Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (portrait photography around the late 1930s)
Signature of Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi ( Gujarati : મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી , Hindi मोहनदास करमचंद गांधी Mahatma Gandhi , known as Mahatma Gandhi ; * 2. October 1869 in Porbandar , Gujarat , † 30 January 1948 in New Delhi , Delhi ) was an Indian lawyer, journalist , Moral teacher, ascetic and pacifist who became the spiritual and political leader of the Indian independence movement .

Already at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, Gandhi campaigned for equality for Indians in South Africa and developed methods of non-violent political struggle. After his return to India in 1915, he supported the resistance of the Congress Party against the British Raj and rose to become a decisive champion for a free India in the 1920s. He was one of the first to use the hunger strike as a political weapon. Gandhi turned against colonial exploitation and called for human rights for Dalit , the so-called untouchables, without, however, questioning the Indian caste system as a whole. He wished for India to be a secular state in which Hindus and Muslims could live together peacefully, and he favored an economic system based on self-sufficiency and a rural way of life. The independence movement, which took up Gandhi's ideas of nonviolent action and civil disobedience , reached the end of British colonial rule over India in August 1947. Half a year later, Gandhi, who had always rejected the independence-related partition of India , was assassinated by a Hindu nationalist .

Gandhi spent a total of eight years in prisons in South Africa and India. His basic attitude Satyagraha , the persistent clinging to the truth , he has set out in numerous writings and has continued to develop it. In addition to Ahimsa , non-violence, it also includes other ethical requirements such as Swaraj , which means both individual and political self-control and self-determination.

Known worldwide during his lifetime, Gandhi is still a role model for many today. He was nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize, which was not awarded in the year of his death for symbolic reasons. Like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King , he is considered an outstanding representative in the struggle for freedom against colonialism , oppression and social injustice .

Honorary names


The Sanskrit name of honor Mahatma ( महात्मा mahātmā , "great soul") probably comes from the Indian philosopher and Nobel Prize winner for literature Rabindranath Tagore , who so welcomed Gandhi on his arrival in Bombay on January 9, 1915 after his stay in South Africa. For a long time Gandhi had a hard time with this epithet, which was used against his will, because he strictly renounced any kind of cult around his person. In his autobiography, subtitled The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1927–1929), he writes that the title Mahatma not only has no value for him, but has often tormented him deeply. He later accepted the honorary name and wanted to do it justice. According to Conrad (2006) he allowed himself to be called Mahatma "despite some sympathetic reluctance". The name Mahatma Gandhi is much more common today than the birth name.

Bapu - father (of the nation)

Another honorific name that was common in India, but which he liked to wear and which his wife and friends used to address him, was Bapu (Gujarati: બાપુ bāpu , "father"). Subhash Chandra Bose first used it in a radio address (1944). Later the title was Father of the Nation ( father of the nation) completed and officially recognized by the Indian government.

Live and act

His father Karamchand
His mother Putali Bai
The seven-year-old boy Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1876

Childhood and youth

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, the youngest of four sons in the fourth marriage of his father Karamchand Gandhi (1822-1885) to Putali Bai (1839-1891). His father's other wives had died early. He grew up in Porbandar , a small port town in what is now West Gujarat . His father Karamchand and his grandfather Uttamchand were both divans (prime ministers) of Porbandar, which, although officially autonomous, was under the control of the British colonial power. The father's five brothers and their families also lived in the family home.

The family belonged to the Bania caste , which belongs to the class of Vaishya , the merchants. The Gandhis were thus in the third caste, whose members form the social and political upper class. However, the family members had not worked as merchants for several generations; Even the great-grandfather served the princes as an adviser in political matters and in administration.

The Gandhis practiced Vishnuism , a more monotheistic form of Hinduism that emphasizes prayer and piety. Members of other Hindu currents as well as Muslims , Parsees and followers of Jainism also frequented her house . This in the 6th / 5th Religion, which originated in the 13th century BC, was widespread in Gujarat, emphasizing strict non-violence in everyday life (the ahimsa ) and the connection between spirit and matter. These principles shaped Gandhi's philosophy. Throughout his life he assumed that the behavior of the individual had metaphysical consequences. On the one hand, the origins of his religious tolerance lie in his parents' house, on the other hand, his deeply religious mother Putali Bai exercised a great influence on her son.

In 1876 the family moved to the city of Rajkot , the political center of Gujarat. Mohandas Gandhi was seven years old at the time and started school in Taluka primary school , which he attended until he was twelve. He found teaching in English difficult because even his parents hardly knew the language. His father Karamchand was a judge at the Princely Court and also worked as a mediator. Here Mohandas learned to resolve disputes.

An elderly Muslim friend is said to have persuaded Gandhi in his youth to try goat meat, although the consumption of meat was considered a sin among Vishnuits because they reject all violence against living beings. He also broke the ban on cigarette and wine consumption and stole money from his parents. According to his own statement, he had gone to a brothel and was ashamed afterwards. His guilty conscience made him consider suicide; In the end he decided to admit his wrongdoing to his father in writing. Gandhi achieved a high level of self-discipline by dealing with his own mistakes in his youth in his later life and recognized this as a source of self-knowledge. His life story is often portrayed in a hagiographically exaggerated way.

In 1885, Gandhi's father died of an accident, and Mohandas' eldest brother, Lakshmidas, became head of the family. Gandhi attended high school (Rajkot High School) with great success and was admitted to universities in 1887.

Gandhi and his wife Kasturba, 1902

Marriage to Kasturba Makthaji

At the age of seven, Gandhi was engaged to Kasturba Makthaji (also: Kasturbai or simply: Ba) , who also came from the Bania caste and whose family enjoyed a high reputation. In 1882 he was married to her by his family at the age of 13; at the same time, his brother Karsandas and a cousin were married for financial reasons.

Gandhi later criticized child marriage, both in his works and in public, which was common in India at the time and which still exists today. In his autobiography Mein Leben he writes: "I don't see anything with which one could morally advocate such an absurdly early marriage as mine."

As a wife, Kasturba was last in the family hierarchy, but she was treated well by Gandhi's family. At the age of sixteen they had their first child, who died after a few days. Other children were Harilal (1888–1948), Manilal (1892–1956), Ramdas (1897–1969) and Devdas (1900–1957).

Ba Makthaji accompanied her husband on political actions and lived with him in South Africa, where she was imprisoned during the protests against working conditions for South Africans of Indian origin. After returning to India, she spoke on behalf of her husband at political events. She also gave literacy courses and taught the basics of hygiene.

From 1908 Gandhi cared for his wife during her illness and was with her when she died in 1944. Notwithstanding this, he had already taken a vow of sexual abstinence in 1906.

Studied in London

His mother spoke out against studying in London because it was a sin for a Hindu to cross the great ocean (the black water) . She also feared that her son might succumb to the western immoral way of life with meat and alcohol consumption or prostitution. Therefore, from November 1887, Gandhi attended the Indian Samaldas College in Bhavnagar for a semester without success . At the request of his late father, he was to become a lawyer. The family discussed this with a friend of the father's and in May 1888 they decided that he should start studying law . He himself favored medicine, which his brother refused, as the members of the Bania caste were not allowed to "cut up" meat and thus work as doctors for religious reasons.

Gandhi as a student in London (late 1880s)

The head of the family, his eldest brother, loaned him the money to travel and study. Gandhi made a vow to continue practicing Hinduism while in England and promised his mother that he would resist the temptations of the West. Because no member of the Bania caste had been abroad until then, a caste assembly was called on August 10, 1888 to discuss the case. Despite the reference to his vow, the congregation decided to remove his caste membership in the event of a trip abroad. However, Gandhi stuck to his decision and has since been considered an outcast , which meant that he was largely excluded from society.

The sea voyage to London lasted from September 4 to October 28, 1888, accompanied by Pranjivan Mehta, an acquaintance of his brother, who was available to him as a contact person during his stay in England. Gandhi found that his knowledge of English was still insufficient. Shortly after his arrival - Indian officials had found him a place to stay in London - he enrolled at Inner Temple Law University .

Gandhi in the Vegetarian Society in 1890 (bottom row, third from left)

A little later he joined the Vegetarian Society and after a while became its secretary. The members of this organization took the view that no one had the right to take advantage of nature excessively. The basis for this is a vegetarian diet. Belonging to this society prompted Gandhi to refrain from eating meat out of conviction; before that only religion and tradition prevented him. There he came into contact with the Theosophical Society .

Gandhi dealt a lot with religious literature in London. In India he had developed reservations about Christianity , also because of the appearance of Christian missionaries. Now he dealt with the content of this religion. The Old Testament initially repelled him; However, he felt addressed by the Sermon on the Mount . He explained, "I will tell the Hindus that their life is incomplete if they do not respectfully study the teachings of Jesus." But he had difficulty recognizing Jesus Christ as the only Son of God. According to Gandhi , who was influenced by Hinduism in his autobiography, he could not believe “that Jesus is the only incarnate Son of God and that only those who believe in him should have eternal life. If God could have sons, then we were all His sons. If Jesus was godlike or God himself, then we were all godlike and could become God ourselves. "

It was also during this time that he read the verses of the Hindu holy scripture Bhagavad Gītā (“the song of God”) for the first time , which was to become the most important book for him throughout his life and which he later read every day. He translated the text into his native Gujarati , wrote explanations and dedicated it to the poor. In addition, he dealt with Buddha and Mohammed , the founder of Islam's religions . He believed that true faith unites people from different faiths.

In addition, Gandhi tried to integrate himself into society by taking dance and French lessons and adapting to English fashion. The country, still quite unknown to him, impressed Gandhi. He was particularly fascinated by the freedom of the press and the culture of strikes . He dealt with political and social currents such as socialism , anarchism , atheism and pacifism .

In 1889 Gandhi traveled to France to visit the World's Fair in Paris and to climb the Eiffel Tower . In December 1890 he successfully passed the legal exam and on June 10, 1891, after passing the final exam, he was admitted as a barrister at English higher courts. He was now allowed to practice his profession as a lawyer wherever British law was applicable. On June 12th he started his journey home.

Work as a lawyer in India

It was only when Gandhi returned to his homeland in 1891 that news was brought to him that his mother had died a year earlier. In England his family had not wanted to tell him this tragic news. He had now lost both parents and had to take on more responsibility for the entire family.

From 1891 to 1893 he worked as a lawyer in Bombay and six months later in his hometown of Rajkot. Although he was now well educated and had both a license to practice law and his own office, he had little success professionally and could hardly support his family, who had borrowed for his studies. The job wasn't his. He did not have the necessary legal experience in India. Furthermore, his shyness caused him great problems. He spent half a year in Bombay and most of the time he sat in on court hearings with his more experienced colleagues. Because in order to win clients it was necessary to bribe other lawyers to get them to submit cases. However, Gandhi rejected this corruption. When he finally managed to take a case on in 1892, he lost his nerve, unable to speak, and left the courtroom to the laughter of those present. He then put the case down and moved to his hometown of Rajkot.

In London Gandhi had become familiar with the western lifestyle , which he partially adopted. For example, his wife learned to read and write like British women, and his children were to be raised in a European way. Lakshmidas advocated this, while his wife initially had reservations. At the same time he tried to reconcile himself with his caste and tried to resume. He made a pilgrimage to the banks of the Godavari River to purify himself from the journey across the black water and paid the required penance. However, he was only partially successful with his atonement; many, including his wife's relatives, found his attempts at reparations unacceptable.

Gandhi named three role models for his life: the Indian philosopher Shrimad Rajchandra , the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy and the English philanthropist John Ruskin .

Gandhi in South Africa

Reason for the trip and first impressions

In April 1893, his family sent him to the Indian businessman and friend of the Gandhi Dada Abdullah in Pretoria to resolve a lawsuit. Gandhi was suitable for this job because British lawyers tended to be very sloppy when representing dark-skinned clients. Therefore it made sense to bring in a legally trained compatriot. Gandhi was convinced that Dada Abdullah was right and in 1894 agreed an out-of-court settlement with Abdullah and his opponent, who owed him £ 40,000. At the meeting, they agreed to pay the sum in installments in order to save Abdullah's debtors from total bankruptcy. Gandhi had successfully completed his first case in South Africa within a year and received great recognition from the Indian merchants who traded in South Africa.

At the end of May 1893, Gandhi arrived by ship on the coast of South Africa in the port city of Durban . In his autobiography, he tells of an experience during his train journey from Durban to Pretoria, by which he was greatly influenced. As usual, he wanted to drive first class, but as a “colored man” was asked by a conductor to change to the baggage car. When he refused, the conductor in Pietermaritzburg threw him off the train. To get to Johannesburg , he took a stagecoach because there was no train connection. He was referred to the driver's seat and asked by the conductor to sit on the floor. When Gandhi resisted the invitation, the conductor beat him and tried to push him off the driver's seat. When he arrived in Johannesburg, he bought a first class ticket for the train journey to Pretoria despite his bad experience. This time he escaped further humiliation because the white fellow travelers tolerated him. Over time, Gandhi understood that although he was officially a citizen with equal rights, in fact, despite his belonging to the upper class of society, his background meant that he was only seen as a second-class person. He writes:

“The harassment that I personally had to endure here was only superficial. It was only a symptom of the underlying disease of racial prejudice. I had to try, if possible, to eradicate this disease and take on the suffering that would result from it. "

However, Gandhi related the problem of racial discrimination solely to the Indian population of South Africa. For the black population, he adopted the derogatory expression kaffir, which was used by the colonialists, and was indignant that Indians were being “degraded to the level of the hulking kaffirs” by the Europeans. He noted that there were "great differences ... between British Indians and the Kaffir races of South Africa" ​​and repeatedly spoke out vehemently against the mixing of Indians with the local population. While opposed to segregation of Indians versus Europeans, he believed that separation of Indians and kaffirs was a "physical necessity".

First resistance actions

Motivated by the discrimination he had suffered through racial segregation , he began to campaign for the rights of the Indian minority of around 60,000 people in South Africa at that time . The anger over the incidents helped him overcome his shyness. A week after his arrival, he called a gathering of the Indians living there in Pretoria and proposed the establishment of an Indian interest group. His listeners enthusiastically agreed.

Gandhi (back row, fourth from left) with the founders of the Natal Indian Congress (photograph from 1895)

The colonial government intended to deprive the Indians of the right to vote (Franchise Bill) because they wanted to reduce their influence on politics. When Gandhi found out about the project shortly before his departure, he decided to stay in South Africa to organize the resistance to this law. Supported by 500 other Indians, he submitted a petition to parliament. However, they did not succeed in preventing the law from being passed.

Gandhi founded the Natal Indian Congress ( NIC for short ) in Natal in August 1894 based on the model of the Indian National Congress founded in 1885 . The regular meetings of the Congress also improved relations between the Indians of the various castes and religions.

Gandhi's four sons with his wife Kasturba in South Africa 1902

On September 3, 1894, Gandhi was admitted as the first Indian lawyer by the Natal Supreme Court . In addition to the merchants, Gandhi also represented the coolies as a lawyer . This population group consisted of Indian contract workers who were brought to South Africa for five years each. With Gandhi they had a lawyer who stood up for their interests. In this way, Gandhi gained popularity and popularity with the coolies, who formed a large part of the Indian population of South Africa at the time, but could not afford membership in the Indian National Congress.

Another discriminatory law was envisaged by the government to impose an annual poll tax of £ 25 for contract workers wishing to stay in Natal after their contract expired . Following a public campaign by the Natal Indian Congress, the tax was lowered to £ 3. Although three pounds were also a burden, a tax of 25 pounds per year would have meant expulsion of almost all coolies who wanted to stay in South Africa after their contract expired because they usually would not have been able to pay the high Raise the sum.

In June 1896 Gandhi went back to India for six months to catch up with Kasturba and his two children, Harilal and Manilal . He had made two papers in which he described the difficult situation of the Indians in South Africa. His writings, the so-called Green Pamphlet , were published in extracts from several daily newspapers; the Indians reacted with dismay. During his short stay, Gandhi met influential Indian politicians such as the reformer Gopal Krishna Gokhale and the revolutionary Bal Gangadhar Tilak .

In December 1896, Gandhi returned with his family to South Africa and was surrounded and suppressed by around 5,000 white opponents who were outraged by his writings. Under police protection, Gandhi was taken to a friend's house, and an angry crowd repeatedly gathered in front of his house. Although the lynch attempt in London became known and the Colonial Minister asked Joseph Chamberlain to punish the guilty, Gandhi, who knew the names of the perpetrators, declined to file a complaint. He thereby contributed to the relaxation of the situation, as his pursuers respected his attitude.

Gandhi was heavily involved in domestic affairs - unlike the traditional division of labor between men and women. For example, he arranged what was cooked and played a key role in the upbringing and care of his children. When his fourth son Devdas was born in 1900 , he even took on the role of obstetrician, as there was no midwife present at the time. Furthermore, out of respect and consideration for the untouchables, he did not allow them to dispose of his family's chamber pots and took on this task himself. He also forced Kasturba to do so, who became more and more desperate because of the unusual behavior of her husband.

Gandhi (top, center) in the Second Boer War (approx. 1899/1900)

Second Boer War

During the Second Boer War in 1899, Gandhi persuaded a number of 1,100 Indians to support the British in the war in order to prove their loyalty, to present the Indians as conscientious citizens and thereby gain more recognition for them. Because Hindus are not allowed to kill people for reasons of faith, the Indians only provided medical services. Despite the recognition of their services, there were no fundamental improvements in their situation. Shortly after the end of the Boer War in 1902, the next discriminatory law followed, which forced Indians to register before entering the Boer Republic .

Gandhi wanted Indians to be seen and accepted by society as equal British citizens; advocating independence was not yet on his agenda.

One year stay in India

In 1902 Gandhi decided to return to India to open a law practice in Bombay and to stand up for the rights of Indians against the colonial power.

He attended meetings of the Indian National Congress , where he got to know many important Indian politicians and met his political mentor Gopal Krishna Gokhale, who held more moderate views than Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Gokhale tried to influence the British politicians through petitions and in this way to transform India step by step and to extend the say of the Indians. However, Gandhi was disappointed with the Indian National Congress because, in his opinion, the Congress did not bring about any fundamental improvements in the everyday life of the Indian people.

During this time, Gandhi traveled to India in the third grade because he wanted to familiarize himself with the common people.

Return to South Africa, Phoenix settlement

At the request of his colleagues, Gandhi returned to South Africa in December 1902 to negotiate the rights of Indians with the British Colonial Minister, Joseph Chamberlain, who was visiting South Africa. He failed to convince Chamberlain of his views and the conversation ended with no results. Gandhi then followed him to Pretoria and asked for a second interview, which he was refused.

Gandhi settled in Johannesburg in February 1903 and worked there as a lawyer. Because he was held in high regard by the Indian population, he won many clients. Although he only allowed himself to be paid by clients who could afford it, his earnings were high and he was able to save money. In December 1903 his family followed.

At that time a lung plague broke out, which particularly affected the miners due to the poor living and working conditions. Gandhi looked after the sick and financed the treatment.

In 1904 he founded the Indian Opinion newspaper in Inanda , which was published in English as well as in some Indian languages and over time developed into the mouthpiece of the Indians. He invested a large part of the income from his work as a lawyer and the money of the Natal Indian Congress in printing, because the printing costs were very high due to the rapidly increasing circulation.

Inspired by the British writer John Ruskin, who combines ethics and economics in his work Unto this last , Gandhi founded the Phoenix Farm in Inanda at the end of 1904, supported by friends and relatives , where he and some of his colleagues made their lives as undemanding as possible designed. They tried to produce everything they needed to live on their own . The Indian Opinion , for which Gandhi wrote regularly and of which he was editor-in-chief, was also printed in the small settlement. The first edition appeared in December 1904.

Asceticism and ethical principles

Gandhi in 1906 in South Africa

But he soon returned to Johannesburg, where his legal skills were needed. In 1905 he brought up Kasturba and three of his sons, who had in the meantime stayed in India for some time, while the eldest son Harilal stayed in Rajkot. Kasturba suffered from the unaccustomed spartan life her husband continued in his home in Johannesburg. In 1906, after discussions with confidants about the pros and cons, he took a vow of chastity and only then informed his wife without offering her a divorce. He wanted to concentrate fully on his political activities. He hoped that this would transform sexual energy into spiritual energy, and since the cruelly massacred Zulu uprising, he has often accused himself of being unable to prevent acts of violence by others.

Gandhi practiced Brahmacharya (the "one true", combined with sexual abstinence), which relates less to the first of the four classic stages of life in Hinduism and more from yoga teaching and forms a moral principle within Yama , like Ahimsa , the non-violence. At the same time he began to experiment more and more with his food, which now had to be raw, unseasoned and as simple as possible. He called this Swaraj , which means self-discipline and self-control and was not only meant individually, but also politically as rule over oneself. His cross-caste religious orientation is also known as Neohinduism .

Another important basic concept in Gandhi's ethics was his creation of the word Satyagraha (“clinging to the truth”), an expression he coined in order not to speak of passive resistance . In doing so, he pursued an active strategy of non-cooperation, i. H. Violation of unjust laws and orders, strikes, including hunger strikes, boycotts and provocation of arrests. Satyagraha for him was closely related to non-violence:

"Truth excludes the use of force, since humans are not able to recognize the absolute truth and are therefore not entitled to punish."

The Satyagraha movement developed gradually from the Zulu uprisings, through the campaign against the registration laws, to the finally successful struggle for the independence of India.

Zulu uprising

Gandhi (middle row, fourth from left) and his medical unit during the Zulu uprising of 1906

In February 1906, Zulu officers killed two police officers after a new poll tax was enacted. From this armed conflicts developed between 1500 only with spears armed Zulu warriors and British colonial troops in connection with police units.

As during the Boer War, Gandhi asked his compatriots on March 17 to form a medical unit. He advanced with only 24 men and helped wounded on both sides. Gandhi was dismayed by the violence of the militarily superior British, who brutally suppressed the uprising in July 1906 and imprisoned or deported the survivors and sympathetic Zulu people.

Resistance to the registration law, start of the Satyagraha movement

In the Transvaal , an Asiatic Law Amendment Act was enacted in March 1907 for Indians only. When registering, the registration offices took fingerprints for identification and issued registration forms that Indians always had to carry with them. On January 1, 1907, the Transvaal had become politically independent and the law could be enacted with only the formal consent of the British government.

Gandhi organized a gathering at which about 3,000 Indians swore to ignore the registration requirement. He also traveled to London and held talks with British politicians. The result was satisfactory for Gandhi this time; the registration law was stopped.

Because most of the Indians who took an oath to break the law refused to register, Interior Minister Jan Christiaan Smuts extended the deadline. Failure to comply with the ultimatum threatened prison sentences and deportation. Despite the threats, few more Indians were registered. The Satyagraha movement began with the violation of the unjust law of registration.

At the end of December 1907, Gandhi and 24 of his satyagrahis were arrested. Many of his supporters protested in front of the courthouse and more Indians were arrested, with 155 Indians in prison by the end of January. During his two months in prison, Gandhi read an essay by the American Henry David Thoreau from 1849, in which the strategy of civil disobedience is discussed. In it Gandhi found his philosophy again.

Finally, he proposed the registration of Indians and, in return, the abolition of the Registration Act. Jan Christiaan Smuts agreed to the compromise and released Gandhi and his followers from prison. When Gandhi tried to comply with the law himself, some Indians who did not believe Smut's promise tried in vain to use force to prevent him from doing so. Although most of the Indians registered, the law was passed. Gandhi noted that his principles of honesty and sincerity were not being followed by the British. Gandhi refused to keep his political plans secret; rather, transparency was part of his program. He wanted to win supporters, but also challenge opponents to question themselves.

In August 1908, thousands of Indians, led by Gandhi, burned their registration cards at a gathering in Johannesburg. He and his supporters traveled in groups from Natal to the Transvaal border to provoke a mass arrest. He and 250 of his supporters were sentenced to two months' imprisonment and forced labor. In December 1908 Gandhi was released again and took care of Kasturba, who was seriously ill in the meantime. He then drove to the Transvaal repeatedly to be arrested again.

The government made attempts to regain control of the Indians by hindering trade and refusing residency permits. According to the traders, Gandhi's movement had become too radical; after all, they too were affected by the government's countermeasures. The result was that many business people stopped active and financial support. This resulted in financial bottlenecks for Gandhi, because he had already given up his work as a lawyer in favor of organizing the resistance.

During the campaign against the Registration Act, Gandhi had studied the Socrates trial , discovered Socrates as a kindred thinker, and translated his defense speech into the Indian Gujarati language . This writing was later affected by censorship in India.

The Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule manifesto

In 1909 Gandhi traveled to London and met radical Indian revolutionaries there. These conversations made him reconsider his philosophy. His book Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule (German: India's freedom or self-government) is partly influenced by a critique of civilization . Here, for example, he claims that doctors and lawyers are superfluous in India, although a year earlier he had declared Indian doctors and lawyers in South Africa to be indispensable, criticizes British society and government and declares that the undemanding life has priority over economic progress and growth . The British rule over India could be put to an end by refusing to cooperate because it was dependent on cooperation with the Indian subjects. Since the harmful effects of religious violence can already be seen through and can be remedied by getting closer, he judges the damage caused by civilization much more strictly. The self-government (Home Rule) demanded by others is connected with the takeover of the British political and social system and is thus in contrast to India's real self-determination (Swaraj) .

The font was first published in Gujarati in his Indian Opinion newspaper, in 1910 in English. The Gujaratic version was put on the colonial prohibited list because, unlike the English version, it was understandable for many Indians. Gandhi also sent the work to Leo Tolstoy, who had greatly influenced Gandhi from a young age through his writings, particularly The Kingdom of God Is Inside You and the Brief Explanation of the Gospels . Shortly before his death, Tolstoy read the manifesto and confirmed Gandhi in a letter.

The Tolstoy Farm

The Tolstoy Farm 1913

Gandhi settled in the Transvaal. There, however, he had neither accommodation nor income. The German architect Hermann Kallenbach , the son of Jewish parents, with whom he was friends, gave him a piece of land in May 1910. Together with other fellow campaigners, he wanted to continue the way of life practiced in the Phoenix settlement and to realize his ideals of economic self-sufficiency and non-possession. They called the settlement Tolstoy . In 1912 Gandhi undertook to renounce any private property. That same year, Gokhale came to the Tolstoy Farm and drove Gandhi around South Africa, giving convincing factual speeches that Gandhi learned a lot from, and obtaining concessions from the Smuts government on registration and poll tax, which, however, were again broken.

Resistance to the marriage law

The protest march to the Transvaal in 1913
Gandhi in 1913, as Satyagrahi

According to a new law passed in 1913, only Christian marriages were officially considered valid. The Indians were upset, after all they were living in cohabitation and the children were considered illegitimate. Gandhi encouraged his compatriots to resist the law nonviolently . Indian workers went on strike, and the women protested too. The British responded to these actions with violence and the women were arrested. Gandhi and his followers marched to the Transvaal border to trigger another mass arrest. During the action, Gandhi was arrested and released several times. When they finally arrived at the border, he and his Satyagrahis, including Hermann Kallenbach, were taken to the prison in Bloemfontein . Other followers of Gandhi were locked up in mines because the prisons were now full.

Under pressure from the world, Jan Christiaan Smuts was forced to set up a commission of inquiry, which, however, consisted only of white members. For this reason, Gandhi, who had since been released from prison, refused to cooperate with this commission.

At the same time, the railroad workers went on strike. Although this strike was not due to the resistance of the Indians, it did mean that the British were overwhelmed with the situation, although Gandhi had initially stopped his resistance actions. As a result, the Indian Relief Act was passed in early 1914 , which decidedly improved the situation of the Indian population: non-Christian marriages were recognized as valid again, both poll tax and registration were lifted, and Indian immigration was allowed.

The Satyagrahis had largely achieved their goals by 1914, and Gandhi began his final journey home to India in late 1914.

Struggle for India's independence

Harijan Ashram: Model for an independent India

Gandhi's room in the Harijan Ashram with spinning wheel

Back in India, he joined the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1915 and was introduced by its moderate leader Gopal Krishna Gokhale . At the same time, he built his Harijan Ashram , where he lived from 1918 to 1930 based on his interpretation of the Hindu principle of Ahimsa (non-violence). He formulated 11 voluntary commitments for life in the ashram: love of truth, non-violence, chastity, disinterest in material things, fearlessness, vegetarian nutrition, not stealing, physical work, equality of religions, commitment to the “untouchables” and exclusive use of domestic products (Swadeshi ) .

He combined these maxims of Satyagraha with the conviction (Sarvodaya) that every single person contributes to the well-being of all people through self-commitment and self-control, so that his moral ascent and the resulting actions serve the progress of all. He wanted to make the simple, rural, ethically and religiously based and self-sufficient life of the small Ashram community a model for a free India, also economically independent from Great Britain.

He operated an old spinning wheel himself, refused to use the English language more and more and had students instructed in his sense. Spinning became the symbol of Indian independence. Gandhi expected as many people as possible to take part. He used the spinning wheel himself in political meetings. To finance his spinning-wheel campaign, he took third-grade rail journeys across India and collected donations that were generously given to him. He used it to buy spinning wheels for the farmers, train teachers for spinning and weaving and give money for shops that sold textiles from the villages. The spinning wheel is still part of the Indian flag today .

Madeleine Slade , called by Gandhi Mirabehn, the daughter of the British commander of the East Indian naval station in Bombay, Sir Edmund Slade, joined the community and had a very close relationship with Gandhi for many years.

From 1928 onwards, there were disputes in the Ashram, because Gandhi wanted to make his life principles strictly the maxim of the entire community. For example, only unseasoned food should be eaten, private savings were not allowed. Gandhi laid off paid labor and demanded that the ashram community do the work itself. He left the Ashram in 1930, which is now a Gandhi Museum.

The “anarchist of a different kind”, companion

Gandhi gave his first speech in India as a guest speaker at the opening of Banaras Hindu University in February 1916. The founder of the university, Annie Besant , politicians and princes sat on the podium . Gandhi first expressed his regret that he did not give the speech in one of the Indian languages ​​but had to give it in English, explained the advantages of non-violence compared to violent actions and described himself in this context as an “ anarchist of a different kind”. Annie Besant protested, there was a commotion and the speech had to be cut short. The clashes between Gandhi and Besant were also carried out publicly in the press. Gandhi criticized the fact that Besant only addressed the middle and upper classes, but not the majority of the peasants. He was also of the opinion that the Indian struggle for independence should only be carried out by Indians.

Gandhi's relationship to anarchism was complex. He shared the anarchist view that the power of the state suppressed the individual, who for him was the "root of all progress". He also agreed with Henry David Thoreau that government is the best, that governs the least, and that "a democracy based on nonviolence" is "the closest approximation to pure anarchism". According to Gandhi, individuals should act based on their self-recognized truth, regardless of judgment and consequences by others. He himself called his concept of village republics an "enlightened form of anarchism" in which "everyone is [his] own ruler". However, Gandhi (like Thoreau) was not an anarchist in the usual sense. He also stood in opposition to libertarian theories, whose rejection of state regulation and intervention is based on the emphasis on mutual self-interest, while his principles of non-violence and the ability to suffer minimize self-interest and impose self-restraint and self- discipline . The Satyagraha is a system of outer limitation in cooperation for the common good. Nicholas Gier therefore assigns Gandhi more to a communitarian , reformed liberalism. The concept of renouncing violence, personal knowledge of truth and purity only partially corresponds to the theories of classical Western anarchists such as Proudhon , Bakunin or Kropotkin . The principle of the formation of moral laws and personal discipline in Gandhi's concept of community has different priorities than this. His conviction that the individual must find the divine in himself, then be "superior to all governments", is similar to the writings of Tolstoy . Asha Pasricha describes Gandhi as a "religious anarchist".

One of his most important students and companions from 1916 until his death was Vinoba Bhave , who is often viewed as Gandhi's spiritual successor. Another, at least as important political and personal friend was Sadar Patel , who supported him significantly in all further campaigns. In 1917 the future Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru became his secretary.

Resistance to the state of emergency

Front page of Young India , September 1919

After many Indians had already criticized the participation in World War I decreed by the colonial power without Indian consent, the extension of the state of emergency and martial law through the Rowlatt Act in 1919 led to resistance among politically interested Indians of various origins. While liberal politicians called for partial autonomy, more radical ones like Annie Besant advocated Home Rule . H. the self-government with ties to the British Kingdom, and turned against Gandhi. But Gandhi, who had stood up for Annie Besant while she was in custody, underscored the demand for complete independence of India from Great Britain with his non-violent actions.

At the beginning of April 1919, the Indian National Congress (INC) initiated mass protests against the British colonial government, in which both Hindus and other population groups took part. Already on the first day, April 6, there were strike actions by traders and business people, whom Gandhi referred to as Hartal . Work and trade were idle for a day, and Gandhi's idea was for those involved to fast and pray. His banned writings Hind Swaraj and Sarvodaya were sold without British intervention.

The choice of means, however, was controversial. In further actions, many did not adhere to the principles of nonviolent satyagraha . British establishments and private homes went up in flames in the north Indian city of Amritsar , where two leaders of the movement had been arrested. The governor of Punjab then banned all manifestations and issued an order to shoot. British soldiers killed 379 men, women and children, and 1,200 people were injured in the Amritsar massacre on April 19, 1919 in a walled park where a peaceful meeting was taking place. The global public took notice and the protest movement took off, but Gandhi felt complicit in the deaths of the victims of the bloodbath.

In the same year Gandhi founded the bilingual weekly Young India , in which he spread his worldview.

Caliphate campaign and advancement in the Indian National Congress

Many Indian Muslims were outraged that the Ottoman Empire , which was one of the loser states of the First World War, should be divided up among the victorious powers, including Great Britain, in a quasi-neo-colonial manner. The Ottoman Sultan was regarded by many Muslims as a caliph , as the religious and secular leader of all Muslims worldwide. Gandhi showed solidarity with her caliphate campaign in 1920/21 - in contrast to Muhammad Ali Jinnah , the rather secular chairman of the Muslim League . This fact led to Jinnah's resignation from the Indian National Congress in 1920.

It is controversial whether Gandhi's commitment to the caliphate campaign put a long-term strain on the peaceful coexistence between Hindus and Muslims and ultimately contributed to the division of the country (which Gandhi vehemently opposed). Rothermund (2003) describes it as a “mistake” that Gandhi turned against the influential Jinnah without a sound knowledge of pan-Islamic movements. According to Eberling (2006), Gandhi underestimated the differences between Hindus and Muslims, which were not only religious but also political, because the Hindus formed the upper class in India. Dieter Conrad (2006) appears to Gandhi's religiously tinged support for the caliphate movement as “extremely daring”. His attempt to make the differences between the two religions Hinduism and Islam his own concern, to take the side of the strictly religious Muslims with the aim of mutual religious consideration, turned out to be a miscalculation. For example, Gandhi hoped in vain that the Muslims would voluntarily end the ritual slaughter of cows. Jinnah had warned Gandhi several times about what he believed to be a reactionary movement and accused him of religious zealotism . According to Conrad, these warnings were later confirmed as bloody riots between Hindus and Muslims increased.

After the dispute with Jinnah, Gandhi gained more influence in the Indian National Congress, which had previously been a community of Indian educated people. Under Gandhi's spiritual guidance, it developed into a mass organization and the most important institution of the Indian independence movement . The Indian languages ​​should be given preference over English, and the rural population should also be represented. Particularly after the Great Depression, the levies on the colonial rulers for the farmers rose sharply, so that they increasingly turned to the INC.

Campaign of non-cooperation

In order to force the British to leave the Indian subcontinent, Gandhi established the concept of non-cooperation: all Indian employees and sub-civil servants should no longer work for the colonial rulers, any cooperation should be non-violently refused in order to overthrow the British. In August 1920, Gandhi officially launched the non-cooperation campaign . He believed that nonviolence was far superior to violence. One hundred thousand Britons in India could not rule a country of then three hundred million Indians if they refused to cooperate. Initially, Subhash Chandra Bose was at his side, an Indian freedom fighter who would later plead for the use of military means.

Call for a boycott of foreign clothing in The Bombay Chronicle, July 30, 1921

The economic background included the extraordinarily high taxation of the land by the colonial power and the other taxes that the Indians had to pay, as well as the lack of protective tariffs against imported goods - circumstances that the INC wanted to change as quickly as possible and replace them with autochthonous economic and political structures. Gandhi advocated the boycott of imported goods, especially from Great Britain. By making self-spun clothing, every Indian - regardless of whether man or woman, poor or rich - should support the independence movement.

Gandhi was now at the zenith of his fame. Wherever he appeared, workers, peasants, government employees and representatives of educational institutions went on strike. British imported clothing was publicly burned. The number of political prisoners reached 20,000. Since 1921 Gandhi, like the poorest, has only dressed in a loincloth. In 1922 he started a campaign of civil disobedience against a massive tax increase in the Bardoli district of Gujarat with supporters. Several ashrams were established.

But this campaign also ended in violence. In the north Indian village of Chauri Chaura, a whipped crowd attacked police officers and burned them in the police station. There were also riots again between Hindus and Muslims. Gandhi immediately broke off the campaign, which many members of Congress, including Nehru, disapproved of. In the ensuing trial, Gandhi assumed all the guilt, lost his lawyer license and was sentenced to a long prison term. He was officially released in 1924 for an appendix operation. One reason for this was that in the same year a Labor government came to power for the first time , which judged Gandhi more positively than the conservative governments. In late 1924, Gandhi was elected President of the INC.

In 1923, the French left-wing pacifist Nobel Prize for Literature, Romain Rolland , studied the spiritual traditions of India and published a series of articles on Gandhi, which resulted in the book Mahatma Gandhi , which was first published in 1924 and painted a very positive image of Gandhi. He calls Gandhi the "Indian Francis ".

Many members of Congress did not follow Gandhi's path, but rather wanted to make India a modern state. Gandhi gave up the chairmanship of the Congress Party in 1925 and, after taking a vow, followed a year of silence in his ashram, a gesture with which he wanted to oppose the "loquacity" and the "quarrels" of professional politicians.

Gandhi's program

As early as 1927 Gandhi published his first autobiography, Autobiography. The Story of My Experiments with Truth, based on records made while he was in prison from 1922 to 1924 and a subsequent series of articles in his Gujarati newspaper. In 1928 his memoirs about South Africa followed under the title Satyagraha in South Africa . In it, Gandhi developed his idea of ​​democracy: Democracy must mobilize the entire physical, economic and spiritual sources of all different areas of popular life in the service of the common good of all. The country should be organized on a decentralized basis, with the focus on the village with local self-sufficiency and self-administration. These villages and other communities should elect their own representatives in a consensus process and - as Gita Dharampal-Frick puts it - form the state as a "community of communities", which Gandhi saw less as a nation state than as a social and cultural unit with only a few possibilities for regulatory intervention. According to Eberling, he called this principle "enlightened anarchy". His long-term goal was a state-free society. For example, he planned to use the British Viceroy's palace as a hospital after independence. In no other colonized country in the world have there been such clearly formulated alternatives to the western state and economic concept as those developed by Gandhi for India, wrote Wolfgang Reinhard in 1999.

With regard to the economy, Gandhi campaigned for a uniform wage for all work, private property should be replaced by "trust property". He rejected capitalism and socialism in favor of an egalitarian, pre-industrial, less bureaucratic society. He wanted to overcome social inequality through general non-intellectual education. He advocated tolerance in religious matters. Gandhi did not fundamentally reject the Indian caste system. However, he wanted to bring about equality among the castes and liberate the casteless. According to Galtung (1987), he valued the assignment of people to a professional group that offered security from birth, spared them the choice of profession and directed their energies to moral and just behavior in society.

The staging as a religious figure

Religion - by which he understood any religious expression - and politics did not separate Gandhi. He declined to be called a saint or politician, but emphasized the both religious and political nature of all of his campaigns. For Gandhi, truth meant the same thing as God, and he considered this perpetual, individual, indomitable search for truth or God, which has a positive effect on humanity, to be a basic human need that stands above history.

The Indian National Congress painted a picture of Gandhi for the common peasants since the 1920s, showing him as a kind of messiah, a strategy that was supposed to connect these peasants with the resistance movement. Plays depicting Gandhi as the reincarnation of previous Indian national leaders or even a demigod have been staged in thousands of villages . These religious history games and ceremonies, funded by the Congress Party, led to the support of the INC from farmers who were deeply rooted in ancient Hindu culture and unable to read and write. There were similar messianic echoes in popular songs and poems. As a result, Gandhi not only became a folk hero, but the entire INC was often given a sacred paint in the villages. According to Gita Dharampal-Frick, this idealization of Gandhi by the INC also had the function of distracting from his concrete subversive social “experiments”, because a large part of the Indian elite rejected Gandhi's Indian “alternative model” and strived for modernization by further developing the existing political one Structures after independence.

Demand for immediate independence

Gandhi (fourth person from left) and Sadar Patel (right next to him) during the Bardoli Satyagraha

The years 1928 and 1929 were marked by violence on the part of radical nationalists. Under the leadership of the now Marxist Nehru, the members of the INC demanded complete independence immediately, which should also be achieved by force if necessary. Gandhi led a rural tax strike that he had started years earlier, with the help of Sadar Patel, to a successful conclusion. Violent clashes broke out again, during which two bombs were detonated in the New Delhi Parliament. The INC now demanded independence within one year. When the British refused, he asked for it with immediate effect.

Gandhi was supposed to lead the nonviolent resistance, but initially withdrew to meditation for a few weeks before proposing negotiations to the British Viceroy by letter or, if he refused, threatened further Satyagraha actions. He announced measures against the unjust salt tax. First, he designated January 26, 1930 as "Independence Day", a national holiday that is still celebrated today as " Republic Day ". He also presented the British with an 11-point program that contained economic and political demands, including: a. those after devaluation of the rupee, halving of the military budget, property tax and civil servants' salaries, protective tariffs on imported textiles and the abolition of the salt tax.

The salt march

Gandhi and Sarojini Naidu during the Salt March, 1930

In early March 1930, Gandhi - he had received no reply to his letter - initiated a campaign of civil disobedience and called for a salt march against the British salt monopoly. The 388 km salt march from Ahmedabad to Dandi in Gujarat lasted from March 12th to April 6th. This march, also known as the Salt Satyagraha, was the most spectacular campaign that Gandhi initiated during his struggle for independence . It was a protest against the English taxes on salt. Indian citizens were not allowed to make salt or sell it themselves.

The call to refuse taxes acted like a signal for the Indian masses to leave. Large parts of the population who had not previously participated in Gandhi's “search for truth” were motivated to join the movement through this action by the highly respected, revered Gandhi and his colleagues, which was aimed at rapid success. When people began to mine salt en masse without paying the tax, 60,000 people were arrested, including Gandhi and most of the members of Congress.

There was worldwide media coverage in favor of the Indian struggle for freedom. In February 1931 the colonial administration gave way. The Viceroy Lord Irwin negotiated with Gandhi until the Irwin-Gandhi Agreement was concluded. The salt production for personal use went into Indian hands and the political prisoners were released.

Encounters in Great Britain

Gandhi with women textile workers in Darwen, Lancashire , September 26, 1931

The Congress party did not take part in the first round table conference on the Indian question. Without Gandhi, the London conference would have no effect. On February 17, 1931, there was a meeting with Lord Irwin , Viceroy of India. After two weeks of negotiations, the Gandhi-Irwin Pact was announced. In addition to the release of all prisoners in exchange for Gandhi's pledge to end civil disobedience, he promised to attend the second round table conference in London. On this occasion he met Charles Chaplin and George Bernard Shaw in London and Romain Rolland in December 1931 in Geneva. He was emphatically welcomed by English textile workers. His hope for progress on the independence question remained unfulfilled.

Hunger strike

Gandhi on hunger strike , 1932

A few days after his return from Europe, “the uncomfortable” was arrested on January 4, 1932 by order of the governor general and viceroy . It was feared that Gandhi would take new action against the colonial power. With him, the leadership of the Congress Party (INC) was established.

When he heard of the British plan to hold separate elections for the casteless while in custody, he declared his first "fast to death" on September 20, 1932. This should prevent the British from separatist efforts to form parts of the country according to religious affiliation and send the Indians a signal to integrate the casteless. But the representative of the Dalits ("Untouchables"), Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar , supported the British because he assumed that Hindu interests would prevail in general elections. Six days later, Gandhi ended the hunger strike because he had agreed with Ambedkar on a compromise between separate primary elections and subsequent joint elections. Gandhi's hunger strike resulted in Hindu temples, for example, being open to the casteless for the first time.

Albert Einstein , who never got to know Gandhi personally, wrote to him at the end of October 1932: “You have shown through your work that great things can be achieved without violence even with those who have by no means renounced the method of violence. We can hope that your example will work beyond the borders of your country and contribute to the fact that armed conflicts will be replaced by decisions by an international authority whose implementation is guaranteed by everyone. "

Commitment to the casteless

Gandhi left the Indian National Congress in 1934 because he did not see himself as a politician who had to bow to the respective majority. The Congress Party continued to refer to Gandhi as the leader of the poor masses. The problems of the peasants and the casteless came to the fore for him. As early as 1933 he published the magazine Harijan (“People of God”, as he called the “untouchables”) and published in it about his struggle for independence. He not only wanted to solve the social question, but also now advocated equal rights for men and women. In doing so, he continued to advocate his individualistic approach, according to which each individual must change his or her life by serving and not commanding. With this attitude he not only made friends in the Congress Party. Although his health had suffered from the hunger strike, Gandhi traveled to India to raise funds for the casteless.

Although Gandhi campaigned for the rights of the casteless and forbade caste differences in daily work in his Ashrams and encouraged weddings between members of different castes, he nevertheless generally advocated the caste system. He believed that this provided a stable social order and also a foundation for Hindu life. He rejected the division into many sub-boxes ( jati ) for social segregation and designed a system that was only to be based on the four spiritual boxes ( varna ), in which the hitherto untouchable should also be recorded. Bhimrao Ambedkar contradicted Gandhi and believed that the caste system should be abandoned. He wrote a speech for the Annihilation of Caste (The destruction of the caste) , which was published in book form and on Gandhi in many Harijan -Artikeln entitled A Vindication of Caste ( "a justification of caste") replied. In the following years, several supplemented editions of Annihilation of Caste appeared , the effects of the discussion between Gandhi and Ambedkar shape Indian society and politics to this day. In 1935, Gandhi and Ambedkar agreed on a form of representation of the untouchables in the new representative body of India and created reserved parliamentary seats for the casteless, a principle that was enshrined in the new Indian constitution in 1947 (under Ambedkar as the first Minister of Justice) and is still valid today.

Second Ashram: International Meeting Place

Nobel laureate in literature Rabindranath Thakur (also Tagore) and Gandhi 1940
Sevagram Ashram from 1936 Gandhi's residence
Sevagram Ashram from 1936 Gandhi's residence

In 1936 Gandhi founded an ashram again, this time in Sevagram , a village in central India, because he saw the basis of life in independence and freedom in the villages and not in the cities. There he led an extremely ascetic life with his wife and a growing following, passed on his knowledge to the villagers and received guests from all over the world. At the beginning of 1937 the Italian poet and philosopher Lanza del Vasto spent a few months as his pupil in his vicinity and in 1948 founded the community of the Arche , where people were to live together according to the principles of Gandhi.

The Pashtun Abdul Ghaffar Khan , a devout Muslim and pacifist who spread nonviolent resistance in the north-western border region of British India, also spent some time in Gandhi's ashram when the British temporarily expelled him from his homeland. Gandhi visited him and his fighters for the independence of Khudai Khidmatgar ("Servants of God") twice in 1938, although the British refused him the trip. In India, Abdul Ghaffar Khan was called "Frontier Gandhi".

Twists in World War II

Before the war began, Gandhi believed that Great Britain, France and the USA could not protect small countries from the aggressive dictator Hitler . War inevitably leads to dictatorship, only nonviolence leads to democracy. He expressed the hope that Hitler could be defeated with resistance methods such as those used in South Africa. He himself would rather die unarmed, honorably and with a pure soul than submit to the will of a dictator.

However, he temporarily modified his policy towards the British colonial power when Great Britain entered World War II in 1939:

“Until the end of the Battle of Britain in 1941, Gandhi's view of the colonial power was directly threatened by a possible occupation by the National Socialists , and so it was forbidden to exploit the situation for both moral and anti-fascist reasons. However, when the war dragged on for an apparently indefinite period of time [...] and England was no longer directly threatened, Gandhi's view also increased the ideological and practical scope for activities of the Indian independence movement. The preparation and eventual implementation of the mass 'Quit India' movement under Gandhi's leadership in August 1942 must be seen in this context. "

- Lou Martin : "The enemy of my enemy is my friend?"

In 2006 the British government released previously secret documents according to which Winston Churchill said during World War II that Gandhi could quietly die on a hunger strike, while other politicians feared it could lead to an uproar that could no longer hold India. It was known much earlier that the colonial power had used agents provocateurs to initially incite non-violent demonstrators to commit acts of violence.

Quit India Movement and Attitude to the Atomic Bomb

Gandhi (right) with Nehru in 1942

The Quit India movement was a campaign of civil disobedience that began in August 1942 after Gandhi demanded immediate independence from Britain. The Congress Party called for mass protest to ensure the proper withdrawal of British troops called for by Gandhi. The movement put Gandhi under the motto “Do or Die!”, Which he gave on August 8 at the Gowalia Tank Maidan in Bombay. Almost the entire leadership of the INC was arrested without trial within hours of Gandhi's speech. Most remained in custody until the end of the war. The British rejected immediate independence and put the Indians off until the post-war period. The day after his speech, Gandhi was arrested by the colonial power in Pune and released after two years on health grounds. He was imprisoned in South Africa and India for a total of eight years.

The establishment of Gandhi and the members of Congress led to massive popular support for his ideas. His student Jayaprakash Narayan organized non-violent resistance in the spirit of Gandhi . However, violent riots followed across the country. Members of the banned INC destroyed the infrastructure and attacked government buildings and police stations. There were strikes and demonstrations. As a result, the British arrested tens of thousands of political activists and 900 were killed. Because of the brutal violence, poor preparation and an imperfect political program, the insurgents' demands could not be enforced in the short term - but the British government found that India could not be held in the long term. The British wondered how to grant independence while still protecting their allied Muslims and Indian princes.

Despite repeated requests, Gandhi did not comment on the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 and told a journalist that one should keep quiet about things that cannot be changed. There are different representations regarding the reasons for his silence. Rothermund (2003) explained that Gandhi had shown himself to be an ethic of responsibility , who distrusted Truman , Attlee , Churchill's successor, and Stalin and feared that India too could be hit by an atomic bomb. Since mid-1946 he has clearly condemned its use several times, for example with the formulation: “I consider the use of the atom bomb to be the most diabolical form of the application of science.” At this time, independence was soon becoming clear.

In the field of economy, shortly before his death, Gandhi campaigned increasingly and in vain in the long term against the well-organized British management system with administrative structures, fixed prices, ration cards, etc., which had formed the basis for requisitioning Indian goods for British needs in World War II. The Indian leaders took over this centralized administrative apparatus after independence, but because they continued to refer publicly to Gandhi's utopia, they promoted projects such as ashrams and village industries, which soon became part of the capitalist economy themselves.

Independence through a two-state solution

Jinnah and Gandhi during a break in negotiations in Bombay, September 1944

With the Lahore resolution of 1940, the Muslim League demanded a separate state for Indian Muslims. Gandhi refused and continued to strive for political unity between Hindus and Muslims. In 1944 he unsuccessfully negotiated with Muhammad Ali Jinnah in order to achieve a united front between the Congress Party and the Muslim League .

When the Muslim League called for a general strike, Direct Action Day , in August 1946, the unrest in Calcutta ensued . Gandhi went to the region to call for peace and reconciliation. As a consequence of this event, Jinnah insisted on the creation of a sovereign Pakistan and rejected a federal solution.

Conflicts and refugee flows in the partition of India

On June 3, 1947, British Prime Minister Clement Attlee proclaimed independence and the partition of India into two states on the basis of the Mountbatten Plan : the predominantly Hindu India and the predominantly Muslim Pakistan . Gandhi had always opposed the partition plan, but after the separation he advocated a fair distribution of the treasury. It was thanks to his influence that the civil war-like unrest that broke out after the partition was contained relatively quickly.

Death by assassination

On January 30, 1948, 78-year-old Gandhi was shot dead by the fanatical, nationalist Hindu Nathuram Godse , who had planned an assassination attempt on Gandhi ten days earlier as a member of a group of seven.

After the cremation at the Raj Ghat in Delhi , which is now a memorial site, some of Gandhi's ashes were scattered in the Ganges . Other parts of the ashes were also scattered in Lake Pushkar near Ajmer , in Nakki Lake near Mount Abu and in Chorabari Lake near Kedarnath ; A Gandhi Ghat was built on each of the banks .

Numerous heads of state attended the funeral services. The UN also remembered him.



The Bengali historian Nirad C. Chaudhuri accused Gandhi of using non-violence as an excuse to quench his thirst for power. Chaudhuri, who was secretary of Gandhi's Congress Party during the independence struggle, wrote in his autobiography:

“Nowhere have western authors been more deluded about Gandhi than that they overlooked his insatiable and unsatisfactory thirst for power. In this he was no different from Stalin. Only he didn't have to kill, because he could just as easily get rid of his opponents with the help of his nonviolent Vaishnava method. "

He drove Indian rivals in the struggle for independence into political isolation, as in the case of Subhash Chandra Bose . The division of British India into two states, India and Pakistan, attributed Chaudhuri to Gandhi's refusal to share power with Jinnah's Muslim League in a united, independent India .

Gandhi has been widely criticized as an apologist for the caste system. On the occasion of her foreword to the annotated new edition of Ambedkar's Annihilation of Caste , Arundhati accused Roy Gandhi that his doctrine of nonviolence was based "on a foundation of constant, brutal, extreme violence - because that is the caste system". In addition to Rajmohan Gandhi , representatives of the Dalit organization also contradicted this view . Roy's account contains many inaccuracies and incorrect information, both about Gandhi and Ambedkar.

Bal Ram Nanda points out that, although Gandhi represented an idealized image of the four varnas in the “time-honored past”, he strictly rejected the ruling caste system in India during his lifetime. For tactical reasons, he chose to undermine the principle by consistently rejecting the system of untouchability, instead of attacking the caste system directly. In fact, no one contributed more to the reformation of the castes and the improvement of the situation of the casteless than Gandhi. Mark Lindley emphasizes that Gandhi's relationship with the caste changed dramatically between 1920 and 1946 and that Gandhi himself admitted many mistakes in his early views (on a wide variety of subjects) and believed that there are permanent elements in every teaching and those that are mutually exclusive adapt to the respective time. Gandhi's actual view of the caste system or his current attitude towards it cannot therefore be derived directly from it.

foreign countries

His open letter Die Juden , which he published in the Indian newspaper Harijan on November 26, 1938 shortly after the November pogroms and in which he dealt with the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany , Zionism and the Palestinian conflict, was particularly controversial in Europe and the USA discussed and rejected, for example, by Martin Buber and Judah Leon Magnes with sometimes sharp replicas.

Gandhi had been asked several times in advance to comment on the questions dealt with in the letter. Above all, Jewish intellectuals had hoped to find an advocate in Gandhi who would castigate the persecution of Jews in Germany and perhaps speak benevolently about the return of the Jews to their biblical homeland of Palestine and thus at least indirectly support Zionism. The reason for this hope was that Gandhi counted a convinced Zionist among his confidants in the German-Jewish architect Hermann Kallenbach .

In his letter, Gandhi first emphasized his sympathy for the Jewish people, but described Zionism as wrong and unjust to the Arabs, to whom Palestine belonged as much "as England belongs to the British or France to the French". The persecution of the Jews in Germany seems to have "no parallel in history [and] if there could be a just war in the name of and for humanity at all, a war against Germany to prevent the outrageous persecution of an entire people would be fully justified". However, he sees a way how the Jews could withstand this persecution: through organized, non-violent and civil resistance. So he sees parallels to the situation of the “ untouchables ” and the Indians in South Africa. The Jews could add to their "numerous contributions to civilization the extraordinary and unsurpassable contribution of nonviolent action".

The outrage of numerous commentators ignited especially when comparing the National Socialist terror with the policies of the British and Boers and Gandhi's advice to counter the violence of the National Socialists with non-violent resistance. In what is probably the most detailed and best-known reply, Martin Buber Gandhi accused Gandhi of ignorance regarding the conditions in German concentration camps and the cruelty of the National Socialists and was deeply disappointed that a “man of good will” whom he admires and admires judges them in such an undifferentiated manner whom he addresses. Indians were despised and treated with contempt in South Africa and India, but were neither robbed and killed in an outlawed manner, nor were they “hostages for the desired behavior abroad”. Gandhi does not see that the brave and non-violent resistance of Jewish Germans in word and deed, the years of enduring National Socialist injustice, which can be proven by numerous examples, did not slow down the aggression of the National Socialists, but only intensified it. On the question of Palestine, Buber argued that it was neither historically, legally, nor morally correct to claim that Palestine belongs only to the Arabs. Only those who grant both or all peoples whose roots and history are connected with this country the right to a peaceful existence there will create peace and justice.


Gandhi statue in Amsterdam
Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial, Delhi

Gandhi was nominated a total of twelve times for the Nobel Peace Prize, most recently in 1948, the year he died. Since the prize cannot be awarded posthumously, the committee decided not to award a prize that year.

After Gandhi's death, Nehru, often referring to the “father of the nation”, created a modern state based on the structures and institutions introduced by the British. This stood in contrast to Gandhi's morally based efforts for decentralization, non-violence and a selfless way of life .

The Republic Day - the Constitution of the young state, Republic Day is celebrated each January 26. Meant the day in 1950. The Independence Day of India - Independence Day is celebrated each August 15. The day in 1947 is meant.

Even today, Gandhi is revered as a national hero in India. His birthday, October 2nd, is one of three Gandhi Jayanti Indian national holidays . The anniversary of his death (January 30th) is also commemorated annually as Martyrs Day . The annual independence celebrations on August 15th are associated with his name. The Gandhi Smriti in New Delhi is a museum dedicated to Gandhi. The Indian National Congress, which he led since 1920 and had a strong influence in the following years, was considered an all-India party until the 1990s and provided several prime ministers. Foreign guests of state commemorate Gandhi by laying wreaths.

The Indian government has been awarding the Gandhi International Peace Prize since 1995 .

Finding traces of Gandhi in India's foreign policy is difficult; but what one can discover is “a ritualized administration of the memory of the great man in numerous institutes of Gandhi study which add little or nothing to the theory and practice of benevolence and little to our knowledge of Gandhi. He remains his own best biographer. "

Martin Luther King , spokesman for the civil rights movement in the USA, was strongly influenced by Gandhi; also the political folk singer Joan Baez , who was very popular in the 1960s, refers to Gandhi. According to his own statement, the work of peace and conflict researcher Johan Galtung is based on the ethical principles of Gandhi. In his book The way is the goal. Gandhi and the alternative movement , he developed a strategy of resistance for the western alternative movement in 1987, in which he referred to Gandhi's teachings and their practical implementation.

In 1980 Philip Glass composed the opera Satyagraha , which is about Gandhi's career.

The life of Mahatma Gandhi was impressively filmed in 1982 by Richard Attenborough under the title Gandhi . The main role was played by Ben Kingsley ; the film won eight Academy Awards , including in the categories of Best Film and Best Actor . For the Indian-born writer Salman Rushdie , however, this film is a “historyless kind of western saint creation” that Gandhi transfigured into a myth and lost sight of real people.

In South Africa, Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC), whose name is based on the INC, explicitly referred to Gandhi until the Sharpeville massacre and fought with Gandhi's means. Only then did they switch to armed struggle. Gorbachev and the peaceful revolutions that followed in some states of real socialism , including the GDR , were influenced by Gandhi.

Whether Gandhi's methods can be successful in any liberation struggle is controversial. Matthias Eberling (2006) judges Gandhi's role in India's independence from the British Empire:

“A totalitarian dictatorship would have simply broken and wiped out a delicate figure in a loincloth like him [Gandhi]. But in a democracy with a critical press - even if it was a racist, imperialist class society like the British Empire - this steady drop of nonviolent resistance could ultimately break the yoke of English colonial rule. "

Johan Galtung (1987) sees it differently. He cites the Rosenstrasse protest as evidence of the possible success of non-violent resistance, even under National Socialism or Stalinism , when “Aryan” wives in Berlin after several days of massive non-violent protest achieved that their Jewish spouses, who had already been arrested, were not deported, but released.

Curt Ullerich emphasizes that it was clear to Gandhi that in the British colonial empire, despite the sometimes violent suppression of resistance, he could campaign for changes relatively freely according to his conscience. Later he thought his methods were effective even when the exercise of power was completely unlimited.

According to Martin Luther King, Gandhi was the first person in history to elevate Jesus' ethic of love into a formidable and effective social power, and according to Albert Schweitzer , Gandhi continued what Buddha began.

In India there are memorials to his work in addition to the two museums in Delhi and Mumbai (Laburnum Road) there as well as the Gandhi Memorial Column on August Kranti Marg on Grant Road to the speech of 1942 and the place of birth and death as well as at the location the burning of his body ( Raj-Gath , picture see above).

As sites of the Satyagraha, India's nonviolent freedom movement , India registered places in memory of the long journey of the country's nonviolent freedom movement (1915–1947) with UNESCO.

On October 2, 2009 for his 140th birthday Gandhi was honored with a Google Doodle .

On August 21, 2020, glasses that Ghandi is said to have been wearing were auctioned at the British auction house East Bristol Auctions for 260,000 pounds (about 278,000 euros). The vision aid was initially estimated at 10,000 to 15,000 pounds.


  • The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. Edited by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting , Government of India, 100 vol., New Delhi 1956–1994.
  • An autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Verlag Hinder + Deelmann, Gladenbach 1977, ISBN 3-87348-162-6 .
  • Gandhi. Selected Works. Edited by Shriman Narayan, 5 vol., Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-8353-0651-6 .
  • My life. Edited by C. F. Andrews, epilogue: Curt Ullerich, Suhrkamp-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1983, ISBN 3-518-37453-2 , numerous new editions (English first edition: 1930).
  • Jung India: Articles from the years 1919 to 1922. Edited by Madeleine & Romain Rolland , translated by Emil Roniger Rotapfel-Verlag, Zurich 1924.
  • Gandhi in South Africa-Mohandas Karemchand Gandhi an Indian patriot in South Africa , Rotapfel Verlag, Erlenbach, Zurich, 1925
  • Guide to health; The power of Ayurveda . Rotapfel-Verlag, Zurich 1925, reprint Eugen Diederichs Verlag, Munich 1988 (1st edition), 1992 (2nd edition), ISBN 3-424-00926-1 .



Influential older biographies come from Romain Rolland (English 1924, German 1925 Gandhi in South Africa ). Louis Fischer (English 1950, Ger. The life of M. G. 1953) and Bal Ram Nanda. In addition to numerous compact biographies, including the very successful one by Heimo Rau , there are also several more extensive recent publications in German, namely by Sigrid Grabner , Vanamali Gunturu, Matthias Eberling and Dietmar Rothermund .

  • Richard Deats: Mahatma Gandhi. A picture of life. Verlag Neue Stadt, Munich / Zurich / Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-87996-639-7 . (American. Original edition: Mahatma Gandhi. Nonviolent Liberator. 2005)
  • Louis Fischer: Gandhi. Prophet of nonviolence. Translated into German by Renate Zeschitz. 14th edition. Heyne, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-453-09538-3 . (Original title: Gandhi. His Life and Message for the World. 1954)
  • Rajmohan Gandhi : The Good Boatman - A Portrait of Gandhi. ISBN 0-670-86822-1 .
  • Sigrid Grabner: Mahatma Gandhi. Politician, pilgrim and prophet. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2002, ISBN 3-374-01940-4 .
  • Ramachandra Guha : Gandhi before India: How the Mahatma Was Made . Alfred A. Knopf, New York City 2014, ISBN 978-0-385-53229-7 .
  • Vanamali Gunturu: Mahatma Gandhi. Life and work. Diederichs, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-424-01481-8 .
  • Joseph Lelyveld : Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India. Knopf, New York 2011, ISBN 978-0-307-26958-4 .
  • Giovanni Mattazzi: Mahatma Gandhi. The great soul of India. Parthas, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-932529-99-5 . Original: Milan 2002.
  • Bal Ram Nanda: Mahatma Gandhi. A biography. Allen & Unwin, London 1958.
  • Pandit Shri Shridhar Nehru: Mahatma Gandhi. His life and work. 1st edition. Bastei Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1983, ISBN 3-404-61075-X .
  • Robert Payne: The Life and Death of Mahatma Gandhi. The Bodley Head, London 1969, ISBN 0-370-01318-2 .
  • Heimo Rau: Gandhi. 29th edition. Rowohlt TB, Reinbek 2005, ISBN 3-499-50172-4 .
  • Romain Rolland: Mahatma Gandhi. Zurich 1924
  • Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. A political biography. 2nd Edition. C. H. Beck, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-406-42018-4 .
  • Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi (= C. H. Beck knowledge in the Beck series). C. H. Beck, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-48022-5 .
  • Dietmar Rothermund: Gandhi. The nonviolent revolutionary. C. H. Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-62460-5 .

To work and effect

Web links

Commons : Mohandas K. Gandhi  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. MK Gandhi: An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Gladenbach 1977, p. 12.
  2. ^ Karen E. James: From Mohandas to Mahatma: The Spiritual Metamorphosis of Gandhi . Essays in History: Volume Twenty-Eight (1984), pp. 5-20; Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  3. Dieter Conrad: Gandhi and the concept of the political. State, religion and violence. Munich 2006, p. 28.
  4. Mahatma Gandhi . Retrieved July 11, 2008.
  5. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 12.
  6. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Chronology of Gandhi's life and work. (doc; 130 kB) (No longer available online.) In: GandhiServe Foundation, archived from the original on December 3, 2008 ; Retrieved July 21, 2008 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. Angelika Franz: The vain ascetic . Critical review of Gandhi in the period from 24 February of 2005.
  8. Mahatma Gandhi: My Life. Frankfurt am Main 1983, p. 11.
  9. Mahatma Gandhi: My Life. Frankfurt am Main 1983, p. 30.
  10. cf. Sigrid Grabner: Mahatma Gandhi. Politician, pilgrim and prophet. Here 1st edition, Berlin 1983, p. 103.
  11. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 16.
  12. ^ Robert Payne: The Life and Death of Mahatma Gandhi. London 1969, p. 45.
  13. Mike Nicholson: Mahatma Gandhi. Würzburg 1989, p. 13.
  14. a b c The life and work of Mahatma Gandhi ( Memento of the original from December 17, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . In: . Retrieved July 21, 2008. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  15. ^ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: My life. Frankfurt am Main 1983, p. 50.
  16. Anand Hingorani (Ed.): The Message of Jesus Christ by M. K. Gandhi. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay 1964, p. 23. Quotation translated by Dean C. Halverson: An overview of world religions. Holzgerlingen 2003, p. 119.
  17. MK Gandhi: An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Gladenbach 1977, p. 12.
  18. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 19.
  19. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 20.
  20. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 20.
  21. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 1997, p. 34.
  22. Mike Nicholson: Mahatma Gandhi. Würzburg 1989, p. 14.
  23. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 21 f.
  24. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 22 f.
  25. see Rau: Gandhi (1970), p. 30.
  26. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 26.
  27. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 26.
  28. ^ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: My life. Frankfurt am Main 1983, p. 70.
  29. Uma Shashikant Meshtrie: From Advocay to Mobilization. Indian Opinion 1903-1914. In: Les Switzer (Ed.): South Africa's Alternative Press: Voices of Protest and Resistance, 1880s-1960s Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 107.
  30. David Arnold : Gandhi . Routledge, 2014, p. 61.
  31. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 28.
  32. People of the peace movement: Mahatma Gandhi ( Memento of the original from March 18, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Retrieved July 28, 2008. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  33. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 29.
  34. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 1997, pp. 45 f., 49 ff.
  35. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 22 f.
  36. see Rau: Gandhi (1970), p. 41.
  37. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 34.
  38. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 31.
  39. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 32.
  40. ^ Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi and British foreign rule in India . Retrieved July 16, 2008.
  41. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 33.
  42. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 34.
  43. Mike Nicholson: Mahatma Gandhi. Würzburg 1989, p. 17.
  44. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 34.
  45. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 34 f.
  46. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 36.
  47. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 25.
  48. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, pp. 85, 96 f.
  49. Peter Antes: Outline of the history of religion. From prehistory to the present. Stuttgart 2006, p. 58.
  50. Dietmar Rothermund: Gandhi and Nehru. Two faces of India. Stuttgart 2010, p. 35.
  51. ^ Madeleine and Romain Rolland (eds.): Young India. Essays from the years 1919 to 1922. Zurich 1924, p. 241.
  52. Dietmar Rothermund: Gandhi and Nehru. Two faces of India. Stuttgart 2010, p. 34 f.
  53. ^ Segregation and Apartheid Laws as Applied to Indians (1859–1994) . On the website of the Gandhi-Luthuli Documentation Center, Durban
  54. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 27 f.
  55. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, pp. 37-40.
  56. Dietmar Rothermund: Gandhi and Nehru. Two faces of India. Stuttgart 2010, p. 37.
  57. German-language edition: Mahatma Gandhi: ways and means. Zurich 1996.
  58. Dieter Conrad: Gandhi and the concept of the political. Munich 2006, p. 48.
  59. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 29.
  60. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 42 f.
  61. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 30.
  62. Heimo Rau: Gandhi. 29th edition. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2005, ISBN 3-499-50172-4 , p. 63.
  63. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 43 f.
  64. Giovanni Matazzi: Mahatma Gandhi. The great soul. Berlin 2004, p. 52 f.
  65. Dietmar Rothermund: Gandhi and Nehru. Two faces of India. Stuttgart 2010, p. 241.
  66. Heimo Rau: Gandhi. 29th edition. Reinbek b. Hamburg 2005, p. 68 ff.
  67. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 53.
  68. Louis Fischer: Gandhi. Prophet of nonviolence. Munich 1983, p. 108 f.
  69. ^ Sophie Mühlmann: Gandhi and the student . In: Welt Online , October 22, 2004.
  70. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 60.
  71. “I am an anarchist myself, but of a different kind.” M. K. Gandhi's speech at the inauguration of the Hindu University of Benares, February 6, 1916. In: Graswurzelrevolution . 225 / January 1998.
  72. Dietmar Rothermund: Gandhi and Nehru. Two faces of India. Stuttgart 2010, p. 46 f.
  73. ^ A b Nicholas F. Gier: Nonviolence as a Civic Virtue: Gandhi and Reformed Liberalism. In: Douglas Allen: The Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi for the Twenty-First Century . Lexington, 2008, pp. 121-142.
  74. a b Ashu Pasricha: Rediscovering Gandhi Vol 4: Consensual Democracy: Gandhi On State Power And Politics . Concept Publishing Company, 2010, p. 25 ff.
  75. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, pp. 53-55.
  76. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. 2006, p. 79.
  77. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 10, p. 44.
  78. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 56.
  79. Dietmar Rothermund: Gandhi and Nehru. Two faces of India. Stuttgart 2010, p. 66.
  80. ^ Ayesha Jalal: The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan. CUP, Cambridge 1994, ISBN 0-521-45850-1 , p. 8.
  81. Dieter Conrad: Gandhi and the concept of the political. State, religion and violence. Munich 2006, p. 43 ff.
  82. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 46.
  83. Dietmar Rothermund: The structural change of the British colonial state in India 1757-1947. In: Wolfgang Reinhard (Hrsg.): Nationalization of the world? European state models and non-European power processes. (= Writings of the Historical College. Volume 47). R. Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-486-56416-1 , p. 78.
  84. Gita Dharampal-Frick: The independent India. Visions and realities. In: Nationalization of the World? European state models and non-European power processes. Ed. Wolfgang Reinhard, Writings of the Historical College. R. Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-486-56416-1 , p. 88, and protocol v. Dharmapal-Fricks remarks, p. 360.
  85. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, pp. 55-59.
  86. Dietmar Rothermund: Gandhi and Nehru. Two faces of India. Stuttgart 2010, p. 62 f.
  87. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 50.
  88. Heimo Rau: Gandhi. 29th edition. Reinbek near Hamburg 1970, 2005, p. 80 f.
  89. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 56 f.
  90. Dieter Conrad: Gandhi and the concept of the political. State, religion and violence. Munich 2006, p. 49.
  91. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 60 f.
  92. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 80. In 1930 Charles Freer Andrews published an abridged compilation of these two writings under the title Mahatma Gandhi, His Own Story . (German version: Mahatma Gandhi. Mein Leben. Leipzig 1930, new edition Frankfurt am Main 1983 with an afterword by Curt Ullerich, see p. 262).
  93. ^ Gandhi Information Center, cit. according to Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 87.
  94. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 87; Gita Dharampal-Frick: Independent India. In: Nationalization of the World? Munich 1999, pp. 92-95.
  95. ^ Wolfgang Reinhard: History of State Power and European Expansion. In: Nationalization of the World? Munich 1999, p. 347.
  96. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 88 f.
  97. Johan Galtung: The journey is the goal. Gandhi and the alternative movement. Peter Hammer Verlag, Wuppertal / Lünen 1987, pp. 16, 81 f.
  98. see for example Dieter Conrad: Gandhi and the concept of the political. State, religion and violence. Munich 2006, p. 28 ff.
  99. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 8 f.
  100. Atlury Murali: Non-Cooperation in Andhra in 1920-22: nationalist intelligentsia and the Mobilization of Peasantry. In: Indian Historical Review. 12 (1/2), January 1985, ISSN  0376-9836 , pp. 188-217.
  101. Gita Dharampal-Frick: The independent India. In: Nationalization of the World? Munich 1999, p. 96 f.
  102. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Suhrkamp Taschenbuch 2006, p. 61 f.
  103. Dietmar Rothermund : Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 63 f.
  104. ^ Curt Ullerich: Afterword. In: CF Andrews (ed.): Mahatma Gandhi: My life. Frankfurt am Main 1983, p. 266.
  105. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 64 f.
  106. Arthur Herman: Gandhi and Churchill: The Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age . Random House , New York 2009, pp. 349 ( online ).
  107. Arthur Herman: Gandhi and Churchill: The Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age . Random House , New York 2009, pp. 353, 354 ( online ).
  108. ^ Jean-Pierre Meylan: Photo, Roland and Gandhi. Retrieved September 1, 2019 .
  109. As early as 1915, the British had introduced separate electoral lists for Hindus and Muslims, a measure that, in the colonial, strictly authoritarian framework, intended to strengthen minorities, later became the basis of division. Because of the majority voting system and the federal principle of relatively autonomous provinces since 1935, there was no adequate representation of the respective minority. (Dietmar Rothermund, p. 82 f., And Wolfgang Reinhard, p. 346. In: Nationalization of the world? Munich 1999)
  110. Louis Fischer: Gandhi. Prophet of nonviolence. Munich 1983, p. 150 ff.
  111. Einstein's letter to Gandhi of October 29, 1932 ( Memento of the original of January 17, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, GandhiServe Foundation. Retrieved July 25, 2012. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  112. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 70.
  113. Michael J. Nojeim: Gandhi and King: The Power of Nonviolent Resistance . Greenwood, 2004, p. 56.
  114. Arundhati Roy: The Doctor and the Saint . In: The Hindu, March 1, 2014.
  115. Holger Lüttich: The teachings of the Vedic religion - an introduction . 2010, p. 122.
  116. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 70 f.
  117. Dietmar Rothermund: Gandhi and Nehru. Two faces of India. Heidelberg 2010, p. 126 ff.
  118. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 1997 (TB), p. 395.
  119. Lou Martin: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend?" The Gandhi-Bose controversy 1939 and the ideological basis of the collaboration of Subhas Chandra Bose with the Nazis 1941–43. In: Divergences - International Libertarian Journal. January 15, 2008 ( ).
  120. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 101.
  121. This is described several times in the literature, for example by Dieter Conrad: Gandhi and the concept of the political. State, religion and violence. Munich 2006, p. 50.
  122. Mohandas 'Mahatma' Gandhi. BBC Religions, August 25, 2009.
  123. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 109.
  124. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 72 f.
  125. cit. after: Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 106.
  126. Dietmar Rothermund: Mahatma Gandhi. Munich 2003, p. 103 ff.
  127. Dietmar Rothermund: The structural change of the British colonial state in India 1757-1947. In: Nationalization of the World? European state models and non-European power processes. Ed. Wolfgang Reinhard, Writings of the Historical College. R. Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-486-56416-1 , p. 85.
  128. Gita Dharampal-Frick: The independent India. In: Nationalization of the World? European state models and non-European power processes. In: Wolfgang Reinhard (Hrsg.): Writings of the historical college. R. Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-486-56416-1 , p. 105.
  129. The grave of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
  130. Gandhi's ashes in Pushkar Lake
  131. Gandhi's ashes in Nakki Lake
  132. ^ Nirad C. Chaudhuri: Thy Great, Hand Anarch! India 1921-1952. London 1987, ISBN 0-7012-0854-6 . Quoted here from: Benedikt Peters: World religions. Lychen 2004, ISBN 3-935955-23-5 , pp. 101, 102.
  133. a b B.R. Nanda: Gandhi and his Critics . Oxford University Press, 1994, pp. 18ff.
  134. Gandhi's poisoned legacy . In: The time. No. 40/2014, October 17, 2014.
  135. Response to Arundhati Roy's annotated edition in pipeline: Rajmohan Gandhi . In: The Hindu. December 7, 2014.
  136. Arundhati Roy's book on caste rejected by some anti-caste activists . In: The Independent. December 16, 2014.
  137. ^ Mark Lindley: Changes in Mahatma Gandhi's views on caste and intermarriage . In: Hacettepe University Social Sciences Journal. Vol. 1, 2002. (accessed from )
  138. ^ Christian Bartolf: We don't want violence - The Buber-Gandhi controversy. Berlin 1998, pp. 11-13.
  139. ^ Christian Bartolf: We don't want violence - The Buber-Gandhi controversy. Berlin 1998, p. 16 ff.
  140. ^ Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in the Nomination Database, accessed on November 11, 2017.
  141. The time 41/2009, S. 41st
  142. Gita Dharampal-Frick: The independent India. In: Nationalization of the World. Munich 1999, pp. 88-90.
  143. ^ Markus Lippold; AP, dpa (photos): The "great soul" of India. Gandhi . n-tv media library.
  144. Mohandas K. Gandhi's Real Policy ( Memento of the original from November 6, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Workplace Peace ( PDF, 204 KB , Work Group Goodness). @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  145. Johan Galtung: The journey is the goal. Gandhi and the alternative movement. Peter Hammer Verlag, Wuppertal / Lünen 1987, especially p. 8 ff.
  146. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work, effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 114.
  147. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work and effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, pp. 121, 124.
  148. ^ Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - life, work and effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 7.
  149. Johan Galtung: The journey is the goal. Gandhi and the alternative movement. Wuppertal / Lünen, p. 72 ff.
  150. ^ Curt Ullerich: Afterword. In: Mahatma Gandhi: My Life. Ed. C. F. Andrews, Frankfurt am Main 1983, p. 276 f.
  151. see Heimo Rau: Gandhi. Reinbek near Hamburg 2005, p. 136.
  152. See Matthias Eberling: Mahatma Gandhi - Life, Work, Effect. Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 131.
  153. ^ Birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. October 2, 2009, accessed on August 22, 2020 .
  154. Gandhi's glasses: 278,000 euros. August 21, 2020, accessed on August 22, 2020 .
  155. Extensive, printed in various editions. Its shorter is given below. Work from 1954, published in Ger. was also produced by various publishers, u. a. with numerous b / w illustrations, these are also included to varying degrees, e.g. B. Heyne Verlag , German Book Association
  156. ^ Hari Kunzru: Appreciating Gandhi Through His Human Side. In: New York Times . March 29, 2011.
  157. Haznain Kazim, Islamabad: Debate about Gandhi biography. "The writing is perverse". In: Spiegel Online . April 6, 2011.
  158. annoted edition. Readable online in internet commerce
  159. Manuscript completed in 1988.