Making of Mahatma: A summary of presentations and
Abhishek G, Harsha M, Maulik G,
Pranav S, Rajneesh K, Sanjiva S,
Introduction: Making of Mahatma
We all know Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as a great leader, the torchbearer of peace, the frail man who made the mighty British bow to his non-violent means, the “Mahatma” who got independence for India. However, he was not born as a perfect leader. The movie presents the story of his transformation from an average citizen to a great leader. The movie also shows a series of dualities – fine line between self-centred and devoted to the world, dedicated to a public cause versus family responsibilities, among others. At this stage in our careers when most of us are looking forward to take up leadership roles, these dualities present an interesting study of leadership, values and ethics for us. Organization of the report
We begin with salient features of Gandhi’s leadership and how he acquired them. Next, we move on to dilemma and conflicts he faces in his public vs. personal responsibilities. Finally we compare Gandhi’s character with other characters that we have discussed in LVE class. Interesting class discussions that ensued during our presentations and our views on them have been captured in appropriate sections.
A Visionary Leader
Gandhi was a visionary leader. He had the vision to mobilise the Indian community in South Africa against the discriminatory laws. He evolved the concepts of Satyagrah, non-violence and civic disobedience which emerged as an effective tool against the tyranny of mighty forces. Gandhi founded the “Indian Opinion” a first journal for the Indian community and also inspired women to join the struggle, again an innovative move at that time. It was his vision and learning from his experiences that turned him as a “Mahatma” in the eyes of the people around him. However, he also appears to be self-centred. He hardly budged from what he believed. Be it the incident of being thrown away from train or sending kids to an English school. But one can argue: was he really a self-centred or was he visionary? Perhaps, it was not a question of being visionary or being self-centred. For a leader to really follow his values and ethics he needs to be a visionary and a self-centred person. When the leader is driven by his values and ethics, he may appear as a self-centred person to others. However, we believe that this drive is critical for a leader to have. If he is not focused on his principles, he will not be able to implement his vision.
Courageous and Inspirational
Gandhi comes across as an extremely courageous leader. He was not afraid of the consequences of doing what he believed in. He was not afraid of taking the path that was never traversed before such as non – violence. Nor did he shy away from rigorous imprisonment that he often endured. He inspired people to hate crime and not the criminal through his own examples. It was his leading by example that he was able to inspire the people in a different country and mobilize them on such a large scale to participate in the non-violent protests. He never turned away from any hardships. It was only Page 1 of 5
through these hardships that he could realise his true potential. To be such an inspirational leader it was important for him to lead from the front. Indeed, to remain credible among your followers, you cannot deviate from your core values which your followers have identified and aligned with. And Gandhi never deviated even once from this, as seen in the examples of miner’s strike - he asked them to vacate the houses and not use company’s ration during the strike.
Mahatma Gandhi had deep faith in his value systems which gave him the courage and the self-belief to fight on his own terms. It was his perseverance on his chosen path which gave him the credibility as a leader. He used it to overcome all the difficulties on his path. However there...