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Gandhi is a 1982 heroic historical film centered on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Mohandas Gandhi was the leader of India non-violent movement against the United Kingdoms’ rule of the country in the 20th century. The film was written by John Briley and produced by Richard Attenborough. The movie tells the story of Gandhi’s life along with his achievements and how they came to be. The movie starts off with Gandhi as a very young and strong headed attorney. He was kicked off of a train because the security wouldn’t let him ride first class just because of the color of his skin. This shows many of the injustices he experienced and how it motivated on him to be a great figure and a leader. In that time of his life his eyes really opened to how unfairly people were treated. He decided to stand up and do something about it. Each action was caused by some experience or realization. Based on the early Hindu teaching, Gandhi was able to lead by adhering to his guidelines and leading by example as well.
The film displays to viewers the life of Mahatma Gandhi and his accomplishments. The films also explain and teaches us ways Gandhi attempted to influence people to show them how violence doesn’t help anyone achieve anything. Learning about Hinduism in class helped me relate many of the things that Ghandi did and how they relate to Hinduism. His approach is pure and uses the teaching of Hinduism and promotes greatness. Most of the fights that Ghandii was involved in major religious aspects. Gandhi tried to fight for what he believed and encouraged goodness as the teaching of Hinduism instructs.
Gandhi expresses to the audiences to numerous diverse types of Hindu practices and teachings. In one occasion, the movie show a wedding tradition ceremony where Gandhi and his wife Kasturba directs to friends on how the ceremony is done because they were not familiar with it. The men and women who are getting married go around a fire while exchanging words. In this process, the married women who are present have a red mark on their forehead indicating their statues on weather hey are married or not, which is usually placed on them during wedding ceremony. Marriage is very important, and the ceremonies depicted here strongly relate to Hinduism. Usually when Hindus marry, they join two individuals for life, and pursue dharma, artha, kama and moksha. Those four things are key concepts in Hinduism, which is also the four proper objectives of a human life. Those four objectives are dharma (righteousness or moral values), Artha (prosperity and economic values), Kama (pleasure and love, psychological values) and Moksha (liberation, spiritual values). The portrayal of the wedding ceremony and pursuing dharma, artha, kama and mokosha strike a chord with me because in my religion “Islam” we believe that a marriage joins two individuals in a positive way and with that unity there are moral, pleasure, love and spiritual values that are fulfilled as well. We believe that when two individuals get married they have completed half of their religion, which is somewhat relatable to Hinduism.
There is another scene in the film where different men came to visit Gandhi while he is fasting, and they start to confess their sins to him. One-man says he is going to hell for killing a child, which refers to Karma. In Hinduism, karma refers to reactions that you get as a result of an action. For example, if you do unwholesome action, you have earned an unwholesome karma, which means that you are likely to experience negative results from your actions and cause you to be unhappy. This manfeels samsara for killing his child, which is a negative motivation to seek a liberation from.
People who practice Hinduism are often trapped in a cycle called samara. This particular phase causes individuals to be incarnated due to the karma in their soul and the only way to break that cycle is to seek liberation or moksha by either avoiding bad deeds or doing a positive act for bad deed to be erased. In the movie Ghandi suggest to the men who killed his child to adopt a Muslim child and to raise him as Muslim to seek that liberation. In Islam we believe in karma, but we approach and different, so this kind strike a chord with me. In my religion “Islam” when one commits any kind of sin, they are required to follow it with a good deed. For example, if a person forgets to pray the five daily prayers often, he is required to do good deeds that will make up for the bed deeds. They can erase it with good deeds by giving charity, helping orphans or simply doing any kind of good act.
In the film Ghandi was depicted as an Icon and was believed to be Avatara due to his huge figure. Often people listened to what he had to say because they believed it was their god speaking to them in the form of Ghandi. This relates to Hinduism because according to an article I read “In Hinduism, an avatar means the form of a deity and usually refers to an incarnation of God or His aspects such as Vishnu on planet earth either as a man or an animal or some mythical creature. An avatar is not mere materialization or appearance of God in physical form for the sake of his devotees. It is neither a disguise nor a trick played upon our senses.” ( The Concept of Avatar or Incarnation in Hinduism by Jayaram V)
“Gandhi offers us a conscience-exercising, mind-stretching, and growth-inducing experience in regard to fighting injustice, as it teaches us about a courageous man who was an ethical giant and a visionary. The film vividly portrays how Gandhi’s courage and determination united his diverse homeland of India under a banner of moral idealism and how his philosophy and personality left an indelible mark on his nation and the world.” (film review by Fedric and Mary)
Buddhism demonstrates that whether we have global peace or global war is up to us humans to stand up and promote peace. Nothing is out of the human hand and with effort anything is possible. Throughout the movie Ghandi followed those guidelines and fought many injustices. Peace and war are decisions that we make and if nobody fights the way Ghandi fought nothing will ever fix itself. The fundamental goal of Buddhism is peace, not only pace in this world, but peace in all worlds. Siddhartha explains in his teachings its vital to on the path to peace to understand the causality of peace. If nothing is addressed or initiated, issues will not resolve automatically. Gandhi depicted in the show through following his believe that it’s possible to fight injustices and build peace.
Throughout the film the purpose of the religious aspect of the work was to show the audience how Ghandi fought injustice following and adhering to religion guidelines. The simple fact that Hinduism taught peace pushed Ghandi to the limit to do what he believed in and encouraged him to stand up for himself and the weak. The film was mainly focused on feelings that developed from the teaching of Hinduism because Ghandi reacted the way he did because of the set principals in his religion. The film mostly conveyed positive message to the audience even though there was a lot of violence involved. Leading a non-violence movement was an example of that positive message that was conveyed. The film and how Gandhi was portrayed was extraordinary and the goal and the purpose of the movie was well accomplished because Ghandi was able to be successful and accomplished a lot of movements that are present to this day. This also impacted many audiences including myself because it taught me that anything is possible when you put your heart in it.
- V, Jayaram. Symbolism of Sagara Manthan or the Churning of the Ocean, www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/concepts/avatar.asp.
- “Gandhi 1982 Full Film Gave Freedom to World by Islam.” Vimeo, 9 Mar. 2019, vimeo.com/184381280.
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