Mahatma Gandhi was born in Porbandar, India on October 2, 1869. He was the youngest of three sons and books were his only companions. His father and grandfather were great men of principle while his mother was very religious. They influenced his life immensely and they raised him to put virtue before wealth. At the tender age of thirteen he had an arranged marriage. In 1887 Gandhi left India to go to England to study law. His mother made him promise that he practices abstinence to wine, women and meat before she gave her blessing for him to leave. In England he joined a vegetarian society and was introduced to the Bible there. The Sermon on the Mount was his favorite reading and he expanded himself to study the principles of world religions.
He traveled to South Africa as a barrister in 1893 and signed a one-year contract, however he remained there over twenty years. During his time there he fought for racial unity and the end to race prejudice. Gandhi lived by his convictions and persuaded others to follow simplicity, harmony, non-violence, and humanitarian efforts. In 1903 he set up office to be an attorney in Johannesburg and wrote his own newspaper for the Indian people called, “The Indian Opinion.” Because of his belief in non-violent civil disobedience to react to an injustice of prejudice he was sent to prison in 1908. Gandhi expressed he much rather be a political prisoner to stop the Anti-Asiatic declaration then to allow it to happen so he used passive resistance as his weapon.
Gandhi was asked to write an autobiography midway through his career. In his farewell speech at the end of book he stresses the spirit of truth will bring happiness and peace. He ends it with, “So long as a man does not of his own free will put himself last among his fellow creatures, there is no salvation for him.”
This report prepared by Susan D. Minkalis