Mahatma Gandhi was a well-known political leader, branded ‘Father of the nation’ in India and much respected for getting his way through anti-war civil disobedience against the British rule.

Born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on 2nd October 1869 in Porbandar state in India, Gandhi was from a social cast of tradesmen. He grew up under the supervision of a religious mother. He was shy and an average performer at school showing no aspiration for leadership. His awakening moment came about when he noticed that British rulers in India and South Africa treated people of color as lesser beings, something he detested. Despite his non-violent stand, Gandhi died in 1948 after being shot three times at point-blank range by his fan who disliked his support for the untouchables and Muslims.

At the age of 13, Gandhi married 14-year old Kasturba in an arranged marriage according to his customs at the time. He carried on with his education and graduated at 18 from high school with a desire to become a doctor. His family wanted him to become a lawyer and persuaded him to travel to London to study, which he did.

Upon completing his studies he returned to India with the aim of practicing law in Mumbai but was too nervous in the courtroom to carry on. He opted for a less stressful life drafting petitions for plaintiffs.

Gandhi would later leave India for South Africa to work for an Indian who needed a lawyer for his successful shipping business. It was then that he experienced first-hand racial discrimination. He realized that despite paying for first class coach in a train, he couldn’t sit there because he wasn’t a European. On numerous accounts he faced either humiliation or physical beating like other people of color by the British authorities. He began questioning the British Empire, calling for civil disobedience and protests in response for the ill-treatment he saw meted on the people of color.

Even after returning to India, Gandhi continued to revolt against the British; he would fast for days while encouraging those who revolted with him to engage in non-violent strikes. This made it difficult for the British to govern India. On several occasions he was arrested and charged for inciting people to disobey the government especially at work but he knew the British would give in to his requests. In the long run, he used anti-war protest to enable India gain independence.

Beside the busy participation in politics of the day, Gandhi was a family man and had four sons with his wife. His political ways of life influenced many and continues to be esteemed.

 

A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes. Mahatma Gandhi

Nobody can hurt me without my permission. Mahatma Gandhi

 

Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love. Mahatma Gandhi

 

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding. Mahatma Gandhi

 

Action expresses priorities. Mahatma Gandhi

 

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed. Mahatma Gandhi

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty,  the ocean does not become dirty. Mahatma Gandhi

 

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. Mahatma Gandhi

 

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Mahatma Gandhi

 

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