Biography of Mahatma Gandhi
Life of Mohandas K. Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi or Gandhiji)
Mohandas K. Gandhi, who is best known to the world as Mahatma Gandhi, led the movement to free India from British rule, and was one of the world's greatest advocates of nonviolent resistance. He was was nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize but never won, an omission which the Nobel Committee has publicly regretted.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat, India. He went on to become the major force behind India's partition from Britain and to become known as a symbol of nonviolence around the world.
As a British-educated lawyer, Gandhi first employed his ideas of peaceful civil disobedience in the Indian community's struggle for civil rights in South Africa. Upon his return to India, he organized poor farmers and laborers to protest against oppressive taxation and widespread discrimination. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for the alleviation of poverty, for the liberation of women, for brotherhood amongst differing religions and ethnicities, for an end to untouchability and caste discrimination, and for the economic self-sufficiency of the nation, but above all for Swaraj - the independence of India from foreign domination. Gandhi famously led Indians in the disobedience of the salt tax on the 400 kilometre (248 miles) Dandi Salt March in 1930, and in an open call for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years on numerous occasions in both South Africa and India.
Throughout his life, Gandhi remained committed to non-violence and truth even in the most extreme situations. A student of Hindu philosophy, he lived simply, organizing an ashram that was self-sufficient in its needs. Making his own clothes - the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl woven with a charkha, he lived on a simple vegetarian diet. He used rigorous fasts, for long periods, for both self-purification and protest.
On January 30, 1948, Gandhi was shot and killed while having his nightly public walk on the grounds of the Birla Bhavan (Birla House) in New Delhi. The assassin, Nathuram Godse, was a Hindu radical.
Today Gandhi is commonly known throughout the world as Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma is a Sanskrit word meaning Great Soul. In India, he is also commonly referred to as Gandhiji or Bapu, which means Father. His birthday is celebrated each year as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday.
25th Anniversary of "Gandhi" Movie - Two-Disc DVD Release of "Gandhi" Movie Marked 25th Anniversary
"Gandhi," the award-winning movie directed by Lord Richard Attenborough was hailed by critics and movie-goers when it was released in 1982. The movie won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Ben Kingsley as Gandhi). Twenty-five years later, the movie still stands as an extraordinary tribute to the man who inspired it and is great viewing for anyone who wants to know more about Gandhiji's life. The two-disc 2007 DVD release of the movie includes 90 minutes of new material. This is an absolutely fantastic movie that you don't want to miss.
Mahatma Gandhi Timeline
A Short Timeline of Highlights from Mahatma Gandhi's Life
1869 - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi born in Porbandar in Gujarat, India.
1883 - marries Kasturbai Gandhi
1888 - goes to England to study law
1891 - returns to India and practices law
1893 - goes to Johannesburg
1906 - launches a campaign of nonviolent resistance (satyagraha) in South Africa to protest discrimination against Indians; takes vow of celibacy for life
1913 - arrested and jailed after leading 2,500 Indians in a nonviolent demonstration in South Africa
1915 - returns to India at age 45 and later stages the first of 14 fasts
1919 - begins all-India Satyagraha movement
1922 - arrested for sedition and sent to prison
1924 - released from prison
1930 - leads 78 supporters in a 241-mile "Salt March" to the sea to protest the British monopoloy in salt production
1932 - begins a "fast unto death" to protest the British government's treatment of India's lowest caste of "untouchables," who Gandhi calls Harijan, or "God's children"
1947 - India gains independence from Britain
1948 - Gandhi is assassinated by a Hindu fanatic on the way to evening prayers
Gandhi: Live and Learn
Quotes from Gandhi to Inspire
Throughout his life, Mahatma Gandhi shared his beliefs with the world through speeches, books and interviews. This simple wisdom is as applicable today as when he first spoke these words.
- Be the change you wish to see in the world.
- Love is the subtlest force in the universe.
- Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
- You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
- There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.
- Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
- Democracy and violence can ill go together.
- The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
- It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
- The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
"Be the change you wish to see" - Gandhi
Gandhi Books - Learn More About Mahatma Gandhi
Many books have been written about Gandhi and how he led a peaceful movement to free India from British rule. He also write an autobiography. These are a few books you can read to learn more about this incredible man.
National holidy in India celebrates Gandhi's life
Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday celebrated in India each October 2 to mark the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, who is known as the "Father of the Nation."
The day is marked by prayer services and tributes all over India, especially at Raj Ghat, Gandhi's memorial in New Delhi where he was cremated. Gandhi's favourite devotional song, Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram, is often sung in memory of him, and many people avoid meat and alcohol on this day in memory of Gandhiji's vegetarian lifestyle.
Find collectibles such as Gandhi stamps, coins, photos and historical memorabilia on eBay.
Videos About His Life and Accomplishments
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Gandhi Links - Read more about Gandhiji at these sites
- TIME 100: Mohandas Gandhi
His philosophy of nonviolence and his passion for independence began a drive for freedom that doomed colonialism.
- BBC - History - Mohandas Gandhi (1869 - 1948)
Known as Mahatma ('Great-Soul'), Gandhi was the leader of the Indian nationalist movement against British rule, and is widely considered the father of his country. His doctrine of non-violent protest to achieve political and social progress has been
- Nobelprize.org - Mahatma Gandhi, the Missing Laureate
Mahatma Gandhi has become a symbol of peace. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize several times, but never won. Why?