Gandhi, Mohandas

M.K. Gandhi (1869-1948) was one of the great religious leaders and social reformers of the 20th century. He came to be called Mahatma, the “Great Soul.” Born in western India in Gujarat, he studied law in London and then spent twenty years with the Indian diaspora community in South Africa, where he began his work of non-violent social change. Returning to India, he was a leader in the movement for independence from England, again resorting to non-violence, which he called satyagraha, “holding fast to Truth.” His ashrams included people of all religions and castes, including untouchables, and were models of a society where such divisions could be overcome.