He was born on 2nd October 1869 at Porbander in Gujrat. After passing matriculation, he went England to study law.
In London, he met Mrs. Anne Besant and read the works of Trorskey and Rousseau.He was greatly affected by Trotskey’s work.
As a Barrister he returned to India in 1891 and started practicing in Bombay High court unsuccessfully. Being a man of truth he did not want to plead false cases.
As a result he had to turn to Rajkot again. But destiny had something else in its mind. He received an invitation from South Africa to plead a law- suit in a court there.
After landing in South Africa he himself experienced the miserable conditions of the Indians there when he was thrown out of the first class compartment of a train only because a white man was unwilling to travel with a black man. From then and there he was determined that he would fight for the betterment of his countrymen.
He started “Satyagraha” against unjust laws. He was jailed but the movement did not stop. AT the end, the government of South Africa had to perform an agreement known as “Smutts-Gandhi Pact” with Gandhiji, as a result of which some unjust acts against the Indians were repelled.
Mahatma Gandhi now returned to India as a hero. A new weapon of Satyagraha was in his hands. He resolved to fight against the British empire in India and make the country free. Gandhiji soon joined the Indian National Congress and became its leader.
Under his leadership the Congress started non-violent, non-cooperation movements to protest against the unjust laws and cruel acts of the British rulers. He and his followers defied the Rowlatt act. He also opposed the salt tax and the behavior of English people with the plantation labourers in Champaran. Every time he launched a campaign, thousands joined him. He and his followers were jailed.
His last campaign was launched on 9th August, 1942. In that he raised the slogan “Britishers, Quit India” and for the Indians “do or die”. All the leaders involved in the movement were jailed. They were released in 1945 to negotiate with the Stafford Cripps mission. Lastly the British had to announce the freedom of India on 15th August 1947. This freedom was largely the result of the efforts of Mahatama Gandhi.
Gandhiji was a saint, teacher, preacher and fighter. Along with working for the freedom of India, Gandhiji worked for village upliftment, removing untouchability, educating and lifting the women and Hindu-Muslim unity. He was a man of character. He embraced the noble principles of truth, non-violence and love. He taught and lived up to them and proved that words and work go together.He led a simple life and had great love for the poor.
He was assassinated on 30th June 1948 by Nathuram Godse. John Holmes remarked “The Mahatma will be known and revered as the greatest Indian since Gautam, the Buddha, and as the greatest man since Jesus Christ.”