TECH TALK: Gandhigiri: Mass Appeal

Once the movie was released, the term Gandhigiri started getting into public consciousness. Here is the Wikipedia entry on it:

Gandhigiri is a derivatized word focusing on modifying one’s principles and lifestyle reflecting the moral principles of Satya (the Truth), Ahimsa (passive non-violence), Sahishnuta (Tolerance) and Ekta (Unity) as practised in real life by Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhigiri is a conjoint of two words: Gandhi + Giri, where “giri” reflects highest, top-notch or zenith. Thus, Gandhigiri is the highest semblance of practice as would Mahatma Gandhi would have done. However, the suffix -giri is often used as a pun or in opposite meaning in slang.

Some popular conjoined slang words are Dadagiri/Gundagiri which means bullism, gaddhagiri means highest servitude like of a donkey. There are websites as well trying to popularise Gandhian principles of “Truth and Non-Violence”.

Sharmistha Gooptu wrote in The Times of India:

The Gandhi of Lage Raho Munnabhai is not the historical figure we have been taught to revere for his unflinching moral strength.

This Gandhi is like a grandfatherly genie, who appears any time Munna thinks of him ‘from the heart’, and makes for a sympathetic confidant who makes tough decisions so simple.

It is interesting that in this film Gandhi’s identification is with the 20-plus generation who are most likely to scoff at the Gandhi of their textbooks.

In fact, Gandhi has been out of favour with under-40 Indians because the Gandhi they know seems too good to be true. Statist discourse has mummified Gandhi making him inaccessible in a fast changing society. Lage Raho reinvents Gandhi for us.

The Asian Age wrote:

The films success proves that though Gandhi is remembered only on his birth and death anniversaries his values are immortal. The Gandhian values conveyed in a tongue-in-cheek manner have been received well by the youngsters too.

“I found Gandhis presence in the film very outstanding especially the way it was juxtaposed against the films main theme. Gandhis presence by way of his morals has been neatly showcased,” says Nayan, a young journalist.
“Gandhis lessons on non-violence can be seen everywhere in daily life. There may be different views and perspectives about him but each one of us follow him till today, consciously or unconsciously.

NDTV wrote:

The Munnabhai effect is just not wearing out be it from websites or fan clubs.

Gandhi is cool like never before and even better are his principles or Gandhigiri, the new way of doing things that is inspiring a whole generation.

Hundred years ago, Gandhi had changed the course of history forever. Today it has taken a Munnabhai film to revoke interest in the Gandhian ideology and principles that seemed as relevant as a framed photo on the wall.

People are also talking about their own experiences of implementing the philosophy in their everyday lives. The trend is catching on so fast that people are adopting it as a lifestyle.

Tomorrow: Rang De Basanti

TECH TALK Gandhigiri+T

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.