Mahatma Gandhi was a key figure in the campaign for Indian independence from Britain. During that time period, there was much racism directed at the native Indian population by the British occupiers and Indians were severely repressed and mistreated. The racism extended into politics with racially based laws. This included a law that allowed any Indian to be jailed without any legal trial or defense for sedition. This law was used to jail anyone deemed "inconvenient" as the defense of an Indian against the word of one of the British was nearly impossible whether it was true or not. These factors, along with a love of peace and truth, sparked Gandhi's desire for freedom for India.
He is most known for his use of non-violent methods of protests in the belief that truth could not be arrived at through violent measures. His methods of protest included non-cooperation with the British, or encouraging people not to work for british employers or consume british goods. He also believed that freedom could not exist unless everyone was equal, and in the spirit of this belief went on a hunger strike when hostilities between the Hindu and Muslim population erupted.