Mahatma

Courtesy of Google timeline, I have been perusing some newspaper articles from the past and compiled some clippings from various papers (mostly western) covering Mahatma Gandhi’s non cooperation movement for the Indian freedom struggle from late 1910s to his assassination in 1948. I am only posting a sample of these clippings, but if you read through the timeline, it is interesting to note the skeptical tone of the coverage to a gradual and grudging concession to a few aspects of his philosophy and just like with most great people in history, a broader acceptance and acclaim after his death.

On a personal level, I was astounded to realize how Himalayan a task this was for him to not only apply his principles of Satyagraha against the British rule even as he was constantly being thrown into jail, but also to govern the entire masses that loved and adored him but not always believed in his discipline of non-violence and resorted to rage and riots many times during this period. He would repeatedly call on their affection and loyalty and threaten to fast to death on every such occasion (he fasted more than 15 times much to the ridicule of the western press) and break that fast only after the violence subsided. He was reportedly close to death on more than one such fasts, much to the fear of the British rule for as much as he was detested by them for his non-cooperation, his martyrdom would have whipped up an anarchy that they feared would have been uncontrollable.

Whether you agree with all of his philosophies or not, history revisited is only going to shed an even brighter light on his selfless soul. As one writer summarizes best during Gandhi’s fast to near death to stop the bloody violence during the partition, “but if Gandhi dies, something will have gone from the world which it will be impossible to replace. In all these years he has been accepted by enemies and friends alike as the greatest example of absolute incorruptibility of mind and body. He is perhaps today the one public figure of the world whom it has always been impossible to bluff, bribe or bully. His personal life has always faced any spotlight without a tremble. He has had nothing to hide, nothing to save, and only a life to give for an ideal”. A few months later, he was assassinated by Godse.

Here are a few newspaper clippings, in the chronological order – click on the images for a full view.

Poverty Bay Herald, Jan. 23, 1914.

Poverty Bay Herald, Jan. 23, 1914.

The New York Times, July 10, 1921

The New York Times, July 10, 1921 {Click on the image to get a full view}

The New York Times, March 20, 1922

The New York Times, March 20, 1922

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Dec. 30, 1931

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Dec. 30, 1931

The Age, Apr. 1, 1937

The Age, Apr. 1, 1937

St.Petersburgh Times, August 10, 1942

St.Petersburgh Times, August 10, 1942

The Free Lance Star, Mar. 3, 1943

The Free Lance Star, Mar. 3, 1943

The Toledo Blaze, Jan. 17, 1948

The Toledo Blaze, Jan. 17, 1948 {Click on the image to get a full view}

Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Jan. 31, 1948

Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Jan. 31, 1948{Click on the image to get a full view}


Advertisements