From: Heather Whipps,Live Science
Published September 8, 2008 09:43 AM

How Gandhi Changed the World

Each Monday, this column turns a page in history to explore the discoveries, events and people that continue to affect the history being made today.

He wasn't the first, nor would he be the last, but the wiry, bespectacled man from Gujarat is certainly the most famous of the world's peaceful political dissidents.

Mohandas Gandhi — also affectionately known as Mahatma — led India's independence movement in the 1930s and 40s by speaking softly without carrying much of a big stick, facing down the British colonialists with stirring speeches and non-violent protest. For his troubles, he's often named among the 20th century's most important figures and remains revered in India as a father of the nation.

More than anything else, historians say, Gandhi proved that one man has the power to take on an empire, using both ethics and intelligence. Other peaceful resisters such as Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960s civil rights movement and Tibet's Dalai Lama have emulated his methods in years since, shaking up the dynamic of world politics in the process.

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