On This Day

Mahatma Gandhi

Pacifist and Spiritual Leader Mahatma Gandhi

Full Name: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Profession: Pacifist and Spiritual Leader


Why Famous: Gandhi was the leader of the nonviolent civil disobedience campaign against British rule in India. He initially began fighting for the rights of Indians in South Africa, from which he returned in 1915. In 1921 he assumed rule of the Indian National Congress and began leading nationwide resistance movements.

He led the Dandi Salt March in 1930 and later led the Quit India movement in 1942. He undertook numerous fasts in support of his political causes and for self-purification.

Gandhi's vision of India called for a state based on religious pluralism. This, however, was strongly challenged by a rapidly -growing Muslim nationalist independence movement which demanded a state for itself. This led to the partition of India in 1947 into India and Pakistan. Gandhi visited the affected areas and undertook several fasts in an attempt to stop the religious violence.

Some Hindus believed Gandhi was too accommodating; among them was Nathuram Godse who assassinated Gandhi on 30 January 1948.

Born: October 2, 1869
Birthplace: Porbandar, Kathiawar Agency, India
Star Sign: Libra

Died: January 30, 1948 (aged 78)
Cause of Death: Assassination

Historical Events

  • 1893-06-07 Gandhi's first act of civil disobedience.
  • 1894-08-22 Mahatma Gandhi forms the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) in order to fight discrimination against Indian traders in Natal
  • 1906-09-11 Mahatma Gandhi coins the term "Satyagraha" to characterize the Non-Violence movement in South Africa.
  • 1910-02-26 Gandhi supports the African People's Organisations resolution to declare the Prince of Wales day of arrival in South Africa a day of mourning, in protest against the South Africa Acts disenfranchisement of Indians, Coloureds and Africans
  • 1911-04-27 Indian passive resistance is suspended when General J.C. Smuts enters into negotiations with Mahatma Gandhi
  • 1912-10-02 Gopal Krishna Gokhale, at invitation of Gandhi, arrives in South Africa on a 26-day tour; he also visits Tolstoy Farm
  • 1913-01-02 Mahatma Gandhi leaves the Tolstoy Farm in Transvaal, South Africa
  • 1913-06-14 The South African Government pass the Immigration Act, which restricts the entry and free movement of Asians; it leads to widespread agitation and rioting by resident Indians, led by Gandhi
  • 1913-10-19 At a meeting of the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) in Durban, NIC secretaries, M. C. Anglia and Dada Osman, severely criticise Mahatma Gandhi and tender their resignations
  • 1913-11-06 Mahatma Gandhi arrested for leading Indian miners' march in South Africa
  • 1914-01-14 The Gandhi-Smuts Agreement is reached between Gen. J.C. Smuts and Mahatma Gandhi, regarding voluntary registration, poll tax, recognition of Indian marriages and other matters
  • 1914-01-25 An Indian mass meeting in Durban unanimously endorse the agreement between General J.C. Smuts and Mahatma Gandhi regarding voluntary registration, poll tax, recognition of Indian marriages and other matters
  • 1914-02-10 In accordance with the understanding reached by General J.C. Smuts and Mahatma Gandhi, 60 passive resistance prisoners released from Pietermaritzburg Prison; 40 passive resisters released in Durban, 8 in Newcastle, 11 in Port Elizabeth
  • 1914-06-26 The Indian Relief Act, passes after a protracted period of Passive Resistance led by Gandhi; it abolishes a £3 tax imposed on Indians who had not renewed their indentures and recognizes "the validity of Indian customary marriages"
  • 1914-06-30 Mahatma Gandhi's 1st arrest after campaigning for Indian rights in South Africa
  • 1914-07-18 Gandhi leaves South Africa after successfully leading campaigns of Passive Resistance
  • 1919-03-30 Gandhi announces resistance against Rowlatt Act
  • 1919-04-06 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi orders a General Strike
  • 1922-03-18 British magistrates in India sentence Mahatma Gandhi to 6 years imprisonment for disobedience
  • 1924-02-24 Mahatma Gandhi released from jail
  • 1930-03-12 Mahatma Gandhi begins his famous 200 mile (300km) protest march against the widely hated British salt tax
  • 1931-03-05 Gandhi & British viceroy Lord Irwin sign pact
  • 1932-01-04 British Viceroy of India Lord Willingdon arrests Gandhi & Nehru
  • 1932-09-20 Mahatma Gandhi begins a hunger strike against the way Hindu untouchables are treated
  • 1933-05-08 Mahatma Gandhi begins a 21-day fast in protest against British oppression in India
  • 1933-08-23 Mahatma Gandhi released from Indian jail following another hunger strike
  • 1934-04-07 In India, Mahatma Gandhi suspends his campaign of civil disobedience
  • 1939-03-03 Mahatma Gandhi begins a fast in Mumbai (Bombay) to protest against autocratic rule in India
  • 1942-08-09 Mahatma Gandhi and 50 others arrested in Bombay after passing of a "quit India" motion and campaign by the All-India Congress
  • 1944-05-05 Mahatma Gandhi freed from prison
  • 1946-06-22 Speaking at a prayer meeting in New Delhi, Gandhi calls on the South African government to stop 'hooliganism' by Whites
  • 1947-01-02 Mahatma Gandhi begins march for peace in East Bengal
  • 1948-01-12 Mahatma Gandhi begins his final fast
  • 1948-01-30 Mahatma Gandhi assassinated by Hindu extremist Nathuram Godse
  • 1982-11-30 "Gandhi" directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Ben Kingsley and John Gielgud premieres in New Delhi (Best Picture 1983)

Quotes by Mahatma Gandhi

  • "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

Famous Indians