Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was one of the most eminent leaders of the Indian national struggle. Gandhi's method of gaining freedom from the British was based upon non-violence and non-cooperation. Born in Gujarat in 1869, he completed his law education in London and then traveled to South Africa on a year long contract to practice law. As an activist he first gained prominence in South Africa, where he employed his method of nonviolent civil disobedience for fighting for the rights of
the resident Indian community there. Once he returned to India from South Africa, he went about the country organising protests against excessive tax and discrimination. Gandhi's direct involvement into politics began in the year 1921 when he joined the Indian National Congress. While Gandhi at different moments carried out agitations for women empowerment, uplift of untouchables and peace between different religious groups, the cause he fought for most fervently was that of Swaraj (independence). He employed the first phase of the non-cooperation movement in the year 1920 demanding self-government from the British. However the movement was largely unsuccessful. In March 1930, Gandhi launched the famous satyagraha against excessive salt tax, highlighted by the march to Dandi. The march was a significant moment in weakening British rule in India. Gandhi's final and most definitive call to the British came in the form of the Quit India movement, which he launched in August 1942. Gandhi's call for British withdrawal was followed by mass arrests of Congress leaders. By the end of World War II however, the British declared that power would be transferred to Indian hands. Thus, in August 1947 independence was granted to the country, but it came at the cost of Gandhi's vision of religious unity.