Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

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Born 2 October 1869
Porbandar, Kathiawar Agency, British India[1]
Died 30 January 1948 (aged 78)
New Delhi, Dominion of India
Cause of death Assassination by shooting
Resting place cremated at Rajghat, Delhi.
28.6415°N 77.2483°E
Nationality Indian
Other names Mahatma Gandhi, Bapu, Gandhiji
Alma mater Samaldas College, Bhavnagar,
Inner Temple, London
Known for
Prominent figure of Indian independence movement
Propounding the philosophy of Satyagraha and Ahimsa
Advocating non-violence
Religion Hinduism
Spouse Kasturba Gandhi
Children Harilal
Child who died in infancy
Parents Putlibai Gandhi (Mother)
Karamchand Gandhi (Father)


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi  (2 October 18693-0January 1948) was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British ruled India. Employing non-violent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights and freedom across the world.[2]

Gandhi is commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi (Sanskrit: mahāt̪mā or "Great Soul", an honourific that was being applied to him by the time he left South Africa for India in 1914[3][4]) and in India also as Bapu (Gujarati: bāpuː or "Father"). He is officially honoured in India as the Father of the Nation;[5] his birthday, 2 October, is commemorated there as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and world-wide as the International Day of Non-Violence.

Born and raised in a Hindu Bania community in coastal Gujarat, and trained in law at the Inner Temple in London, Gandhi first employed non-violent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest excessive land-tax and discrimination. 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, increasing economic self-reliance, but above all for achieving Swaraj—the independence of India from foreign domination.

Gandhi famously led Indians in protesting the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in both South Africa and India. Gandhi attempted to practice non-violence and truth in all situations, and advocated that others do the same. He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn he had hand spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertook long fasts as means of both self-purification and social protest.

In his last year, unhappy at the partition of India, Gandhi chose to ignore the widespread celebrations of independence, and strove instead to stop the carnage between Hindus and Muslims that had accompanied the partition. He was assassinated on 30 January 1948 by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist who felt resentful at what he perceived was Gandhi's sympathy for India's Muslims. January 30 is observed as Martyrs' Day in India.


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