His spirit lives on: The Mahatma

His spirit lives on: The Mahatma
Millions of people have come to revere Gandhi as Mahatma, " The Great Soul" and to the struggling masses he endeared himself as Bapu , " The Father of the Nation "..

Millions of people have come to revere Gandhi as Mahatma, " The Great Soul" and to the struggling masses he endeared himself as Bapu , " The Father of the Nation "

Background

Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. In India, he is also called Bapuji and Gandhiji.

He was born and raised in a Hindu family in coastal Gujarat and was trained in law at the Inner Temple, London. Gandhi first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination.

Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for various social causes and for achieving Swaraj or self-rule.

Gandhi famously led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later calling for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years, in both South Africa and India. He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn hand-spun on a charkha. Gandhi's vision of an independent India was based on religious pluralism.

India’s freedom struggle

His non-violent methods including Satyagraha is known worldwide and hence the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on June 15, 2007, to observe October 2 as the International Day of Non-Violence.

Tribute to Gandhi

Symbol of liberation

Gandhi won the reverence of the people by the simplicity and austerity of his life, and by his infinite and immeasurable faith and confidence he moved the masses to break away from fear and oppression.

Various tributes were paid to Mahatma Gandhi:

C Rajagopalachari - Heir to a great tradition – Bharatmata is writhing in anguish and pain over the loss.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru - This man of God trod the earth. The light has gone out from our lives.
Sardar Vallabhai Patel - His supreme sacrifice will quicken our conscience
Maulana Abdul Kalama Azad - Carried burden of humanity on his shoulders
Dr Rajendra Prasad - The liberator of Hindu community
Dr S Radhakrishnan - The lonely symbol of a vanishing heart
George Bernard Shaw - Dangerous to be good
His Holiness Pope Pius X11 - This great man was the spiritual leader of millions of Indians.
Albert Einstein - Died as a victim of his own principle - of nonviolence
Khan Abdul Gafar Khan - The only ray of light
Hi Chi Minh - We are revolutionaries , but we are disciples of Gandhi
Dr Martin Luther King - If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable.
Ravindranath Tagore - Truth awakened Truth
The Dalai Lama - His life inspired me
Bernard ShawImpressions of Gandhi? You might well ask for someone's impression of the Himalayas

Speech of Pandit Nehru to the Constituent Assembly , Feb 2, 1948

It's a shame to me that an Indian should have raised his hands against an Indian, it's a shame to me as a Hindu that a Hindu should have done this deed and done it to the greatest Indian of the day and the greatest Hindu of this age.

Assessment

“The glory has departed” – Jawaharlal Nehru

“The greatest fact in the escort of man on earth is not his material achievement, the empires he has built and broken, but the growth of his soul from age to age in search for truth and goodness.” – S Radhakrishnan.

Our assessment is that this is true for all great men and women from Jesus Christ, Gautama Buddha, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela - they all had so much to give, led a very simple life and changed the course of history. They are even more fondly remembered after their death. They feared none, lived for cause and most importantly loved everyone. 

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