Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on Oct. 2, 1869, in Porbandar, near Bombay When I was 19 I WENT abroad to study. I studied law at University College in London. . Fellow students USE TO snuB ME because I was an Indian. In MY lonely hours I studied philosophy. In MY reading I discovered the principle of nonviolence as enunciated in Henry David Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience," and I was persuaded by John Ruskin's plea to give up industrialism for farm life and traditional handicrafts--ideals similar to many Hindu religious ideas. .
In 1891 I returned to India. Unsuccessful in Bombay, I went to South Africa in 1893. IN Natal I was the first so-called "colored" lawyer admitted to the supreme court. I then built a large practice. .
MY interest soon turned to the problem of fellow Indians who had come to South Africa as laborers. I had seen how they were treated as inferiors in India, in England, and then in South Africa. In 1894 I founded the Natal Indian Congress to agitate for Indian rights. Yet I remained loyal to the British Empire. In 1899, during the Boer War, I raised an ambulance corps and served the South African government. In 1906 I gave aid against the Zulu revolt. .
Later in 1906, however, I began MY peaceful revolution. I declared I would go to jail or even die before obeying an anti-Asian law. Thousands of Indians joined ME in this civil disobedience campaign. I was imprisoned twice. Yet in World War I I again organized an ambulance corps for the British before returning home to India in 1914. .
writings and devout life won ME a mass of Indian followers. They followed ME almost blindly in MY campaign for swaraj, or "home rule." I worked to reconcile all classes and religious sects, especially Hindus and Muslims. In 1919 I became a leader in the newly formed Indian National Congress political party. In 1920 I launched a noncooperation campaign against Britain, urging Indians to spin their own cotton and to boycott British goods, courts, and government.