Kasturba Gandhi was the wife of Great Indian leader and world most famous person Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Although she was known to be the wife of a very famous man, Kasturba was a selfless patriot who campaigned relentlessly for India’s civil rights and independence from British rule.
Married to Gandhi at a very young age, she soon had to fulfil the responsibilities of motherhood also after giving birth to four children in rapid succession. She was a very hard-working woman, completely dedicated to her husband and children.
She had to live away from her husband for long periods of time due to her political activities and handled all of her domestic responsibilities in a remarkable way. Ultimately, she was also influenced by her husband’s ideas and plunged into political activism.
She travelled to South Africa with her husband and became active in the Phoenix Agreement. She also protested against the working conditions of Indians in South Africa. She was even jailed as a result of her activism, but she never gave up on her beliefs.
By working alongside her husband, she inspired women in India to join the Indian independence movement and encouraged other women to volunteer for socio-political causes.
Early Life Of Kasturba Gandhi
Kasturba was born on April 11, 1869, in Porbandar, the son of Gokuldas Makanji, a merchant, and his wife Vrajkunwerba Kapadia. Not much is known about his early life except for a few basic facts.
His father was a friend of Karamchand Gandhi, the father of Mohandas Gandhi. Both men decided to marry their children to bring their families closer.
Child marriage was a custom commonly practised in 19th century India, and therefore Kasturba’s marriage was arranged with Mohandas, and children became engaged to each other when they were seven years old.
The young couple married in 1882 and they started living together as husband and wife. Initially, they met as friends and played together before maturing and realizing the real implications of married life.
She participated in the 1913 protest against Indian labour conditions in South Africa and was arrested and sentenced to three months in a forced labour prison. She also became involved in social service and taught reading, writing, health, and hygiene.