Mahatma Gandhi - The Father of our Nation

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Followed what he Preached

‘An EYE for an EYE, makes the whole world blind.’ "God is truth. The way to truth lies through ahimsa (non-violence)." ‘There are many causes that I am prepared to die for, but no causes that I am prepared to kill for.’ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Image Courtesy: 2.bp.blogspot.com

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Followed what he Preached
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M. K. Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as the Mahatma ("Great Soul") is also called ‘The Father of the Nation’ due to his selflessness and devotion to serve the people of India in their struggle for freedom and in upbringing the status of the downtrodden. Image Courtesy: www.spiritquotes.com

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M. K. Gandhi
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Early Start

Mohandas Gandhi was born in the state of Gujarat, India in 1869. When he was 18 years old, he went to London to train as a barrister. He was too shy to speak and was always uncomfortable in a crowd and got ‘stage fright’ when speaking in court for his first case. Image Courtesy: gdb.rferl.org

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Early Start
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Africa during 1800's

In 1891, he accepted a job at an Indian law firm in South Africa. His experience of racism in South Africa proved to be a turning point in his life. He was refused admission to hotels, beaten up when he refused to give up his seat to a white man on a stage coach and thrown off a train when he refused to move to a third class compartment, after he had paid for a first class ticket. He decided to draw attention to this injustice and became an activist. Image Courtesy: affordablehousinginstitute.org

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Africa during 1800's
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Weapon of Ahimsa

He announced a non-violent (Ahimsa) opposition protest. He called it the Satyagraha movement - "Adherence to Truth." It was to make things right, by getting lots of people to disobey unfair laws, and to be uncooperative with rulers who were treating them badly. Over the next seven years Gandhi led a non-violent campaign of resistance to laws which were unfair to the common people. During this time thousands of Indians, including Gandhiji, were jailed. Eventually the government was forced to seek a compromise, and when he left South Africa, conditions for Indian people had greatly improved. Image Courtesy: www.hyperhistory.org

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Weapon of Ahimsa
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Self Sufficiency

In 1915 India, Indian villagers were poorly paid, and many were dying of famine. Gandhiji set up an ‘ashram’ - a self-sufficient community, where he ate a simple diet, and lived like the poorest villagers. He spun his own yarn and made his own cloth. He encouraged others to do the same, instead of buying imported British material. Image Courtesy: media.treehugger.com

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Self Sufficiency
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The 'Mahatma'

By 1918 Gandhiji began a campaign to get the Indian people to stand up for themselves against the British. It was at this time that Gandhiji became known as Mahatma, meaning ‘Great Soul.’ The British became worried about losing control. Soldiers were ordered to prevent people from gathering together for meetings. Image Courtesy: www.thehindu.com

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The 'Mahatma'
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Jallianwala Bagh massacre

In 1919, 20,000 unarmed people, including women, senior citizens and children had assembled at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. Without warning, British soldiers under the command of General Dyer, fired on the crowd, killing nearly 1,500 people, and wounding over one thousand. This, Jallianwala Bagh massacre shocked the people and many more joined Gandhi’s campaign. Image Courtesy: static.ibnlive.in.com

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Jallianwala Bagh massacre
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Dandi march

Meanwhile the British continued to collect heavy taxes from the people, which kept them in poverty. In 1930 Gandhiji lead a march to the sea to make salt from sea water, instead of buying the expensive English salt with its extra tax. The English army lathi charged Gandhiji and his followers and threw them in jail. But Gandhiji and his followers kept coming back. Over 60,000 people were arrested. The British government was forced to negotiate with Gandhi, to stop his campaign of non-co-operation. Image Courtesy: www.sumit4all.com

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Dandi march
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Indian Independence

During the Second World War, Gandhiji made it clear that India would not support Britain unless India was granted independence. In 1942 Gandhi was arrested by the British, and imprisoned for two years.But by 1947 Gandhi’s campaign had weakened the British government’s hold on the country. On 15 August 1947, India became an independent nation. Image Courtesy: www.freewebs.com

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Indian Independence
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Father of the Nation

On January 30th 1948, Gandhi was shot on his way to a prayer meeting in Delhi. His ashes were scattered in the major rivers across India. This man, who lived a poor and simple life, moved the masses and defeated England and its great army. The 'FATHER OF THE NATION' " Mahatma Gandhi.

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Father of the Nation
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