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Mahatma Gandhi

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Early Life and Background:
– Gandhi’s father, Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi, served as the dewan of Porbandar state.
– The family originated from the village of Kutiana in what was then Junagadh State.
– Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar, part of the British Raj.
– Gandhi was restless and playful in his childhood.
– He was influenced by Indian classics and came from an eclectic religious background.
– Gandhi married Kasturbai Gokuldas Kapadia in an arranged marriage at the age of 13.

Education and Legal Career:
– Gandhi attended local schools in Rajkot and later joined Alfred High School.
– He sailed from Bombay to London in September 1888 to study law.
– Gandhi enrolled at the Inns of Court School of Law in Inner Temple in London.
– Gandhi was called to the bar in London in June 1891.
– Gandhi accepted a legal position in South Africa in 1893, halting his legal career in Bombay.

Leadership and Activism:
– Gandhi employed nonviolent resistance in South Africa and India.
– He led campaigns for civil rights, poverty alleviation, women’s rights, and religious harmony.
– Gandhi’s use of fasting and simplicity became symbols of his leadership.
– He led Indians in challenging British policies like the salt tax.
– Gandhi played a key role in the Indian independence movement.

Legacy and Impact:
– Gandhi’s birthday, 2 October, is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti in India and the International Day of Nonviolence worldwide.
– He is known as the Father of the Nation in post-colonial India.
– Gandhi’s efforts to stop religious violence through hunger strikes are remembered.
– Gandhi’s life evolved over time, and he was recognized as a national hero in South Africa post-1994.
– Gandhi’s support for various movements like Champaran agitations and Kheda agitations left a lasting impact.

Movements and Independence Struggle:
– Gandhi led movements like the Champaran agitation and Kheda agitations against British authorities.
– He supported the Khilafat movement for Hindu-Muslim co-operation.
– Gandhi declared independence in 1930, leading to his imprisonment.
– The Salt Satyagraha and Swadeshi Movement were key strategies in the fight for Indian independence.
– Gandhi’s non-co-operation movement and leadership within the Indian National Congress were instrumental in India’s journey towards independence.

Mahatma Gandhi (Wikipedia)

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (ISO: Mōhanadāsa Karamacaṁda Gāṁdhī; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist and political ethicist who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India's independence from British rule. He inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahātmā (from Sanskrit 'great-souled, venerable'), first applied to him in South Africa in 1914, is now used throughout the world.

Gandhi in 1931
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

(1869-10-02)2 October 1869
Porbandar, Kathiawar Agency, British India
Died30 January 1948(1948-01-30) (aged 78)
Cause of deathAssassination (gunshot wounds)
Other namesBāpū (father), Rāṣṭrapitā (the Father of the Nation)
Alma materInns of Court School of Law
  • Lawyer
  • anti-colonialist
  • political ethicist
Years active1893–1948
EraBritish Raj
Known for
Political partyIndian National Congress (1920–1934)
(m. 1883; died 1944)
RelativesFamily of Mahatma Gandhi
President of the Indian National Congress
In office
December 1924 – April 1925
Preceded byAbul Kalam Azad
Succeeded bySarojini Naidu
Signature of Gandhi

Born and raised in a Hindu family in coastal Gujarat, Gandhi trained in the law at the Inner Temple in London, and was called to the bar in June 1891, at the age of 22. After two uncertain years in India, where he was unable to start a successful law practice, he moved to South Africa in 1893 to represent an Indian merchant in a lawsuit. He went on to live in South Africa for 21 years. There, Gandhi raised a family and first employed nonviolent resistance in a campaign for civil rights. In 1915, aged 45, he returned to India and soon set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest against discrimination and excessive land-tax.

Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women's rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, and, above all, achieving swaraj or self-rule. Gandhi adopted the short dhoti woven with hand-spun yarn as a mark of identification with India's rural poor. He began to live in a self-sufficient residential community, to eat simple food, and undertake long fasts as a means of both introspection and political protest. Bringing anti-colonial nationalism to the common Indians, Gandhi led them in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930 and in calling for the British to quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned many times and for many years in both South Africa and India.

Gandhi's vision of an independent India based on religious pluralism was challenged in the early 1940s by a Muslim nationalism which demanded a separate homeland for Muslims within British India. In August 1947, Britain granted independence, but the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two dominions, a Hindu-majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan. As many displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs made their way to their new lands, religious violence broke out, especially in the Punjab and Bengal. Abstaining from the official celebration of independence, Gandhi visited the affected areas, attempting to alleviate distress. In the months following, he undertook several hunger strikes to stop the religious violence. The last of these was begun in Delhi on 12 January 1948, when he was 78. The belief that Gandhi had been too resolute in his defence of both Pakistan and Indian Muslims spread among some Hindus in India. Among these was Nathuram Godse, a militant Hindu nationalist from Pune, western India, who assassinated Gandhi by firing three bullets into his chest at an interfaith prayer meeting in Delhi on 30 January 1948.

Gandhi's birthday, 2 October, is commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence. Gandhi is considered to be the Father of the Nation in post-colonial India. During India's nationalist movement and in several decades immediately after, he was also commonly called Bapu (Gujarati endearment for "father", roughly "papa", "daddy").

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