“As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it.”
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
“Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
“Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.”
“I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.”
“I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life.”
“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”
“It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.”
“One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds.”
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
“I think it would be a good idea. - (when asked what he thought of Western civilization)”
“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”
Mohandas Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869. He was an eminent leader of Indian nationalism while under British rule. He is a propagator of non-violent civil disobedience. He led India to independence and motivated non-violent movements all over the world. He is commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi which means "Great Soul" and is known in India as "Bapu" or father. He is known as the Father of the nation in India and his birthday is a national holiday and is known worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence.
He was born in Porbandar. His father was Karamchand Gandhi, who was a high official. His mother was Putlibai, who was Karamchand's fourth wife. In May 1883, when Gandhi was thirteen he married fourteen year old Kasturbai Makhanji in an arranged marriage. They had five children together. Their first child died a few days after birth. They then had four more children: Harilal, Manilal, Ramdas, and Devdas.
In 1888, he went to London to study law and University College London. He joined the Vegetarian Society and later started a Bayswater chapter. His fellow members of the Vegetarian Society were also members of the Theosophical Society which studied Buddhist and Hindu literature. He was urged to join them in reading the Bhagavad Gita. He had never been much interested in religion before but this influenced him to become immersed in religious thought. He returned to India in 1891 where he tried to establish a law practice but it failed because he was too shy to speak up in court.
He left India for Natal, South Africa where he spent twenty-one years and where he developed his political views. It was in South Africa where he faced discrimination of colored people. He was thrown off a train after refusing to leave first-class. He protested and was allowed on the next day. He was also barred from several hotels. These hardships were a turning point for Gandhi and influenced his social activism and opened his eyes to social injustice. This is the point at which Gandhi began to question India's colonization by the British Empire.
In 1915, Gandhi went back to India. He obtained an international reputation as an Indian nationalist and theorist. He joined the Indian National Congress and eventually took control of Congress in 1920. He began demanding more and more compromises until on January 26, 1930 Congress declared India's independence from the British. The British refused to acknowledge this declaration and negotiations began. Gandhi was imprisoned by the British along with other Congressmen because of his refusal to accept anything other than complete independence.
In 1920, Gandhi began his non-cooperation, non-violence and peaceful resistance against the British. This began a national protest at the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of peaceful protestors by British troops. In 1921, Gandhi gained control of Congress whereupon he rewrote a new constitution, the goal of which was complete individual, political, and spiritual independence. Committees were set up to advance discipline. Gandhi incorporated his non-violence platform into Congress. He began a boycott of foreign-made goods. He also advocated that homespun cloth, khadi, be worn by all Indians.
His most famous moment in time was the Salt March which was in response to the tax on salt in 1930. The Salt March was an independence movement against the monopoly of salt by the British. This was a direct challenge to the British. It was the most famous example of a movement that advocated non-cooperation and non-violence. This was followed by India's declaration of independence.
Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948. He was shot while walking to a platform from which he would have addressed a prayer meeting. The assassin was Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist with ties to the extremist Hindu Mahasabha. He claimed Gandhi weakened India by insisting upon a payment to Pakistan. He and Narayan Apte, a co-conspirator, were tried and convicted and later executed. Gandhi's ashes were poured into urns and sent across India for memorial services.