Mohandes Gandhi Returns to India from London After Passing the Bar

A great shock lay in store for him when he landed at Bombay.

His mother had died while he was in England. It was only natural that he should have been anxious to justify the hopes of his family which had invested so much on his foreign education. His elder brother frankly expected rich dividends in the form of "wealth, and name and fame". The barrister’s degree, however, was not an open sesame to the top of the bar. Gandhi noticed that the home-bred Vakils of Rajkot knew more of Indian law and charged lower fees than England sure ridicule; Gandhi, therefore, accepted the advice of friends to go to Bombay to study India law and to secure what briefs he could.

Gandhi was called to the bar on June 10, 1891 and left London for India on June 12, 1891, where he learned that his mother had died while he was in London, his family having kept the news from him. His attempts at establishing a law practice in Mumbai failed and, later, after applying and being turned down for a part-time job as a high school teacher, he ended up returning to Rajkot to make a modest living drafting petitions for litigants, a business he was forced to close when he ran afoul of a British officer. In his autobiography, he refers to this incident as an unsuccessful attempt to lobby on behalf of his older brother. It was in this climate that, in April 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.