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Chris Thomas
Ms. Boeh
Beginning Composition
03 December 2014
Gandhi: The Ideal Upstander
Mahatma Gandhi, a peaceful activist once claimed, Where there is love, there is life.
(BrainyQuote). What Gandhi meant was when people love each other; there will be no hate or
war between each other. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or formally known as Mahatma Gandhi
was born on October 2nd, 1869 in Porbandar, India. Gandhi is known for being a nonviolent
activist and a father of a nation, who strived for peace between the British and Indians. He finally
gained Indias independence from Britain on August 15th, 1947. However Gandhi was
assassinated on January 30th 1948 in New Delhi, India, but he died as a world renowned
upstander, a person who is willing to stand up for what is right. Mahatma Gandhi was an
upstander because he fought to end segregation against Indians in a nonviolent way.
Mahatma Gandhi created the philosophy of satyagraha or nonviolent civil
disobedience. When Gandhi finished his degree in law, he returned to India. Soon after that he
was sent to South Africa to practice law in a firm. When he was in South Africa he witnessed
racial discrimination and injustice received by Indians living there. It was in South Africa,
Gandhi first led his protests and from there he led countless protests and strikes against the
discrimination of his people. While he was there he made the philosophy or idea of satyagraha or
nonviolent civil disobedience. This idea or philosophy made the ultimate difference in Gandhis

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protests between violence and nonviolence. He used this philosophy until he died and it is still
used today. Famous figures such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. have been
influenced by satyagraha in their movements. This proves my point because the philosophy of
satyagraha is one of the many reasons why Mahatma Gandhi was an upstander and a father of a
nation. Mahatma Gandhi argued, Violent means will give violent freedom. This would be a
menace to the world and to India herself. (BrainyQuote). Gandhi meant that violence is not the
answer and it will only make things worse. This relates to my point because Gandhi emphasizes
on non-violence in their protests.
Gandhi led many nonviolent strikes against the British to end discrimination and gain
independence from Britain. Mahatma Gandhi came from South Africa and back to India in 1915.
When he was in India, Gandhi became the leader of the India Nationalist Movement for home
rule or swaraj. He witnessed injustice and discrimination received by Indians from the British.
He led a myriad of protests and hunger strikes against unfair laws by the British such as the
Rowlatt Acts. One of his greatest protests was the Great Salt March. The British instigated the
Salt Acts which taxed salts and made a monopoly. So the protesters made their own salt, which
was against British law on the beach. Hundreds of Indian independence followers were arrested
that day for this. Gandhis strikes and protests made a difference in Indias future. He even had
hunger strikes against the cruel treatment of so called untouchables which are the poor people
in the Hindu caste system. This shows that Gandhis non-violent strikes and protests against
British rule make him an upstander because of his non-violent strikes. Martin Luther King Jr., a
civil rights activist reminds us that, Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts
without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals. (BrainyQuote).
What Martin Luther King Jr. meant was that nonviolence is a weapon that does not hurt but also

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heals. This relates to my point because Gandhi used non-violent protests against the British and
they received their own country.
Gandhis legacy still lived on after him, as many people have followed the ways of
Gandhi and took inspiration from him. Some famous people were Nelson Mandela and Martin
Luther King Jr. Nelson Mandela was an activist in South Africa during the apartheid. He
witnessed discrimination of his people and wanted to do something about this problem. Mandela
was inspired by Gandhis satyagraha campaigns in South Africa and in India. Because of
Mandelas non-violent protests, he has become a hero. Martin Luther King Jr. was very well
respected for his non-violent boycotts and strikes against racial discrimination. Martin Luther
King Jr. was inspired by Gandhis ways of nonviolence in his protests especially the idea of
satyagraha. Martin Luther King Jr. found India as a perfect example of what a nonviolent
campaign makes. He uses Gandhis ideas in all of his boycotts and protests and his Civil Rights
Movement. This agrees with my point because Gandhi was such an upstander, later activists such
as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. were inspired by his teachings and way of
nonviolence. Martin Luther King Jr. once emphasized, At the center of non-violence stands the
principle of love. (BrainyQuote). What he means is that nonviolence simply is mutual love.
This relates to my point because, Gandhi only wanted love between the British and the Indians,
not hate and discrimination.
Mahatma Gandhi was considered a hero in the past and he still is. Gandhi did
extraordinary things to become an upstander, such as making satyagraha, and leading nonviolent
strikes against British rule in India. Gandhis life has influenced many important people such as
Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. You can be just like Gandhi even if you uphold
peace in the simplest way and fight for what is right such as stopping a fight, or an argument. Not

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everyone can lead strikes but everyone can uphold peace. Mahatma Gandhi ended segregation
against Indians in a nonviolent way and became an ideal upstander.

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Works Cited
"Mahatma Gandhi Biography." Biography Online. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
"Mahatma Gandhi Quote." BrainyQuote. Xplore. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
"Mahatma Gandhi Quote." BrainyQuote. Xplore. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.
"Martin Luther King, Jr. Quote." BrainyQuote. Xplore. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.
"Martin Luther King, Jr. Quote." BrainyQuote. Xplore. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.
"Mohandas Gandhi." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 1 Jan. 2010. Web.
18 Nov. 2014.
"Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.