chavez modelled many of his tactics on Gandhi, from boycotts to hunger strikes.
“Not only did he talk about nonviolence, he showed how nonviolence works for justice and liberation,” Chavez said.
Gandhi’s vision helped inspired movements that toppled dictators from Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines in 1986 and Augusto Pinochet in Chile in 1989 to the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and Slobodan Milosevic in Yugoslavia in 2000.
Gandhi also made a big impact on the Muslim world.
During Gandhi’s lifetime, a good friend of his, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, founded a movement for nonviolence and social reform among the Pashtuns on the border of current-day Pakistan and Afghanistan that had at its height more than 100,000 adherents. In the 1990s, Ibrahim Rugova led a movement for independence in Kosovo that drew inspiration from Gandhi. And several activists in Palestine have adopted Gandhi’s message to offer nonviolent ways of resisting Israeli occupation.
Outside the United States, Gandhi has had a similar effect. Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, imprisoned Burmese Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Guatemalan Nobel Peace Prize-winner Rigoberta Menchu — all these giants of our time have acknowledged Gandhi as a guiding light.