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Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of

Management

Assignment
On Art and Practices of Leadership

Submitted To:

Submitted By:

Major Gen G.G.Dwivedi


Vivek Sharma (046)

MAHATMA GANDHI
Backgroud
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi, was born on October 2, 1869
in Porbandar, India. He was the youngest child of Karamchand Gandhi and his fourth wife, Putlibai.
He was born into a very religious Hindu family with three siblings. During his childhood, Gandhi was
shy, quiet, gentle and an average student.
Like most youths, Gandhi went through a rebellious phase during his teenage years. He ate meat
(which was strictly prohibited as a Hindu) under the influence of a friend, who said the British were
strong and undefeatable because they ate meat. He also smoked and stole money. Later on, young
Gandhi began to regret his actions and wrote a letter to his father indicating his mistakes. Upon
reading the letter, his father sighed and tore it up. Gandhi vowed from that day on to never eat meat,
smoke, drink or live a dishonest life.
At the age of 13, Gandhi married Kasturba, through an arranged marriage. They had four sons:
Harilal, then Manilal, Ramdas and Devdas.
Gandhi graduated from Samaldas College in Gujarat, after many difficulties. His childhood ambition
was to study medicine, but when his father died, he - being the only educated man in the family - was
urged to become a barrister to take his fathers place in the state service. In order to become a
barrister, he would have to go to England for three years. Gandhi was delighted by this idea, but his
mother was against it. To win his mothers approval, Gandhi swore never to touch wine, women or
meat during his entire stay.
In September 1888, Gandhi traveled to England to study law at University College London. The
English customs and manners were very different from those in India. In an attempt to fit in to English
society and become a perfect English gentleman, Gandhi spent three months taking dance and violin
lessons, learning French, wearing ties, top hats and expensive suits and improving his English accent.
After his futile attempts, Gandhi began living a simple lifestyle. Due to his promise to his mother, he
also joined the London Vegetarian Society. In 1891, after three years of serious studying, Gandhi
obtained a law degree and became a qualified barrister. He returned to India in 1891, anxious to meet
his family. Upon his arrival he learned that his mother had passed away a few weeks earlier. He was
heartbroken by the news.
Gandhi tried to practice law in Rajkot, India, but was unsuccessful. He lacked self-confidence and
knowledge of Indian law. When his brother Lakshmidas asked him to fight his case with a British
officer who had dismissed him, Gandhi fought so horribly that he got himself thrown out of the
building. There was a risk that the British officer might ruin Gandhis career, so Gandhi accepted an
offer to work as a legal advisor with Dada Abdulla & Co., an Indian law firm in South Africa. It was a
year-long contract. In April 1893, Gandhi left for South Africa without his family once again. It was
during his stay in South Africa that Gandhi transformed into a freedom fighter.
South Africa was also governed by the British and Indians were treated as slaves. They were abused,
disgraced and called coolies. Gandhi experienced this racial discrimination when, during his first
week in Durban, Natal he had to travel to Pretoria, Transvaal. Gandhi had a firstclass train ticket for
the trip, yet when a white man boarded the train and saw Gandhi sitting in the first-class compartment,
he objected to the presence of a coloured man and said Get this coolie out of here. Gandhi was
ordered by the railway official to take a third-class passenger seat. When Gandhi refused, a constable
threw him out of the train along with his luggage. Sitting on the railroad station, in the cold night,
Gandhi decided to fight the discriminations Indians faced every day with the weapon of truth.

Shortly after the train incident, Gandhi addressed the Indian community and helped them recognize
the harsh and pitiful conditions in which they lived. Gandhi, along with some fellow Indians, decided
to establish the Natal Indian Congress to represent Indian interests.

A critical analysis of how he succeeded in bringing the change.


When Gandhis contract with Dada Abdulla & Co. ended in 1894, he prepared to leave for India.
However, he happened to glance at a newspaper and learned that a bill to deny Indians the right to
vote was being considered by the Natal Legislative Assembly. Gandhis fellow Indians pleaded with
him to stay and help them. He was unsuccessful in stopping the bill, but his campaign led to
awareness of the sufferings of Indians in South Africa. Gandhis supporters convinced him to stay in
South Africa and help the Indians fight the injustices imposed upon them.
Realizing that his stay in South Africa would be much longer than he had expected, in 1896, Gandhi
returned to India to fetch his family. During his visit, Gandhi raised awareness and made speeches
about the pitiful situation of the Indians in South Africa and the ruthless way they were treated by the
English. He gained the support of many Indian leaders. After six months, he returned to South Africa
with his wife, Kasturba, and his two sons.
During his stay in India, some of his speeches about the poor treatment of Indians in South Africa
reached South Africa in a misleading form. Thus, when Gandhi disembarked from the ship at
Durbans harbour, a large angry mob of whites attacked him with stones, bricks and rotten eggs.
Gandhi was almost unconscious when he was rescued by the police. The South African government
wanted to punish those who had attacked him, but Gandhi refused to file a complaint in an attempt at
peace. This raised his respect amongst the British. In 1899, the Boer War broke out in South Africa.
Gandhi organized the Indian Ambulance Corps in which 1,100 Indians helped injured British soldiers.
Following the teachings of the Holy Book Gita, Gandhi began to lead a simple life. He began to do
day-to-day chores that were usually done by servants, such as washing his own clothes and cleaning
his own toilet. He began to fast. He also commenced a life of voluntary poverty and reduced his
expenses. He ate a few dried nuts, fruits and dates for meals and abandoned the western dress for
traditional Indian clothing. In 1906, he pronounced himself celibate (abstaining from sexual activities
and thoughts) and preached Brahmacharya (vow of celibacy). He devoted himself to the service of
humanity.
It was during this period that Gandhi developed the concept of Satyagraha: firmness in the truth.
Satyagraha was used for the first time in 1907 when the Transvaal government issued The Black
Law, obliging all Indians to register with the authorities and have their fingerprints taken. Those who
disobeyed this law would be jailed and fined. Gandhi told his fellow Indians to oppose The Black
Law. Thus began a seven-year-long struggle for justice. Following Gandhis words, Indians refused to
get fingerprinted. Gandhi organized protests and traveled illegally from Natal to Transvaal with
crowds of Indians, all in disapproval of The Black Law. These were harsh years, considering the
imprisonment of many protestors, including Gandhi. After seven years of protests, deaths,
imprisonments and strikes, the British abolished The Black Law. The 13 taxes enforced on labourers
were also abolished and non-Christian marriages received legal acceptance. This proved that
Satyagraha was effective.
Having spent 21 years in South Africa, Gandhi returned to India in 1915 with a trail of achievements
behind him.
It was in 1915 that the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore gave Gandhi the name Mahatma, meaning
Great Soul. This name reflected the feelings of millions of Indians.
After arriving in his homeland, Gandhi set out to take a year-long tour of India. After having
discovered his country, he settled down in the Sabarmati Ashram that he founded in Ahmedabad.
Instead of completing his ambition of liberating India from the British rule, Gandhi started out by
ending the rivalries and inequalities among his fellow Indians. He persuaded landlords to stop forcing
their farmers to pay increased rent. He struggled to make Indians consider the lowest social class, the

Untouchables, as their own people. He began urging Indians to refuse the use of English goods and
make their own garments at home.
The Rowlatt Act in 1919 gave Gandhi a reason to use Satyagraha against the British. The Rowlatt Act
gave the government permission to imprison Indians without trial. The whole of India went on a strike
under the word of Gandhi, but it was called off when 400 Indians were massacred by the British army
in Amritsar.
Gandhi began using fasting and protests as political weapons.
In 1921, Gandhi became involved with the Indian National Congress. When he realized how
dependant and helpless the Indians had become under British rule, he called the Noncooperation
Movement. The movement ended in 1922, when Gandhi was imprisoned for six years. He was
released after two years due to his deteriorating health.
On March 12, 1930 Gandhi began his historic 24-day Salt March as a protest against a British tax
applied to salt used by all Indians. Hundreds of thousands of Indians marched 241 miles to the
seashore in protest of this unjust law. Shortly after the march, Gandhi was imprisoned. This didnt
stop protestors as the British had expected; it only persuaded them. Masses of Indians were
imprisoned and the matter seemed to get out of hand. Realizing their defeat, the British viceroy, Lord
Irwin and Gandhi settled on the Delhi Pact, which freed all prisoners from jail and allowed Indians a
limited production of salt in return for stopping the protests.
Gandhi retired from political life in 1934. This was not permanent, as he returned five years later
when Britain announced that India would side with them during World War II. The British promised
India independence after the war, but Gandhi was not satisfied. He wanted independence earlier.
During the Quit India campaign of 1942, Gandhi was imprisoned again. In 1944, while he was still
in jail, Kasturba died due to chronic bronchitis.
When Gandhi was released in 1944, rivalries between Hindus and Muslims in India had surfaced.
Since Hindus were a majority in India, Muslims feared that they wouldnt receive any political power
if there was an independent India. Gandhi tried to stop Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was demanding a
separate Muslim state by the name of Pakistan. Gandhi spent 18 days talking to Jinnah in an attempt
to change his mind, but to no avail. Violence spread throughout the country and thousands were
murdered. Independence didnt seem like the aim anymore.
On August 15, 1947 the British left India after deciding not to get involved in the war. India became
independent, yet it was divided in two. One part was named India, consisting of a majority of Hindus.
The other part was named Pakistan, consisting of a majority of Muslims. The rivalries between
Hindus and Muslims hadnt stopped yet. Witnessing these deaths, Gandhi decided to go on a fast until
the violence ended. On January 18, 1948, both sides approached Gandhi with a promise of peace,
ending his five-day fast.
Not everyone was happy with the division of India. Some Hindu groups blamed the separation of
India on Gandhi. On January 30, 1948 Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu extremist, while attending
his evening prayers. Nathuram Godse shot Gandhi three times with a pistol. Gandhi fell to the ground,
dead. The last words he uttered were He Ram meaning Oh God.
At 6:00 p.m. on All India radio, Jawaharlal Nehru made the announcement of Gandhis death. The
country was shocked, as was the rest of the world. Gandhis body was washed for cremation by his
son Devdas and his friends. Two million people surrounded the cremation site. Friends, followers,
Indians and people of all races wept. The Father of the Nation was dead

Leadership Qualities:

1. Faith in selfMahatma Gandhi wasnt a great orator, didnt had a very attractive physique, lived a life of
simplicity and avoided limelight as much as he could, but still he is regarded as one of the
Greatest persons to have ever walked on earth. The reason is he always believed in himself.
He believed that he has a great responsibility to free his country and he had complete faith in
himself. He knew hed a play a significant role in the freedom of India and so he did. His
faith in himself triggered the faith of millions of Indians in him.
2. Resistance & PersistenceFirst they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win.
It was very tough to lead the Independence movement of a huge country such as India and
that too with non-violence and against the violent and cruel British army. Gandhi was beaten
a lot of times, a lot of times he was left alone, bleeding and lying on the ground and
sometimes it seemed that he wont see the sun, next day but each day and each time he faced
the opposition, he resisted, he persisted and he got through all the opposition.

3. ForgivenessThe weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Mahatma Gandhi was thrown into jail, beaten on the roads; many people conspired about his
death and tried to assassinate him. But he forgave them all. He always forgave the people that
might have hurt him in any way.
4. Learning from mistakesConfession of errors is like a broom which sweeps away the dirt and leaves the surface
brighter and clearer. I feel stronger for confession.
Mahatma Gandhi wasnt perfect from the beginning. When he was child, he lied, he stole,
and he fought and was too much after material things. Not all his actions were praised around
the globe. Some of his actions were condemned in his own land. He made mistakes
throughout his life but he never made the same mistake twice. He failed but he learned from
it and achieved success.
5. Strength of CharacterThere are seven sins in the world: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience,
Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity,
Worship without sacrifice and politics without principle.
Mahatma Gandhi was a man of great character. He kept himself away from the materialistic
desires, always favored the truth and honesty, he condemned violence, he was married but
still he was celibate and was himself a pure vegetarian. He was celebrity and was covered on
the front-page of all the important newspapers in the world at that time. But still he lived the
life of simplicity and discipline.
6. Love but never hateWhenever youre confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.
This is a quality most of the people would have difficulty to adopt. But this is a quality often
found in great people. It was present in the Buddha, Christ and in other great spiritual leaders.
This was something Gandhi adopted from his ideals.

7. TruthfulnessTruth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self-sustained.


Most of the people reading this post would not know that before becoming a freedom fighter,
M.K. Gandhi was actually a lawyer. Most people would wonder that the profession of lawyer
requires much cunning and lying but still Gandhi never resorted to lying. He promoted truth
throughout his life. He always called truth as his most powerful weapon.
8. Live in PresentI do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has
given me no control over the moment following.
Gandhi believed in living each moment at fullest and concentrating at the task in hands. He
didnt waste his time looking back at the past or wondering what would happen in the future.
9. Take the first step and Do it anywayNearly everything you do is of no importance, but it is important that you do it
Gandhi himself suffered from the menace of procrastination when he was in school and later
on when he went to England to learn law. Then he devised this method of taking first step in
faith and doing the task anyways. He knew that not all the actions that hed take would be
important but he knew that they will have important results later on.

Leadership Lessons to take from Mahatma Gandhi


Constructive use of anger: We are all aware, how young Gandhi was humiliated in a train in
South Africa, by whites. Its quite natural that Gandhi felt angry and humiliated. But what I
admire in him is the constructive use of that anger. The humiliating experience helped him to
work systematically, against the societal injustice and oppression. Gandhi channelized his
anger to work towards a noble cause of liberating the humanity. Isnt this a beautiful way of
expressing ones emotion?
Undying spirit: Once convinced and determined about something, Gandhi would not look
back. He was also able to take the crowds with him and enthuse them to work towards the
goal. Rain or sunshine, joys or struggles, in prison or out in the field, Gandhi reciprocated the
undying spirit, within and around him.
Tremendous visionary: If Gandhi succeeded in getting the people to fight against the mighty
army of Englishmen,, its because he could give them a vision of a free nation, free India.
For Gandhi, his vision (liberating the nation from the clutches of Englishmen), was crystal
clear. With this noble vision in him, he put his whole self into achieving it. And we today live
his vision in our lives.
Human with frailties: Gandhi did have his own struggles as a person. He knew that he was a
fragile human. Amidst the active and vibrant life outside, he also learnt to face his inner life.
Thus today it is not only what he did for India inspires us rather, Gandhi as a person inspires
us.
Honesty: Gandhi, as a child, during the time of inspection in the school, when his teacher
helped him to copy the answers, proved his mettle by plainly rejecting the offer. This little
incident tells us that, even at the early age, external image or opinion didnt matter him much.
He did have a strong value system and inbuilt convictions in him.
Innovative and creative: His methods were different. When the world thought of peace and
liberty, possible only through violence, Gandhi introduced nonviolent Satyagraha. What the
bloody bullets couldnt achieve, the nonviolent means of Gandhi did. We have also heard
enough a few months ago about his celibacy experiments. These and several other incidents
tell us one truth that Gandhi was innovative and creative in his life

References:
1.

http://history1900s.about.com/od/people/a/gandhi.htm

2.

http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-heroes/mahatma-gandhi/index.html

3.

http://www.mapsofindia.com/personalities/gandhi/south-africa.html

4.

http://www.notablebiographies.com/Fi-Gi/Gandhi-Mohandas.html

5.

http://www.mkgandhi.org/students/story1.htm

6.

http://www.mkgandhi.org/biography/index.htm

7.

http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/mahatma-gandhi-55.php

8.

http://www.biographybase.com/biography/Gandhi_Mohandas.html

9.

http://timelines.com/1894/8/22/mohandes-gandhi-founds-the-natal-indiancongress