What were some of the personal qualities of Mohandas Gandhi?
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Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) was a prominent Indian leader who taught people to resist British colonial rule through nonviolent means. So using what we know of his struggles we can identify him as an ethical person. He insisted that the struggle against the British should be done through nonviolent methods: not meeting aggression with retaliation. He was a very controlled person as well. He went on hunger strikes as necessary to protest British rule (and later, to encourage the Indian government to pay money owed to Pakistan). He was innovative. Noting that the British relied on economic trade with India, he instructed his followers to make their own salt and weave their own cloth. And in addition to the above, he was courageous for standing up for what's right and doing something about it.
Gandhi was also about as non-materialistic as you can get. He owned a few sets of simple clothes, and that was pretty much it. So he was not into revolution for glory or power or money, but for social justice. Add to this the fact that he was able to prove non-violent tactics could work to overcome the might of the British Empire. Can you imagine even having the guts to try in a colonial time period such as that? So I would have to add bravery and resourcefulness.
Still, Gandhi could not have done it on his own, so in addition, Gandhi was a teacher. He spread his ideas to the masses, and together they were able to achieve a miracle. Other activists borrowed his ideas on non-violent resistance, so we could say he was ahead of his time also.
Mohandas Gandhi was a charismatic person with ability to unarm resistance of people and win their love and respect with a charming simplicity and honesty. He valued basic human qualities like truthfulness and honesty much more than outward show and pomp. He valued his principles much more than personal comfort and benefits, leading very simple life and practiced may austerities like frequent fasting and not speaking for extended periods to cleanse the soul.
He was a deeply religious person, but respected all religions. Though he was proud of the heritage of India and Hindu Religion, he was opposed to the aberrations that had creeped in the Indian society and Hindu religion, and he worked with great vigour to rid Hindu society of practices like untouchability.
He was a great orator and a writer. He followed a simple and direct style of writing, without flowery language or rhetoric.
His support for non-violence and peaceful means are well known, but this approach is often confused with personal weakness. But fact is that he was a man of great personal courage, and perhaps his greatest contribution to Indian Freedom Movement was to Inspire Indians, by personal example, to face British oppression with determination and courage.
Some of Gandhi's personal qualities was an unbreakable commitment to his own values. Research has shown that Gandhi was driven by a personal embrace of the values that he espoused on a political level. He did not succumb to the life of political splendor while the nation of India was under the heel and hell of British rule. He maintained a safe distance between his own status and political conferments which happened after the British left. He lived on his own, in an ashram, spinning his own clothes, eating sparingly, and meditating on the nature of love and evil in the world. This made him very difficult to live with on a personal level, as his own wife was estranged from him emotionally and intimately to a certain extent, as well as his own children. As Gandhi became more driven by the need to establish a new moral order in the world which might have even superseded the political one, he became more convinced that these moral absolutes had to be lived in one's life at all costs.
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