Bishwa Nath Singh
Let us remember very fondly to one who had revolutionized war and its practices! Though the very thoughts of loving one's enemy and non-violence did exist before, he was the first to use them in large scale. By using non-violence, he was able to not only save many lives but also make the Indian Independence Struggle a mass based struggle was non else than Mahatma Gandhi. Let us pay our humble obeisances to his lotus feet!
(Photo of Mahatma Gandhi)
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Bishwa Nath Singh:
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India during the Indian independence movement who was born in Porbander in Gujrat State of western India on October 2,1869.. In the year1888, he went to Lond...on to study law. He returned to Bombay to work as a barrister but went to South Africa to work in 1907. In South Africa, he took part in passive protests against the Transvaal government's treatment of Indian settlers who were in the minority in the region. In 1915, he returned to India and, after joining the Congress movement, he emerged as one of the party's leaders.He encouraged Indians to boycott British goods and buy Indian goods instead. This helped to revitalize local economies in India and it also hit home at the British by undermining their economy in the country. Gandhi preached passive resistance, believing that acts of violence against the British only provoked a negative reaction whereas passive resistance provoked the British into doing something which invariably pushed more people into supporting the Indian National Congress movement.He was imprisoned in 1922, 1930, 1933 and in 1942. While in prison, he went on hunger strike. His fame was such that his death in prison would make international headlines and greatly embarrass the British at a time when Britain was condemning dictators in Europe.In 1931, he came to Britain for the Round Table conferences. Nothing was achieved except for the publicity that Gandhi received for dressing in the clothes of an Indian villager; Gandhi saw this type of dress as perfectly normal for a man who represented the Indian people. The British representatives at the conference were more soberly dressed in formal morning dress. When in India, Gandhi took on the British where possible. He famous walk to the sea to produce salt was typical of his actions. Britain had a monopoly on salt production in India and Gandhi saw this as wrong. Hence his decision to produce salt by the sea.He had realised that the religious issues of India were too deep for any remedy to work. Hence he collaborated with Mountbatten and Wavell in the build up to independence in 1947. He was the pioneer of satyagraha-resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, a philosophy firmly founded upon ahimsa or total nonviolence-which led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the worldIn the last years of his life, he walked from village to village in riot-torn Noakhali, where Hindus were being killed in retaliation for the killing of Muslims in Bihar, and nursed the wounded and consoled the widowed; and in Calcutta he came to constitute, in the famous words of the last viceroy, Mountbatten, a "one-man boundary force" between Hindus and Muslims. When the moment of freedom came, on August 15, 1947, Gandhi was nowhere to be seen in the capital, though Nehru and the entire Constituent Assembly were to salute him as the architect of Indian independence, as the 'father of the nation'. The last few months of Gandhi's life were spent mainly in Delhi. There he divided his time between the 'Bhangi colony', where the sweepers and the lowest of the low stayed, and Birla House, the residence of one of the wealthiest men in India and one of the benefactors of Gandhi's ashrams. Hindu and Sikh refugees had streamed into the capital from what had become Pakistan, and there was much resentment, which easily translated into violence, against Muslims. It was partly in an attempt to put an end to the killings in Delhi that Gandhi was to commence the last fast unto death of his life. The fast was terminated when representatives of all the communities signed a statement that they were prepared to live in "perfect amity". A few days later, in the early evening hours of 30 January 1948, Gandhi met with India's Deputy Prime Minister and his close associate in the freedom struggle, Vallabhai Patel, and then proceeded to his prayers. At 10 minutes past 5 o'clock, Gandhi started walking towards the garden where the prayer meeting was held. It was there that he was assassinated by a a Hindu fundamentalist He had revolutionized war and its practices. Though the thoughts such as loving one's enemy and non-violence did exist before, he was the first to use them in large scale. By using non-violence, he was able to not only save many lives but also make the Indian Independence Struggle a mass based struggle. Let us join to pay our respectful homage to him who is fondly called Bapu and Father of Our Nation by all of us and pay our humble obeisance’s to his lotus feet!
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