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Arindam Chaudhuri, Editor-in-Chief, 4Ps B&M

Gandhi has been my favourite for seminars on leadership and management for years! In fact, in the last chapter of my first book Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch, I described him as the ultimate successor of Krishna as a management guru! The reason is simple! To me, there is no greater a management guru than Krishna; and the Gita is my ultimate guide to management! Krishna guides a handful of five brothers to victory against the army of a hundred brothers in the mythological Mahabharata, and in a similar way, Mahatma Gandhi guided us to Independence against all odds! Whether Krishna was true or not is debatable, but Gandhi was for real! And what we all know about Gandhi is that when he died, he said, “Hey Ram, He Ram, He Ram,” – though now even that is debated by various scholars. However, what many of us don’t know about Gandhi is that he used to read the Gita daily and called it the most important guide to success.

So what is it about the Mahatma that makes him such a revered figure even when it comes to management and especially marketing? For that, we have to perhaps study a little bit about his past and look at world history on the whole. World wide, freedom from the oppressor always meant violent struggles! Freedom was always synonymous with violent revolutions. You conquered with the power of violence and you got freedom by fighting violence with violence! But India had a peculiar problem! The problem was our prevalent religion. Gandhi himself called Hindus cowards. I wouldn’t say that, but we sure were complacent, patient and tolerant and relatively the most peaceful race in the world. We had not developed in us the spirit of war and violence! And therefore, when it came to motivating Indians and bringing them out for a violent revolution, even the man who defeated Gandhi’s own candidate in the Indian National Congress (INC) elections and became the President of INC – Subhash Chandra Bose – failed miserably. His war cry – “Give me blood, and I will give you freedom” – would’ve worked in every part of the world... but for India! And Bose finally had to leave India to collect his army from outside India to fight the Indian war of Independence! Gandhi, of course, was a keen observer and a quick learner – a key trait of a great marketing man! This man, with a burning desire to succeed in getting India freedom and realizing that violence didn’t appeal to the common Indian man, changed and did what was never done world wide – again, a great trait of a good marketing success story is being first! And Gandhi surely was the first to bring to the world, the concept of non-violence! This concept made him the TIME magazine’s Man of the Year way back in 1930 and won him followers ranging from Martin Luther King Junior, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and Aung Aan Suu Kyi amongst others over the years.
 
At first, non-violence was looked as the stupidest tool of revolution. But Gandhi knew what he was doing. He knew how to market his concept because he knew he was satisfying an existing need – the need to participate in the freedom struggle and throw the British out, which was combined with a desire to not be forced to take up arms and risk one’s life in a violent manner. He knew that his concept was a great solution to this need. The next thing he had to do was to connect with the masses and spread the word. In those days, when newspapers were a luxury, telecommunication absent and even transport and connectivity a rarity, getting the message across the length and breadth of this huge nation was the biggest possible challenge. Gandhi decided to go about it man to man! He always had a great respect for the end customer. He had said, “The customer is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.” And in his struggle, the end customers were the masses. To connect with them, he gave up his suits and ties. In fact, to connect with them, his marketing campaign included burning of foreign clothes and making khadi. Many like Tagore didn’t find it logical. But being a marketing man, Gandhi knew it was helping him connect emotionally with his audience and convey his message across. The common man often understands symbolic gestures better than great works of poetry. And Gandhi reveled in such symbolic gestures. Being a great leader, leading from the front was never an issue, but what many Indian leaders fail to do even now in these days of easy connectivity, he did way back in the early 1900s. He went to his masses and became a part of them. He walked with them and inspired them to walk along with him. His new attire – the khadi – was something the common man identified with; and his half naked clothing was symbolic of the man whose support he wanted – the unfed and suffering Indian looking for salvation. As they say, there is nothing to beat a great word of mouth! The word of his work with masses spread like fire and soon the entire country was finding out ways to follow the activities of this man of peace, who was talking of giving India independence and looked closer to achieving it than anyone had ever had!

06/08/2011 5:16am

The Birth of 'Mahatma'
Mahatma Gandhi was born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and the title 'Mahatma' was accorded to him much later. Mahatma literally translates to 'great soul' in Sanskrit. Even though opinion is ambivalent as to how Gandhi came to be known as Mahatma, people generally believe that noted poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore bestowed the title of 'Mahatma' on Gandhi.

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09/08/2011 2:18am

Gandhi first employed non-violent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers in protesting excessive land-tax and discrimination.

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09/08/2011 2:20am

Gandhi has been my favorite for seminars on leadership and management for years! In fact, in the last chapter of my first book Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch, I described him as the ultimate successor of Krishna as a management guru! The reason is simple! To me, there is no greater a management guru than Krishna; and the Gita is my ultimate guide to management! Krishna guides a handful of five brothers to victory against the army of a hundred brothers in the mythological Mahabharata, and in a similar way, Mahatma Gandhi guided us to Independence against all odds! Whether Krishna was true or not is debatable, but Gandhi was for real! And what we all know about Gandhi is that when he died, he said, “Hey Ram, He Ram, He Ram,” – though now even that is debated by various scholars. However, what many of us don’t know about Gandhi is that he used to read the Gita daily and called it the most important guide to success.

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09/08/2011 11:51pm

Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned several times by British authorities and was highly influential in the Nationalist Congress Party and the independence negotiations in 1947.

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09/08/2011 11:59pm

Mahatma Gandhi gave massage to us. That we should not violent. Every problem could be solve by peaceful & none-violet.

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10/08/2011 12:09am

Mahatma Gandhi was great leader in freedom of India. He gave us freedom by peaceful & nonviolently. Mahatma Gandhi is a great thinker and practical man, who showed the path of non-violent struggle to the world

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10/08/2011 9:25pm

In his discourses, he reinterpreted writings of religious traditions, mystics, and philosophers from around the world. Moving to Poona in 1974, he established an ashram that attracted increasing numbers of Westerners. The ashram offered therapies derived from the Human Potential Movement to its Western audience and made news in India and abroad,

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10/08/2011 9:31pm

Gandhi famously led Indians in protesting the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years, on many occasions, in both South Africa and India.

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11/08/2011 9:12pm

the only reason people accepted gandhi's ways was because it was the easier way out..nobody wanted to 'fight' and lose their lives..it was easier to fast and that's why we got our freedom 50 years after when we should've got it. if we followed violent methods sure more people would've lost their lives but we would be free by 1910-1920, not 1947.

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11/08/2011 9:15pm

"I believe that if Hindu society has been able to stand, it is because it is founded on the caste system. To destroy the caste system means that Hindus must give up the principle of hereditary occupation which is the soul of the caste system. . It will be a chaos if every day a Brahmin is to be changed into a Shudra and a Shudra is to be changed into a Brahmin. I am opposed to all those who are out to destroy the caste system." -- Mahatma Ghandi

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11/08/2011 9:18pm

Gandhi became active in the struggle for Indian Independence. He spoke at the conventions of the Indian National Congress, becoming one of its leaders. In 1918, Gandhi opposed the increasing tax levied by the British during the devastating famine

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11/08/2011 9:22pm

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.



-Mahatma Gandhi

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11/08/2011 9:24pm

The title "Mahatma" (meaning "great-souled") was given to him in 1915 by his friend Rabindranath Tagore. He never accepted the title because he considered himself unworthy of it.

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11/08/2011 9:28pm

Gandhiji was truthful in his conduct right from the childhood. There is a very famous incident in this regard. A British school inspector once came to Gandhiji's school and set a spelling test. Gandhiji spelled all the words correctly except kettle. The class teacher noticed the mistake and gestured Gandhiji to copy the correct spelling from the boy sitting next to him. Gandhiji refused to take the hint and was later scolded for his "stupidity".

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11/08/2011 10:55pm


A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.
Mohandas Gandhi

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11/08/2011 10:56pm

A principle is the expression of perfection, and as imperfect beings like us cannot practise perfection, we devise every moment limits of its compromise in practice.
Mohandas Gandhi

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11/08/2011 11:00pm

Mahatma Gandhi - “The outward freedom that we shall attain will only be in exact proportion to the inward freedom to which we may have grown at a given moment. And if this is a correct view of freedom, our chief energy must be concentrated on achieving reform from withi

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11/08/2011 11:04pm

Gandhi had made an impact in other countries. The outbreak of the First World War led peace activists to openly and resolutely oppose war and war efforts. A group of people known as "Conscientious Objectors" objected to a war conducted by his or her nation, on grounds of principles.

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11/08/2011 11:05pm

ike all teenagers Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was curious and loved to dabble with new experiences. While he was in High School he had a number of experiences - not always pleasant - from which he learned much

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11/08/2011 11:08pm

Once more his conscience prickled him. Stealing was wrong, he knew it. He decided he must confess to his father, but he could not speak out openly. He wrote on a piece of paper all that he had done, and asked for punishment. His father was sick, lying in bed, and Mohan went to him and gave him the paper. Kaba Gandhi read it; tears of love and compassion flowed from his eyes, then he tore up the paper and lay down. His father's tears were Mohan's first lesson in the meaning of Ahimsa. The father's tears were Mohan's first lesson in the meaning of Ahimsa. The father suffered because the son had done wrong, and the father was happy because the son had confessed.

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11/08/2011 11:21pm

Gandhi first employed non-violent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers in protesting excessive land-tax and discrimination

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11/08/2011 11:22pm

Gandhi strove to practice non-violence and truth in all situations, and advocated that others do the same.

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11/08/2011 11:23pm

He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn he had hand spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertook long fasts as means of both self-purification and social protest.

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11/08/2011 11:25pm

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi[3] was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar, a coastal town which was then part of the Bombay Presidency, British India. He was born in his ancestral home, now known as Kirti Mandir, Porbandar.

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11/08/2011 11:28pm

t haunted me and I must have acted Harishchandra to myself times without number." Gandhi's early self-identification with Truth and Love as supreme values is traceable to these epic characters.

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11/08/2011 11:29pm

He passed the matriculation exam for Samaldas College at Bhavnagar, Gujarat with some difficulty. While there, he was unhappy, in part because his family wanted him to become a barrister.

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11/08/2011 11:31pm

They encouraged Gandhi to join them in reading the Bhagavad Gita both in translation as well as in the original.[12] Not having shown interest in religion before, he became interested in religious thought and began to read both Hindu and Christian scriptures.[5][12]

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11/08/2011 11:36pm

In this world so full of hatred and violence, this man of peace and goodwill fought all evil and injustice with Soul-Force. He stands out as a challenge giving the message of truth and non-violence, of love supreme and unbounded. He is the Mahatma - the Great Soul - the name given to him by the people of India.

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11/08/2011 11:37pm

"'Mahatma' is as epoch-making as the life and work of one of the great figures in Indian History ... ."

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11/08/2011 11:40pm

Man who was so simple yet so complicated that he was driving a whole nation. Nation call him Father. That is Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi. Our Father of Nation: Mahatma Gandhi.

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11/08/2011 11:44pm

the thoughts and the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi have inspired generations across the world and they have often been the bedrock of civil rights movements waged against oppressive regimes.

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11/08/2011 11:45pm

The Mahatma's life was an eternal conquest to discover truth and his journey to that end was marked by experiments on himself and learning from his own mistakes.

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11/08/2011 11:47pm

Gandhiji pioneered the term Satyagraha which literally translates to 'an endeavor for truth.' In the context of Indian freedom movement, Satyagraha meant the resistance to the British oppression through mass civil obedience

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11/08/2011 11:48pm

Khadi, an unassuming piece of handspun and hand-woven cloth, embodies the simplicity synonymous with Mahatma Gandhi's persona

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11/08/2011 11:49pm

Mahatma used the adoption of Khadi as a subtle economic tool against the British industrial might and also as a means of generating rural employment in India.

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11/08/2011 11:52pm

Mahatma Gandhi's life is so much entwined with the Indian freedom movement that rarely do people endeavor to acquaint themselves with other facets of his eventful life. We provide below some interesting facts about Mahatma Gandhi:

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11/08/2011 11:53pm

Mahatma Gandhi was born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and the title 'Mahatma' was accorded to him much later. Mahatma literally translates to 'great soul' in Sanskrit.

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11/08/2011 11:56pm

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.

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12/08/2011 12:06am

Gandhi encouraged Indians to boycott British goods and buy Indian goods instead. This helped to revitalise local economies in India and it also hit home at the British by undermining their economy in the country.

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12/08/2011 12:08am

When in India, Gandhi took on the British where possible. He famous walk to the sea to produce salt was typical of his actions. Britain had a monopoly on salt production in India and Gandhi saw this as wrong. Hence his decision to produce salt by the sea.

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12/08/2011 1:06am

Recalling the day of their marriage he once said, "As we didn't know much about marriage, for us it meant only wearing new clothes, eating sweets and playing with relatives." However, as was also the custom of the region, the adolescent bride was to spend much time at her parents' house, and away from her husband

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12/08/2011 1:11am

His most important impact came when he was arrested by police on the charge of creating unrest and was ordered to leave the province. Hundreds of thousands of people protested and rallied outside the jail, police stations and courts demanding his release, which the court reluctantly granted.

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12/08/2011 1:12am

Gandhi employed non-cooperation, non-violence and peaceful resistance as his "weapons" in the struggle against the British Raj

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16/08/2011 11:43pm

Mahatma Gandhi was great leader of India. he believe in truth and Non-violence

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17/08/2011 4:49am

Mahatma Gandhi played an essential role in spearheading the movement for Indian independence. His peaceful and non-violent techniques formed the basis of freedom struggle.

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17/08/2011 4:55am

Mahatma Gandhi was highly dynamic personality. he was a man of great vision. he didn't fought for independence movements for India. but also for secularism ,poverty, education, social backwardness among Indians.

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17/08/2011 5:17am

Mahatma Gandhi was a political and spiritual leader of India. Through his cause, he helped India gained its independence and is honored in India as the Father of the Nation.

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17/08/2011 5:22am

Mahatma Gandhi would teach us countless lessons about the life, leadership and much more. Gandhi displayed great strength, not through using his strength to force others to bend to his will, but by using nonviolent means to achieve his goals.

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18/08/2011 1:26am

t would be wrong to call Mahatama Gandhi Ji, marketing guru. He was a great leader and he knew that his leadership is unchallenged. Any person with an ability to motivate others has the greatest leadership quality any person can have. This also applies to Hitler.. The only difference between Gandhi Ji and Hitler is that Hitler had the function power as a leader whereas Gandhi ji was self made leader.
He never had any marketing strategy to fee India from foreigners.

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18/08/2011 1:44am

Very True……….

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19/08/2011 2:01am

Gandhi first employed non-violent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights

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19/08/2011 2:04am

Gandhiji started the historic Dandi March to break the law which had deprived the poor man of his right to make his own salt. On April 6, 1930 Gandhiji broke the Salt law at the sea beach at Dandi.

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19/08/2011 2:33am

These events were a turning point in Gandhi's life: they shaped his social activism and awakened him to social injustice. After witnessing racism, prejudice and injustice against Indians in South Africa, Gandhi began to question his place in society and his people's standing in the British Empire.

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