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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Jimi Hendrix: An Eclectic Mix of Innovation and Sound

“When I die, I want people to just play my music, go wild and freak out, do anything they want to do.” – Jimi Hendrix, American singer, guitarist, and songwriter (1942-1970)

And Jimi Hendrix got what he wished for. At only 27 years old, Hendrix was young when he died on September 18, 1970 from drug-related complications. A talented recording artist, an accomplished songwriter, and a musical experimenter, Hendrix left his mark in the world of rock and roll, and remained popular until today. His passing led to a realization that he was the ultimate guitar player, and that he made use of the electric guitar more than anyone.

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A 3-in-1 Rock Star. Just add a guitar: Jimi Hendrix, short for James Marshall Hendrix, was born as Johnny Allen Hendrix. Photo by Cinema Arts Centre.

The Bumpy Road to Rock-Stardom

  • Date and Place of Birth: November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Date and Place of Passing: September 18, 1970, in Notting Hill, London, United Kingdom

Jimi Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix (later changed to James Marshall Hendrix), and learned how to play the guitar during his teenage years. He was destined to become a legendary rock star when he grew up, and his dreams came true in the 1960s, rocking the world with his innovative electric guitar-playing skills. A rock version of “The Star Spangled Banner” was one of Hendrix’s most memorable performances at in Woodstock (1969), dazzling the crowds with his musical talents. He survived a difficult childhood which sometimes involved living with relatives and acquaintances. His parents had a stormy relationship despite having three boys (Hendrix and his two brothers, Leon and Joseph). His mother was only 17 when Hendrix was born. His father was present during his childhood years but did not care much for his sons. Hendrix’s mother eventually left the family, whom Hendrix only met sporadically before she died in 1958.

A Rock Star’s Dream

Due to his shattered childhood, Hendrix turned to music as an outlet for his emotions and taught himself to play the guitar. At 14, Hendrix attended his first concert performance by Elvis Presley. A year later, he got his first electric guitar and played with two bands – the Rocking Kings, and the Tomcats. In 1959, Hendrix dropped out of high school and worked odd jobs while keeping his musical dream alive. In 1961, Hendrix enlisted in the U.S. Army and trained at Fort Ord, California, to become a paratrooper. Even though he was in the army, he still made time for music, and created a band called The King Casuals. In 1962, he was discharged due to an injury and pursued his musical aspirations by working as a session musician. His role as a backup guitarist for performers such as Little Richard, Sam Cooke, and the Isley Brothers paved the way for him to form his own group called Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. They played gigs around the neighbourhood of New York City’s Greenwich Village.

In mid-1966, Jimi Hendrix met Chas Chandler, a former member of the successful rock group, the Animals, who became his manager. Chandler convinced Hendrix to go to London where he joined forces with two other musicians Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell to create the Jimi Hendrix Experience. His presence in London resulted in an explosion of followers among the UK’s rock royalty. Members of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Eric Clapton greatly admired Hendrix’s work. A critic for the British music magazine Melody Maker quipped:

“He had great stage presence, and looked at times as if he was playing with no hands at all!”

The band’s first single, Hey Joe, released in 1967, became an instant hit in Britain, followed by Purple Haze and The Wind Cried Mary. That same year, Hendrix delighted audiences with his outrageous guitar-playing skills and his innovative, experimental sound while on tour to support his first album, Are You Experienced?. His stunning performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967 (which ended with Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire) won the hearts of many American music fans. Other 1968 hits by Jimi Hendrix included: Axis: Bold as Love from his second album, Electric Ladyland from his final album as part of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and All Along the Watchtower from the same album, written by Bob Dylan.

In 1969, the group disbanded and Hendrix tried his luck with another group, Band of Gypsys with his army buddy Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. They didn’t get very far, and Hendrix decided to work on a new album called First Rays of the New Rising Sun with Cox and Mitchell from the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Sadly, Hendrix didn’t live to complete his project and was found dead in Notting Hill, London from a combination of alcohol and substance abuse.

Show of Support for Jimi Hendrix

It is indeed devastating when you learn of the passings of your idols, be it superstars on the big screen or singer-songwriters of their time. You can show your love and support for Jimi Hendrix and get your version of the Hendrix experience by getting your posters from our us. Click here for our Jimi Hendrix poster album.

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Happy Birthday, Michael Jackson!

Fame and fortune definitely can’t buy happiness, and it rings quite true for celebrities. Despite all the wealth amassed from making movies, and all the fame from sponsorship deals and big-time endorsements, they will still fall like ordinary folk.

Today marks the 56th birthday of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop; one of the world’s most successful performers! It’s a shame that he died in such an unglorified manner. That he left before he could make his comeback tour. And lost the chance to redeem himself for all the headlines he made in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Did you know…

… that Michael Jackson’s obsession with his skin condition was influenced by a serious injury sustained while filming for a Pepsi-Cola commercial in 1984? He suffered burns to his face and scalp, and had surgeries to fix his injuries. As a result, his interest in experimenting with plastic surgery led to his dramatic alterations to his face, especially his nose, in the coming years.

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Michael Jackson in his prime as a successful solo artiste. Photo by Billboard.

  • Date and Place of Birth: August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana.
  • Date and Place of Passing: June 25, 2009, in Los Angeles, California.

Michael Jackson (MJ) was born in an African-American working-class family, with a guitarist father who put aside his musical aspirations to provide for his family as a crane operator. His father knew his sons had talent, and molded them into a musical group in the early 1960s. The group initially consisted of the older Jackson brothers: Tito, Jermaine, and Jackie. MJ only joined the group when he turned five, eventually emerging as the group’s lead vocalist. Another older brother, Marlon, became a member of the group and they were known as the Jackson 5.

An Early Successful Career

At age 13, MJ launched his own solo career and became one of the most internationally famous award-winning solo pop sensations to date! His song “Got to Be There” from the album of the same name topped the charts in 1971, and with his album “Ben” (which featured an eponymous ballad about a rat) in 1972. That song became Jackson’s first solo No. 1 single. MJ continued to wow the music world with his next solo album, “Off the Wall” (1979), an infectious blend of pop and funk, with tracks like the Grammy-award winning “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough“, “Rock With You“, and “She’s Out of My Life“. In 1982, he collaborated with Paul McCartney in “The Girl Is Mine“, which appeared on his next solo album, “Thriller” that same year. The album generated seven TOP 10 hits, became the best-selling album in history, and received 12 Grammy Award nominations, out of which he won 8. MJ’s performance “Billie Jean” also became a No.1 hit, and his famous dance move, “The Moonwalk” debuted in it. By then, he was already a veteran performer, and he choreographed the dance move for the video of another No.1 hit, “Beat It“. Other hits included “Man in the Mirror” (1987), “Black or White” (1991 – with child star Macaulay Culkin), “You Are Not Alone” (1995), and “Scream” (1995 – a duet with his sister Janet).

MJ was on a roll to become the best of the best. He broke numerous records as an artiste. He earned several Guinness World Records titles, including the achievement for the longest span of U.S. Top 40 singles, 13 Grammy Awards (8 in a night in 1984), a double inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the first artiste to have 5 No.1 singles from the same album (1987’s “Bad“).

A Downhill Slide

He had more fame and fortune than he knew what to do with it, and made decisions with his wealth that if he was alive today, he’d regret his actions. MJ built a fantasy ranch retreat Neverland in California and kept exotic pets like a chimpanzee called Bubbles. He invited children for sleepovers at his ranch, leading to child molestation allegations pressed by parents of the children whom he had invited. Rumours surfaced, including one where he was believed to be lightening his skin colour to appear more white and slept in a special chamber to increase his life span! In 1994, he wed Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley in what critics believed to be a publicity ploy in response to the child molest allegations. The couple divorced in 1996, and he married nurse Debbie Rowe, with whom he had two children through artificial insemination: Michael Joseph “Prince” Jackson Jr. (1997) and Paris Michael Katherine Jackson (1998). MJ may be a successful chart-topping singer but where marriages were concerned, his was not a happy ending. He divorced Rowe in 1999, with MJ receiving full custody of their children, and later on, having a third child with an unknown surrogate: another son, Prince Michael “Blanket” Jackson II.

Things became worse for MJ, more recognized then as a quirky eccentric. His odd behaviour overshadowed his success, and often appeared in public with a surgical mask and his children’s faces hidden under veils. He made headlines when he looked confused and disoriented at an MTV Awards Show in 2002. He was criticized for dangling his son, Prince Michael II, over a balcony while greeting fans in Berlin, which led to demands that Child Protective Services take his children from him. MJ faced more legal issues in 2004 when he was arrested on child molestation charges with a 13-year-old boy in 2003 for lewd conduct with a minor, attempted lewd conduct, administering alcohol to facilitate molestation, and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment, and extortion.

A Superstar’s Tragic Death

In 2009, MJ suffered cardiac arrest in his L.A. home. He was rushed to hospital after his heart stopped but CPR attempts failed, and he died, at 50 years old, later that morning. He never got to experience the anticipated success of his comeback tour (all tickets for the show sold out in just 4 days). He may have lived out his final days as a nutcase to many, but he was still the most successful performer of all time, and his death resulted in worldwide grief and sympathy, and memorials for him were erected around the world.

Can’t get enough of the King of Pop even after his tragic death? Then celebrate his posthumous awesomeness and get your Michael Jackson posters from our official Posterific Facebook page, while stocks last!

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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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