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Sunday, January 1, 2012

All about Father of the Nation...

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, called Mahatma,
is the Father of the Nation.
He was born on October 2, 1869 at Porbandar in
Gujarat as, the son of Karamchand and Putilibai.
Gandhiji proceeded to England in 1888 and
returned to India as a Barrister-at-law in 1891.
Gandhiji went to Natal in South Africa in 1893 to
practise law. There he was subjected to colour
discrimination and he organized Natal Indian
Congress. He started the journal ‘Indian
Opinion’ and built Phoenix Colony and Tolstoy
Farm here. He experimented the weapon
Satyagraha for the first time in South Africa in
1906. So South Aftica is often called his political
laboratory. The period between 1893 and 1914,
he engaged in a struggle against the racist
authorities of South Africa. It was then that he
evolved the teaching of Satyagraha based on
truth and non-violence.
He returned to India in 1915, leaving South Africa
for ever.
Gandhiji built his ashram on the banks of
Sabarmati in Gujarat on January 29, 1916.
Gandhiji’s first Satyagraha in India was for the
rights of indigo workers in Champaran (Bihar) in
1917.
Gandhiji’s first fast was in 1918 in connection
with the strike of mill workers in Ahmedabad.
Gandhiji had organised in February 1919 a
Satyagraha Committee, the members of which
were to take a pledge to refuse to obey the laws
of Rowlatt Act.
The Bills were enacted on March 18, 1919. The
Rowlatt Satyagraha was a failure but this projected
Gandhiji as "an all India leader of immense
potential".
The Jallianwala Bagh Tragedy on April 13, 1919
had a great impact on Mahatma Gandhi. He
returned the "Kaiser-i-Hind" medal given to him.
On November 23, 1919, Gandhiji was elected
president of the All India Khilafat Conference,
which met at Delhi.
First Non-Co-operation Movement was launched
on 1st August 1920. The Non-Co-operation
Movement spread to rural areas between 1921
and 1922.
Non-Co-operation Movement came to an end on
February 12, 1922 in response to the violence at
Chauri Chaura.
Gandhiji came back to active politics and attended
the Calcutta session of the Congress in December
1928.
The Civil Disobedience Movement was started
by Gandhiji on 12th March 1930.
Gandhiji along with 78 companions which included
Sarojini Naidu, marched nearly 375 km from
Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi and broke the law by
making salt from sea water.
The Congress boycotted the First Round Table
Conference which was held in London on
November 12, 1930.
Gandhiji attended the Second Round Table
Conference held in London on September 7, 1931
as the sole representative of Congress.
"A half naked fakir from India" - Winston
Churchill’s comment about Gandhiji when he
went to attend the Second Round Table
Conference in London in 1931.
Gandhiji was the editor of the English weekly
"Young India" and the Gujarati weekly
"Navajivan". Later he started the weekly
"Harijan" on January 8th, 1933 and this was
observed as "Temple Entry Day".
Gandhiji retired from Congress in October 1934.
One of the great dreams of Gandhiji was the
establishment of "Grama Swaraj". He said, "India
lives in villages". He started Sewagram Ashram
on 30 April 1936.
The Congress started "Individual Civil
Disobedience" in October 1940 and the Mahatma
Gandhi.
Meanwhile Gandhiji was again arrested and on
May 6, 1944, Mahatma Gandhi made earnest
efforts for communal harmony with Jinnah. But
the talks failed.
In 1945, a Conference was held at Simla, under
Lord Wavell, the then Viceroy. Jinnah argued that
only the League should nominate Muslims to the
Council. The Congress refused to accept and
Simla Conference broke down.
In the elections to the Central and provincial
Legislatures held in 1945-46, Congress won the
General seats. New Constituent Assembly started
to function from December 9, 1946. Dr. Babu
Rajendra Prasad was elected the chairman of the
Assembly on January 1947.
The British parliament passed the Indian
Independence Act based on the Mountbatten
plan in July 18, 1947
On January 30, 1948 while he was holding a
prayer meeting at Birla House, Delhi, he was
shot dead by a Hindu fanatic, Nathuram
Vinatak Godse. His last words were ‘Hai Ram,
Ram, Ram’.
Gandhiji's slogans were "Quit India", "Do or
Die", "Bharat Charo".
Gandhiji spent altogether 2338 days in prison in
his lifetime, Most of the time spent in Yervada
Jail In Poona.
Gandhi also worked for eliminating untouchability
and bring harmony between Hindus and Muslims.
He set up a Harijan Sevak Sangh to uplift the
Harijan.
Gandhiji said, "Non violence is not one form, it
is the only form of direct action".
Rajghat is the name of the Gandhi Samadhi at
Delhi.
Kenneth Kaunda is known African Gandhi.
Gandhiji Birthday (October 2) is observed as
National Day in USA.
His political guru was Gopalakrishna Gokhale.
His autobiography ‘The Story of My Experiments
With Truth’ was first published in Gujarati.
Leo Tolstoy was his favourite novelist. But the
book which greatly influenced Gandhiji was
‘Unto the Last’ by John Ruskin. The essay ‘Civil
Disobedience’ by Henry Thoreau also influenced
him.
The title Father of the Nation was given to
Gandhiji by Subhash Chandra Bose and in return
Gandhiji called him Netaji.
The title ‘Mahatma’ was given to Gandhiji by
Tagore.
Gandhiji once sarcastically (humorously) called
jail as "His Majesty’s hostel".
"Generations to come, it may scarce believe,
that such a one as this ever in flesh and
blood walked upon this earth" - Einstein about
Gandhiji.
"Truth and non-violence are my God" - Gandhiji.
"Untouchability is a crime against God and
mankind" - Gandhiji.
"Swaraj for me means freedom for the meanest of
our countrymen" - Gandhiji.
"The light has gone out of our lives and there is
darkness everywhere", Nehru about the death of
Gandhiji.

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