A man of love, born on this day in Porbandar, India, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948), led the Indian nationalist movement and was later known as Mahatma ("great soul").
"We must be the change we wish to see in the world," he said.
Change the world, he did. Dedicating his life to Indian independence and Hindu-Moslem cooperation, he did more than anyone else in history to advance the practice of nonviolent resistance and non-cooperation, inspiring Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others.
"My life is my message," said the great spiritual leader who lived his life with the celebration of truth.
With the establishment of the Satyagraha ("steadfastness in truth") League in 1919, he taught that the way people behaved mattered more than what they achieved.
"Non-violent revolution is not a program of seizure of power," he said. "It is a program of transformation of relationships, ending in a peaceful transfer of power."
In 1920, Gandhi began a hand spinning and weaving program to promote social, political, and economic freedom. He also fought to improve the status of the lowest classes of Indian society, the casteless Untouchables whom he called harijans ("children of God").
"Think of the poorest person you have ever seen," said Gandhi, "and ask if your next act will be of any use to him."
Repeatedly imprisoned for his boycotts, he resorted to hunger strikes of civil disobedience that eventually led to his country's independence in 1947 after two and half centuries of British rule.
One of history's greatest teachers, Albert Einstein once wrote of Gandhi: "Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."More GANDHI Quotations