Mahatma Gandhi's Ideas: Including Selections from His Writings

Mahatma Gandhi's Ideas: Including Selections from His Writings

Mahatma Gandhi's Ideas: Including Selections from His Writings

Mahatma Gandhi's Ideas: Including Selections from His Writings

Excerpt

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born at a little seaport town on the coast of Kathiawar, called Porbunder, in the year 1869. His father had been Prime Minister of the State, and this office had been made hereditary for some generations past. The family was, therefore, one of the most important in that part of the country, and its members were noted for their firmness and integrity of character. A story has become famous in India about the father of Mohandas Gandhi, that when he had been for a time dismissed from his own State and had taken service in another, he refused to salute the second Rajah with his right hand, saying that in spite of his dismissal his right hand was reserved for his former chief and could not be used in saluting any other.

The young boy's mother was a devout Hindu, who had a deep religious faith penetrating and inspiring her whole personal life and character. From his mother more than anyone else the child gained his own religious nature. It becomes clear from his autobiography that no one so profoundly affected him in childhood as she did.

The Indian States in Kathiawar more than fifty years ago were almost entirely unchanged by their contact with the West. The people have a rugged, independent nature, and though the West had fascinated them by its novelty, they did not think fit to change their own manners and customs. The young boy, therefore, was brought up in a Hindu environment which had little connection with the outside world.

More than once I have visited this corner of India in . . .

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