Leadership Characteristics Of Mahatma Gandhi

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Many leaders in the world guide people and help their followers through situations and events with truly remarkable talent that many people remember that leader for his extraordinary characteristics. One such leader that comes in this category is Mahatma Gandhi, the legendary freedom fighter and one of India’s founding fathers who opposed the tyranny of British rule and gave India its freedom. Mahatma Gandhi was born in Porbandar, Gujrat in 1869. In 1883 Gandhi was married to 14-year-old Kasturbai Makhanji, it was an arranged marriage that happened according to the custom of that time. His wedding was also taken place as a joint wedding with his brother and cousin. In 1885 Gandhi’s father passed away he was 16 years old at the time and his young bride was 17 at the time. They tried to have a baby which only survived for a few days due to lack of medical facilities. This extremely saddened Gandhi and he went abroad to take his mind off and further study his Major. He went to London to study law at the age of 22 in London 1891, Upon failing his Law Degree he moved to South Africa as an Indian merchant where he would raise a family, and also started his non-violent resistance campaign for Civil rights. He returned to India in 1915 at the age of 45 and assumed the power of the Indian National Congress in 1921. Upon assuming control of the Indian National Congress he led Nationwide campaigns to decrease poverty, increase women's rights and decrease tax, and above all of them achieving Swaraj or self-rule for the country which in simple terms means to promote democracy. In 1930 he led the most challenging protest throughout his life which was called the Dandi salt march which was a protest march against the tax which was imposed on salt which is an everyday commodity used in households. His vision was cleared when he returned to India in 1915 was to get India free from the shackles of British rule and to establish Swaraj or self-rule for India and its future generations.

Gandhi was imprisoned for many years due to his beliefs and ideologies his vision of independence was based on religious Pluralism. In 1942 he launched the quit India movement also known as the Civil Disobedience movement in which riots would break out at different parts of the country as every civilian in the country was disobedient to the rule of the British and was doing everything to oppose the British rule. This was an immediate call for independence by Gandhi to drive the country towards freedom. This movement was supposed to be non-violent and harmless but people caused riots and started a breakout and civilians not only caused destruction to the infrastructure but also started to fight against the British. Gandhi believed in the Philosophy of non-violence when he heard about the situation he was extremely displeased and called off the movement immediately. Gandhi continued to launch protests and other Civil disobedience movements to oppose the tyranny of British rule. India at the time was divided into multiple different groups because of religion and cast. Gandhi influenced and empowered all sections of society to gather up and oppose the tyranny of the British. There were many ways he was admired when he was opposing British rule. The way he dressed symbolized peace and security. He wore a cotton cloth which was called dhoti shawl a pair of glasses and a watch. He didn’t wear any of the clothes which were made by the British, he wore that to boycott foreign goods and represent India at the time which was poor and miserable from the British rule. This shows that he represented the people and the place where he was from, as not only did he wear his traditional dhoti at home but also outside his home where the congress meetings were held. He did not change for anyone and was very persistent and dedicated to his words. He strongly believed in his philosophy which was called Ahimsa, which means non-violence. All of his actions motivated people to follow his path attracted people in huge numbers to follow his cause. Throughout his fight against the British, he strictly followed all of his principles and never gave up. He was also a very kind and caring individual who had a lot of charisma and helped anyone who was in need. These are the characteristics shown by a motivational leader and also a transformational leader.

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Gandhi not only influenced people but also united every individual which was his follower from different sections of the society. India at the time was a hostile place for people to live in. The Hindus hated Muslims and the Muslims hated the Hindus. They would often have religious conflicts and fights between them which would turn bloody from time to time. When the British came about the situation got much worse as the British would use this to their advantage. The lack of coordination between people made it easy for the British to ravage Indians and spread rumors among Hindus and Muslims which added more fuel to the fire and hence people fought more among themselves more. Gandhi was a transformational leader as he united both the Hindus and Muslims during a hostile period when war and bloodbath were going on between both the communities. Gandhi spread his message across various parts of India to influence and empower people. He not only helped India but also South Africa. During his stay in South Africa, he bought many social and economic reforms to the country which helped the country a lot during that time. In 1894 he formed the Natal Indian Congress in South Africa which led a peaceful protest against the oppressive treatment of the native Africans and Indians who were living there at the time. In 1906 Gandhi first organized the first Satyagraha a protest to fight against discrimination by the white people. In 1907 he launched another Satyagraha for his African peers. He also fought the nullification act of non-Christian marriages in 1913 so Indians could marry anyone who they wanted to and not based on race. Wherever Gandhi went he fought for equality and peace he influenced tons of people for his cause and motivated people to join him in his cause.

Ever since Gandhi was young he had leadership characteristics and traits which made him stand out more than others. In the beginning, when Gandhi was young he saw that the world was unjust and unruly he saw that a lot of people didn’t have the basic right to live which was a human right. This made him determined and he thought about fighting this issue and making everyone equal. He believed that he should stand up for what's right and help his people who were suffering from the tyranny of British rule. During his famous protest the Dandi March which was led by Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi a 240-mile walk in which he led millions of people across the state to join his cause and eliminate the British monopoly of salt tax which was burdening millions of Indians during that time. It is seen that his leadership traits were very likable among people because he was able to influence millions of people to march across the country to protest against the British which at the time a lot of people were afraid to do. He was also a very compassionate leader and cared about everyone. He not only limited people of his race to join the cause but also the Africans which at that time was a big thing as a lot of Indians were not ready to accept Africans. This shows that he was also Open-minded and understanding of people. This shows that Gandhi had the necessary traits to be a transformational leader and can lead his people when the need arises. Gandhi has the traits to be a reliable leader and can be counted on when things go bad. Gandhi seems to be very persistent when it comes to his philosophy. He follows his philosophy first always when he is leading his people, when he launched the Quit India Movement he told his followers not to resort to any kind of violence and hurt anyone, his beliefs and morals are always come first before his leadership. Therefore it would seem that Gandhi is an effective leader and a good mentor who people would like to follow and look upon.

Gandhi not only taught discipline but also resistance and non-violence to millions of Indians who were hungry for blood. Due to his philosophy and his beliefs, Gandhi is regarded as one of the best leaders across the world who is also considered the father of the nation for India. Gandhi is the best representation of the people in India who couldn’t raise their voices against the British. Because of Gandhi’s peaceful approach and determination, a lot of countries were inspired by him and also continued to fight for their independence against the British. Gandhi’s approach not only made everyone more strong but also made influenced a lot of people to stand up and fight for their freedom. Overall Gandhi was considered a great leader by a lot of people and it’s understandable the reasons why would people like to follow him. Gandhi’s principle changed the world and people, it changed perspective and how people would continue to fight for peace.

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Leadership Characteristics Of Mahatma Gandhi. (2022, February 26). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 14, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/leadership-characteristics-of-mahatma-gandhi/
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Leadership Characteristics Of Mahatma Gandhi [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 26 [cited 2024 Apr 14]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/leadership-characteristics-of-mahatma-gandhi/
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