General Knowledge for IAS Exams (The Gandhian Era (1917-47)

General Knowledge for IAS Exams (History of India and World)



  • Birth: October 2, 1869 at Porbandar, Gujarat. [Note: UNO declared October 2 as ‘International Non-violence Day’ (Antarrashtriy Ahimsa Diswas)]
  • Father: Karamchand Gandhi.
  • Mother: Putali Bai.
  • Political Guru: Gopal Krishna Gokhale.
  • Private Secretary: Mahadev Desai.
  • Literary Influence on Gandhi: John Ruskin’s Unto the Last, Emerson, Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy, the Bible and the Gita.
  • Literary Works: Hind Swaraj (1909), My Experiments with Truth (Autobiography, 1927)—reveals events of Gandhi’s life upto 1922.
  • As an Editor: Indian Opinion: 1903–15 (in English & Gujarati, for a short period in Hindi & Tamil),
  • Harijan: 1919–31 (in English, Gujarati and Hindi), Young India: 1933–42 (in English gujarati-named Navjeevan).
  • Other Names: Mahatma (Saint) by Rabindranath Tagore, 1917; Malang Baba/ Nanga Faqir (Naked Saint) by Kabailis of Noth-West Frontier, 1930; Indian Faqir/Traitor Faqir-byWinston Churchill, 1931; Half-naked Saint by Franq Mores, 1931; Rashtrapita (the Father of the Nation) by Subhash Chandra Bose, 1944.

In South Africa (1893–1914)

  • 1893: Departure of Gandhi to South Africa.
  • 1894: Foundation of Natal Indian Congress.
  • 1899: Foundation of Indian Ambulance Core during Boer Wars.
  • 1904: Foundation of Indian Opinion (magazine) and Phoenix Farm, at Phoenix, near Durban.
  • 1906: First Civil Disobedience Movement (Satyagaraha) against Asiatic Ordiannce in Transvaal.
  • 1907: Satyagraha against Compulsory Registration and Passes for Asians (The Black Act) in Transvaal.
  • 1908: Trial and imprisonment- Johanesburg Jail (First Jail Term).
  • 1910: Foundation of Tolstoy Farm (Later-Gandhi Ashrama), near Johannesburg.
  • 1913: Satyagraha against derecognition of non-Christian marraiges in Cape Town.
  • 1914: Awarded Kaisar-i-Hind for raising an Indian Ambulance Core during Boer wars.

In India (1915–48)

  • 1915: Arrived in Bombay (India) on 9 January 1915; Foundation of Satyagraha Ashrama at Kocharab near Ahmedabad (20 May). In 1917, Ashrama shifted at the banks of Sabarmati.

  • 1916: Abstain from active politics (though he attended Lucknow session of INC held in 26–30 December, 1916, where Raj Kumar Shukla, a cultivator from Bihar, requested him to come to Champaran.)

  • 1917: Gandhi entered active politics with Champaran campaign to redress grievances of the cultivators oppressed by Indigo planter of Bihar (April 1917). Champaran Satyagraha was his first Civil Disobedience Movement in India.

  • 1918: In Febuary 1918, Gandhi launched the struggle in Ahmedabad which involved industrial workers. Hunger strike as a weapon was used for the first time by Gandhi during Ahmedabad struggle. In March 1918, Gandhi worked for peasants of Kheda in Gujarat who were facing difficulties in paying the rent owing to failure of crops. Kheda Satyagraha was his first Noncooperation Movement.

  • 1919: Gandhi gave a call for Satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act on April 6, 1919 and took the command of the nationalist movement for the first time (First all-India Political Movement), Gandhi returns Kaisar-i-Hind gold medal as a protest against Jallianwala Bagh massacre-April 13, 1919; The All India Khilafat Conference elected Gandhi as its president (November 1919, Delhi).

  • 1920–22: Gandhi leads the Non-Cooperation and Khilafat Movement (August 1, 1920–Febuary 1922), Gandhi calls off Movement (Feb. 12, 1922), after the violent incident at Chauri- Chaura on Febuary 5, 1922. Non-
    Co-operation Movement was the First mass based politics under Gandhi.

  • 1924: Belgaum (Karnataka) session of INC–for the first and the last time Gandhi was elected the president of the Congress. 1925–27 Gandhi retires from active politics for the first time and devotes himself to ‘constructive
    programme’ of the Congress; Gandhi resumes active politics in 1927.

  • 1930–34: Gandhi launches the Civil Disobedience Movement with his Dandhi march/Salt Satyagraha (First Phase: March 12, 1930– March 5, 1931; Gandhi-Irwin Pact: March 5, 1931; Gandhi attends the Second Round Table Conference in London as sole representative of the Congress: September 7-December 1, 1931; Second Phase: January 3, 1932– April 17, 1934).

  • 1934–39: Sets up Sevagram (Vardha Ashram).

  • 1940–41: Gandhi launches Individual Satyagraha Movement.

  • 1942: Call to Quit India Movement for which Gandhi raised the slogan, ‘Do or Die’ (Either free India or die in the attempt), Gandhi and all Congress leaders arrested (August 9, 1942).

  • 1942–44: Gandhi kept in detention at the Aga Khan Palace, near Pune (August 9, 1942–May, 1944). Gandhi lost his wife Kasturba (Febuary 22, 1944) and private secretary Mahadev Desai; this was Gandhi’s last prison term.

  • 1946: Deeply distressed by theory of communal violence, as a result Muslim League’s Direct Action call, Gandhi travelled to Noakhali (East Bengal-now Bangladesh) and later on to Calcutta to restore communal peace.

  • 1947: Gandhi, deeply distressed by the Mountbatten Plan/Partition Plan (June 3, 1947), while staying in Calcutta to restore communal violence, observes complete silence on the dawn of India’s Independence (August, 15, 1947). Gandhi returns to Delhi (September 1947).

  • 1948: Gandhi was shot dead by Nathu Ram Godse, a member of RSS, while on his way to the evening prayer meeting at Birla House, New Delhi (January 30, 1948).

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