Widely considered the father of independent India, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 under British rule in India and grew to become one of the most iconic civil rights leaders in the world. After spending his life working for social justice and leading India to independence, Gandhi was assassinated in 1948 at the age of 78 by an Indian nationalist who believed he was too passive. Gandhi’s birthday is now a national holiday in India and celebrated world wide with the International Day of Non-Violence.

See the slide show of Gandhi’s birthday celebration in India at Mercury News.