Caricature/Cartoon – Ben Kingsley as Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi

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.

Ben Kingsley the British Actor, as Mahatma Gandhi.

Ben Kingsley as 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…)


13 comments on “Caricature/Cartoon – Ben Kingsley as Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi

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  4. I haven’t seen the movie but loved your caricature! 🙂

    And by the way, there is an interview with a caricaturist, R. Crumb in the latest issue of The Paris Review, it’s quiet interesting! Thought you’d like to check it out 🙂


    • Hi Anlacaze,

      Thanks for visiting and also for the link:)

      I am glad that you find the blog entertaining:) Hope to bring you more smiles in future.

      Warm Regards,


  5. I’ve never seen the movie, I’m afraid but have great respect for both actor and the man himself.
    One of my favourite quotes is from Gandhi:
    “You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” and it’s on one of my many notebooks (the one that lived in my walking rucksack that accompanies long walks in the summer(needing water bottle, water bowl for dog, lunch for self and for dog and a few other essentials like suncream etc)
    But how hard it is to live those words when few seem to do anything but live for themselves.
    Great drawing as always. Maybe you can do Salman Rushdie sometime,( thinking here of Midnight’s Children)….


    • Gandhi was a great man – there isn’t a shred of doubt about it. Greatness is needed to sacrifice your own family on the altar of your country. You have to staunch the flow of your emotions so that they don’t interfere with your decision-making. “Gandhi my Father” is a movie that brings forth the perspective of Harilal, his eldest son, who had to bear the brunt of being Gandhi’s son, and whose abnormal childhood steered him into a worthless existence. He died in a Government Hospital, all alone…disowned by his family.

      The greats often leave behind trails of pain that we can’t see in the blinding light of their glory.

      I am glad that you liked the caricature. Your views are important to me:)

      Warm Regards,


    • …continuing the thought…

      Remember the comment that you made on Hitler’s caricature…

      We are made of contradictions – streaky, you called us. I think that comment applies here too.

      If you are interested in reading an objective account of Gandhi’s life, check out the Wikipedia link.

      Warm Regards,


      • I am acutely aware of the streaky side of even good people….and the sacrifices their families often make for the great ones.
        But where do you draw the line in the sand across which you will not step for your art/politics/whatever when it brings it into conflict with the needs of family and friends? It’s something I’ve been pondering deeply..not for myself as I doubt greatness is mine, but concerning a novel I am working on.


  6. Geez….what interestin’ facts ya have assembled there, Mercury……..never knew that yer country was divided that way……but then I could have heard about it and then fergot too. But I did know that ya were subject ta British rule at one time…..seems like a lot of countries were subject ta British rule includin’ ours….they sure liked ta conquer didn’t they…the British, I mean?

    But Mercury……always the nose…….’n this one’s no different…..what a honker ya gave Ben Kingsley…..looks like the horn on an old car…..fer sure….why it makes ya want ta squeeze it just ta see if it makes any noise. I might try that…but later…..

    Yer drawings are special…..even if they are always a nose ahead of the rest of the pack…….

    Dewey Dewster here…….


    • Hi Dewey,

      The pre-independence India was much bigger and even more diverse. At the time of Independence, it was divided into Pakistan and India, and a part of Pakistan (then known as East Pakistan) later became Bangladesh. India stayed secular, while Pakistan, though secular on paper, in intent became an Islamic nation. You might’ve heard about Google, Yahoo, MSN, YouTube etc. having been banned out there due to the Mohammed Controversy.

      The partition was in reality a “bloody” affair. It bled both countries and it resulted in a lot of hatred, traces of which remain even today.

      BTW, you look awesome in your reporter’s garb. All the best for the job.



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