Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi helped to free India from British control in the 1900's by using nonviolent resistance. The people in India consider him to be the father of their nation. He wanted tolerance for all creeds and religions.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Gujarat, India on October 2, 1869. He practiced law in South Africa, where he started his peaceful protests. He returned to India, and helped the country attain independence in 1947. He was assassinated on January 30th, 1948.
Gandhi went to South Africa after studying law in London. There, as an Indian, he experienced mistreatment at the hands of the white rulers. It was there that he began his protests against discrimination. When he returned to India in 1916, he led the freedom struggle against the British. He developed the practice of satyagraha, non-violent resistance, against the British. The British sent him to jail numerous times, but Gandhi never gave up. His countrymen gave Gandhi the name "Mahatma," which means "Great Soul." Eventually, his efforts paid off, and India became independent. For his contributions to the Indian nation, he is often called "Bapu" or "Father of the Nation"
by Indians. Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, October 2nd, is a national holiday in India.
What This Superhero Did for Tolerance
||Renounced violence throughout his entire life: Even when others were violent to him, he remained calm and peaceful. He said, "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."
||Resisted discrimination against Indians in South Africa: He formed the Natal Indian Congress in 1894 to gain voting rights for Indians in South Africa. Though he was not successful, he opened the eyes of many people to this issue.
||Fought against discrimination of members of lower castes in India: Generally, in pre-Independent India, people from lower castes (who worked as sweepers, cleaners, etc.), were thought to be unclean and were called 'untouchables.' Gandhi protested peacefully against this injustice, and gave the lower-caste people the name "Harijans" which means "God's children." He was able to change the minds of many Indians. Since independence, India has had many leaders who came from the lower castes. This would never have happened without Gandhi's efforts.
||Demonstrated tolerance for all religions: Gandhi was a Hindu but he was tolerant of all religions. He believed that truth and love were at the core of all religions. When he was asked whether he was a Hindu, he said, "Yes I am. I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, and a Jew." He paid the ultimate price for his religious tolerance of Muslims - he was killed by a Hindu fanatic.
Gandhi went on a 21-day fast to gain support for lower-caste Indians.
Sayings of Gandhi
"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
"All the religions of the world, while they may differ in other respects, unitedly proclaim that nothing lives in this world but Truth."
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
Quotes About Gandhi
"Generations to come, it may be, will scarcely believe that such a one, as this, ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."
"I found in the non-violent resistance philosophy of Gandhi... the only morally and practically sound method open to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom."
Martin Luther King Jr.