Mahatma Gandhi's Life and Legacy

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What was the indirect goal of Gandhi's last hunger strike?

When did Gandhi return to India?

What did Gandhi adopt as a mark of identification with India's rural poor?


  • Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in the coastal town of Porbandar in Gujarat, India.
  • He trained as a lawyer and was called to the bar in 1891.
  • Gandhi moved to South Africa in 1893 to represent an Indian merchant in a lawsuit.
  • He lived in South Africa for 21 years.
  • During this time, he raised a family and first employed nonviolent resistance in a campaign for civil rights.
  • In 1915, aged 45, he returned to India and soon set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination.
  • Gandhi assumed leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921.
  • He led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding womens rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, and, above all, achieving swaraj or self-rule.
  • Gandhi adopted the short dhoti woven with hand-spun yarn as a mark of identification with Indias rural poor.
  • He began to live in a self-sufficient residential community, to eat simple food, and undertake long fasts as a means of both introspection and political protest.
  • In the months following, he undertook several hunger strikes to stop the religious violence.
  • The last of these, begun in Delhi on January 12, 1948, had the indirect goal of pressuring India to pay out some cash assets owed to Pakistan.
  • Gandhi died on January 30, 1948.


Test your knowledge about the life and contributions of Mahatma Gandhi, a key figure in India's struggle for independence and a proponent of nonviolent resistance. Learn about his early life, time in South Africa, leadership of the Indian National Congress, and his impactful campaigns for civil rights, poverty alleviation, and self-rule.

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