Today in Religion – Mahatma Gandhi


In 1948, Mahatma Gandhi began his final fast.

Born in 1869, he began life as the youngest son of the fourth wife of his father. His father worked in the political arena but did not make much money. Gandhi attended school but his teachers did not consider him a great student. He seemed to lack self-confidence. Eventually, he decided to earn a legal degree, which sent him to London. After obtaining his degree, he returned to India but struggled to find work. He did not perform well in court and did not have the desire to elbow his way to the top to make money. Eventually, he accepted a contract that sent him to South Africa.

South Africa became his turning point. During his time there, he experienced a lot of racism. The day before returning to India, Gandhi noticed the British proposed law that would remove the rights of Indian subjects in South Africa. At that point, Gandhi decided enough was enough and began his campaign against the British. He stayed in South Africa for many years holding nonviolent protests against the British. He returned to India just before World War I.

Gandhi became known for his fasting. He detested violence and preferred nonviolent protests to accomplish better equality. During World War II, the British handed government control back to the citizens of India. Unfortunately, the Indians had broken into two unforgiving groups. Gandhi held several fasts for communal peace. His last fast started in January 1948 and lasted six days. A few weeks later, an extremist assassinated Gandhi.

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