Mahatma Gandhi, the eternal man, bestowed upon humanity the imperishable gift of non-violence. His moral influence cannot be weighed in any material scale. Nor is its value limited to any particular country or generation. He was, he is, and he will be alive forever in his achievements and endeavours towards human welfare.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2 - 1869 at Porbandar - a small town in the state of Gujarat on the western coast of India. His father, Karamchand Gandhi, was the diwan (Chief Minister) of Porbandar. His mother Putlibai was a saintly character. Her gentleness left a deep impression on Mohandas’ mind.
Mohandas belonged to a middle class family of Vaishya caste. Initially, he was sent to an elementary school in Porbandar. The child found it difficult to master the multiplication tables. When he was seven, his family moved to Rajkot. There he attended a primary school and later joined a high school. A mediocre student, Mohandas was extremely shy and timid.
He was married at the age of thirteen to Kasturba who was also of the same age. At that time, he was still in high school. It was quite an early age and for the couple marriage meant only a round of feasts, new clothes to wear and a docile companion to play with.
After matriculating from the high school, Mohandas joined the Samaldas College
in Bhavnagar. But the atmosphere there was not congenial and Mohandas found
the studies difficult. Meanwhile in 1885, his father expired.
“If you wish to take your father’s place in the state service, you’d better become a barrister! And you can do that in England in three years! " one of his close friends suggested.
“The idea appeals to me," nodded Mohandas.
But his mother objected, “No, Mohan. I don’t approve of the idea," she said.
“O Mother, I know why you don’t want me to go abroad. Fine! I take a solemn vow not to touch wine, women and meat. Now let me go, please!" pleaded Mohandas and his
mother had to yield to the young son.
So, on September 4 -1888, Mohandas sailed for Southampton. He was eighteen then. A few months earlier Kasturba had borne him a son. The first few days in London were
miserable. Mohandas felt terribly homesick. He was amidst strange people and their strange ways. He used to ape the English gentlemen.