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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi – The Mahatma 

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." - Mahatma Gandhi

Priyanshi Pareek reports on the Mahatma Gandhi’s 154th Birth Anniversary..

Mahatma Gandhi, born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on 2nd October 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat, is an iconic figure in the history of India’s struggle for independence. He was bestowed with the title ‘Mahatma’ by Rabindranath Tagore while writing his autobiography, symbolizing his revered status as a great soul.

Gandhi’s life was a testament to his profound belief in selfless service and non-violence. His journey of activism began in South Africa, where he fought against injustice and class division. Within a decade, Gandhi propagated the philosophy of Satyagraha, leading South Africa towards a society free from class and ethnic discrimination.

In 1893, Gandhi arrived in Durban and quickly rose to become a leader in the South African Indian community. His non-violent movement left a lasting impact, and he is still revered as a leader there today. During this time, he worked as an attorney and a public worker, ultimately remarking that he was “born in India but made in South Africa.”

Upon returning to India in 1915, Gandhi joined the Indian National Congress and emerged as a prominent leader. He advocated for ‘swaraj’ or self-rule and tirelessly worked to bridge divides among various classes and religious sects, particularly Hindus and Muslims.

In 1920, Gandhi initiated a non-cooperation campaign against British rule, urging Indians to boycott British goods, courts, and government. This led to his imprisonment from 1922 to 1924.

In 1930-31, Gandhi led the famous Salt March, a protest against the British tax on salt, resulting in 60,000 arrests. In 1931, he signed the Gandhi-Irwin Pact with the British viceroy, marking a pause in civil disobedience.

However, his imprisonment did not deter him. In 1932, while in prison, he fasted to protest the segregation of untouchables. His fast forced the British to change their policy.

During World War II, Gandhi demanded immediate independence as India’s price for aiding Britain. He was imprisoned again from 1942 to 1944.

On August 15, 1947, India finally achieved independence from British rule. However, the partition into India and Pakistan saddened Gandhi, who had long advocated for Hindu-Muslim unity. Riots broke out, and Gandhi turned to nonviolence once more, fasting until rioters pledged peace.

On January 30, 1948, while on his way to prayer in Delhi, Gandhi was tragically assassinated by a young Hindu fanatic who disagreed with his efforts to reconcile Hindus and Muslims. Gandhi’s life and teachings continue to inspire generations worldwide, and his legacy as the ‘Mahatma’ lives on as a symbol of non-violence and unwavering dedication to justice and equality.

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