Mahatma Gandhi as Writer


Published on

Mahatma Gandhiji's writings are being read even today. His thoughts expressed in his autobiography and other sources have been referred widely. Undoubtedly, Gandhiji was a writer but also a translator, publisher and child writer. The presentation highlights the impulses behind Gandhiji's writings, how Gandhiji emerged as writer, his writing styles, and his important works.

Published in: Education, News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Mahatma Gandhi as Writer

  1. 1. MAHATMA GANDHI AS WRITER A Special Lecture organized by Dept. of Gandhian Studies Nagindas Khandwala College, Mumbai on 25-11-2010 1
  2. 2. A lecture by: Santosh C. Hulagabali Librarian Nagindas Khandwala College Malad (W), Mumbai-64 2
  3. 3. Friends, let us begin with a Song.. 3
  4. 4. "To be true to my faith, therefore, I may not write in anger. I may not write idly. I may not write merely to excite passion. It is training for me. It enables me to peep into myself and to make discoveries of my weaknesses”. - M. K. Gandhi, Young India, July 2, 1925 4
  5. 5. Who is Gandhi? A Journalist, Writer/Author/Editor, Speaker, Publisher Son, Husband, Father, Master, Teacher, Philosopher, Diplomat, Freedom Fighter, Father of Nation, Legal Expert, Politician, Statesman, Strategist, Child Writer, Dietician… 5
  6. 6.  From 1903 (Editor of Indian Opinion) to 1948 Gandhi’s pen continued to write.  The collected Works of Gandhi now number 100 volumes (and these are edited) 6
  7. 7. Gandhi as Author Style  Never aimed at style  Believed in expressing the reality and hope  Very direct and bold in writing  Thoughtless word never escaped his lips or pen  Followed dialogue style as ‘Reader’ & ‘Editor’ (in Hind Swaraj 1909)  Believed in reality than imagination. Wrote in Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu* and English 7 * Source:
  8. 8. 8
  9. 9. 9
  10. 10. Appreciations:  - British Viceroys admitted that “Gandhi was direct and expressed himself in excellent English” Oxford University Professor - “I have never met an Indian who have  mastered prepositions”. 10
  11. 11. Impulses behind Gandhi’s Writings: Natural  Thorough reading of selected English writers, Bible  Influence of Ramayan, Mahabharat, Khuran, Ruskin Bond’s Unto this Last Public Insults:  ‘Coolies’, ‘Black people’, Coolie barrister’, Semi-slavery conditions  11
  12. 12. Three prominent reasons:  1. 2. 3. 12 Physical and emotional assaults: In June, 1893, Gandhi was thrown out of the train to Pretoria, as he was traveling in a 1st Class compartment where only white persons could travel In July 1893, Gandhi was kicked off the footpath near President Kruger’s home. Jan. 1897, on arrival in Durban from India, Gandhi was attacked by a mob.
  13. 13. Action Replyy: Friends we will NOW go to South Africa to see Mr.Gandhi revolting against the Brits. For just 20 min.. 13
  14. 14. Why Gandhi wanted to write?      14 To raise voice against the British raj. To reach the masses of India. To bind the people of various religions as sisters and brothers. To express his spiritual ideas for the good cause. To achieve ‘Sarvodaya’ (moral,spiritual, economical..)
  15. 15. Gandhi wanted two Swarajs: Through his writing, Gandhi wanted two Swarajs (his concept)   One, independence from the British Raj Second, awakening the Indians about self-discipline, self-rule He intended to unite the Hindus, Muslims, Christians back home in India and SA. 15
  16. 16. Starts writing..     Initially he wrote for some newspapers in London on Indian food habits, dieting etc.. Started writing letters to Editors of SA dailies Explained the system and harassment “You will not allow the Indian to vote under any circumstances, because they have a dark skin. You would look the exterior only”. [to Times of Natal (25-10-1894)] 16
  17. 17. Cont..  “You may; it is not Christ’s. Sir, may I venture to offer a suggestion? Will you reread your New Testament? Will you ponder over your attitude towards the colored population of the Colony? Will you then say you can reconcile it with the Bible teachings?” [to Times of Natal (25-10-1894)]  17 “The White barber refused to cut my black hair”
  18. 18. Birth of ‘Indian Opinion’  After 10 years of relentless crusade, Gandhi realised that the twin tasks of mobilizing public opinion and influencing official decisions required a regular newspaper.  Thus was born Indian Opinion in June, 1903. [Clear view without any advertisements].  It became a potent weapon in his struggle  Depended on subscribers who would give donations. 18
  19. 19. Starts writing in SA from 1903 to1914 19
  20. 20. His joy of writing..  “Week after week I poured out my soul in its columns and expounded the principles and practice of satyagraha. I can’t recall a word in these articles set down without thought or deliberation or a word of conscious exaggeration or anything merely to please”.  He wrote for 11 years for IO against the SA provincial regimes. 20
  21. 21. Two more titles…      21 Persuaded to be the editor of ‘Young India’. Also stared writing in ‘Navjivan’ (Gujarati monthly) later Gandhi felt and started publishing in Hindi Translations started Wrote continuously In 1922, he was charged with spreading disaffection by writing seditious articles in YI
  22. 22. 22
  23. 23. Three more newspapers..  Between 1933 and 1940, Harijan (Eng), Harijan Bandu (Guj) and Harijan Sevak (Hindi) became the Mahatma’s voice to the people of India.  These newspapers found the Mahatma concentrating on social and economic problems, caste system, poverty, individual growth... 23
  24. 24. 24
  25. 25. Humorous comment on his newspapers..  25 About newspapers, in June 1946, he said “if I were appointed dictator for a day in the place of the Viceroy, I would stop all newspapers” Then paused and added with a mischievous wink: “with the exception of Harijan, of course.”
  26. 26. Gandhi as Translator: He wrote his autobiography in Gujarati.  Translated Gokhale’s speeches and writings in Gujarati.  26
  27. 27. Gandhi as Child Writer: For children he wrote a primer Balpothi  A book on ethics Nitidharma  Wrote letter to ashram children from jail.  27
  28. 28. Gandhi as Voluminous Letter Writer He could write 50 letters in long hand.  Collection of his letters, numbering about 100,000 forms a vital part of his writing.  28
  29. 29. Gandhi as Publisher:      29 Published IO, YI, Navjivan and Harijan in his own press in order to express his views freely. In SA, he started his press in a shed in Phoenix Settlement. IO printed in Eng, Hin, Guj and Tamil. Also published many books in Hindi and English. He used to use type writer when Govt stops him.
  30. 30. 30
  31. 31. 31
  32. 32. Websites on Gandhji:     Photographs of Gandhiji:  32
  33. 33. Institutes on Gandhiji: Ashrams in India & Abroad  Gandhi Museums & Libraries in India  Gandhi Institutes & Centres Abroad  Gandhi Institutions and Centres in India  For above info: 33
  34. 34. Gandhi Institutes:  National Gandhi Museum And Library, New Delhi Library Catalogue of 26,000 titles on Mahatma Gandhi, Freedom Movement in India and allied Subjects. Captions of 6,000 photographs of Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders of Freedom Struggle. Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya  Sabarmati Ashram and Museum, Ahmedabad, India  34,065 letters to and from Gandhi both in original and in Photostats  21,500 books dealing with Gandhi's life   34
  35. 35. Gandhi Institutes & Centres Abroad:    35 Mahatma Gandhi Canadian Foundation for World Peace (Canada) Gandhi Information Center (Germany) UNC Mahatma Gandhi Fellowship (Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  36. 36. Open for discussion.. Let us discuss.. 36
  37. 37. THANK YOU  37 Disclaimer: The presentation is based on the information available in the selected books, offline and online sources. All facts are referred with much objectivity. The screenshots and the supporting information used in this presentation are used for educational –training, teaching and research .