Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

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Gandhiji

Indians call Gandhiji 'Mahatma', meaning Great Soul. He became one of the most respected spiritual and political leaders of the 1900's.

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, India.

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Gandhiji helped free the Indian people from British rule through non-violent resistance, and is honoured by Indians as the father of the Indian Nation

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At the age of 13 Gandhi married Kasturba, a girl the same age. Their parents arranged the marriage.

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The Gandhis had four children

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Gandhi studied law in London and returned to India in 1891 to practice. In 1893 he took on a one-year contract to do legal work in South Africa.

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At the time the British controlled South Africa. When he attempted to claim his rights as a British subject he was abused, and soon saw that all Indians suffered similar treatment. Gandhi stayed in South Africa for 21 years working to secure rights for Indian people.

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He developed a method of action based upon the principles of courage, non-violence and truth called Satyagraha. He believed that the way people behave is more important than what they achieve. Satyagraha promoted non-violence and civil disobedience as the most appropriate methods for obtaining political and social goals.

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Gandhi was arrested many times by the British for his activities in South Africa and India. He believed it was honourable to go to jail for a just cause.rnAltogether he spent seven years in prison for his political activities.

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More than once Gandhi used fasting to impress upon others the need to be non-violent.

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India was granted independence in 1947, and partitioned into India and Pakistan. Rioting between Hindus and Muslims followed. Gandhi had been an advocate for a united India where Hindus and Muslims lived together in peace.

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On January 13, 1948, at the age of 78, he began a fast with the purpose of stopping the bloodshed.

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After 5 days the opposing leaders pledged to stop the fighting and Gandhi broke his fast. Twelve days later a Hindu fanatic, Nathuram Godse who opposed his program of tolerance for all creeds and religion assassinated him.

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