Are there any major inaccuracies in Gandhi?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would say that there were some specific instances where one can see historical inaccuracy.  The film does a fairly biased job of pinning the post- Independence problems of India on the Muslim leader, Jinnah.  I am not entirely certain that the historical reality is one in which Jinnah was solely responsible for the problems that emerged out of Partition. Additionally, I think that the film's treatment of the complexity of Partition has to be critiqued.  The film shows it as one that almost could be pinned on the Muslims and overreacting Hindus.  I would suggest that the historical record indicates that politicians from all groups participated in the process of Partition, making a political decision that was rooted in expediency.  

The Congress was just as guilty of doing this and I think that the film tended to blur this.  Political leaders were just as responsible for the bloodshed that resulted.  At the same time, I would suggest that the overall depiction of Gandhi in a divine light, one in which he is almost a divine saint might be oversimplifying the complex reality. Gandhi was highly pragmatic in understanding that civil disobedience through nonviolence was as practical as it was ethical.  The film does not include this element.  This end of practicality would have to be assessed in terms of Gandhi's own relationship with his children, one that can be seen as fragmented, at best.  The film leaves this out as it is more inconvenient to depict when there is such an open embrace of the saint myth that often accompanies Gandhi's life and the retelling of it.


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