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A vision of humanity

MahatmaGandhiThe father of India, and one of the world’s most inspirational figures, Mahatma Gandhi was born 140 years ago today in a small town in the tiny state of Kathiawar

Born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, he helped win India’s independence through non-violent action, and came to represent the ideals of love, justice, compassion and non-violent action which continues to inspire people across the globe today.

President Barack Obama marked Gandhi’s 140th birthday by saying: “He’s someone in whom I find a lot of inspiration. He inspired Dr King, so if it hadn’t been for the non-violent movement in India, you might not have seen the same non-violent movement for civil rights in the United States.”

Dr Martin Luther King Jr, himself, said: “Gandhi was inevitable. If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. He lived, thought and acted, inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace and harmony. We may ignore him at our own risk.”

Gandhi, the product of a middle class family, studied law in Britain before heading to South Africa, where he experienced harsh racism. Returning to India, he toured the country, talking to the poor about their conditions and critically observing British colonial rule.

In 1921 he called for non-cooperation with the British rulers and was jailed for six years. He later led a campaign of defiance against the Salt Laws, which prevented Indians from making their own salt; a symbolic move towards eventual independence.

For the next 15 years, Gandhi led peaceful protests, sometimes in the face of a violent state response, before Britain finally began moves to grant freedom to the sub-continent after the Second World War.

Gandhi is deeply revered in India, and sometimes referred to as ‘the apostle of peace’.

Today, as India grows into a global economic power while poverty pervades large parts of the country, Gandhi’s saying that “there is enough in life for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed” still has resonance in the sub-continent, as in the rest of the world.

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One Response

  1. Thank you for sharing this information, I will be using it with our children and young people at Descendants as we begin out Month long celebration of Black history Month.

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