He went to South Africa in 1893, where he developed his politics of peaceful protests and struggled to obtain basic rights for Indian immigrants who lived there and who suffered from racism. He founded the Natal Indian Congress to agitate for Indian rights in 1894.
He was the country's first "coloured" lawyer to be admitted to the bar. However, he was sent to jail twice because he didn't obey to anti-Asian laws.
In 1914 he returned to India where he lauched a campaign of peaceful non-cooperation with the British authorities which included boycotts of British goods and institutions, like courts and government. Besides, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women's rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability and increasing economic self-reliance. He was imprisioned again from 1922 to 1924.
India finally won independence in 1947. Unfortunately, one year later on 30 January 1948, Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu nationalist who thought Gandhi was too sympathetic to India's Muslims.
During his lifetime he lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, he was a dedicated vegetarian and he sought to practice non-violence and truth in all situations, and advocated that others do the same.
He is known in India as the Father of the Nation. His birthday, 2 October, is commemorated there as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and world-wide as the International Day of Non-Violence.