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2021, Vol. 3, Issue 2, Part A

Kasturba Gandhi: Inspiration of today's women

Author(s): Manish Kumar

If we talk about India's freedom struggle, the name of many women is reflected in our mind, but the woman whose name has become synonymous with freedom is 'Kasturba Gandhi'. Kasturba Gandhi, better known as 'Ba', was the consort of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation and contributed significantly to India's freedom movement. Despite being illiterate, Kasturba had the discretion to recognize the good and the bad. He confronted the evil of old age and on many occasions could not even stop to warn Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi told - "Of those who have come in close contact with me and Ba, the greater number is of those who have many times more reverence for Ba than me.” She spent her entire life for her husband and country. Thus, Kasturba Gandhi made a valuable contribution to the independence and social regeneration of the Indian country.
Early life: Kasturba Gandhi was born on 11 April 1869 in Porbandar Nagar, Kathiawar. Kasturba's father 'Gokuldas Makanji' was an ordinary businessman and Kasturba was his third child. At that time most people did not teach their daughters and used to get married at a young age. Kasturba's father was a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi's father and the two friends had decided to convert their friendship into kinship. Kasturba was illiterate as a child and at the age of seven she was engaged to Mohandas of 6 years and they were married at the age of thirteen.
Kasturba's early household life was very difficult. Her husband Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was unhappy with her illiteracy and used to taunt her. Mohandas did not like Kasturba's sanjana, decoration, and getting out of the house at all. He tried to control the 'Ba' from the beginning but could not succeed much.
Life with Gandhiji: After marriage, the husband, and wife lived together almost till 1888, but after Mohandas's stay in England, she remained single. In the absence of Mohandas, he raised his child Harilal. Gandhi returned from England after finishing his education, but soon had to go to South Africa. After this, Mohandas came to India in 1896 and then took Kasturba with him. From going to South Africa till his death, 'Ba' followed Mahatma Gandhi. He had made his life as simple and simple as that of Gandhi. She was always with him in all of Gandhi's works. Bapu kept many fasts during the freedom movement and she often stayed and cared for him during these fasts.
In South Africa, he supported Gandhiji very well. When she joined the movement in protest against the condition of Indians there, she was arrested and sent to jail with a rigorous sentence of three months. The food found in the jail was inedible, so he decided to make a fruit, but after the authorities did not heed his request, he fasted, after which the officers had to bow down.
In 1915, Kasturba also returned to India with Mahatma Gandhi at every step and supported him. Many times Gandhiji went to jail when he took his place. She also went there with Gandhiji during the Champaran Satyagraha and told the people about the importance of cleanliness, discipline, studies etc. During this time, she wandered in the villages and distributed medicines. Even during the Kheda Satyagraha, the women kept wandering around.
After Gandhi's arrest in 1922, he made a statement like the heroines and called for the abandonment of foreign cloth in protest against this arrest. He also visited villages in Gujarat to spread the message of Gandhiji. When Bapu went to jail after Dandi and Dharsana in 1930, Ba took his place and kept morale of the people. Most of his time in prison was spent in 1932 and 1933 due to revolutionary activities.
In 1939, he also participated in Satyagraha in protest against the princely state of Rajkot. The ruler of Thakur Sahib had agreed to give some rights to the subjects, but later he turned back from his promise.
Deteriorating health and death: On 9 August 1942, the British government arrested all the top leaders of the Congress, including Bapu, during the 'Quit India' movement. After this, Ba decided to give a speech at Shivaji Park in Mumbai, but on reaching there, he was arrested and sent to Aga Khan Palace in Poona. The government had also kept Mahatma Gandhi here. She was unwell at that time. His health deteriorated after his arrest and never improved satisfactorily.
He suffered a heart attack twice in January 1944. On his request, the government also arranged for a doctor of Ayurveda and for some time he got some rest, but on 22 February 1944, he again suffered a severe heart attack and left Baa forever.

DOI: 10.33545/26646021.2021.v3.i2a.92

Pages: 01-05 | Views: 911 | Downloads: 48

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How to cite this article:
Manish Kumar. Kasturba Gandhi: Inspiration of today's women. Int J Political Sci Governance 2021;3(2):01-05. DOI: 10.33545/26646021.2021.v3.i2a.92
International Journal of Political Science and Governance

International Journal of Political Science and Governance

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