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January 30: Remembering Gandhi

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Photo Courtesy of  Google Images
Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Rachel Miles

 

Jan. 30 is remembered as the anniversary of Mohandas K. Gandhi’s death. Gandhi remains one of the most revered political and religious figures, not just because of the radical changes he made in India, but because of the way he brought about these changes and presented them to the world.

Gandhi was born in October 1869 and began his life by studying hard, respecting his family, and holding closely the central Hindu principle of truth. This belief in truth stayed with him throughout his life and teachings. He used it as he explored world religions, and he used it even more as he rallied the people to be firm in fighting for their rights—but doing so peacefully.

Mohandas K. Gandhi led the country of India, a country slightly less than half the size of the United States, and which today has about a billion more people, to their freedom (worldometers) without raising a hand in violence. Because of his character, Gandhi had the respect of the people to such a high degree that they were willing to trust him and change for him. He used this power to bring about transformation in a nonviolent way. He was a man like any other with mistakes and regrets in his past, but he allowed these things to help him grow, instead of discourage him. He learned to lay aside all corporeal desires for physical relations in order to focus on his intimate relationship with God and unclouded judgment; for food in order to fast and to become more restrained in his simple way of living; and lastly for many comforts, such as bought clothing because of the way and place that it was made in. In every aspect of his life, Gandhi represented truth and simplicity.

From 1919 to 1922 Gandhi led India in a civil disobedience campaign that led to them being freed from British occupation. He did this through nonviolent, but powerfully effective action that altered the world’s perspective towards means necessary for affecting change. He went on to become involved in a Hindu-Muslim conflict and resolving many of its issues. In the end, it was his religious acceptance of the Hindus which drove one of the Muslim radicals to assassinate him on Jan. 30, 1948 in New Delhi, India. However, despite his death, Gandhi’s legacy has carried on for almost a century, inspiring people consistently through the lessons he taught of peace and nonviolent change.