Who was Mahatma Gandhi? Biography, Quotes, Death

Vrinda Gupta
Vrinda Gupta

His Early Life and Family

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian lawyer, activist, political leader, and anti-colonial nationalist. Born on 2nd October 1869 in Porbandar Gujarat, he was raised in a Hindu Bania family. His father Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi married Putlibai in 1857. Putlibai came from Junagadh and was from a Pranami Vaishnava family. Putlibai was his fourth wife. The couple had three children over the ensuing decade: a son, Laxmidas, a daughter, Raliatbehn, and another son, Karsandas. In 1869, Putlibai gave birth to their last child, Mohandas.

As a child, Mohandas was quite restless and used to twist dogs’ ears often. He grew up reading Indian classics like King Harishchandra and stories of Shravan Kumar. These books had a great impact on him.

Mohandas got married at the tender age of 13. Thus, he lost a year at school. He was married to 14-year-old Kasturbai Makhanji Kapadia. She was later lovingly called Kasturba or Ba.  When Gandhi was 16 years old, his father died. In the same year, his wife birthed their first child who only lived for a few days. In 1887, Gandhi graduated from high school. Later, he attended University College, London, which is a constituent college of the University of London. At UCL, he studied law and legal theory.

In 1915, Gandhi returned to India. He took a leadership position in Indian National Congress. Also, he worked closely for the Indian freedom struggle and launched many movements against colonial rule. Moreover, all his movements had one thing in common- non-violence. Gandhi became a folk hero after the Non-co-operation,  Salt Satyagraha, and other movements.

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His Famous Quotes

  1. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
  2. “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”
  3. “Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”
  4. “God has no religion.”
  5. “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”

His Death

The advocate of non-violence ironically met a violent death.  A Hindu extremist, Nathuram Godse, shot Mahatma Gandhi. The  78-year-old Gandhi was fasting at that time and was going for a prayer meeting.

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