Gandhiji or Mahatma Gandhi, Father of Nation
He was christened Mohandas. He signed his name as M.K. Gandhi, but in full it was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. (He was the third son of the state's divan (Prime Minister) Karamchand Gandhi and Putlibai). He preferred being called 'Gandhiji'. For India, officially, he is the Father of Nation, and is fondly called 'Bapu' ('father', in Gujarati). Tagore the poet called him reverentially 'Mahatma' (to mean 'Great Soul' in Sanskrit and almost all other languages in India), and the honorific title stuck and for the whole world he became Mahatma Gandhi, the spiritual leader who helped to win the freedom back to India from the hands of the British colonialists through a non-violent struggle of resistance, the modern apostle of non-violence, amity and peace, and a role model for morality in public life. And when he was felled in a Free India by the bullets of a Hindu fanatic who felt Gandhi was a supporter of the Muslims, Einstein, the great scientist and humanist, paid his tributes thus: "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the Earth in flesh and blood." From The British George Bernard Shaw who rejected the award of a Nobel Prize to the French Romain Rolland who accepted it had held Gandhi in high esteem. Gandhi's martyrdom was the pinnacle of the several sacrifices he offered for the principles he held sacred. It was on January 30, 1948 that he fell. His country had become independent months before, in August 1947, but the country was partitioned into Pakistan and India. The irony was that the Hindus and the Muslims would not live in peace, and they continued their rioting. When Indian National Leaders were celebrating the dawn of freedom in Delhi, Gandhi, the architect of freedom, was in Bengal, trying to quell the rioting. And finally, he had to begin his fast against the rioting and for the ending of the riots. The riots stopped, and the fast ended, but Gandhi was assassinated before long, by those who thought he was siding with the Muslims!