Blinking marvellous read We were only given the snippiest snippet of his pernickety character early life in the Attenborough film so it was lovely to acquaint myself with his version of events.
Gandhi has no energy whatsoever I think the main problem with him writing his own autobiography is his complete lack of ego He is too modest He is too accommodating And he is too good Wonderful characteristics for sure they clearly served him well in his role as a civil rights leader, though they make him rather ill equipped to write his own story There is absolutely no passion within his writing, no fire, no strength and certainly no sense of long term goals or aspirations within the first few hundred pages He begins with telling the tale of his youth, a rather non descript and ordinary upbringing It s mundane, full of far too much monotony and everyday trifles to warrant any remark It s almost like he is detached from his own experiences Gandhi the leader, Gandhi the man who has inspired thousands, did not come across in much of the writing here He is narrating his life retrospectively, from a position of success and influence, yet this Gandhi does not appear in the pages There is no sense of an older, wiser, Gandhi looking at the actions of his youth and appraising or criticising his own actions He does not evaluate the past, but tells it a bland impersonal manner with little emotion All in all, I found it extremely hard to connect with on any level To compare this to the compelling, convincing and rather extraordinary Autobiography of Malcolm X, Gandhi s words are unengaging There is no rhetoric or argument to any actual effect Certainly, he speaks of following a pure and truthful life, though after reading his words I was never convinced with the reasons he puts forth The merits of such a life speak for themselves, but Gandhi did not convey it here There s also no sense of the human struggle, of a man trying to overcome his own daemons and become a better person There is a certain lack of emotion within the entire work It feels cold It is, of course, worth mentioning that I greatly admire Gandhi His approach to life was benevolent and inspiring Humanity has a lot to learn from him he was an exemplifier of human values we all ought to strive for Yet, for all his leadership skills, he couldn t write for shit.
fundamentally changed my view of the worldOft In My ThoughtAh, how often I have sought in my days,To emulate the great leaders, and be gently led,By their virtuous actions and well laid plans.
How often I charted the best courses to takeTo reach those heights of thought and action And thought ever of what best will portrayTheir everlasting influence on this humble self,That will make this world to be as they always saw,In their lofty wishes and their fanciful dreams But all those thoughts, alas, they too crumble and dry,And serve no the masters that send them forth,Who are now but ashes or just food to now dead worms,And so are their thoughts but food to a few blind men.
And this world that lets the best of it die,And leaves not even a soul or a smile behind,For what I should try, what lasting effect,When in showing the virtues, I forget them How to pass that time of the night,When all too familiar shame shows its head Have you forgotten all your virtues,It asks with the malevolent sweet smiles,The dead might banish sins and conquer great heights,But will the living learn, it sneers and slips away.
To what profit we move, to what end we sing,Praises of these men, and put their faces in public places The most good, most fair and most just of men They no longer walk this realm, what omen there And when the young can no longer dare imagineThat their footsteps once hallowed these very ruins This was a fascinating read Gandhi s writing is oddly simple, even almast naive in places He faithfully records small personal struggles, giving them the same wieght as major political battles Gandhi s zeal and idealism comes across powerfully, as does his lifelong concern with self discipline and purity bramacharya I was especially interested in his evolving understanding of satyagraha and his increasingly strict vegetarianism His ascetism increased in direct proportion to his growing political power The autobiography ends in 1920, right around the time Gandhi became an international figure The major historical events leading up to Independence are outside the scope of the book, but it s fascinating to watch Gandhi become Gandhi during the first half of his life Like all autobiographies, this one leaves out much helpful background information about people, places, and evets, so I frequently put down the book to Googgle Next I would love to read a third person biography to fill in some of the gaps.