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Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi. Nelson Mandela. “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

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Mahatma Gandhi

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  1. Mahatma Gandhi Nelson Mandela

  2. “Be the change you wish to see in the world” Mohandas Karamchand – known as Mahatma or "Great-Souled" – Gandhi was born in Porbandar, the capital of a small principality in what is today the state of Gujarat in Western India, where his father was prime minister. His mother was a profoundly religious Hindu. She and the rest of the Gandhi family belonged to a branch of Hinduism in which non-violence and tolerance between religious groups were considered very important. In the second half of the 1880s, Mohandas went to London where he studied law. After having finished his studies, he first went back to India to work as a barrister, and then, in 1893, to Natal in South Africa, where he was employed by an Indian trading company. There, Gandhi worked to improve living conditions for the Indian minority. This work, which was especially directed against increasingly racist legislation, made him develop a strong Indian and religious commitment, and a will to self-sacrifice. With a great deal of success he introduced a method of non-violence in the Indian struggle for basic human rights. The method, satyagraha – "truth force" – was highly idealistic; without rejecting the rule of law as a principle, the Indians should break those laws which were unreasonable or suppressive. Each individual would have to accept punishment for having violated the law. However, he should, calmly, yet with determination, reject the legitimacy of the law in question. This would, hopefully, make the adversaries – first the South African authorities, later the British in India – recognise the unlawfulness of their legislation. When Gandhi came back to India in 1915, news of his achievements in South Africa had already spread to his home country. In only a few years, during the First World War, he became a leading figure in the Indian National Congress. Through the interwar period he initiated a series of non-violent campaigns against the British authorities. At the same time he made strong efforts to unite the Indian Hindus, Muslims and Christians, and struggled for the emancipation of the 'untouchables' in Hindu society. While many of his fellow Indian nationalists preferred the use of non-violent methods against the British primarily for tactical reasons, Gandhi's non-violence was a matter of principle. His firmness on that point made people respect him regardless of their attitude towards Indian nationalism or religion. Even the British judges who sentenced him to imprisonment recognised Gandhi as an exceptional personality.

  3. Discrimination in South Africa In South Africa Gandhi experienced for the first time what it meant to the ethnical minority of Indians to be discriminated against. To the whites all Indians were 'Sammies'or 'Kulies', simply not equal. There are plenty of examples discrimination against Gandhi. He was not served at the hairdresser, was not allowed to wear a turban in the courtroom or to leave the house after 9 p.m. without the approval of his employer and all just because he was an Indian. Simply because of his colour and religion, he was not able to enjoy the same rights as the white population. The discrimination against Indians was massive, especially in public transport. The most well-known example of discrimination that Gandhi experienced happened on a business trip in a train. Gandhi explains the incident in his own words in his autobiography:On the seventh or eighth day after my arrival, I left Durban. A first class seat was booked for me. It was usual there to pay five shillings extra, if one needed a bedding. Abdulla Sheth insisted that I should book one bedding but, out of obstinacy and pride and with a view to saving five shillings, I declined. Abdulla Sheth warned me. 'Look, now,' said he, 'this is a different country from India. Thank God, we have enough and to spare. Please do not stint yourself in anything that you may need.' I thanked him and asked him not to be anxious. The train reached Maritzburg, the capital of Natal, at about 9 p.m. Beddings used to be provided at this station. A railway servant came and asked me if I wanted one. 'No,' said I, 'I have one with me.' He went away. But a passenger came next, and looked me up and down. He saw that I was a 'coloured' man. This disturbed him. Out he went and came in again with one or two officials. They all kept quiet, when another official came to me and said, 'Come along, you must go to the van compartment.' 'But I have a first class ticket,' said I. 'That doesn't matter,' rejoined the other. 'I tell you, you must go to the van compartment.' 'I tell you, I was permitted to travel in this compartment at Durban, and I insist on going on in it.' 'No, you won't,' said the official. 'You must leave this compartment, or else I shall have to call a police constable to push you out.'

  4. Gandhi in Prison South AfricaDuring his twenty-one years in South Africa, Gandhi was sentenced to four terms of imprisonment, the first, on January 10, 1908 to two months, the second, on October 7, 1908 to three months, the third, on February 25, also to three months, and the fourth, on November 11, 1913 to nine months hard labour. He actually served seven months and ten days of those sentences. On two occasions, the first and the last, he was released within weeks because the Government of the day, represented by General Smuts, rather than face satyagraha and the international opprobrium it was bringing the regime, offered to settle the problems through negotiation. On all four occasions, Gandhi was arrested in his time and at his insistence - there were no midnight raids, the police did not swoop on him - there were no charges of conspiracy to overthrow the state, of promoting the activities of banned organisations or instigating inter-race violence. The State had not yet invented the vast repertoire of so-called "security laws", that we had to contend with in our time. There was no Terrorism Act, no "Communism Act", no Internal Security Act, or detentions without trial. The control of the State was not as complete; the Nationalist police state and Nationalist ideology of apartheid were yet to be born. Gandhi was arrested for deliberately breaching laws that were unjust because they discriminated against Indians and violated their dignity and their freedom. He was imprisoned because he refused to take out a registration certificate, or a pass in terms of the Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA), and "instigated" others to do likewise.

  5. India1920 - Gandhi proclaims an organised campaign of noncooperation. He urges Indians to boycott British institutions and products, to resign from public office, to withdraw their children from government schools, to refuse to pay taxes, and to forsake British titles and honours. Gandhi is arrested, but the British are soon forced to release him. He refashions the Congress Party from an elite organisation into an effective political instrument with widespread grassroots support. 1922 - In March Gandhi is arrested by the British and tried on a charge of conspiring to overthrow the government. He pleads guilty and is sentenced to six years imprisonment. 1924 - Gandhi is released from prison in January after an operation for appendicitis. His remaining jail sentence is unconditionally remitted. 1930 - Gandhi proclaims a new campaign of civil disobedience and calls upon the Indian population to refuse to pay taxes, particularly the tax on salt. The campaign centres on a 400 km march to the sea between 12 March and 6 April. On 5 May Gandhi is arrested. He is held at Yerovila Jail in Poona for the rest of the year. About 30,000 other members of the independence movement are also held in jail. 1931 - Gandhi is released from prison on 26 January. He accepts a truce with the British, calls off the civil disobedience campaign and travels to London to attend a 'Round Table Conference' on the future of India. On his return to India he finds that the situation has deteriorated. Hopes that calm will prevail following the negotiations between the Indians and the British are dashed when Gandhi and Nehru are again arrested and imprisoned. 1932 - In September, while still in jail, Gandhi begins a "fast unto death" to improve the status of the Untouchable caste. The fast ends after six days when the British Government accepts a settlement agreement between the Untouchables and higher caste Indians. 1933 - In April Gandhi fasts for 21 days to again focus attention on the plight of the Untouchables. He is released from jail during this fast but rearrested with his wife and 30 followers on 31 July after commencing a new "individual" civil disobedience campaign and sentenced to a year in jail. 1942 - With Japanese forces reaching the eastern borders of India, the British attempt to negotiate with the Indians. However, Gandhi will accept nothing less than independence and calls on the British to leave India. When the Congress Party passes its 'Quit India' resolution in Bombay on 8 August the entire Congress Working Committee, including Gandhi and Nehru, is arrested and imprisoned. Also during 1942 Gandhi officially designates Nehru as his political heir. 1943 - On 10 February Gandhi begins a 21-day fast to win his freedom. The British are unmoved and refuse to release him from custody. 1944 - In February Gandhi's wife dies. Gandhi is allowed to attend her cremation but is then returned to prison. On 6 May he is released for good because of failing health.

  6. Gandhi publicly announced that he was against the Second World War as it broke out in 1939. Whereas he had asked for support for Britain in South Africa and during the First World War, he now called for a boycott. The Indians should not support Britain in this war. In 1942 the cry of "Quit India" emerged. The Indians would withhold their support to the War, unless they were granted independence. For this campaign Gandhi was arrested once again. Because of the looming threat of an invasion of India by the Japanese in 1942, the British needed Indian support and were prepared to make concessions. Independence for India, however, was never what the British Prime Minister Churchill really had in mind. Gandhi was released in 1944. Independence was only granted in 1947 after the war was over and by the new British Labour government, but only in form of two separate states: Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India. Although Gandhi devoted all his strength to it, he was not able to move either Muslims or Hindus, nor the British to agree on founding one common state. The religious groups started migrations of peoples into the new states. Violent unrest ensued. Gandhi tried to restore peace. In 1947/48 he moved to Calcutta and other embattled cities and tried to mediate. Peace seemed impossible. Once again he decided to fast until death. His health seemed to be at serious risk. Neither religious group wanted to be responsible for Gandhi's death and concluded peace (for a short period of time). In taking this action he focused the hatred of fanatics on both sides toward himself. Gandhi at home next to a spinning wheel, which looms in the foreground as a symbol of India's struggle for independence On 30 January Gandhi is assassinated in New Delhi while on his way to his evening prayer meeting. His assassin is a Hindu extremist who opposes Gandhi's willingness to engage in dialogue with Muslims.

  7. After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. His father was Chief Henry Mandela of the Tembu Tribe. Mandela himself was educated at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand andqualified in law in 1942. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party's apartheid policies after 1948. He went on trial for treason in 1956-1961 and was acquitted in 1961. Mandela is the first of his family to go to school, beginning his primary education when he is seven at a Methodist missionary school, where he is given the name Nelson. His education continues at the Clarkebury School and then the all-British Healdtown High School, a strict Methodist college where Mandela hears of the African National Congress (ANC) for the first time. After the banning of the ANC in 1960, Nelson Mandela argued for the setting up of a military wing within the ANC. In June 1961, the ANC executive considered his proposal on the use of violent tactics and agreed that those members who wished to involve themselves in Mandela's campaign would not be stopped from doing so by the ANC. This led to the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. Mandela was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to five years' imprisonment with hard labour. In 1963, when many fellow leaders of the ANC and the Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested, Mandela was brought to stand trial with them for plotting to overthrow the government by violence. His statement from the dock received considerable international publicity. On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town; thereafter, he was at Pollsmoor Prison, nearby on the mainland.

  8. 1948 - The National Party is voted into power by the white electorate. The party has campaigned on the promise to introduce a system of "apartheid" to totally separate the races. Discrimination against blacks, "coloureds" and Asians will be codified and extended. All South Africans are legally assigned to one racial group - white, African, coloured or Asian. All races have separate living areas and separate amenities (such as toilets, parks and beaches). Signs enforcing the separation are erected throughout the country. Only white South Africans are allowed full political rights. Black Africans have no parliamentary representation outside of the supposedly independent homelands created by the state. Mixed marriages are prohibited. Black trade unions are banned. Education isprovided only up to a level to which it is deemed "a native is fitted". Separate universities and colleges are established for Africans, coloureds and Indians. Jobs can be categorised as being for whites only. Travel without a pass is not permitted. Amandla is a Xhosa and Zulu word meaning "power". The word was a popular rallying cry in the days of resistance against Apartheid, used by the African National Congress and its allies. The leader of a group would call out "Amandla!" and the crowd would respond with "Awethu“ or "Ngawethu!" (To us), completing the South African version of the rallying cry Power to the People!. Police powers are expanded. Those charged with dissent are presumed guilty until they can prove their innocence. The Suppression of Communism Act (1950) allows the police to "list" almost any opponent of apartheid as a supporter of the outlawed Communist Party of SouthAfrica. Opponents can be "banned", an order preventing them from holding public office, attending public meetings, visiting specified areas, and subjecting them to lengthy periods of house arrest. The Native Administration Act (1956) allows the government to "banish" Africans to remote rural areas. During the 1950s there are approximately 500,000 pass law arrests annually, more than 600 individuals are listed as communists, nearly 350 are banned, and more than 150 are banished. Speaking later about the National Party, Mandela says, "I despised them. ... They dressed in beautiful suits, silk shirts and silk ties, but they were like a grave - beautiful outside and full of evil inside. That's why I despised them. That's why I fought them."

  9. Mandela in Prison 1964 - On 11 June eight of the Rivonia accused, including Mandela and Sisulu, are convicted. Mandela is found guilty on four charges of sabotage. All eight are sentenced to life imprisonment. They are incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, a former leper colony 7 km off the coast from Cape Town, but continue the fight to end apartheid. The prisoners are kept in tiny cells measuring about two square metres and with only one small barred window. They sleep on the floor on straw mats and have to use a bucket for a toilet. By day they work the island's lime quarry where, because of the light and dust, most suffer from "snow blindness". Mandela has to undergo surgery to restore the lachrymal ducts of his chronically inflamed eyes. To this day he is blinded by flashlights. Mandela is allowed only one visit from his wife Winnie every six months. He will not be allowed to see their two daughters for 10 years. Refusing to be bowed, Mandela continues his studies and encourages the other political detainees to exchange their ideas and knowledge. The prison becomes known among the inmates as the 'Robben Island University' or the 'Nelson Mandela University', and Mandela is elected the leader of the ANC prisoners. Mandela consistently refuses to renounce his political beliefs in exchange for freedom. He becomes a focus of world attention and a symbol for the struggle of black South Africans. However, despite growing international criticism of the apartheid regime, foreign investment continues to pour into the country and immigration rises. Nelson Mandela was released on February 11, 1990. After his release, he plunged himself wholeheartedly into his life's work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after the organization had been banned in 1960, Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organisation's National Chairperson.

  10. 1991 - Negotiations continue on the transition. By April 933 of the country's estimated 2,500 political prisoners have been released. On 5 June the government repeals the law making it illegal for Africans to own land in urban areas and the law segregating people by race. A new law allows all races equal rights to own property anywhere in the country. The law assigning every resident of South Africa to a specific racial group is repealed on 17 June. The international community responds by lifting most of the sanctions on South Africa. On 7 July, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa since the organisation was banned in 1960, Mandela is elected president of the ANC. Sisulu is elected deputy president and Tambo is elected the organisation's national chairperson. Also in July, Mandela travels to Cuba to personally thank Cuban President Fidel Castro for assisting the fight against the apartheid regime. Cuban troops helped to drive South African forces from Angola in the 1970s and 1980s, an outcome that secured Angola's independence, paved the way for the independence of neighbouring Namibia and provided added impetus for the final downfall of apartheid in South Africa. Meanwhile, a National Peace Accord setting codes of conduct for the formal negotiations on the transition is signed in September. The negotiations begin on 20 December. 1992 - White South African's overwhelmingly vote "yes" in a referendum asking if the reform of apartheid should be continued. In September, following a request by Mandela, 400 political prisoners are released. Mandela divorces his now estranged wife Winnie during the year. 1993 - The negotiations on the transition conclude towards the end of the year. It is agreed that a five-year 'Government of National Unity' with a majority-rule constitution will be formed following South Africa's first truly multiracial democratic election, scheduled for April 1994. The new constitution guarantees all South Africans "equality before the law and equal protection of the law", full political rights, freedom of expression and assembly, and the right to "choose a place of residence anywhere in the national territory". 1994 - The ANC wins the country's first all-race elections. Mandela is inaugurated on 10 May at a ceremony in Pretoria, the South African capital. In his inaugural address he stresses the need for reconciliation and once again quotes his own words from the Rivonia trial, reaffirming his determination to create a peaceful, nonracial society. Once Mandela Said..."We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free. Their dreams have become reality." Nelson Mandela is the most inspirational leader of the second half of the 20th Century. He is the most loved and admired world leader of his day. His dignity is breathtaking. He strove to use only the nonviolent methods advocated by Mahatma Gandhi during the struggle to end apartheid and only turned from this path when be became convinced that violence was inevitable. As it eventuated the changeover was achieved without widespread bloodshed.

  11. You may say that I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one Wanda S. Holsman . 5to 4ta - 2008

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