Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar, a coastal town which was then part of the Bombay Presidency, British India. He was born in his ancestral home, now known as Kirti Mandir.

His father, Karamchand Gandhi was Hindu Modh Baniya (1822–1885), served as the divan minister) of Porbander state, a small princely salute state in the Kathiawar Agency of British India. His grandfather was Uttamchand Gandhi, also called Utta Gandhi. His mother, Putlibai, who was from a Pranami Vaishnava family,was Karamchand's fourth wife, the first three wives having apparently died in childbirth.The Indian classics, especially the stories of Shravana and king Harishchandra, had a great impact on Gandhi in his childhood.

In his autobiography, he admits that they left an indelible impression on his mind. He writes: "It haunted me and I must have acted Harishchandra to myself times without number. " Gandhi's early self-identification with truth and love as supreme values is traceable to these epic characters. In May 1883, the 13-year-old Mohandas was married to Kasturbai Makhanji in an arranged child marriage, according to the custom of the region.In the process, he lost a year at school. However, as was prevailing tradition, the adolescent bride was to spend much time at her parents' house, and away from her husband.

In 1885, when Gandhi was 15, the couple's first child was born, but survived only a few days. Gandhi's father, Karamchand Gandhi, had also died earlier that year. Mohandas and Kasturba Gandhi had four more children, all sons Harilal, Manilal,Ramdas,and Devdas. At his middle school in Porbandar and high school in Rajkot, Gandhi remained a mediocre student.He shone neither in the classroom nor on the playing field.

One of the terminal reports rated him as "good at English, fair in Arithmetic and weak in Geography; conduct very good, bad handwriting. " He passed the matriculation at Samaldas College in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, with some difficulty. Gandhi's family wanted him to be a barrister, as it would increase the prospects of succeeding to his father's post. In 1915, Gandhi returned to India permanently. He brought an international reputation as a leading Indian nationalist, theorist and organizer.He joined the Indian National Congress and was introduced to Indian issues, politics and the Indian people primarily by Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

Gokhale was a key leader of the Congress Party best known for his restraint and moderation, and his insistence on working inside the system. Gandhi took Gokhale's liberal approach based on British Whiggish traditions and transformed it to make it look wholly Indian. Gandhi took leadership of Congress in 1920 and began a steady escalation of demands until on 26 January 1930 the Indian National Congress declared the independence of India.The British did not recognize that and more negotiations ensued, with Congress taking a role in provincial government in the late 1930s.

Gandhi and Congress withdrew their support of the Raj when the Viceroy declared war on Germany in September 1939 without consulting anyone. Tensions escalated until Gandhi demanded immediate independence in 1942 and the British responded by imprisoning him and tens of thousands of Congress leaders for the duration. Meanwhile the Muslim League did cooperate with Britain and moved, against Gandhi's strong opposition, to demands for a totally separate Muslim state of Pakistan.In August 1947 the British partitioned the land, with India and Pakistan each achieving independence on terms Gandhi disapproved. ROLE IN WORLD WAR I In April 1918, during the latter part of World War I, the Viceroy invited Gandhi to a War Conference in Delhi.

Perhaps to show his support for the Empire and help his case for India's independence, Gandhi agreed to actively recruit Indians for the war effort. In contrast to the Zulu War of 1906 and the outbreak of World War I in 1914, when he recruited volunteers for the Ambulance Corps, this time Gandhi attempted to recruit combatants.In a June 1918 leaflet entitled "Appeal for Enlistment", Gandhi wrote "To bring about such a state of things we should have the ability to defend ourselves, that is, the ability to bear arms and to use them..

. If we want to learn the use of arms with the greatest possible dispatch, it is our duty to enlist ourselves in the army. " He did, however, stipulate in a letter to the Viceroy's pr secretory that he "personally will not kill or injure anybody, friend or foe.Gandhi's war recruitment campaign brought into question his consistency on nonviolence as his friend Charlie Andrews confirms, "Personally I have never been able to reconcile this with his own conduct in other respects, and it is one of the points where I have found myself in painful disagreement. Gandhi's private secretory" also had acknowledged that "The question of the consistency between his creed of 'Ahimsa' (non-violence) and his recruiting campaign was raised not only then but has been discussed ever since.In 1919 Gandhi, with his weak position in Congress, decided to broaden his base by increasing his appeal to Muslims.

The opportunity came from the Khilafat movement, a worldwide protest by Muslims against the collapsing status of the Caliph, the leader of their religion. The Ottoman Empire had lost the World War and was dismembered, as Muslims feared for the safety of the holy places and the prestige of their religion.Although Gandhi did not originate the All-India Muslim Conference, which directed the movement in India, he soon became its most prominent spokesman and attracted a strong base of Muslim support with local chapters in all Muslim centers in India. His success made him India's first national leader with a multicultural base and facilitated his rise to power within Congress, which had previously been unable to reach many Muslims. In 1920 Gandhi became a major leader in Congress by the end of 1922 the Khilafat movement had collapsed.

Gandhi always fought against "communalism", which pitted Muslims against Hindus in politics, but he could not reverse the rapid growth of communalism after 1922. Deadly religious riots broke out in numerous cities, including 91 in U. P. (Uttar Pradesh) alone.

At the leadership level, the proportion of Muslims among delegates to Congress fell sharply, from 11% in 1921 to under 4% in 1923. Non-cooperation With Congress now behind him in 1920, Gandhi had the base to employ non-cooperation, non-violence and peaceful resistance as his "weapons" in the struggle against the British Raj.His wide popularity among both Hindus and Muslims made his leadership possible; he even convinced the extreme faction of Muslims to support peaceful non-cooperation. The spark that ignited a national protest was overwhelming anger at the Jallianwala Bagh massacre (or Amritsar massacre) of hundreds of peaceful civilians by British troops in Punjab. Many Britons celebrated the action as needed to prevent another violent uprising similar to the Rebellion of 1857, an attitude that caused many Indian leaders to decide the Raj was controlled by their enemies.

Gandhi criticized both the actions of the British Raj and the retaliatory violence of Indians. He authored the resolution offering condolences to British civilian victims and condemning the riots which, after initial opposition in the party, was accepted following Gandhi's emotional speech advocating his principle that all violence was evil and could not be justified. After the massacre and subsequent violence, Gandhi began to focus on winning complete self-government and control of all Indian government institutions, maturing soon into Swaraj or complete individual, spiritual, political independence. 72]During this period, Gandhi claimed to be a "highly orthodox Hindu" and in January 1921 during a speech at a temple in Vadtal, he spoke of the relevance of non-cooperation to Hindu Dharma, "At this holy place, I declare, if you want to protect your 'Hindu Dharma', non-cooperation is first as well as the last lesson you must learn up. " In December 1921, Gandhi was invested with executive authority on behalf of the Indian National Congress. Under his leadership, the Congress was reorganized with a new constitution, with the goal of Swaraj.

Membership in the party was opened to anyone prepared to pay a token fee.A hierarchy of committees was set up to improve discipline, transforming the party from an elite organization to one of mass national appeal. Gandhi expanded his non-violence platform to include the swadeshi policy—the boycott of foreign-made goods, especially British goods. Linked to this was his advocacy that khadi (homespun cloth) be worn by all Indians instead of British-made textiles.

Gandhi exhorted Indian men and women, rich or poor, to spend time each day spinning khadi in support of the independence movement. Gandhi even invented a small, portable spinning wheel that could be folded into the size of a small typewriter.This was a strategy to inculcate discipline and dedication to weeding out the unwilling and ambitious and to include women in the movement at a time when many thought that such activities were not respectable activities for women. In addition to boycotting British products, Gandhi urged the people to boycott British educational institutions and law courts, to resign from government employment, and to forsake British titles and honors "Non-cooperation" enjoyed widespread appeal and success, increasing excitement and participation from all strata of Indian society.Yet, just as the movement reached its apex, it ended abruptly as a result of a violent clash in the town of Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh, in February 1922.

Fearing that the movement was about to take a turn towards violence, and convinced that this would be the undoing of all his work, Gandhi called off the campaign of mass civil disobedience. This was the third time that Gandhi had called off a major campaign. Gandhi was arrested on 10 March 1922, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years' imprisonment. He began his sentence on 18 March 1922.He was released in February 1924 for an appendicitisoperation, having served only 2 years.

Without Gandhi's unifying personality, the Indian National Congress began to splinter during his years in prison, splitting into two factions, one led by Chitta Ranjan Das and Motilal Nehrufavouring party participation in the legislatures, and the other led by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, opposing this move. Furthermore, cooperation among Hindus and Muslims, which had been strong at the height of the non-violence campaign, was breaking down.Gandhi attempted to bridge these differences through many means, including a three-week fast in the autumn of 1924, but with limited success. In this year, Gandhi was persuaded to preside over the Congress session to be held in Belgaum.

Gandhi agreed to become president of the session on one condition: that Congressmen should take to wearing homespun khadi. In his long political career, this was the only time when he presided over a Congress session. Salt Satyagraha (Salt March)Gandhi stayed out of active politics and, as such, the limelight for most of the 1920s. He focused instead on resolving the wedge between the Swaraj Party and the Indian National Congress, and expanding initiatives against untouchability, alcoholism, ignorance and poverty. He returned to the fore in 1928.

In the preceding year, the British government had appointed a new constitutional reform commission under Sir John Simon, which did not include any Indian as its member. The result was a boycott of the commission by Indian political parties.Gandhi pushed through a resolution at the Calcutta Congress in December 1928 calling on the British government to grant India dominion status or face a new campaign of non-cooperation with complete independence for the country as its goal. Gandhi had not only moderated the views of younger men like Subhas Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru, who sought a demand for immediate independence, but also reduced his own call to a one year wait, instead of two. The British did not respond.

On 31 December 1929, the flag of India was unfurled in Lahore. 6 January 1930 was celebrated as India's Independence Day by the Indian National Congress meeting in Lahore. This day was commemorated by almost every other Indian organization. Gandhi then launched a new Satyagraha against the tax on salt in March 1930.

This was highlighted by the famous Salt March to Dandi from 12 March to 6 April, where he marched 388 kilometers (241 mi) from Ahmadabad to Dandi, Gujarat to make salt himself. Thousands of Indians joined him on this march to the sea. This campaign was one of his most successful at upsetting British hold on India; Britain responded by imprisoning over 60,000 people.Gandhi as folk hero Congress in the 1920s appealed to peasants by portraying Gandhi as a sort of messiah, a strategy that succeeded in incorporating radical forces within the peasantry into the nonviolent resistance movement.

In thousands of villages plays were performed that presented Gandhi as the reincarnation of earlier Indian nationalist leaders, or even as a demigod. The plays built support among illiterate peasants steeped in traditional Hindu culture. Similar messianic imagery appeared in popular songs and poems, and in Congress-sponsored religious pageants and celebrations.The result was that Gandhi became not only a folk hero but the Congress was widely seen in the villages as his sacred instrument.

Achievements Time magazine named Gandhi the Man of the Year in 1930. Gandhi was also the runner-up to Albert Einstein as "Person of the Century"[240] at the end of 1999. The Government of India awards the annual Gandhi Peace Prize to distinguished social workers, world leaders and citizens. Nelson Mandela, the leader of South Africa's struggle to eradicate racial discrimination and segregation, is a prominent non-Indian recipient.

In 2011, Time magazine named Gandhi as one of the top 25 political icons of all time. [241] Gandhi did not receive the Nobel Peace Prize, although he was nominated five times between 1937 and 1948, including the first-ever nomination by the American Friends Service Committee,[242] though he made the short list only twice, in 1937 and 1947. [117] Decades later, the Nobel Committee publicly declared its regret for the omission, and admitted to deeply divided nationalistic opinion denying the award. 117] Gandhi was nominated in 1948 but was assassinated before nominations closed.

That year, the committee chose not to award the peace prize stating that "there was no suitable living candidate" and later research shows that the possibility of awarding the prize posthumously to Gandhi was discussed and that the reference to no suitable living candidate was to Gandhi. [117] when the 14th Dalai Lama was awarded the Prize in 1989, the chairman of the committee said that this was "in part a tribute to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi. "