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Reflections on Gandhi: Summary

Mahatma Gandhi
"Reflection on Gandhi" was an essay written by George Orwell. In this essay he analyse Gandhi's life. The essay is a reflection on Gandhi's life.

Orwell tried to understand Gandhi by reading his autobiography called "My Experiments with Truth". The book impressed him but Gandhi was not not an impressive person to him. He pointed out some reasons for his dislike of Gandhi;
  1. Gandhi believed in mind power.
  2. Gandhi supported vegetarian food.
  3. Gandhi believed in the Khadi or homemade clothes.
  4. Gandhi believed in the old fashioned village-based economics, which is not suitable for a big country like India. 
  5. Gandhi was not a saint but a very shrewd person.
However, Orwell did not consider Gandhi as a bad person. He says "even Gandhi's worst enemy would also admit that he is an interesting and unusual man, who enriched the world simply being alive".

Orwell observes that Gandhi had an outstanding physical courage. Nobody ever suggested that he is corrupted or ambitious in a vulgar way. In spite of being the leader of great political movement, he had no personal security. Anyone could walk into his ashram and attack him; and that happened in 1948 when he was assassinated with a gun.

Orwell observes that Gandhi lived a very simple life. Gandhi was a man of great honesty and he openly admitted that he had done some crimes such as smoking a few cigarettes, eating some meat etc in his young days.

Orwell found some of Gandhi's principles ridiculous, because they look foolish from the European viewpoint. Some of these include avoiding alcohol, sex, spices in food and animal food. Gandhi followed all his principles very strictly. He was not ready to break his principles even to protect his wife or child; "On three occasions Gandhi was willing to let his wife or child die rather than administering animal food prescribed by the doctor." According to Orwell this is a point which questions the kindness of Gandhi.

Orwell also is surprised to see that Gandhi was against personal relationship. According to Gandhi close friendships are dangerous. He says "Friends react on one another" and through loyalty to friend, one can be led into wrong doing. 

Gandhi was successful in reaching his goal of life when India got independence in 1947. But Orwell thinks that India was given independence, because of the Soft Labour Party came to power in England. If hardliners like Winston Churchill were in power, Gandhi's non-violent methods could have never reached any success. 

Orwell doesn't think Gandhi as a saint. He also feels that Gandhi's basic aim were anti-human and reactionary. At the same time Orwell admitted that Gandhi was much cleaner than most of the politicians of his time.

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10 July 2015 at 23:57

i felt ur reasons as a big foolishness.
1) Gandhi believed in mind power.

It is simply understandable that mind is the main thing that decide happiness and unhappiness of a human being. What is mainly said about attitude of the human being. Even you are a rich or a poor guy ,your attitude about life and all things in this world decides whether you are happy or not.

2) Gandhi supported vegetarian food.

What's this reason means .I ain't got you . You mean you are a non vegetarian and those who are supporting vegetarian foods are bad ,what you mean? And even it is scientifically proven that human beings are vegetarian. So what's the problem yaar? are you a non vegetarian. I am a non vegetarian but that doesn't mean supporting vegetarian is a bad thing.

3) Gandhi believed in the Khadi or homemade clothes.

It's all are not about you man. It's about how corporate world cheats normal people. and that khadi and all that stuffs are perfect for indian climate. What he mean about is the simplicity of life. It means being healthy, clean and perfect is not about wearing brand company products it comes from living life with a pattern. If your a follower of business men's quotes you can't understand what I mean.

4. Gandhi believed in the old fashioned village-based economics, which is not suitable for a big country like India.

This simply means you don't know anything about india. In india the agriculture and village is the real backbone, I know it perfectly and undoubtedly. Now when you check the india's marketing sections the people are suffering here ,when globalisation or urbanisation is increasing.or the increase in corporate companies or the MNCs here. If there is not agriculture ,there is no food .it is now happening now in india, so what he told was really relevant nowadays. And by the increment in the city life today's ,only increment happened is in peoples tensions, robberies, casinos,call girl centres,rapes and etc etc etc.....

5) Gandhi was not a saint but a very shrewd person.

That's a joke man, everybody knows that gandhi was not a saint.he's just a human being travelled through many levels of life.and he have a great a life lessons.and thats why he calls as mahathma.that doesn't mean saint.if u wish,u can take him as a role model for ur life.if not,leave it.but im sure,i cant be like him,and i cant still believe that he was not a movie character. bcoz what he did against british was really unbelievable.

And what he said is from the study of bhagavath geetha and human psychology.

like eistein said :" A leader of his people, unsupported by only outward authority; a politician whose success rests not upon craft nor mastery of technical devices, but simply on the convincing power of his personality; a victorious fighter who has always scorned the use of force; a man of wisdom and humility, armed with resolve and inflexible consistency, who has devoted all his strength to the uplifting of his people and the betterment of their lot; a man who has confronted the brutality of Europe with the dignity of the simple human being, and thus at all times risen superior.


i felt ur all reasons as a illogical. there are alot better things to object against mahatma gandhi.i think,u need more studies to know about that.bcoz,i know some of that too.better luck ,next time.

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