By the time Gandhi returned to India in 1891, his mother haddied. He was not successful at breaking into the legal professionbecause of his shyness. So he took the opportunity of representingan Indian firm in Natal, South Africa for a year. South Africa,which was notorious for racial discrimination, gave Gandhi theinsults which awakened his social conscience. He refused to removehis turban in court; he was thrown out of a first-class railwaycompartment; he was beaten for refusing to move to the footboardof a stage-coach for the sake of a European passenger; and hewas pushed and kicked off a footpath by a policeman. As a lawyerGandhi did his best to discover the facts and get the partiesto accept arbitration and compromise in order to settle out ofcourt. After solving a difficult case in this way he was elatedand commented, "I had learned to find out the better sideof human nature and to enter men's hearts. I realized that thetrue function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder."1He also insisted on receiving the truth from his clients; if hefound out that they had lied, he dropped their cases. He believedthat the lawyer's duty is to help the court discover the truth,not to try to prove the guilty innocent.


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