Mahatma Gandhi Biography
No one ever shook the foundations of the British empire quite like the great freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi did and to this day whenever his name is mentioned it is synonymous with truth, justice and non violent activism.
The rise of Gandhi the activist can be traced to the Bambatha rebellion in Natal, South Africa, in 1906 he was working as a stretcher bearer during an uprising and he was appalled at the brutality of the heavy armed British towards the totally out gunned native Zulu's. This was a pivotal moment in his life as the blood and suffering of the Zulu's turned him away from the colonials he had up to this point admired, to being a staunch advocate of non violence and a lifelong supporter of the colonized especially in his native India.
It was in South Africa that he led his first campaign of civil disobedience which was in essence the birth of passive resistance. He stayed in South Africa for 21 years and returned to the Indian sub continent full of hope, ideas and a plan to free his homeland from their despised colonial masters.
It was never plain sailing for Gandhi as the British jailed him 4 times for various civil disobedient campaigns such as the Salt March in 1930 that resulted in a further 60,000 Indians joining him in prison. The British never got to grips with how to deal with Gandhi and his campaigns of non cooperation combined with no violence were alien concepts to the colonial divide and rule specialists. He led boycotts on everything British from their products to their schools and their institutions of power.
The touch of Gandhi was unprecedented as he inspired millions of Indians to revolt against the might of the British empire, he talked the language of truth in the dialect of the poor who recognised him as if he was of their own flesh and blood as he stood before them dressed as one of them speaking words of wisdom that transcended all faiths.
After his assassination George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying about Mahatma Gandhi that:
"It shows how dangerous it is to be too good", indeed, there had already been 4 assassination attempts on his life with the penultimate one being just ten days before his death. Albert Einstein was quoted as saying about Mahatma Gandhi that:
"Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth".
There was one quote I especially loved by Gandhi, it was when he gave his metal rimmed circular spectacles to a British army officer he left him with the words:
"These gave me the vision to free India". He was without doubt one of the most influential people of the 20th century and as you can imagine he was good for a one liner also, so here is my compilation of 20 of the best Mahatma Gandhi quotes
Quotes About Mahatma Gandhi
Martin Luther King Jr. paid powerful respect by saying:
"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"
Albert Einstein, who knew a thing or two, made this fine tribute to the great man:
"Taken on the whole, I would believe that Gandhi's views were the most enlightened of all the political men of our time"
Nelson Mandela was inspired to say:
"The Gandhian influence dominated freedom struggles on the African continent right up to the 1960s because of the power it generated and the unity it forged among the apparently powerless"
Joseph Stalin gave this warning in 1930:
"The leaders of the bourgeoisie hope to create a blood bath in these countries, rely on the police bayonets, and appeal to the help of people like Gandhi"
Winston Churchill, who had many documented run ins with Gandhi, was impressed by his Harijan campaign and admitted that:
"Mr. Gandhi has gone up very high in my esteem since he stood up for the untouchables"
President Truman was impressed to say:
"Another giant among men has fallen in the cause of brotherhood and peace"
The Indian philosopher Rabindranath Tagore paid a fine tribute:
"Mahatma Gandhi came and stood at the door of India's destitute millions, clad as one of themselves, speaking to them in their own language...who else has so unreservedly accepted the vast masses of the Indian people as his flesh and blood...Truth awakened Truth"
Ho Chi Minh knew where he found one source of great inspiration:
"I and others may be revolutionaries but we are disciples of Mahatma Gandhi, directly or indirectly, nothing more nothing less"
The Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie found him influential:
"The name Mahatma Gandhi has become synonymous with right and justice; towards this end it has become an inspiration to millions of oppressed people and has kindled the light of liberty"
The Soviet ambassador to India Kirill Novikov sent this diplomatic message upon the demise of the the Indian leader in waiting:
"Comrade Molotov asked me whether Comrade Stalin acted correctly by not sending condolences on the death of Gandhi? I answered that given the consensus this would be damaging, since Truman, Churchill and other heads of state sent their condolences, but Comrade Stalin did not. Given the consensus this would be damaging"