As the world celebrates Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, his cardinal belief around non-violence as a way of life, ranging from personal to public and individual to government, needs an unprecedented focus. We live in times of disassociation, the crisis of morality and the rise of sectarian worldview.
As a history student and now a storyteller with the social sector, I have had a mixed relationship with Gandhi and the Mahatma. At school, Gandhi was the first superhero that I discovered through my textbooks that underlined nation in the making moorings of India as it discovered its nationalism through the anti-colonial struggle. Later, as a graduate student of History at Delhi University, I discovered layers of his personality and ambiguities therein. While researching JNU under Late Professor Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, I deliberated with the vision of low-scale, a non-extractive and grounded technological outlook that he believed would be non-violent and sustainable.
And now two decades in media and brand storytelling, I continue to be amazed by the depth and conviction of Mahatma’s storytelling that harnessed complex political and economic ideas that made up his worldview, the understanding of the audience and the tools that he used. The larger brand-messages of power within and disempowering the ruler through it, seeking not just independence but the freedom that served the poorest of poorest and creating what we call user-journey through a well-plotted campaign.
Gandhi used a myriad of platforms for all the stakeholders. He wrote excessively (if I can use the word, as one had to read a lot to cover what he said :)), from editing newspapers to writing long correspondences with his contemporary, debating ideas, to providing perfect photo-ops and visual symbols to define the weak but powerful masses.
I urge you to look at the amazing mobilisation great storytelling could create with the Mahatma’s leadership.
#GandhiJayanti #GandhiAt150 #MahatmaGandhi