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The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His…

The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and… (1962)

by Mahatma Gandhi

Other authors: Louis Fischer (Editor)

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The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Life, Work and Ideas by Mahatma Gandhi, edited by Louis Fischer. Section 7 C: The Church in the World: Society/Human Rights/Justice. This is a compilation of the writings of Mohandas K. Gandhi, called Mahatma (“Great Soul”). It begins with his life, education in England as a lawyer, and his early work in South Africa on behalf of the oppressed Indian population there. Later he returned to India where he developed the idea that Indian could only become independent of English rule through satyagraha, “the force borne of truth, love and non-violence,” Based on American existentialist Henry Thoreau’s concept of civil disobedience, it took Gandhi much work and time to educate the Indians to this concept. Even if Indians were tortured, imprisoned, or mown down with gunfire, he said their response must be nonviolent. When riots erupted, Gandhi would fast to make his point. Satyagraha was based on Jesus’ teachings, and later used to great effect by Dr. King and his compatriots in the American civil rights movement.
Later chapters discuss Gandhi’s ideas. He advocated that Indians discard western clothing and wear only locally handspun cotton as a silent protest against British imperialism. Gandhi wore only a cotton loin cloth, cotton shawl and sandals. Indians had once spun their own cotton in their homes, only to be supplanted by English woven cloth made from Indian cotton. Gandhi advocated that every Indian household to have at least one spinning wheel, to spin their own cotton thread and take it to collective local weavers to be woven, cutting out the English completely. He also advocated gathering salt from the seashore to destroy the English monopoly on salt manufacture and sales. He wanted to abolish the heinous Hindu caste system in which a large percentage of Hindus were oppressed as “untouchables.”
Gandhi wanted all Indians – Hindus, Muslims, Parsis and Christians – to live in peace. He advocated world peace, and rather than feeding the hungry with handouts, he wanted all people to have the means to grow their own food. He believed in the value of manual labor and advised nobody to go to England to be educated, but to create Indian schools where children would be taught subject matter including chemistry and physics but also manual skills.
Gandhi was a very powerful force for freedom, peace, truth and love. He proved that nonviolent civil resistance was more powerful than any army or regime. He is probably the most influential, important person of the 20th century. His words still ring true today much like Jesus Christ’s words also ring true.
To make this book come alive, it is helpful and entertaining to watch the film classic Gandhi, starring Sir Ben Kingsley. Much like Daniel Day-Lewis’s recent portrayal of Abraham Lincoln is the closest we can probably get to Lincoln’s essence without having the real Lincoln’s image on film, Kingsley’s portrayal is probably the closest we can get to the essential Gandhi other than newsreels which often had prejudiced voice-overs. Kingsley said that the funeral procession scenes were shot in the same place they originally occurred, along with crowd members who had witnessed the actual funeral. He said as he lay on a large moving catafalque bedecked with thousands of marigold blossoms, the crowd was absolutely silent, filled with respect and awe. That must have been quite a thrill for Kingsley! ( )
  Epiphany-OviedoELCA | Jan 29, 2019 |
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Mahatma Gandhiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fischer, LouisEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394714660, Paperback)

Gandhi's thoughts on such topics as civil disobedience, non-violence,liberty, socialism and communism, and how to enjoy jail.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:58 -0400)

Mohandas K. Gandhi, called Mahatma ("great soul"), was the father of modern India, but his influence has spread well beyond the subcontinent and is as important today as it was in the first part of the twentieth century and during this nation's own civil rights movement. Taken from Gandhi's writings throughout his life, this text introduces the reader to Gandhi's thoughts on politics, spirituality, poverty, suffering, love, non-violence, civil disobedience, and his own life. The pieces collected here, with explanatory head notes by Gandhi biographer Louis Fischer, offer a clearest, thorough portrait of a great spiritual leader.… (more)

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