This simple caricature necessitates the introduction of two personalities – the great political and spiritual leader of India, Mahatma Gandhi; and the awe-inspiring actor Ben Kingsley.
This is the caricature of Ben Kingsley as Mahatma Gandhi, in the movie Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi – Father of the Nation, India.
Mahatma Gandhi was born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in Porbandar, Gujarat, India, in 1869. In 1883, when he was 13, he married Kasturba who was slightly older to him. The couple had four children, with Harilal being the eldest. Gandhi studied law at the University College of London , and returned to India after having completed his studies. He tried establishing his practice at Mumbai but failed. Eventually, he joined an Indian firm in South Africa , where for the first time, he faced raw discrimination or Apartheid . For the first time in his life, he consciously began to reflect upon the status of Indians in the world.
The foundations of Satyagraha (Insistence on Truth) were laid in Africa. When Gandhi returned to India in 1915, he came to understand the Indian problems. After his efforts in Gujarat, people began to call him Bapu (Father) and Mahatma (Great Soul/Person). In 1921, he became the leader of the Indian National Congress , and the fight for Swaraj (Our own rule) gained ground. Gandhi continued to evolve the Civil Disobedience Movement through policies such as wearing Khadi (hand-spun fabric) (he himself would hand-spin cotton thread to be used for his clothes.)
In the next three decades, Gandhi became the face of an India that wanted to be free. Eventually, when India was offered independence, it was on the condition that India would be partitioned into India and Pakistan. A reluctant Gandhi gave in and India (also Pakistan) gained its freedom at the midnight of August 15, 1947.
The pioneer of the Satyagraha movement, which was based upon Non-Violence, in India, today Gandhi is known as the Father of Nation.
as his movement helped India win her freedom from the British Raj. On January 30, 1948, Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, who held him responsible for partitioning India.
Read about Gandhi’s Life and His Eleven Principles here.
Ben Kingsley – The Actor who played Gandhi
Ben Kingsley’s father Harji Bhanji was born of Indian parents, who had settled in Kenya, but who moved to England when he was 14. Thus, Ben Kingsley was born Krishna Pandit Bhanji – son of a Gujarati Indian Doctor and an English Actress, in the year 1943.
“Sir” Ben Kinglsey (he demanded to be called “Sir” after he was knighted) has won many awards (including a Grammy) and also a star on the Hollywood Walk of fame.
His rise to fame began in 1982, when he starred as Mahatma Gandhi in the movie Gandhi. For this role, he bagged the Academy Award for Best Actor and also the BAFTA award for the Best New Comer.
So have you seen the connections yet?
- Both can trace their origins to Gujarat in India.
- Their noses look the same.
- England played a crucial role in the success of both these gentlemen.
- Kingsley popularized Gandhi internationally; Gandhi made Kingsley famous by helping him earn an Academy Award.
(The Caricaturist Wonders – Ben Kingsley was born five years before Gandhi died so it couldn’t have been a case of reincarnation…or…)