Gandhi: A Man Out of Time?
Members of the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Council in Bhopal stand in front of a portrait of Gandhi as they commemorate the anniversary of his assassination in 2004." title="Members of the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Council in Bhopal stand in front of a portrait of Gandhi as they commemorate the anniversary of his assassination in 2004." align="left" border="0" vspace="5" width="250" height="349" hspace="15">The week before Indian independence, in August 1947, Gandhi wrote: ‘So long as my faith burns bright, as I hope it will even if I stand alone, I shall be alive in the grave and what is more speaking from it.’
Gandhi (1869-1948) was always proud of his achievements, but how many of his ideas have stood the test of time? His personal philosophy of resistance he called satyagraha – literally ‘soul-force’ or ‘firmness in the truth’. It was criticised at the time as meaning anything Gandhi wanted it to mean and it has not become common political currency in his absence. Even in the opening decades of the 20th century many of Gandhi’s ideas looked out of date, particularly to progressives such as Jawaharlal Nehru, who was to become India’s first prime minister (1947-64) and was committed to industrialisation. Nehru did not fret about sex, alcohol or diet as Gandhi did.
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