Mahatma Gandhi And The Indian Independence Movement

Decent Essays
When we hear the word ‘India’, the first thing that comes to mind is Mahatma Gandhi. The word ‘Mahatma’ is a literal translation to: great sage, a saint, a person to be considered as a messiah (Gandhi, 2011, P4). Descriptions such as freedom fighter, warrior for justice and activist are just three popular terms that describe Mohandas Gandhi today. But are all these descriptions true? Mahatma Gandhi is revered by mainstream opinion as a Jesus like figure. The media and in particular, Richard Attenborough (Gandhi 1982), portray Mohandas as the epitome of perseverance, peace and courage. On the contrary, the film Gandhi, is a shockingly one-sided depiction of the Indian independence movement, which fails to accurately depict history and correctly acknowledge the unnecessary loss of life caused in the process. Evidence today emphatically refute claims of Gandhi’s ‘egalitarian’ and ‘pious’ persona with several historical sources and texts detailing his hypocrisy, stubbornness and blatant perversions of equality.

Through the film Gandhi, Attenborough depicts the life and role of Mohandas Gandhi in India’s bid for independence from the British. The film is set as a complete flashback of a 24 year old Gandhi travelling to South Africa in a class coach to his assassination in New Delhi, 1948. It is evident from the film, that Attenborough mainly focuses on the positive biography of Gandhi to mould his anti-imperialist narrative whilst omitting the sacrifice of the Indian people.
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