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Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2,1869 at porbander Gujarat. That day saw the birth of a famous Indian personality, lovingly called Bapu, the Father of the Nation. He was born to the Diwan of Porbandar. His mother, Putlibai, a very religious lady and brought up her son with stories from the scriptures and mythology. Little Mohan grew up to be an honest, upright student.

 

At 13 years of his age he was married to a beautiful girl Kasturba. At 19, much to his mother's dismay, he was sent to England to study law. His mother took a firm promise like an oath that he would keep away from wine, women and non-vegetarianism. Mohan kept to his word. He returned to India after finishing well his studies as a barrister in 1891 and started his own practice at Bombay and Rajkot. In 1893 he has to go to South Africa to fight a case. It was there that his life's mission was determined - to fight against injustice. Gandhi ji could not tolerate the oppression of the Indians by the whites. So he stayed on in Africa for 12 years and established the Natal Indian Congress to improve the conditions of the Indians there, through peaceful, non-violent movements.

 

In 1914, Gandhi ji returned to India and established the Satyagraha Ashram near Ahmedabad near Sabarmati river. Inspired by G.K.Gokhale and Lokmanya B.G.Tilak, Gandhiji toured the country listening to the woes of the common man. Gandhiji was touched by the plight of his countrymen and so entered into politics not for personal benefits but for social service and duty to the nation.

 

With one goal - freedom from the British rule He launched 3 movements. First one the Non-Cooperation, the objective of which was 'the attainment of swaraj by peaceful and legitimate means'. The big idea was to boycott all foreign goods and official meetings and gatherings, British courts and schools gave up honours and titles and return to the use of swadeshi Indian goods.

 

The second was the Civil Disobedience. Launched on April 6, 1930, it began with the historic Dandi March or the 'Salt Satyagraha'. In order to oppose the British Salt Law, Gandhiji marched to Dandi along with his 100s and 1000s of followers to make their own salt.

 

The third one was the Quit India Movement of 1942, which resulted in the 'Quit India' resolution on August 8, 1942 urging the British to leave India. Finally India gained independence on 15th August 1947.

 

On January 30, 1948, the Mahatma was shot dead by a misguided communalist a group of disgruntled youth. As Pandit Nehru said, 'the light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere'. Mahatma Gandhi is Greatest Indian Figure.

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