Mahatma (from the Sanskrit language, meaning highly regarded or celestial (from heaven)) is one of the most influential individuals in the world to date. Ghandi (his surname) is what most people call him or remember him by. His official name, however, is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, and he was born on October 2, 1869. This day is now celebrated as the International Day of Non-violence.
He was key in leading non-violent protests in South Africa from 1893 to 1914. It was in the final year that he was given the nickname “Mahatma,” for all of his selfless work in trying to help others in the nation’s civil rights movement. Following his stint in South Africa, he returned to his homeland to help with the independence movement. Being a trained lawyer, he had great interest in the rights of others, with his most important beliefs being in love and truth.
Major historical events like the Dandi Salt March in 1930 (to protest the heavy taxes on salt from Britain) and the Quit India protest in 1942 (a final major plea in the movement for India’s independence) were successful in large part to his participation as a leader and his belief in non-violence in achieving important goals.