Gandhi – one word, one name, one person and finally one nation. Gandhi is one of the few leaders who gave direction to Indian people and were instrumental in India’s struggle for freedom.

Born on 2nd October 1869 in a trader’s home, Gandhi was a very shy person by nature and had great difficulties in standing in front of a crowd and deliver a five minutes speech.

Probably the best thing about him was the way he was able to communicate with the 40 odd million Indians at that time. In those times, media was underdeveloped; there was no internet, television or radio access to the masses of the vast Indian continent. The media was heavily regulated and controlled by the British Empire. Yet he was able to communicate effectively to the 40 odd million Indians spread sporadically over the Indian subcontinent. Even today without the help of modern telecommunication techniques, no world leader can expect to be as effective.

He was shot dead by Nathu Ram Godsey on 30th January 1948 in Birla Mandir at Delhi and an era came to an end.

There have been many accounts of Gandhi’s life but personally I think Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins captures Gandhi the best. They analyze Gandhi very rationally in light of all the evidence they could collect after talking to lot of people including Lord Mountbatten. This book is a must read for anyone remotely interested in India and its struggle for freedom.

In the end, here is a quote from GandhiJi himself ...
Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever.

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