My Experiments With Truth Mk Gandhi History Essay
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
This is an Autobiography of one of the most Inspiring person in the History of India; he was also known as the Father of the Nation (India) and affectionately known as bapu. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Mahatma Gandhi. He was born at Porbandar, otherwise known as sundampuri, on the 2nd October 1869. The book- My Experiments with truth was originally written in Gujarati language later it got translated into English by Mahadev Desai. In this book he shared about his life experiences and his valuable concepts of Non-violence, Satyagraha, and many more revolutionary techniques, that he used in the India struggle for Independence. His main motive of writing this autobiography was that, he wanted to convey his numerous experiments with the truth to the outside world; his experiments consisted of his struggle against racism, violence and various other aspects of his life. The main objective of this book was to let the people know about ahimsa, which means non-violence. He also wanted the readers to know about his experiment in the political field. From this book one can learn a lot about the struggles that Indians went though under the British rule and how they overcame those.
While Mahatma Gandhi was in jail he decided to write his autobiography. Gandhi’s autobiography was memories of Gandhi’s experience or experiments of trying to make him better and others. He decided to write an autobiography midway through his career, he took the privilege to explain himself more into details. Although accepting of his position as a great leader in the struggle against the violence, racism, celibacy, and other principles of conducted believed to be different from truth, but for him he said truth is sovereign principle which includes various other principles. Gandhi was a god fearing person and for him there were innumerable definitions for God and He worshiped god as truth only. He believed after getting more devoted to God, he believed success was achieved in his life. He feels when he got more affectionate towards the god; it leaded him to seek simple living and life without violence.
His objective for writing this book that the reader can see his good points and bad points, his successes and failures, his triumphs and mistakes.
Q3. How do the times and culture in which the leader lived or lives influence the leader? [Historic context]
In 1983, Gandhi accepted to work in South Africa, where he had faced a lot of prejudice directed at Indians. Once he was thrown out of the train in spite of having first class ticket. Incidents like this triggered his desire to help these Indians to fight for their rights. This shows that a great leader should take initiative and responsibility of the situation and should try to solve it. For this, Gandhi developed a unique technique based upon the ethics of bravery, non violence and truth called the Satyagraha. During 1915, he returned back to India and saw that his own country men were living lives in a degraded way under the British rule. This was the time when there were many freedom fighters fighting against the British rule, but there were nobody to guide them. Gandhi exhibited situational leadership, where he was able to change his style of struggle according to the situation and also he transformed the whole struggle process with his unique techniques. He became a leader through behavioral training he was not a born leader, he was very shy person when he was child, and this proves that anyone can become a leader through behavioral training.
Q4. What is the leader’s particular philosophy and practice of leadership?
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had developed a philosophy of struggle for the political and human right through non-violence while he was in South Africa. Gandhi supported Tilak in many cultural and social changes. Tilka dies in 1920 after his death Gandhi became the leader of Indian National Congress. Gandhi had a vision, his vision was to see a Free India and he successfully conveyed this message to each of his followers and he implemented them to do it, which increased the participation of the followers and created a sense of responsibility among the followers. He used Michigan university leadership style, he used Participative leadership where he had active followers in his movement to free India, he also used Employees oriented styles were he had a strange bon between his followers. He also produced the effective tasks and accomplished them. He studied law in England and dressed like an Englishman but after returning from South Africa, he changed his dressing style and dressed like a normal Indian. His philosophy was to treat everyone equally and according to him everyone was suppose to do all kind of jobs. He started Satyagraha movement one of his philosophy and practice of non-violence. He achieved the Indian peoples trust.
Q5. How does/did the leader’s background and roots shape his /her Philosophy and practice of leadership?
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi belonged to the Bania caste, his ancestors as well as his grand father they had been the prime ministers in different sates of Kaithiaward. Gandhi was born in Porbandar, 2nd October, 1869. During his childhood Gandhi was a very shy kid and an introvert; he got married to Kasturba at the age of thirteen and had four children. He studies Law in England. He had gone to South Africa during the end of 19th century to represent the India client staying in South Africa. Once he was traveling in the first class compartment special reserved for white people. He was thrown out of the compartment just because he was not white in colour. After this incident he started an association in South Africa and he achieved successfully in changing the rules. He left South Africa in 1915 and came back to India. His actions in South Africa already made him popular and when he arrived to India he was welcomed as an idol, he was admired by other people which means he had a referent power as well as expert power with his experience, skill and knowledge. He was a seeker for truth and always trusted in for what he had being achieved in his life. His philosophy of writing this book was to experience and experiment himself and his environment. He scarified his life for the people of India; he always had trust in his people and himself, he always followed his moral, ethical and legal consideration.
Q6. What did Leadership Traits or characteristics did the leader demonstrate?
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi learned his leadership skills when he was in South Africa. He was self confident, high self monitoring; he also had job- relevant knowledge, Intelligence which includes (IQ, EI & SI), Honesty and integrity and always motivated his followers. He was naturally a charismatic leader who was able to gather people’s attention with his distinctive behavior. He had a vision to free India And its people from the British rule. He was also able to take risk to achieve his goal and vision; he always has a feel for his followers need. He was a democratic leader and he was totally interdependent upon his followers. He always use 4’E through his life they were
Envision- He always wanted to lead his people to live their life in the form of spiritual and combination with the moral and practical. His vision was to free India from the British; Gandhi touched the hearts of millions while experiencing.
Enable- He was able to adopt few distinctive methods he knew how to manage people right person on the right place. One of the examples of his enable ness was that he build ashrams (Orphanage for all age grope of people) for the people who lived in villages and rural areas.
Empower – His life was a combination of discipline and freedom, for him as well as for his followers. One of his best successes came from empower people with the way and the aspiration for “Satyagraha”.
Energizer- From a “story telling” viewpoint, his speech on the Salt March, almost angrily disapproving the marchers was a classic case of his speaking from his values, and stimulating his Followers back onto the right path.
Q7. Did the leader develop, improve or change his/her leadership behaviors?
M.K. Gandhi, one of the greatest leaders of the twentieth century who used peace, love rather than war and destruction, to overcome the British rule in India. He was a master strategist, who reinvented his own new methods to fight against the British rule, where all other possibilities failed. He understood that using force against British would not work, so he decided to change the game and break the tradition. There are many examples in his autobiography that illustrates his tactical moves, for example during the Dandi march, he knew that he need to make an impact, so Gandhi created an event that stirred and inspired the whole nation to participate in it and make it a huge success. He inspired everyone including the woman and men of the country to fight under a common goal. Gandhi had a vision and his vision was to see a Free India. He was a transformational leader, who was concerned about people, directive at some times and also situational. He was a team oriented person, who gave importance to his members and respected their opinions. Gandhi had power but he seldom used it to influence people, he encouraged voluntary involvement and his decisions were made in accordance with his followers. According to Iowa University (Kurt Lewin) Gandhi demonstrated leadership style of being a Democratic leader by involving followers, high participation in work and getting feedback from his people, and during certain situation he also had to demonstrated Autocratic leadership style when people use to be violence against British.
Q8. What critical situation did the leader find him/herself in and how did he/she handle them?
Gandhi had been in many situations which he had overcome and emerged victorious. He demonstrated different leadership qualities in different situation and his leadership style was termed as follower-centric. Some of the situations which he faced in South Africa, where he fought for the civil rights for the people there, and he lead a great number of people under his guidance and his principles of non-violence. When Gandhi arrived to India, he was faced with a different situation in which he witnessed that his fellow men were not given Freedom and he joined them to fight against the British Empire. In due time, he learned a lot about the situation and he came up with a different solution to defy the British rule and gain Independence for India. He conducted different protests such as the Dandi march, Non-cooperation movements…etc. He was also sent to prison a lot of times during his fight, but he always persisted and followed his principles. He also traveled around India, giving speeches and trying to gain the confidence of the Indians. He established the situational leadership style by (Hersey & Blanchard, 1977) by telling his people to fight with non-violence, selling his skills and motivating people to follow him and his philosophy, actively participating in the on going movement during those days and delegating tasks to his followers. He was a perfect role model for all people, because he practiced what he preached
Q9. What mistakes did the leader make?
Mahatma Gandhi had done so many mistakes some of the mistakes some of the biggest political failures the following events:
He had recruited many India soldiers from the Births rule war effort in 1914-18 without setting any conditions, he neglected to extract any physical gains for India in return for the thousands of Indian lives which he sacrificed to British imperial interests. He also failed in his political skills.
While Gandhi was entrusting the mobilization potential of the freedom movement to the Khilafat agitation in 1920-22, again a non-negotiated independent gift. He did not take the Khilafat movement seriously whether at the level of principle or of practical politics, and replaced his own imagination and idealized reading of the Khilafat policy for reality.
Some critics also claimed that, the partition of Pakistan from India was due to Gandhi because he did not fight for it whereas some say that he did not acknowledge the fact that there were 2 religions involved.
Other than these there are not many mistakes that Gandhi had made which affected a lot of people.
Q10. How would you rate ultimate success of the Gandhi?
According to me, I find M.K Gandhi, a great, exceptional leader who will be remembered in the hearts of many Indians. He is one of the few men, who have changed the world with his beliefs and one of the greatest person to have lived. I find his leadership techniques very amusing and unique. He was a hero in other words a great man who had passion, commitment, responsibility and loyalty toward his country and his people. One of his best leadership style was servant leadership in which he always motivated his followers and did not had the control over them but had the aspiration to help people and appreciate their self-esteem. He always preached ahimsa. He always focused on his people and served the people. According to theory X and Y managers (Douglas McGregor, 1960) he applied theory Y in his movement by seeking more responsibility, by being self directed and had great potential. He made India independent from the great British. He served people of India and lead by example by providing vision and stimulating hope. He also had position power. He was also a good team player and he gave coaching to his followers and even he managed the problems when there were conflicts.
According to me, he was a transformational leader; he achieved what he had in his mind, which was to get Freedom for India, without using violence.
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