Timeline Description: Mohandas Gandhi was a leader for Indian civil rights and was the face of India's push for independence from British control. While in South Africa, Gandhi became acquainted with the methods of peaceful resistance and his methods continue to influence people today. Gandhi was the victim of religious violence after India's independence and was assassinated in 1948.
|October 2, 1869||Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is born in Porbandar, India.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is born in Porbandar on the northwest coast of India. His parents are not educated but are well off compared to others in their village, which allows them to provide a good education for their son.
|May 1883||Gandhi marries Kasturbai Makhanji in an arranged marriage.
At the age of 13, Gandhi marries 14 year-old Kasturbai Makhanji. Following the customs of their region, the children are part of an arranged marriage. They will have four children together.
|September 4, 1888||Gandhi goes to London to enter law school.
Gandhi begins studies at University College London. He studies Indian law and also joins the Vegetarian Society while there. Gandhi avoids eating meat or drinking alcohol throughout his life.
|June 1891||Gandhi returns to India to start his career as a lawyer.
After completing his studies, Gandhi returns to India to start a law practice in Bombay. However, too shy to speak up in court, Gandhi's attempts to be a lawyer fail and he accepts various other jobs in legal firms.
|April 1893||Gandhi goes to South Africa to work for a Muslim Indian law firm.
Gandhi agrees to travel to South Africa to help a Muslim Indian law firm with a lawsuit. He is shocked by the racial discrimination he finds there when he learns he is not allowed to travel in the first class section of the train. The trip becomes a major turning point for him as he devotes his life to the pursuit of equality and justice.
|Spring 1894||Gandhi decides to stay in South Africa.
The day he is due to return to India, Gandhi learns about a bill that would deny Indians the right to vote. With no opposition to it, Gandhi's friends convince him to stay for another month to fight the bill. Gandhi ends up staying in South Africa for 20 years.
|1896||Gandhi publishes "The Green Pamphlet."
Gandhi writes a pamphlet about the discrimination Indians face in South Africa. Great Britain, which controls South Africa, believes that "The Green Pamphlet" is an anti-government document and begins to view Gandhi as a troublemaker.
|December 1896||Gandhi is refused entry into South Africa.
Realizing that he is going to be staying in South Africa, Gandhi returns to Bombay to get his wife and children so he can bring them to South Africa. When their ship arrives at Port Natal in South Africa, a mob of angry white men, angry that he is stirring up trouble among the Indians, refuse to let Gandhi's family into the country. A local police superintendent helps Gandhi and his family leave the ship safely and he refuses to press charges on the mob.
|September 1906||Gandhi asks the Indian community of South African to refuse to comply with the Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act.
When the Transvaal government announces that all Indians must register and produce identification on demand or risk deportation, Gandhi asks Indians to peacefully resist. The Indians agree, setting off seven years of protest and struggle between the Indians and government.
|January 1908||Gandhi is arrested for the first time.
Among the first to see the court magistrate for his refusal to register with the government in South Africa, Gandhi is arrested and spends all of his time in prison reading. When he is arrested later that year, he reads "Civil Disobedience" by Henry David Thoreau and is even more committed to peaceful resistance.
|1913||Gandhi is given the title Mahatma.
Rabindranath Tagore, and Indian poet and Nobel Laureate, refers to Gandhi for the first time as Mahatma. The title means "Great Soul" and is given by Hindus to only the holiest men. Gandhi is not fond of it because he believes all souls are equal.
|January 26, 1930||Gandhi publishes the Declaration of Independence of India.
Having returned to India as a hero in 1915, Gandhi leads the movement to break away from Great Britain. He publishes the Declaration of Independence of India, representing the Indian National Congress, and makes his case for Indian independence.
|March 1930||Gandhi leads the Salt March in India.
Forced to buy salt only from Britain, Gandhi protests the monopoly by leading the Salt March from Sabermanti to the Arabian Sea, 240 miles away. Gandhi led tens of thousands of people by the time they reached the sea, where they defied the law by making their own salt. Protests break out all across India and 60,000 are arrested, including Gandhi.
|August 15, 1947||Great Britain grants India and Pakistan their independence.
Calling it the "noblest act of the British nation," Gandhi celebrates India's independence from England. Unfortunately, the celebration does not last when hundreds of thousands of people die as the result of violence between the Muslims of Pakistan and the Hindus of India.
|January 30, 1948||Gandhi is assassinated in New Delhi.
Gandhi is approached by Nathuram Vinayuk Godse, a Hindu nationalist. Gandhi blesses him and the man then shoots and kills him for being too sympathetic to the Muslims. Godse is wrong in his belief that killing Gandhi will lead to war that will eliminate Muslims. Instead, mourning over Gandhi's death leads to peace.