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Gandhi Gandhi was born on October 2 1869 in Porbandar India He became one of the most respected spiritual and political leaders of the 1900s Gandhi helped free the Indian people from British rule through nonviolent resistance and is honored by his people as the father of the Indian Nation The Indian people called Gandhi Mahatma meaning Great Soul At age 13 Gandhi married Kasturba a girl the same age The marriage was arranged by their parents The Gandhis had four children Gandhi studied law in London and returned to India in 1891 to practice In 1893 he took on a one year contract to do legal work in South Africa At the time South Africa was controlled by the British When he attempted to claim his rights as a British subject he was abused and soon saw that all Indians suffered similar treatment Gandhi stayed in South Africa for 21 years working to secure rights for Indian people He developed a method of direct social action based upon the principles courage nonviolence and truth called Satyagraha He believed that the way people behave is more important than what they achieve Satyagraha promoted nonviolence and civil disobedience as the most appropriate methods for obtaining political and social goals In 1915 Gandhi returned to India Within 15 years he became the leader of the Indian nationalist movement Using the tenets of Satyagraha he lead the campaign for Indian independence from Britain Gandhi was arrested many times by the British for his activities in South Africa and India He believed it was honorable to go to jail for a just cause Altogether he spent seven years in prison for his political activities More than once Gandhi used fasting to impress upon others the need to be nonviolent India was granted independence in 1947 and partitioned into India and Pakistan Rioting between Hindus and Muslims followed Gandhi had been an advocate for a united India where Hindus and
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