Gandhi returned to india in January, 1915. Gandhi decided to tour the country for next one year, to get better understanding of the ground reality. This clearly shows the practical and analytical nature of Gandhi.
During 1917 and 1918, Gandhi was involved in three struggles- in champaran, Ahmedabad and Kheda before the launch of Kheda satyagraha. Gandhi saw non violence as a strategist struggle. There were far more benefits of a fervent nonviolent struggle when someone places his mind in the indian circumstances.
Firstly, Gandhi also used religion as a way of supporting his non violent struggle.
Secondly, even women and children could participate in larger numbers in a non violent struggle.
Thirdly, in a violent struggle, the losses suffered by the masses could be much greater in comparison to a nonviolent passive resistance.
Gandhi could not have emerged as a leader with such a large following if he wouldn’t had tasted the fruits of success in south Africa. When Gandhi returned to india, the congress was divided into two parts: the moderates and extremists. Even though the moderates had a upper hold inside the party, the extremist view had a larger support. It was gandhi’s farsightedness and efforts that he could pragmatically deal with both the factions at the same time.
Gandhi did not even took any official position during his initial years in india, which clearly shows his selfless dedication towards the movement.
Gandhi was much more of a pragmatic leader than an ecumenical egalitarian which his experiences and causes he undertook under his struggle in south Africa clearly shows. But after his arrival in india, a mix of both the traits could be clearly seen. Even when some of his contemporaries try to blame him for making the indian freedom struggle longer, and even his compromising personality as the real reason for the partition of india into two halves, we cannot deny his achievement as a leader who has united not only different religious and regional identities but made the nationalist movement a movement about the masses. In the initial two phases of congress, only the educated elite and middle class could be involved in the movement. But with Gandhi, every person regardless of their respective class was involved in the nationalist movement. Even when these people were involved due to their own reasons, the movement converted itself from a movement of moderates to a revolution of masses.
His novel method did not only help to train the masses for a large scale movement, but the respect he gained among the youth was also exceptional for a leader who promoted ancient indian value system.
In the end, my own personal opinion is that the gandhian struggle wasn’t just a mass struggle, but it was also a struggle for Gandhi himself, where he discovered his own truth. The transition from a lawyer to an advocate for civil rights to a leader of masses and finally to a mahatma clearly shows the journey of Gandhi on the path of truth.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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