Mahatma Gandhi Born (1869)
Mahatma Gandhi, born Mohandas K. Gandhi, changed history forever by leading non-violent protests against British colonialism in India. In his early adulthood, Gandhi studied law and went on to become a successful lawyer, practising law internationally (he worked in South Africa for a number of years and trained in London). During this period, Gandhi was well known for his honest and principled approach to the law. Whilst in South Africa, Gandhi created the concept of satyagraha (a form of non-violent protest) in response to the anti-Asian behaviour he saw in the country. Involving fasting, mass sit-ins, work walkouts and economic boycotts, satyagraha was introduced in India from 1917 to 1947. Gandhi’s non-violent approach was heavily inspired by his neighbours who practised Jainism which focuses on not hurting animals or human life. At the age of 45, Gandhi returned to India and organised farmers and labourers to begin protesting against unfair and brutal taxes and discrimination. In 1921, he became the leader of the Indian National Congress, running on the platform of Indian self-rule, leading in 1930 to The Salt March, one of the most important instances of non-violent protest in history. On the 30th January 1948, Nathuram Godse assassinated Gandhi, bringing widespread mourning throughout India.
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