Greatest Leaders of All Time

Mahatma Gandhi

mahatma gandhi

image source: wikimedia commons

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the preeminent leader of the Indian Freedom/Independence Movement in British India. Ahimsa (non-violence), Civil disobedience, Boycotts of Foreign goods, etc. was his main tools to fight from the British. Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honour Mahatma (high-soul), applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa, is now used worldwide. He is also called Bapu (father) in India. He is unofficially called the Father of the Nation.

Born and raised in a Hindu merchant family at Porbander in Gujrat, India, and trained in law in London. Gandhi first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women's rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, but above all for achieving Swaraj (self-rule).

Gandhi famously led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi March in 1930, and later started Quit India Movement (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 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 a means of both self-purification and social protest.

On 30 January 1948 Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi by firing three bullets into his chest.

His birthday, 2 October, is commemorated as Gandhi Jayanti, a National Holiday, and world-wide as the International Day of Nonviolence.


True ahimsa should wear a smile even in a death-bed state brought about by an assailant. It is only with that ahimsa that we can befriend our opponents and win their love. – MAHATMA GANDHI

Ahimsa is the highest duty. Even if we cannot practice it in full, we must try to understand its spirit and refrain as far as is humanly possible from violence. – MAHATMA GANDHI

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. – MAHATMA GANDHI

Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever. – MAHATMA GANDHI

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. – MAHATMA GANDHI

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. – MAHATMA GANDHI

A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes. – MAHATMA GANDHI