India has produced many outstanding personalities who have left behind a legacy of greatness, noble life and sublime ideals. Among these men, Mahatma Gandhi stands in the forefront. Today he is considered as the greatest, the noblest and the finest Indian ever born in our land. He was the brightest star ever raised on the horizon of India.
Mahatma Gandhi was born on Oct. 2, 1869 at Porbandar, in Gujarat, in a noble Hindu family. His full name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. After passing his matriculation examination, he was sent to England to study law. In 1890, he returned from England as a lawyer.
Soon after his arrival in India, he was called to help the Indians who were facing numerous hardships under the British rule in South Africa. Gandhi started the Satyagraha movement against the unjust treatment meted out to the Indians there by the British. As a result of his great efforts the British were forced to give more freedom to the Indians residing there.
In 1914, Mahatma Gandhi returned to India and immediately put himself in the forefront of freedom struggle movement that had just begun. Within a few years he became the undisputed leader of the national movement for freedom.
In order to free India from the foreign yoke, Gandhiji started three mass movements, namely, Non-cooperation movement in 1920, Civil Disobedience movement in 1930 and Quit India movement in 1942. These three movements shook the very foundation of British rule in India and brought millions of Indians into the freedom struggle movement.
Gandhiji advocated non-violence and satyagraha as his chief weapons to achieve freedom. Many times he was arrested and put in jail. But nothing could deter his quest for national freedom.
Under his leadership Indians irrespective of castes, community, race, gender, and age, etc. took up the cry for freedom. The British realized that they could no longer stay in India and was forced to grant independence to our country on Aug. 15, 1947.
Gandhiji did not live long to enjoy the freedom of a free nation. On Jan.30, 1948, he was shot while going for prayer by Nathuram Godse who thought that Gandhiji was prioritising one community for the sake of the other. Thus, ended the life of the ‘Great Mahatma who lived and died for our motherland. “The light has gone out of our lives and everywhere it is dark”.
That is how Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India then announced, the sad news of the death of Mahatma Gandhi to the nation. The noble remains of Gandhiji today lies in a specially erected Samadhi darned ‘Rajghat’ in New Delhi.
Gandhiji’s legacies remain his greatest contributions to our country and to the world. He brought spirituality into politics and made it nobler and more humane devoid of hatred and violence. His stress on Hindu-Muslim unity, removal of untouchability, upliftment of backward classes, development of village as centre of social development, emphasis on social freedom, use of swadeshi goods, etc. have been his lasting legacies which have changed the face of our land. India is indebted to him for bringing the ordinary masses into the freedom struggle movement and making it a truly national movement.
Today Mahatma Gandhi is considered as ‘The Father of the nation because he laid the true foundation of frees India with his noble ideals and supreme sacrifice. His death was a blow to the forces of peace and democracy.
According to Lord Mountbattern “India, indeed the world, will not see the like of him perhaps for centuries”. His immortal legacies will not be washed away by the waves of time but will continue to change our country as well as the whole world.