Gandhi Jayanti, Noyasally Birthday , the 2nd Online Travel, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Mahatma Gandhi was a great leader in the real sense. He did not live for self; but spent his whole life for the good of his country and its people. He was a man of firm determination and strong will-power. Undeterred by any opposition or consequences, he pursued his mission single-handedly and was even followed by lakhs and lakhs of people afterwards.

Affectionately called ‘Bapu’ by most of his countrymen, Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat. His full name was Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi. During his school days, he was greatly influenced by the characters of King Harish Chandra and Shravan Bhakta.

While his first model taught him to be truthful in life, the second ideal imparted him the lesson of being obedient to one’s parents.

After passing his matriculation in 1887, he went to London to study law and returned to India in 1891. Though he started practice as a lawyer, he met with little success. The main obstacle was his decision not to tell lies, or fabricate facts to win a case.

His stay in South Africa from 1893 onward, proved to be a turning point in his life. Though his initial law assignment was only for one year, he spent 21 years, fighting against the racial discrimination there. He himself was abused because of his Indian nationality. It was, actually, in South Africa that Gandhi put to test his weapons of Satyagraha and civil disobedience, called ‘Satyagraha’ to awaken the dormant masses.

He made experiment with community living at the Phoenix Farm and the Tolstoy Farm. There he took upon himself the job of a teacher, a cook, a nurse and a gardener and a scavenger. It was here that he gave a new concept for education.

Gandhi returned to India in 1915 and soon became an acclaimed leader of the nationalist movement for freedom. He opposed the unjust policies of the British government without any fear or restraint.

He forced the government to withdraw the Rowlatt bill vehemently, organised protests against the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar and marched to the sea to make salt from the water. This was to show his total opposition to the Salt Act.

Gandhi was a role model of ‘Simple living and high Thinking’. He lived and dressed like a fakir and enjoyed living amongst the poorest of the poor. He did a lot to improve the social status of women, backward classes and fought against untouchability. was also a very good writer. His autobiography ‘My Experiments with Truth’ is a true picture of his life. It was, however, very sad and tragic that this devotee of ‘non-violence’ was shot dead on January 30, 1948. A shocked India and saddened world mourned his death.

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