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Mahatma Gandhi - Historical Accuracy

World History - Summative

Eleena Aluthgamahewage

on 13 June 2013

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Transcript of Mahatma Gandhi - Historical Accuracy




The movie Gandhi of 1982, directed by Richard Attenborough, is a biographical story of a great leader of India who played an active role for gaining Indian independence from the British.
The story is a complete flash back of 55 years back when young Gandhi of 24 years old was thrown from the train for traveling in a first class coach.
The biasness in behavior towards the Indians in South Africa was well realized by him and with this realization he decided to take the initiative to lead a non-violent protest campaign for the right of the Indians.
Undergoing several arrests the government of South Africa decided to grant some relaxation to the Indian people over there.
He was later welcomed back to India as a great leader with great vision and the power to motivate people and to attain justice for them.
He conducted the non-violent non-cooperation campaign in India to gain Independence for India from the British Empire and motivated millions of people to fight for it from all corners of India.
The movement lead by Gandhi forced the British to grant India their Independence. But this was followed by religious tension between Hindus and the Muslims; here, Gandhi took the initiative, as a leader, to go on hunger strike with the demand to stop the tension between Indians.

The movie clearly depicts Gandhi's leadership quality and his contribution to the Indian Society. His vision, positiveness of mind, Motivating power and reliability to work together, proved him to be a successful leader who is remembered even today as a great leader with great ideas.
Table of Contents

1. Values and beliefs
2. Weapons
3. Historical event - Amritsar Massacre
4. Transportation and Geographical location.
Values and beliefs
Amristar Massacre
Knowledge in the Field of Law
Gandhi 'a Non- vio. / Non coop. plan..
stating plan
Did no believe in revenge
Believed in non violence
One of Gandhi fundamental beliefs is different people can live together. He mentions this in his book. More specifically he writes about the equalization of different statuses. He does not agree with special treatment towards people with higher status and discrimination of people in a low status. He writes,

"I want to bring about an equalization of status. The working classes have all these centuries been isolated and relegated to a lower status. They have been shudras, and the word has been interpreted to mean and inferior status. I want to allow no differentiation between the son of a weaver, of an agriculturist and of a schoolmaster."
In the movie you see Gandhi talking about how different people, though not different status, but religion, are working together for a better purpose. However it is the same idea.
The movie is accurate in portraying his beliefs.
Intro clip
The depiction of Jallianwala Bagh was accurate...

the single narrow entrance.
It was an enclosed park. bordered by buildings and walls.
the use of weaponry was also accurate.

The armored vehicles
the column of 90 soldiers
The vehicles that could not pass was also accurate... so general Reginald Dyer and his men marched on foot...
the fanning out was accurate.. and his orders to shoot the unarmed civilians is also accurate.
the number of casualties mentioned in the movie is also accurate 1516 casualties... with 1650 bullets.
What he said about helping the wounded was not his exact words however they were similar...

in the movie he says " I was ready to help any who applied"

His actual words were "It was not my job. Hospitals were open and they could have gone there"

They both have the same meaning as they were both very ignorant and unthoughtful.
The portrayal of the Amritsar Massacre in Gandhi is a scene that is meant to leave a very strong impact on the audience. In showing the massacre of unarmed Indian protestors, including women and children, this incredibly violent and distressing part of the movie shows not only the brutality of British imperial forces, but also shows their fear of losing control. In the scene following the massacre where the actions of General Dyer are being investigated, Dyer admits that he committed the massacre in order to teach a lesson that would have an impact throughout India (Gandhi, 1982). This is a very significant event for Attenborough to include in his film as not only does it mark the beginning of a stronger independence movement in India, but it also had impact in England. The news of the Amritsar Massacre quickly reached England and shocked many people there, exposing the brutality of imperialism in a way that caused many people to start rethinking British rule in India (Wagner, 2012).
In real life, he was a man who was against war and violence. He also did fast in order to send a message to the Indian people to stop the violence. Therefore the movie is accurate in this area.
These weapons that I will talk about next are not
guns or bombs but they are weapons none the less.
The movie is also accurate in depicting
Gandhi's 'weapons' he used in his battle to gain India it's Independence.
Non cooperation in action
Although this was his most powerful weapon, another advantage that made this weapon even more powerful is the fact that he was a lawyer. His legal knowledge in British law assisted him greatly.
These 'weapons' were, as shown in the film, his non-violence non-cooperation campaign.

He disobeyed and encouraged the Indian people to disobey the british laws that go against the
beliefs of the people of India. He did not use violence as he refused to be a part of this independent India if the independence was gained by bloodshed.. Another 'weapon' he used was fasting. The act of not eating and striking. This is a form of protest..... to the death...
Although the majority of Gandhi takes place in India, the beginning of the film is set in South Africa and there is brief interlude in London. It seems as though the South African and Indian landscapes are similar and perhaps the director chose to film them both in India (where, according to the credits, the film was shot).

Both of these locations in “Gandhi” were depicted realistically with the appropriate buildings, architectural features, landscapes, and climate. The few scenes in London were written as to be suitable to be filmed on a sound stage since they took place inside of buildings and in front of a factory but these too were very realistic.

The film takes place between the years 1898 and 1947, thus it covers quite a long span. The props were all suited to the time period, particularly the clothing and transportation. For example, for the early scenes in South Africa and rural India, rickshaws, and horse carriages other horse-driven transportation devices were used.
Horse carriages. used in the movie
The whole film was shot in India even the scene in South Africa.
Gandhi's assassination was filmed in the actual place at the Birla house, in the gardens of Smitri.
Geographical location
assassination from the film
actual assassination
Gandhi did not believe in violence.
He also believed that revenge never works.
These beliefs ultimately lead to his greatest achievement, getting India it's independence
This is shown in the film as Gandhi
refuses to be a part of a campaign
that acts violently.
Therefore the film is accurate in
capturing Gandhi's values and beliefs.
actual Horse carriages
-Very little mistakes because it is a biography.

-The major events were portrayed accurately.

-Details were almost perfect.
Thank you
Full transcript