Mohandas Gandhi was born October 2, 1869 and belonged to the Bania caste. Some of the men in his family were prime ministers in the government. The family was Hindu by religion, and Gandhi's mother was very religious, making vows and observing fasts in which she would not eat for periods of time.Gandhi and his bride Kasturbai were married at age thirteen. Gandhi studied law at University College in London and became a barrister, a lawyer. He tried unsuccessfully to practice law in India, then he went to South Africa to work for a British firm. It was there he experienced prejudice for the first time. Due to this discrimination he became an advocate for the rights of all Indians. He had found his life's calling. In protest he did not fight, but rather resisted peacefully. He would use passive resistance to achieve his goals. He coined another word to describe his resistance. He called it Satyagraha , a word which means "truth + persistence".After he achieved his goals in South Africa he returned to India after spending more than twenty years in South Africa. Gandhi set out to obtain freedom for the people of India. The citizens had been oppressed for too long. In 1922 he was sentenced to six years in prison, but he became ill and was released after two years. The people called him "Mahatma" which means "great-souled". He went on a 21 day fast in Delhi in an effort to bring about changes. He defied the Salt Tax by picking up salt by the sea.He went on fasts to protest the treatment of people in India. During his lifetime Gandhi spent a total of 6 and 1/2 years in jail. On June 3, 1947 the country was divided into India and Pakistan. The Muslims fled to Pakistan. Thousands died of starvation. On January 30, 1948 a young Hindu radical shot and killed Gandhi . The whole world mourned his passing. He was 78 years old.