CHRONOLOGY Mahatma Gandhi

Chronology / Time Line

1869 - 1914

1869 - 1914

2nd October

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi born of a Bania (Vaishya or trading caste) family at Porbunder, Kathiawar, the youngest of the three sons of Karamchand alias Kaba Gandhi, Prime Minister successively in Porbunder, Rajkot and Vankaner States, and his fourth wife Putlibai


Goes to Rajkot with parents; attends primary school there till twelfth year; is betrothed to Kasturbai, daughter of Gokuldas Makanji, merchant.


Enters High School at Rajkot


Marries Kasturbai


Takes to meat-eating in secret, but abandons habit after about a year to avoid deceiving his parents.
Father dies, aged 63.


Passes Matriculation examination; joins Samaldas College at Bhavnagar (Kathiawar), but gives up studies at close of first term.

4th September

Sails for England.

28th October

Reaches London.
Lives on vegetarian diet. Takes lessons in dancing and music for a short time, thinking they are necessary parts of a gentleman’s equipment.


Reads books on simple living and decides to reduce expenses by half; studies religious literature; reads Gita for first time and is deeply impressed


Cultivates contacts with vegetarian movement; for short while conducts vegetarian club.


Passes London Matric.


Joins Vegetarian Society.

10th June

Called to the Bar.

12th June

Sails for India.


Reaches Bombay.


Applies for admission to Bombay High Court.


Struggles with legal practice at Rajkot and Bombay; later settles down at former place as legal draftsman.


Leaves for South Africa, being engaged by a Muslim firm for legal work.

May To June

Experiences colour bar in various forms; decides to remain and fight race prejudice.

22nd August

Founds Natal Indian Congress.


Enrolled as Advocate of Supreme Court of Natal, being first Indian to be so enrolled.

Studies religious literature including the Bible, he Koran and Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God is Within You.


Gets more committed to South African Indian cause. Issues The Indian Franchise: An Appeal to Every Briton in South Africa.


Returns to India and starts agitation on behalf of South African Indians.

14th August

Publishes The Green Pamphlet at Rajkot.
Tours Bombay, Madras, Poona and Calcutta educating Indians in regard to grievances of South African Indians.

30th November

Sails for South Africa with wife and children.

13th Jan

Mobbed on landing at Durban by crowd excited by reports of his speeches in India on conditions of indentured Indian labour in South Africa.

20th Jan

Declines to prosecute assailants.

6th April

Submits long memorial to Chamberlain, Secretary of State for Colonies, regarding landing incidents, background.

Carries on programme of petitioning local and Imperial authorities, as well as of communicating with British and Indian public men regarding discriminatory laws.


Represents to Indian National Congress, Colonial and Imperial authorities, against Locations and restrictions on Indians trading rights.


Raises Indian Ambulance Corps in Boer War, which goes into action and is mentioned in dispatches; awarded war medal.


Sends Dadabhai Naroroji draft resolution on South African Indian problem for Congress session.

18th October

Sails for India.

14th December

Reaches Rajkot via Porbunder.

27th December

Moves resolution on South Africa at Congress.

28th Jan To 1st Feb

Visits Rangoon.
Stays for a month with Gokhale at Calcutta.
Returns to Rajkot, settees down to practise.


Shifts to and sets up practice at Bombay.


Is called to South Africa to champion Indians cause against anti-Asiatic legislation in Transvaal.


Arrives in Durban: leads delegation to Chamberlain.


Enrolled as Attorney of Supreme Court of Transvaal; founds Transvaal British Indian Association.

Sends weekly statements regarding situation to Dadabhai Naoroji.


Indian Opinion commences publication.


Reads Ruskin’s Unto This Last : founds Phoenix Settlement near Durban (Natal); organizes hospita during outbreak of plague in Johannesburg; writes series of articles in Gujarati on dietetics which are later translated into English and published under the title Guide to Health.


Opposes Bengal Partition, supports boycott of British goods. During Gokhale Lajpat Rai deputation to Britain, appeals to Colonial statesmen to treat India, 'an integral part of the Empire', with consideration.

12th May

Support 'home rule' for India 'I the name of justice and for good of humanity'.

27th May

Writes to brother, Lakshimidas, declaring disinterestedness in worldly possessions.


Raises Indian Stretcher-bearer Corps in Zulu Rebellion; takes vow of brahmacharya for life.

11th September

Addresses mass meeting of Indians at Johannesburg, which takes oath of passive resistance against newly promulgated Transvaal Asiatic Law Amendment Ordinance.

21st October To 30th November

In England on deputation to present Indians’ case to Colonial Secretary.

18th December

Returns to South Africa

January To February

Writes series of 8 articles in Gujarati on "Ethical Religion", published weekly in Indian Opinion and later, as a book.


Asiatic Registration Act passed in Transvaal Parliament. Indians hold protest meetings.


Sees Smuts at Pretoria, acquaints him with resolutions adopted at mass meetings. Pledges, in Indain Opinion, opposition to 'Black Act'.


Writes to Smuts criticsing Registration Act, suggesting amendments.

Passive resistance, picketing of Permit Offices; defends passive resisters in court.


Smuts decides to prosecute Gandhiji.

8th Jan

Asks Government for suspension of Registration Act, offers voluntary registration.

10th Jan

Adopts word : 'Satyagraha' in place of 'Passive Resistance'.
Sentenced to 2 months' imprisonment for failure to leave Transvaal.

21st Jan

Agrees to settlement on basis of voluntary registration, if Registration Act is repealed.

30th Jan

Summoned to see General Smuts at Pretoria and released, on reaching a compromise.


Nearly killed by Pathans who regard the compromise, under which Indians are expected to give their finger-prints voluntarily, as a betrayal of Indian interest; refuses to prosecute his assailants.

March To June

Negotiates with Smuts for fulfilment of promise of repeal of Act which Smuts denies.


Correspondence with Smuts released; Indians in mass meeting decide to refuse thumb impressions and burn registration certificates.


Declares use of violence 'harmful, even unseless to uproot British rule' in India.

Appeals to Smuts to repeal 'Black Act'.Registation certificates burnt at meetings; passive resistance resumed.


Royal assent is given to amended Registration Act.
Smuts refuses Indian terms for settlement.

15th October

Arrested and sentenced to 2 months rigorous imprisonment.

12th December

Released from Volksrust Gaol

Indian National Congress adopts resolution on South Africa, criticizing the harsh, humiliating and cruel treatment of British Indians in South Africa as injurious to British Empire.

16th Jan

Arrested at Volksrust for failing to produce registration certificate; on deportation, returned and is re-arrested, but released on bail.

20th Jan

Writes to Press calling on Indians to prepare for final phase of struggle.

25th Feb

Arrested at Volksrust; sentenced to 3 months.

2nd March

Transferred to Pretoria Central Gaol.

24th March


21st June

Leaves with Haji Habib, on deputation to England to represent Indian case.

10th July

Arrives in London.

With the assistance of Lord Ampthill, works ceaselessly to educate influential British leaders, the public, and to move Imperial authorities.

1st October

Writes to Tolstoy regarding Passive Resistance movement.

9th November

The Times reports failure of Gandhi Government negotiations on Transvaal laws.

10th November

Replies to Tolstoy, sends his biography by Doke.

13th November

Leaves England for South Africa.
Writes Hind Swaraj on board "s. s. Kildonan Castle".

30th November

Reaches South Africa.

29th December

Congress at Lahore adopts resolution praising Indians struggle in South Africa, urging ban on indenture.

4th April

Sends Tolstoy copy of Indian Home Rule, seeks comment.

8th May

Tolstoy replies: question of Passive Resistance of greatest importance not only for India but for humanity.

30th May

Founds Tolstoy Farm.

4th December

Pays memorial tribute to Tolstoy.


Communicates with Smuts regarding amendments to Immigrants' Restriction Bill; latter assures; no colour bar taint in laws.

27th March

Interviews Smuts at Capetown.

22nd April

Smuts agrees to assurances demanded by Indians in reciprocation of suspension of Passive Resistance movement.

3rd May

Meets Smuts: 'Provisional Settlement' arrived on Smuts' promise of repeal of Asiastic Registration and Immigrants' Restriction Acts.

24th June

Pledges loyalty to King-Emperor on coronation.

8th December

Invites Gokhale to South Africa.

16th March

Commends Gokhale's attempts for abolition of indenture system.

12th September

Phoenix Trust is set up.

22nd October

Accompanies Gokhale, on tour of South Africa, Laurence Marques, Mozambique and Zanzibar.

Gives up European dress and milk and restricts himself to diet of fresh and dried fruit.

4th December

Pays memorial tribute to Tolstoy.

18th Jan

Refers in Indian Opinion to the possibility of return home to India by mid-year.

14th March

Indian marriages in South Africa invalidated by Searle's Supreme Court judgment.

30th March

Indians in mass meeting protest against Searle judgment.

12th April

In Indian Opinion draws attention to new Immigration Bill's failure to fulfill terms of Provisional Settlement of 1911. Kasturba decides to join Passive Resistance struggle.

19th May

Warns Government of certainty of revival of movement if it fails to grant promised relief.

7th June

Idea of return to India deferred in view of stringent application of discriminatory laws and likely resumption of satyagraha.

28th June

Expresses readiness for negotiations.

13th September

Announces negotiations "proved abortive".

15th September

Passive Resistance is revived.

16th September

Kasturba is arrested.

17th October

Visits Newcastle; urges indentured Indians to cease work till repeal of @£ 3 tax.
3000 miners strike.

24th October

Proposes 'March' into Transvaal.

28th October

'March' from Newcastle begins.

30th October

Reaches Charlestown.

3rd November

Announces 'March' into Transvaal to court arrest.

5th November

Telephones Smuts seeking assurance of repeal of £3 tax.

6th November

Leads 'Great March'.

7th November

At Volksrust, released on bail; rejoin Marchers.

8th November

Arrested at Standerton; released on recognizance; 'March' continues.

9th November

Arrested at Teakworth, taken to Balfour.

10th November

Takes 'one meal a day' pledge till repeal of tax.

11th November

Sentence, at Dundee, to 9 months rigorous imprisonment.

13th November

Removed to Volksrust gaol.

14th November

Sentenced to 3 months on fresh count at Volksrust.

18th December

Released unconditionally; from time of release till settlement take only one meal a day and puts on indentured labourer's dress.

13th Jan To 16th Jan

Interviews Smuts, submits proposals.

22nd Jan

Suspends satyagraha following agreement with Smuts.
Fourteen days penitential fast for moral lapse of inmates of Farm.


Indian Relief Act is passed.

18th July

Sails for England, en route to India.

4th August

Reaches London.
Raises Indian Volunteer Corps


Volunteer Corps on duty.
Offers satyagraha over administrative interference in corps.

19th December

Sails for India.

1915 - 1932

9th Jan

Reaches India,
Awarded Kaiser-i-Hind Gold Medal for Ambulance services.

20th May

Founds Satyagraha Ashram (later known as Sabarmati Ashram after the name of the river) at Ahmedabad.


Tours India and Burma, travelling 3rd class on the railways.


Successfully agitates against indentured Indian emigration; idea of making use of spinning-wheel to produce handmade cloth on large scale takes root in his mind.


Goes to Champaran (Bihar) to investigate conditions of labour in indigo plantations; arrested and later released; appointed by Bihar Government as member of committee set up to inquire into ryots grievances.

Jan To March

Takes up cause of textile labourers of Ahmedabad and fasts to secure amicable settlement of dispute; initiates satyagraha in Kaira District (Bombay) to secure suspension of revenue assessment on failure of crops.

27th April

Attends Viceroy's War Conference at Delhi and addresses it in Hindustani; subsequently tours Kaira District to raise recruits for army.

28th Feb

Signs Satyagraha Pledge to secure withdrawal of Rowlatt Bills.

6th April

Inaugurates all-India satyagraha movement; countrywide hartal.

8th To 11th April

Arrested on way to Delhi for refusal to comply with order not to enter Punjab; escorted back to Bombay; outbreaks of violence in several towns.

13th April

Jallianwala Bagh tragedy at Amritsar, troops firing on an unarmed crowd and killing over 400. Addresses public meeting near Sabarmati Ashram and declares three days penitential fast.

14th April

Confesses at Nadiad his 'Himalayan miscalculation' regarding satyagraha martial law declared in Punjab.

18th April

Suspends satyagraha.


Assumes editorship of the Gujarati monthly, Navajivan, later published weekly in Hindi also.


Assumes editorship of the English weekly, Young India;joins non-official committee of inquiry into official excesses in Punjab.

24th November

Presides over All-India Khilafat Conference at Delhi.


Advises acceptance of Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms by Congress at Amritsar.


Leads deputation to Viceroy to press on British Government not to deprive Sultan of Turkey (who was also Khalifa of Muslims) of his suzerainty over Holy Places of Islam.

1st August

Addresses letter to Viceroy surrendering Kaiser-I-Hind Medal, Zulu War Medal and Boer War Medal.


Special session of Indian National Congress at Calcutta accepts his programme of non-co-operation to secure redress of Punjab and Khilafat wrongs.


Founds Gujarat Vidyapeeth at Ahmedabad.


Nagpur Congress session adopts his resolution declaring object of Congress to be attainment of Swaraj by the people of India by all legitimate and peaceful means.


Launches programme of enlisting a crore of members in Congress, raising a crore of rupees for Tilak Swaraj Fund and setting up 20 lakhs of charkas in the country in furtherance of national constructive movement.


Leads campaign for complete boycott of foreign cloth and lights monster bonfire of foreign cloth in Bombay.


Invested with full dictatorial powers by Congress session at Ahmendabad.

1st Feb

Gives notice to Viceroy of intention to launch satyagraha campaign in Bardoli (Gujarat).

5th Feb

Following Chauri Chaura (U.P.) tragedy, in which 21 police constables and one sub-inspector were burnt to death by a mob, fasts for five days and abandons plan of satyagraha movement.

10th March

Arrested for sedition at Sabarmati and sentenced (March 18) to six years imprisonment.

Jan To Feb

Operated on for appendicitis in Sassoon Hospital, Poona (Jan. 12) and released on Feb. 5


Resumes editorship of Young India and Navajivan.

18th September

Begins 21 days’ fast for Hindu-Muslim unity.


Presides over Congress session at Belgaum.


Founds All-India Spinners Association.


Seven days vicarious fast for misdeeds of Ashram inmates.
Commences writing his autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth.


Visits Ceylon.


Moves resolution at Calcutta Congress session in favour of Independence if Dominion Status is not granted by end of 1929.


At his instance Lahore Congress session declares that Swaraj in Congress creed shall mean Purna Swaraj (complete independence).


Appointed by A.I.C.C. as Congress Disobedience movement.

2nd March

Addresses letter to Viceroy intimating his intention to break Salt law if Congress demands are not conceded.

12th March

Commences march to Dandi sea-beach, where he ceremoniously picks up salt (April 6).

5th May

Arrested and imprisoned without trial; hartal all over India; over 100,000 are jailed before close of year.

26th Jan

unconditionally released from prison.

Feb - March

Has series of talks with Viceroy resulting in Irwin-Gandhi Pact.

29th August

Sails for England as sole Congress delegate to Second Round Table Conference.

Sept - Dec

Attends sessions of Conference.

5th December

Leaves England for India.

28th December

Lands in Bombay.

4th Jan

Arrested and imprisoned without trial.

20th Sept

Commences 'fast unto death' in jail to secure abolition of separate electorates for Harijans in Communal Award.

26th September

Breaks fast on Government of India's acceptance of his demand regarding Harijans.

1933 - 1948

11th Feb

Founds the weekly paper Harijan, published in English and Hindi.

8th May

Commences at noon 21 days fast for self-purification; released unconditionally at 9 p.m.

9th May

Announces suspension of Civil Disobedience movement for six weeks and calls on the Government to withdraw its Ordinances.

29th May

Breaks fast.

26th July

Disbands Satyagraha Ashram.

30th July

Informs Government of Bombay of his decision to march from Ahmedabad to Ras with 33 followers to revive Civil Disobedience movement.

31st July

Arrested and imprisoned without trial.

4th August

Released and rearrested for breaking a restraint order.

16th August

Goes on fast on being denied facilities to carry on anti-untouchability propaganda.

23rd August

Released and reasserted for breaking a restraint order.

7th November

Commences Harijan-uplift tour.

17th Sept

Announces decision to retire from politics from October I to engage himself in development of village industries, Harijan service and education through basic crafts.

26th Oct

Inaugurates All-India Village Industries Association.

30th April

Settles down at Sevagram, a village near Wardha in the Central Provinces, Making it his headquarters.

22nd Oct

Presides over Educational Conference at Wardha and outlines his scheme of education through basic crafts.

3rd March

Commences 'fast unto death' at Rajkot to secure Ruler's adherence to promise given to reform administration, and ends it on March 7 on Viceroy's intervention.

July To Sept

Meets Viceroy by invitation in connection with war situation.


Sanctions individual civil disobedience; suspends Harijan and allied weeklies following official demand for pro-censor-ship of reports and writings in Harijan on the subject of satyagraha.

30th December

At his own request is relieved of his leadership of Congress by Working Committee.

18th Jan

Restarts Harijan and allied weeklies.

27th March

Meets Sir Stafford Cripps in New Delhi; later declares Cripps proposals to be a 'post-dated cheque'.


Appeals to British Government to quit India.

8th August

Addresses A.I.C.C. session in Bombay on implications of Quit India resolution.

9th August

Arrested and interned in Aga Khan’s Palace at Poona.

15th August

Death of Mahadev Desai, Gandhiji's personal secretary, from heart failure, in Aga Khan's Palace.

Aug To Dec

Corresponds with Viceroy and Government of India regarding disturbances.

10th Feb

Commences 21 days fast, which he breaks on March 3.

22nd Feb

Kasturba Gandhi dies in Aga Khan's Palace.

6th May

Released unconditionally.

9th To 27th September

Carries on talks with M. A. Jinnah regarding Pakistan.

2nd October

Presentation of purse of 110 lakhs of rupees (@£ 8,25,000) for Kasturba Memorial on occasion of 75th birthday.

17th April

In a statement regarding the ensuing San Francisco Conference says that peace is impossible without equality and freedom of India. Also demands a just peace for Germany and Japan.

19th December

Lays foundation stone of C. F. Andrews Memorial Hospital at Santiniketan.

Dec To Jan

Tours Bengal and Assam.

Jan To Feb

Tours Southern India for anti-untouchability and Hindustani propaganda.

10th Feb

Revives Harijan and allied group of weekly journals.


Participates in political talks with Cabinet Mission in Delhi.

5th To 12th May

In Simla; Simla Conference in session; deliberations prove infructuous.

16th May

Cabinet Mission announces Plan.

18th To 19th May

Discusses Plan with Cabinet Mission.

26th May

Considers Plan best document produced by British Government under circumstances.

6th June

In Mussoorie.

7th June

Returns to Delhi.

10th June

Refuses to enthuse over Allied victory as not being 'victory of truth over false-hood'.

11th June

Viceroy interviews Gandhiji, moots proposal of Coalition Government at Centre.

16th June

Cabinet Mission negotiations discontinued; Viceroy proposes Interim Government.

18th June

Congress Working Committee decides to accept Interim Government scheme.

20th June

Attends Working Committee meeting. Gandhiji is seen by Cripps.

23rd June

Advises Congress not to enter Interim Government, but only Constituent Assembly.

24th June

Meets Cabinet Mission.

28th June

Leaves Delhi for Poona; attempts made to derail train en route.

7th July

Addresses A.I.C.C. meeting at Bombay; Congress accepts Cabinet Mission plan of May 16.

31st July

Jinnah threatens sanctions of 'Direct Action'.

12th August

Viceroy announces invitation to Congress to form provisional Government.

16th To 18th August

The 'Great Calcutta Killing'.

24th August

Viceroy Wavell broadcasts Plan.

27th August

Gandhiji cables warning to British Government against repetition of 'Bengal tragedy'; also writes to Wavell.

4th Sept

Interim Government formed.

26th Sept

Has interview with Wavell.

9th Oct

Jinnah's 9-point demands conveyed to Congress.

10th Oct

Noakhali Massacre.

15th Oct

Muslim League agrees to enter Interim Government.

28th Oct

Leaves for Calcutta. Riots break out in Bihar.

6th November

Leaves for Noakhali; issues statement on 'Partial Fast'.
Noakhali tour begins.

20th November

Starts tour without party.

20th December

Completes month-long sojourn at Srirampur.

25th December

At Noakhali, says: "I ma being tested through and through..."

30th December

Jawaharlal Nehru calls on Gandhiji, who says: "My reason wholly supports my heart".

2nd Jan

Says: "All around me is utter darkness".
Leaves Srirampur on walking tour.

3rd To 29th Jan

In Bihar, touring riot-affected areas.

30th Jan

Leaves Patna for Delhi.
Mountbatten, new Viceroy, arrives in Delhi.

1st To 2nd April

Gandhiji addresses Asian Relations Conference in Delhi.

15th April

Issues with Jinnah joint appeal for communal peace.

29th April

In Bihar.

1st May

Congress Working Committee accepts Partition in principle.

5th May

in interview, Gandhiji denies that communal division of India is inevitable.

24th May

Leaves Bihar for Delhi.

31st May

Declares peace must precede partition, he would not be party to India's vivisection.

2nd June

Viceroy's Partition plan revealed; Congress Working Committee conveys acceptance.

3rd June

Indian leaders broadcast on Mountbatten Plan.

6th June

Gandhiji writes to Mountbatten, with Pakistan conceded, to persuade Jinnaj to amicable settle all outstanding points with Congress.

12th June

Addresses Congress Working Committee.


Independence of India Bill' passed.

27th July

Appeals to Princes to regard people’s paramountacy as a privilege.

14th August

Hails following day as one of rejoicing for deliverance from, British bondage; but deplores Partition. Pakistan is born.

15th August

Hindu-Muslim fraternization in Calcutta.

16th August

Hails 'Miracle of Calcutta'.

1st September

Considers Calcutta peace nine-day's wonder, decides on fast.

2nd Sept

Is mobbed in Calcutta house; gives up idea of Noakhali visit. Peace efforts intensified.

4th Sept

Breaks fast.

7th Sept

Leaves Calcutta for Delhi; commences daily visits to riot-racked areas.

24th Sept

Pakistan raiders invade Kashmir.

25th Sept

Kashmir accedes to Indian Union.

26th Sept

Criticises Churchill's 'holocaust in India'. Statement.

1st November

Indian troops enter Junagadh

8th November

Junagadh accedes to India.
Addresses A.I.C.C.

11th November

Defends Junagadh's accession to India.

25th December

Pleads for amicable settlement between India and Pakistan.

30th December

India refers Kashmir dispute to U.N.

12th Jan

Decides to fast for communal peace in Delhi; Mountbatten fails to dissuade Gandhiji.

15th Jan

Enters 'danger zone'. Hails Indian Cabinet's decision to release Pakistan dues of Rs. 550 million. Fast continues for establishment of communal peace.

17th Jan

Doctors warn fast must be ended. Central Peace Committee formed, decides on 'Peace Pledge'.

18th Jan

Peace Committee signs, presents 'Peace Pledge' to Gandhiji, who breaks fast.

20th Jan

Bomb explodes at prayer meeting.

27th Jan

Visits Mehrauli Muslim Fair.

29th Jan

Angry refugees ask Gandhiji to retire to the Himalayas.

30th Jan

Drafts constitution of a Congress transformed into Lok Sevak Sangh.
Is assassinated on way to evening prayer.