Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 at Porbandar, India, just two years after the great Indian rebellion of 1867.

His father was the local political leader and his family, devoutly Hindu.

He was married when he was only 13, to a 14-year old girl and the couple had their first child two years later, though it died shortly after birth.

Mahatma GandhiIn 1888, Gandhi left by steamer for London to attend law school, his father's dream. He attended the University College of London law school and was called to the English bar on June 10, 1891. Right after, he promptly left for India.

He opened a law practice in Mumbai (Bombay) but it failed to attract clients. Disillusioned, he took a job at a law firm in Durban, South Africa and had his first taste of racial discrimination as he was beaten when he tried to sit in the reserved white-only sections of public transport.

He was sent to prison many times as he began to organize Indians in South Africa as they were supposed to be full-fledged members of the British Empire. In this context, he first introduced his non-violence defiance to bad law, civil disobedience, which he called satyagraha.

Gandhi lived through the Boer War of 1899-1902 and in 1915, he returned to India where news of his work in South Africa preceded him.

He was soon in the thick of political organizations seeking to divest India of the yoke of its British master, mostly felt through English land-owners. When the British focussed their attention on him, he became a national hero, but always advocating satyagraha and now a special brand of satyagraha, a boycott of everything British: goods and titles. Gandhi took the popular given name of Mahatma (great soul).

The independent-minded India National Congress gave him the reigns. He didn't waste time: one of his first orders of business was to propose a new constitution.

Gandhi was arrested in March of 1922 and charged with sedition but he was released for medical reasons only 2 years into his 6 year sentence. Seemlingly beaten, he withdrew from politics.

In 1928, he was compelled to return to the political fold when the asinine British government appointed a reform board ... but which included not a single Indian!

In response, Gandhi demanded independence and a flag of India was unfurled in 1929. He led a 250-mile protest march.

But in the result, the British blinked and agreed to talk with Gandhi resulting in an agreement in 1931.

But the British, when it came to India, seemed to suffer eternal brain freeze. They never followed up and Gandhi was again arrested. During the Second World War, he spent two years in a prison cell.

After the war, the British started independence talks again with the political leaders of the colony and Gandhi occasionally fasted when he did not like the lack of progress, sometimes coming close to a critical condition.

Finally, on August 15, 1947, India was given its independence.

But Gandhi hardly had a breath of air to celebrate and grow his lifelong goal. On January 30, 1948, the great soul was shot and killed by a Hindu fanatic.

On five separate occasions, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize but the Norwegian agency never saw fit to give it to him.

Still he remains one of the leading figure of Indian and world legal history for his zero-tolerance towards racial discrimination, a non-violence approach to political resolution, and his soft, wise being.

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