Gandhi was born to a middle class,
merchant caste family.  He studied
law in London and spent 21 years in
South Africa representing indentured
Hindu laborers, a formative period in
which he developed his disgust of
the Indian caste system, and his desire
to bring equality to the “untouchables”
or lowest caste.

Mahatma Gandhi is known as the “father of India”.
He was the leader of Indian independence from Britain,
using non-violent civil disobedience, inspiring future
world leaders.   His birthday, October 2nd, is a
national holiday in India and known world-wide
as International Day of Nonviolence.

Following numerous fasts to protest violence in
India, Gandhi only weighed 109 lbs. at the end
of his life.

Just months after independence was finalized, Gandhi
 was shot at point blank range by an extremist Hindu
 nationalist who resented Gandhi’s partiality toward
Muslims.  He died immediately.  The assassin was
 later executed, despite Gandhi’s family’s 
insistence that hanging would dishonor the life
of a man so opposed to all forms of violence.

Gandhi’s room, where he slept, worked and fasted
 in the last few months of his life.  Without pretense,
he met heads of state wearing simple homespun clothing. 

The black marble slab marks the site of Gandhi’s
Indira Gandhi was not related at all to Mahatma Gandhi.
  She was the daughter of Prime Minister Nehru,
 who served during Mahatma Gandhi’s life.
  She was PM from 1966 to 1977, and then
again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984.
She was known for her political ruthlessness and
centralization of power.  She ruled by decree,
declaring war with Pakistan and nationalizing banking,
coal, copper, textiles, oil and insurance.