Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar in Gujarat, India. Many people will be surprised to learn that he started his career as a barrister in London. In 1893 he moved to Durban in South Africa to work in an Indian law firm where he quickly became appalled by the treatment of Indian immigrants. During his 20 years in South Africa he was sent to prison many times for his part in the struggle to obtain basic rights for Indians and this is where he developed his use of non-violent civil disobedience or Satyagraha.
Gandhi returned to India in 1915 and he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination. One mass non-violent protest or satyagraha resulted in the Amritsar Massacre where over 1,000 people were shot by British troops. This was seen by many as a turning point in the struggle for independence. Gandhi himself was sentenced to six years' imprisonment at one point but was released after two.
He became a dominant figure in Indian politics and he transformed the Indian National Congress with his programme of peaceful non-cooperation with the British included boycotts of British goods and institutions. In 1931, he attended the Round Table Conference in London, as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress. During this visit he also went to Lancashire cotton workers to see for himself the hardship that his boycott of British cotton had caused.
Eventually in June 1947 India gained independence and immediately split into two separate states of India and Pakistan, divided along religious lines. Gandhi was opposed to partition which had resulted in massive inter-communal violence. He fasted in an attempt to bring calm in Calcutta and Delhi but on 30 January 1948, he was assassinated in Delhi by a Hindu.
Famous quotes from Mahatma Gandhi:
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
“Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.”
“A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.”
“Be the change that you want to see in the world.”
"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind."
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
“Take care of this moment.”
“A no uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ uttered merely to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Below if the full film from Columbia Pictures about Gandhi's life starring Ben Kingsley as Gandhi.
© Columbia Pictures