Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
1.60 m or 5feet 3inches
Mohandas Gandhi more popularly known as Mahatma, meaning great soul, was the leader of the Indian Nationalist movement against British rule and is considered to be the father of the Indian nation. Gandhi was born in 1869 in Porbandar in modern day Gujarat, India and at the time of his birth India had been under British control for 11 years.
Gandhi was a mediocre student at school but his family hoped that he would become a barrister in order to take over his father’s position as a high official in Gandhi’s home state. He traveled to London to study law at University College London in 1888, where he became interested in religious thought after meeting several members of the theosophical society.
He returned to India in 1891, and attempted unsuccessfully to set up a Law practice, he then moved to South Africa where he took a job at a Law firm in Durban where he spent the next 21 years of his life. Andy was awaken into the pyrite of Indians who faced racism and injustice in South Africa, and this lead to him to begin to question situation of his people in India who lived under British rule, he continued to draw attention to the ill treatment of Indians in South Africa, and developed his methodology of Satiagraha, or divorsion to the truth as a form of non-violence protest thousands of Indians joined his protest and hush and brutal treatment of the Indian population lead to a compromise between Gandhi and the South African government, who considered to Gandhi demands for better treatment for Indians, Gandhi returned to India in 1915, and became leading Indian Nationalist taking leadership of congress in 1920, on 26th of of January 1930 the Indian Nation Congress declared the independence of India from British rule, although Britain refused to recognize this, and tensions increased until the end of the Second World War.
Gandhi vehemently opposed India’s participation on the war on moral grounds and intensified his calls for independence in his famous Quit India speech. Quit India led to the arrest of thousands of freedom fighters and protesters and also led huge increase in violence in the country, leading to Gandhi’s arrest in 1942.
He was released from prison but during his incarceration the political scene was changed in India and Britain gave the first indication that power would be handed back to India. The Viceroy’s declaration of war on Germany in 1939 as well as The Muslim League of India’s cooperation with Britain during Gandhi’s imprisonment, led to the final independence from British rule under the Mount Bathan Act and also led to the newly separate Muslim state of Pakistan being formed in 1947.
Around 12 million people moved across the new borders between the countries, and around 500, 000 people were killed in riots despite Gandhi’s attempts to keep the transition peaceful. Gandhi was assassinated on the 30th of January, 1948 by a Hindu fanatic. But remains to this day the father of India and is revered across the country.
2 October (birthday of Gandhi) is commemorated as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday in India, and the International Day of Nonviolence.