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Mohandas Mahatma Gandhi, the Gujarati barrister who had returned from living for many years in South Africa shortly after the war started, was recognized throughout India as one of the most-promising leaders of the Congress Party.
His father—Karamchand Gandhi, who was the dewan chief minister of Porbandarthe capital of a small principality in western India in what is now Gujarat state under British suzerainty—did not have much in the way of a formal education. He was, however, an able administrator who knew how to steer his way between the capricious princes, their long-suffering subjects, and Early life and background of mahatma headstrong British political officers in power.
Mohandas grew up in a home steeped in Vaishnavism —worship of the Hindu god Vishnu —with a strong tinge of Jainisma morally rigorous Indian religion whose chief tenets are nonviolence and the belief that everything in the universe is eternal.
Thus, he took for granted ahimsa noninjury to all living beingsvegetarianismfasting for self-purification, and mutual tolerance between adherents of various creeds and sects.
The educational facilities at Porbandar were rudimentary; in the primary school that Mohandas attended, the children wrote the alphabet in the dust with their fingers. Luckily for him, his father became dewan of Rajkotanother princely state. Though Mohandas occasionally won prizes and scholarships at the local schools, his record was on the whole mediocre.
A diffident child, he shone neither in the classroom nor on the playing field. He loved to go out on long solitary walks when he was not nursing his by then ailing father who died soon thereafter or helping his mother with her household chores.
His adolescence was probably no stormier than that of most children of his age and class.
What was extraordinary was the way his youthful transgressions ended. And he kept his promise. Beneath an unprepossessing exterior, he concealed a burning passion for self-improvement that led him to take even the heroes of Hindu mythology, such as Prahlada and Harishcandra—legendary embodiments of truthfulness and sacrifice—as living models.
As he had to suddenly switch from his native language— Gujarati —to English, he found it rather difficult to follow the lectures. Meanwhile, his family was debating his future. Left to himself, he would have liked to have been a doctor.
But, besides the Vaishnava prejudice against vivisectionit was clear that, if he was to keep up the family tradition of holding high office in one of the states in Gujarat, he would have to qualify as a barrister. That meant a visit to Englandand Mohandas, who was not too happy at Samaldas College, jumped at the proposal.
His father had left the family little property; moreover, his mother was reluctant to expose her youngest child to unknown temptations and dangers in a distant land.
But Mohandas was determined to visit England. Mohandas disregarded the last obstacle—the decree of the leaders of the Modh Bania subcaste Vaishya casteto which the Gandhis belonged, who forbade his trip to England as a violation of the Hindu religion—and sailed in September Ten days after his arrival, he joined the Inner Templeone of the four London law colleges The Temple.
Page 1 of 5.Early years Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, , in Porbandar, India, a seacoast town in the Kathiawar Peninsula north of Bombay, India. His wealthy family was from one of the higher castes (Indian social classes).Died: Jan 30, Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 >.
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|Book Abbreviations||Biography Early life and background Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi  was born on 2 October  into a Gujarati Hindu Modh Baniya family  in Porbandar also known as Sudamapuria coastal town on the Kathiawar Peninsula and then part of the small princely state of Porbandar in the Kathiawar Agency of the Indian Empire. His father, Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi —served as the diwan chief minister of Porbandar state.|