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Biography

Early life and background

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi[19] was born on 2 October 1869[20] into an Indian Gujarati Hindu Modh Baniya family[21] in Porbandar (also known as Sudamapuri), a coastal town on the Kathiawar Peninsula and then part of the small princely state of Porbandar in the Kathiawar Agency of the Indian Empire. His father, Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi (1822–1885), served as the diwan (chief minister) of Porbandar state.[22]

Although he only had an elementary education and had previously been a clerk in the state administration, Karamchand proved a capable chief minister.[23] During his tenure, Karamchand married four times. His first two wives died young, after each had given birth to a daughter, and his third marriage was childless. In 1857, Karamchand sought his third wife’s permission to remarry; that year, he married Putlibai (1844–1891), who also came from Junagadh,[23] and was from a Pranami Vaishnava family.[24][25][26][27] Karamchand and Putlibai had three children over the ensuing decade: a son, Laxmidas (c. 1860–1914); a daughter, Raliatbehn (1862–1960); and another son, Karsandas (c. 1866–1913)