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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

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Published by: Hitesh Praj on May 03, 2011
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The National Father
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in Bombay, 1944.
Born
2 October 1869Porbandar ,Kathiawar Agency,British
 
India 
Died
30 January 1948 (aged 78) New Delhi,Union of India 
Cause of death
Assassination
Resting place
Rajghatin New Delhi
 
Nationality
Indian
Other names
Mahatma Gandhi, Bapu
 Alma mater 
University College London
 
Known for
Prominent Figure of IndianIndependence Movement 
 
Propounding the philosophy of SatyagrahaandAhimsa 
 
Religious beliefs
Hinduism
Spouse(s)
Kasturba Gandhi
 
Children
Harilal Manilal Ramdas Devdas 
Parents
Putlibai Gandhi (Mother)Karamchand Gandhi (Father)
Signature
 
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
(Gujarati:
Œ¤•‡…™”
 
tŽŒye…
 
v™e†›
, pronounced
[mondas
 
kmtnd andi]
(listen)
; 2 October 1869 ± 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of Indiaduring theIndian independence movement. He was
 
the pioneer of 
 satyagraha
 ²resistance totyrannythrough masscivil disobedience, firmly
 
founded upon
ahimsa
or totalnonviolence ²which led India to independence and inspiredmovements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Gandhi is commonly known aroundthe world as
Mahatma Gandhi
(Sanskrit: 
mahtm
or "Great Soul", anhonorific first applied to him byRabindranath Tagore
 
),
[1]
and in India also as
Bapu
(Gujarati:
Š
™ˆœ
,
b
pu
or 
 
"Father"). He is officially honoured in India as the
 Father of the Nation
; his birthday, 2 October,
 
is commemorated there as
Gandhi Jayanti
, anational holiday, and worldwide as theInternational
 
Day of Non-Violence.
 
Gandhi first employed non-violentcivil disobediencewhile an expatriate lawyer in South Africa,during the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915,he organized protests by peasants, farmers, and urban labourers concerning excessive land-taxand discrimination. After assuming leadership of theIndian National Congressin 1921, Gandhi
 
led nationwide campaigns to ease poverty, expand women's rights, build religious and ethnicamity, enduntouchability, and increase economic self-reliance. Above all, he aimed to achieve
 
Swaraj
or the independence of India from foreign domination. Gandhi famously led his followers
 
in the Non-cooperation movementthat protested the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km
 
(240 mi)Dandi Salt Marchin 1930. Later he campaigned against the British to
Quit India
.
 
Gandhi spent a number of years in jail in both South Africa and India.As a practitioner of 
ahimsa
, he swore to speak thetruthand advocated that others do the same.Gandhi lived modestly in aself-sufficient residential communityand wore the traditional Indian
 
dhoti
and shawl, woven with yarn he had hand spun on a
charkha
. He ate simplevegetarianfood,
 
and also undertook longfastsas a means of both self-purification and social protest.
Early life and background
 
 A young Gandhic.1886.Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
[2]
was born inPorbandar , a coastal town in present-dayGujarat,
 
India, on 2 October, 1869. His father, Karamchand Gandhi (1822-1885), who belonged to theHindu Modhcommunity, was the
diwan
(Prime Minister) of the eponymousPorbander state, asmall princely statein theKathiawar Agencyof British India.
[3]
His grandfather's name was
 
Uttamchand Gandhi, fondly called Utta Gandhi. His mother, Putlibai, who came from the HinduPranamiVaishnavacommunity, was Karamchand's fourth wife, the first three wives havingapparently died in childbirth.
[4]
Growing up with a devout mother and theJaintraditions of the
 
region, the young Mohandas absorbed early the influences that would play an important role inhis adult life; these included compassion for sentient beings,vegetarianism,fastingfor self-
 
 purification, and mutual tolerance between individuals of different creeds.
[
citation needed 
]
 The Indian classics, especially the stories of ShravanaandMaharaja Harishchandrafrom the
 
Indian epics, had a great impact on Gandhi in his childhood. The story of Harishchandra, a wellknown tale of an ancient Indian king and a truthful hero, haunted Gandhi as a boy. Gandhi in hisautobiography admits that it left an indelible impression on his mind. He writes: "It haunted meand I must have acted Harishchandra to myself times without number." Gandhi's early self-identification with Truth and Love as supreme values is traceable to his identification with theseepic characters.
[5][6]
 
 
In May 1883, the 13-year old Mohandas was married to 14-year oldKasturbai Makhanji(her 
 
first name was usually shortened to "Kasturba," and affectionately to "Ba") in anarranged child
 
marriage, as was the custom in the region.
[7]
Recalling about the day of their marriage he once
 
said that " As we didn't know much about marriage, for us it meant only wearing new clothes,eating sweets and playing with relatives." However, as was also the custom of the region, theadolescent bride was to spend much time at her parents' house, and away from her husband.
[8]
In
 
1885, when Gandhi was 15, the couple's first child was born, but survived only a few days;Gandhi's father, Karamchand Gandhi, had died earlier that year.
[9]
Mohandas and Kasturba had
 
four more children, all sons:Harilal, born in 1888;Manilal, born in 1892;Ramdas, born in 1897; andDevdas, born in 1900. At his middle school in Porbandar and high school in Rajkot, Gandhi

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