Mahatma Ghandi

Year 11 Community and Family Studies Individuals and Groups – Leadership Term 2 Assessment MAHATMA GHANDI .

Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi, known as Mahatma , or ‘Great Soul’ was a successful leader who managed to cause major political change in countries that experienced an abundance of racial discrimination and cultural inferiority . The two most signi? cantly effected countries that experienced direct positive empowerment because of Mahatma Ghandi were South Africa and India. Reason for Ghandi’s immense success with each goal he set was his strong self belief, resilience, persistence and determination.Apart from these characteristics allowing Ghandi to achieve his goals, they made him an exceptional example of an effective leader.

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In South Africa Mahatma Ghandi fought for Indian civil rights, his success resulted in the reformation of the anti- Indian Legislation, by South African Of? cials. Throughout the history of South Africa racial discrimination was always prevalent among society. Native Africans, Indians and Asians were constantly subject to racial injustices, particularly from the 1800’s to 1959.Examples of this are evident throughout the legislations and laws that were directed at Indians; Indians; -Could only freely migrate to South Africa as indentured Labourers (labourers on contract) – They had none of the rights of full citizenship – Were not allowed to own property or land – Were only granted temporary residence -Forced to pay of sum of ? 3 if they were ex-indentured Indians that failed to reindenture or chose to return to India after their labour contracts were completed . Had to live in government allocated areas for ‘sanitation’ purposes – Were the only race that had to complete a educational, health, age and means test in order to gain admission into the country with the exclusion of Indian indentured labourers.

(this purpose of this test was to stop further immigration of ‘free Indians’ (Indians that came to South Africa not indentured) ). -Were prohibited from marrying the ‘Whites’ (People of European descent e. g.

Dutch, German, French ) These government policies were discriminatory against the Indian race and resulted n them (Indians) being assumed as an inferior race in society which further resulted in the excessive mistreatment of Indians. Being exposed to these racial inequalities, and having been of Indian race Mahatma Ghandi was well aware of these racial inequalities as he stated “I discovered that as a man and as an Indian I had no rights”. He recognised that change needed to occur in order for the Indian race in South Africa to be equalised within society. This recognition then lead Ghandi proposing an action plan of ‘passive resistance’ which he was leader of.The result of his passive resistance which was taken up by hundreds of other supporting Indians in South Africa was the . reformation of the anti- Indian Legislation ( mentioned previously). This meant that the Indian Relief Act was passed, consequently improving Indian civil rights. The act; – Abolished the ? 3 poll tax -Recognised marriages contracted in terms of traditional Hindu and Muslim rites – Indian children of parents living in South Africa are allowed to immigrate Although these modi? ed policies of legislation did improve Indian Civil Rights, there were still major parts which remained law that were racially unjust.

For example; Indians were still prohibited from owning property in Transvall and Orange Free State. -Indians were not allowed to reside in Orange Free State. – Restrictions still existed on Indian trades. In 1869 India was part of the British Empire, which meant that Britain ran the government, made laws and took advantage of India’s natural riches in particularly salt, in order to make pro? t. The fact that the British Empire ruled India, basically meant that the Indian’s own country had to a degree been taken from them; they were living in a country that was not theirs. After ? hting in the British Army in Europe during First World War (1914-18) Indians, felt that in return they deserved to be granted Independence.

Believing this Ghandi resolved to ? ght for Indian Independence or what he referred to as ‘Swaraj’ . Ghandi’s method of ‘? ghting’ was inspired by his belief of Satyagraha, meaning truth force. He stated “ Satyagraha has been designed as an effective substitute for violence” . In order to achieve this vision Ghandi employed his method of civil disobedience. ?He urged Indians to resist British rule by going on strike.

?He went on hunger strikes ?He made protest speeches ? Encouraged Indians not to wear clothes or pay British taxes – this was the beginning of Ghandi’s Cloth Campaign; he ordered the public to burn their British clothing and instead spin their own thread and make their own clothes. ?Encouraged Indians not to buy British goods, go on strike from their jobs and attend rallies to hear him speak. ?The most signi? cant event that Ghandi lead to achieve Indian Independence in India was the ‘Salt March’ ; during this event Ghandi lead hundreds of his followers to Dandi Beach were he picked up the ? st handful of salt.

This symbolised that Indians would no longer bow to British laws. This occurrence was so important because it showed rebellion to British law. During this time (1930’s) it was made law that Indians could not collect their own salt, they had to purchase heavily taxed salt from the British. However after Ghandi’s action, Indians started collecting their own salt. .

Mahatma’s main goal was to achieve Indian independence, however he fought for better working conditions for poor weavers and went on a fast until he won them a wage increase.He also set up a ashram which was communal farm, on this farm Ghandi accepted a group of social outcasts, labelled the ‘untouchables’ . The untouchables were seen as the lowest rank in society’s hierarchal structure and therefore they were outcasted and not associated with.

By Ghandi’s encouragement and acceptance of the untouchables into the communal farm despite the protests of his followers he showed his belief that all people were equal. Mahatma Ghandi’s approach to protest became popular within society and rapidly he accumulated hundreds of followers, ? hting united with the same intention which was further reason why Ghandi achieved Indian Independence. “Mass civil disobedience is like an earthquake”, said Ghandi. This same principal which Ghandi proposed and then employed into every protest project he was involved in, is reason why he was such a successful leader. Despite Mahatma Ghandi’s direct action to empower individuals to stand up for what they believe in in South African and India , Ghandi inspired the whole world to do the same.

The actions and principles that he utilized resulted in the global empowerment of individuals.His ethics and protesting strategies are still seen in present political rebellion. Mahatma Ghandi was a highly successful leader because he was able see injustices within society, which others experienced and encourage and enforce society to passively yet affectively ? ght in solidarity for positive change. The New Oxford American Dictionary de? nes leadership as ; the ability to lead skillfully. Mahatma Ghandi’s most prominent quality was his leadership, his superior leadership style was the main reason for his successes.There are many diverse leadership styles, such as ; Task-orientated, People-orientated, Autocratic, Collaborative/Democratic, Laissez-faire, Transformational and Cultural. Each of these leadership styles present a leader with varying leadership skills which effect the dynamics and productivity of group members. A transformational leader, such as Ghandi maintains a focus on teamwork and initiative.

They provide direction and a goal for the group to achieve and encourage and empower the group members in achieving the goal.As leaders they utilise lateral thinking, promote individual growth and development and group decision making and keep the group focused and productive in reaching their goals by giving regular feedback. Transformational leaders are deeply involved in the group and are constantly enthusiastic and energetic about the input of individuals. This generates a trusting environment where group members feel comfortable to cooperate with group members. Mahatma Ghandi’s transformational leadership style was evident throughout his lifetime, despite the varying group and situation.When analysing his successes, in . particularly his ? ght for equality in South Africa between Indians and the ‘Whites’ . He was extremely involved with the Indian Society and produced a clear vision for Indian integration within South African Society.

He was deeply involved in his group and worked enthusiastically with each member, encouraging them to strive to achieve a common goal. The reason why he was so successful is because he was able to maintain and initiate intimate relationships with the hundreds of his followers, he empowered each of them to ? ht for ‘satyagraha’ by acknowledging each of their inputs. Individuals that were part of Ghandi’s group felt involved, valued and liberated. Being part of Ghandi’s group promoted individual development.

People associated with Ghandi’s group were instilled with Ghandi’s teaching of self belief, discipline and most importantly determination to attain their goals, by non-violence, non-cooperation and self sustenance. There are varying factors which in? uenced Ghandi’s transformational leadership style. The two most dominant in? uences were his culture and nature of the group.Mahatma Ghandi was of Indian culture, this fact was reason why he was so motivated to gain Indian independence, and the segregation of Indians into South African Society. As an Indian in society, Ghandi’s environment exposed him to racial discrimination and verbal abuse and this consequently effected his growth and development. Ghandi’s resilience and egalitarian nature stemmed from the injustices he experienced, and played a signi? cant role in motivating Ghandi to achieve racial justice.

Ghandi’s followers and members of the group were also Indian.Due to the fact that he and his followers shared the same culture ,they experienced the same mistreatment , discrimination and general way of life. Each of these individuals could relate to one another and this was the unifying force. Ghandi was therefore able to lead Indians based on the passion they both shared for racial equality. The nature of the group, refers to quality of relationship that the leader obtains with the individuals part of the the group. Depending on the level of quality that the relationships hold e. g.

High-quality or poor quality, leaders can be respected and have more in? ence over the members. Leaders are more likely to have high quality relationships in groups that are informal because members are able to interact positively and more openly; this was Ghandi’s case. Ghandi was able to maintain high quality relationships with the members in his groups and because of this he gained higher respect and had more in? uence over his followers. Mahatma Ghandi was a highly effective leader because he was able to lead his thousands of followers in achieving a common goal.

Ghandi’s effectiveness as a leader can be measured by the successfulness of his visions.Ghandi set out to achieve Indian Independence and Racial equality in South africa and he was successful. In the process of achieving his goals, he empowered nations around the world to challenge their governments if they had a problem and ? ght to ? x it. This shows that Ghandi was an overachiever, because he did more than he set out to and therefore was a highly effective leader. Ghandi’s strengths were his; ? De? nite purpose – Ghandi maintained a vision and a set way he was going to achieve this. His goals had purpose and so did his actions towards achieving his goals. Self Discipline – He believed that exercising his self discipline strengthened his commitment to achieve his goals.

?Integrity – He was honest about the way he lived and his beliefs , he believed that believing something and not living it was lying. He would rather have been prosecuted for his beliefs then denying them and this was sometimes the case. He stated “ To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest”. ?Related to people – he made an effort to truly understand people, thus instilling motivation in him to achieve his goals, not only for what is right but for what the people wanted.

He had an extensive understanding of the human psychology and used it along with his public relation skills. ?Self Belief and faith – He believed in himself and had faith that he could attain success. ?Flexibility – he changed his strategies and methods of challenging his oppositions to suit the situation and in turn increased the effectiveness. ?Resilience – despite setbacks he wasn’t deterred from achieving his goals, in fact he was more motivated; he learnt from his mistakes. ?Spirituality – He promoted love and peace in times when another leader would have made a call to arms. Determination ? Persistence ? Focus ? Will to ? ght for his beliefs ? Unconcern of what others thought of his actions, or how he dressed. ?The fact that he was prosecuted by authorities and publicly shamed in some circumstances did not deter him from achieving his goals. Evidently Mahatma Ghandi presented an exemplary leader because of his effectiveness which came from his individual characteristics.

However like every leader there are weaknesses, although Mahatma Ghandi’s weaknesses were insigni? cant, and didn’t majorly impact upon his effectiveness, they still existed.An example of this was Mahatma Ghandi’s experiments in ‘Brahamacharya’ . Gandhi became a brahamachari (celibate) when he was thirty-six. He conducted experiments in Brahamacharya which he used to develop his ability to conquer sexual feelings. Although this act was innocent through Ghandi’s eyes, he was highly criticised for it and it became a very controversial issue.

He apparently slept with numerous women in order to test Brahamacharya and see if he had mastered celibacy. This event showed weakness in Ghandi as leader, because he made a commitment to elibacy, however afterwards he had sex with women in order to see if he had mastered celibacy. This act caused some of Ghandi’s followers to lack respect in him because he was no a longer a man that refrained himself of intercourse , even through he made a commitment to do so. As a leader, Ghandi created a unique style of ? ghting for what he believed in, which he referred to as ‘Satyagraha’ . As stated previously in the essay this theory that Ghandi proposed ,meant ‘truth force’ and becoming a ‘Satyagrahi’ meant a ? hter for the truth. His way of resolving and managing con? ict was in? uenced by his belief in ‘Satyagraha’.

This meant that individuals were encouraged to ? ght for the truth but in doing so it had to be in a civilised manner. Ghandi is well known globally for his method of opposing the government by civil disobedience and passive resistance. This method was carried out passively, and people that employed this method were encouraged to do so in way that did not harm, violate or create violence with others, even their enemies.Ghandi’s theory enforced communicating your message in a peaceful and civilised manner, which is why he is so highly respected. When con? ict arose within his group or between his followers, he encouraged that they settle the dispute in a civilised manner but also effectively communicating their feelings. He encouraged that his followers didn’t simply give up but rather made sure that their opponents knew how they felt in order to understand where they were coming from. He stated “ Never give in.

Never. Never. Never. Never”. This mentality of Ghandi’s was re? cted in his methods of government opposition. He used passive methods such as sit-ins, boycotts, blockades and occupations of buildings, tax refusal, and alternative publications and media. More active forms of passive resistance include strikes, walkouts, protest marches, theatrical protests, and hunger strikes. Ghandi was also an advocate of forgiveness, so if there were disputes or disagreements of any kind within his group he encouraged his followers to forgive the other which further re? ected Ghandi’s philosophy of love, peace and forgiveness between people of religions, races and beliefs.

In order for Mahatma Ghandi to have achieved leadership he followed a path which lead him to becoming a leader. Initially Ghandi started ? ghting for the improvements of Indian rights by himself, and through this process he started to gain members which shared Ghandi’s goal. As Ghandi fought for racial equality he caught the attention of others, the media and the authorities. He became well known and during this process, as people began to become familiar with Ghandi and his vision they too joined him, and his members grew and grew.He was not appointed leader by his followers, he was assumed leader. This was the same case in the instance of Ghandi ? ghting for Indian independence in India. He was able to see, by himself that it was wrong for the British to rule India and afterward with the in? uence of others acknowledging the same fact he gained members that shared his beliefs and also wanted independence. This then lead .

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Settel 1995. . to Ghandi once again being assumed leader however never of? cially being appointed leader. In a differing case however, in 1919 Ghandi became an active member of the National Indian Congress and was of? cially appointed a leader.He was asked to join the National Indian Congress because his struggle for Indian Civil rights was successful, his ‘satyagraha’ campaign aroused interest and his general ability to effect great social change without employing violence. To conclude it is clear that Mahatma Ghandi was an exemplary leader. What made him such a good leader were his personal characteristics, his style of leadership and how he chose to utilise them in order to achieve his goals.

It is evident that Ghandi was a successful leader because he was able to work collaboratively with his group in achieving a common goal being Indian civil rights and Independence. .