Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October, 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat in a family of the traders. His father worked as a Diwan in a zamindari state. Mohandas completed his school and college education in Gujarat. Then he went to England to study law.
After passing his law examination, Mohandas returned to India, and went to practice at the Bombay courts. In 1893, he went to South Africa to solve certain legal problems faced by the Indians living there, due to oppression and suppression of the British rulers.
It is in South Africa that Gandhi realized the philosophical principle of life that had, in course of time, brought about a tremendous change in his life. The emigrants who were settled in South Africa had their abode in Natal.
Gandhi became the leader of the South African Indian community. He introduced non-violent non-cooperation movement which proved successful, and the Indians were no more oppressed by the Government.
After a few years, Gandhi returned to India, and joined the Indian National Congress to fight the cause of liberation of India from the British rule. In India also, Gandhi applied the same policy of Satyagraha or non-violent non-cooperation movement, and the rulers were upset in the face of this novel political formula. Gandhi knew that the Indians were not equipped with weapons to fight the mighty British rulers. So he asked his countrymen to boycott British goods and use Swadeshi (country-made) goods, and to ignore British administration without, any violence. He himself used a primitive wooden spinning wheel for making rough cotton khadi for his simple dress of a loin cloth and a chaddar. Millions of Indians followed him, and spun clothes for themselves. Khaddar became the national dress of the Congress workers, and the wheel became the symbol of Indian national flag.
Gandhi marched out of his ashrama with his followers to Dandi on the bank of Indian Ocean, and made salt from sea water. As making of salt was prohibited by the Government, Congress workers were beaten, arrested and jailed. Gandhi was imprisoned. Gandhi went to jail many times, as he fought for India’s independence.
In 1942, Gandhi offered “Quit India” slogan to his countrymen. In 1946, communal riot broke out in Bengal. Gandhi visited villages and towns, preaching peace among the people.
India won her freedom on 15 August, 1947. On 30 January, 1948 Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, the editor of Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Nation).