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Mahatma Gandhi

  • Date Submitted: 10/21/2013 05:17 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 45.3 
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Early Life
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 (1822–1885), who belonged to the Hindu Modh community, served as the diwan of Porbandar state, a small princely state in the Kathiawar Agency of India. His mother, Putlibai, who came from the Pranami Vaishnava community, was Karamchand's fourth wife. Jain ideas and practices powerfully influenced Gandhi, particularly through his mother, who was a devout Jain.
In May 1883, the 13-year-old Mohandas was married to 14-year-old Kasturbai Makhanji (her first name was usually shortened to "Kasturba", and affectionately to "Ba") in an arranged child marriage, according to the custom of the region. In the process, he lost a year at school. 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. He passed the matriculation exam at Samaldas College in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. Gandhi's family wanted him to be a barrister, as it would increase the prospects of succeeding to his father's post.
Civil rights movement in South Africa (1893–1914)
Gandhi spent 21 years in South Africa, where he developed his political views, ethics and political leadership skills. Indians in South Africa were led by wealthy Muslims, who employed Gandhi as a lawyer, and by impoverished Hindu indentured laborers with very limited rights. Gandhi considered them all to be Indians, taking a lifetime view that "Indianness" transcended religion and caste. He realized he was out of contact with the enormous complexities of religious and cultural life in India, and believed he understood India by getting to know and leading Indians in South Africa.
In South Africa, Gandhi faced the discrimination directed at all coloured people. He was thrown off a train at...

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