Watching one of my favorite Oscar winning films “Gandhi” is enriching experience. Watch it once, you will be astounded & cannot end it without learning something new & going awe with the protagonist character. I didn’t know that Ben Kingsley who played Gandhi with such perfection had Gujarati roots from his father side.
Well, iam no expert or studied history. My info primarily comes from few books here & there especially from “Freedom At Midnight ” by Dominique Lapierre (must read super book) or film Gandhi. Or films on leaders who influenced by him viz Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela. We find so many getting inspired by him who subsequently inspired more. From Mandela to Jennifer Aniston (she tattooed Gandhis quotes on herself), from Lennox (Boxer) to Yasin Mallik (Ex Terrorist). While Churchill hated him, Charlie chaplin was nervous on opening conversation with him. Brand Gandhi is not Man of past but Man of Future .
He was also hyper clever. He was aware of British spies all over. He planned all his campaigns in such discreet manner, to this date , we couldn’t figure full extent. When he started Dandi March, British wondered what would it result in. Soon entire nation got united coz salt is basic ingredient & everyone gets effected by laws on salt. He kinda killed British with kindness. His methods were zero sum game. He saw that his opponents self respect is maintained & instilled love in enemies.
This man stitched the entire India into one identity & orchestrated the downfall of world power britain without firing a single shot. He understood complex disunited mindset of Indians & British rulers better than anyone. So many sought united force to throw British violently yet subdued by very Indian British Indian army or its famed informer network. Bagath to Bose heroic sacrifices hardly led to tectonic shift of masses. Masses were definitely inspired but resulting in localised influence or impact. Indians were too divided to be united or take risk of getting into uncomfortable zone.
He was master tactician. Backed by enormous spiritual courage & iron discipline. He walked the talk. He understood mindset of Indians as well as British. He knew weakness of both. He knew Indians were divided by multiple factors (Caste, language, region, religion to name few) & also understood British would crush any violent agitation ruthlessly with superior weaponry. He gave up his rich barrister practice & went around India connecting with ordinary people by being with then (like traveling in 3rd class ).
The film Gandhi was beautifully made & is available online. Please watch it. I understand many find him controversial . Isn’t any great acts or great.men.lives controversial. As man rises above ordinary & crosses extraordinaire status, stones are bound to be thrown. All while we question Him, I always wondered what did I do to change or my own contribution to society? Hardly a grain of sand