Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement. A pioneer of satyagraha, or resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience a philosophy firmly founded upon ahimsa, or total nonviolence Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Gandhi is often referred to as Mahatma or "Great Soul. In India, he is also called Bapu and officially honoured as the Father of the Nation. His birthday, 2 October, is conmorated, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence.