Segments in this Video

Introduction: The Early Years: Gandhi (02:41)


Gandhi is revered as the father of non-violent struggle. The narrator's family were Muslims in India and saw him differently, fearing he would create a Hindu-dominated India. Gandhi is more complex than his public perception.

Gandhi and Today's India (01:06)

Mumbai's English-speaking middle classes embrace consumerism. Is there still room for Gandhi's spiritual message? India seems to have a love-hate relationship with Gandhi.

Gandhi's Birthplace (01:50)

We visit Gandhi's birthplace in Porbandar. Gandhi's father was a civil servant. Nearby is the Gandhi memorial.

Ahimsa and Satya (02:06)

Gandhi's mother, drawn to Jainism, first exposed him to the idea of non-violence, or ahimsa. Harishchandra, the story of the King who remains truthful at all cost, influenced his idea of satya.

Hometown Reveres Gandhi (00:44)

Gujarati is vegetarian and alcohol free due to the influence of favorite son Gandhi. See a Porbandar local dressed as Gandhi.

Gandhi's Youth (00:47)

Gandhi showed no signs of his visionary future as a schoolboy. Yet the narrator speculates that his port town upbringing broadened his horizons.

Early Rebelliousness (02:17)

Gandhi was married at 13 to a neighbor's daughter. At school he was rebellious and ill-behaved. He ate meat, believing his countrymen's vegetarianism weakened them and allowed Britain to rule.

Gandhi Has Sex While Father Dies (01:20)

Gandhi's father died while he was away from his vigil making love to his wife. His autobiography records his feelings of guilt. The incident colored his view of sex.

Decision to Go to England (02:16)

Gandhi went to England for legal training. His mother made him promise not to touch wine, women or meat. He defied the elders of his merchant caste, who denied him permission to travel.

Gandhi in England (01:52)

Gandhi reached England and sought to transform himself into an English gentleman. We visit London's Inner Temple, where he learned law.

Shifting Identity (02:00)

Gandhi promised his mother he would abstain from meat. Frequenting London's vegetarian restaurants brought him into contact with reform politics, moving him away from his Victorian gentleman identity.

British Vegetarianism Shapes Gandhi (01:43)

Tristram Stuart says reformers in 1880s England saw vegetarianism as key to reforming human nature, believing meat eating produces aggression. These people influenced Gandhi.

Theosophist Influence on Gandhi (02:57)

In London, Gandhi came into contact with theosophism, belief that all religions were different versions of the same idea, which revived his interest in Hinduism.

Return to India (03:11)

Gandhi's caste refused to readmit him. A British official had him forcibly removed for pressing his brother's legal case. Isolated at home, Gandhi took a position in South Africa.

Gandhi to South Africa (01:07)

Gandhi sailed to South Africa fleeing failure, but gained there an international reputation. We will consider how this happened.

Defiance Over Turban (01:39)

Dada Abdullah, one of the many Indian merchants in South Africa hired Gandhi to help win a business claim. The judge ordered Gandhi to remove his turban; he refused.

Birth of Gandhi's Activism (03:12)

Passengers on Gandhi's train to Pretoria demanded his removal from first class; he refused and was forced from the train. Gandhi became determined to fight for the rights of Indians in South Africa.

Gandhi as Spiritual Figure (02:27)

As he took up activism, Gandhi saw himself as not just a political campaigner for Indian South Africans, but as their spiritual leader. He had a sense of inner divinity.

Developing Non-Violence Theory (01:56)

The Black Act required Asian South Africans to carry ID cards. The battle against this act gave birth and form to Gandhi's technique of non-violent civil disobedience, satyagraha or truth force.

Gandhi and Jihad (01:52)

Gandhi picked up from Muslim merchant allies the idea of jihad, willingness to die for a cause, which influenced satyagraha.

Gandhi Compromises (02:35)

Gandhi got Indians to go to jail defying the Black Act. With victory in sight, Gandhi unwisely agreed to registration in return for the Act's repeal. A supporter almost killed him, but Thambi Naidu intervened.

Gandhi Broadens Constituency (01:16)

Thambi Naidu persuaded Gandhi to broaden his campaign beyond the merchant class to include the working class.

Gandhi's Strategy in 1913 (01:32)

Gandhi called a strike against a punitive tax. Strikers lost their employer-provided homes, as Gandhi intended; he offered to house them, which required illegal border crossings that would bring mass arrests.

Gandhi Achieves Victory (01:54)

Gandhi led thousands on an illegal border crossing and was jailed. The outcry boosted Gandhi's stature and weakened the government, forcing it to repeal its tax.

Return to India (00:51)

Having achieved his goal in South Africa, Gandhi turned his attention to India, believing a new force, truth, had arisen in the world.

Additional Resources & Credits: The Early Years: Gandhi (00:46)

Additional Resources & Credits: The Early Years: Gandhi

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

The Early Years: Gandhi

Part of the Series : Gandhi
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



In the first of three programs examining the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, journalist Mishal Husain journeys through Gandhi's early years in India to the end of his controversial career in South Africa. She explains the development of Gandhi's thinking. While she finds the roots of some of his ideas in boyhood, she shows that his ambitions and identity were tied to the existing system, and explains how contact with London's religious and social reformers led him to embrace an identity in line with Indian traditions. She shows how experience of racial discrimination in South Africa served as an epiphany, providing a concrete cause for his growing spiritual idealism and energy.

Length: 49 minutes

Item#: EDP55145

ISBN: 978-0-81609-210-9

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.