(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on October 2 each year to commemorate the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as Mahatma Gandhi. He is renowned worldwide for his unwavering commitment to non-violence, civil disobedience, and the struggle for India's independence from British colonial rule. On this special occasion, let's deep dive into seven fascinating facts about the Father of the Nation.
1. Early Years Abroad:
Mahatma Gandhi spent his formative years in London, studying law at University College London. During this time, he was deeply influenced by Western philosophies, including the works of Henry David Thoreau and Leo Tolstoy, which would later shape his own beliefs in non-violence and civil disobedience.
2. Vegetarianism and Simplicity:
Gandhi adopted a strict vegetarian diet and a simple, frugal lifestyle early in his life. He believed that both physical and mental purity could be achieved through such practices, which were integral to his philosophy of non-violence and self-reliance.
3. The Champaran Satyagraha:
Gandhi's first major civil disobedience campaign in India was the Champaran Satyagraha in 1917. It was launched to protest against oppressive British indigo planters, marking the beginning of his non-violent resistance movement in India.
4. Salt March - Dandi March:
One of the most iconic moments in India's struggle for independence was the Salt March or Dandi March in 1930. Gandhi and a group of followers marched 240 miles to the Arabian Sea to protest the British monopoly on salt production, defying the salt tax imposed by the British.
5. The Title "Mahatma":
The title "Mahatma," which means "great soul," was given to Gandhi by Rabindranath Tagore, the renowned Indian poet and Nobel laureate. It reflects the profound respect and admiration he garnered for his dedication to truth and non-violence.
6. Role in South Africa:
Before becoming a leader in India's independence movement, Gandhi lived in South Africa for over two decades. During this time, he fought against racial discrimination and apartheid-like practices, honing his skills in civil disobedience and non-violent resistance.
7. Legacy of Ahimsa:
Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence (ahimsa) continues to inspire people and movements worldwide. His teachings on non-violent resistance have been influential in civil rights movements, such as Martin Luther King Jr.'s fight for racial equality in the United States.
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