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Mahatma Gandhi

Considered to be the father of modern India, Mahatma Gandhi was the leader of his
country’s independence movement. He led the Indian people in non-violent protest against
British rule when India was a colony of Great Britain. His efforts on behalf of Indians earned
him the title of mahatma, meaning ‘great soul’. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2
October 1869, in Porbandar, India.

During his years at school, Gandhi was considered an average student. In 1887 he
finished his studies at the University of Bombay. He then moved to England in September 1888
to study law in London. Gandhi returned to India in 1891.

In February 1919, Gandhi protested against a law allowing the British to imprison
Indians without trial. Because of this, he was imprisoned for six years. In 1930, in protest of a
tax on salt, Gandhi led thousands of Indians on a 320-kilometre march to the sea to make their
own salt. As a result, the British imprisoned him and 60,000 people.

With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the Indian nationalist struggle entered its last
phase. Gandhi demanded immediate independence as India’s price for aiding Britain in the war.
He was imprisoned for the third time, from 1942 to 1944.

In 1947 India was granted independence from Britain. However, India’s land was
divided into two new countries: India (for Hindus) and Pakistan (for Muslims). This separation
was a great disappointment to Gandhi. On 30 January 1948, Gandhi was killed.