Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is the most popular and influential political and spiritual leaders of India. His contribution to Indian freedom struggle is priceless.  He is known to be the architect of Indian independence, as the ‘Father of the Nation’.

Early life:

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Porbandar, a seacoast town in the Kathiawar Peninsula north of Bombay on 2 October 1869 to father KaramchandUttamchand Gandhi who was Diwan of Porbandar state and mother Putlibai. He was born in a Hindu ModhBaniya family.  He was the fourth child of Karamchand Gandhi. In his childhood, he was a quiet boy who disliked sports and was an average student.

Personal Life:

At the very tender age 13, Gandhi was married to a 14-year-old girl KasturbaiMakhanji Kapadia. In 1885 Gandhi and his wife had their first baby who lived only for a few days. They then had four more children Harilal who was born in 1888, Manilal born in 1892, Ramdas born in 1897 and Devdas, who was born in 1900.


During his childhood, Gandhi wanted to study medicine but his father persuaded him to study law instead. He went to the Samaldas College of Bhavanagar in 1988. In 1988 he went to University College of London to study law and become a barrister. Gandhi was called to the bar in 1891 at the age of 22 and he left London and came back to Bombay in India. There he learned that his mother had died while he was in London and that his family had hidden the news from him. He practiced law in Rajkot and Bombay which was unsuccessful and then for a brief period served as a lawyer for the prince of Porbandar.

His experience in South Africa and the beginning:

In 1893 Gandhi at the age of 23 went to South Africa to be the lawyer for Abdullah’s cousin. He spent 21 years in South Africa, where he developed his political views, ethics, and politics. There he faced racial discrimination because of his skin color and heritage.  At Pietermaritzburg, he was thrown out of a first-class railway compartment car though he held a first-class ticket. The incidents urged him to work towards social activism.  In South Africa that he first introduced the term Satyagraha to signify his theory and practice of non-violence. He described himself as a seeker of Satya (truth) which can only be attained through ahimsa (non-violence) and brahmacharya.

 In his book Satyagraha in South Africa, he wrote about the struggles of the Indians in South Africa.The struggle of the Indians to claim their rights and their resistance to oppressive legislation and executive measures, such as the imposition of a poll tax on them and the declaration by the government that all non-Christian marriages were to be considered as invalid.

In 1907, Gandhi persuaded all Indians in South Africa to defy a law which required registration and fingerprinting of all Indians. For this, he was jailed for 2 months but he was released when he agreed to voluntary registration. During his second stay in prison, he read Thoreau’s essay “Civil Disobedience,” which left a deep impact on him. He was also influenced by his correspondence with Leo Tolstoy in 1909-1910 and by John Ruskin’s Unto This Last Gandhi which decided to create a cooperative commonwealth for civil resisters. He called it the Tolstoy Farm. In South Africa, two of his legal achievements were a law declaring Indian marriages rather than only Christian valid and abolition of tax on former indentured Indian labour. Gandhi considered his work in South Africa as completed.

 In 1909, on a trip back to India, Gandhi wrote a short essay called Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule. Gandhi returned back to India in early 1915.

His participation in the Indian Independence Movement:

Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a leader of the Congress Party introduced Mahatma Gandhi to Indian politics and the Indian people. He participated in many movements related to India’s freedom struggle.

His role in World War I:

During the latter part of World War I in 1918, the Viceroy invited Gandhi to a War Conference in Delhi and he agreed to recruit Indians for the war. His war recruitment campaign brought into notice his focus on nonviolence.

 His role in Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha:

The Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha of 1918 was his first major success in India’s freedom struggle. The reason for the agitation was that the British government levied an oppressive tax which they insisted on increasing further. He organized his supporters and volunteers to protest against this and also began the work of the cleaning up of villages, a building of schools and hospitals and encourages the villagers to condemn numerous social evils affecting the society. He was finally successful in signing an agreement with the British where the poor farmers were granted more compensation and control over farming.

His role in the Khilafat movement:

In 1919, after the end of World War IMahatma Gandhi asked for cooperation from Muslims in his fight against the British empire by supporting the Ottoman Empire which was defeated in the War. Gandhi had already supported the British with resources and by recruiting Indian soldiers to fight for the British in the war and in return the British government had promised (self-government) to Indians after the end of World War I but they had only brought minor reforms which disappointed him and so he announced satyagraha.  He felt that Hindu-Muslim unity was necessary for fighting against the British. He started the Khilafat movement and received a huge number of muslim supporters. The hindu- muslim violence stopped briefly. His support for the Khilafat movement sidelined Muhammad Ali Jinnah; however it led to mixed results.  The Khilafat movement collapsed in 1922.

His role in the Non-cooperation Movement and Swaraj:

Non-cooperation Movement was one of the majorfights against the British by Gandhi. The massacre at the JallianwalaBagh provoked him to take this step. After this horrible incident, he focused on completely obtaining the autonomy of the country as well as the control of all Indian government institutions and this movement turned into Swaraj. His association with the Indian National Congress further strengthened in 1921 and he was made the executive authority of the party. He requested Indians to boycott imported goods, British educational institutions, government employment etc. It became very popular and started spreading everywhere in India. However, the violent clash in ChauriChaura town of Uttar Pradesh in1922 led to this movement to end suddenly. Gandhi was arrested on 10th March 1922 and was sentenced to six years in prison but he served only two years in prison.

His role in Salt Satyagraha and Dandi March:

 In 1927, British had appointed Sir John Simon as the head of a new constitutional reform commission where there was not even a single Indian in the commission.  In 1928, Gandhi passed a resolution at the Calcutta Congress asking the British government to grant India dominion status and if the British did not accept this they would again face of non-violence but the resolution was rejected by the British. January 26, 1930 was celebrated as the Indian Independence Day. Soon, the British government levied a tax on salt and Salt Satyagraha was launched in March 1930, as an opposition to this move. Mahatma Gandhi started the Dandi March with his followers from Ahmedabad to Dandi on foot. The movement was very successful and British arrested over 60,000 people who participated in the March.  The Gandhi-Irwin Pact was signed in March of 1931, where the British Government released all prisoners as an exchange for the suspension of the civil disobedience movement.

 His role in the World War II and Quit India Movement:

 Gandhi opposed to provide any help to the British in the World War 2. As the World War II progressed, Mahatma Gandhi focused on the complete independence of India. He drafted a resolution asking the British to Quit India. The ‘Quit India Movement’ was the most aggressive revolt of the INC, with the aim of gaining complete Independence of India. Gandhi was arrested on 9th August 1942 and was arrested for two years in the Aga Khan Palace in Pune. The Quit India Movement came was over by the end of 1943 when the British gave hints that power will be transferred to Indian hands.

His role in Freedom and Partition of India:

The independence cum partition proposal offered by the British Cabinet Mission in 1946 was accepted by the Congress although Mahatma Gandhi opposed to it but later on he agreed after being convinced by Sardar Patel who told him that accepting the proposal was the only way to avoid civil war. After India got independence, Gandhi focused on the unity of Hindus and Muslims. He launched his last fast-unto-death in Delhi where he asked all communal violence to end and the payment of Rs. 55 crores to Pakistan as per the Partition Council agreement which was accepted by all political leaders and he broke his fast.

 His Assassination:

On 30 January, 1948 Gandhi was shot by NathuramGodse who held him responsible for weakening India by making the partition payment to Pakistan. He and his co-conspirator, Narayan Apte, were executed on 15th November 1949.  Gandhi was cremated according to the Hindu tradition and his ashes were immersed at the Sangam at Allahabad on 12 February 1948.

His Principles and beliefs:

He followed and preached the principles of truth, non-violence, Brahmacharya, Vegetarianism, Simplicity and Faith in God throughout his life. RajitIndiaNewsFather of the Nation,Indian independence,Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi,Salt Satyagraha and Dandi March
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is the most popular and influential political and spiritual leaders of India. His contribution to Indian freedom struggle is priceless.  He is known to be the architect of Indian independence, as the 'Father of the Nation'. Early life: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Porbandar, a seacoast town...