When 'Mahatma Gandhi' (qv) first set foot in British India, he had already been to Britain and South Africa, and had created quite a stir for the betterment of the people. But in India, he realized that he had first to live the life of a peasant to understand what it is to be an Indian. This resolve will lead him to shed his westerners clothing, and don a simple loincloth, be subjected to racial slurs from none other than Winston Churchill (Half naked Indian Fakir); Mobilize awareness of local industry and less dependence on imported clothing and material; the historic dandee march for withdrawal of the salt tax; a fast unto death to stop the virtual slaughter of British troops by irate Indian mobs; and be imprisoned several times. His resolve was to work with stalwarts such as Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Sardar Valabhbhai Patel, Professor Gokhale, J.B. Kripalani, Maulana Azad, and Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru to ensure first of all to get the British to quit India, and then run an Indian Government under the Congress party. Gandhi will soon realize that it is not enough to be just an Indian, for India has many facets - Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish, and Christian. The British relied on these many facets as an excuse for their continuance as they wanted to ensure that the minorities are not oppressed by the Hindu majority. Concerned over the inroads made by Gandhi to unite the Hindus, Muslims, and all others under a common umbrella, the British invited Jinnah for talks, and it is here that a seed was laid for a separate country called Pakistan. When Gandhi came to know about this, he pleaded with Jinnah to unite the Muslims, even take over as the first Prime Minister with his choice of Muslim candidates for Parliament, but separatist Jinnah had already made his mind. The World Wars of 1914 and 1944 having taken it's toll on Europe and Britain in particular, the weary British finally decided to leave India in 1947 - not the India they had conquered - but an India that was ready to be divided in East Pakistan and West Pakistan. Now after the much awaited independence was the real test for Gandhi - a test that will make him or break him - as he started a fast unto death to try and stop the violence that was threatening to break out into a civil war, not realizing that he had indirectly fanned Hindu extremism, which would later be called the Shiv Sena, into taking the matter directly in their hands to ensure that Muslims are kept out of their Hindustan forever.
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Added: 7 October 2005
Long and Boring. Factually and Historically Inaccurate. Really Stinks Bad.
This movie is very long and very boring making it very hard to stayawake. This movie is historically and factually inaccurate. The Britishfreed the Indians from Moslem rule and brought extensive employment tothe region. This movie contains extensive British bashing and doesn'texplore the suffering the British soldiers had to contend with livingin such a seedy and dirty society. The more the film portrayed theBritish as evil the more the viewer cheered them on. If British 'rule'was so bad then why are Indians flooding all the nations founded onBritish rule (i.e. US, UK, Canada, NZ, and Australia)?
This movie is a typical Hollywood attempt to make a 'feel good' moviebut only the feebleminded will be fooled Pulling out any history booksor traveling the globe more often and you would know why. This moviereally stinks. I would give it a lower rating but '1' is the lowestallowed. A real stinker.
Added: 14 November 2006
Movie STINKS. Complete FALSEIFICATION of history.
A complete joke of a film whose producers clearly (and unfortunatelysuccessfully) try to push the "feel good" emotional aspect of Gandhiwithout showing the truth and consequence of his actions. Part of thereason of the film's commercial and critical success despite thecomplete inaccuracy is the basic ignorance of the lay viewer. Viewersjust want to see a happy ending regardless of truth and if this happyending is achieved the expense of the "evil White man" then modernHollywood feels good about itself.
India had been a "country" of numerous racial, religious and ethnicgroups clash very violently with one another. The introduction ofBritish trade brought a sense of stability that the region had neverseen in its entire history. India is in more of a mess today than everbefore. So much of the country has gone downhill that there has been amass exodus of millions to flood all first world countries as well asmany other 3rd world countries. This is even with the flooding ofoutsourced jobs in the fields of telecom and computers into the regionby first world countries! I wouldn't be surprised if India has thehighest absolute number of people emigrating.
In short this movie stinks. It is completely and entirely inaccurate.Take everything with a grain a salt or even better do not watch italtogether.
Added: 30 May 2007
Far away from reality....
I like historical movies very much but this is a complete manipulationof the truth. 1. Gandhi in real life was a totally arrogant man. 2. Infirst place Gandhi was a nationalist and not an humanist. 3. AfterIndia was independent it was chaos and anarchy, Gandhi was killed andIndia fell apart in 3 countries (India, Pakistan & Bangladesh), yearsof war in the 70's and today they threat each other with nuclear bombs.4. Human rights were much better under the British regime. Still todaywomen are stoned to death and burned. 5. Instead of being thankfulltowards the British (cos they fought against the Nazis at that time)Gandhi choose to stab the knife in the back of the British for hisnationalist aspirations.
When you cut out most of the history than it is pure manipulation.Millions of people think that Gandhi was a good man - what a BIG LIE!
Added: 17 January 2002
This movie had potential. It could have informed the western public aboutan important part of history. Instead, it caricatured the era, leavingoutsignificant characters (Subhaschandra Bose, etc.), g