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Gandhi, Mohandas ‘Mahatma’ (India)

Reference work entry

Introduction

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, later to be known as Mahatma (Great Soul), was born on 2 Oct. 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat in India. By the time of his death in 1948 he had become an international figurehead, leader of the Indian independence movement and the most successful exponent of non-violent protest.

Early Life

Born to Karamchand Gandhi, an uneducated but politically able administrator, and his religiously devout wife Putlibai, there was little in Gandhi’s origins to suggest what lay ahead. Brought up in the culture of Vaishnavism and Jainism, he was imbued with beliefs in non-violence, mutual tolerance and fasting. He was a shy and largely unimpressive scholar who found himself married by the age of 13 and subsequently went through a phase of mild delinquency. Despite this unpromising start, he passed the entry exams for the University of Bombay and qualified as a barrister. He arrived in London in Sept. 1888 and became a member of the Inner Temple.

The next 3 years was...

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