Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (; Hindustani: [ˈmoːɦəndaːs ˈkərəmtʃənd ˈɡaːndʱi] ( listen); 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahātmā (Sanskrit: "high-souled", "venerable") – applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa – is now used worldwide. In India, he is also called Bapu (Gujarati: endearment for father, papa) and Gandhi ji, and known as the Father of the Nation.Born and raised in a Hindu merchant caste family in coastal Gujarat, India, and trained in law at the Inner Temple, London, Gandhi first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for various social causes and for achieving Swaraj or self-rule.
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The acquisition of the spirit of nonresistance is a matter of long training in self-denial and appreciation of the hidden forces within ourselves. . . . It puts different values upon things and upsets previous calculations. . . . It is the greatest force because it is the highest expression of the soul.
I should love to satisfy all, if I possibly can; but in trying to satisfy all, I may be able to satisfy none. I have, therefore, arrived at the conclusion that the best course is to satisfy one's own conscience and leave the world to form its own judgment, favorable or otherwise.
Christ didn't say, "Love humanity as thyself," but, "Love thy neighbor as thyself," and do you know why? Because your neighbor, by definition, is the person nearby, the man sitting next to you in the underground who smells, perhaps, the man next to you in the queue who maybe tries to barge ahead of you; in short, your neighbor is the person who threatens your own liberty.
The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence and back into bondage.