Mahatma Gandhi: 151st anniversary of Satyagraha's heirloom

India is celebrating the 151st birth anniversary of the legendary freedom movement leader and 'Father of the Nation', Mahatma Gandhi on Wednesday.

Birth of a new leader

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in 1869 in Porbandar in India's western state of Gujarat.

He was later revered as Mahatma which meant great soul.

A lawyer by profession, he led the struggle for India's independence from British rule by using non-violent means.

(Photograph:AFP)

Gandhi takes over South Africa

Gandhi started his public life in South Africa, ruled by the British colonialists, who treated Indians and the native Africans as slaves.

He organised the Natal Indian Congress in South Africa and laid the foundation for the Civil Disobedience Movement, which he used effectively to win freedom for India.

(Photograph:AFP)

Return to the homeland

Gandhi came back to India in 1914 and fought against the British rule through a series of non-violent protests. India became independent from Britain on August 15, 1947.

After India's independence, there were widespread communal riots across the subcontinent.

(Photograph:AFP)

The beginning of a new era in Indian politics

Gandhi went on a hunger strike against the riots and withdrew the strike only after assurance from leaders of both the Hindu and Muslim communities.

(Photograph:AFP)

The assassination of a legend

On January 30, 1948, while he was going to attend a  prayer meeting at a temple in New Delhi, Gandhi was shot dead by Nathuram Godse.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Gandhi lives on!

Gandhi was also against aggression and propagated 'ahimsa' or non-violence; in fact, his non-violent movement is said to have inspired American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., South African anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, and exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.

Gandhi's ideologies still continue to be followed the world over. His statues can be found across India and nearly every town has at least one street named after him.

(Photograph:AFP)

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