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Movie Summary and Review - Essay Example

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The oppression of the minorities and of the citizens in countries which were occupied by large empires all nearly came to a point when the fight for freedom and sovereignty has become inevitable. It is through the hopes of the people that liberation becomes reality, and such…
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HOW GANDHI WAS ABLE TO INITIATE SOCIAL CHANGES IN INDIA How Gandhi was Able to Initiate Social Changes in India The oppression of the minorities andof the citizens in countries which were occupied by large empires all nearly came to a point when the fight for freedom and sovereignty has become inevitable. It is through the hopes of the people that liberation becomes reality, and such changes are mostly made through agents of social changes. While most of these struggles almost always end up in bloodshed, there are some which are able to happen just by having actions and convictions stronger than speeches. This was shown in the 1982 movie, Gandhi, where the release of India from the hands of the British through numerous and lengthy non-violent protests of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi can be seen as an example of how agents of social changes can be mediated through the leadership of one person.
The movie shows viewers how the death of a celebrated icon could affect people and politics by showing the death and funeral of Gandhi first before moving backwards to the experience that changed his outlook and beliefs, which was being kicked out of the first-class car despite having tickets, during a train ride in South Africa (Attenborough, 1982). It is through experiencing the harsh reality of the oppression of native people and minorities that Gandhi wakes up and begins his non-violent revolution in the liberation of India from the British, and the quest for peace among its citizens. However, despite his efforts in unifying India, the majority of Hindus and Muslims were unable to bring a compromising solution apart from the separation of the Muslims as a country from the rest of the Hindu population, and while he was able to sway the beliefs of most people, there were still some detractors which do not believe in his ideals of unification and passive-resistance (Attenborough, 1982). This leads to his assassination and death in 1948, which became a major event among the lives of most members of the Hindu population, and made Gandhi an icon of peace.
The movie was able to portray numerous social issues, such as the violation of human rights, the inability of people with different mindsets to work together with trust, and the difficulties of standing up for one’s position without offending others or ending up becoming too passive. What made Gandhi seem like a great soul to most of his followers, and the people around him was that he was able to show authenticity of his actions, a passion for what he believes, and a strong sense of morality even when he was kept behind bars numerous times, which were all hard to do during the war-torn times in India (Attenborough, 1982; Van Wart & Suino, 2012). This kind of leadership is able to explain why certain leadership characteristics can be much more effective and sustainable in the long run, and that experiencing intrapersonal changes before initiating interpersonal and transformational changes gives a leader much credibility to his or her leadership abilities, as well as greater capacity in understanding the minds and needs of followers and subordinates (Kriel, 2010).
Many social issues that were shown in the setting in Gandhi are still alive until today especially among war-torn areas, thus the movie is still relevant in the modern age. Even if the settings or the characters were from the past, the issues such as oppression of the underprivileged, education and other basic human rights being limited to those that could afford, and lack of understanding between people of varying or opposing beliefs are still among the sources of war and misunderstandings among various nations, similar to what were portrayed (Attenborough, 1982). Such issues make Gandhi an eye-opener for people without any ideas on what issues and needs that the society must address.
The movie was a biopic of an Indian icon, and therefore has biases with regards to the portrayals of the social problems, mostly leaning towards how India was controlled and oppressed by the British. However, with regards to showing validations of principles of leadership, it was able to accomplish such by presenting the characteristics of Gandhi that made him a charismatic and effective leader in aiding the passive resistance movement (Attenborough, 1982). The film also showed Gandhi stepping down from his position of power in order to feel the sufferings of most Indians, which is a basic leadership trait of putting one’s self in the other’s shoes (Kriel, 2010). If Gandhi was unable to understand the mindset of his people, he may have been unable to initiate social changes, and may have even caused a longer British occupation in India.
While the kind of leadership Gandhi showed may not be very effective in building strong corporations or industries, it is this kind of leadership that can build like-minded citizens and instill patriotism for one’s country, since he showed traits which were not competitive, but rather focusing on the need for inclusion, patience, and self-discipline in combination with collaborative and accommodating approaches (Van Wart & Suino, 2012). The movie is able to show the audiences that radical changes in both thinking and acting on situations, in combination with compassion and sincerity towards others could make noticeable changes within the social order.
Attenborough, R. (Director). (1982). Gandhi [Motion Picture].
Kriel, G. (2010). Leadership and social change: a south african model for transforming business in developing countries. London: Xlibris Corporation.
Van Wart, M., & Suino, P. (2012). Leadership in public organizations: an introduction (2nd ed.). New York, NY: M. E. Sharpe. Read More
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