Gandhi, Mahatma

[ (muh-haht-muh gahn-dee) ]

A political figure of the twentieth century in India; the leader of India's drive for independence from Britain. Gandhi used methods of passive resistance and nonviolent disobedience, such as boycotts and hunger strikes, to influence British rulers. He was assassinated in 1948, just after India secured its independence. The title mahatma means “great soul.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.