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2 October 1869
30 January 1948 (aged 78)
Lawyer, anti-colonialist, political ethicist
Leadership of the campaign for India's independence from British rule, nonviolent resistance
"The Story of My Experiments with Truth"
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Kathiawar, India, which was part of the British Empire. At age 9, Gandhi entered the local school in Rajkot. In 1888, 18-year-old Gandhi sailed for London, England, to study law. The young Indian struggled with the transition to Western culture.
Gandhi grew up worshiping the Hindu god Vishnu and Jainism, religion that espoused non-violence, fasting, meditation and vegetarianism.
In April 1893, Gandhi sailed for Durban in the South African state of Natal. The discrimination and racial segregation faced by Indian immigrants appalled him. In 1906, Gandhi organized his first civil-disobedience campaign, “Satyagraha” (“truth and firmness”), in reaction to the South African Transvaal government’s new restrictions on the rights of Indians. Later, he became known as “Mahatma,” which means “great soul.”
Gandhi became a leading figure in the Indian movement. He was calling for mass boycotts against for the Crown. Advocating a policy of non-violence and non-cooperation to achieve home rule previously, he remained away from active politics during 1920s.
Gandhi returned to active politics in 1930 to protest Britain’s Salt Acts. Gandhi planned a new Satyagraha campaign, The Salt March, that sparked protests, and mass civil disobedience swept across India.
On January 30, 1948, 78-year-old Gandhi was shot and killed by Hindu extremist Nathuram Godse, a Hindu fanatic enraged by Mahatma’s efforts to negotiate with Jinnah and other Muslims.
Gandhi’s actions inspired future human rights movements around the globe and other activists, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
“Where there is love there is life.”
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