Gandhi led India to independence by campaigning for home rule through a policy of nonviolent, passive resistance. He emphasized noncooperation with British authorities, boycotts of British manufacturers and institutions, and negotiations to secure India's independence through peaceful means.Continue Reading
The political and sociological development of Gandhi's policy of civil disobedience began in South Africa where he campaigned against the discrimination and subjugation of the Indian population. Returning to India, he joined the Indian National Congress and began agitating for independence. Although he was frequently imprisoned, he remained steadfast in his commitment to nonviolence. In 1931, he attended the Round Table Conference in London but was disappointed with the results. Negotiating for British withdrawal from India as a price of Indian aid during World War II, he was instead imprisoned again by the British.
After the war, between 1945 and 1947, negotiations went on between the Congress Party, the Indian Muslim League and the British government regarding the terms of India's independence. Gandhi was greatly disappointed when the Indian Subcontinent was split into the two countries of India and Pakistan. He managed to stop subsequent rioting and bloodshed in Calcutta and Delhi through fasting. In January 1948, he was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic while on his way to a prayer meeting.Learn more about South Asia