Tuesday, 17 April 2012

English barrister

In 1888, Gandhi travelled to London, England, to study law at University College London where he studied Indian law and jurisprudence and to train as a barrister at the Inner Temple. His time in London, was influenced by a vow he had made to his mother upon leaving India, in the presence of a Jain monk, to observe the Hindu precepts of abstinence from meat and alcohol as well as of promiscuity.[20] Gandhi tried to adopt "English" customs, including taking dancing lessons for exampl
e. However, he could not appreciate the bland vegetarian food offered by his landlady and was frequently hungry until he found one of London's few vegetarian restaurants. Influenced by Henry Salt's writing, he joined the Vegetarian Society, was elected to its executive committee,[21] and started a local Bayswater chapter.[10] Some of the vegetarians he met were members of the Theosophical Society, which had been founded in 1875 to further universal brotherhood, and which was devoted to the study of Buddhist and Hindu literature. They encouraged Gandhi to join them in reading the Bhagavad Gita both in translation as well as in the original.[21] Not having shown interest in religion before, he became interested in religious thought.

Gandhi was called to the bar in June 1891 and then left London for India, where he learned that his mother had died while he was in London and that his family had kept the news from him.[21] His attempts at establishing a law practice in Bombay failed because he was too shy to speak up in court. He returned to Rajkot to make a modest living drafting petitions for litigants but was forced to close it when he ran afoul of a British officer.[10][21] In 1893, he accepted a year-long contract from Dada Abdulla & Co., an Indian firm, to a post in the Colony of Natal, South Africa, then part of the British Empire.[10]


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