MAHATMA – THE LAWYER: PRANAV KAUSHAL

“You give us a Lawyer; we gave you back The Mahatma”

These are the words of those people of South Africa which got its freedom because of the efforts of Mahatma Gandhiji. Just as India got freedom because of the efforts of Mahatma Gandhiji and many freedom fighters similarly South Africa got freedom from the British rule. Mahatma Gandhiji sailed to England in the year 1888 on 4th September to study law and become a barrister. He was called upon the bar on 10th June 1891 and was enrolled in the High court of England the very next day. Gandhiji returned back to India and started his practice in law first in the Bombay high court and then in the Rajkot. Sir Stafford Cripps remarked Gandhiji with the words “he was no simple a mystic; combined with his religious outlook was his lawyer trained mind quick and apt in reasoning moreover he was a formidable opponent in arguments. Gandhiji went to South Africa in April 1893 in connection with the case of Sheth Tyeb Hazi Khan Mohammad. It was a case of business transaction arisen out of the promissory notes and partly on the specific performance to deliver the promissory notes. Gandhiji easily had won the case and the success of this case marked a new beginning of Mahatma Gandhiji into the field of law”. From 1893 to 1913 Gandhiji stayed in South Africa and has realized many functions of a lawyer. In his stay in South Africa Mahatma Gandhi had solved as many as 100 cases of promissory notes and emerged as a topmost lawyer in South Africa.

Truth and Non violence was the first article of his faith and last article of his creed”
Going through the meticulous habit of practice in law, Gandhiji evolved new concept such as Truth, fair, Duty.etc. In those 20 years Gandhiji emerged to earn the esteem of his colleagues as much as that of Magistrate and Judges who had come to respect him for clarity of thought and expression, legal acumen and intellectual vigour. All the judges and magistrates were surprised by the way in which Gandhiji represent the case of his clients in the court room. The way of the presentation of his case was free from any heat of passion. It was the habit of Mahatma Gandhiji that he never hides the truth in the court room. In the presentation of case he likes to reveal the truth without any flaws. Truth was the only touchstone that Gandhiji used to judge his duty towards client and the court. According to Mahatma Gandhiji the greatest wrong that a lawyer could commit in the judicial process was to be a party towards “Miscarriage of Justice”. Where there was a case which is concerned with poop people, Gandhiji used to take the case of those people free and never charge them at all. Gandhiji in the profession of law never intended to deceive his clients for the sake of money and it is because of the character of morality, truth, tolerance and honesty that Mahatma Gandhiji was considered to be one of the greatest lawyers in South Africa. Practicing as a lawyer however remained for Gandhiji a Subordinate occupation. A considerable part of his service in South Africa was devoted to do Public service which was almost a passion for Gandhiji. While his stay in South Africa Gandhiji was made to aware of the Practice of racial discrimination that was taking place in South Africa. Human beings are discriminating with the other human being just because he or she does not possess the same colour as of others. It was the outcome of this racial discrimination that the society of Human beings was divided into two communities. First was the community of White people who might be considering themselves the supreme personality just as the same as that of king and considered people who are black as their slaves. Such inhumanity was existing and moreover taking place in South Africa. In the year 1910, Gandhiji entirely abandoned the practice of law and henceforth devoted his entire time and energy to do public services. Gandhiji after abandoning his practice of law become the “Satyagrahi” who was engaged in breaking law rather than expounding or interpretating the law in the court rooms.

From here Gandhiji evolved to change his personality from lawyer to a new personality that is the “Satyagrahi”. This was the beginning of the new chapter in the life of Mahatma Gandhiji which he continued till his death. It was the face of Satyagrahi that made end to racial discrimination in South Africa, made South Africa to get free themselves from the rule of British Empire. Thus it was the field of law that made Gandhiji aware of the rights of Human beings which other Human beings were not aware. Gandhiji evolved to be different personality when he came back to India from South Africa.

Thus these words are true-
“You give us a Lawyer; we gave you back The Mahatma”

On 30th January 1948 when Gandhiji was going to have prayer in the Birla house a group of people surrounded the Gandhiji and a Hindu named Nathuram Godse stepped and bowed before Gandhiji and then rushed towards Gandhiji and shot Gandhiji with three shots and Gandhiji died.

CONCLUSION

“A man is nothing but the product of his thoughts what he thinks he becomes”- Mahatma Gandhiji
It was the thought process and the ideology of Truth, Non Violence, Honesty, Tolerance, education and humanity that made Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi to be called as The “Mahatma Gandhiji the Father of our Nation”. Such a big personality or we can call him the messenger of the God who made India free from the chains of slavery of British Empire, who imbibe in us the character such as Honesty, humanity and truth. But what is happening in India? Increased crime rate, corruption, inhumanity, terrorism and illiteracy this is all what is in India. Does India really got freedom in the real sense? India is striving hard to get freedom. If Gandhiji would be alive today would he feel happy looking to the progress of country where there is no sense of having honesty and humanity? There have been large violation of human rights and nobody of us is following the ideals and principles of Gandhiji. This is fact that we remember Gandhiji on these dates- 30th January, 15th August and 2nd October of each year and rest 362 days we don’t have time to know What Gandhiji was? Whole universe considered him Mahatma? Are we respecting such great personality or really we making fun of that big personality whom we called the “Mahatma”? We all human beings have become so selfish that we don’t have time to think what is happening in India. There have riots for religion. But nobody stands for this violation. Every one of us is busy in multiplying money but nobody has time to think about nation. Really we got freedom or we still striving to get freedom? Do we need a person like “Gandhiji”? Gandhiji once said that person is nothing but the product of his thoughts what he thinks he becomes. If we all starting to develop our thoughts like Mahatma Gandhiji we would have as many as million of Gandhiji. The thing which I liked the most in writing this article is the concept of Mahatma Gandhiji towards religion. Once Mahatma Gandhiji was asked that whether he is Hindu? Mahatma Gandhiji replied back with the words “Yes I am”. “I am also Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew”

“A nation’s culture resides in the heart and soul of its people”- Mahatma Gandhiji

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