The Great Trial of 1922 Against the Great-Souled One

10 Mar 24

On this day 102 years ago, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, a lawyer with serious mojo, was arrested and charged with sedition for leading a campaign of mass civil disobedience against the British in India. After years of frequent arrests and imprisonments in his campaign for independence from British rule, Gandhi, nicknamed "Mahatma," meaning, the "great-souled one," appeared without counsel in the Ahmedabad court before a British judge. He pled guilty to all charges and requested that he be given the maximum penalty. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

According to this account of Gandhi's imprisonment:

He was denied a pillow but he devised one with books and spare clothes. Among the 150 and odd books he read during this term were Henry James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience, Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman, Buckle’s History of Civilization, Wells’ Outline of History, Goethe’s Faust and Kipling’s Barrack Room Ballads. He kept up his daily routine of morning and evening prayers, and spinning. His literary and religious studies which had been neglected in the midst of other activities were resumed.

After his release, Gandhi continued his crusade of civil disobedience and non-violent resistance, culminating in the Salt March of 1930 and eventual Indian independence in 1947.