Editor says, what if Gandhi had been traumatized into militancy? muses Jeff Provine on the This Day in Alternate History web site. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). This article is part of the Jeff Provine Blog thread.
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Editor says, in reality Gandhi's mother survived childbirth and raised him strongly in the Jain faith. When he went to London, he promised her to hold onto Jain principles. Vegetarianism proved difficult, but he was eventually inspired by author Henry Stephens Salt to join the Vegetarian Society, which put him in touch with the Theosophical Society. Upon Gandhi's return to India, he would join the Indian National Congress, which had been founded by Theosophical Society members in 1885. Gandhi continued his work with non-violence and civil disobedience (even canceling protests that turned violent, such as those against the Rowlatt Act), gradually winning over a united population of Muslim and Hindu Indians and beginning the Quit India movement in 1943 that won India's independence after World War II. Jawaharlal Nehru referred to Mahatma ("e;Great Soul"e; in Sanskrit) Gandhi as "e;the father of the nation"e; and "e;the light .. of our lives"e; in a speech following Gandhi's assassination on January 30, 1948, by a Hindu extremist. Gandhi served as an inspiration to many nonviolent resistance leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.