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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

M.K. Gandhi was born in India on October 2, 1869. He became a major political and spiritual leader of India and Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Indians recognized him as ‘Father of the Nation’ and his birthday is commemorated each year as Gandhi Jayanthi. He is commonly known in India and across the world as ‘Mahatma Gandhi’.

He was a British educated lawyer. While he was working in South Africa, he used his ideas of peaceful civil disobedience in the Indian community's struggle for civil rights for the first time. After return to India, he joined the Indian independence movement. He begins with organizing the poor farmers and laborers to protest against oppressive taxation and widespread discrimination.

He traveled across India and witnesses the problems the country faces. He saw the poverty stricken villages, illiterate citizens, unjust customs and religious and ethnic divisions within the society. He understood the life of India is in thousands of villages and they are not part of the independence movement. He encouraged all to reject all imported clothes and wear self-made clothes. His little spinning wheel made a physical bond between the elite and illiterate when both wearing the same cloth. He taught the importance of self-reliance and brings women to the forefront of the movement. He inspired men and women from different ethnic group to join peaceful protests. He gained confidence of the Indian people. He transformed the Indian National Congress from upper class movement to a mass crusade.

Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for the alleviation of poverty, for the liberation of women, for brotherhood amongst differing religions and ethnicities, for an end to untouchability and caste discrimination, and for the economic self-sufficiency of the nation. As a result of the movement India gain independence from foreign domination. It may not be the freedom in his mind, for Gandhi freedom means national liberty, self reliance and social justice.

He never held any offices, did not lead any army, not represented any government, did not elected to any offices but he ignites millions of minds against colonialism, racism and violence. His concept of non-violent resistance brings an end to colonial empires around the world. His marches and fasts ignite the imagination of the oppressed and exploited people everywhere. He shines as a consciousness for the world, proclaiming the power of love, peace and freedom.