OddlyEnough #5: The Mahatma Special

Mahatma Gandhi

Oddly enough is back again with it’s fifth and special edition on Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi is perhaps one of the world’s most renowned leaders famous for his work during the Independence movement. For a personality with multiple facets, we’ve picked a selection of interesting stories.

Read up on his amazing sense of humour, relationship with cricket, views on birth control and cow protection and lastly, his unforgettable debates with B R Ambedkar. 

Mahatma’s wit – Using humour to fight for freedom

Mahatma Gandhi was also known for being the man with a great sense of humour. He was known for his ‘tongue-in-cheek’ jokes that were often cracked without malice or prejudice. Known for practicing ahimsa or non-violence, Gandhi once called himself the ‘commander of a non-violent army’. He is even believed to have said that, had he lacked a sense of humour, he would have committed suicide a long time ago.

You can read this story on Outlook India.  

Cricket and Gandhi – What’s the relation?

One may often wonder how cricket and Gandhi could go hand-in-hand. Both of these are now the national emblems of the country. Cricket is India’s foremost obsession and Gandhi is etched in India’s history. In this story, the author tries to find out the points of conversion between Gandhi and cricket. The story traces the beginnings of the freedom struggle leader during his childhood days at Rajkot and later as an observer of sports.

You can read this story on NDTV.

Tryst with contraception – Gandhi’s meeting with two birth control activists

To celebrate India at 70 years recently, Daniel Payne, academician at London School of economics curated an exhibition – Journeys to Independence: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. During this process, Payne found letters and correspondence between Gandhi and Edith How-Martyn and Eileen Palmer, two British birth control activists. He also found in Martyn’s diary entry that she’d written about how Gandhi considered contraception a sin and would have nothing to do with it.

You can read this story on Scroll.in.

Middle path – Gandhi’s arguments against cow protection

In 1928, Gandhi ordered a calf to be killed in his ashram. The calf was injured and in pain. His decision drew heavy criticism from Hindus all around the country who questioned how he was a practitioner of ahimsa when he had committed such an act. In an article, ‘Let Hindus Beware’, Gandhi writes, “To attempt cow protection by violence is to reduce Hinduism to Satanism and to prostitute to a base end the grand significance of cow protection. As a Mussulman friend writes, beef-eating, which is merely permissible in Islam, will become a duty if compulsion is resorted to by Hindus.”

You can read this story on The Economic Times.

Gandhi and Ambedkar – Two contrasting views on caste and untouchability

Both Gandhi and Ambedkar looked down upon the practice of untouchability but Gandhi saw it as a sin in Hinduism and Ambedkar saw it as a denial of basic human rights to the oppressed people. This story puts into perspective the differences in debates between these two leaders. Ambedkar looked at Gandhi as an adversary of himself and of Dalits especially after Gandhi’s fast unto death for not having a separate constituency for Dalits. Ambedkar was aware of the atrocities faced by Dalits in Hinduism and vowed not to die a Hindu, a decision which Gandhi called ‘unbelievable’.

You can read this story on Outlook India.

Vijayta Lalwani

Vijayta Lalwani

The young lady from Lagos has always been keen on a career in journalism. Pune365 was hence the right stop. We agree. vijayta@pune365.com
Vijayta Lalwani