(Online Cours) CAPF Assistant Commandant: History - Gandhian Era (1917-1947)

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History : Gandhian Era (1917-1947)

Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2 October, 1869 at Porbandar of Kathiawar in Gujarat. His full name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. At the age of 13 only, his marriage was solemnised with Kasturba. In 1887, he went to England for higher education and returned to India in 1892 after becoming a Barrister. In 1893, he went to South Africa to plead for a case. In fact, he had gone there on a contractual assignment for a year but spent almost twenty-two years in that country. In January 1915, when he returned to India, he found the whole country involved in the war efforts of the British. Gandhi’s political thoughts were

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based on religion. But he did not adopt religion in a communal sense. He had firm belief in Hinduism but his Hinduism was more in the form of humanism. He used to give importance to truth, non-violence, morality, universal brotherhood, sacrifice and self-confidence in politics. Gandhi recorded his initial thoughts in 1909 in Hind Swaraj. These thoughts were based on his personal experiences. The original version of these thoughts were written in Gujarati.


Mahatma Gandhi had laid great stress on satyagraha in his thoughts. Satyagraha means pursuance of truth. It means striving for truth even by undergoing physical pain. Gandhi relied on the methods of non violence to strive for the truth. Thus, it was agreeable to him to suffer physical hardship for the sake of truth.

He used to accept Satyagraha not simply as a means but as a principle by itself. He himself had written “Satyagraha is (such) a spiritual principle which is based on love for the mankind. There is no feeling of hatred in it towards the opponents”.

Mahatma Gandhi considered four preconditions as necessary for a satyagrahi to fulfil. He stated : “After a great deal of experience, it seems to me that those who want to become passive resisters for the service of the country have to observe (1) perfect chastity, (2) adopt poverty, (3) follow truth, and (4) cultivate fearlessness.”

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