Our Leaders

 
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi   (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948)
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement. Pioneering the use of non-violent resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, a tool to fight for civil rights and freedom that he called satyagraha, he founded his doctrine of nonviolent protest to achieve political and social progress based upon ahimsa, or total nonviolence for which he is internationally renowned.Gandhi first employed non-violent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers in protesting excessive land-tax and discrimination. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women's rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, increasing economic self-reliance, but above all for achieving Swaraj—the independence of India from foreign domination. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in both South Africa and India. Gandhi strove to practice non-violence and truth in all situations, and advocated that others do the same. He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn he had hand spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertook long fasts as means of both self-purification and social protest.Gandhi was assassinated on 30 January 1948, by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist who felt Gandhi was sympathetic to the Muslims. January 30, hence is observed as Martyrs' Day in India.
   
 
Mother Teresa (26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997)
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu more commonly known as Mother Teresa, was born on 26 August 1910, in Üsküb, Ottoman Empire (now Skopje, capital of the Republic of Macedonia). Although she was born on 26 August, she considered 27 August, the day she was baptized, to be her "true birthday". She was the youngest of the children of a family from Shkodër, Albania, born to Nikollë and Drana Bojaxhiu. Her father, who was involved in Albanian politics, died in 1919 when she was eight years old. After her father's death, her mother raised her as a Roman Catholic.a Roman Catholic nun of Albanian ethnicity and Indian citizenship,who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, in 1950.  She left home at age 18 to join the Sisters of Loreto as a missionary.For over 45 years, she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity's expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries. Following her death, she was beatified by Pope John Paul II and given the title "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta" Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity at the time of her death had 610 missions in 123 countries including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children's and family counselling programmes, orphanages and schools. She received numerous awards including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, and the Bharat Ratna in 1980, but was also criticized for defects in her charity work. On 13 March 1997, she stepped down from the head of Missionaries of Charity. She died on 5 September 1997.
   
 
Che Guevara (June 14, 1928 – October 9, 1967)
Ernesto "Che" Guevara  commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist. Ernesto Guevara was born to Celia de la Serna y Llosa and Ernesto Guevara Lynch on June 14, 1928 in Rosario, Argentina, the eldest of five children in an Argentine family of Spanish, Basque and Irish descent. In lieu of his parents' surnames, his legal name (Ernesto Guevara) will sometimes appear with de la Serna, or Lynch accompanying it. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia within popular culture. As a young medical student, Guevara traveled throughout Latin America and was radically transformed by the endemic poverty and alienation he witnessed. His experiences and observations during these trips led him to conclude that the region's ingrained economic inequalities were an intrinsic result of capitalism, monopolism, neocolonialism, and imperialism, with the only remedy being world revolution. Later, while living in Mexico City, he met Raúl and Fidel Castro, joined their 26th of July Movement, and sailed to Cuba. Following the Cuban Revolution, Guevara performed a number of key roles in the new government. On October 8 1967, Guevara was encircled. "Do not shoot!” he shouted “I am Che Guevara and worth more to you alive than dead”. Then it is history.
Months earlier, during his last public declaration to the Tricontinental Conference,Guevara wrote his own epitaph, stating "Wherever death may surprise us, let it be welcome, provided that this our battle cry may have reached some receptive ear and another hand may be extended to wield our weapons."
"Che's life is an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom. We will always honor his memory."

Nelson Mandela