Gandhi: A Spiritual and Political Leader

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi

An advocate for peace, independence, and for the human rights of Indians, Mahatma Gandhi was always prepared to fight for these three things. Even if it meant using the method of resistance through mass non-violent civil disobedience. Gandhi was not a fan of violence, nor was he a violent man. He was the primary leader of India’s independence movement as well as the architect and pioneer of Satyagraha, a form of civil disobedience that would influence the world.

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Mahatma Gandhi: A Man of India. Photo by Biography.com.

The Birth of a Leader

  • Date and Place of Birth: October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Kathiawar, India
  • Date and Place of Passing: January 30, 1948, in New Delhi, India

Mahatma Gandhi, born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, had studied law in England before travelling to South Africa in 1893 to fight for the rights of Indians there. Around 1914-1915, Gandhi returned to India and was given the titles ‘Father of the Nation’ and leader of Indian nationalism in the country, then ruled by the British. With this in mind, he became the leader of India’s independence movement and organized boycotts against British institutions in peaceful forms of civil disobedience.

The Fight for Liberation

This form of resistance through mass non-violent civil disobedience is known as Satyagraha, which he was a pioneer of, and with this, he became one of the major political and spiritual leaders of his time. Today, Satyagraha remains one of the most potent and worldwide known philosophies in freedom struggles.

In 1914, when Gandhi returned to India, he became the leader of the Indian National Congress, advocating a policy of non-violence to achieve independence for his country. His goal was to provide assistance to poor farmers and labourers to protest oppressive taxation and discrimination. He also struggled to alleviate poverty, liberate women, and put an end to caste discrimination with the objective of self-ruling for India. As a result of his strong contention following his civil disobedience campaign, Gandhi was jailed for conspiracy from 1922 to 1924. In 1930, Gandhi led a march to the sea and collect salt as a symbolic defiance of government monopoly. After his release from prison in 1931, he attended the London Round Table Conference on the constitutional reformation for India. In 1946, he negotiated with the Cabinet Mission and recommended the new constitutional structure for India.

The Assassination

Once India received its independence in 1947, Mahatma Gandhi tried to put a stop to the Hindu-Muslim conflict in Bengal. This resulted in his assassination in New Delhi at the hands of a Hindu fanatic by the name of Nathuram Godse. Even after the death of Mahatma Gandhi, his commitment to non-violence and his belief in a life of simplicity and devotion (making his own clothes, following a vegetarian diet, and fasting for self-purification as well as a means of protest) have become a beacon of hope for the oppressed and marginalized people throughout the world.

The Commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday which falls today on October 2 is now a national holiday in India. It is a widely celebrated event as well as one that is commemorated by the United Nations as the International Day of Non-Violence. Happy Birthday, Gandhi, and Happy International Day of Non-Violence to everyone! Let us enjoy the peace for just one day, love our neighbours the way we would love ourselves, and make love and peace, not war.

Support Gandhi and pray with him in our hearts by getting your posters at our physical store at Taylor’s University Lakeside campus or purchase one via our Facebook page!

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A Tribute to Robin Williams

Laughter was Robin Williams’ best prescription for the world as the actor was not just a movie star on the big screen, but also a comedian that everyone came to know and love. He came into our lives, saw what the world needed, and conquered us with his jokes and hilarious voice-acting. He was more than just a famous face in Hollywood. He was a family man; a loving husband, a doting dad, and a friend to everyone who knew him. He achieved so much but he left the world too soon.

Robin Williams’s Incredible Career and Personal History

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Robin Williams and his daughter Zelda Williams. Photo by The Australian

Date and Place of Birth: July 21, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois

Williams was born to a wealthy family in Chicago. In 1968, he moved to San Francisco with his parents when he was a teenager. Williams kickstarted his career in the world of comedy as a stand-up comedian and eventually became one of America’s leading performers after completing his enrolment at the Juilliard School in New York City. There, he became friends and roommates with fellow actor Christopher Reeve. Williams worked hard at his career and allowed his reputation to grow by word-of-mouth among comedy experts. With the influence of Richard Pryor and Jonathan Winters, Williams excelled, remembering everything he had seen on television when he was a child and fed it to his audience in short bursts.

But his fame did not come from comedy alone. His portfolio also included a wide range of funny movies, serious films, and voice-acting for several animation and cartoons. He played an alien character called Mork in a widely known TV series Mork and Mindy. In 1980, Williams made his debut on the big screen in a lead role as the famous spinach-eating sailor in Popeye. A string of successful movies followed and showcased his stellar comedic talents and his ability to take on serious work. Below are some of his famous movies that we are familiar with: ‘Hook‘ (1991), ‘Aladdin – as the voice of the genie‘ (1992), ‘Mrs Doubtfire‘ (1993), ‘Jumanji‘ (1995), ‘Flubber‘ (1997), ‘Good Will Hunting‘ (1997), ‘Patch Adams‘ (1998), ‘Bicentennial Man‘ (1999), ‘A.I.: Artificial Intelligence – as the voice of Dr. Know‘ (2001), ‘Robots – as the voice of Fender‘ (2005), ‘Night at the Museum, and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian – as Teddy Roosevelt‘ (2006), ‘RV‘ (2006), and ‘Happy Feet, and Happy Feet 2 – as the  voice for Ramon/Lovelace‘ (2006).

Robin Williams Movies

Despite a shining career, Williams suffered from a number of setbacks, mostly in his personal life. He developed a drug and alcohol addiction and struggled with it for more than two decades. He also became involved in several tumultuous romantic relationships. While being married to actress Valerie Velardi who bore him a son called Zachary, he was seeing other women. Williams and Velardi divorced in 1988 and married his son’s nanny, Marsha Garces the following year, with whom he had daughter Zelda and son Cody. In 2006, Williams suffered a drug relapse and checked himself into rehab in August. Health problems derailed the comedian in 2009, occasionally causing the actor to have a shortness of breath which led to a string of cancelled performances and resulted in a heart surgery.

For many years, Williams continued with his acting career and stand-up comedy acts. For many years, he battled severe depression and struggled with his drug and alcohol addiction. Suddenly as if by fate, his problems went away. On August 11, 2014, the 63-year-old actor-comedian was found dead in his California home. A press release issued on August 12 stated that the preliminary results of the forensic examination revealed that Mr. Williams ended his life by hanging himself. A pocket knife was discovered at the scene and several cuts were found on his left wrist. Williams’ current wife Susan Schneider disclosed in her statement that her husband had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a disorder that affects the nervous system that progresses over time and affects an individual’s speech and movement.

So let’s take a minute of silence to remember the man who brought us so much joy and laughter every time we watched his movies. Let’s remember the man as the happy-go-lucky actor with a wicked sense of humour. Let’s put him in our memories his greatest legacy, his three wonderful children, and the happiness he offered to others through his movies and particularly to those with similar personal struggles and health battles.

The Three Wise Men

When you think of Albert Einstein, you recall a crazy old man with frizzy hair sticking his tongue out. When you think of Mahatma Gandhi, you thought he had good life and why did he do this to himself. When you think of Martin Luther King, Jr., you tell yourself, “Oh no, it’s that black man again!”

Now before you think of something else to say, bear in mind that these men have contributed far more to society than we ever will in our lives! They may have died a long time ago but the impact their hard work had on our lives is so strong that it’s still remembered by everyone today. Albert Einstein was the genius behind the world of science and mathematics, while Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. shared one thing in common – fighting for human equality, freedom of mankind, and human rights by using non-violence in their protests. They proved that aggression and violence are not the answer to problem solving. These men should be respected, not mocked.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Science and Physics

Date and Place of Birth: March 14, 1879 in Wurttemberg, Germany

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Photo of Albert Einstein by Philippe Halsman (California Indian Education)

Did you know…?

… that during World War I, Einstein was asked to help the US Navy evaluate designs for future weapons systems? After moving to Princeton with his wife when life in Germany became difficult for Jews, he wrote a letter to President Roosevelt to develop an atom bomb before Germany did, and the letter became Roosevelt’s decision to fund the Manhattan Project.

Albert Einstein was one of the smartest people who contributed many of the greatest scientific inventions to society. His contributions included the field of science where space and time were absolute, and the speed of light was relative (light is constant and that it’s impossible to go faster than the speed of light), math where he explained how to calculate Avogadro’s number, and the idea of Quantum Physics (not to be confused with James Bond’s Quantum of Solace!). Einstein’s famous equation, E=MC2, explains the link between energy and mass. As a result of his work, he was awarded the Noble Prize in 1921. Einstein died at age 76 in Princeton in 1955, from aneurysm (enlargement of the abdominal artery filled with blood and bled to death internally).

MAHATMA GANDHI: For Freedom and Identity

Date and Place of Birth: October 2, 1869 in Gujarat as Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi

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Mahatma Gandhi on Intellectual Revolution (Fans Share)

Did you know…?

… that October 2 is celebrated annually in India as Gandhi Jayanti to commemorate the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the legend who united India under one god. This celebration is amongst the three national festivals of India. On this auspicious day, the whole nation (including the President, the Prime Minister, and other political dignitaries) pay tribute to Gandhi for his selfless work and love for the people of India by visiting the Raj Ghat (where he was cremated).

Mahatma Gandhi played a significant role in uniting India across the states, regardless of the differences in language, religion, caste, creed, and sex. He motivated everyone to come together and fight for freedom under the Indian National Congress banner. His contributions led to his success of leading the non-violent struggle to achieve India’s freedom. He was a great visionary with a mission to recognize the strength of Indian society that encompassed its ethnic differences in one nation. Gandhi used this to rally the masses and reinforced the country’s national identity and enabled the population to regain their freedom, pride, and dignity.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: Equality and Non-violence

Date and Place of Birth: January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States of America

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‘I Have A Dream’ by Martin Luther King, Jr. (Philosophy Monkey)

When Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK Jr.) was young, he was deeply saddened that he could not make friends with people who were not black. Despite knowing that just because people looked different on the outside, who they were on the inside as well as their character was what makes a person valuable. That was when MLK Jr. saw a social problem, developed a dream, and eventually took action to change the views of the United States as well as the world. His contributions included:

  • Leading the civil rights movement in the 1960s to work out conflicts with kindness and love as opposed to hate and violence.
  • Fighting for and achieving mandatory equal voting rights in the US for blacks and whites.
  • Leading lunch counter sit-ins for equal treatment in restaurants for people of all races.
  • Effectively and successfully using non-violent peaceful demonstrations and protests.

Because of MLK Jr., it is now illegal to segregate and/or discriminate based on skin colour in the US. Because of KLK Jr., the standard has now been set in stone for all nations to treat everyone equally regardless of skin colour. Sadly, a legend like him would have as many enemies as he has friends. MLK Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Feeling inspired? Then head over to our Posterific Facebook page and get your motivation from these awesome individuals in the ‘Albert Einstein‘ album and ‘Inspirational‘ album!

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