Mohandas Karamchand Gandi was one of the greatest leaders of India. Proclaimed a mahatma, which means "great soul," Gandi became an extremely influential leader of the Indian independence movement. For a decade, Gandi, himself a Hindu, was the Indian independence movement's leading planner, serving as a bridge between rivaling religious groups, the various Hindu castes, the workers in the fields, and the increasing Westerninzed upper middle class. Gandi felt that all men are brothers; he said that his soul was unsatisfied as long as it was the witness of a single wrong. Before his death, Gandhi effected peace in 1948 among Hindu, Muslim, Sikhs, and other religious groups.
Having read Henry David Thoreau's writings, Gandhi favored passive resistance, for he believed that acts of violence against the British rule only provoked negative reactions;in fact, he foresaw this passive resistance as the path to inducing the British government to reform. Later in his life, when he was on a hunger strike, he knew that his death would bring public condemnation upon the British government, a government that had decried dictatorship in Europe.