On September 16, 1932, reformer Mohandas Gandhi started a six-day fast in Bombay (today, Mumbai) to protest caste separation in India. Caste is a hereditary social status, usually associated with societies on the Indian Subcontinent. The British government, which controlled India at the time, separated India's electoral system by caste. The “untouchable” lower caste (now called Dalits) had different political representation than those in the upper castes, called Brahmins. Six days into Gandhi's fast, the government reconsidered its actions.
Gandhi was a leader in the Indian independence movement, which ended with the division of the British Indian Empire into India and Pakistan in 1947. Gandhi was regularly in and out of jail because of his civil disobedience, which many called passive resistance to British rule. He often used fasting, also called a hunger strike, to protest what he thought were unfair government policies.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry caste Noun
specialized type of social insect that carries out a specific function in a colony, such as a worker, drone, or queen.
system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.
having to do with inheritance, or the passing of characteristics from parents to offspring.
state or situation of being free.
Indian subcontinent Noun
landmass in south-central Asia carried by the Indian tectonic plate, including the peninsula of India.
Mahatma Gandhi Noun
(Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1869-1948) leader of Indian independence movement.
action taken on behalf of another person, group of people, or organization.