Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948. Political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement through civil disobedience. Gandhi is often referred to as Mahatma Gandhi or "Great Soul".

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar, a coastal town which was then part of the Bombay Presidency, British India. In May 1883, the 13-year old Mohandas was married to 14-year old Kasturbai Makhanji (her first name was usually shortened to "Kasturba", and affectionately to "Ba") in an arranged child marriage, according to the custom of the region. On 4 September 1888, less than a month shy of his 19th birthday, Gandhi travelled to London, England, to study law at University College London and to train as a barrister. In April 1893, he accepted a year-long contract from Dada Abdulla & Co., an Indian firm, to a post in the Colony of Natal, South Africa, then part of the British Empire.

In 1915, Gandhi returned from South Africa to live in India. In December 1921, Gandhi was invested with executive authority on behalf of the Indian National 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. On 8 May 1933, Gandhi began a 21-day fast of self-purification to help the Harijan movement. Gandhi returned to active politics again in 1936, with the Nehru presidency.

Mohandas Karamchand GandhiMohandas K. Gandhi, in the 1920s. Scan by Yann from a picture given by Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad.

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While the Indian National Congress and Gandhi called for the British to quit India, the Muslim League passed a resolution for them to divide and quit, in 1943. On the 14th and 15th of August, 1947 the Indian Independence Act was invoked and the following carnage witnessed a displacement of up to 12.5 million people in the former British Indian Empire with estimates of loss of life varying from several hundred thousand to a million.

On 30 January 1948, Gandhi was shot while he was walking to a platform from which he was to address a prayer meeting.

TEXT CREDIT: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

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