Kasturbai Kapadia (Born: April 11, 1869, Porbandar, Gujarat-Died: February 22, 1944, Pune, Maharashtra) was the first and the only wife of Mahatma Gandhi. After marriage with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Kasturbai Kapadia got the name, Kasturba Gandhi. Kasturba Gandhi was born on 11 April 1869 in the Porbandar city of Gujarat. She was a few months older than Mahatma Gandhi, who was born on 2nd October 1869 in the same town. Kasturba Gandhi was born to Gokuldas Kapadia and Vrajkunwar. Father of Kasturba Gandhi, Shri Gokuldas was a leading merchant of cloth and grains. Kasturba Kapadia had two brothers.
Name of Mahatma Gandhi’s wife
Father and the family of Kasturba Gandhi were known to the father of Mahatma Gandhi and both men were good friends. In order to convert this friendship into a relationship, they decided to marry their children. Child marriage was a common practice in 19th century India. The children were engaged at the age of 7 years. At the age of 13 years, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Kasturba Kapadia were married in the year 1882 according to the Gujarati customs and Hindu rituals. After her marriage with Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi moved to the house of Gandhi. The wife of Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba had received no schooling prior to her marriage with Gandhi. However, Gandhi was determined to educate her wife and he was successful in his endeavour when she completed her elementary schooling.
Kasturba Gandhi and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi welcomed their first child in the year 1885. However, this child died soon after his birth. In the upcoming years, the couple had four more children, all of whom were sons.
The Satyagrahi Kasturba Gandhi:
It was practically impossible for a person like Kasturba, who was directly attached to Mahatma Gandhi, to remain unaffected by the Satyagraha. Mahatma Gandhi started his political activities in South Africa and Kasturba was also involved with Gandhi when she helped the Mahatma to establish Phoenix settlement near Durban in South Africa in the year 1904.
After a long and challenging political activism in South Africa, Gandhi with his wife Kasturba returned to India and started taking interest in Indian affairs. The commitment of Kasturba Gandhi towards the cause of India’s freedom struggle was complete and was not due to Mahatma Gandhi only. She underwent jail terms many times during the freedom struggle.
However, apart from all this, she remained a simple, courageous and spiritual woman. Kasturba Gandhi died at 07:30 pm on 22 February 1944 while she was detained in the Aga Khan Palace by the British government. Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi shared life for almost 62 years.