Monday, December 31, 2007

Gandhi who ??

Below are some talks with a few people I read on a blog: (Magazine - Views & Reviews)

Question: Mahatma Gandhi. We know him by several names. But how many us know about him?

a 10th standard girl from Chennai:

He must have done something right or his birthday wouldn't be a holiday for us every year

another kid from Chennai:

Mahatma Gandhi is the Father of our Nation. I don't know what that means but he was a great man. He was a great man because he was a very smart man. He was always walking with a long stick and told evil people not to fight with each other.

Gandhiji made Independence Day for India. When evil people came to India from England, he told them to go away and not to fight with us. But they broke all the rules. Gandhiji told not to fight but there was lot of fighting. And India was free.

I don't know Gandhiji's full name but he was born in India. A very evil man killed him. It was very long ago so I think he must have killed him with a bow and arrow. I know what Gandhiji looks like because I have seen him on books when I go to Landmark in Citi Centre. I have also seen him in Munnabhai.

more as follows:

Q: What was Gandhiji's full name?
A: (Long pause) Mohandas Gandhi... I think.

Q: How did he die?
A: He was shot.

Q: Who killed him?
A: Hm... don't know.

Q: Where was he born?
A: I used to know this... but no idea

Q: Did he die before Independence or after?
A: I'm going with after.

Q: What was the movement he was known for?
A: Non-violence movement?

Q: Wife's name?
A: Nope.

Q: Did he have children?
A: Yes.

Q: How do you know that?
A: Well, because everyone keeps talking about how Nehru's kid carried on his legacy but Gandhiji's did not.

Q: Watched any movies on Gandhi / about Gandhi?
A: Just the one starring Ben Kingsley a long time ago.

Q: In which city was Mahatma Gandhi born?
A: "Gujarat," says Madhusudhan. "I think the city was Kathiawar,"

Q: What was the date of his assassination?
A: Don't know.

Q: What was the name of his wife?
A: Don't know.

Homemaker, Hyderabad
Q: In which city was Mahatma Gandhi born?
A: Ahmedabad.

Q: What was the date of his assassination?
A: He was killed before India's Independence. I don't know the exact date.

Q: What was the name of his wife?
A: She used to be called Ba.

Sales Executive, Chennai

"Ok he did a lot for us and all but it's not like freedom got us anywhere... We're still a poor country. And was he the one responsible for our freedom anyway? I'm sure others also had something to do with it. So what's the hype about? And those women who were always with him. He was a sex maniac, wasn't he? Someone told me that, though I don't know the details."

Class 12 student, Chennai

"He was cool I guess. Did a lot for our country. Apparently he didn't have sex for some 50 years. Is that true? How come his wife didn't leave him? And how did that help us in getting our freedom? But yeah, he must have done something right or his birthday wouldn't be a holiday for us every year."

College student, Chennai
“Umm.. I don't know much about him. He was a great man I guess. They wouldn't have made him a saint and made so many statues of him otherwise. Sorry, my history sucks."

College student, Chennai
"He was a good guy. He did a lot for India and all that. He's like, he made like some very good policies like truth and non-violence and all. But I guess people don't care much about it, they don't follow his policies. I mean like, people lie all the time. But personally I feel he was a great guy."

Security Guard, Hyderabad
Q: In which city was Mahatma Gandhi born?
A: Don't know. I've seen Shankardada Zindabad (remake of Lage Raho Munnabhai, starring Chiranjeevi) twice, but I didn't pay attention to the details about Gandhiji. What I do know about him was that he preached non-violence.

Q: What was the date of his assassination?
A: Don't know.

Q: What was the name of his wife?
A: Don't know.

house wife from Trivandrum, Kerala

"I was 12 when I first heard about Mahatma Gandhi. Everyone in our locality respected him. Gandhiji's picture used to appear in currencies and coins. So I was sure that he must have done something great for the people of our country. Otherwise, why should people give him so much importance? But I still don't know what he did for us. We used to call him Gandhiappoppan (appoppan means grandfather in Malayalam). I have seen his pictures printed on wall posters during election campaigns. I don't know much about him."

(a westerner living in India)
"I have been living in India for the past 10 years and have a chain of hotels here. I also run the Children of the World India, a Chennai-based charity that gives free education to tsunami affected children.

I had heard about Gandhi even before I came to India as he's the most important figure in this century. I don't know his full name but I know that he was born in Gujarat. I have seen several documentaries on his life, so I know all about his life, his stay in South Africa. Just two weeks ago, I saw a documentary on Gandhi which was on the Internet, Gandhi: Pilgrim of Peace. It showd how there was an attempt on Gandhi's life one week before he was actually assassinated. And the attempt was made by none other than the brother of the man who finally assassinated him. I don't remember his name though. I have also watched Gandhi, My Father, the movie which was released some time ago.

What I remember most about Gandhi is that he stood for non-violence. And he made India independent through non-violent means. He was a very unconventional person as he took a different stance. Though he was against the Partition, he always tried to protect the rights of Muslims."

Okay, now my point: Even after all these hypes and twisted history lessons, people are not aware of Gandhiji, so, can you guys guess what they would be knowing about The Great Dharma, with so much of twisted views on our own heritage?

And looking at the above, we will have to ackowledge that, the last opinion by a European holds the most truth, he is aware of our history and people than the so called "Indians".

This is again concreting my views that unless we have our own education system, our own future lies in peril......

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