Why was Gandhi called "Mahatma"?
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Why was Gandhi called "Mahatma"?

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Gandhi was called Mahatma as a sign of respect for his great character and deeds. The word Mahatma, erroneously considered to be Gandhi's birth name by some in the western society, originates from the Sanskrit words "maha", which means "great," and "atma," which means "soul." Rabindranath Tagore is known as the man who gave him the title.

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Gandhi was born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in Porbandar, Gujarat, North West India. He is known as the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India. Using nonviolent means, Gandhi led his country to independence and spurred movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. He famously led Indians in opposing the British-imposed salt tax with the 250-mile Dandi Salt March in 1930, and he later called for the British to "quit" India in 1942. In multiple instances, he was imprisoned for prolonged periods in South Africa and India alike. Gandhi emphasized practicing nonviolence and honesty in all situations, recommending the same for others.

Gandhi is commonly, and unofficially, regarded as the "Father of the Nation" in India. His birthday, Oct. 2, is celebrated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and world-wide as the International Day of Nonviolence. He is affectionately known as Bapu, which means "father" or "papa", in India. He died on Jan. 30, 1948 at the age of 78.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why was Mahatma Gandhi famous?

    A:

    Mahatma Gandhi draws fame for political leadership: he led India's independence movement and advocated for equal treatment and rights of Indian and South African citizens. Mahatma Gandhi, born Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi, originated in Porbandar, India. Gandhi received an undergraduate education in India, then moved to London to study law before ultimately becoming involved in politics and advocating civil disobedience.

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  • Q:

    How many times did Gandhi go to jail?

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    Over the course of his lifetime, Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi was arrested four times. His first arrest was in 1922 in South Africa, and this was followed by subsequent arrests in 1930, 1933 and 1942 in India.

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  • Q:

    Did Gandhi have any brothers or sisters?

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    Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had two older brothers, Laxmidas and Karsandas, and an older sister, Raliatbehn. Gandhi's family were of the Vaisya-caste and considered fairly wealthy. His father, Karamchand Gandhi, as well as his grandfather, both served as chief minister of the Porbander state in India.

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  • Q:

    Who were the parents of Mahatma Gandhi?

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    Mahatma Ghandi's parents were Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi and Putlibai Gandhi. Mahatma was born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on Oct. 2nd, 1869, in Porbander, which is located on the Kathiawar Peninsula in the west of India. He was his parents' fourth and final child.

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