Mohandas Gandhi, given the title Mahatma meaning "Great Soul", was an Indian political figure who played a crucial role in the Indian independence movement.
Gandhi was a lawyer and lived for a time in South Africa where he worked for the rights of Indian immigrants to that colony. He returned home to India and became involved in the independence movement. Gandhi, who was heavily influenced by Hindu religion, lead numerous protests against British rule, and became perhaps the most important figure in the independence movement. One of Gandhi's important innovation was satyagraha, or non violent resistance. Gandhi did not believe innviolence and asked his followers to use noncompliance and peaceful protest to force the British to confront the moral error of their ways. In 1948, shortly after independence, Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu nationalist who objected to his acceptance of Muslims.