Friday, March 18, 2011

Lessons and notes from the movie Gandhi

Will Paint for Change by Boy_Wonder
Will Paint for Change a photo by Boy_Wonder on Flickr.

Notes on the movie, Gandhi -

- In South Africa, Gandhi fought to end unfair treatment of Indians.
- Against the leader of the British colony of South Africa, Gen Smuts, Gandhi learned to Choose His Battles. Gandhi knew he could not win on every issue.
- Some 10 years of protests brought basic rights to Indians in S Af.

- Gandhi returned to India in 1915.
- The goal of social studies classes is to help you always examine a date for its ramifications. If you see "1915" you should be able to think, "Ah! WWI!" Which was 1914 - 1918. This overlaps with the story of TE Lawrence and the Arab struggle against the Turks.

- Home Rule: the expulsion of the British from India so that Indians would rule their own nation.
- Nations in our purview that would prefer Home Rule to life with US forces: Afghanistan and Iraq. We learn from this movie that no nation desires extended control by outside forces.
- Divide and conquer. One way the British were able to control India was by stimulating conflict between the peoples of India. Gandhi was determined to create widespread unity.
- Apathy. The peoples of India felt defeated by the British. They had ceased to care about politics. They were apathetic. This is much like people in Shreveport and Louisiana. And the US.
- British landlords of India varied in their governance. Some were abusive. Some tried to be fair in many ways.
- The British would not willingly give the people of India their Home Rule. That;s because there was much profit to be made from controlling India.
- British technology in India: train system, roads and bridges, telegraph system (the internet of its day), hospitals, public buildings such as train stations and city halls.