The whole nation will pay homage to the 'Father of the Nation' Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on Saturday, 2 October, on the occasion of his 152 birth anniversary. The day is marked as Gandhi Jayanti across the country. Along with India, other nations too observe this occasion as Gandhi's method of non-violence inspired various civil rights movements all over the world.
Every year, the United Nations (UN) celebrates this day as ‘International Day of Non-Violence’. This year, amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Gandhi Jayanti is coinciding with the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated this event on 12 March, the 91st anniversary of the Dandi March, an important event in Gandhi's life.
On the special occasion, take a look at the timeline of key events of Mahatma Gandhi's life from birth to death below:
Early life and education:
Gandhi, who shares his birth date with former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, was born on 2 October, 1869, in Gujarat's Porbandar. His father was Karamchand Gandhi while Putlibai was his mother. At the age of 11, Gandhi joined Alfred High School in Rajkot and struggled through school because of his father's ill health. He lost a year when he got married to Kasturba Gandhi in 1883 at the age of 13. He was not considered a very bright student in school. In his memory, the school was later named Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi High School. In 2017, after 164 years, the school was closed and has now been turned into a museum. In 1887, he completed his schooling in Ahmedabad.
Train incident in South Africa:
Between 1888 and 1891, Gandhi stayed in London to study law. In 1893, when he went to South Africa, he witnessed discrimination against Indians while going to Pretoria by train and a white man ordered him to get out of the first-class. When the train stopped, he was thrown out despite having a ticket. This introduced racism to Gandhi and the incident kind of shaped his life. As a response, in 1894, he formed the Natal Indian Congress. Through the path of non-violence, he decided to resist discrimination. Soon, people across the country joined his peaceful civil disobedience movement.
After spending 21 years in South Africa, he returned to India in 1915.
Role in Indian Independence movements:
During the Indian freedom struggle, Gandhi decided to advocate peaceful protests which were conducted with the principle of non-violence (ahimsa). He took a stand for human rights and inspired millions of Indians with his ideology of truth, non-violence, and social welfare. He was a part of major freedom movements like Champaran Satyagraha (1917), Kheda Satyagraha (1917 -1918), Khilafat Movement (1919), Non-Cooperation Movement (1920), Civil-Disobedience Movement (1930), and Quit India Movement (1942). His championship of non-violence and contribution to these movements earned him the title of Bapu or Father of the Nation.
His final moments:
After India got Independence in 1947, Gandhi left the world on 30 January, 1948 in New Delhi after playing an important role in the country's freedom struggle. He was going to attend a prayer meeting when Nathuram Godse, who was angry with Gandhi favouring some of the policies, confronted him. In front of a huge gathering, Godse shot Gandhi three times.
Godse was hanged for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi on 15 November, 1949.