What Is Mohandas Gandhi Famous For?

Mohandas Gandhi is famous for creating a doctrine of non-violent protest to achieve political and social progress. Gandhi's leadership lead to India's independence, and he is considered the father of India.

Gandhi was the leader of the nationalist movement against British rule in India in the early 1900s. According to BBC History, Gandhi was appalled by the treatment of Indians in Durban, South Africa where he worked as a lawyer. He developed the philosophy satyagraha, his "devotion to truth." At the time, satyagraha was a novel method of fighting injustice; it is a non-violent way to bring change. Gandhi developed this way of thinking from various sources, such as Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, and the writings of Tolstoy and Thoreau.

When Gandhi later returned to India, British rulers enacted the Rowlatt Acts that enabled authorities to jail people accused of sedition. Gandhi's program of peaceful non-cooperation with the British included boycotts of British goods and institutions. Thousands were arrested. Gandhi, himself, was jailed for many years throughout his life. Over time, however, word of Gandhi's philosophies spread, and his ideas attracted followers. With Gandhi's leadership, India became an independent nation. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. later invoked Gandhi's methods in the 1960s when King protested human rights violations and other injustices in the United States.