Mahatma Gandhi fell to an assassin's bullets way back in 1948. But the visions and the philosophy of the Mahatma are as much relevant today as they were more than half a decade ago. His teachings and ideology have struck a chord with people from all over the world and many have attempted to portray Mahatma Gandhi's life through different creative avenues. As such one comes across a plethora of examples where the life and the works of the Mahatma have been depicted in popular media platforms such as film, literature, and the theater.
The 1982 film, Gandhi, is perhaps the most acclaimed tribute to Mahatma
Gandhi's life. The film, directed by Richard Attenborough and starring
Ben Kingsley as Gandhi, went on to sweep the Academy Awards that year by
winnings eight Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best
Director. But as far as social impact is concerned, the 2006 Bollywood
movie Lage Raho Munna Bhai wins hands down for its role in awakening a
whole generation of Indian youngsters to the principles of Mahatma
Gandhi. The film, featuring popular actor Sanjay Dutt in the lead role,
coined the term Gandhigiri to bring home the relevance of Gandhi's
tenets in today's world.
The play 'Mahatma vs. Gandhi' directed by Feroz Khan and starring
Naseeruddin Shah as Mahatma, seeks to explore the complex father-son
relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and his eldest son Harilal Gandhi.
The play 'Me Nathuram Godse Boltoy,' directed by Pradeep Dalavi, is an
autobiographical take on the life of Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram
Godse. The play generated much controversy for the supposedly unbiased
portrayal of the circumstances in which Gandhi's murder was plotted and
carried out by Godse.
Television and Internet
While films and plays based on Mahatma Gandhi's life are basically
serious productions, the same cannot be said about the depictions in
television and the Internet. While the MTV cartoon 'Clone High' featured
the clone of Gandhi as one of the main characters, the cartoon 'Time
Squad' on Cartoon Network has an episode where Gandhi is portrayed as
craving for a career in tap dancing, instead of leading the Indian
freedom struggle. In the first week of 2007, a video posted in the
video-sharing website Youtube.com sparked off a controversy for showing
a man dressed as Gandhi gyrating to music and doing a pole dance.