AD's English Literature : Introspection of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi –Life and Writings

Introspection of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi –Life and Writings


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Porbandar in 2 Oct. 1869. He is commonly regarded as the greatest man of the 20th century. An apostle of non-violence, he nevertheless lead India’s struggle against the greatest and most powerful empire in human history. That is why he has been called the father of the nation and given the appellation, “Mahatma”, or great soul. Gandhiji took law degree in England. After, qualifying for the Bar in 1891, he came back to India but found no satisfactory work. Thus, he set sail to South Africa and there faced a severe racial discrimination. He fought for justice. During the South African years, Gandhiji experimented with all the major ingredients of his missions: community living in the Tolstoy and Phoenix settlements, experiments with diet, satyagraha, adoption of truth, nonviolence or ahimsa etc.


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 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Porbandar in 2 Oct. 1869. He is commonly regarded as the greatest man of the 20th century. An apostle of non-violence, he nevertheless lead India’s struggle against the greatest and most powerful empire in human history. That is why he has been called the father of the nation and given the appellation, “Mahatma”, or great soul. Gandhiji took law degree in England. After, qualifying for the Bar in 1891, he came back to India but found no satisfactory work. Thus, he set sail to South Africa and there faced a severe racial discrimination. He fought for justice. During the South African years, Gandhiji experimented with all the major ingredients of his missions: community living in the Tolstoy and Phoenix settlements, experiments with diet, satyagraha, adoption of truth, nonviolence or ahimsa etc.

            Gandhiji contributes immensely in Indian English writing. His works include numerous articles and drafts in newspapers. His notable works are Hind Swaraj, Satyagraha in South Africa, The story of My Experiments with truth. Among his translation works we have Songstoom prison edited by John Hoyland.

            Hind Swaraj is one of the most important books that Gandhi writes. It is originally written in Gujarati and is later translated into English in 1910. The message of this book is, according ‘to Gandhiji, to teach the gospel of love in place of that of hate’. It replaces violence with self-sacrifice. Hind Swaraj is written as a dialogue between an Editor and a Reader. The Editor is none other than Gandhi himself, while the Reader is a prototype of the kind of angry, young man that Gandhi meets I London and wishes to change. The angry young man is most probably Savarkar, an Indian student in London whose object is to indoctrinate and prepare leaders for violent revolt. Gandhiji in this book adopts a dialogue mode because he wants to write book, which ‘can be put into the hands of a child’. It is plain and direct style. He avoids unnecessary ornamentation and needless complexity. Gandhi simplifies thins; he deals with very difficult topics and ideas in the language of common men and women. It that sense, he is a great communicator. The dialogue form also reminds us, at once, of both the Upanishadic and Socratic traditions. Gandhi, thus, uses a tried and tested form to convey his thoughts. Hind Swaraj is made up of twenty little chapters. The book itself is very small in volume, but packs in a very big punch, so to say.

            Self-sufficiency self respect, self-realization are the planks of Gandhi’s idea of Swaraj. Swaraj itself is a concept more deep and wide than independence. It suggests not just individual autonomy but a very high level of moral and spiritual development. It is a life long project and includes every aspect of life. Family speaking, Swaraj will be impossible before the whole world learns to coexist in peace and prosperity; it will be a world without the rampant inequalities, dehumanizing poverty, crippling disease, internecine warfare of today.

            It is the very autobiographical writing of Gandhiji. The very title of this book points to the fact that he lived his whole life as an experiment. His life had certain ideology according to certain assumptions and in order to demonstrate certain results. Gandhiji is himself aware of this dimension of his life and says ‘My life is my message’. Gandhiji’s life is a carefully crafted and shaped story in which he is both author and actor. The other key word in the title of Gandhiji’s autobiography, in addition to ‘experiment’, is ‘truth’. It is truth to which Gandhi’s experiments are directed at and it is truth, which the events in story of his life illumine Satya. He tried to achieve this by learning from his own mistakes and conducting experiments on himself .For him Truth is the first component of the trinity ‘Satchitrananda’. Satya is the God for him. Gandhi dedicated his life to the wider purpose of discovering truth, or
            In his search for spiritual development he was willing to learn from western writers like Tolstoy and Thoreau, as well as from the teachings of Hinduism and little of his autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Here is a journey of a man to the cherished goal of identity of spiritual destination.

            Gandhiji’s life is a story; it is not a cut and dried or lifeless record of data. He is not superhuman pursue, but superbly human. He rises higher and higher through endless striving and discipline. He is not born superior to us. In fact, he has the same failings and weakness as that of the rest of us, but it is his struggle against these that makes him shine as beacon of hope and the leader of millions.    
   

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