Mahatma Ghandi is one of the most influential personalities of the 20th century. He was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Gujarat, in India. His father, Karamchand Gandhi, was the prime minister of Porbandar; his mother, Putlibai, was a devout Hindu. Gandhi attended Hindu primary and high schools in Rajkot. He later studied law in London.
After graduating, Gandhi returned to India and practiced law. In 1893, he made a trip to South Africa to fight for an Indian client. During his time in South Africa, Gandhi observed discrimination against the black population by the majority white population. This experience left a lasting impression on him and fueled his desire for social justice.
In 1915, Gandhi returned to India and joined the Indian National Congress, a political party that campaigned for India's independence from Britain. Gandhi soon became an important leader of the movement. He developed a strategy of nonviolent resistance based on self-assertion and self-determination. With this strategy, he succeeded in winning over more and more people to the independence movement over the years.
On August 15, 1947, India gained its independence from Great Britain. Gandhi had made a decisive contribution to this. After independence, however, he did not assume political office, but concentrated on promoting social reforms in India. In 1948, however, he was assassinated; his death caused grief and dismay throughout India. To this day, Mahatma Gandhi is considered one of the great leaders of the 20th century.
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