Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi or Mahatma Gandhi is the man who played a significant role in India's Independence movement. He was born on October 2, 1869 into a Hindu family, in Porbandar city of Gujarat. His father, Karam Chand Gandhi was the Diwan of Porbandar state, a small princely salute state in the Kathiwar Agency of British India. His mother Putlibai was the fourth wife of his father and came from Pranami Vaishnava community. At the age of thirteen, Gandhi Ji was married to Kasturba (also known as Ba) in May 1883. In the year 1888, Gandhi Ji moved to London for pursuing study of law. Thereafter, he served as a legal representative for the Muslim Indian Traders in Pretoria, South Africa. Throughout his service Gandhiji faced racial discrimination directed at all colored people. He was, once, thrown out of the first class compartment of train, despite having a valid ticket. All these inhumane acts changed the life of Gandhi Ji and awakened him to social injustice. He started Civil Right Movement in 1893 to give equal stature to colored people in the society. At that time Indians in South Africa had no legal rights and they were not even allowed to cast their vote. Though this movement was a failure, Gandhiji emerged as a political leader of Indian community.
Gandhi Ji was the preacher of Satyagraha (truth) and Ahinsa (non-violence). During his journey to justice and freedom, he was arrested and beaten up several times, but never left his principles of Satyagraha and Ahinsa. Gandhi Ji always used to say that basic happiness is to be happy in whatever you have. Don't run for more because there is no end to desire. The ideology and principles of Gandhi Ji was accepted by his followers which helped India to get freedom from British rule after two hundred years of slavery. His relentless work towards the upheaval of the nation and its people made him the Father of the Nation.
Gandhi Ji led the people of India in the non-Cooperation Movement (1922), Salt march (1930) and later in Quit India movement (1942). His contribution in bringing social and cultural change in India will always be remembered. In all his movements, Gandhi Ji was accompanied by the people of all communities and religions. He always wanted to make India a united country but the partition of India hurt him deeply. A large number of people died in the post partition riots and many lost their homes and families. To stop the massacre, Gandhi Ji went on indefinite hunger strike and didn't take a drop of water until the hatred was stopped. He asked the people what will remain if they killed their brothers and sisters. In his last years, Gandhi Ji worked for recreating peace and harmony in India and newly founded Pakistan. On January 30, 1948, he was shot dead.
Every year, October 2 is celebrated across India as Gandhi Jayanti to commemorate the birth anniversary of Gandhi Ji, who admired every religion and believed in the unity of all mankind under one god. Gandhi Jayanti is amongst the three national festivals of India. On this auspicious day, the whole nation pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi for his selfless work and love for the people of India. In his memory, various prayer meetings are organized by schools, colleges and government organizations. The President, the Prime Minister and other political dignitaries pay homage to Gandhi Ji by visiting Raj Ghat (where he was cremated).
Mahatma Gandhi and his unmatched qualities made him a man of faith who appealed to the universal conscience of mankind.