Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Other names: Mahatma Gandhi or Bapu महात्मा गांधी या बापू
Job / Known for: Leader of the Indian independence movement
Left traces: Indian National Congress, the Quit India Movement
Date: 1869-10-02
Location: IN Porbandar, Gujarat
Date: 1948-01-30 (aged 79)
Resting place: IN Raj Ghat, Delhi
Death Cause: Assassination by gunshot wounds
Spouse: Kasturba Gandhi (m. 1883; d. 1944)
Children: Harilal, Manilal, Ramdas, and Devdas Gandhi
Parent(s): Karamchand Gandhi (father) and Putlibai Gandhi (mother)
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Bapu, also known as Mahatma Gandhi, was one of the most influential figures in the history of India and the world. He was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar, a coastal town in Gujarat. His father was the chief minister of Porbandar state and his mother was a devout Hindu. He was married to Kasturba Gandhi at the age of 13 and had four sons with her. Bapu studied law in London and became a barrister in 1891. He then moved to South Africa to work as a lawyer for the Indian community there. He faced racial discrimination and injustice in South Africa and began to protest against them using nonviolent methods. He founded the Natal Indian Congress and led campaigns for civil rights and political representation for Indians. He also developed his concept of Satyagraha, or truth force, which was based on non-cooperation, civil disobedience, and peaceful resistance. Bapu returned to India in 1915 and joined the Indian National Congress, a political party that sought to end British colonial rule in India. He became the leader of the Congress in 1921 and launched several mass movements to challenge the British authority. Some of his famous campaigns were the Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-1922), the Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-1934), and the Quit India Movement (1942-1945). He also led the historic Dandi Salt March in 1930, where he and thousands of his followers defied the British salt tax by making their own salt from seawater. Bapu was not only a political leader but also a social reformer and a spiritual guide. He advocated for the upliftment of the poor, the oppressed, and the untouchables. He promoted swadeshi or self-reliance by encouraging Indians to spin their own cloth from khadi or hand-spun cotton. He also preached ahimsa or non-violence as a way of life and a means of achieving harmony among different religions and communities. Bapu played a crucial role in securing India's independence from British rule in 1947. However, he was deeply saddened by the partition of India and Pakistan along religious lines and the violence that followed. He tried to stop the communal riots and appealed for peace and brotherhood. He was assassinated on 30 January 1948 by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist who blamed him for appeasing Muslims. Bapu's last words were Hey Ram or Oh God. Bapu is widely regarded as the Father of the Nation in India and is revered as a symbol of peace, truth, and non-violence across the world. His birthday, 2 October, is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti in India and as the International Day of Non-Violence by the United Nations. His life and teachings have inspired many leaders and movements for freedom, justice, and human rights around the globe.
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