Mahatma Gandhi is popularly known as BAPU or Father of the Nation. He was the greatest freedom fighter who ultimately got freedom for this nation on 15 August, 1947. He was born on 2 October; 1869 at Pornbanciar in Kathiawar (Gujarat). His father was the Dewan of Rajkot and Bikaner and a great nationalist of his time. He matriculated in 1887 and went to England to study law. On his return to India as a Barrister he had to go to South Africa to follow a case. There he was pained to see the deplorable condition of Indians at the hands of foreign rulers. It was here that his love for the depressed and the neglected rose in him and he started a movement against this oppression. He was soon popular for his devout ways against oppression through non-violent ways. On his return to India is 1913 he took active part in the movement against British Rule and joined Indian National Congress.
Mahatma Gandhi gave a new shape to the freedom movement. He introduced all non-violent ways to fight the foreign rulers. He led four Civil Disobedience Movements and was jailed many times. He became a leader of the masses very soon as he took the movement to the common Indian by looking into the problems of the lowest of the low, farmers, workers, and the untouchables as they were called. He called them Harijans or the men of God. His approach was quite novel and effective. He tried and succeeded to rid the masses of this country of the universal fear of the land-lord, police and the money-lender.
Mahatma Gandhi was a staunch Indian, a Hindu, a believer of the principle, “Work is Worship’ as ordained in the great Indian classic “Bhagwad Gita”. He introduced the concept of “Basic Education” which stressed upon earning with learning. His work with “Charkha” or the “Spinning Wheel’ wrought a revolution in the minds of people. He stressed upon the freedom from poverty alongwith political freedom. He proved practically that the weapon of non-violence was the strongest ever weapon to fight against the mightiest of the might.
The power of the British had to bow before him. They saw in him a power which could not be subdued. They had finally to give in and India became independent in 1947. He was pained to see India partitioned. He wanted India to unite again but he fell to the bullets of one Nathu Ram Godse before his dream came true.