Man and Superman

Nimi Kurian 26 September 2021 21:43 IST
Updated: 02 October 2021 13:02 IST

John Lennon and Albert Einstein are only two of the many famous personalities who were inspired by Gandhiji. Here are some more...

Mahatma Gandh’s life and philosophy influenced people across time and space. What was his philosophy? His thinking was traditional yet modern; simple yet complex. It included several western influences, to which he was exposed to and yet it was rooted in Indian culture. In a nutshell, he stood for truth, non-violence, Satyagraha, Sarvodaya and Swaraj.

In 2009, before BARACK OBAMA became the President of the U.S., he visited a high school in Arlington. A ninth-grader asked him, “If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?” Obama chuckled: “Well, dead or alive, that’s a pretty big list. You know, I think that it might be Gandhi, who is a real hero of mine.”


24YT_Page 2_Haile Selassie | Photo Credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Emperor of Ethiopia, HAILE SELASSIE I, was an admirer. “Mahatma Gandhi will always be remembered as long as free men and those who love freedom and justice live.”

24YT_Page 2_Pearl Buck | Photo Credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

When American writer and novelist, PEARL S BUCK heard of the Mahatma’s assassination, she said, “He was right, he knew he was right, we all knew he was right. The man who killed him knew he was right. However long the follies of the violent continue, they but prove that Gandhi was right. ‘Resist to the very end’, he said, ‘but without violence’. Of violence the world is sick. Oh, India, dare to be worthy of your Gandhi.”

24YT_Page 2_Tagore | Photo Credit: Flickr

RABINDRANATH TAGORE, Poet, writer, playwright, composer, philosopher, social reformer and painter, said, “Mahatma Gandhi came and stood at the door of India’s destitute millions…who else has so unreservedly accepted the vast masses of the Indian people as his flesh and blood…Truth awakened Truth.”

RAJKUMARI AMRIT KAUR was India’s first Health Minister and tremendously influenced by the Mahatma. In 1934, she gave up her privileged life to live in Gandhiji’s ashram and adopt a life of austerity and penance, while working as his secretary.

** FILE ** In this May 10, 1994 file photo taken by South African photographerJohn Parkin, President Nelson Mandela dances at a celebration concert following his inauguration as president of South Africa in Pretoria, South Africa. Parkin, who covered the country's anti-apartheid struggle, its first democratic elections, and the presidency of Nelson Mandela, has died Monday Aug. 23, 2021, at the age of 63 according to his daughter. (AP Photo/John Parkin, file) | Photo Credit: JOHN PARKIN

For NELSON MANDELA, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, statesman and philanthropist who was President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, Gandhiji was one of his greatest teachers. He said, “Gandhi’s ideas have played a vital role in South Africa’s transformation and, with the help of Gandhi’s teaching, apartheid has been overcome.”

KHAN ABDUL GHAFFAR KHAN, also known as the ‘Frontier Gandhi’, was a political and spiritual leader known for his belief in non-violence and the methods of opposition to the British adopted by Mahatma Gandhi. The two remained close friends and worked with each other right up to 1947.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, was deeply suspicious of Gandhiji. He said, “…a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Viceregal palace.” However, despite Churchill’s prejudiced views Gandhi’s message and beliefs continue to live on, not only in India but across the world.

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