Page:Gandhi The Man and His Message.djvu/4

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Who is this “egregious” Mr. Gandhi? What great forces revolve around his love-inspiring personality, and what huge potentialities lie hidden behind the calm, cheerful, confident look of this politician-saint of India, it is time for all lovers of truth and seekers after knowledge to calmly consider.

One fact stands out unique about this man Gandhi. Whoever has known Mr. Gandhi (and there are enough of the world’s most prominent scholars, students, missionaries, travellers, writers who have studied him close enough to pass their reliable judgments), irrespective of their missions, opinions and designations, they all agree as to the magnetic personality of Mr. Gandhi and to the supreme nobility and the sublime purity of his private and public life. His sweet, subtle sense of humor, and his profound confidence in the ultimate triumph of truth and justice as against falsehood and oppression never fail to influence and inspire anyone who happens to come his way. Even the very judge who, two years ago, sentenced him to six years’ incarceration could not resist the temptation to call him “a great patriot and a great leader,” and to pay him the tribute: “Even those who differ from you in politics look up to you as a man of high ideals and as leading a noble and even saintly life.”

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Born at Ahmedabad (India) in October, 1869, of rich parents, his father being the prime minister of a native state in Deccan, Mr. Gandhi had all the advantages of an early education under careful guidance. His father, who combined in him the highest political wisdom and learning with utter simplicity and gentleness, was known all over Deccan as a man of firm convictions, and was respected and revered as an uncompromising champion of the just and the weak. A statesman by profession, Karamchand Gandhi, the father of the future illustrious hero of his country, was a veritable just man at heart. Mr. Gandhi’s mother was an orthodox Hindu lady, with stubborn religious conceptions, and she led a very simple, pure, and dignified life after the teachings of the Hindu Vedas.

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