The young Indian barrister who left for South Africa in search of fortune, finally returned to India
in January 1915 not as a rich man, but as a poor Mahatma
, to serve his motherland.
He was in the typical European dress while in South Africa, but he landed back in Bombay, dressed the way the people in his home town did, a long shirt, a dhoti around his waste, a duppatta around his neck and a big turban in clothe around his head.
He was not known much in India
, except a few intellectuals and some leaders. But his return to India
made a big news in Indian newspapers. When the news reporters of India surrounded him he just told them: ‘I was away for quite a long time. And I have not followed the happenings here properly. Let me be here for sometime before I would be able to tell you something about it.’
Not just that India
did not know much about him, he too did not know much about his country. And so he undertook a journey all over India
, with a view to studying what his country was like and how his countrymen lived.
He also founded an ashram, a hermitage, called Satyagraha
Ashram with some twenty five men and women as inmates. “They took vows of truth, non-violence, celibacy, non-stealing, non-possession and control of the palace and dedicated themselves to the service of the people”.
entered into a new life, with a determination to serve his motherland India
to the best of his abilities.