An autobiography or The story of my experiments with truth – M.K. Gandhi
Reading this autobiography gave me an immense pleasure, especially, because while growing up I was encouraged to admire him, follow him, and know more about him. Even though most of Gandhi’s political and personal life stories were taught during the school time, I found several details that informed me why he was a strong believer in his principles. For most of the political world Gandhi was a paradox, with respect to his simple life, and his firm stance towards non-violence and civil disobedience. He believes that violent human behavior can be subdued by kindly accepting the mental and physical abuse thrown upon one while maintaining one’s self-respect. This conviction helped him lead many movements, which were largely successful. Gandhi practiced a unique approach to revolt that no other politician practiced in the history before. This book covers an unaltered views of Gandhi’s personal life, among them are his practices of Brahmacharya or celibacy, vegetarianism, and fasting for self-purification. There is no doubt that Gandhi immensely influenced many other leaders such as Dr. King, Mandela, and many others in civil right movements.
Looking back at history, in other words after reading this book, I can confidently say that there has been a significant change in the way fellow humans are treated in the modern times. However, there is a wide agreement among many of us that there is a long way to go before we can say we are marching towards progress rather than wasting time and resources resolving the irrelevant differences. The book doesn’t cover the entire life story of Gandhi, however it presents a clear prologue to the rest of his life – especially what follows his Indian Congress leadership including Dandi march and Quit India movement. Throughout his life, he wanted to be an exemplary person by practicing his beliefs rather than preaching them.
If you are looking for an escape to pre independent India, grab this book. Be warned that this book is not written by a professional writer, hence you will find a lot of digressions while going through the chapters. You need to be open to follow a digressed story line. Probably, autobiographies are written this way.