Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/31

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human aspirations and instincts crushed out of them by the treatment accorded to them under the "civilising” process of the Transvaal’s colour legislation. And, again obeying the behests of conscience, believing that he best serves India so, he has again chosen the refuge of prison, convinced like Thoreau that he is freer than his gaolers or those who mourn for him, but do not liberate themselves from bondage.


EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION

Mobandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on the 2nd October, 1869. Though he has a Brahmin’s spirituality and desire to serve and teach, he is not a Brahmin. Though he has a Kshattriya’s courage and devotion, he is not a Kshattriya. He belongs to an old Bania family resident in Kathiawar, politics being a heritage of the family. His forefathers were Dewans of the State of Porbandar in that Province, his father having been Dewan of that State for 25 years, as also of Rajkote and other States in Kathiawar. He was likewise, at one time, a member of the Rajasthanik Sabha, having been nominated thereto by the Government of Bombay. Mr. Gandhi’s father was known to and loved by all with whom he came in contact and he did not hesitate, if need came, to oppose the will of the Rana of Porbandar and of the Political Agent, when he thought that they were adopting a wrong or unworthy line of conduct. This particular trait has evidently descended to his youngest son. Mr. Gandhi’s mother was an orthodox Hindu lady, rigid in her observance of religious obligations, strict in the performance of her duties as wife and mother, and stern in determination that her children should grow up good and honest men and women. Between her youngest son and herself existed a strong affection and her religious example and influence left a lasting impression upon his character. Mohandas Gandhi received his education partly in Kathiawar and partly in London. It was only with the greatest difficulty that his mother could be prevailed upon to consent to his crossing the waters, and before doing so, she exacted from