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Free Essay on Gandhi

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, “the old man with a stick, ready to do battle against the British Empire” was born on October 2, 1869 to a wealthy family in the British ruled India. He was married at the age of 13 to Kasturbai, but left her soon to pursue his Law studies at Cambridge, London. After completing his barrister degree, he accepted a small position in 1910 to South Africa. Here he lived in western life-style unaware of his own potential and even supported the British Empire, until he saw the ill treatment and poverty of Indians and women. He soon after returned to India in 1914 to lead the fight for “home rule” and exponentially gained popularity.

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Though his views have been documented on many subjects none are more significant than those on Non-violence and the Role of Women in society. His struggle to uproot age old customs like dowry and Sati greatly improved the condition of women throughout the Asian sub-continent. While his teachings of resistance through non-violence lead to the fall down of Imperialism world wide, starting with India in 1947. The impact Gandhi has had in raising the status of Women and in ‘winning’ freedom for India is undeniable and will continue to be the source of his legacy.

“As long as we don’t consider girls as natural as our boys our nation will be in a dark eclipse” Gandhi said this at a public meeting on Sati in 1927. The practice of Sati was officially banned in India by the act of 1829, although little was done to enforce the act. When Gandhi first heard that this practice was still being carried out he asked his wife Kasturbai, to address mass assembly for women education. He took steps towards making groups of activist who would report any incidents of Sati to the British Government. Gandhi also did much to stop the practice of dowry. He called for young men to marry the widows, in a 1935 open letter, who were in plentiful supply and to leave the child brides alone. He continuously kept addressing the issue and made many ashrams, where widows could live in peace and protection. More importantly he helped, Dayananda Saraswati, who is qualified mainly for the large scale social reform against these old customs, by giving her access to the press that was available to him. These and several other acts for fairness and the belief that women are indifferent from men except physically, raised the status of women throughout India and the world. Gandhi’s teaching of resistance were revolutionary, he ignored violence in all form and believed non-violence.

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