“FATHER OF OUR NATION”
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the preeminent leader of Indian independence movement in British ruled India. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements of civil rights and freedom across the world.
Gandhi famously led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in both South Africa and India. Gandhi attempted to practise nonviolence and truth in all situations, and advocated that others do the same. He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn hand spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertook long fasts as the means to both self-purification and social protest.
Gandhi’s vision of a free India based on religious pluralism. Gandhism designates the ideas and principles Gandhi promoted of central importance is nonviolent resistance.
Timemagazine named Gandhi the Man of the Year in 1930. Gandhi was also the runner-up to Albert Einstein as “Person of the Century” 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, was a prominent non-Indian recipient. In 2011, Timemagazine named Gandhi as one of the top 25 political icons of all time.