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He was not one of those saints who are marked out by their phenomenal piety from childhood onwards, nor one of the other kind who forsake the world after sensational debaucheries. He makes full confession of the misdeeds of his youth, but in fact there is not much to confess. Almost from childhood onwards he had a deep earnestness, an attitude ethical rather than religious, but, until he was about thirty, no very definite sense of direction. His first entry into anything describable as public life was made by way of vegetarianism.
Underneath his less ordinary qualities one feels all the time the solid middle-class businessmen who were his ancestors. One feels that even after he had abandoned personal ambition he must have been a resourceful, energetic lawyer and a hard-headed political organizer, careful in keeping down expenses, an adroit handler of committees and an indefatigable chaser of subscriptions. Whether he was also a lovable man, and whether his teachings can have much for those who do not accept the religious beliefs on which they are founded, I have never felt fully certain.
Of late years it has been the fashion to talk about Gandhi as though he were not only sympathetic to the Western Left-wing movement, but were integrally part of it. Anarchists and pacifists, in particular, have claimed him for their own, noticing only that he was opposed to centralism and State violence and ignoring the other-worldly, anti-humanist tendency of his doctrines. They make sense only on the assumption that God exists and that the world of solid objects is an illusion to be escaped from.
It is worth considering the disciplines which Gandhi imposed on himself and which — though he might not insist on every one of his followers observing every detail — he considered indispensable if one wanted to serve either God or humanity. First of all, no meat-eating, and if possible no animal food in any form. Gandhi himself, for the sake of his health, had to compromise on milk, but seems to have felt this to be a backsliding.
Secondly, if possible, no sexual intercourse. If sexual intercourse must happen, then it should be for the sole purpose of begetting children and presumably at long intervals. Gandhi himself, in his middle thirties, took the vow of brahmacharya, which means not only complete chastity but the elimination of sexual desire. This condition, it seems, is difficult to attain without a special diet and frequent fasting. One of the dangers of milk-drinking is that it is apt to arouse sexual desire. And finally — this is the cardinal point — for the seeker after goodness there must be no close friendships and no exclusive loves whatever.
Mohandas K. Gandhi: The Indian Leader at Home and Abroad
This is unquestionably true. This again is true, and it marks the point at which the humanistic and the religious attitude cease to be reconcilable. To an ordinary human being, love means nothing if it does not mean loving some people more than others. The autobiography leaves it uncertain whether Gandhi behaved in an inconsiderate way to his wife and children, but at any rate it makes clear that on three occasions he was willing to let his wife or a child die rather than administer the animal food prescribed by the doctor. It is true that the threatened death never actually occurred, and also that Gandhi — with, one gathers, a good deal of moral pressure in the opposite direction — always gave the patient the choice of staying alive at the price of committing a sin: still, if the decision had been solely his own, he would have forbidden the animal food, whatever the risks might be.
There must, he says, be some limit to what we will do in order to remain alive, and the limit is well on this side of chicken broth.
Famous People Lessons: English Lesson on Mohandes Mahatma Gandhi
This attitude is perhaps a noble one, but, in the sense which — I think — most people would give to the word, it is inhuman. No doubt alcohol, tobacco, and so forth, are things that a saint must avoid, but sainthood is also a thing that human beings must avoid. There is an obvious retort to this, but one should be wary about making it. It is doubtful whether this is true. Many people genuinely do not wish to be saints, and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings.
The point is that they are incompatible. Its motive was religious, but he claimed also for it that it was a definitive technique, a method, capable of producing desired political results. Two scenes near the end of the film illustrate his outsized effect on humanity: In one scene, Nehru flies into a rage when he encounters a group of Hindu nationalists shouting "Death to Gandhi! He forgets who he is and the true power that he has and all he can think of is this man that he loves.
In another, as Gandhi lies starving during the partition violence, a Hindu man begs him for forgiveness. The man explains that he killed a young Muslim boy in retaliation for the killing of his own son. Gandhi tells the man to find another young Muslim boy and raise him as his own. Today, of course, 33 years after Ebert's review, this is the Gandhi that the world knows. But should we also remember that Gandhi had a temper, was prone to infidelity, and, maybe worst of all, had trouble thinking pragmatically?
As the partition seems inevitable, Gandhi pleads with Jinnah, saying, "Muslim and Hindu are the right and left eye of India. No one will be slave, no one master.
I am talking about the real world. Violence engulfs the subcontinent and ends Gandhi's life. Still, Gandhi's legacy remains unimpeachable. And perhaps humanity needs god-like figures like King, Mandela, and Gandhi to spur us to be compassionate and courageous in the face of violence and injustice. In a lot of ways, the Indian subcontinent and the rest of the world remain as dark and foreboding as they were in the first half of the 20th century. A figure like Gandhi, however, gives us hope that change can happen and Attenborough and Kingsley's work certainly is an inspiring illustration of this.
Does humanity need deified leaders like Gandhi, King, and Mandela for inspiration?
Is there more value in seeing these figures as human being with faults? Should we look past the personal faults and indiscretions of our political leaders? Can the private and public life truly be separated? What are the limits of nonviolence and civil disobedience?
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How should pacifists react to an impending genocide or the invasion of a sovereign state? Does Gandhi share some of the blame for the partition and the ensuing violence? Was he too accomodating to Jinnah and the Muslim leaders? Was Jinnah right to say that partition was inevitable because "the world is not made of Mahatma Gandhis"? Did he incite divisions among the Hindus and the Muslims for an ulterior motive?
Some argue that India ultimately benefited from colonialism because it adopted democracy and a Western legal system. Is this argument valid? What would the Indian subcontintent look like today if it had never been ruled by the United Kingdom? At one point Gandhi said, "We have come a long way together with the British. When they leave we want to see them off as friends. Visiting Mahatma Gandhi, Rev. In this fascinating excerpt from his travel diary he records his visit with Mahatma Gandhi, who is very welcoming and gracious, but skeptical.
Carnegie Council, originally published in January as part of Notes by the Way , republished April I define moral leadership as such because the annals of history, though saturated with the exploits of leaders seeking fame or power, are shaped by the work of those who defiantly held onto their ideals, no matter the political cost. Book Review: Colored Cosmopolitanism: The Shared Struggle for Freedom in the United States and India Andreas Rekdal , Carnegie Council "South Asians and African Americans learned from each other in ways that not only advanced their respective struggles for freedom but helped define what freedom could and should mean," argues historian Nico Slate in his debut book.
Book review, July He cofounded the Serbian youth movement Otpor! Ethics Matter, December Video, audio, transcript, TV show. Having a source of inspiration, a strong mentor and positive peers hold great importance for those in pursuit of a business dream. A mother came to Gandhi complaining that her son ate too much sugar and asked him to say or do something to inspire the child to give up the substance. She felt the boy would listen to Gandhi as the child idolised him.
When they returned, Gandhi spoke directly to the child. It is bad for your health. The mother asked why he had not said that two weeks ago. Gandhi believed so much in integrity that he would not counsel anything he did not do himself. How can entrepreneurs be successful if their values are not kept at the forefront of their minds? Good entrepreneurs are guided by a core belief that becomes their lodestar, the benchmark that gives them a standard they will not allow to be lowered.
In order to reach the mass of the Indian population, which is divided by state and language, Gandhi made sure that any changes taking place in the country were communicated across the nation, state by state, through regional language newspapers. This meant that most families could keep in touch with what was happening across the country, since there was always someone; someone in their house, in their street, or in their village, who could read.
Getting the message to the common man- the man or woman who forms the bulk of the Indian population- is what Gandhi mastered.