(Mohandas Karamchand) Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869
in Porbandar, India. He became one of the most respected spiritual and
leaders of the 1900's. Gandhi helped free the Indian people from British
through nonviolent resistance, and is honored by his people as the father
Indian Nation. The Indian people called Gandhi Mahatma, meaning Great Soul.
At age 13, Gandhi joined Kasturba, age 12, in a marriage arranged by
parents. The Gandhis had four sons: Harilal and Manilal, born in India,
Ramdas and Devdas born in South Africa. While Gandhi displayed loving
to everyone else, he was quite demanding and severe with his wife and sons.
Gandhi studied law in London and returned to India in 1891 to practice.
1893 he accepted a one year contract to do legal work in South Africa. At
time South Africa was controlled by the British. When he attempted to claim
rights as a British subject he was abused, and soon saw that all Indians
suffered similar treatment. Gandhi stayed in South Africa for 21 years
to secure rights for Indian people. He developed a method of direct social
action based upon the principles courage, nonviolence and truth called
Satyagraha. He believed that the way people behave is more important than
they achieve. Satyagraha promoted nonviolence and civil disobedience as
appropriate methods for obtaining political and social goals.
In 1915 Gandhi returned to India. Within 15 years he became the leader
Indian nationalist movement. Using the tenets of Satyagraha he lead the
for Indian independence from Britain. Gandhi was arrested many times by
British for his activities in South Africa and India. He believed it was
honorable to go to jail for a just cause. Altogether he spent seven years
prison for his political activities. More than once Gandhi used fasting
impress upon others the need to be nonviolent.
India was granted independence in 1947, and partitioned into India and
Pakistan. Rioting between Hindus and Muslims followed. Gandhi had been an
advocate for a united India where Hindus and Muslims lived together in
January 13, 1948, at the age of 78, he began a fast with the purpose of
the bloodshed. After 5 days the opposing leaders pledged to stop the
and Gandhi broke his fast. Twelve days later he was assassinated by a Hindu
fanatic who opposed his program of tolerance for all creeds and religion.
Written by Mahalakshmi G.S. - School of Computer Science & Engg. Anna
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