Gandhi Mohandes Karamchand, nicknamed Mahatma, which means “great soul”, was the most important Indian politician of this century and the chief of builder of Indian Independence in 1947. He studied in Britain for three years and became a lawyer. In London, he met writers and cultured figures who led simple lives and were vegetarians like him. They were idealist and believed cooperation was better than conflict. One of these was George Bernard Shaw, the famous Irish playwright. In fact it was in England that Gandhi first experienced the values of non violence that made him so important for India later.
In south Africa he knew racial discrimination existed, and he decided to fight to improve the situation. He became the spokesman for the Indian population in South Africa. In 1914 he returned to India and he began to work for his people. In 1919 the Amritsar Massacre, a consequence of the Indian rebellion against the British, gave Gandhi the ideal conditions in which to launch his ingenious campaign of non violent civil disobedience. As a consequence, in 1922 he was arrested and imprisoned. He was released in 1924 and for six years he did not take part in politics, event though, throughout the decade of the twenties, disorder communal riots, and strikes remained endemic in India. In 1930, he organised a Sayagraha, a non violent resistance against the salt tax, as a consequence, 60.000 people were arrested, He was again imprisoned and he began the first of his famous fasts. Finally, in 1947 India became independent. A year later, in 1948, Gandhi was assassinated by a young Hindu fanatic.