Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the “Father of the Nation." , was born on October 2, 1869. Hence Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated every year on the 2nd of October to mark the occasion his birthday. Gandhi Jayanti is one of the three official declared National Holidays of India.
Mahatma Gandhi was born to Karamchand Gandhi and Putlibai on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar. Married by arrangement at 13, Gandhi went to London to study law when he was 18. He was admitted to the bar in 1891 and for a while practiced law in Bombay. From 1893 to 1914 he worked for an Indian firm in South Africa.
It was in 1906 that he began the Satyagraha movement in South Africa in protest to the law that all Indians should be finger printed and should also carry an identification card. Gandhi helped start a very peaceful campaign declaring that he would either go to the jail or die before following any anti – Asian laws. He was joined by thousands of Indians in this civil disobedience movement. During this period, he was arrested several times. In 1914, the government of Union of South Africa relented and made many important concessions to the Immigration Act to meet Gandhi’s demands which included recognizing Indian marriages and the abolition of the poll tax.
Returning to India in January 1915. On the advice of his guru, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, he toured around the whole India to understand what real India is. Later he set about organizing peasants, farmers, and urban laborers in protesting excessive land-tax and discrimination by the British
government. The success of the first Satyagraha at Champaran played a major role in increasing Gandhi’s popularity in India.
His program included a free, united India; the revival of cottage industries, especially of spinning and the production of handwoven cloth (khaddar); and the abolition of untouchability (see caste ). These ideas were widely and vigorously espoused, although they also met considerable opposition from some Indians. The title Mahatma [great soul] reflected personal prestige so high that he could unify the diverse elements of the organization of the nationalist movement, the Indian National Congress, which he dominated from the early 1920s.
In 1930, in protest against the government's salt tax, he led the famous 200-mi (320-km) march to extract salt from the sea. For this he was imprisoned but was released in 1931 to attend the London Round Table Conference on India as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress. When the Congress refused to embrace his program in its entirety, Gandhi withdrew (1934), but his influence was such that Jawaharlal Nehru , his protege, was named leader of the organization.
In 1942, after rejection of his offer to cooperate with Great Britain in World War II if the British would grant immediate independence to India, Gandhi called for satyagraha and launched the Quit India movement. He was then interned until 1944. Gandhi was a major figure in the postwar conferences with the viceroy, Lord Mountbatten , and Muslim League leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah that led to India's independence and the carving out of a separate Muslim state (Pakistan), although Gandhi vigorously opposed the partition.
When violence broke out between Hindus and Muslims, Gandhi resorted to fasts and tours of disturbed areas to check it. On Jan. 30, 1948, while holding a prayer and pacification meeting at New Delhi, he was assassinated by Nathu Ram Godse . The last words on his lips were ‘Hey Ram’ (Oh God).
Gandhi’s thought process and mode of work has inspired millions of people across the world including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
Here's a song in praise of this Saint from Sabarmathi (Sabarmathi ke Santh tune Kar diya kamal)
Read stories of Gandhiji as a child.