Mahatma Gandhi - Pilgrim Of Peace (2005)

Biography Channel

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Mahatma Gandhi - Pilgrim Of Peace

His pacifist philosophy brought one of the world's great powers to its knees. He proved that violence is not the only road to change.

Mahatma Gandhi's life was a study in contrast and paradox. He saw himself as doing God's work, yet recognized only personal conscience as the highest authority. He was a charismatic leader of millions who confounded intellectuals. He took a vow of abstinence, but in old age welcomed young women into his bed! BIOGRAPHY® profiles the small man who took a great nation on his shoulders and changed the world. Trace his rise to power and fearless campaign of truth, non-violence and non-cooperation with injustice that defeated the British Empire. Biographers offer insight into his surprising personal life, while historians explore his remarkable accomplishments. Hear from his grandson, Arun Gandhi, and, in a rare interview, the Dalai Lama reflects on Gandhi's incredible life and enduring legacy.

From the formation of his philosophy to changing the face of the world, this is the complete saga of the Pilgrim of Peace Mahatma Gandhi.


Mahatma Gandhi: Pilgrim of Peace - An A&E Biography

Questions to ponder

*Why is he called Mahatma, “Great Soul”? What Hindu ideas does this title reflect?

*Gandhi saw his life as “an experiment with Truth.” What do you think truth meant for Gandhi in a Hindu


*What reasons did Gandhi come to be seen as a saint? What elements of traditional Hinduism adopted by Gandhi

might have contributed to his saintly status?

*What does Bikhu Parekh mean in saying that “the Mahatma was born” on the Gandhi was thrown off the train?

*Why did Gandhi consider partition and the resulting Hindu-Muslim violence his personal failure?

*What does Bikhu Parekh mean when he states that Gandhi “atoned” for Indians?

*What might have motivated Gandhi’s Hindu assassin?

*What does Gandhi’s dying word, “Rama” tell us about his Hindu background?-

Childhood and early years

*Mohandas K. Gandhi, born 1869 in Gujarat, west India.

*Mother early influence, fasted “for God”. Father politician

*Married age 13 to girl of same age

*Age 16 father dies, blames himself for lack of “duty” (dharma)

*Age 17 leaves family to law school in London, experiences British culture firsthand *Returns to India but too shy

to practice law

In South Africa

*Age 24 tries to ride train 1st class in South Africa, brutally thrown off, experiences epiphany about racism against

Indians under colonial rule

*This experience “most creative night of his life;” decides to resist British domination of Indians in South Africa,

begins to mobilize community movements in South Africa

*1906 witnesses atrocities of British-Zulu wars, personal commitment to non-violence strenghthened

*Age 37 takes vow of celibacy

*Begins new campaign against anti-Indian British laws forbidding Hindu-Muslim marriage:

-Vows to god to go to jail until laws repealed, South African Indians make vow with him

-Beginning of Indian civil disobedience movement

-Develops idea of satyagraha, the “pursuit of truth”

-Begins to integrate non-violence with political resistance

-Promotes women’s participation in strikes against marriage laws

In India

*1915 age 45 returns to an India of 300,000,000 Indians ruled by 100,000 British

*Anti-British sentiment strong as Gandhi returned to India

*1919 Amritsar massacre sparks violent conflict between Indians and British; Gandhi seeks non-violent response

*1920’s Promotes self-reliance by using Indian clothing, burns foreign cloth; Spent one hour each day spinning yarn

as symbolic connection to Indian population

*1930 British levy on salt: illegal for Indians to produce and sell salt

*Salt march: begins with 80 followers on 230 mile march to ocean to, ends with 100,000s; forces negotiations with


*Travels on publicity campaign to England, has audience with the king at Buckingham Palace

*August 1942 demanded complete independance, gives “Quit India” speech; he and all of his followers imprisoned

for two years

*1945 Britain admits that it can no longer support its empire in India

*News of imminent independence causes Hindus and Muslims disagree on new rule

*August 14th 1947 Indians celibrate independence

*Partition begins, Hindus flee to India, Muslims to Pakistan; Violence spreads, nearly 500,000 people killed

*Gandhi takes violence as personal failure; Begins hunger strike to stop violence in New Delhi

*January 30th 1948 Gandhi killed by Hindu

*Gandhi’s parting word: “Rama”



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