(Last Updated on : 30/08/2012)
Kasturba Gandhi or Kasturbai Makhanji, lovingly called Ba, was the spouse of Mahatma Gandhi
, whom she married as a child. She always supported her husband's political protests, but not necessarily agreed with all his views. She had 4 sons with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and raised them lovingly. The later stage of her life she suffered from chronic bronchitis and repeated heart attacks. Kasturba Gandhi died in the year 1944.
Early Life of Kasturba Gandhi
Kasturba Gandhi was born as Kasturbai Makhanji on 11th April 1869, to Gokuladas Makharji of Porbandar
, a wealthy businessman. Her father arranged her marriage to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in May 1882. At the time of the wedding, Kasturba was 14 years of age, where as Gandhi was 13. She wasn't much educated, so her husband taught her how to read and write, which was rather unusual, considering the social status of women during that period. In 1888, Gandhi left for London to study, but Kasturba stayed back in India to raise Harilal, the couple's first child. They had 3 more sons, Manilal, Ramdas and Devdas. In 1906, Mahatma Gandhi decided to practice celibacy or Brahmacharya, and Kasturba supported his decision. But she did not always accept all his views and opinions.
Political Career of Kasturba Gandhi
Kasturba Gandhi stood by his husband in all his political protests. In 1897, she moved to South Africa to be with Gandhi. She actively participated in the Phoenix Settlement, from 1904 to 1914. In South Africa, she was arrested and sentenced to 3 months imprisonment during the protest against working conditions for Indians in 1913. During the Indian freedom struggle, in India, she took Mahatma Gandhi's place, whenever he was in prison and supported in continuation of his movements. She also supported her spouse in his support of indigo planters in 1915. Kasturba Gandhi taught reading, writing, discipline and hygiene.
Death of Kasturba Gandhi
Kasturba Gandhi was a victim of chronic bronchitis and suffered from her childhood. Moreover, tension from the arrests related to Quit India Movement
and the tough lifestyle at Sabarmati Ashram
resulted in her diminishing health. Kasturba became ill with bronchitis which was later complicated by pneumonia. Later in January 1944, she suffered 2 heart attacks. She died on February 22, 1944, from a severe heart attack.