Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gandhiji! The goals of the great soul, or the Mahatma

Gandhiji by Shrimaitreya
Gandhiji a photo by Shrimaitreya on Flickr.

Mohandas K Gandhi - `his long life spanned 2 generations:
1869 - 1948.

Yet at age 78 he was assassinated.
The cause? Gandhi was too tolerant. He constantly begged for peace between Hindus and Muslims.

Social protest leader. Direct influence to MLK, Jr.
- Civil disobedience.
- Non-violence.

Decades of protest. Several years of time spent in jail.
No political position. No wealth accumulated.

Abolish caste system!
- Several centuries of mandatory separation between classes.
- No social or occupational mobility.
- Untouchables the lowest caste. Not treated humanely.

Peace between Hindus and Muslims!
- Despite centuries of often bloody conflict.

Indian independence from the British! The English must exit India and allow Home Rule!
- 200 years of British control.
-The English brought technology to India (trains, telegraph, etc) but took enormous profit in jewels, commodities and overall trade.

Protest in South Africa in the 1890's: Gandhi developed these tools for gaining equality:
1. Use the press - in nations where the press is free, such as England and the US.
2. Use the courts - Gandhi was an attorney.
3. Use a global outreach - people in Asia, Europe and other continents will aid your cause.
4. Use the precepts of Christianity - fairness and generosity are essential messages in Christian churches.
5. The tenets of the British Empire. As written in their official documents the British were to be fair and just.

vocab -
- Lotus flower
- barrister - attorney
- benefactor - generous person
- coolie, kaffir, sammie: derogatory epithets.
- Tara - girl's name from Hindu goddess.