Mahatma Gandhi Quotes

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Gandhi: The Man, His People, and the Empire      The Essential Writings (Oxford World's Classics)      Gandhi the Man: How One Man Changed Himself to Change the World     Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi  (1869 – 1948), commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi or Bapu (Father of Nation), was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in the Raj (British-ruled India). Employing non-violent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights, and freedom across the world.

Gandhi was born in a Bania family in coastal Gujarat, and trained in law in London. He fought for the civil rights of Indians in South Africa, using non-violent civil disobedience. Returning to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants to protest excessive land-taxes. A lifelong opponent of “communalism” (basing politics on religion) he reached out widely to all religious groups. He became a leader of Muslims protesting the declining status of the Caliphate. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women’s rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, increasing economic self-reliance, and above all for achieving Swaraj—the independence of India from British domination.

Gandhi led Indians in protesting the national salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in demanding the British to immediately Quit India in 1942, during World War II. He was imprisoned for that and for numerous other political offences over the years. Gandhi sought to practice non-violence and truth in all situations, and advocated that others do the same. He saw the villages as the core of the true India and promoted self-sufficiency; he did not support the industrialisation programs of his disciple Jawaharlal Nehru. He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn he had hand spun on a charkha. He was a vegetarian, and undertook long fasts as means of both self-purification and political mobilisation.

In his last year, unhappy at the partition of India, Gandhi worked to stop the carnage between Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs that raged in the border area between India and Pakistan. He was assassinated on 30 January 1948 by Nathuram Godse who thought Gandhi was too sympathetic to India’s Muslims. 30 January is observed as Martyrs’ Day in India. The honorific Mahatma (“Great Soul”) was applied to him by 1914. In India he was also called Bapu (“Father”). He is known in India as the Father of the Nation; his birthday, 2 October, is commemorated there as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and world-wide as the International Day of Non-Violence. Wikipedia

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A man is but a product of his thoughts; what he thinks, that he becomes.

— Mahatma Gandhi

A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.

— Mahatma Gandhi

A small body of determined spirits, fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission, can alter the course of history.

— Mahatma Gandhi

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

— Mahatma Gandhi

An ounce of practice is worth tons of preaching.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Any attempt to inflict my will on another is an act of violence.

— Mahatma Gandhi

As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Be the change you want to see in the world.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Fear is not a disease of the body; fear kills the soul.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.

— Mahatma Gandhi

I have so much to do today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.

— Mahatma Gandhi

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

— Mahatma Gandhi

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.

— Mahatma Gandhi

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.

— Mahatma Gandhi

If we are to teach real peace, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.

— Mahatma Gandhi

If we wish to create a lasting peace we must begin with the children.

— Mahatma Gandhi

In a gentle way, you can shake the world.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Indolence is a delightful but distressing state; we must be doing something to be happy.

— Mahatma Gandhi

It is health which is real wealth, not pieces of silver and gold.

— Mahatma Gandhi

It is possible to live in peace.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Live life simply so that others may simply live.

— Mahatma Gandhi

My life is my message.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Nature can look after the needs of people. It cannot look after the greed of people.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Peace is its own reward.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Permanent good can never be the outcome of untruth and violence.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly used and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Real sacrifice lightens the mind of the doer and gives him a sense of peace and joy.

— Mahatma Gandhi
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