Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in the town
of Porbander in the state of what is now Gujarat on 2 October 1869. He
had his schooling in nearby Rajkot, where his father served as the adviser
or prime minister to the local ruler. Though India was then under British
rule, over 500 kingdoms, principalities, and states were allowed autonomy
in domestic and internal affairs: these were the so-called 'native states'.
Rajkot was one such state. Gandhi later recorded the early years of his life in his extraordinary
autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth. His
father died before Gandhi could finish his schooling, and at thirteen
he was married to Kasturba [or Kasturbai],
who was of the same age as Mohandas himself . In 1888 Gandhi set sail for England, where he had
decided to pursue a degree in law. Though his elders objected, Gandhi
could not be prevented from leaving; and it is said that his mother, a
devout woman, made him promise that he would keep away from wine, women,
and meat during his stay abroad. Gandhi left behind his son Harilal, then
a few months old.