2 Revealing Anecdotes about Gandhi
Gandhi was one of the most influential people in the last century political scene. There are real stories about Gandhi that are very important and useful to understand who he has been.
He is famous for his struggles for civil rights in South Africa and in India, for the application of nonviolent resistance, for his fasts, his veganism and his constant search for simplicity.
Here are some stories that allow you to better understand his character.
01. His own way of judging students.
In South Africa Gandhi set up an ashram at Phoenix, where he started a school for children. Gandhi had his own ideas about how children should be taught. He disliked the examination system. In his school he wanted to teach the boys true knowledge—knowledge that would improve both their minds and their hearts.
Gandhi had his own way of judging students. All the students in the class were asked the same question. But often Gandhi praised the boy with low marks and scolded the one who had high marks.
This puzzled the children. When questioned on this unusual practice, Gandhi one day explained, “I am not trying to show that Shyam is cleverer than Ram. So I don’t give marks on that basis.
I want to see how far each boy has progressed,
how much he has learnt. If a clever student competes with a stupid one and begins to think no end of himself, he is likely to grow dull. Sure of his own cleverness, he’ll stop working.
The boy who does his best and works hard will always do well and so I praise him.”
Gandhi kept a close watch on the boys who did well. Were they still working hard? What would they learn if their high marks filled them with conceit? Gandhi continually stressed this to his students. If a boy who was not very clever worked hard and did well, Gandhi was full of praise for him.
02. Gandhi’s idea of semplicity
The second of the stories about Gandhi has been told by K. S. Acharlu, from Bangalore, who is now over ninety years of age, and had spent considerable time in Gandhi’s ashram and worked actively in the Hindustani Talimi Sangh, writes: “After my M.A. Degree in Philosophy, I was appointed as a teacher in the Government High School at Davanagere in Mysore State. I had faith in Gandhian values, Khadi in particular. I used to wash all my clothes, at home without seeking the help of a washerman. As for ironing clothes, the sun dried apparel were neatly folded and placed under my pillow for being ironed. In many other ways my wife and I were leading lives of simplicity.
Though I considered myself to be leading a life of simplicity, I was not satisfied until I sought Gandhi’s advice on the meaning of simplicity.”
Gandhi readily replied on 26 March 1928,
“Simplicity is a matter of the heart. But lest we deceive ourselves, the ideal is not to possess anything which the poorest on earth does not.“