epic film "Gandhi" (1983), delineates him, for the most part, as an ascetic; a man with simple tastes, no desire for wealth and property, leading a puritanical life, spending most of his time in prayer and meditation. This other-worldly representation of his appeared even more credible when former British Prime Minister Mr. Winston Churchill called him a "half-naked fakir [saint]" from India with just a bamboo stick and loincloth around his waist.
His genuine religious convictions and spirituality were an integral part of his personality. These attributes would, in time to come, totally eclipse the prevalent notion that Gandhi wrought the miracle of India's freedom. Trite phrases like ''Hindu saint'' and "Father of the Nation" do not describe his true place in the history of mankind. Gandhi has shown the world that the love of one's people need not be inconsistent with the love of humanity. He strove to free the downtrodden from the shackles of injustice, slavery, and deprivation. However, he was also obsessed with the future of the human race.
Gandhi's uniqueness lies in his role as an innovator in politics. "Far from being a mere political theoretician or analyst, he loved humanity with surpassing compassion and, to use his own phrase, 'approached the poor with the mind of the poor.' In fact, he endeavoured to establish a new human order. He was the first in human history to extend the principle of nonviolence from the individual to the social and the political plane. He was always optimistic, for he could see with 'the eye of faith.' "2 Indeed, when the names of the giants of India's independence movement are embedded in the annals of history, Gandhi's name shall shine for his message of Truth and non-violence.
However, Gandhi's proximity to us in time, and the immense power of his radiant goodness, has obscured the fact that he is too atypical of our age to be fully understood.