Mains Practice Question


Upload you handwritten answers photos in comment section. Our team will check and reach you ASAP.


Examine the importance of Mahatma Gandhi's initial Satyagraha campaign in South Africa and how it served as a pivotal moment in the development of his nonviolent resistance ideology


  • On June 7, 1893, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, a young lawyer, was forcibly removed from a first-class train compartment reserved for whites only at the Pietermaritzburg railway station in South Africa. This incident sparked Gandhi’s first act of civil disobedience, known as Satyagraha.
  • Gandhians regard the Pietermaritzburg incident as one of the pivotal moments in Gandhi's life. In his autobiography, Gandhi described the event as "a symptom of the deep disease of colour prejudice," and he felt it was his "duty" to combat it.


  • Gandhi's experiences in South Africa profoundly influenced his personal growth and philosophical outlook.
  • His debates with Christians challenging his religious beliefs led him to develop a more inclusive spirituality.
  • Gandhi defended Indian traders from discrimination, opposed efforts to disenfranchise Indian voters in Natal, and authored a guidebook for Indian students, showing his commitment to both personal and professional growth.
  • Ramachandra Guha, in "Gandhi Before India" (2012), highlighted that the years Gandhi spent in South Africa were crucial for shaping the unique form of political protest that would become his lasting legacy to India and the world.
  • In South Africa, Gandhi both developed and practised satyagraha, engaging in activities such as writing letters, articles, and petitions, as well as organizing mass mobilizations and willingly facing imprisonment if demands were unmet. He later applied this nonviolent protest strategy against British rule in India.
  • Gandhi's principles of nonviolent resistance were instrumental in India's struggle for independence, from the Non-Cooperation Movement (1919-22) and the Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-34) to the Quit India Movement (1942)
Other Points to Consider

Non-Cooperation Movement

Quit India Movement


Previous Year Questions


1.What was the difference between Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore in their approach towards education and nationalism? (2023)

2.Bring out the constructive programmes of Mahatma Gandhi during Non-Cooperation Movement and Civil Disobedience Movement. (2021)

20-Jun 2024