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This paper provides a biography of Gandhi's life, his interest in religion and how he struggled to find his spiritual path. It also draws information from the film "Gandhi" that shows how he also tried to correct the role of women in Indian society. The paper describes how he became involved in politics and discusses his strong views on violence.
From the Paper:''Gandhi always struggled with his spirituality. His interest in religion began as a young boy. Gandhi was afraid of spirits and his nurse told him to repeat a chant (Ramanama) to cure his fear. This early belief in the gods led to greater faith in Gandhi's religion, Hinduism. He would pray twice a day and read passages of the Gita. Gandhi, in his autobiography writes of the Gita, "the book struck me as one of priceless worth." (Gandhi 67). The only shortcoming he could see in his religion was the rigidity of the caste system. In Hindu tradition, when a person of a higher caste marries a person of the Shudras caste (the lowest caste), their children become "Untouchables" and are forced into a form of slavery where they are segregated from the rest of society. Gandhi said of his religion, "If Untouchability could be a part of the Hindu religion, it is the rotten part" (Fischer, ed. 41). This was one of the first aspects of Indian society that Gandhi sought to reform. In the movie Gandhi, while in jail, Gandhi says to the Life magazine reporter, "Poverty is the worst form of violence." Gandhi readily saw this poverty in the lives of the "Untouchables". Gandhi urged Indians everywhere to end the segregation of "Untouchables". By attacking this custom, Gandhi shocked orthodox Hindus, but he continued his reform of Indian society. Gandhi put his words into practice by inviting an "Untouchable" family to live with him in his ashram. There were problems initially, but the arrangement worked, and he showed India that "Untouchables" were no different from others. Gandhi did not call for the removal of the caste system as he believed that it was necessary for everyday life. Each member of society, through the caste system, had an active role with a specific function to accomplish. In Gandhi, Gandhi says to a New York Times reporter of the people of his ashram that "no work is beneath any of us". Every member of society should contribute, and the caste system ensures that none will be idle. Each caste supports the other and all have important roles in society. What Gandhi did challenge was the rigidity of the system and how it segregated the "Untouchables" into a state of poverty and inferiority to the rest of society. Gandhi traveled the country bringing this message to the people. At one point in Gandhi, he speaks to a large crowd of Indians at an outdoor rally. He tells them that "'we must remove "Untouchability" from our hearts and minds." Gandhi's message and his desire for the Truth in humanity reached many Indians teaching them of the importance of equality. Slowly, "Untouchability" became less and less accepted and eventually outlawed in India.''
Sample of Sources Used:
- Akbar, M.J. Nehru: The Making of India. London: Viking, 1988.
- Fischer, Louis, ed. The Essential Gandhi. New York: Vintage Books, 1962.
- Gandhi, Mohandas K. An Autobiogranhy: My Experiments with the Truth. United States of America: Beacon Press Books, 1968.
- Mirabehn. The Spirit's Pilgrimage. Arlington: Great Ocean Publishers, 1984.
- Shrire, William. Gandhi: A Memoir. New York: Washington Square Press, 1979.
Cite this Term Paper:
The Life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2012, November 04) Retrieved September 24, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/the-life-of-mohandas-karamchand-gandhi-151971/
"The Life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi" 04 November 2012. Web. 24 September. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/the-life-of-mohandas-karamchand-gandhi-151971/>