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Other and other without any Headaches, how it should look! The Abdullah case that had brought him to South Africa concluded in May , and the Indian community organised a farewell party for Gandhi as he prepared to return to India. He planned to assist Indians in opposing a bill to deny them the right to vote , a right then proposed to be an exclusive European right.
The Cambridge Companion to Gandhi : Judith M. Brown :
He asked Joseph Chamberlain , the British Colonial Secretary, to reconsider his position on this bill. He helped found the Natal Indian Congress in ,   and through this organisation, he moulded the Indian community of South Africa into a unified political force.
In January , when Gandhi landed in Durban, a mob of white settlers attacked him  and he escaped only through the efforts of the wife of the police superintendent. However, he refused to press charges against any member of the mob. According to Arthur Herman, Gandhi wanted to disprove the imperial British stereotype that Hindus were not fit for "manly" activities involving danger and exertion, unlike the Muslim " martial races ".
They were trained and medically certified to serve on the front lines. They were auxiliaries at the Battle of Colenso to a White volunteer ambulance corps. At the battle of Spion Kop Gandhi and his bearers moved to the front line and had to carry wounded soldiers for miles to a field hospital because the terrain was too rough for the ambulances. In , the Transvaal government promulgated a new Act compelling registration of the colony's Indian and Chinese populations.
At a mass protest meeting held in Johannesburg on 11 September that year, Gandhi adopted his still evolving methodology of Satyagraha devotion to the truth , or nonviolent protest, for the first time. Gandhi's ideas of protests, persuasion skills and public relations had emerged. He took these back to India in Gandhi focused his attention on Indians while in South Africa.
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He was not interested in politics. This changed after he was discriminated against and bullied, such as by being thrown out of a train coach because of his skin colour by a white train official. After several such incidents with Whites in South Africa , Gandhi's thinking and focus changed, and he felt he must resist this and fight for rights. He entered politics by forming the Natal Indian Congress. Gandhi suffered persecution from the beginning in South Africa. Like with other coloured people, white officials denied him his rights, and the press and those in the streets bullied and called him a "parasite", "semi-barbarous", "canker", "squalid coolie", "yellow man", and other epithets.
People would spit on him as an expression of racial hate. While in South Africa, Gandhi focused on racial persecution of Indians but ignored those of Africans. In some cases, state Desai and Vahed, his behaviour was one of being a willing part of racial stereotyping and African exploitation. Gandhi cited race history and European Orientalists' opinions that "Anglo-Saxons and Indians are sprung from the same Aryan stock or rather the Indo-European peoples", and argued that Indians should not be grouped with the Africans.
Years later, Gandhi and his colleagues served and helped Africans as nurses and by opposing racism, according to the Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela. The general image of Gandhi, state Desai and Vahed, has been reinvented since his assassination as if he was always a saint, when in reality his life was more complex, contained inconvenient truths and was one that evolved over time. In , when the British declared war against the Zulu Kingdom in Natal, Gandhi at age 36, sympathised with the Zulus and encouraged the Indian volunteers to help as an ambulance unit.
White soldiers stopped Gandhi and team from treating the injured Zulu, and some African stretcher-bearers with Gandhi were shot dead by the British. The medical team commanded by Gandhi operated for less than two months.
In , Gandhi established, with the help of his friend Hermann Kallenbach , an idealistic community they named "Tolstoy Farm" near Johannesburg. In the years after black South Africans gained the right to vote in South Africa , Gandhi was proclaimed a national hero with numerous monuments. At the request of Gopal Krishna Gokhale , conveyed to him by C.
Andrews , Gandhi returned to India in He brought an international reputation as a leading Indian nationalist, theorist and community organiser. Gandhi joined the Indian National Congress and was introduced to Indian issues, politics and the Indian people primarily by Gokhale. Gokhale was a key leader of the Congress Party best known for his restraint and moderation, and his insistence on working inside the system.
Gandhi took Gokhale's liberal approach based on British Whiggish traditions and transformed it to make it look Indian. Gandhi took leadership of the Congress in and began escalating demands until on 26 January the Indian National Congress declared the independence of India. The British did not recognise the declaration but negotiations ensued, with the Congress taking a role in provincial government in the late s. Gandhi and the Congress withdrew their support of the Raj when the Viceroy declared war on Germany in September without consultation. Tensions escalated until Gandhi demanded immediate independence in and the British responded by imprisoning him and tens of thousands of Congress leaders.
Meanwhile, the Muslim League did co-operate with Britain and moved, against Gandhi's strong opposition, to demands for a totally separate Muslim state of Pakistan. In August the British partitioned the land with India and Pakistan each achieving independence on terms that Gandhi disapproved.
The Cambridge Companion to Gandhi
In a June leaflet entitled "Appeal for Enlistment", Gandhi wrote "To bring about such a state of things we should have the ability to defend ourselves, that is, the ability to bear arms and to use them If we want to learn the use of arms with the greatest possible despatch, it is our duty to enlist ourselves in the army. Gandhi's war recruitment campaign brought into question his consistency on nonviolence.
Gandhi's private secretary noted that "The question of the consistency between his creed of ' Ahimsa ' nonviolence and his recruiting campaign was raised not only then but has been discussed ever since. Gandhi's first major achievement came in with the Champaran agitation in Bihar. The Champaran agitation pitted the local peasantry against their largely British landlords who were backed by the local administration.
The peasantry was forced to grow Indigofera , a cash crop for Indigo dye whose demand had been declining over two decades, and were forced to sell their crops to the planters at a fixed price. Unhappy with this, the peasantry appealed to Gandhi at his ashram in Ahmedabad. Pursuing a strategy of nonviolent protest, Gandhi took the administration by surprise and won concessions from the authorities. In , Kheda was hit by floods and famine and the peasantry was demanding relief from taxes.
Gandhi moved his headquarters to Nadiad ,  organising scores of supporters and fresh volunteers from the region, the most notable being Vallabhbhai Patel. A social boycott of mamlatdars and talatdars revenue officials within the district accompanied the agitation. Gandhi worked hard to win public support for the agitation across the country. For five months, the administration refused but finally in end-May , the Government gave way on important provisions and relaxed the conditions of payment of revenue tax until the famine ended.
In Kheda, Vallabhbhai Patel represented the farmers in negotiations with the British, who suspended revenue collection and released all the prisoners.
In after the World War I was over, Gandhi aged 49 sought political co-operation from Muslims in his fight against British imperialism by supporting the Ottoman Empire that had been defeated in the World War. Before this initiative of Gandhi, communal disputes and religious riots between Hindus and Muslims were common in British India, such as the riots of — Gandhi had already supported the British crown with resources and by recruiting Indian soldiers to fight the war in Europe on the British side.
This effort of Gandhi was in part motivated by the British promise to reciprocate the help with swaraj self-government to Indians after the end of World War I. The British colonial officials made their counter move by passing the Rowlatt Act , to block Gandhi's movement.