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September 12, 2010

All About Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatama gandhi); 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent
2 October 1869(1869-10-02)
Porbandar, Bombay Presidency,
 British India Died 30 January 1948
(aged 78)New Delhi, Union of
India
Cause of death Assassination
Resting place Rajghat, New Delhi,
 India
Nationality Indian
Other names
Mahatma Gandhi, Bapu
Alma mater University College London,
 University of London
Known for Prominent Figure of Indian
 Independence Movement
Propounding the philosophy of
Satyagraha and Ahimsa
Religion Hinduism
Spouse(s) Kasturba Gandhi
Children Harilal
Manilal
Ramdas
Devdas
Parents Putlibai Gandhi (Mother)
Karamchand Gandhi (Father)
 political and spiritual leader of India during the Indian independence
movement. He pioneered satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass civil
disobedience, a philosophy firmly founded upon ahimsa, or total nonviolence,
 which helped India to gain independence, and inspired movements for civil
 rights and freedom across the world. Gandhi is often referred to as Mahatma Gandhi
( Sanskrit: महात्मा mahātmā or "Great Soul", an honorific first applied to him by
 Rabindranath Tagore),[1] and in India also as Bapu (Gujarati:
 બાપુ, bāpu or "Father"). He is officially honoured in India as the Father
of the Nation; his birthday, 2 October, is commemorated there as
Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday.

Gandhi first employed civil disobedience while an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, during the resident Indian community's struggle there for civil rights. During this time, he wrote articles for Indian newspapers about black people that some modern readers consider racist. After his return to India in 1915, he organised protests by peasants, farmers, and urban labourers concerning excessive land-tax and discrimination. After assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns to ease poverty, expand women's rights, build religious and ethnic amity, end untouchability, and increase economic self-reliance. Above all, he aimed to achieve Swaraj or the independence of India from foreign domination. Gandhi famously led his followers in the Non-cooperation movement that protested the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (240 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930. Later, in 1942, he launched the Quit India civil disobedience movement demanding immediate independence for India. Gandhi spent a number of years in jail in both South Africa and India.

As a practitioner of ahimsa, Gandhi swore to speak the truth and advocated that others do the same. He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven from yarn that he had spun by hand himself. He ate simple vegetarian food, experimented for a time with a fruitarian diet, and undertook long fasts as a means of both self-purification and social protest.