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COOL Archives: Gandhi

Posted on Monday, August 28 @ 04:08:12 UTC by wyldwynd

  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948) was a major political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian Independence Movement. He is considered the father of India, and is often affectionately referred to as "Bapu," meaning father in Gujarati. He was the pioneer and perfector of Satyagraha — resistance through mass civil disobedience strongly founded upon ahimsa (total non-violence) came to be one of the strongest driving philosophies of the Indian Independence Movement, and has inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

  An English-educated lawyer, Gandhi first employed his ideas of peaceful civil disobedience in the Indian community's struggle for civil rights in South Africa. Upon his return to India, Gandhi organized poor farmers and laborers to protest oppressive taxation and widespread discrimination. Leading the Indian National Congress, Gandhi led a nationwide campaign for the alleviation of poverty, for the liberation of Indian women, for brotherhood amongst communities of differing religions and ethnicity, for an end to untouchability and caste discrimination, and for the economic self-sufficiency of the nation, but above all for Swaraj — the independence of India from foreign domination. Gandhi famously led Indians in the disobedience of the salt tax through the 400 kilometre (248 miles) Dandi Salt March in 1930, and in an open call for the British to Quit India in 1942. He spent his final years fighting for communal peace and harmony amongst Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs.

  Throughout, Gandhi remained committed to non-violence and truth even in the most extreme situations. Gandhi was a student of Hindu philosophy and lived simply, organizing an ashram that was self-sufficient in its needs. He made his own clothes — the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with a charka — and lived on a simple vegetarian diet. He used rigorous fasts — abstaining from food and water for long periods — for self-purification as well as a means of protest. Gandhi's life and teachings inspired Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Biko and Aung San Suu Kyi and, respectively, the American Civil Rights Movement, civil rights struggles in South Africa and Myanmar. His criticism of many aspects of western modernity (such as modern technology and industrialization) in that it harmed the poor and benefited the rich has also earned him the reputation of a development critic whose thinking has inspired many later political thinkers.

  Gandhi is honored as the Father of the Nation in India, a title first given him by Subhash Chandra Bose . Gandhi's birthday on October 2 is annually commemorated as Gandhi Jayanti, and is a national holiday.

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Note: Source:Wikipedia

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