Mahatma Gandhi | Father of the Nation

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His Life: A HumbleSeeker of Truth

  • Year 1869 – Born in Porbandar, Gujarat.
  • Year 1882 – Married KasturbaiMakhanji Kapadia.
  • Year 1917 – Instigated Champaran Satyagraha.
  • Year 1919 – Launched Non-Cooperation Movement.
  • Year 1930 – Started Salt Satyagraha.
  • Year 1942 – Gave the call for Quit India Movement.
  • Year 1948 – Was assassinated by NathuramGodse.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. 

Mahatma Gandhi was the leader of Indian freedom struggle against the British imperialism. He is world renowned for his non-violent principles, peaceful disobedience and passive resistance approach to attain the freedom. He not only overthrew British Raj from India but also inspired civil rights movements across the globe.

Personal Life

He was born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi, Diwan of Porbandar and Putlibai on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat. He was restless and excitable as a kid. He was brought up in a vegetarian family with strong religious beliefs and grew up reading stories of Shravan Kumar and Raja Harishchandra which greatly influenced him.

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Gandhiji developed a habit of smoking in his childhood and started stealing money to finance the transgression. He even contemplated suicide when he could not steal anymore. But soon he felt guilty and vowed to never smoke or steal again.

Gandhiji received his early education from Rajkot and graduated from the University of Bombay in 1887. In 1888, he joined Samaldas College in Bhavnagar, but left it to study law at the Inner Temple in London.

His marriage was arranged to the Kasturbai Makhanji Kapadia at the age of 13. The couple had four children namely, Harilal, Manilal, Ramdas, and Devdas.

Political Journey

After completing education in 1891, he returned to India. He struggled initially to find work, but received a contract from Dada Abdulla & Co., an Indian firm in South Africa in 1893. Upon arriving in South Africa he faced racial discrimination. On one occasion he was thrown off the train because Indians were not allowed to sit with European people. His contract with the firm was for a year, but he extended his stay to fight the injustice. He spent more than 20 years in South Africa fighting for the rights of Indians and established Natal Indian Congress, an organization aimed to fight discrimination against Indians in South Africa.

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At the request of eminent nationalist Gopal Krishna Gokhale, he came back to India in 1915 to join the struggle of independence. Gandhiji started out by launching several non-violent protests and dharnas against the British Raj. He instigated Champaran Satyagraha in 1917 which is considered as his first major win against British imperialism. It was followed by Kheda Satyagraha in the same year.

In the year 1919, Gandhiji launched the Non-Cooperation Movement and asked people to start civil disobedience. He amplified the movement by stressing on the policy of swadeshi and principle of Swaraj. He called out to boycott foreign goods and promoted khadi. The movement grew and he was imprisoned by the Britishers in March 1922. He was was sentenced to six years imprisonment, but was released after two years in 1924 on medical grounds.

Upon his release he continued his fight for Swaraj. In 1930, he led Salt Satyagraha to oppose the tax imposed on Salt. The protest was successful and ended with Gandhi Irwin Pact in 1931. During the 2nd World War,Gandhiji urged Indians to stop participating in the war. In August 1942, he gave the call for Quit India Movement. He was soon arrested and held up at the Aga Khan Palace in Pune. He lost his secretary Mahadev Desai and his wife Kasturba Gandhi while he was in prison. The movement proved to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial rule.

Later Life

India gained independence in 1947 and Pakistan was carved out of India. To prevent sectarian strife and communal violence, he launched his last fast unto death. The fast ended after five days when all leaders conceded to his wishes to stop the bloodbath. However, destiny seemed to have had other plans for him as the life of a non-violent Mahatma ended in violence. In the late afternoon of January 30, 1948, NathuramGodse shot him dead in the garden of the Birla House (now Gandhi Smriti), New Delhi.

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