For a World of Peace and Nonviolence!
Source: The Gandhi Reader, ed. by Homer A. Jack, Samata Books, Madras, 1984
1869 Oct. 2 Born at Porbandar, Kathiawad, son of Karamchand (Kaba) and
1876 Attended primary school in Rajkot, where his family moved.
Betrothed to Kasturba (called Kasturba in her old age), daughter of
Gokuldas Makanji, a merchant.
1881 Entered high school in Rajkot.
1883 Married to Kasturba.
1885 Father died at age of 63.
1887 Passed matriculation examination at Ahmedabad and entered
Samaldas College, Bhavnagar, Kathiawad, but found studies difficult
and remained only one term.
1888 First of four sons born.
1891 Sept. Sailed from Bombay for England to study law.
Summer. Returned to India after being called to bar. Began practice
of law in Bombay and Rajkot.
1893 April Sailed for South Africa to become lawyer for an Indian firm.
Found himself subjected to all kinds of color discrimination.
1894 Prepared to return to India after completing law case, but was
persuaded by Indian colony to remain in South Africa and do public
work and earn a living as a lawyer.
Drafted first petition sent by the Indians to a South African
May Organised Natal Indian Congress.
1896 Returned to India for six months to bring back his wife and two
children to Natal.
Dec. Sailed for South Africa with family. Was mobbed when he
disembarked at Durban for what Europeans thought he wrote about
South Africa when he was in India.
1899 Organised Indian Ambulance Corps for British in Boer War.
1901 Embarked with family for India, promising to return to South Africa
if Indian community there needed his services again.
1901 – 1902 Travelled extensively in India, attended Indian National
Congress meeting in Calcutta, and opened law office in Bombay.
1902 Returned to South Africa after urgent request from Indian
1903 Summer. Opened law office in Johannesburg.
1904 Established the weekly journal, Indian Opinion.
Organised Phoenix Settlement near Durban, after reading Ruskin's
Unto This Last.
1906 March Organised Indian Ambulance Corps for Zulu "Rebellion".
Took vow of continence for life.
Sept. First satyagraha campaign began with meeting in Johannesburg in
protest against proposed Asiatic ordinance directed against Indian
immigrants in Transvaal.
Oct. Sailed for England to present Indians' case to Colonial Secretary and
started back to South Africa in December.
1907 June Organised satyagraha against compulsory registration of Asians
("The Black Act").
1908 Jan. Stood trial for instigating satyagraha and was sentenced to two
months' imprisonment in Johannesburg jail (his first
Jan. Was summoned to consult General Smuts at Pretoria; compromise
reached; was released from jail.
Feb. Attacked and wounded by Indian extremist, Mir Alam, for reaching
settlement with Smuts.
Aug. After Smuts broke agreement, second satyagraha campaign began
with bonfire of registration certificates.
Oct. Arrested for not having certificate, and sentenced to two months'
imprisonment in Volksrust jail.
1909 Feb. Sentenced to three months' imprisonment in Volksrust and Pretoria
June Sailed for England again to present Indians' case.
Nov. Returned to South Africa, writing Hind Swaraj en route.
1910 May Established Tolstoy Farm near Johannesburg.
1913 Began penitential fast (one meal a day for more than four months)
because of moral lapse of two members of Phoenix Settlement.
Sept. Helped campaign against nullification of marriages not celebrated
according to Christian rites, with Kasturba and other women being
sentenced for crossing the Transvaal border without permits.
Nov. Third satyagraha campaign begun by leading "great march" of 2,000
Indian miners from Newcastle across Transvaal border in Natal.
Nov. Arrested three times in four days (at Palmford, Standerton, and
Teakworth) and sentenced at Dundee to nine months' imprisonment;
tried at Volksrust in second trial and sentenced to three months'
imprisonment with his European co-workers, Polak and Kallenbach.
Imprisoned in Volksrust jail for a few days and then taken to
Bloemfontein in Orange Free State.
Dec. Released unconditionally in expectation of a compromise
settlement, C.F. Andrews and W.W. Pearson having been sent by
Indians in India to negotiate.
1914 Jan. Underwent fourteen days' fast for moral lapse of members of
Jan. Satyagraha campaign suspended, with pending agreement between
Smuts, C.F. Andrews, and Gandhi, and with ultimate passage of
Indian Relief Act.
July Left South Africa forever, sailing from Capetown for London with
Kasturba and Kallenbach, arriving just at beginning of World War I.
Organised Indian Ambulance Corps in England, but was obliged to
sail for India because of pleurisy.
1915 Secured removal of customs harassment of passengers atViramgam;
first incipient satyagraha campaign in India.
May Established Satyagraha Ashram at Kochrab, near Ahmedabad, and
soon admitted an untouchable family; in 1917 moved ashram to new
site on Sabarmati River.
1916 Feb. Gave speech at opening of Hindu University at Benares.
1917 Helped secure removal of recruiting of South African indenture
workers in India.
Led successful satyagraha campaign for rights of peasants on indigo
plantations in Champaran. Defied aorder to leave area in April, was
arrest at Motihari and tried, but case was withdrawn. Mahadev Desai
joined him at Champaran.
1918 Feb. Led strike of millworkers at Ahmedabad. Millowner agreed to
arbitration after his three-day fast (his first fast in India).
March Led satyagraha campaign for peasants in Kheda.
Attended Viceroy's War Conference at Delhi and agreed that Indians
should be recruited for World War I.
Began recruiting campaign, but was taken ill and came near death;
agreed to drink goat's milk and learned spinning during
1919 Spring. Rowlatt Bills (perpetuating withdrawal of civil liberties for
seditious crimes) passed, and first all-India satyagraha campaign
April Organised nation-wide hartal - suspension of activity for a day -
against Rowlatt Bills.
April Arrested at Kosi near Delhi on way to Punjab and escorted back to
Bombay, but never tried.
Fasted at Sabarmati for three days in penitence for violence and
suspended satyagraha campaign, which he called a "Himalayan
miscalculation" because people were not disciplined enough.
Assumed editorship of English weekly, Young India, and Gujarati
Oct. After five months' refusal, authorities allowed him to visit scene of
April disorders in Punjab. Worked closely with Motilal Nehru.
Conducted extensive inquiry into violence in many Punjab villages.
1920 April. Elected president of All-India Home Rule League.
June Successfully urged resolution for a satyagraha campaign of non-
cooperation at Moslem Conference at Allahabad and at Congress
sessions at Calcutta (Sept.) and Nagpur (Dec.)
Aug Second all-India satyagraha campaign began when he gave up
1921 Presided at opening of first shop selling homespun (khadi) in
Aug. Presided at bonfire of foreign cloth in Bombay.
Sept. Gave up wearing shirt and cap and resolved to wear only a loin-cloth
in devotion to homespun cotton and simplicity.
Nov. Fasted at Bombay for five days because of communal rioting
following visit of Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII and Duke of
Dec. Mass civil disobedience, with thousands in jail. Gandhi invested
with "sole executive authority" on behalf of Congress.
1922 Feb. Suspended mass disobedience because of violence at Chauri Chaura
and undertook five-day fast of penance at Bardoli.
March Arrested at Sabarmati in charge of sedition in Young India. Pleaded
guilty in famous statement at the "great trial" in Ahmedabad before
Judge Broomfield. Sentenced to six years' imprisonment in Yeravda
1923 Wrote Satyagraha in South Africa and part of his autobiography in
1924 Jan. Was operated on for appendicitis and unconditionally released from
prison in February.
Sept. Began 21-day "great fast" at Mohammed Ali's home near Delhi as
penance for communal rioting (between Hindus and Moslems),
especially at Kohat.
Dec. Presided over Congress session at Belgaum as president.
1925 Nov. Fasted at Sabarmati for seven days because of misbehaviour of
members of ashram.
Dec. Announced one-year political silence and immobility at Congress
session at Cawnpore.
1927 No-tax satyagraha campaign launched at Bardoli, led by Sadar Patel.
1928 Dec. Moved compromise resolution at Congress session at Calcutta,
calling for complete independence within one year, or else the
beginning of another all-Indian satyagraha campaign.
1929 March Arrested for burning foreign cloth in Calcutta and fined one rupee.
Dec. Congress session at Lahore declared complete independence and a
boycott of the legislature and fixed January 26 as National
Independence Day. Third all-Indian satyagraha campaign began.
1930 March 12 Set out from Sabamarti with 79 volunteers on historic salt march
200 miles to sea at Dandi.
April 6 Broke salt law by picking salt up at seashore as whole world
May Arrested by armed policemen at Karadi and imprisoned in Yeravda
jail without trial.
One hundred thousand persons arrested. There was no Congress in
December because all leaders were in jail.
1931 Jan. Released unconditionally with 30 other Congress leaders.
March Gandhi-Irwin (Viceroy) Pact signed, which ended civil disobedience.
Aug. Sailed from Bombay accompanied by Desai, Naidu, Mira, etc., for the
second Round Table Conference, arriving in London via Marseilles,
where he was met by C.F. Andrews.
Autumn Resided at Kingsley Hall in London slums, broadcast to America,
visited universities, met celebrities, and attended Round Table
Dec. Left England for Switzerland, where he met Romain Rolland, and
Italy, where he met Mussolini.
Dec. Arrived in India. Was authorised by Congress to renew satyagraha
campaign (fourth nation-wide effort).
1932 Jan. Arrested in Bombay with Sardar Patel and detained without trial at
Sept. 20 Began "perpetual fast unto death" while in prison in protest of
British action giving separate electorates to untouchables.
Sept. 26 Concluded "epic fast" with historic cell scene in presence of Tagore
after British accepted "Yeravda Pact".
Dec. Joined fast initiated by another prisoner, Appasaheb Patwardhan,
against untouchability; but fast ended in two days.
1933 Began weekly publication of Harijan in place of Young India.
May 8 Began self-purification fast of 21 days against untouchability and was
released from prison by government on first day. Fast concluded
after 21 days at Poona.
July Disbanded Sabarmati ashram, which became centre for removal of
Aug Arrested and imprisoned at Yeravda for four days with 34 members
of his ashram. When he refused to leave Yeravda village for Poona,
he was sentenced to one year's imprisonment at Yeravda.
Aug. 16 Began fast against refusal of government to grant him permission to
work against untouchability while in prison; on fifth day of fast he
was removed to Sassoon Hospital; his health was precarious; he was
unconditionally released on eighth day.
Nov. Began ten-month tour of every province in India to help end
Nov. Kasturba arrested and imprisoned for sixth time in two years.
1934 Summer. Three separate attempts made on his life.
July Fasted at Wardha ashram for seven days in penance against
intolerance of opponents of the movement against untouchability.
Oct. Launched All-India Village Industries Association.
1935 Health declined; moved to Bombay to recover.
1936 Visited Seagon, a village near Wardha in the Central Provinces, and
decided to settle there.. (This was renamed Sevagram in 1940 and
eventually became an ashram for his disciples.)
1937 Jan. Visited Travancore for removal of untouchability.
1938 Autumn. Tour of Northwest Frontier Province with the Khan Abdul
1939 March Began fast unto death as part of satyagraha campaign in Rajkot; fast
ended four days later when Viceroy appointed as arbitrator.
1940 Oct. Launched limited, individual civil-disobedience campaign against
Britain's refusal to allow Indians to express their opinions regarding
World War II - 23,000 persons imprisoned within a year.
1942 Harijan resumed publication after being suspended for 15 months.
March Met Sir Stafford Cripps in New Delhi but called his proposals "a post-
dated cheque"; they were ultimately rejected by Congress.
Aug. Congress passed "Quit India" resolution - the final nation-wide
satyagraha campaign - with Gandhi as leader.
Aug. 9 Arrested with other Congress leaders and Kasturba and imprisoned
in Aga Khan Palace near Poona, with populace revolting in many
parts of India. He began correspondence with Viceroy.
Aug. Mahadev Desai, Gandhi's secretary and intimate, died in Palace.
1943 Feb. 10 Began 21-day fast at Aga Khan Palace to end deadlock of
negotiations between Viceroy and Indian leaders.
1944 Feb. 22 Kasturba died in detention at Aga Khan Palace at age of seventy-
May 6 After decline in health, was released unconditionally from detention
(this was his last imprisonment; he had spent 2338 days in jail
during his life time).
Sept Important talks with Jinnah of Moslem League in Bombay on Hindu-
1946 March Conferred with British Cabinet Mission in New Delhi.
Nov. Began four-month tour of 49 villages in East Bengal to quell
communal rioting over Moslem representation in provisional
1947 March Began tour of Bihar to lessen Hindu-Moslem tensions.
March Began conferences in New Delhi with Viceroy (Lord Mountbatten) in
May Opposed Congress decision to accept division of country into India
Aug. 15 Fasted and prayed to combat riots in Calcutta as India was
partitioned and granted independence.
Sept. Fasted for three days to stop communal violence in Calcutta.
Sept. Visited Delhi and environs to stop rioting and to visit camps of
refugees (Hindus and Sikhs from the Punjab).
1948 Jan. 13 Fasted for five days in Delhi for communal unity.
Jan. 20 Bomb exploded in midst of his prayer meeting at Birla House, Delhi.
Jan. 30 Assassinated in 78th year at Birla House by Nathuram Vinayak Godse.