User:Scofield/Mahatma Gandhi

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Gandhi's famous stance against fancy clothes and the high life made him a popular icon with the underpriveledged Indians. In the early 20th century, that would account for almost all of them.

Mohandas Karamchand "Mahatma" Gandhi was a lawyer, political activist, anti-imperialist and knitting enthusiast. He is perhaps best known for giving the Governments of every country he's ever been in a very, very hard time. He has frequently stated that the reason for his anti-establishment antics was "being treated like shit by the law-enforcement for no apparent reason."

Early Life[edit]

Mohandas Gandhi was born in the Porabandar village of the Bombay Presidency of British India (now known as Gujarat) to Karamchand Gandhi and Putlibai. Like many Indians of his time, he was brought up in humble surroundings. And like many Indians of his time, he was arranged married at the age of 13 to his life partner Kasturba Gandhi. Needless to say, such practices would be widely condemned and illegalised about 100 years later.

At the age of 15, Gandhi and his wife gave birth to their first child, who unfortunately died in infancy. This irreversible scar on Mohandas's life showed him how vulnerable a man can be, and how vulnerable he had been when he was born. From that moment on, he chose to take his family's Jain and pro-life upbringing more seriously than ever before, and became a far more obedient and respectful child than what we usually see in modern times.

He was not without his flaws, however. His family preached simplicity and abstinence from some of life's greatest temptations- wine, women who are not his wife, meat, and cigarettes. Indeed, Gandhi himself told his friends about the experiences he had with the four temptations.

The two most notable experiences he had were with meat and cigarettes, mainly because he was actually looking forward to giving in to them (women other than his wife were already married, and he did not like the bitter taste of wine).

It is not hard to understand why he would be fascinated with something like meat. Despite being told time and again that every piece of meat "belonged to a poor dead animal", the smell of delectable mutton curry haunted him whenever he returned home after a night out with his friends. He was frequently invited by his friends over for dinner, but when he told them about his family, they automatically understood that there was no way in hell he'd be able to eat anything they served. However, his efforts to resist the forbidden foods finally gave way, and he decided to go ahead and have dinner at his friend's house one fine day. To his excitement, the dinner being served was the very mutton curry whose flavor had haunted him all these years. He thoroughly enjoyed his meal at his friend's house, but its aftermath was disastrous.

Immediately after returning home, pangs of guilt and shame would jump out at him out of nowhere. Whenever his parents would ask how his day went, he would answer with great stuttering and nervousness. His parents of course assumed that their obedient son had messed up at a class test or something, which was nothing out of the ordinary.

In his nightmares, he would dream of a goat hurling abuses at him while being tortured and chopped to bits by a butcher's cleaver. "I dieeeeeee-eh because of youuuuuuu-uh!" the goat would scream, as the cleaver cleaved his neck. As his experiences with meat increased, the nightmares went away. However, his guilt increased. Try as he might, he could not fault the logic of his family. Every animal walked, made noises with its mouth, ate and pooped like all human beings in this world. By killing a goat, he was therefore killing some kind of very, very distant relative. Deciding that his elders were right after all, he decided to give up on eating meat, though he would be tempted to try it again many, many times in the future.

The temptation towards cigarettes was much shorter and abrupt. The main reason Gandhi was even interested in those things was because pretty much every grown man he knew smoked them. The characteristic aroma a cigarette gave to one's mouth also fascinated him. However, after smoking a few joints he had smuggled out of an uncle's home, he decided that smoking sucked. In fact, he was one of the few grown men of the 19th century who actually admitted that smoking "made it harder for him to breathe" and that "no man in his right mind would ever try something as horrible and painful as smoking a cigarette." The fact that this statement made him the only man in his right mind both amused and worried him greatly. As we would later see, in this aspect Mr Gandhi was well ahead of his time.

Career as a lawyer and trip to South Africa[edit]

When Gandhi grew up, he was encouraged to take up a career as a lawyer, the "in" thing at the time. After struggling like hell in India, where he couldn't make much