Mohandras Gandhi
Born in India in 1869 when it was under British rule, Mohandras Gandhi, who later was called by the honorary title "Mahatma," became perhaps the most influential man of his time.  As a young man, he studied to be a barrister in London and immersed himself in learning about different religions.  In 1893, he moved to Natal, South Africa and encountered – and fought -- the racial discrimination to which the Indian community was subjected.  While in South Africa, he developed the principles of Satyagraha, which used nonviolence and civil disobedience to attain political and social goals.  He returned to India in 1915.  Before long became the leader of the Indian movement for independence from Great Britain.  He used marches, fasts, and other nonviolent techniques to campaign, successfully, for independence.  During this time, he was frequently arrested, and spent years in prison.  He would always emerge more powerful than ever in the eyes of his people. The man who turned away from violence and promoted a program of tolerance for all religions was assassinated by a Hindu extremist in 1948. 
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