Who was Mahatma Gandhi?

The history of the world includes only a few instances of men and women who have lived such dedicated lives that they have made an impact, which has gone on long after their death.

Such a man was born in India on October 2, 1869.  He was known as Mahatma Gandhi.  He grew up in somewhat ordinary circumstances, was educated as a lawyer in India and in England, and moved as a young man to South Africa.  There he learned at first hand about racial intolerance and oppression of common people.  He returned to India, determined to do something to help his own people.  His approach was not hatred and violence, but understanding and love.  He lived among the poorest people, and taught them to help themselves.  He tried especially to help the so-called “untouchables”, to improve their own lot and gain self-respect.  He worked hard to win independence for India, which was achieved in 1947.

Tragically, he was killed in 1948; shot by a young man who misunderstood what Gandhi was doing for India.  But he taught his own people, and indeed the whole world, that the best way to solve disputes is not armed revolt, but patient striving for understanding and reconciliation.  His life and tragic death stand before us a unique memorial to the cause of peace in the world.

His full name was Mohandas Karmachand Gandhi (1869-1948), but he is popularly known as Mahatma (or the “Great Soul”) Gandhi.  Albert Einstein said for Gandhi:

"Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood. - Albert Einstein