Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Quotes

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1869 – 1948

Born: 2 October 1869, Porbandar, Kathiawar Agency, British India
Died: 30 January 1948, New Delhi, Union of India

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born at Porbandar, Kathiawad, India on this day in 1869, his father was the prime minister of the principality of Porbandar and his mother taught him the Jain traditions of the area. At thirteen he was married to a fourteen-year-old bride Kasturbai under an arranged marriage. He was a mediocre student at middle school at Porbandar and high school at Rajkot, passing the entrance exams for Samaldas College with difficulty. He was unhappy that he was pushed to study law but in 1888 he moved to England to study law at University College London. He found it difficult to be a vegetarian there, his landlady’s offerings were bland. He found one vegetarian restaurant and joined the Vegetarian Society where he met a number of members of the Theosophical Society. With this group he seriously studied the Hindu and Christian religious texts. He was called to the bar in 1891 and immediately left for India only to find that his mother had died while he was at London. He was unable to establish a practice at Mumbai and after a run-in with an important British officer he took an assignment in the Colony of Natal, South Africa in 1893.

Faced with severe discrimination in travel and accommodation he conceived satyagraha, literally “devotion to the truth”, a practice of non-violent refusal to accept official acts that discriminated against Indians. Gandhi returned to India in 1915 and devoted himself to lifting the oppressive rule of the British. He was called “Mahatma”, meaning “Great Soul”. Although devoted to non-violence himself he did call on Indians to join the British Army in World War I. He campaigned for changes that would improve the lot of natives, such as limiting the power of landlords, getting higher prices for crops, and agitating for and helping build schools and clinics. He specifically called for dominion status starting in 1928 and in 1930 launched the Salt March, in which he walked 288 kilometers (241 miles) to Dandi to make salt for himself, salt which would include no tax to the British. An unknown number joined him, but over 60,000 of them were jailed. He opposed the partition of India into two states and worked bring peace when it occurred, creating India and Pakistan as sovereign states in 1947. On 12 January 1948 he began a fast at Delhi, pledging to not take nourishment as long as the violence between Muslim and Hindu communities continued. He was walking to a dais to speak at a prayer meeting when a Hindu nationalist shot him.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi quotes:

A convert’s enthusiasm for his new religion is greater than that of a person who is born in it.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

An Autobiography (1927)
A man is but a product of his thoughts; what he thinks, that he becomes.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
A man of truth must also be a man of care.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

An Autobiography (1927)
A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
All crime is a kind of disease and should be treated as such.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others. I cannot detach myself from the wickedest soul.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

An Autobiography (1927)
An error can never become true however many times you repeat it. The truth can never be wrong, even if no one hears it.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self sustained.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Young India (1927)
An eye for an eye and the whole world is blind.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
As the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Be the change you want to see in the world.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Do not worry about what others are doing! Each of us should turn the searchlight inward and purify his or her own heart as much as possible.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Facts we would always place before our readers, whether they are palatable or not, and it is by placing them constantly before the public in their nakedness that the misunderstanding between the two communities in South Africa can be removed.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Indian Opinion (1 October 1903)
Force, violence, pressure, or compulsion with a view to conformity are both uncivilized and undemocratic.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings of that precious right.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
God is conscience. He is even the atheism of the atheist.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Had we adopted non-violence as the weapon of the strong, because we realised that it was more effective than any other weapon, in fact the mightiest force in the world, we would have made use of its full potency and not have discarded it as soon as the fight against the British was over or we were in a position to wield conventional weapons. But as I have already said, we adopted it out of our helplessness. If we had the atom bomb, we would have used it against the British.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Speech (16 June 1947)
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Healthy discontent is the prelude to progress.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Human kind has to get out of violence only through nonviolence. Hatred can be overcome only by love. Counter-hatred only increases the surface as well as the depth of hatred.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
I am a Hindu by birth. And yet I do not know much of Hinduism, and I know less of other religions. In fact I do not know where I am, and what is and what should be my belief. I intend to make a careful study of my own religion and, as far as I can, of other religions as well.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

An Autobiography (1927)
I am an uncompromising opponent of violent methods even to serve the noblest of causes.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
I came in contact with every known Indian anarchist in London. Their bravery impressed me, but I felt that their zeal was misguided. I felt that violence was no remedy for India’s ills, and that her civilisation required the use of a different and higher weapon for self-protection.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

“A Word of Explanation” in Young India (January 1921)

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