Mahatma Gandhi

Quick Facts:

Birthday: 2 October 1869

Father's name: Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi

Mother's name: Putlibai Gandhi

Born In: Porbandar, Gujarat

Death: 30th January, 1948, New Delhi

Nationality: Indian


Popularly known as "Father of the Nation", Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is mainly known for his social activities, which he carried out during pre and post-independence to bring out the entire Indian sub-continent together to demolish British colonialism. The nationalist movement that started as a consequence of the exploitation of British rule towards native Indians was the movement mainly headed by Mahatma Gandhi. 

The Gandhian principle and values focussed on "Satyagraha", that is associated with the ideology of truth and non-violence to achieve social and political prosperity. His methodologies about how peace can bring the change and his important social movements made him appear as "Mahatma" or the greatest of souls. After his two unsuccessful attempts to pursue law practices, he moved to South Africa to serve an Indian merchant in a lawsuit. Not just this, he also fought for the civil-right issues which were continuously raised in South Africa.

Early Life and Career:

Withholding some elementary education and had earlier been a clerk in the state government, Karamchand demonstrated all qualities of a capable chief minister. During his occupancy, Karamchand married four times. After the tragic death of the first two wives and childless third marriage, in 1857, Karamchand asked his third wife's permission to marry again. After which he married Putlibai who belonged to Vaishnava family. They had three kids after their happy marriage. 

On 2 October 1869, Gandhiji was born. According to his sister, as a child, Gandhiji was said to be quite restless either playing or roaming about. He liked to play with his dog, twisting his ears or scratching them off. The Indian classics, especially the tales of king Harishchandra and Sharvana, had a vital influence on Gandhiji during his childhood. It has all been mentioned in his autobiography where he writes: "It haunted me, and I must have acted Harishchandra to myself times without number." Gandhiji's prime self-identification with truth and emotion as the most significant values is attributable to these epic characters. 

The family background of Gandhiji was diverse. His father was a Hindu, and his mother belonged to a Vaishnava Hindu family. His mother came from the Pranami culture, whose religious manuscripts include the Bhagavad Gita, the Bhagavata Purana, and also the collection of 14 texts with pedagogy that the ritual believes in enumerating the basis of the Vedas, the Quran and the Bible. Gandhi was deeply affected by his mother, an extremely religious lady who would start her day with her prayers. She would take the hardest pledges and retain them without flinching. Keeping fasts on an almost regular basis was just like another daily routine to her.

Studying Abroad and Persuading Family:

As Gandhiji belonged to a low-income family, so he was forced to drop out of the cheapest university, his family could support. Joshiji, who was an old family friend, recommended Gandhiji and his family that he should try going to studying law in London. In July 1888, his first son was born who was named Harilal. When Gandhiji decided to leave his son and wife and to go so far from home, his mother and his uncle Tulsidas opposed him. Despite all the oppositions from the family, Gandhiji wanted to pursue his studies in London. To convince his family, Gandhiji pledged to his mother that he would refrain from meat, alcohol, women or any other worldly attraction. Gandhiji's brother Laxmidas, who was a lawyer by profession applauded Gandhi's London study plans and offered to assist him.

Life in London:

Most of his life in London was directed by what he pledged to his mother. He sought to adopt "English" customs, which also consisted of taking dancing lessons. The bland vegetarian food was something which he struggled to cope up with. For getting himself satisfied with his diet, he has to go for some decent vegetarian restaurant. Directed by Henry Salt's writing, he entered the London Vegetarian Society and was chosen as the executive committee. This was also an achievement while on the committee was the foundation of a Bayswater chapter.

Fight for the Civil Rights in South Africa:

Being actively abused based on skin colour, Gandhiji was highly motivated to run a civil right movement in South Africa. When he reached in the boat, he was not allowed to sit with white Europeans. Instead, he was made to sit on the floor around the drivers. Moreover, he was kicked into a gutter for walking nearby a resident and thrown out off a train when he refused to leave first class. Indians were not allowed to walk around the footpath freely in South Africa. Gandhiji was kicked by the local cops when he refused to accept such practices. After all, this what happened to him, he wanted to return to India whereas some part of him was constantly persuading him to fight for the civil rights in South Africa. He questioned the authorities for following such practices and tried to refrain them for social and racial equality.

Struggle for Indian Independence (1915–1947):

After the request posted by Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Gandhiji finally decided to head back to India in 1915. As a former, he joined INC (Indian National Congress), and Gokhale introduced him to various chapters of Indian politics, community and regulations. Gandhiji led the Indian National Congress and started carrying Andolans to motivate and raise their voice against British colonisation.  Gandhiji's immediate independence demand again brought him along with tens of thousands to congress members behind bars in the year 1942. Again Gandhiji's strong support and organisation finally led them to attain independence but at the condition of partitioning the nation into two parts: India and Pakistan.


  • 1896: Fought against civil and social rights in South Africa.
  • 1914: Introduced the idea of Satyagraha which also led Indian Relief Act, 1914.
  • 1915: Conquered the campaign of civil disobedience in Champaran, India.
  • 1918: Successfully directed a non-violent tax revolt in Kheda.
  • 1919: Several Non-Corporation movements in the early 1920s. British made goods and services were boycotted.
  • 1930: He headed to the famous salt march to Dandi. Media widely covered this march and the world began to recognise this as one of the great independence movements.

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