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Shvoong Home>Books>Biographies>The Story of My Experiments With Truth Review

The Story of My Experiments With Truth

Book Review   by:iwrite28     Original Author: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi aka Mahatma Gandhi is probably the most revered person in India. Known as the apostle of peace, Mahatma Gandhi’s fame has spread around the world. Much after his death, he has followers in people like Martin Luther King Junior and Nelson Mandela, and fans in people like Albert Einstein. In fact, Einstein had said about Gandhi: ”Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.”

M. K. Gandhi was the leading figure in India’s struggle for independence. In the whole world, every fight against an unjust ruler has been marked by bloody uprisings. Whether the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution or any other fight, the history of mankind is strewn with violence. The greatness of Gandhi comes in his leadership by non-violence. It is not as if non-violence was a new concept, but this man not only knew it as a concept, he believed and lived it – and most miraculously made an entire nation follow it. He led non-violent protests, marches and non-cooperation movements – but never exhorted the millions who followed him to take to arms. And miraculously, he achieved the goal of Independence from British rule for India. He is the ultimate example of simplicity in living.

The Story of My Experiments With Truth is Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography. He wrote this while he was leading the nation. It is important to understand this context because in the book, Gandhi describes his failings and struggles. For a leader who has millions watching him, hanging on to his words, believing in him and unquestioningly following him to admit to his failings during his own time is a feat of courage that is unparalleled. There are frequent autobiographies and biographies of famous lives – but these are usually after the days of glory have passed.

The incidents that Gandhi writes about, in the current day and in different societies, may not seem like massive struggles – but in his day, age and society they were huge. He came from an extremely orthodox Gujarati vegetarian family. In the book, he writes about partaking non-vegetarian food. No big deal today. But to give this a perspective: he is writing about it in the early 1900s. The state of Gujarat, from where he came, is still largely vegetarian even today. In the year 2000, Pizza Hut opened an outlet in Ahmedabad, the biggest city in that state. It was the first all vegetarian Pizza Hut in the world!

This book is of the period in Gandhi’s life spanning from being Mohandas in South Africa to becoming Mahatma in India. While on one hand it describes his efforts to stay on a path of truth and courage in his personal and public life; on the other hand, it is a blueprint about being a politician with honesty and idealism. Politics, as Plato envisaged, was the highest form of art and science. Like every idealistic theory, this one too has gone completely against its grain by now – but Gandhi shows the most beautiful and sublime aspects of politics.

Read this book to understand honesty, frailty, courage, industry, belief and about rising above yourself driven by vision and ideals.

Published: August 28, 2013   
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