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 Timeline of Kasturba  for  III : Return to India: Sabarmati Phase (1915-1931)
   
9th January, 1915 Mohandas and Kasturba arrived at Bombay to a rousing welcome: Mohandas, in humble Kathiawadi dress, was addressed as a hero in the cause of Indian Independence', and Kasturba in plain sari and only glass bangles (given on her wedding day) as `the heroine of South Africa'. They were invited by Lord Wellington, Governor of Bombay. After a hurried visit to Rajkot and Porbander, both visited Shantiniketan where rest of the Phoenix group had been invited for temporary stay by Rabindranath Tagore. After over 2 weeks, on receiving the news of Gokhale's death, both left for Poona, travelling third class in trains. At Kalyan where they reached dead tired, Gandhiji let Kasturba use an upper class waiting room for bath, an instance of love over-taking truth.Gokhale had asked Gandhiji to "Go round the country, see, observe, listen. Your views will correct themselves, and then you can get involved". Kasturba too accompanied him whenever possible on his extensive travels during this 'year of silence'. Harilal went with Gandhiji once, but in March 1915, announced his permanent break. Gandhiji and Kasturba searched for a 'home' in place of the Phoenix.

25th May, 1915 With 25 men and women, plus children, Gandhiji set up his Ashram at Kochrab (near Ahmedabad town) in a building offered by an attorney friend and laid down nine vows for the ashramites: Truth, Non-violance, Aswad (control of palate), Asteya (non-stealing), Aparigraha (non-possession), Swadeshi, Abhaya (fear lessness) and non-observance of untouchability.

Sep. 1915 Dudabhai with wife Daniben and daughter Laxmi - an 'untouchable' family, was admitted by Gandhiji into the Ashram. Financial backers refused to give funds as a protest. Kasturba too avoided the 'untouchables' family, Gandhiji had started calling them 'Harijans'. Suddenly one day Kasturba realised the injustice involved and hugged Laxmi like her own grand-daughter. From that day Ba remained as committed to the eradication of untouchability as Gandhiji.

1916 Gandhiji's 'year of silence' was followed by the 'year of speeches'. After his outspoken speech at Benaras Hindu University, which offended the Princes, British Officials, and Congress elite, unexpectedly he was in great demand. At Madras, where the host students found Gandhiji and Kasturba arriving by train in third class as ordinary people, they removed the horse and pulled the carriage carrying Bapu and Ba themselves.

7th April, 1917 While Kasturba was busy with the delivery of Harilal and Gulab's fifth child at Calcutta, Gandhiji leftfor Champaran in North Bihar at the insistence of Raj Kumar Shukla, in order to go into the long-standing issue of exploitation of the poor farmers by the British indigo planters. This was the first Satyagraha campaign by Gandhiji in India. He was arrested but the Satyagraha ended with success. Kasturba too joined him to work with the women and children. She organised a district wide sanitation compaign; Devdas came to teach children. The thatched school in which Ba was staying was burnt down by landlords. But Ba continued with the help of local volunteers. She was shocked to learn that the women could not wash their clothes because they had no change. Poverty was extreme. She organised them into groups and showed how they could wash themselves, their children and their clothes.

July-August 1917 Epidemic of plague spread in Ahmedabad and villages like Kochrab. Mohandas shifted the Ashram to a nearby safer location in a 150 acre treeless area on the Sabarmati river bank. The Sabarmati Asbram was started in tin sheds. Harilal had became alcoholic and was in poor strait. Manilal sent ten rupees to him out of his own saving from the Ashram. Gandhiji atoned for this 'lapse', as it violated the vow of poverty for all ashramites, by sending him to Madras to live for a year there, as a labourer. Ba used her own quiet, nonviolent persuation to bring about a change in his attitude. As Bapu said later: "I learned the lesson of nonviolence from my wife." He wrote to a Madras publisher to employ Manilal and later sent him to Phoenix to assume charge of the 'Indian Opinion' and struggle there. Ba was happy at Manilal being again in his father's good graces but sad at his going far away.

Spring 1918 Kasturba finally left Champaran, proud of having brought about real changes in the women there. In Kocharb Ashram, Gandhiji had introduced weaving with machine spun yarn. But in Sabarmati Ashram, he revised the forgotten art of spinning on a charkha. Kasturba too learnt it and became one of the Ashram's most skilled spinners.

June 1918 Harilal's condition had worsened. Gulab with five children arrived in Sabarmati Ashram. Kasturba took them into her new hut. She bathed the children, told them stories, made sweets for them. Their departure for Rajkot left her lonely. She wanted to join Gandhiji. But he replied to 'Beloved Kastur' from Nadiad: "If you consider all children in the Ashram as your own you will not miss yours". Gandhiji's recruitment compaign for the World War was a disaster.

August 1918 Gandhiji suffered from dysentry, and collapsed when back in Nadiad after a visit to the Ashram. He was convinced that he was dying. Ba was frantic and looked after him after he was brought to Ahmedabad for treatment.

October 1918 Influenza epidemic which had killed estimated 20 million in India, killed 3 year old Shanti, son of Harilal, also at Rajkot. Kasturba went for the funeral. On 18 Oct., Gulab too died. Kasturba offered to Harilal to keep the children. Gandhiji's illness had persisted and ashramites were relieved when Kasturba returned. Gandhiji was ambivalent in regard to her ministrations and told Mahadev Desai: "there is selfishness in this suffering of hers," and "even so, her gentleness overpowers me and I feel inclined to relax in all matters." At Ba's persuation, Gandhiji went to Bombay for treatment, a surgery, but refused to take milk necessary for gaining strength as he had vowed not to take it on grounds of cruelty to the cattle. Ba was firm; "Surely then you could not have any objection to goat's milk". Her gentleness won. As Gandhiji wrote, "The will to live proved stronger than the devotion to truth." And goat milk became the mainstay of Gandhiji's diet.

1919 Under Kasturba's constant care, Gandhiji recovered in Mani Bhavan at Mumbai, generously given to them by Dr. P.J. Mehta. In January, Harilal sent his children to Mani Bhavan for Ba's care. Ba had to pay special attention to the oldest Rami, who felt Gulab's loss the most. It was an idyllic period for Ba, Gandhiji and children. In Feburary, Rowlatt Bills were published, imposing severe restrictions on civil rights of Indians who had already suffered due to the influenza epidemic and economic hardships after the World War I. Gandhiji and family moved to Sabarmati Ashram on 24.2.1919. Gandhiji held a meeting of workers who took a vow of Satyagraha against the Bills. On 18.3.1919 at Madras, Gandhiji learnt that one Bill was passed. Gandhiji announced one day HARTAL, as a day of national mourning and self-purification on 6.4.1919, when India came to a standstill. In Delhi, 9 people died in police firing. Then came Jalianwala Bagh massacre on 13.4.1919. Gandhiji became totally involved with political activity and editing his new journals 'Young India' and 'Navjivan'. At 50, Kasturba, in addition to overseeing the day-to-day work and problems in Sabarmati Ashram, was mothering four grand-children. She was also transforming into a true companion of Gandhiji in his ideals of Swaraj and Satyagraha. After each cross-country trip of his, in place of her usual massaging of his feet with oil, she had to apply ointment on cuts on his feet and ankles inflicted by those trying to touch the Mahatma's feet. She spun at least for one hour daily and carried her charkha whenever she accompanied Gandhiji. This acted as a model for village women who came out to attend Gandhiji's meetings.

1920-21 When Gandhiji started boycott of foreign cloth Kasturba insisted on relinquishing her favourite sari, gifted by Gokhale. She participated in the work among Harijans. She became a part of the political discussions and Non-cooperation movement of Gandhiji and also looked after him.

10th March, 1922 Mahatma Gandhi was arrested under the Rowlatt Act and taken to Sabarmati jail. Along with others, Kasturba sent him off with prayers. Gandhiji was shifted to Yeravda jail.

11th March, 1922 Gandhiji had written to Manilal from Sabarmati jail: "My relation with Ba today is that of brother and sister and the fame I have is due to it". While Gandhiji was at Yeravda jail, Ba was presiding over the chaotic bustle of daily activities at Sabarmati. She was also concerned over the welfare of her sons, one going astray and three unmarried. Ba felt that Harilal continued to reject Gandhiji's invitation to live at Sabarmati mainly because he abhorred the asceticism of ashram life. He wanted to remarry - Ba felt, it was too soon. Gandhiji agreed provided he married a widow with children. Harilal found it unreasonable but Ba thought Bapu's idea as laudable.

18th March, 1922 After the 'Great Trial', Gandhiji was sentenced to 6 year, imprisonment. Kasturba sat in the court during the trial and rode with him as he was taken to Sabarmati jail. Kasturba's appeal to 'My dear countrymen and countrywomen' published in 'Young India' on 23.3.1922.

13th January, 1924 Kasturba received a telegram from Pune that Gandhiji was operated for appen dicitis. Because of the Ashram duties, she sent Devdas to look after Gandhiji.

5th Fabruary, 1924 Gandhiji released unconditionally. Ba was overjoyed. Kasturba completely followed Gandhiji's watchwords of simplicity, frugality and of self reliance. Her kitchen was the tiniest in the Ashram. Her one box of personal effects was stolen and Gandhiji was surprised that she had one. When a heifer in the Ashram became terminally ill, she assented to Gandhiji's decision to end its life only after she had tried to save it. When Pyarelal Nayar, as a youth, can-re to Sabarmati Ashram, his widowed mother too came there to ask Gandhiji to send him back. She had a change of heart after talking with Kasturba and let Pyarelal remain there despite her crucial need of her only son. Later her daughter, Dr. Sushila Nayar (died on 2.1.2001) too joined Gandhiji and Ba for life.

6th March, 1927 Second son Manilal was married to Sushila, the second daughter of Nanabhai and Vijaylaxmi Mashruwala of Akola, supporters of Gandhiji's pragramme, after the girl agreed to take a vow of poverty and live in South Africa. Both Gandhiji and Ba had selected her.

12th March,1930 Gandhiji set out with 78 satyagrahis from Sabarmati Ashram on his famous Salt March for Dandi on the sea coast to break the Salt Law. Kasturba awoke before her usual 4 am. and was ready to send off the satyagrahis including her son Manilal. For her it was enough that Bapu was leading the Salt Satyagraha. Bamade the rounds of the Ashram in predawn darkness to wake every one for early prayers, and over-saw preparation of food for the marchers to be carried with them. Ba applied the red kumkum on Bapu's forehead and then blessed each marcher behind Bapu.

6th April, 1930 Gandhi broke the Salt Law at Dandi.

5th May, 1930 Gandhiji was arrested and taken to Yeravda Jail. When asked for a message for Ba, he said, "Tell her she is a brave girl". With Bapu and her two sons in prison and Manilal in danger of it, Ba relived the worst days of South Africa.

21nd May, 1930 Satyagrahis led by Manilal proceeded to take over Dharsana salt pans and were badly beaten by police. Manilal was carried away and for days there was no news of him. Then news came that he was in Surat in prison hospital with a fractured skull. Later he was taken to Sabarmati jail. Ba, with Manilal's wife Sushila, could meet him and Ramdas in jail. Ba also enquired about other satyagrahis whose relatives were not allowed to meet. With the Ashram men in jail, Bapu wrote from jail: "I have put all my hopes in you women".

12th October, 1930 Ba moved from town to town urging women towards the new phase of civil disobedience - picketing of liquor shops. Liquor sales fell sharply. Gandhiji wrote in his letter: "Ba, it seems, is doing some good running about." Soon after he asked that the yarn spun by him in Yeravda jail be made into a sari for Ba as a token of his esteem. Later, Ba went to Punjab to see Devdas in the jail there. She was taken in a procession there in the town as a leader.