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The life of the lawyer who became the famed leader of the Indian revolts against the British rule through his philosophy of nonviolent protest.
Gandhi: An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
Gandhi: Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always.
Nahari: I'm going to Hell! I killed a child! I smashed his head against a wall. Gandhi: Why? Nahari: Because they killed my son! The Muslims killed my son! [indicates boy's height] Gandhi: I know a way out of Hell. Find a child, a child whose mother and father have been killed and raise him as your own. [indicates same height] Gandhi: Only be sure that he is a Muslim and that you raise him as one.
Gandhi: They may torture my body, break my bones, even kill me, then they will have my dead body. NOT MY OBEDIENCE!
Gandhi: I am a Muslim and a Hindu and a Christian and a Jew and so are all of you.
Edward R. Murrow: [at Gandhi's funeral] The object of this massive tribute died as he had always lived - a private man without wealth, without property, without official title or office. Mahatma Gandhi was not a commander of great armies nor ruler of vast lands. He could boast no scientific achievements or artistic gift. Yet men, governments and dignitaries from all over the world have joined hands today to pay homage to this little brown man in the loincloth who led his country to freedom. Pope Pius, the Archbishop of Canterbury, President Truman, Chiang Kai-shek, The Foreign Minister of Russia, the President of France... are among the millions here and abroad who have lamented his passing. In the words of General George C. Marshall, the American Secretary of State, "Mahatma Gandhi had become the spokesman for the conscience of mankind, a man who made humility and simple truth more powerful than empires." And Albert Einstein added, "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."
Nehru: Bapuji, the whole country is moving. Gandhi: Yes. but in what direction?
Government advocate: General Dyer, is it correct that you ordered your troops to fire at the thickest part of the crowd? Gen. Dyer: [righteous tone] That is so. Government advocate: One thousand five hundred and sixteen casualties with one thousand six hundred and fifty bullets. Gen. Dyer: My intention was to inflict a lesson that would have an impact throughout all India. Indian barrister: General, had you been able to take in the armored car, would you have opened fire with the machine gun? Gen. Dyer: I think, probably, yes. Lord Hunter: General, did you realize there were children, and women, in the crowd? Gen. Dyer: I did. Government advocate: But that was irrelevant to the point you were making? Gen. Dyer: That is correct! Government advocate: Could I ask you what provision you made for the wounded? Gen. Dyer: I was ready to help any who applied. Government advocate: General, how does a child shot with a 303 Lee-Enfield "apply" for help? Gen. Dyer: [silence]
Gandhi: I want to change their minds. Not kill them for weaknesses we all possess.
Gandhi: Poverty is the worst form of violence.
Soldier: Mr. Gandhi, sir. I have been instructed to inquire the subject of your speech tonight. Gandhi: The value of goat's milk in daily diet. But you can be sure that I will also speak against war.
Gandhi: We think it is time that you recognized that you are masters in someone else's home. Despite the best intentions of the best of you, you must, in the nature of things, humiliate us to control us. General Dyer is but an extreme example of the principle... it is time you left.
Gandhi: If you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.
Brigadier: You don't think we're just going to walk out of India! Gandhi: Yes. In the end, you will walk out. Because 100,000 Englishmen simply cannot control 350 million Indians, if those Indians refuse to cooperate.
Vince Walker: Whatever moral ascendancy the West once held was lost here today. India is free, for she has taken all that steel and cruelty can give and she has neither cringed nor retreated.
Margaret Bourke-White: [interviewing Ba in prison] Is it hard, being separated this way? Kasturba Gandhi: Yes. But we see each other in the day. Margaret Bourke-White: But not at night? Kasturba Gandhi: In Hindu philosophy the way to God is to free yourself of possessions, and the passions that inflame anger and jealousy. Bapu has always struggled to find the way to God. Margaret Bourke-White: You mean he gave up... married life? Kasturba Gandhi: Four times he tried, and failed. But then he took a solemn vow. Margaret Bourke-White: And he has never broken it? Kasturba Gandhi: Not yet.
[last lines] Gandhi's voice: When I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it: always.
[first lines] Title Card: No man's life can be encompassed in one telling. There is no way to give each year its allotted weight, to include each event, each person who helped to shape a lifetime. What can be done is to be faithful in spirit to the record and try to find one's way to the heart of the man...
Margaret Bourke-White: There's a sadness about him. Mirabehn: He thinks he's failed. Margaret Bourke-White: Why? If anything's proven him right, it's these last months. Mirabehn: I may be blinded by my love for him. But I believe, when we most needed it, he offered the world a way out of madness. But he doesn't see it. Neither does the world.
Margaret Bourke-White: There's a sadness in him. Mirabehn: He thinks he's failed. Margaret Bourke-White: Why? My God, if anything's proved him right, it's what's happened these last few months. Mirabehn: I may be blinded by my love for him... but I think, when we most needed it, he offered the world a may out of madness. But he doesn't see it. And neither does the world.
Gandhi: The function of a civil resistance is to provoke response and we will continue to provoke until they respond or change the law. They are not in control; we are.
Gandhi: There are no goodbyes for us, Charlie. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.
Conductor: [stopping Gandhi on the train in South Africa] What are you doing in here, coolie? Gandhi: I reserved this car. I have a ticket. Conductor: How did you get hold of it? Gandhi: I sent for it by post. I am an attorney. European Passenger: An attorney! There are no colored attorneys in South Africa - move your black ass into third class where it belongs! Porter: I'll take your luggage, sir... Gandhi: No, wait. [he takes out his card and shows it] Gandhi: You see? 'Mohandas K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law.' I am on my way to Pretoria to conduct a case... European Passenger: Didn't you hear me? There are no colored attorneys in South Africa! Gandhi: Sir, I was called to the bar in London, and enrolled in the High Court of Chancery. I am therefore an attorney. And since I am, in your eyes, 'colored,' I think we can deduce that there is at least one colored attorney in South Africa.
Gandhi: Where there's injustice, I always believed in fighting. The question is, do you fight to change things or to punish? For myself, I've found we're all such sinners, we should leave punishment to God. And if we really want to change things, there are better things than derailing trains or slashing someone with a sword.
Gandhi: I want to welcome you all. Every one of you. We have no secrets. Let us begin by being clear... about General Smuts' new law. All Indians must now be fingerprinted... like criminals. Men and women. No marriage other than a Christian marriage is considered valid. Under this act our wives and mothers are whores. And every man here is a bastard. Kahn: He has become quite good at this. Gandhi: And a policeman passing an Indian dwelling, I will not call them homes, may enter and demand the card of any Indian woman whose dwelling it is.
Gandhi: [in South Africa] You mean you can appoint Mr. Baker as your attorney but you can't walk down the street with him? Kahn: Well, I can, but I risk being kicked into the gutter by someone less holy than Mr. Baker.
Margaret Bourke-White: Do you really believe you could use non-violence against someone like Hitler? Gandhi: [thinks] Not without defeats, and great pain. But are there no defeats in war? No pain? What you cannot do is accept injustice. From Hitler, or anyone. You must make the injustice visible, and be prepared to die like a soldier to do so.
Gandhi: No Indian must be treated as the English treat us. We must remove untouchability from our hearts and from our lives.
Vince Walker: You're an ambitious man, Mr. Gandhi. Gandhi: I hope not.
Gandhi: I, for one, have never advocated passive anything. We must never sumbit to such laws. And I think our resistance must be *active* and provocative!
Kasturba Gandhi: Sora was sent to tell me I must rake and cover the latrine. Gandhi: Everyone takes his turn. Kasturba Gandhi: It is the work of untouchables! Gandhi: In this place, no work is beneath us. Kasturba Gandhi: I am your wife! Gandhi: [coldly] All the more reason.
Judge Broomfield: [At Gandhi's 1922 trial] It is impossible for me to ignore that you're in a different category from any person I have tried or am likely ever to try. Nevertheless, it is my duty to sentence you to six years in prison. If however His Majesty's government should at a later date see fit to reduce the term... no one will be better pleased than I.
Gandhi: I have friends who keep telling me how much it costs them to keep me in poverty.
Gandhi: I've traveled so far. And all I've done is come back... home. Vince Walker: Now, wait a minute. You know what you're going to do, don't you? Gandhi: It would have been very uncivil of me to let you make such a long trip for nothing! [walks off]
Lord Irwin, Viceroy: Mr. Gandhi will find that it takes a great deal more than a pinch of salt to bring down the British Empire.
Vince Walker: I met him once. Collins: You mean Gandhi? Vince Walker: Yeah, in South Africa, a long time ago. I wonder if he'll recognize me. Collins: What was he like? Vince Walker: He had a full head of hair then. We were a bit like college students, trying to figure everything out. Collins: Well, he must have found some of the answers!
Kinnoch: With respect, Mr. Gandhi, without British administration, this country would be reduced to chaos. Gandhi: Mr. Kinnoch, I beg you to accept that there is no people on Earth who would not prefer their own bad government to the good government of an alien power. Brigadier: My dear sir! India *is* British. We're hardly an alien power! [silence]
Hindu: Bapu! Bapu! Bapu, please don't do it! Gandhi: What do you want me not to do? Not to meet with Mr. Jinnah? I am a Muslim, and a Hindu, and a Christian, and a Jew, and so are all of you. When you wave those flags and shout, you send fear into the hearts of your brothers. That is not the India I want! Stop it! For God's sake stop it!
Margaret Bourke-White: [to Gandhi] You're the only man I know who makes his own clothes.
Margaret Bourke-White: So you really are going to Pakistan then? You are a stubborn man. Gandhi: I'm simply going to prove to Hindus here and Muslims there that the only devils in the world are those running around in our own hearts. And that is where all our battles ought to be fought. Margaret Bourke-White: So what kind of warrior have you been in that warfare? Gandhi: Not a very good one. That's why I have so much tolerance for the other scoundrels of the world.
Nehru: He told the press he'd support the British in the war. Prakash: That's non-violence for you.
Colonel: [moments before the Amritsar Massacre] Should we issue a warning, sir? Gen. Dyer: They've had their warning. No meetings. [pause] Gen. Dyer: *Fire!*
Nehru: Think of what you can do by living, that you cannot do by dying... What do you want? Gandhi: That the fighting will stop. That you make me believe it will never start again.
Gandhi: We must defy the British... Not with violence that will inflame their will but with a firmness that will open their eyes. English factories make the cloth that makes our poverty. All those who wish to make the English see bring me the cloth from Manchester and Leeds that you wear today and we will light a fire that will be seen in Delhi, and in London!
Gandhi: You intend to walk all the way? Vince Walker: It's the only way I can get the story. Besides, my name *is* Walker.
Gandhi: You're a temptress. Margaret Bourke-White: Just an admirer! Gandhi: Nothing is more dangerous, especially for an old man.
Kasturba Gandhi: I say with Gandhiji: There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness.
Gandhi: [to a group of South African bigots] You'll find there's room for all of us here.
[first lines] Hindu: He will be saying prayers in the garden. Just follow the others.
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