Freedom through non-violent resistance
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born October 2, 1869 in the Gujarat province of India, the son of Karamchand Gandhi and Putlibai. When Mohandas was thirteen his parents chose for his wife Kasturba, who was from Porbandar.
In 1888, Mohandas Gandhi went to London, England, to study law. He became a lawyer in 1891, returned to India and. set up his practice as a lawyer in Rajkot. He received an offer to practice law in South Africa and lived there from 1893 to 1914.
Protesting the racism he encountered while living in South Africa Gandhi began to develop the principles of satyagraha, the practice of non-violent passive resistance. Despite arrests, imprisonment and violent retaliation, Gandhi and his followers adhered to the principle of satyagraha. In response to those who would argue that violent retaliation was sometimes justified, Gandhi said "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".
In January of 1915 he returned to India. His goal became the independence of India from British rule.
He encouraged organized boycotts of British goods and led a non-violent march over the issue of salt, a resource of India, which was controlled and heavily taxed by the British government.
These actions led to world-wide attention. Gandhi also began to fast as a method of protest, an action which was effective as his popularity among the Indian people, and around the world, grew. He was given the name "Mahatma" meaning the "Great Soul".
In 1947 India became an independent state after 300 years of British rule, a victory for Gandhi and non-violent resistance.
Mahatma Gandhi was assasinated in New Delhi, India on January 30, 1948. Describing Gandhi, Albert Einstein said "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."
Gandhi Virtual Ashram
Biography of Mahatma Gandhi
Posted by Contact on Sunday November 8, 1998.