Father of Nation / Author of the picture: Vinish

Porbandar, British Indian Empire, October 2, 1869-New Delhi, Union of India, January 30, 1948

Mahatma Gandhi was born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in the period when India was a British colony. He is known as “Mahatma”, a word which in Sanskrit means “great soul”. The figure of Gandhi has transcended the years and has established himself as the leading figure of the independence movement in India, which occurred in the mid-twentieth century.

In his youth, he got a university degree in law and later traveled to South Africa to practice law. It was during his residence in this country that he develop his fundamental principles of life, when experiencing firsthand the racial discrimination that nonwhite individuals were target of. He joined the struggle for the rights of Indian immigrants and was jailed several times for it.

In India, he became party leader of the Indian National Congress and began to set up campaigns to reduce poverty, reduce discrimination, support female emancipation and advocate civil rights. In 1930 he led the protest known as the Salt March, which challenged the tax on this product applied by the British.

During World War II he opposed British rule through his philosophy of passive resistance and nonviolence. He used peaceful protest, hunger strikes and civil disobedience. India became independent in 1947. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times, but without success.

Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu nationalist. However, he bequeathed the world a vision and thought that promoted harmony among people of different faiths, tolerance and the rejection of any kind of abuse. One of his most famous quotes is: “The truth, purity, self-control, steadfastness, courage, humility, unity, peace and resignation. These are the inherent qualities of a civil resister.”