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Mohandas Gandhi


Birth: October 2, 1869, Porbandar, India

Death: Assassinated by a Hindu fanatic, January 30, 1948, Delhi, India

Early Influences:

  • Mother's religion was Jainism which espoused non-violence
  • Father was a Chief Minister in Porbandar
  • Married at age 13 to Kasturbai Makanji
  • Faced racial discrimination in South Africa while practicing law


  • Studied law in London
  • Called to the bar in 1891
  • While in London, came into contact with people of many other cultures and religions

Major Accomplishments:

  • Developed satyagraha or nonviolent resistance while in South Africa
  • Dominant figure in the Indian National Congress after 1922
  • Worked to improve the conditions of the Untouchables which he called harijans or 'Children of God'
  • His nonviolent tactics were a major force leading to India's independence from Britain in 1947


  • Became the leader of a Nonviolent movement to free India
  • Became known as Mahatma or 'The Great Soul'.
  • Fought for peace between Hindus and Muslims throughout India
  • Became a symbol of nonviolence for the world at large
  • His tactics were later adopted and used by Martin Luther King, Jr. to gain equality for African-Americans


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