How do you change your society for the better?
Will you make things better by hitting the streets to protest and riot? Almost certainly not. Will you make things better by putting a poster on your front lawn announcing that you’ve discovered which organizations needs to be defunded? Nope. Will you make things better by voting? Hey, anything’s possible.
I don’t have the answer. I have no idea how to make things better. I guess if I had the passion and the guts to try to change the world I’d follow Mahatma Gandhi’s example.
“Gandhi” is a long but enjoyable drama. The film shows us how one man took on the British Empire and outsmarted the colonizers at every turn.
When we meet Gandhi (Ben Kingsley), he is an attorney fresh out of London law school, headed to his first job in South Africa. He quickly learns that Indians are severely oppressed in British South Africa.
In his first major act of resistance, Gandhi leads a protest against the ID Cards that all Indians have to carry as a way of limiting their freedom of movement. A mounted British officer threatens any Indian who burns his ID Card. Gandhi bravely does it, anyway, and gets beaten to a pulp.
The incident taught young Gandhi some important lessons. If you are brave enough to accept beatings and arrest, the authorities are powerless to stop you. And the media loves a righteous victim.
When Gandhi moved to India in 1915, he was already in his 40s and an international celebrity. His goal wasn’t equal rights for Indians; he wanted to force the British to leave the subcontinent forever.
Gandhi’s plan was to empower Indian peasants to take control of their economic lives while making colonialism less profitable for British globalists. Buy Indian, Hire Indian.
First, he inspired Indians to burn all of their clothes that were made in England and use spinning looms to fashion their own humble garments.
Then, he famously marched to the sea to collect and sell salt. He urged his countrymen to the do the same. Colonial law gave the British a monopoly on selling salt. Gandhi busted the monopoly, robbing the British of even more revenue.
Director Richard Attenborough does a fantastic job of showing that Mahatma Gandhi was a shrewd and inventive revolutionary leader. It’s actually a little disgusting that college kids have posters of Che Guevara on their wall instead of Gandhi.
“Gandhi” isn’t cinema at its best. But Mahatma Gandhi was humanity at its best. With just his savvy and his will, Gandhi accomplished more than a million protestors or 150 million voters.