What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction

is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy? Mahatma Gandhi, "Non-Violence in Peace and War"

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 nonviolent protest to achieve political and social progress has been hugely influential.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar in Gujarat. He was the last child of his father (Karamchand Gandhi) and his father's fourth wife (Putlibai). At age 13, Gandhi married Kasturba (also spelled Kasturbai) in an arranged marriage. Kasturba bore Gandhi four sons and supported Gandhi's endeavors until her death in 1944. In September 1888, at age 18, Gandhi left India, without his wife and newborn son, in order to study to become a barrister (lawyer) in London. He returned to India in 1891 and in 1893 accepted a job at an Indian law firm in Durban, South Africa. Gandhi was appalled by the treatment of Indian immigrants there, and joined the struggle to obtain basic rights for them. During his 20 years in South Africa he was sent to prison many times. Influenced primarily by Hinduism, but also by elements of Jainism and Christianity as well as writers including Tolstoy and Thoreau, Gandhi developed the satyagraha ('devotion to truth'), a new non-violent way to redress wrongs. In 1914, the South African government conceded to many of Gandhi's demands. Having spent twenty years in South Africa helping fight discrimination, Gandhi decided it was time to head back to India in July 1914. He brought an international reputation as a leading Indian nationalist, theorist and organizer. He joined the Indian National Congress and was introduced to Indian issues, politics and the Indian people primarily by Gopal Krishna Gokhale. In 1919, British plans to intern people suspected of sedition - the Rowlatt Acts. Instead of fighting the British, Gandhi used his influence and satyagraha to change inequities between Indians. A demonstration against the acts resulted in the Amritsar Massacre by British troops. In March 1922, Gandhi was jailed for sedition and after a trial was sentenced to six years in prison. After two years, Gandhi was released due to ill-health following surgery to treat his appendicitis. Upon his release, Gandhi found his country embroiled in violent attacks between Muslims and Hindus. As penance for the violence, Gandhi began a 21-day fast, known as the Great Fast of 1924. Still ill from his recent surgery, many thought he would die on day twelve, but he rallied. The fast created a temporary peace. Gandhi stayed out of active politics and, as such, the limelight for most of the 1920s. He focused instead on resolving the wedge between the Swaraj Party and the Indian National Congress, and expanding initiatives against untouchability, alcoholism, ignorance and poverty. He returned to the fore in 1928. In the preceding year, the British government had appointed a new constitutional reform commission under Sir John Simon, which did not include any Indian as its member. The result was a boycott of the commission by Indian political parties. Gandhi pushed

the father of the nation. Gandhi's memorial) at Rāj Ghāt. New Delhi. we will not run to him for advice or seek solace from him. as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress. Gandhi was opposed to partition. we will not see him again.[68] The British did not respond. where he marched 388 kilometres (241 mi) from Ahmedabad to Dandi. Gujarat to make salt himself. was a Hindu nationalist with links to the extremist Hindu Mahasabha. and the formation of the two new independent states of India and Pakistan. and that is a terrible blow. the flag of India was unfurled in Lahore. This was highlighted by the famous Salt March to Dandi from 12 March to 6 April. and there is darkness everywhere. Gandhi had not only moderated the views of younger men like Subhas Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru. Godse and his co-conspirator Narayan Apte were later tried and convicted. and now fasted in an attempt to bring calm in Calcutta and Delhi. The assassin. bears the epigraph "Hē Ram". who sought a demand for immediate independence. Massive inter-communal violence marred the months before and after independence. and I do not quite know what to tell you or how to say it. as we have seen him for these many years. but resigned from the party in 1934 in protest at its use of nonviolence as a political expedient. He was replaced as leader by Jawaharlal Nehru. Our beloved leader. Britain responded by imprisoning over 60. Gandhi then launched a new Satyagraha against the tax on salt in March 1930. who held Gandhi responsible for weakening India by insisting upon a payment to Pakistan. which may be translated as "Oh God". Perhaps I am wrong to say that. is no more. the light has gone out of our lives. though the veracity of this statement has been disputed. On 30 January 1948. Gandhi was shot while he was walking to a platform from which he was to address a prayer meeting. not only for me. Jawaharlal Nehru addressed the nation through radio: "Friends and comrades.through a resolution at the Calcutta Congress in December 1928 calling on the British government to grant India dominion status or face a new campaign of non-cooperation with complete independence for the country as its goal."—Jawaharlal Nehru's address to Gandhi . instead of two. Nathuram Godse. divided along religious lines. Bapu as we called him. but also reduced his own call to a one year wait. In 1945. but for millions and millions in this country. the British government began negotiations which culminated in the Mountbatten Plan of June 1947. Gandhi attended the Round Table Conference in London. Thousands of Indians joined him on this march to the sea. This day was commemorated by almost every other Indian organisation. These are widely believed to be Gandhi's last words after he was shot. On 31 December 1929. nevertheless. 26 January 1930 was celebrated as India's Independence Day by the Indian National Congress meeting in Lahore.[ In 1931. This campaign was one of his most successful at upsetting British hold on India.000 people. they were executed on 15 November 1949.


Gandhi with textile workers at Darwen. Gandhi and Nehru in 1942 . Lancashire. 26 September 1931.

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