M.K. Gandhi – The Leader
As seen in the film ‘Gandhi’
The film ‘Gandhi’ traces the last fifty years of Mahatma Gandhi’s life, up until his assassination in 1948. The film traces not just Gandhi’s civil rights movement in South Africa, his freedom struggle in India, but also his personal journey from being a class-conscious, proud advocate to a clever, empathetic, and impactful thought leader.
We see various aspects of the old man throughout the movie that contribute towards building the brand ‘Gandhi’, only reinforcing the idea that leaders aren’t born, they are made. However, one would be amiss to not recognize that Gandhi possessed some innate qualities that made him “Mahatma Gandhi”. Some of these qualities like openness to experiences, thoughts and beliefs can be attributed to the upbringing he had received; others like his desire to experiment, his pursuit of truth, and his intrinsic need to push all boundaries; all this, of course, with the fact that he had been trained to be a lawyer – persuasion, and iron-clad arguments were his strong suit.
After being thrown off the first-class compartment of a train in South Africa, Gandhi got to know the plight of the “coloured” people in the country, and sought to mobilise the mass for equality. He took leadership here, burnt ID cards, and established an ashram in South Africa, even. This was the first of his experiments with civil rights and freedom, and what he learnt here was very valuable for the fight that was yet to come in India.
Once he got to India, he undertook an “India-darshan”,...