Gandhi Jayanthi was celebrated in the city with respect by various schools, colleges and other institutions. The day of the Mahatma reiterated the importance of basic human values of truth and tolerance. On this day, Navi Mumbai News brings to you a special report on the life of the Mahatma. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, India. In the 1900s, Gandhiji became one of few respected spiritual and political leaders who helped free the Indian people from British rule through nonviolent resistance. And so, he has been honored by his people as the father of the Indian Nation. Reports have it that Gandhiji married Kasturba at age of 13. He studied law in London and returned to India in 1891 to practice. In 1893 he accepted a one-year contract to do legal work in South Africa. Gandhiji stayed in South Africa for 21 years working to secure rights for Indian people. He developed a method of direct social action based upon the principles courage, nonviolence and truth called Satyagraha. He believed that the way people behave is more important than what they achieve. Satyagraha promoted nonviolence and civil disobedience as the most appropriate methods for obtaining political and social goals. In 1915 Gandhi returned to India. Within 15 years he became the leader of the Indian nationalist movement. Using the tenets of Satyagraha he lead the campaign for Indian independence from Britain. Gandhi was arrested many times by the British for his activities in South Africa and India. He believed it was honorable to go to jail for a just cause. Altogether he spent seven years in prison for his political activities. More than once Gandhi used fasting to impress upon others the need to be nonviolent. India was granted independence in 1947, and partitioned into India and Pakistan. Rioting between Hindus and Muslims followed. Gandhi had been an advocate for a united India where Hindus and Muslims lived together in peace. On January 13, 1948, at the age of 78, he began a fast with the purpose of stopping the bloodshed. After 5 days the opposing leaders pledged to stop the fighting and Gandhi broke his fast. Twelve days later he was assassinated by Natturam Godse who is believed to be a Hindu fanatic who opposed his program of tolerance for all creeds and religion. Among the tributes to Gandhi upon his death were these words by the great physicist, Albert Einstein: “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood.”

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