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Short Chronology of Gandhi’s Life

Short Chronology of Gandhi's Life
Source: The Gandhi Reader, edited by Homer A. Jack, Samata Books, Madras, 1984

1869

Oct. 2

Born at Porbandar, Kathiawad, son of Karamchand (Kaba) and Putlibai Gandhi.

1876

Attended primary school in Rajkot, where his family moved.

1876

Betrothed to Kasturba (called Kasturba in her old age), daughter of Gokuldas Makanji, a merchant.

1881

Entered high school in Rajkot.

1883

Married to Kasturba.

1885

Father died at age of 63.

1887

Passed matriculation examination at Ahmedabad and entered Samaldas College, Bhavnagar, Kathiawad, but found studies difficult and remained only one term.

1888

First of four sons born.

1891

Sept.

Sailed from Bombay for England to study law.

1891

Summer. Returned to India after being called to bar. Began practice of law in Bombay and Rajkot.

1893

April

Sailed for South Africa to become lawyer for an Indian firm.

1893

Found himself subjected to all kinds of color discrimination.

1894

Prepared to return to India after completing law case, but was persuaded by Indian colony to remain in South Africa and do public work and earn a living as a lawyer.

1894

Drafted first petition sent by the Indians to a South African legislature.

1894

May

Organised Natal Indian Congress.

1896

Returned to India for six months to bring back his wife and two children to Natal.

1896

Dec.

Sailed for South Africa with family. Was mobbed when he disembarked at Durban for what Europeans thought he wrote about South Africa when he was in India.

1899

Organised Indian Ambulance Corps for British in Boer War.

1901

Embarked with family for India, promising to return to South Africa if Indian community there needed his services again.

1901 – 1902

Travelled extensively in India, attended Indian National Congress meeting in Calcutta, and opened law office in Bombay.

1902

Returned to South Africa after urgent request from Indian community.

1903

Summer. Opened law office in Johannesburg.

1904

Established the weekly journal, Indian Opinion.

1904

Organised Phoenix Settlement near Durban, after reading Ruskin's Unto This Last.

1906

March

Organised Indian Ambulance Corps for Zulu "Rebellion".

1906

Took vow of continence for life.

1906

Sept.

First satyagraha campaign began with meeting in Johannesburg in protest against proposed Asiatic ordinance directed against Indian immigrants in Transvaal.

1906

Oct.

Sailed for England to present Indians' case to Colonial Secretary and started back to South Africa in December.

1907

June

Organised satyagraha against compulsory registration of Asians ("The Black Act").

1908

Jan.

Stood trial for instigating satyagraha and was sentenced to two months' imprisonment in Johannesburg jail (his first imprisonment).

1908

Jan.

Was summoned to consult General Smuts at Pretoria; compromise reached; was released from jail.

1908

Feb.

Attacked and wounded by Indian extremist, Mir Alam, for reaching settlement with Smuts.

1908

Aug.

After Smuts broke agreement, second satyagraha campaign began with bonfire of registration certificates.

1908

Oct.

Arrested for not having certificate, and sentenced to two months' imprisonment in Volksrust jail.

1909

Feb.

Sentenced to three months' imprisonment in Volksrust and Pretoria jails.

1909

June

Sailed for England again to present Indians' case.

1909

Nov.

Returned to South Africa, writing Hind Swaraj en route.

1910

May

Established Tolstoy Farm near Johannesburg.

1913

Began penitential fast (one meal a day for more than four months) because of moral lapse of two members of Phoenix Settlement.

1913

Sept.

Helped campaign against nullification of marriages not celebrated according to Christian rites, with Kasturba and other women being sentenced for crossing the Transvaal border without permits.

1913

Nov.

Third satyagraha campaign begun by leading "great march" of 2,000 Indian miners from Newcastle across Transvaal border in Natal.

1913

Nov.

Arrested three times in four days (at Palmford, Standerton, and Teakworth) and sentenced at Dundee to nine months' imprisonment; tried at Volksrust in second trial and sentenced to three months' imprisonment with his European co-workers, Polak and Kallenbach. Imprisoned in Volksrust jail for a few days and then taken to Bloemfontein in Orange Free State.

1913

Dec.

Released unconditionally in expectation of a compromise settlement, C.F. Andrews and W.W. Pearson having been sent by Indians in India to negotiate.

1914

Jan.

Underwent fourteen days' fast for moral lapse of members of Phoenix Settlement.

1914

Jan.

Satyagraha campaign suspended, with pending agreement between Smuts, C.F. Andrews, and Gandhi, and with ultimate passage of Indian Relief Act.

1914

July

Left South Africa forever, sailing from Cape town for London with Kasturba and Kallenbach, arriving just at beginning of World War I.

1914

Organised Indian Ambulance Corps in England, but was obliged to sail for India because of pleurisy.

1915

Secured removal of customs harassment of passengers at Viramgam; first incipient satyagraha campaign in India.

1915

May

Established Satyagraha Ashram at Kochrab, near Ahmedabad, and soon admitted an untouchable family; in 1917 moved ashram to new site on Sabarmati River.

1916

Feb.

Gave speech at opening of Hindu University at Benares.

1917

Helped secure removal of recruiting of South African indenture workers in India.

1917

Led successful satyagraha campaign for rights of peasants on indigo plantations in Champaran. Defied an order to leave area in April, was arrest at Motihari and tried, but case was withdrawn. Mahadev Desai joined him at Champaran.

1918

Feb.

Led strike of mill workers at Ahmedabad. Mill owner agreed to arbitration after his three-day fast (his first fast in India).

1918

March

Led satyagraha campaign for peasants in Kheda.

1918

Attended Viceroy's War Conference at Delhi and agreed that Indians should be recruited for World War I.

1918

Began recruiting campaign, but was taken ill and came near death; agreed to drink goat's milk and learned spinning during convalescence.

1919

Spring. Rowlatt Bills (perpetuating withdrawal of civil liberties for seditious crimes) passed, and first all-India satyagraha campaign conceived.

1919

April

Organised nation-wide hartal - suspension of activity for a day - against Rowlatt Bills.

1919

April

Arrested at Kosi near Delhi on way to Punjab and escorted back to Bombay, but never tried.

1919

Fasted at Sabarmati for three days in penitence for violence and suspended satyagraha campaign, which he called a "Himalayan miscalculation" because people were not disciplined enough.

1919

Assumed editorship of English weekly, Young India, and Gujarati weekly, Navajivan.

1919

Oct.

After five months' refusal, authorities allowed him to visit scene of April disorders in Punjab. Worked closely with Motilal Nehru. Conducted extensive inquiry into violence in many Punjab villages.

1920

April.

Elected president of All-India Home Rule League.

1920

June

Successfully urged resolution for a satyagraha campaign of non-cooperation at Moslem Conference at Allahabad and at Congress sessions at Calcutta (Sept.) and Nagpur (Dec.)

1920

Aug

Second all-India satyagraha campaign began when he gave up Kaisar-i-Hind medal.

1921

Presided at opening of first shop selling homespun (khadi) in Bombay.

1921

Aug.

Presided at bonfire of foreign cloth in Bombay.

1921

Sept.

Gave up wearing shirt and cap and resolved to wear only a loin-cloth in devotion to homespun cotton and simplicity.

1921

Nov.

Fasted at Bombay for five days because of communal rioting following visit of Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII and Duke of Windsor).

1921

Dec.

Mass civil disobedience, with thousands in jail. Gandhi invested with "sole executive authority" on behalf of Congress.

1922

Feb.

Suspended mass disobedience because of violence at Chauri Chaura and undertook five-day fast of penance at Bardoli.

1922

March

Arrested at Sabarmati in charge of sedition in Young India. Pleaded guilty in famous

1922

Statement at the "great trial" in Ahmedabad before Judge Broomfield. Sentenced to six years' imprisonment in Yeravda jail.

1923

Wrote Satyagraha in South Africa and part of his autobiography in prison.

1924

Jan.

Was operated on for appendicitis and unconditionally released from prison in February.

1924

Sept.

Began 21-day "great fast" at Mohammed Ali's home near Delhi as penance for communal rioting (between Hindus and Moslems), especially at Kohat.

1924

Dec.

Presided over Congress session at Belgaum as president.

1925

Nov.

Fasted at Sabarmati for seven days because of misbehaviour of members of ashram.

1925

Dec.

Announced one-year political silence and immobility at Congress session at Cawnpore.

1927

No-tax satyagraha campaign launched at Bardoli, led by Sardar Patel.

1928

Dec.

Moved compromise resolution at Congress session at Calcutta, calling for complete independence within one year, or else the beginning of another all-Indian satyagraha campaign.

1929

March

Arrested for burning foreign cloth in Calcutta and fined one rupee.

1929

Dec.

Congress session at Lahore declared complete independence and a boycott of the legislature and fixed January 26 as National Independence Day. Third all-Indian satyagraha campaign began.

1930

12-Mar

Set out from Sabamarti with 79 volunteers on historic salt march 200 miles to sea at Dandi.

1930

6-Apr

Broke salt law by picking salt up at seashore as whole world watched.

1930

May

Arrested by armed policemen at Karadi and imprisoned in Yeravda jail without trial.

1930

One hundred thousand persons arrested. There was no Congress in December because all leaders were in jail.

1931

Jan.

Released unconditionally with 30 other Congress leaders.

1931

March

Gandhi-Irwin (Viceroy) Pact signed, which ended civil disobedience.

1931

Aug.

Sailed from Bombay accompanied by Desai, Naidu, Mira, etc., for the second Round Table Conference, arriving in London via Marseilles, where he was met by C.F. Andrews.

1931

Autumn. Resided at Kingsley Hall in London slums, broadcast to America, visited universities, met celebrities, and attended Round Table Conference sessions.

1931

Dec.

Left England for Switzerland, where he met Romain Rolland, and Italy, where he met Mussolini.

1931

Dec.

Arrived in India. Was authorised by Congress to renew satyagraha campaign (fourth nation-wide effort).

1932

Jan.

Arrested in Bombay with Sardar Patel and detained without trial at Yeravda prison.

1932

Sept. 20

Began "perpetual fast unto death" while in prison in protest of British action giving separate electorates to untouchables.

1932

Sept. 26

Concluded "epic fast" with historic cell scene in presence of Tagore after British accepted "Yeravda Pact".

1932

Dec.

Joined fast initiated by another prisoner, Appasaheb Patwardhan, against untouchability; but fast ended in two days.

1933

Began weekly publication of Harijan in place of Young India.

1933

8-May

Began self-purification fast of 21 days against untouchability and was released from prison by government on first day. Fast concluded after 21 days at Poona.

1933

July

Disbanded Sabarmati ashram, which became centre for removal of untouchability

1933

Aug

Arrested and imprisoned at Yeravda for four days with 34 members of his ashram. When he refused to leave Yeravda village for Poona, he was sentenced to one year's imprisonment at Yeravda.

1933

Aug. 16

Began fast against refusal of government to grant him permission to work against untouchability while in prison; on fifth day of fast he was removed to Sassoon Hospital; his health was precarious; he was unconditionally released on eighth day.

1933

Nov.

Began ten-month tour of every province in India to help end untouchability.

1933

Nov.

Kasturba arrested and imprisoned for sixth time in two years.

1934

Summer. Three separate attempts made on his life.

1934

July

Fasted at Wardha ashram for seven days in penance against intolerance of opponents of the movement against untouchability.

1934

Oct.

Launched All-India Village Industries Association.

1935

Health declined; moved to Bombay to recover.

1936

Visited Seagon, a village near Wardha in the Central Provinces, and decided to settle there... (This was renamed Sevagram in 1940 and eventually became an ashram for his disciples.)

1937

Jan.

Visited Travancore for removal of untouchability.

1938

Autumn. Tour of Northwest Frontier Province with the Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan.

1939

March

Began fast unto death as part of satyagraha campaign in Rajkot; fast ended four days later when Viceroy appointed as arbitrator.

1940

Oct.

Launched limited, individual civil-disobedience campaign against Britain's refusal to allow Indians to express their opinions regarding World War II - 23,000 persons imprisoned within a year.

1942

Harijan resumed publication after being suspended for 15 months.

1942

March

Met Sir Stafford Cripps in New Delhi but called his proposals "a post-dated cheque"; they were ultimately rejected by Congress.

1942

Aug.

Congress passed "Quit India" resolution - the final nation-wide satyagraha campaign - with Gandhi as leader.

1942

Aug. 9

Arrested with other Congress leaders and Kasturba and imprisoned in Aga Khan Palace near Poona, with populace revolting in many parts of India. He began correspondence with Viceroy.

1942

Aug.

Mahadev Desai, Gandhi's secretary and intimate, died in Palace.

1943

Feb. 10

Began 21-day fast at Aga Khan Palace to end deadlock of negotiations between Viceroy and Indian leaders.

1944

Feb. 22

Kasturba died in detention at Aga Khan Palace at age of seventy-four.

1944

6-May

After decline in health, was released unconditionally from detention (this was his last imprisonment; he had spent 2338 days in jail during his life time).

1944

Sept

Important talks with Jinnah of Moslem League in Bombay on Hindu-Moslem unity.

1946

March

Conferred with British Cabinet Mission in New Delhi.

1946

Nov.

Began four-month tour of 49 villages in East Bengal to quell communal rioting over Moslem representation in provisional government.

1947

March. Began tour of Bihar to lessen Hindu-Moslem tensions.

1947

March

Began conferences in New Delhi with Viceroy (Lord Mountbatten) in Jinnah.

1947

May

Opposed Congress decision to accept division of country into India and Pakistan.

1947

Aug. 15

Fasted and prayed to combat riots in Calcutta as India was partitioned and granted independence.

1947

Sept.

Fasted for three days to stop communal violence in Calcutta.

1947

Sept.

Visited Delhi and environs to stop rioting and to visit camps of refugees (Hindus and Sikhs from the Punjab).

1948

Jan. 13

Fasted for five days in Delhi for communal unity.

1948

Jan. 20

Bomb exploded in midst of his prayer meeting at Birla House, Delhi.

1948

Jan. 30

Assassinated in 78th year at Birla House by Nathuram Vinayak Godse.


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