Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/32

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him a threefold vow, administered by a Jain priest that he would abstain from flesh, alcohol and women. And this vow was faithfully and whole-heartedly kept amidst all the temptations of student life in London. Young Gandhi became an under-graduate of the London University and afterwards joined the Inner Temple, whence he emerged in due course a barrister at law. He returned to India immediately after his call, and was at once admitted as an Advocate of the Bombay High Court, in which capacity he began practice with some success.


In 1893, Mr. Gandhi was induced to go to South Africa, proceeding to Natal and then to the Transvaal, in connection with an Indian legal case of some difficulty. Almost immediately upon landing at Durban, disillusionment awaited him. Brought up in British traditions of the equality of all British subjects, an honoured guest in the capital of the Empire, he found that in the British Colony of Natal, he was regarded as a pariah, scarcely higher than a savage aboriginal native of the soil. He appealed for admission as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Natal, but his application was opposed by the Law Society on the ground that the law did not contemplate that a coloured person should be admitted to practise. Fortunately, the Supreme Court viewed the matter in a different light and granted the application. But Mr. Gandhi received sudden warning of what awaited him in the years to come."

In 1894, on the urgent invitation of the Natal Indian community, he decided to remain in the Colony, in order that he might be of service in the political troubles that he foresaw in the near future. In that year, together with a number of prominent members of the community he founded the Natal Indian Congress, being for some years its honorary secretary, in which capacity he drafted a number of petitions and memorials admirable in construction, lucid and simple in phraseology, clear and concise in the manner of setting forth the subject matter. He took a leading part in the successful attempt to defeat the Asiatics’ Exclusion Act passed by the Natal Parliament