Gandhigiri


Gandhigiri

Gandhigiri is an relatively new term in India which is used to express the tenets of Gandhism (the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi which include Satyagraha, non-violence, and truth) in contemporary terms. The term became popular again due to its usage in a Hindi film Lage Raho Munnabhai. [Ghosh, Arunabha (December 23–29, 2006). " [http://www.epw.org.in/uploads/articles/10078.pdf Lage Raho Munna Bhai: Unravelling Brand Gandhigiri: Gandhi, the man, was once the message. In post-liberalisation India, 'Gandhigiri' is the message] ." "Economic and Political Weekly" 41 (51)] [Sharma, Swati Gauri. " [http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/10/13/how_gandhi_got_his_mojo_back How Gandhi got his mojo back] ." "Boston Globe," October 13, 2006] [cite news | first=Mridula| last=Chunduri| url=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2038291.cms| title= Gandhigiri, a cool way to live| work=timesofindia.com|publisher=Times Internet Limited| date=2006-09-29| accessdate=2006-09-29]

The term "Gandhigiri" was popularized by the 2006 Hindi film, "Lage Raho Munna Bhai". [cite news | first=Shastri | last=Ramachandaran| url=http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060923/edit.htm#4| title=Jollygood Bollywood:Munnabhai rescues Mahatma| work=tribuneindia.com|publisher=The Tribune Trust| date=23 September 2006| accessdate=2007-04-28]

Usage

As a colloquial expression in various languages in India including Hindi and Tamil, "Gandhigiri" refers to the practice of the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi. [cite news | first=Shastri | last=Ramachandaran| url=http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060923/edit.htm#4| title=Jollygood Bollywood:Munnabhai rescues Mahatma| work=tribuneindia.com|publisher=The Tribune Trust| date=23 September 2006| accessdate=2007-04-28] It is a colloquial form of Gandhism. "Gandhism" (or "Gandhianism") is a term which attempts to summarize the philosophies of Mahatma Gandhi. Basic tenets of Gandhism include "satya" (truth) and "Satyagraha": "Truth (satya) implies love, and firmness (agraha) engenders and therefore serves as a synonym for force...that is to say, the Force which is born of Truth and Love or non-violence."cite book
last = Gandhi
first = M.K
authorlink = Mahatma Gandhi
editor = ed. Louis Fischer
title = The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas
url = http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0394714660/
edition = Reprint edition (November 12, 2002)
series = Vintage spiritual classics
publisher = Vintage Books USA
location = New York
isbn = 1400030501
pages = p.77
chapter = The Struggle
] Gandhi further noted of the term, "Satyagraha",cquote|Its root meaning is holding on to truth, hence truth-force. I have also called it Love-force or Soul-force. In the application of Satyagraha I discovered in the earliest stages that pursuit of truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one's opponent but that he must be weaned from error by patience and sympathy. For what appears to be truth to the one may appear to be error to the other. And patience means self-suffering. So the doctrine came to mean vindication of truth not by infliction of suffering on the opponent but on one's self.cite book
last = Gandhi
first = M.K
editor = ed. Kumarappa, Bharatan
title = Non-Violent Resistance (Satyagraha)
url = http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=9165422
accessdate = 2007-05-05
year = 1961
publisher = Schocken Books
location = New York
isbn = 0805200177
pages = p. 6
chapter = What Satyagraha Is: Satyagraha
]

In this context, "Gandhigiri" is sometimes juxtaposed to "Dadagiri"cite web
url = http://www.hinduonnet.com/2006/09/28/stories/2006092802241000.htm
title = Gandhigiri — a philosophy for our times
accessdate = 2007-04-25
last = Shah
first = Mihir
date = 2006-09-28
work = Opinion, hinduonnet.com
publisher = The Hindu
] (as it was in "Lage Raho Munna Bhai," where Munna Bhai had to learn to give up "Dadagiri" in exchange for "Gandhigiri"). [ [http://www.ndtv.com/features/showfeatures.asp?slug=Gandhigiri+inspires+young+generation&id=1454 Gandhigiri inspires young generation] ] [cite web
url = http://www.hinduonnet.com/2006/09/28/stories/2006092802241000.htm
title = Gandhigiri — a philosophy for our times
accessdate = 2007-04-25
last = Shah
first = Mihir
date = 2006-09-28
work = Opinion, hinduonnet.com
publisher = The Hindu
]

Popularization of term

Overview

"Lage Raho Munna Bhai" (Hindi: Audio|LageRahoMunnaBhaiPronounciation.ogg|लगे रहो मुन्नाभाई, pronounced|ləgeː ɾəhoː mʊnːaːbʱaːɪ; English: "Carry on Munna Bhai") is a 2006 Indian musical comedy directed by Rajkumar Hirani and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Sanjay Dutt stars in this film as "Munna Bhai," a local don of Mumbai (Bombay), who begins to see the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi. Through his interactions with the image of Gandhi, Munna Bhai begins to practice what he calls "Gandhigiri" to help ordinary people solve their problems.

Some have argued that the thematic attention to Gandhi's theories in "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" has both revived an interest in "Gandhism" under the new term, "Gandhigiri" in Indiacite news | first=Mridula| last=Chunduri| url=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2038291.cms| title= Gandhigiri, a cool way to live| work=timesofindia.com|publisher=Times Internet Limited| date=2006-09-29| accessdate=2006-09-29] and has likewise "made Gandhi suddenly hip. Inspired by the hit movie, Indians are increasingly embracing his philosophy, staging nonviolent protests, starting Web sites, handing out roses to enemies and putting on peaked white caps from the Gandhi era." [cite news | first=Kim| last=Barker| url=http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0610300206oct30,1,1003677.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-utl| title=Bollywood film is a hit - and so, again, is Gandhi|work=chicagotribune.com| publisher=Chicago Tribune| date=2006-10-30| accessdate=2007-04-24] Indeed, according to reports, Gandhi is now a "new pop icon" in Indiacite news | first=Y.P.| last=Rajesh| url=http://news.scotsman.com/latest_entertainment.cfm?id=1458642006| title= Bollywood gangster comedy makes Gandhi new pop icon|work=Latest News - Entertainment| publisher=scotsman.com| date=2006-10-02| accessdate=2007-04-24] and as Arunabha Ghosh notes, "Gandhi, the man, was once the message. In the India of the post-liberalisation brand, gandhigiri is the message." [cite news | first=Arunabha| last=Ghosh| url=http://www.epw.org.in/uploads/articles/10078.pdf | title=Lage Raho Munna Bhai: Unravelling Brand Gandhigiri: Gandhi, the man, was once the message. In post-liberalisation India, 'Gandhigiri' is the message| work=epw.org.in|publisher= The Economic and Political Weekly|date=2006-12-23| accessdate=2007-05-01|format=PDF] Several websites and internet forums were created, encouraging people to return to the Gandhian philosophy.cite news
first = Manu | last = Sharma | title = Gandhigiri inspires young generation | url = http://www.ndtv.com/features/showfeatures.asp?slug=Gandhigiri+inspires+young+generation&id=1454
work = Features, ndtv.com | publisher =New Delhi Television Limited | date = 2006-09-19 | accessdate = 2007-04-25
]

Theories for this sudden revival vary. Some have suggested that this phenomenon could be attributed to the film simplifying Gandhi's "lofty ideals" and conveying them "in contemporary, colloquial language. Others, according to "The Christian Science Monitor", have noted that the appeal of the film lies in the fact that "Gandhi gets his hands dirty. He appears as an apparition only visible to the wayward gangster, counselling him on how to help others deal with everyday problems." [cite news | first=Mark| last=Sappenfield| url=http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1003/p01s04-wosc.html| title=It took a comedy to revive Gandhi's ideals in India| work=csmonitor.com|publisher=The Christian Science Monitor| date=2006-10-03 edition| accessdate=2006-10-10] Whatever the reason, a 13 October 2006 article in "The Boston Globe", suggests that the revival has had a positive impact in India and states, "What America needs is a film that encourages people to take up Gandhigiri, Kinggiri, or Kennedygiri. If it worked for Bollywood, it could work for Hollywood."cite news | first=Swati Gauri| last=Sharma| url=http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/10/13/how_gandhi_got_his_mojo_back/| title=How Gandhi got his mojo back| work=boston.com|publisher=The New York Times Company |date=2006-10-13|accessdate=2006-10-13]

Gandhigiri-style protests

Since the release of the film, there have been instances where peaceful protests were either dubbed 'Gandhigiri' or the protesters have claimed that they have been inspired by the movie. In the United States during July 2007, piles of flowers were sent to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office by individuals who were legally in the U.S. but caught in a green card backlog. This was an act of Gandhigiri (or nonviolent protest) copied from "Lage Raho Munna Bhai". [cite news | url=http://www.ibnlive.com/news/gandhigiri-works-magic-for-indians-seeking-green-card/45233-2-7.html| title=Gandhigiri works magic for Indians seeking green card| work=CNN IBN|publisher=CNN IBN |date=2007-07-19|accessdate=2007-07-18] There have been positive reactions to this event. The USCIS shipped the flowers to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval hospitals. A 15 July 2007 editorial in "The Baltimore Sun" argued, "let's hope their protest gets results - because Americans are fortunate to have living among them people who are this ingenious, and this thoughtful of others, and this capable of channeling anger into beauty." [cite news | first=| last=| url=http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/bal-ed.flowers15jul15,0,5046454.story?coll=bal-opinion-headlines| title=Flower power| work=Baltimore Sun|publisher=Baltimore Sun| date=2007-07-15|accessdate=2007-07-15] On July 17, the USCIS announced that "it will accept applications from foreign professionals seeking permanent residency through an expedited process, reversing its earlier decision." USCIS Director, Emilio T. Gonzalez noted of the Gandhigiri protest, "The public reaction to the July 2 announcement made it clear that the federal government's management of this process needs further review [...] I am committed to working with Congress and the State Department to implement a more efficient system in line with public expectations." [cite news | url=http://www.ibnlive.com/news/gandhigiri-works-green-card-seekers-make-us-change-heart/45183-2.html| title='Gandhigiri works! Green Card seekers make US change heart| work=CNN IBN|publisher=CNN IBN |date=2007-07-18|accessdate=2007-07-18]

In India, farmers stage a protest with flowers in the Vidarbha region, [cite news | first=Zubair| last=Ahmed| url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6044476.stm| title=Gandhi-style protest by farmers| work=BBC news|publisher=BBC| date=2006-10-12|accessdate=2006-10-12] and people who organized a protest in Lucknow claimed to have been inspired by "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" to use roses to convey their message. [cite news | first=Sharat| last=Pradhan| url=http://www.rediff.com/news/2006/sep/21sharat.htm| title=Lucknow citizens go Gandhian on liquor merchant| work=rediff.com|publisher=Rediff.com India Limited| date=2006-09-21| accessdate=2007-04-25] In Lucknow students claimed to have been inspired by "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" to do volunteer work, planting trees "to conserve nature which is bound to benefit public health." [cite news | first=| last=| url=http://news.sawf.org/Bollywood/22195.aspx/Lucknow_residents_play_Munnabhais| title=Bollywood's Lage Raho Munna Bhai inspires Lucknow's medical students | work=sawf.org|publisher=Sawf News| date=2006-09-27| accessdate=2006-09-29] Mafia don Babloo Srivastava claimed to have been inspired by "Lago Raho Munna Bhai" to distribute roses as a "message of love and peace". [cite news | author=Express News Service| url=http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=203119| title=Munnabhai effect: Guns to roses|work=expressindia.com|publisher=Indian Express Newspapers (Mumbai) Ltd| date=2006-09-27| accessdate=2006-09-29]

References

*cite news | url=http://www.ibnlive.com/news/gandhigiri-works-magic-for-indians-seeking-green-card/45233-2-7.html| title=Gandhigiri works magic for Indians seeking green card| work=CNN IBN|publisher=CNN IBN |date=2007-07-19|accessdate=2007-07-18
*cite news | first=Mridula| last=Chunduri| url=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2038291.cms| title= Gandhigiri, a cool way to live| work=timesofindia.com|publisher=Times Internet Limited| date=2006-09-29| accessdate=2006-09-29
*Ghosh, Arunabha (December 23–29, 2006). " [http://www.epw.org.in/uploads/articles/10078.pdf Lage Raho Munna Bhai: Unravelling Brand Gandhigiri: Gandhi, the man, was once the message. In post-liberalisation India, 'Gandhigiri' is the message] ." "Economic and Political Weekly" 41 (51)
*Ramachandaran, Shastri. " [http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060923/edit.htm#4 Jollygood Bollywood: Munnabhai rescues Mahatma] ." "The Tribune," September 23, 2006.
*Sappenfield, Mark. " [http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1003/p01s04-wosc.html It took a comedy to revive Gandhi's ideals in India] ." "Christian Science Monitor," October 3, 2006.
*cite web
url = http://www.hinduonnet.com/2006/09/28/stories/2006092802241000.htm
title = Gandhigiri — a philosophy for our times
accessdate = 2007-04-25
last = Shah
first = Mihir
date = 2006-09-28
work = Opinion, hinduonnet.com
publisher = The Hindu

*Sharma, Manu. " [http://www.ndtv.com/features/showfeatures.asp?slug=Gandhigiri+inspires+young+generation&id=1454 Gandhigiri inspires young generation]
*Sharma, Swati Gauri. " [http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/10/13/how_gandhi_got_his_mojo_back How Gandhi got his mojo back] ." "Boston Globe," October 13, 2006.

Notes


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