Gandhi was an inspiration to many people based on how he responded to injustice. Using the text name TWO injustices Indian people faced in South Africa AND name TWO ways Gandhi specifically fought injustices. Please write your answer in complete sentences and make sure to use evidence from the text.
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Gandhi in South Africa
Like India, South Africa at this time was part of the British Empire. About 100,000 Indians had traveled to South Africa for work. Many took jobs that no one else would do, especially working on farms and growing sugarcane. White South Africans, descendants of the British and Dutch, looked down on the Indians and treated them badly. And, as Gandhi quickly found out, it did not matter that he was a lawyer. White people scorned him as much as they did the poorest Indian laborer.
Soon after he arrived in South Africa, Gandhi purchased a first-class ticket and boarded a train for the city of Pretoria to start his new job. During the journey, a white passenger objected to sharing his compartment with a brown-skinned Indian. He complained to a policeman, who threw Gandhi off the train. Shivering on an empty station platform all night, Gandhi considered his future. He could ignore the insults and get on with his job. Or he could fight for the rights of Indians in South Africa. That night, he decided to fight.
Gandhi resolved to fight not with guns but with words and ideas. He wrote to the railway authorities and pointed out that even under their own regulations, he should not have suffered such treatment. He got a letter in return saying that first class tickets would be issued to Indians “who were properly dressed.” It was a small victory, but it was a start.
Indians faced many other harsh laws in South Africa. They could not vote. They were forced to pay three pounds (about six months’ salary) just to be allowed to work in South Africa. They could be arrested for walking on the same sidewalk as white people. And, unless they were Christian, their marriages were not recognized.
Gandhi vigorously took up the Indian cause. He organized rallies, held protests, and wrote letters to newspapers. He challenged unjust laws in court. Laws that could not be changed, he declared, should be disobeyed, but peacefully.
Sometimes the authorities used force against the protesters. But Gandhi and his supporters met violence with nonviolence. Their strategy became known as passive resistance or civil disobedience. They refused to obey the unjust laws, but even when facing guns and bayonets, they did not fight back or take up weapons. They would go to jail if necessary, but they would not fight. Nonviolence, Gandhi preached, was not a weapon for the weak, but a weapon for the brave.
Mohandas Gandhi struggled against injustice in South Africa for 20 years. Many Indians followed his example. They started refusing to submit to unjust laws. They suffered imprisonment, beatings, and the loss of employment. But still they kept protesting the laws they knew to be wrong, and thousands joined the protests. By 1914, the government gave in- at least in part. It agreed to put an end to some of those laws. Gandhi had one a great victory for civil rights and human dignity.
The following year, Gandhi returned to India. The people greeted him as a hero and nicknamed him Mahatma, which means “Great Soul,” By now, he had abandoned his European-style clothing in favor of the plain cotton robes and sandals worn by many poor Indians. He cared deeply for the future of his nation, which was still a part of the British Empire. In his homeland, he continued the struggle against injustice. Now he had a new cause that would occupy him for almost all of his life- gaining independence for India.
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Two injustices Indians faced : they could not vote simply because they were Indian and people looked down on them. Also they had to pay a 6month salary just to work in South Africa.
Gandhi decided to fight with words instead of using violence. After being kicked off the train he contacted the railway authorities and stated the concerns he had of being treated harshly. It resulted in a change of rules, as long as Indians were dressed properly in first class they could not get kicked off. The second one is he organized protest to unjust laws and inspired other Indians to do the same thing and follow him.