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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
मोहनदास करमचंद गांधी
موہن داس کرم چند گاندھی
મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી
Portrait Gandhi.jpg
Mahatma Gandhi
Born (1869-10-02)2 October 1869
Porbandar, Gujarat, India
Died 30 January 1948(1948-01-30) (aged 78)
Cause of death Gun shot
Nationality British Indian (1858-1947)
Indian (1947-)
Spouse(s) Kasturba Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was a leader of nationalism in British-ruled India. He is more commonly called Mahatma Gandhi; mahatma is an honorific meaning "great-soul" or "venerable" in Sanskrit. He was first called this in 1914 in South Africa. He is also called Bapu in India (Gujarati endearment for "father", "papa").

He was the Martyr of the Nation since 1948. Rabindranath Tagore gave him the title of 'Mahatma'.

Gandhi was one of the most important people involved in the movement for the independence of India. He was a non-violent activist, who led the independence movement through a non-violent protest.

Early life

Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat, India. Several members of his family worked for the government of the state. When Gandhi was 18 years old, he went to study law in England. After he became a lawyer, he went to the British colony of South Africa where he experienced laws that said people with dark skin had fewer rights than people with light skin. In 1897, Gandhi was attacked by a group of people in Durban Harbor, South Africa when he was going to work. He went to South Africa because he could not find work in India. When traveling through South Africa, Gandhi was also kicked out of a first class train because of his skin color. Then Gandhi started protesting against segregation. He decided then to become a political activist, so he could help change these unfair laws. He created a powerful, non-violent movement. During Gandhi's life, India was a colony of the British Empire, but wanted independence. He was a huge leader during that era and his thoughts helped catalyze the Indian independence movement.

Gandhi was a vegetarian almost all his life, because he believed in non-violence (ahimsa).

As an activist

On 9 January, 1915 when Gandhi returned to India, he decided to again lead a march against a law called the Rowlatt Act. But then the protest turned violent and people started to kill the protesters.

On 12 March, 1930 Gandhi led the Salt March.

When he returned to India, he helped cause India's independence from British rule, inspiring other colonial people to work for their own independence, break up the British Empire, and replace it with the Commonwealth.

People of many different religions and ethnic groups lived in British India. Many people thought that the country should break into separate countries so that different groups could have their own countries. In particular, many people thought that Hindus and Muslims should have separate countries. Gandhi was a Hindu, but he liked ideas from many religions including Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and he thought that people of all religions should have the same rights, and could live together peacefully in the same country.

In 1938, Gandhi resigned from Congress. He said that he was no longer able to work through Congress to unite the divisions in caste and religion. He also felt that he had little to offer to the political process.

On 15 August, 1947, the British Indian Empire split into India and Pakistan. Gandhi wanted independence, but did not want the former Raj to split into two different countries. Instead of celebrating on independence day, he was crying over the end of British India.

Gandhi's principle of satyagraha, often translated as "way of truth" or "pursuit of truth", has inspired other democratic and anti-racist activists like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela. Gandhi often said that his values were simple, based upon traditional Hindu beliefs: truth (satya), and non-violence (ahimsa).


On January 30, 1948 Mahatma Gandhi was killed by a Brahman activist Nathuram Godse, because Godse thought that Mahatma Gandhi was too respectful to the Muslims. Godse was tried and executed by Indian officials.

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