Mahatma Gandhi was a multi-faceted man, one whose writings spanned every subject under the sun, including: agriculture, education, science, sanitation, economics, literature, industry, women, children, health, family planning, religion, and, of course, politics. Many were surprised to learn of his prolific writing, and were astounded to hear that he had probably written more than anyone else in history (his collected works run to over 100 volumes, several hundred pages each).
Mahatma Gandhi was born during an era of progressive evolution of communication technology. Unfortunately, he was born in a country, which was under the clutches of foreign rule. Mahatma Gandhi, was a passionate opponent of modernity and technology, preferring the pencil to the typewriter, the loincloth to the business suit, the plowed field to the belching manufactory, printed words to moving pictures.
Moving pictures made its appearance in India at the beginning of the twentieth century, when the country was poised for major social and political changes. A society that had remained unchanged for centuries was being transformed in the face of technological innovations. Cars, airplanes, radio broadcasts and photograph records had recently been introduced, bringing with them new status symbols as well as access to foreign ideas. At the same time, the press had become a new force in the formation of public opinion as regional language newspapers, including those in Hindi, were being published around the country. It was against this background that cinema arrived. In the decades that followed it was to assume the dimensions of a major socio-cultural force.
Mahatma Gandhi expressed his disapproving ideas on cinema in 1927 when the Indian Cinematograph Committee sent him to him a request accompanied with a questionnaire, on what were his views on cinema. Gandhiji returned the questionnaire with an unfavourable comment in a letter address to T. Rangachriar, Chairman of the Committee, stating he had views to offer as he negated cinema as 'sinful technology'. The letter dated November 12,1927 said:"Even if was so minded, I should be unfit t o answer your questionnaire as I have never been a cinema. But even to outsiders that it has done and is doing is patent. The good if it has done at all, remains to be proved."
He even refused to send a message...
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...d. For the most part it revolves around Gandhi's experiences in South Africa that transform him from Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the coolie lawyer to Mahatma Gandhi who could empathize with the plight of colonized people as being the same where ever they had been subjected to "White" oppression. Benegal made this movie after two and half years of work on the script and 12 drafts later. Scripted along with Dr.Fatima Meer and Shama Zaidi, Making of The Mahatma has excelled in its shows in many countries abroad, but never commercially released in India.
Except these two major films ,there has not been much work on done on any aspect of Gandhi's life. Indian filmmakers have not tried enough to directly deal with the Gandhian ideology in the film. Filmmakers are generally called dream merchants. They sell dreams to their audience But as far as making a film on Gandhi's passionate preoccupation of non violence is concerned .The very few filmmakers have come forwards There is ,perhaps it seems , no frequent buyers. The political and social upheaval that have been taking since India's independence have destroyed the very basic of composite Gandhian root(if any) in Indian society.
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