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Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was Hindu statesman, thinker and

revolutionary activist. He was the central figure of the national
movement for Indian independence and initiator of passive resistance
method without the use of force against the oppressors. His teachings
influenced the international movement for peace and with his ascetic life
contribute to making universal symbol and landmark of philosophical
and socio-political intellectuals of the 20th century. Became widely
known by the name Mahatma, who allegedly paid off in 1915 by the
Indian philosopher and Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore and in
Sanskrit means Great Soul.

His early years

He was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, a small town on the west
coast of India in the province of Gujarat. His family belonged to the
caste Vanisigia, according to Hindu tradition of social division in castes.
His grandfather was a local commander of Porbandar position in which
he was succeeded by his son and father Mahatma Karamtsant. His
mother, Poutlimpai, who was the fourth wife of Karamtsant (the previous
three had died during childbirth) catalyst affected the character of the
purity of her life, his kindness and religious faith.
He grew up in a family environment, which shares the views of the local
religious movement of Gujarat Jain, who believed in the principles of
non-injury to any living creature, vegetarianism, tinisteia as self-cleaning
method and mutual tolerance between members of different castes and
religious movements.
In 1876 the family moved to Rajkot city and Mahatma enrolled in school.
The same year got engaged to his age Kastourmpai, daughter of
merchant Gokuldas Makanji. In 1881 he entered the Gymnasium Alfred
High School and two years later he married Kastourmpai. Together they
had four children Charilal (1888), the Manilal (1892), the Ramntas
(1897) and Ntemntas (1900).


His transition to London

On November 16, 1885 his father died at the age of 63 years. In 1887
he passed the entrance exam and entered the Samaldas College, but
the studies there seemed difficult and unpleasant atmosphere that
attended only one academic year. After that a family friend suggested
that if Mahatma wanted to take his father's position would be good to
study law, studies that would last three years in London. So the young
Gandhi exploiting this proposal went to the capital of the then British
Empire on September 4, 1888 and enrolled at University College
London. Gandhi imagined England as the center of culture, country of
philosophers and poets. The fantastic image but subsided when faced
with derision fellow students for their specific cultural habits while at the
same time found it difficult to adapt to the Western way of clothing and
His stay in London was influenced by the promise, which he had given
to his mother, before the monk Becharji team Jain, abstain from meat
eating, the alcohol drinking and sexual promiscuity. Although
experimented in adopting certain English habits, though remained
vegetarian participating in Union London Vegan, where it belonged and
George Bernard Shaw, and even elected a member of its Executive
Some of the members of the Union were also members of the
Theosophical Society, which had been founded in 1875 to promote
global brotherhood and focuses on the study of Buddhist and Indian
Brahmanical literature. They encouraged Gandhi to read the BhagavadGita. At the same time a Christian friend suggested he read the Bible.
Although he found it difficult and tedious reading of the Old Testament
was delighted with the New Testament, especially the "Sermon on the
Mount." Having previously shown little interest in religion studied
religious works and treatises, which breathed the principle of respect
every religion and defense of religious identity.


His return to India

After having successfully passed the exam of last year and received his
degree sailed for India on June 10, 1891. Arriving in Mumbai learned

that his mother had died. His relatives had deliberately concealed the
news in order to avoid the emotional shock, as far away from home.
Originally stayed for a while in Rajkot undertaking the training of small
son and children of his brother, and later decided to open a law office in
Mumbai. There remained some months assuming only a small case.
But when we went to court to plead lost his courage and failed to utter a
single word.
Failure in Mumbai brought him back to Rajkot where he tried to maintain
a career. And there but failed to progress and further felt uncomfortable
in an environment full of petty intrigues and pettiness. Then he was
offered by the company Dada Abdulla & Co. to represent her in a court
case in South Africa. Gandhi was thrilled by the offer and started in
Africa in April 1893.


Its action against Aparheid (Racial Segregation)

Arriving in South Africa was faced with racial segregation of apartheid,
which is manifested by white settlers at the expense of local and Indian
immigrants. Gandhi was expelled from the courtroom because he
refused to remove the traditional Indian turban while once accepted

violence by stagecoach driver because he refused to give way to a

European passenger. This situation led him to become politically active,
defending the human rights of his countrymen.
During the twenty-year stay in South Africa was imprisoned several
times for his fights. There he first started teaching the tactics of passive
resistance, a method with clear references to the thinking of leading
Russian author Leo Tolstoy. In refusing to use violence against the
oppressors, he was affected, as he said, from the teachings of Jesus
Christ and the American writer Henry Thoreau, who wrote an essay on
civil disobedience.
When Boer's war broke out, Gandhi organized ambulance corps for the
British army and directed a unit of the Red Cross. After the war he
returned to fight for the rights of Indians immigrants and in 1910
founded the Tolstoy Farm, near Durban, a cooperative colony for
Indians. Later the South African Union government made significant
concessions to the demands of Gandhi, including recognition of Indian
marriages and abolition of the poll tax. So, he managed to yield
substantial rights to his compatriots decided to return the same year in

The path towards Indian independence

For about two years he traveled in many parts of India in order come
into contact with the views of modern Indian society. His interest was
focused on the problem of apprenticeship, system under which poor
and uneducated laborers enticed to leave India working in other British
colonies. Gandhi using the method of passive resistance managed to
cause a great mobilization on this issue. In Bombay held meeting of all
Indian leaders and established the May 31, 1917 as the date for the
abolition of the apprenticeship. Then he traveled across the country to
receive support of his fight.
-4During the Interwar period became a central figure of the national
struggle for Indian independence. The independence movement soon
began to spread and when in 1919 the British Parliament by Rowlatts
act ceded to colonial powers emergency powers to deal with, the tactics
of passive resistance acquired millions of devotees across the country.
A demonstration against the Rowlatt's act in the city of Amritsar reached
a bloodbath by the British forces (Amritsar Massacre). As a reaction to
the inhuman colonial act, Mahatma appointed April 16 day of fasting

and prayer for the victims of the massacre. In 1920 after the failure of
the British to correct, Gandhi launched an organized campaign of noncooperation. Resigned the Indian government officials, citizens refused
participation in state institutions and children left government

The end of the great leader

Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi on January 30, 1948
by a nationalist Indian called Gkontse.

A project made by:

Behlivanos Tilemachos
Bagas Thanos
Alexoudis Nikos