Thursday, March 19, 2015
The Legacy of Gandhi
I had no idea Winston Churchill despised India's Mohandes Gandhi. Did you? Churchill did not appreciate Gandhi and his independence movement's affront to the British Empire calling him seditious and declaring that he "ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant." At least Churchill's sentiment was unambiguous.
Gandhi was Hindu but he was intrigued by Jesus and profoundly influenced by his teachings. He just didn't see many Christians who lived the gospel: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Gandhi did resolutely practice non-violence and in the end the mighty empire capitulated to the determined bid for independence. He had a powerful influence on the key Christian leader for civil rights in the United States, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In the film Selma a scene in MLK's home includes a small statue of Gandhi on a table, an homage to the inspiration the Indian leader provided for non-violent resistance to the "powers that be."
Churchill may be spinning in his grave. Recently a nine-foot statue of the great man was dedicated in London's Parliament Square, not far from the statue of Churchill. This should please us all. God bless trouble-makers.