The Making of the Mahatma (1996) Movie Script

Respected Gandhi-bhai,
Seth Dada Abdullah Haji...
our partner in South Africa
has a big case in the court here
Though we have engaged
the best vakils and barristers...
we do not have anyone
who understands our language
If you send your brother Mohandas
here, he would be useful to us
If they already have vakils
and barristers what will you do?
You will be just another clerk
Anything is better than the corruption
of our courts here, isn't it?
But it is not even a year
since you came back from London
Look, they are going to pay me
hundred pounds plus all my expenses
And it is only going to be
for a few months
I don't think you should go
Hari, don't put so much water
on the Tulsi, it will die
Come here.
- You should stay here
That's what I feel.
- What am I going to do here in Rajkot?
The children will miss you
And what about you?
Durban Harbour,
May 1893
Seth Dada Abdullah?
I'm Dada Abdullah. Welcome.
This is Rustomji Seth
- Hello
I thought it might be you but
you are in European dress...
so I was a little confused.
- It's my normal dress
Come, let us take your luggage.
- I'll manage
Is a hotel far from here?
- Hotel?
You will stay with us at my house.
- Please, come this way
Did you have a good trip?
- Yes
How far is it to Pretoria?
I could leave straightaway
There is no hurry. My advocate Mr Baker
will let you know when he needs you
About the case I only know that
someone owes you 40,000 pounds...
and refuses to pay.
- That someone is his own cousin
Seth Tayab Haji Khan Mohammed.
He's a very big man in Transvaal
But before you go to Pretoria,
you will need to understand...
all the facts. Otherwise Tayab will
try to influence you in his favour
Besides, I also need to know
your abilities
How shall I begin?
- I will take you to the court here
Gandhi-bhai, it is nothing like
anything you have seen in Bombay
Good morning, Mr Eskam.
- Hello Abdullah
This is Mr Gandhi. He is
a Bar of Law from London
This is Mr Eskam. He's our attorney
here, soon to be Attorney General
Mr Gandhi is from Bombay, he is
helping me with my case in Pretoria
May he sit with you in court?
Why not?
Come this way, Gandhi
Who is that next to you, Mr Eskam?
Your Honour, this is Mr Gandhi,
from Bombay. Member of the Bar
Gandhi, remove your hat
Your Honour, this is a turban, as worn
by advocates in all courts in India
Not here. Take it off
Your Honour, according to our custom,
I would show you disrespect...
if I took off my turban.
I would rather leave the court
Gandhi-bhai, please...
You were wearing a turban as well.
They didn't ask you to remove yours
We Muslim traders are allowed to keep
our turbans in court...
other Indians are not.
- Then I shall give up my turban...
and wear a hat.
- No Gandhi-bhai...
you will retain your turban
as we do ours
What am I getting into here? I came
here to help you with your case...
not to start a fight in the courts
Be careful. Don't let Tayab Seth
and his men steal secrets from you
But I must get in touch with him.
- Whatever for?
He is your cousin. Don't you think
it will be better to go in...
for a mutual settlement?
- Not with Tayab. I do not trust him
He doesn't keep his word
Tell me, do you have
anything to read?
take this. It is an
English translation of the Koran
I think it will inspire you.
- Thank you
As soon as you get to Pretoria,
send me a telegram
- God be with you
Hey coolie!
What are you doing here?
Conductor, there's a damn coolie
in my compartment
You are in the wrong compartment.
All natives to travel in the band
C'mon Sammy, don't give us any trouble.
- I was issued a ticket...
for this compartment
and I insist on going in it
No, you won't
I will not leave this compartment.
Where does it say...
"Reserved for Europeans only"?
Please show me
Get off my train!
- Pack him off
Out you go, Sammy!
- I will not leave the van!
I will protest to the authorities
In the luggage van!
That's for you
And why should you not fight
in the course of Allah?
And of those who being weak
are ill-treated and oppressed
Men, women and children
whose cries...
Our Lord, rescue us from this town...
whose people are oppressors
And raise for us from Thee,
one who will protect
The train to Gauteng
will now depart
All aboard
Johannesburg! Pretoria!
All passengers bound for Johannesburg
and Pretoria can get on to this coach
Where are you going?
- Pretoria
This ticket is not valid, Sammy.
This was for yesterday's train
But my principal had wired you
about the change
And the name is not Sammy.
Please check. Gandhi is the name
Oh yes, Gandhi
Well, you can travel
on the coachman's seat
Aren't there any seats inside?
- Only Europeans
No natives and coolies. Sammy, you
can take my seat next to the coachman
I will travel inside.
Get on, or we leave without you
C'mon! Ya, ya!
Ya, ya! C'mon!
Sammy, sit down there.
I want to set out to Navesburg
I will do no such thing.
You forced me to sit out here
This is now my seat.
- Be quiet, you coolie bastard!
Get down, you!
Start the coach!
Filthy black bastard!
Trying to emulate gentlemen, eh?
- Stop it!
Stop it this instant
or I report you
Enough is enough! Let him be.
- Well...
are you going to let him,
or aren't you?
Yes sir?
- Get down there. I want to smoke
May 1893
Mr Gandhi! Come in
I hope you had a pleasant journey
Hardly pleasant, Mr Baker.
- Please take a seat
I can't find a single hotel
that will take me in
I'm afraid there's a fearful amount
of colour prejudice here
I may be able to find you lodgings
But I'm afraid they may not be
upto your standards
I know a poor widow who will take
you in, because she needs the money
Should we go and take a look?
So when do I start work, Mr Baker?
- Oh yes
It's a pity we won't be able
to use you as a barrister
But you can assist me in communicating
with Mr Abdullah...
that will make things easier
Are you a Mohammedan like Mr Abdullah?
- No. A Hindu
I'm afraid I don't know much about
my own religion and even less so others
I'm keen though to make a study
of all religions
Good, good
Some of us meet everyday in the church
at one o'clock to pray together
Perhaps you'd like to join us.
- Yes
Let us pray
O gracious and most merciful Lord...
we pray that You will show the
true path to the new brother...
who has come amongst us
And grant him, O Lord,
the peace that Thou has shown us
And may the Lord Jesus Christ, who
died upon the cross to redeem us...
from our sins and to save us
from damnation, save him also
And all this, we pray in the name
of our Lord Jesus Christ and Saviour
- Amen
What is that you are wearing
around your neck, Mr Gandhi?
Is it some kind of talisman?
- Oh, that is from my Mother
Is it of religious significance?
- Yes, in a way
Superstition. You shouldn't be wearing
charms around your neck, Mr Gandhi
Why don't you take it off?
- It will wear away with time
All this binds you to superstition
and ignorance
You should free yourself
from it, Mr Gandhi...
and come to Christ.
- If I am called, I will
God bless you
Hey you! Where do you think
you are going, you coolie?
This is the house of president Krueger.
No coolie is allowed on the pavement
What do you think you are doing,
pushing him off like that?
I told him this was the house
of President Krueger, sir
No coolie is allowed on this pavement.
- Are you all right, Mr Gandhi?
Do you know who this is?
This man is a barrister
A man of a very high status
Such men should be taught a lesson.
Why don't you take him to court?
I will be glad to testify.
- No, I don't wish to charge him
He is only following orders.
All coloured men are the same type
Did you hear that?
- Sorry sir, I was only doing my duty
That was a very
Christian act, Mr Gandhi
Is forgiveness a
Christian monopoly, Mr Baker?
Salaam, Tayab Seth
Who are you, young man?
- I'm Mohandas Gandhi
I'm working on Seth Abdullah's case
against you
Oh! And he asked you
to come and see me?
No. He asked me to avoid you
if I could
He's afraid you might
influence me in your favour
My cousin is a very suspicious man
May I make a suggestion?
Wouldn't it be better for both of you
to come to a mutual agreement?
With Abdullah?
- There's no harm in trying
You don't want to spend your time
and money on a court case, do you?
All Abdullah wants
to do is ruin me
How can I come to an agreement
with Abdullah?
He expects me to sell off my assets
and go bankrupt to repay him
Do you know what that will do
for my image in my community?
Will you at least consider it?
- Considered
Have some sherbet
Thank you
I've heard that you have a lot
of influence over the Indians here
Somewhat. Why?
It would be good to discuss
the problems Indians face here
I've been here for two days
and it's been... difficult
Do you think you could arrange
for a meeting?
I think it would help.
- I think so, too
To your left, Gandhi-bhai
I see the road bothers you.
- Why? Doesn't it bother you?
Gandhi-bhai, many things bother us
but the government just doesn't care
I live with an English lady.
Her street is very clean
It would be. The municipality cleans
those areas, they don't clean ours
Why? Don't you pay your taxes?
- Sure, we do
They will still not clean our roads.
- Then we should do it ourselves
You are a strange young man
My cousin hires you to fight a case
against me, and yet you befriend me
And now you want me to pick up a broom
and sweep the streets
What else would you have me do?
- Reconcile with your cousin
Friends, may I have
your attention please?
We are gathered here to say farewell
to our dear friend Mohandas Gandhi
He has been with us for a few months,
and in this short period of time...
he has endeared himself to us
He has achieved a great deal
He has got Abdullah Seth and
Tayab Seth to talk to each other
And I'm very pleased
to mention that they have agreed...
to settle the case
out of court
Gandhi-bhai, you are
a real miracle-worker
He has got our people in Pretoria
to get together...
to talk about their problems
and find solutions to these problems
Gandhi-bhai, we will all miss you...
- One minute, please
Gandhi-bhai, do you know anything
about this bill?
What bill?
- The new Indian Franchise Bill...
before the Natal parliament
How does that concern us?
- It does, Rustom kaka.
You are about to lose your vote
What use is the vote to us anyway?
Harry Eskam got us to vote for him once
And he won it. Since then
we haven't voted for anyone
How does it matter now
if they take away the vote?
This is the first nail in the coffin.
First you will lose your right to vote
Then your right to trade,
your right to property...
and finally, your right to
remain here as British citizens
You mean they will kick us all out?
- We must consult with Harry Eskam
Harry Eskam is the one
who has introduced the bill
Then you must take the case
How can I? I shall be leaving soon
But there are so many young educated
Indians here who can take up the case
There are, but they are Christians.
- So what?
Let us be frank. They are not like us.
- What difference does it make?
Has it mattered that he is a Parsi
and you are a Muslim and I a Hindu?
Why should it matter whether
they are Christians or that...
they speak Tamil or Telegu?
- Stay, Gandhi-bhai
Postpone your going. I think
you will be able to do something
Are you worried about the money?
- We can pay. What are your legal fees?
Don't worry, all of us can pay.
- No, I shall not take any fees
But I shall need money
for other things
The first thing to do is to
get the speaker of the Assembly...
to postpone any further discussion on
the bill until we present our petition
Then we must get signatures
to the petition from all Indians...
including Christians
And I'm going to need help
from all of you
So you will stay?
- Yes, but only for a month
Good morning, Mr Eskam.
- Good morning, gentlemen
What brings you to my neighbourhood?
- House renting, sir
Mr Gandhi is going
to be your neighbour
He's moving into a house
just down the road there
Well gentlemen,
let me not detain you
Mr Eskam, I wonder if I could speak
to you about a matter
Mr Gandhi is applying to register
as a barrister
Would you mind proposing his name?
- Well...
We will pay your usual fees of course.
- Of course
That won't be necessary. Mr Gandhi,
I'll see you in my chamber
I must apologise for this informality.
- It's all right
He seems reluctant
Don't worry, he'll do it.
He's in our debt
Your Honour, I oppose the application
on behalf of the Natal Law of Society
I beg to submit, the legal profession
is reserved for Europeans
The law, as it stands,
makes no distinction...
between Europeans and others
The court has therefore
no authority...
to prevent Mr Gandhi being enrolled
as an attorney
We admit his application
Mr Gandhi, you can take the oath
I... state your name
I, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi...
do swear...
- do swear...
that I will truly and honestly
demean myself...
that I will truly and honestly
demean myself...
in the practice of law...
- in the practice of law...
according to the best of
my knowledge and ability...
according to the best of
my knowledge and ability...
and further...
- and further...
that I will be faithful
to Her Majesty's colony of Natal
that I will be faithful
to Her Majesty's colony of Natal
You must now submit to
the rules of the court...
with regard to the dress to be worn
by practicing attorneys
You can't wear your turban
As Your Honour pleases
I don't understand. Why did you take
your turban off? Earlier you refused
I was a visitor then,
I'm an officer of this court now
I cannot disregard a custom.
- Yes, but I still think it's important...
not to compromise on matter
of principle, Gandhi-bhai
The principle may be the same
but the circumstances are different
Gandhi-bhai, the point...
- Rustom kaka...
why quibble on minor matters?
There are larger issues at stake
There's still lot to be done.
And you think a month
is going to be enough?
I think maybe you'll have
to stay longer
I've already considered that.
It has taken more than a month...
to get 10,000 signatures
We need to form a regular association
Something like
the Indian National Congress
the Natal Indian Congress is born
on this day... August 22nd, 1894
I thank you for electing me president
And with Gandhi-bhai at my side
as honorary secretary...
my task will be made easy
would you like to present the aims
and objectives of the Congress?
Our first aim is to bring about
better understanding...
between people of colour and...
- Speak up, please. We can't hear you
Our first aim is to bring about
better understanding...
between people of colour
and Europeans in the colony
Second; To spread information about
Indian conditions here
Third; To hear our grievances...
and resort to constitutional means
in resolving them
Fourth; To enquire in to the
conditions of indentured Indians...
and to have them overcome
their hardships
Natal Indian Congress.
M.K. Gandhi, Attorney
This office is for helping Indians,
they told me so in the bazaar
Oh dear! What happened?
On the chair!
Mr Peters is my master.
But he's not a good man
This morning he beat me and beat me
See, two teeth are broken.
- Oh dear!
You must help me,
or else I will die
He is a Girmithiya,
he is indentured to one Mr Peters
First let's get a doctor to dress
his wounds. Try Dr Bose
And make sure you get a certificate
about his injuries
Don't worry, we'll take care of you
We'll take you to a magistrate
and lay a complaint
Then we'll get you released
from your contract
Then find a new kind master.
What's your name?
Balasundaram. I have no money
It's all right, we have money
There are many others like me
Jadhubansi, why did
your employer beat you?
I was gone mad, sahab
My baby was burnt
My master gave no medicine
Everyday my baby cried in pain
Where was your baby?
In the stable.
- In the stable?
We sleep in the stable
How many of you?
- Eight, sahab
Eight women?
- No. I'm the only woman
All the others... they are men
They are three Girmithiyas
and four natives
And your baby was all alone
in the stable?
I was... I was only allowed
to feed him at midday
Hurry! The mistress wants you.
- Let me feed my baby. He's hungry
Hurry! She wants you just now
You clumsy girl!
Now look what you've done!
You will go without rations and wages
for a week
What are you looking at?
My baby died, sir
I couldn't go back to work
So they beat me
And they kicked me.
For three days they
didn't give me no food
What would you like to do now?
- I will not go back to that master, sahab
They put me in jail four times
because I couldn't go back there
I will stay all my life in jail
but I will not go back to that master
Is there nothing else
you'd rather do?
I will go back to my village
I didn't want to come
They tricked me
Will your people take you back?
They are my people, sahab
They are my people
Your Honour, I request that
Jadhubansi be released in my custody
And that an order be made
for her repatriation
So be it. Granted
All our time is being taken up
with cases of indentured labourers
Jadhubansi can be sent back
because she has people back in India
There're so many people like you, Vincent,
this is the only country they know
Employers only see them as contracted
labour for 35 pounds per annum
Either they work for their employer
or they get shipped back
And those that remain here are forced
now to pay a toll tax of 25 pounds each
It's terrible to ask a family of four
to pay hundred pounds
It's inhuman. The entire system
of indentured labour is evil!
I will petition the Viceroy in India
when I get back to Bombay
Maybe I shall inform the members
of parliament in England too
Vincent, perhaps I should
write a pamphlet
Why not?
Incidentally, when are
you bringing your family over?
As soon as I wind up
my affairs in Bombay
Off Durban Harbour,
Captain Mill!
Captain Mill! Can you hear me?
Yes, I do. Can I land my passengers?
No, not yet.
You're still flying the Quarantine flag
Just a formality, sir.
As we left Bombay, plague broke out
You only left Bombay
eighteen days ago
You will remain quarantined in midstream
until further notice
Why aren't they allowing us to land?
No, it's nothing. Stop worrying
It's Dada Abdullah's ship,
he's bound to do something
But what if they don't
allow us to land?
What will happen then?
Have we done the right thing to come?
Why did you have
to write that pamphlet?
Mr Gandhi came to the colony...
and enjoyed all the privileges
the colony could afford
Instead of facts, he has written
a scandalous pamphlet against us
He has dragged us into the gutter...
and painted us black and filthy
as his own skin
There are thousands of coolies
on those two ships out there...
ready to invade the colony
and take over our jobs
They must be sent back.
The government is refusing to do so
Why? Because they are
Her Majesty's subjects
Order. State attorney
Mr Eskam is here
I can assure you that
the government is with you
The entire legislative assembly
is with you
But the laws are not with you
We will pass new laws to prevent
Indians immigrating to the colony
What about the coolies on the ships?
As far as the Indians on the Quoelend
and the DRA are concerned...
we will keep the quarantine up
until they leave of their own accord
I have with me an ultimatum from
the Anti-lndian committee...
which is being formed to prevent
the landing of your passengers
I must inform your passengers
of its contents
All passengers who are desirous
of settling in Natal...
are ignorant of the state of feeling
here in Durban
But we have it from the
Attorney General Harry Eskam that...
if you people are willing to return to
India, the colony will pay the expense
We desire an answer before the ship
comes alongside the wharf
Whether you elect to return to India
or force a landing against...
the thousands of men who are ready
and waiting to oppose your landing.
Silence! Silence!
You cannot be stopped
from landing, legally
You are being quarantined.
We are now to anchorage for 26 days
And each day costs my company
150 pounds
That does not matter.
What is important is our dignity
I will fight with you
to the bitter end
Quarantine, or no quarantine,
you will all disembark
The government is responsible
for your safety
We have every right to land
and we will land
Please inform the Anti-lndian Committee
that we do not agree to return
We are now ready to effect a landing
I have instructed my men not to
allow any demonstrators on board
If they do, the Union Jack
will be lowered and presented to them
They dare not molest you
if we surrender the flag
I ask you to be calm,
and don't panic
Good luck to you all
Let me pass, please
Fellow citizens,
you have won your battle
The government bows to your wishes
The legislative assembly will pass
the necessary legislation...
to restrict future Indian immigration
You will soon be armed with this law
But you do not have this law now.
So you must allow these Indians...
to disembark peacefully
Go back to your homes now
and leave the rest to your government
Mr Gandhi! A message to Mr Gandhi!
- Yes?
Mr Eskam has sent me a note. He doesn't
want me to land with the others
He wants me to leave after dark
with police escort
You'd better go ahead with the boys,
I'll join you later
No, we go with you.
- Don't worry about me
I'll be all right. Dada Abdullah
is waiting in his carriage
He will take you to Rustom
kaka's house. Here, take this
- Hari, hold Mani's hand
Now, carefully
I'm Lawrence
Mr Abdullah sent me to ask
why you are not going ashore
Mr Eskam has asked me to wait until
dark and only leave with police escort
Nonsense! Are you a thief
to steal away in the night?
The town is already full of talk
of how scared you are
Why? I have nothing to be afraid of.
It's just that...
Mr Eskam has shown concern and
I have deferred to his request
Deferred to Eskam?
Do you not know that he is behind
the anti-lndian demonstrations?
If you sneak away in the dark,
he will have proved that you are a coward
Well then, let's go
Gandhi! It's Gandhi!
Mr Gandhi...
Mr Gandhi, are you all right?
Those hooligans. You should have
them all arrested
I couldn't let that crowd attack you.
You should lodge a complaint
My husband will gladly
record your statement
I think I've been vindicated
Their act of violence was just
a result of their ignorance
I must get to my family.
They will be anxious
Of course. I will have you escorted.
I'm superintendent Alexander
And this is my wife. See to it
that Mr Gandhi gets home safely
Thank you
I'm sorry you were assaulted. I apologise
on behalf of the people of Durban
The Prime Minister of England
has cabled us that...
your assailants must be prosecuted.
Are you able to identify anybody?
Perhaps one or two. But I do not
wish to prosecute them, sir
They were only acting on
the information given to them...
by their leaders, which includes
yourself and the government of Natal
Will you or the government of Natal
prosecute yourself, sir?
If you had followed my advice
there would've been no attack
I should not have doubted
your intention. That was a mistake
Mr Gandhi, a word of friendly advice
This is not England or even India
Here, in South Africa, the interests
of the European settlers come first
Otherwise we stand to lose
everything to the natives
Her Majesty's government
knows this, and so should you
Writing that pamphlet
was not a wise thing to do
In such matters, sir,
it is better not to be wise
"And so we settled down
in South Africa"
"Bapu's law practice was doing well"
"And his involvement with the Indian
cause kept him very busy"
come here and take this inside
Don't be clumsy
"But he seem to have changed"
"Having other people serving you
hand and foot"
"now appeared wrong to him"
"He wanted to live more simply"
"But this was not so easy
on our children or me"
Why are you keeping him
from his studies?
If the boys are going to do all this
when will they study?
And when are you sending
them to school?
We've gone into that before. The local
Indian schools are of no use to them
And I will not use my influence to get
them admitted into European schools
I don't want any special concessions
for my children
I'll teach them myself.
- You don't have the time
Will you give up your law practice
and everything else to teach them?
The outcaste has forgotten to clean
his chamber pot. Can you hear me?
Your outcaste has forgotten to clean
his chamber pot
So? You clean it.
- I will not
I will not clean the chamber pot
of anybody and everybody
Look, I've tolerated it so far
because of you
And now you want me to clean
the chamber pot of an untouchable?
No one is untouchable
This is so wrong! Have you
forgotten your religion, your beliefs?
Don't you care for these things?
I will not listen to such nonsense.
If you don't do it, then I will
Give it to me
Don't act as if I'm forcing you
because this won't do in my house
Your house, your wife,
your children, your guests!
All right, keep them all to yourself.
I'm leaving
You want to go?
You want to go?
Then leave now
Get out of my house this very minute!
- Leave me! What are you doing?
What are you doing?
Have you no shame? You are
pushing me out in this condition?
Where am I to go?
And just because I'm your wife,
I have to put up with your nonsense?
Just behave yourself.
What will the neighbours think?
I'll do it
And though I bestow all my goods
to feed the poor...
and though I give my body
to be burned and have no charity...
it profits me nothing
Charity suffereth long and is kind
Kastur... what is it?
What is it?
Has the time come?
- Get the midwife
Go and call Rukhmaniben quickly. Go
Is it bad?
- Yes
She'll be here soon
It's all right, don't worry
It's going to be all right.
I'm here, it's going to be all right
Okay, now just breathe hard,
breathe from your mouth
Slowly... yes, all right
Don't push so hard. Yes...
If you are going to push so hard,
you'll have a tear
I won't know what to do
All right... yes
Another boy
How are you feeling?
You would have made
an excellent midwife
Durban 1899
So the British are going
to fight the Boers
No matter who wins,
we remain exactly where we are
I still think we must support
the British
Why should we? The British treat us
not better than the Boers
My British friends assure me that
one of the issues in this war is...
Indian rights in the Transvaal.
- Nonsense
The Boers are fighting for their freedom.
Why should we have to crush them?
The goldmines in Transvaal
is what the British want to grab
That is what this war
is all about. Gold
Haven't we claimed to be British
citizens in every single petition?
This is the chance to prove it.
- Prove what?
The whites are fighting
amongst themselves. Let them
It's not that simple. We are always
being accused of being parasites
What you want us to do? March out
on the roads with those volunteers?
Are you serious?
- I don't know how to be a soldier
I don't even know how to fire a gun
Rustom kaka, there are
other ways to serve
Mother, a letter for you
Read this for me
"My respected wife Kastur"
"I hope this letter finds you
and the boys well"
Our stretcher corps
is in the thick of battle
The British army met with reverse after
reverse in the beginning of the war
And large numbers were wounded
Carrying the wounded 7 or 8 miles
on foot is part of our daily routine
Sometimes we carry badly wounded
soldiers over a distance of 25 miles
Though our work is supposed to be
outside the firing line...
the action at Spioenkop
found us in the midst of battle
The war is coming to an end
I should be back soon
Our work is being appreciated
and everyone believes that...
Indian grievances are
surely going to be addressed
The attitudes of the whites
appear to have changed
I think that my work
in South Africa is now over
We will soon be going home
Aren't these farewell gifts beautiful?
- Yes
This one was given
by Rustom kaka, wasn't it?
- It's pretty
And this... this is
a diamond necklace
From Madrasis.
- Oh Madrasis!
And this one... this gold chain.
Do you see that?
From Gujarati Hindus.
It is in your name, Ma
Yeah. This will be for your bride
Now if you have finished with
all this admiring...
please go and put that in the safe
Give it to me, Mani
What do you think?
Shall we keep all this jewellery?
Do we need such costly presents?
What do you say, Mani?
- Bapu, we don't need them
Shall we return them?
- But we would need them later
Why would we need them later?
Now will you plead them with your
mother to return these costly jewels?
Mother, we've decided.
- We've decided to give them back
If your father wants to be a recluse,
let him. You don't have to follow him
Bapu is right. Why do we need them?
- You keep quiet
I'm talking to your father
You may not, but I need these jewels
for my daughters-in-law
When the time comes, you can ask me.
- Ask you?
You are the one who sold my jewellery,
all that my Father gave me
And now you're going to get jewels
for my daughters-in-law?
I will not allow these
to be returned
And that necklace with 50 guineas.
That was given to me
What right do you have to return it?
- These jewels were given to me...
for my services to the community
Here I work night and day.
Is that no service?
I have lived like an untouchable
serving all and sundry
I'm going to write to Rustom kaka,
returning all these jewels
They should be kept in a trust
for the community
You're just a hard, uncaring man
After five years in South Africa,
we came back to India
Of our four boys,
Ramdas and Devdas were born there
Bapu established his office in Bombay
and his law practice was picking up
Just when we seemed
to be settling down...
a cable arrived from South Africa
with unsettling news
Without a second thought...
Bapu departed for South Africa,
leaving us behind
When the British took over Transvaal
we thought things would become better
But they only became worse
All of us are keen that
you represent us
They put restrictions
on our owning property here
Lands leased by us
are being confiscated
Now this new Asiatic department
that was set up to help us...
is doing quite the opposite. That's
why we sent for you, Gandhi-bhai
This Mr Farlow is an old India hand,
not easy to deal with
Mr Farlow will see you now
Good morning, Mr Farlow
This is Mr Mohandas Gandhi, Mr Farlow
Gandhi? How did he get
into the Transvaal?
Mr Alexander, the Natal
chief of police...
was kind enough to issue me
a permit, sir
Alexander must've given you a permit
through oversight
You are not a Transvaal
domiciled Indian
I have lived in Pretoria
for a whole year
That was in the Boer Republic,
not the British colony
I represent the crown here.
You may not wait on Mr Chamberlain
You may go now
How dare he insult you?
- Patience, Naidu. Patience
Just a moment, Mr Tayab
Look, Mr Chamberlain does not
want to see Gandhi again
He's already met him in Durban
Why do you insist on including him
in your delegation?
He does not live here.
What does he know of your conditions?
I suppose you do, Mr Farlow
If you can't come with us,
we'll cancel the writ petition
Don't do that. They will think
we haven't got a case
What do you mean? Allow Farlow
to treat you like this?
I'll break his bloody legs!
- Naidu, will that solve our problem?
No. Violence is not the answer,
neither are petitions and delegations
We must mobilise Indian opinion.
Yes, we need our own mouthpiece
Mouthpiece? We have you
My voice is not loud enough
I was thinking of our own newspaper
Something that reflects
our own viewpoint
My young friend Madanjeet
has a printing press
"Indian Opinion"
Show us your permit
We'll deport anyone who does not have
a residential permit
Prepare yourself
for relocation elsewhere
"Outbreak of Plague
in Coolie Locations"
Gandhi-bhai, isn't the
plague contagious?
Highly contagious
You want to leave?
- No, it's fine
"Plague Recedes. Indian volunteers
show exemplary courage"
Good morning, Mr Gandhi.
- Good morning
We read your letter about the plague
in the newspaper
We would like to offer our services.
- That's very kind of you
Fortunately, we've come to the end
of our nursing duties
Unless of course we have
new patients. Heaven forbid
Is there anything at all we can do?
I'm Henry Pollock
I write for the Transvaal Critic.
- The Critic?
You are the one who wrote
on the Indian question
I stand accused. Mr Albert West.
He runs a printing press
Perhaps we can print
some pamphlets for you
Printing press? Well,
we publish The Indian Opinion
Madanjeet here manages the press
Well, as you can see he is in no position
to do so at the moment
Would you like to go to Durban
to run the press for us?
We can offer you a salary of 10 pounds
a month and a share in the profits
Well, I can leave tomorrow
if you like
Mr Pollock, perhaps you would like
to write for The Indian Opinion
Though the Indian Opinion became a
powerful weapon for the Indian cause...
Albert West was unable to keep
the paper from going bankrupt
Bapu was reluctant to shut down
the paper, and I was worried...
because it was using up
all our savings
Have you decided what you want
to do with The Indian Opinion?
I don't want to shut it down
I think I owe it to Albert. He's been
working without pay all this time
How can you afford to keep it going?
We'll have to make it pay for itself
We should not have stopped
taking advertisements
The aim of journalism is service,
Henry, not commerce
What are you reading?
- Would you like to read it?
John Ruskin
"Unto This Last"
Reading that little book, Bapu
found the direction he was seeking
I can't speak for anyone else.
But I'm willing to work without wages
It won't work!
It is better to close it down
No, I don't agree
Maybe we should reduce our wants
and live a simpler life
I think if we grow our own food
and build simple huts to live in...
we don't need any wages.
- What kind of a pipe-dream is that?
You know what Ruskin says?
The life of the tiller of soil
and weaver of cloth is worth living
Whatever the labour, that of the
barrister or that of the scavenger...
is equal in value
All labour is equal.
All men and women are equal
And the good of the individual
is contained in the good of all
I want to get a farm and
put the printing press there
The paper is a business,
it cannot be run from a farm
It's an idea worth considering. Don't
you see what Gandhi-bhai is driving at?
The Indian Opinion has not been
a business, it's a labour of love
Well, count me out of it.
I'm going back to India
I didn't come here to be a peasant
Gandhi-bhai, we are with you.
I will join you with my family
Have you found a farm yet?
Not yet. But I will
Hello there
Hello. I'm Mohandas Gandhi
Oh, Mr Gandhi! I'm Dube.
Reverend John Dube
What brings you here?
- We are planning a settlement here
Settlement? That's interesting.
- Well, we're trying to emulate you
I know of your excellent school here
and I've seen your paper...
The Alangalaze Natal.
- Yes
Your Indian Opinion and my paper
used the same press for a while
Yes, we're going to be neighbours
soon. We have a lot in common
Above all, we have God in common
Yes. Goodbye
Bye now
"Enclosed are the latest copies
of The Indian Opinion"
"From this you can get
much of the news here"
"I thought I'd return to India in a
few months but now it seems unlikely"
"If your mother decides to join me,
you are to come with her"...
"bringing Ramdas and Devdas.
Manilal could stay on in Bombay"...
"with cousin Chaganlal, to continue
his studies. Your loving Father"
But I don't want to stay here.
- Then you go with Mother
I'll stay and finish my school
Is that the real reason
you want to stay back?
I know Haridas kaka's promise
to marry Chanchal to you
I also know that the two of you
are meeting each other
Your father doesn't want you
to marry before you are twenty-one
With what are you going
to support your wife?
Once I'm properly educated, I can.
Why not?
What will I tell your father then?
Here... this way
Johannesburg Station,
December 1904
What is this?
Did you have an accident?
- Some nuts fell off the sails...
of the ship. And I got my finger stuck
in the window of the train
Very careless
We shall have to put you both right
with mud-packs
You haven't told me
why Harilal is not here
Bapu, Harilal is going
to marry Chanchal
But I had written to them that
they were not to get married...
until they were older.
He's not even twenty
Yes, but Hari was afraid that
the girl's family will not wait
If he wants to get married in spite of
what I told him, then it's his business
But I will stop thinking
of him as a son
You can't do that.
- At least for the present
That boy was conceived
in a moment of lust
It seems to have affected his nature
He who directs himself
through dedicated action...
free from attachment,
in full control of his senses, excels
He who directs himself
through dedicated action...
free from attachment,
in full control...
Shall we prepare the room upstairs
for Hari and Chanchal?
He should only bring her here
when he can support her
Why? We will look after her
A little separation
will do him no harm
The Geeta says we must be
free from attachment
You say anything
that comes to your mind
Why are we born then
if we have to give up this and that?
Kastur, to earn merit,
we must learn to give up something
Haven't we managed well
without servants?
I think we must give this house up
and go and live in Phoenix...
on our settlement
I have also decided that
from now on...
we shall use up all our savings
for community service
You want us to give up this house?
You want us to give up everything!
I haven't said we must give up
everything. But we must learn...
to live without possessions.
- But what's the point in living...
if we cannot even keep
the little what we have?
We have each other
Did I have a choice
in the matter?
You do love me
I do, for better or worse
For better, I know
Having you by my side
is the best thing in my life
After serving others, of course
What kind of pest is that?
Reverend Dube!
Has something happened?
- Twelve of our people...
have been blown up at the mouth
of the cannon by the British...
as revenge for the killing of
two tax collectors by Bombata's men
They took twelve lives for two.
- That's terrible news
What's going to happen now?
- We running in revolt...
against the poll tax. We have
a war in our hands, I'm telling you
I want to revive the stretcher corps.
- What...?
Why should we? Why should
we offer our services
to help the government to put
down chief Bombata's rebellion?
After the Boer war what did we get?
Just false promises, that's all
Gandhi-bhai, the Zulus are protesting
against the poll tax just as we are
Would you call that a rebellion?
They want to force the Zulu farmers
off their land and into their mines...
and into their plantations. That's it.
- Yes
I know that justice is clearly
on the side of the Zulus
But as long as we are British subjects,
we will have to support the government
Gandhi-bhai! Come this way!
Bring that body over there
Put it behind
Yes, leave a little space
Who did this?
These are not battle wounds.
- They were flogged
Flogged? Why?
The General ordered them
They were taken prisoner as suspects
and then left unattended...
for further punishment.
- Where is the nursing staff?
They absolutely refused to attend
to these people
Isn't it their duty as human beings?
Perhaps you and your men would help.
I know it's not part of your duties
But some of these people haven't been
attended to for four days
This isn't war!
It's a manhunt!
Aren't you coming to bed?
I can't...
get over the horror...
the suffering I've seen
on the battlefield
You know, Kastur, when I was carrying
the wounded and the dead...
I felt so small...
so inadequate
How can I help those
who suffer if
I can't share their burden of pain?
If I have to serve others,
I have to empty myself of all desires...
detach myself from all ties.
Wealth, family...
You wish to leave me?
I want to free myself...
from desire for you
Will you help me, Kastur?
I can do it
But for you to control your desire...
is like gathering an ocean
in a tea cup
This new Bill will require all of our
Indians above the age of eight...
"Empire Theatre,
Johannesburg. September 1906"
men, women or child,
to carry an identity pass
To get this pass, each one of us must
give thumb and finger impressions...
like criminals!
- No! No!
Those who do not register
before the registrar of Asiatics...
will lose the right of residence, can
be fined, imprisoned, even deported
- This pass has to produced on demand...
even when you are away
and your wife is alone at home...
the police can enter and order her
to produce her pass
Will you accept this?
- No
Today those with coloured skins
need this passport...
but those whose skins are white
need only the passport of their skins
This is the equality we were promised
by Queen Victoria
We will not submit to this oppression
I will not submit to this Bill
And if any police officer comes
to take my wife's fingerprints...
I will die before
I let him enter my house
This is the war
of principles and Jehad!
To our mission!
- May Allah bring glory!
As Allah as my witness, I swear that
I will not give my fingerprints...
or carry a pass like a criminal. How
many of you are prepared to join me?
Haji Habib has asked you to take
an oath in the name of God
Each one must search his own heart
and only take this solemn oath...
because his conscience
allows him to do so
Not under any force. No
Our demands are just
Therefore our means must be truthful
Satyagraha (Non-violent Protest)
Is based on truth
And truth means that our action
cannot be violent
Violence only begets greater violence
It does not mean that we shall not
undergo any suffering
Because it is only through
suffering that...
we can change the hearts and minds
of those that oppress us
I ask each one of you to pray silently
to God within yourself...
to give us strength
to face the struggle ahead
Please do not register!
This is a black Bill!
We don't want any of our people
to submit to it. Please go back
Please do not register.
Don't do it
This is a black bill! Leave!
Do not register
Go! This is a black Bill
It's a black Bill!
Don't register
You are a merchant, Mr Cachalia?
- I was a merchant, until a few days ago
What happened?
- Your Honour...
what happened to him a week ago
is of no relevance to the case
The accused has refused to register
in terms of the Asiatic Act...
as he is required to.
- Your Honour, I intend to show...
that the two are interrelated.
- Proceed, Mr Gandhi
Mr Cachalia, would you please tell the court
what happened to you a week ago?
My creditors forced me to liquidate
all my assets to pay them out
Since then they have refused
to give me any more goods
I had to shut down my business.
They declared me insolvent
Were you insolvent?
- No, Your Honour
I paid them out.
20 shillings to the pound
This doesn't make sense.
- Your Honour, when an Indian...
refuses to register, the matter is not
confined to the law enforcing agency
All the prejudice of
the white community descend on him
Mr Cachalia's creditors declared him
insolvent, because...
in their own words, they resented
his involvement with Satyagraha
What is that?
- Passive resistance, Your Honour
Surely, they have a point there.
All that Mr Cachalia's creditors...
wanted was the security that he remains
solvent by not dabbling in politics
Was there any danger of
your becoming insolvent...
because you refused to register?
- No, Your Honour
What is your response
to the charge against you?
I cherish my freedom and my honour
I will never register
and I will never carry a pass
Your Honour, it would mean giving up
my freedom and demeaning my person
And I would never do that
I find you guilty as charged and
sentence you to 3 months hard labour...
with the option
of a fine of 300 pounds
Why aren't you working?
- I don't like this work
You don't like this work?
You bloody coolie!
If I say you work,
you better work
You piece of shit!
If I say you work,
you work!
Oh God!
What do you think this is?
Labour camp?
Silence in court
In the case of Rex versus Gandhi, the
defendant entered the colony, and...
was ordered to register or leave within
48 hours on the 28th of December
He failed to do so
Any questions?
If the court permits,
I wish to make a statement
Please make it short
My compatriots have been tried
for the same offence
They have been sentenced to three
months' imprisonment and a heavy fine
If they have committed an offence then
I have committed a greater offence
I therefore ask for
the heaviest penalty
You ask for the heaviest sentence
under the law?
Yes sir
Silence in court
That is strictly out of proportion.
Your offence was contempt of court...
for having disobeyed that order
of December the 28th
And this essentially
a political offence
And had it not been
for your defiance of the law...
the court would have passed
a lightest possible sentence
In the circumstances, two months
simple imprisonment is fair
Victory to Gandhi Baba!
Victory to Gandhi Baba!
Long live Gandhi Baba!
Long live Gandhi Baba!
Salutations to our Motherland!
Salutations to our Motherland!
I would like you to come to my office
Are you all right, Mr Gandhi?
As well as it could be
under the circumstances
General Smuts has sent me to you
with an offer
I discussed it with the president of
your association and the other leaders
They have left the matter entirely
in your hands
What is the offer?
- I have it here
Mr Gandhi for you, sir
you are Mr Gandhi!
I'm sorry you've had
to suffer imprisonment
Suffering is part of living,
General Smuts
You know that as well as I do.
You have seen war
Yes, indeed. I understand you are
helping the British against us
And now you have come
to terms with them
You know Mr Gandhi,
I admire your people
They didn't lose heart
when their leader was in prison
They went on regardless
You can be proud of your followers.
- Yes, I am
Yet, you despise us.
- No, no, I don't. I assure you
I have studied law in England
just like yourself
Many of my fellow students
were Indians. Splendid chaps
But here, I represent
European interest
They want this law. If I defy them,
they will turn against me
That is democracy for you.
- Of course
Democracy is solely
the birthright of Europeans
I have consulted with General Bota
Once your people undergo voluntary
registration, I assure you...
I will repeal the act
No registration with fingerprints
This is an emotional issue
with my people
Where necessary, finger impressions
will have to given
But we will waive this
in exceptional cases
We will not tolerate harassment
of those who cooperate with us
General Smuts, so far we have been
dissuading people from registering
Now you want us
to persuade them to register
That's easier said than done
Well, that concludes our business
I will send you a draft of the Bill
for your comments
As of this moment, you are free to go.
- What about the others?
They will be released
tomorrow morning
I have a small problem
I have no money
How much do you need?
Just the fare to Johannesburg.
Thank you
My friends, the truth of our struggle
has forced the government...
to release our people from jail
But as a compromise they insist that
we register ourselves voluntarily
After which, the Asiatic Act
will be repealed
First the government must take back the
Black Act, only then will we register
But then the Europeans may say that
General Smuts has given in to us
Gandhi-bhai, what if Smuts
does not repeal the Act?
He said that he will.
We must have faith in him
We should not always
mistrust our enemy
Do we have to give our fingerprints?
- Yes and no
We must give our fingerprints but
those who feel that it is against...
your religion or conscience, may
just give their thumb impressions
What will you do?
- I will give all ten fingerprints
You traitor!
You have turned against us
You said that only criminals
give fingerprints
And now you want us
to become criminals!
Mir Alam, I have nothing against
fingerprints, but against being forced
If you force me to salute you,
I would be demeaning myself
But if I salute you of my own accord,
it shows my humility, my good manners
I have heard that you are getting
15,000 pounds to be betray us
We will never give fingerprints, nor
will we allow anyone else to do so
I swear,
as Allah is my witness...
I will kill any man
who applies for registration
Then you will have to kill me first
Because I'm going to be
the first one to register
Where do you think you are going?
- I'm going to register
By giving ten fingerprints?
- If you come with me...
I will get you a certificate
with only two thumb impressions
Are you all right, Mr Gandhi?
Reverend Doke!
- How do you feel?
All right
Just some pain in my chest
and my teeth hurt
Where's Mir Alam?
He's been arrested,
his companions as well
No, they should be released
That can be arranged later.
You are our concern now
I shall take you to my home.
- No, I can't
I can't.
- But you will be safer there
I have nothing to fear
How are you, Mr Gandhi?
Not well enough to make it
to your office, Mr Chamberlain
I wanted to be the first to register
I brought your papers with me
No one is willing to register
unless you do
First the signing
And then the fingerprints,
I'm afraid
You need this
Thank you
We've been betrayed! Smuts has
introduced a new bill in parliament
What are you saying?
- He has withdrawn the Black Act...
only to introduce a new one, calling
for compulsory registration...
of all Indians, even children.
- See Gandhi-bhai...
you were wrong to trust him.
- He gave me his word...
he would withdraw the act.
- You should've got it in writing
You are too trusting, Gandhi-bhai
A satyagrahi (Follower of non-violence)
has to trust his opponent...
even if his opponent plays him false
twenty times
You will one day meet your death
in satyagraha...
and drag poor mortals like us
along with you
What do we do now?
- Resume Satyagraha. What else?
I have here a telegram
from the Governor
Transvaal government regrets
determination of Asians...
to oppose new bill and announces
inability to withdraw bill
Please, please
Our demands have been rejected.
Two new bills have been passed
One to register all Asians
in South Africa
And the other to close the door...
to all those except indentured
labourers who may wish to come here
This is the most drastic kind of
legislation that could've been...
passed in the empire. If we submit
now then we shall be traitors...
to our country,
to God and to our oath
We have come here today
to get rid of our dog-collars...
to burn these certificates
of our humiliations
May I ask all those who wish to burn
their certificates to come forward?
Gandhi-bhai, I want to be the first
to burn my certificate
I was wrong to attack you as I did.
Please forgive me
Victory to Gandhi Baba!
Victory to Gandhi Baba!
Gentlemen, what are you here for?
- For our conscience' sake
Conscience be damned!
All of us together?
- Yes, all of you
What do you think? I'm going to
examine you individually?
Excuse me, sir.
I'm not feeling very well, sir
You are just too bloody fat
Some good hard labour
will soon put you right
Now strip!
Good to see you looking so happy,
Hari. It seems jail suits you
Bapu, I've been here more times
than you have
I hope this is the last time
after it is over, you must
allow me to study further
Why? You are helping our cause
better this way
Bapu, I want to prove my status,
like you did by studying in England
Why are you sending Chaganlal
to England and not me?
Chaganlal's family has sacrificed
everything to join us in Phoenix
Your cousin is single-handedly
running The Indian Opinion
His education will better our cause.
- You think he's devoted to the cause?
Once Chagan gets to England
he will not come back
Even now all he does is to complain
about us to everyone in Phoenix
Harilal does this,
Harilal does that!
And he says Mother makes the
presser boys do her personal work
All right, that's enough.
- What is going on?
No talking. Get on with your work
Disperse, all of you,
before I call the police
Mr Gandhi, you are attracting
too much attention here
We are taking you to another prison
Mr Gandhi, where are you going?
My little one!
Olive, come here
Why don't you eat?
I don't eat animal flesh
Why are you here?
You are suffering so much
What did you do?
I refused to carry the Dom pass
What about the others?
They don't want to carry them
You are ill
No, I just need some fresh air
You are a good man
Thank you
Open the door
Gandhi, your wife is critically ill
I have orders for your release. But
you must pay the fine first
That I will never do
If you will post a letter for me,
I would be very grateful
Very well
"My dear Kastur"
"I can only come if I agree to pay
the fine, which I refuse to do"
"If you keep up your courage
and take the necessary nutrition"
"you will recover
while I'm still in jail"
"If in keeping with my fate,
you pass away"
"I should only say that
I love you dearly"
"But even if you are dead,
you are alive to me"
"God willing, you will live.
Your devoted husband"
Stop pacing backwards and forwards
and wearing out the floor!
Get some sleep. You are
to be released in the morning
A small operation
will stop the bleeding
But she is very anaemic,
and she has lost a lot of weight
I can't risk giving her chloroform
have you heard what the doctor said?
If it is necessary let him do it
But first I must build up her
strength. I will give her Beef tea
Then it is impossible for me
to treat her
I will not risk her dying
under my care
Now, first we'll have to
change your diet
It would be good if you give up
salt and lentil
It will make you feel much better
You always want me
to give up things
It's only for your own good
Let it be.
Leave my lentil and salt
Why me? Even you can't give it up
All right...
then from today I shall give up
salt and lentil for a whole year
Good Lord!
Why did I provoke you?
I'll give up salt and lentil
But please take back your vow,
or I'll never forgive myself
Kastur, don't blame yourself
A diet without salt and lentil
will only improve your health
And a vow once taken,
cannot be revoked
Stupid... just stupid
Why are you so selfish?
Your vow! Your satyagraha!
Our wishes do not count.
It is only what you want that matters
It's all right, Hari
Bapu, I want to talk to you
Why don't you send me to England
now that Chaganlal...
has stopped his studies
and run away to India?
Hari, I need you here
Bapu, I beg of you to send me
to England. I can be something
I know, I can
I have decided to send
Shahpurji Adajania in Chagan's place
He is a brilliant student.
- I might have been brilliant too...
if you only let me. But you
treat us like animals in a circus
We must always dance to your tunes.
- Hari...
don't let anger get the better of you.
- We are all victims of your fads
You took a vow of abstinence
even though you are married
And yet you expect Mother
to go on serving you
You want all of us
to follow your example
It seems that I have failed you.
- Yes, you have
You are simply using us
to satisfy your own ego
If you feel that your father
has done you wrong,
then you must forgive him
You are doing all this
for the Indian community
How does living in poverty,
abstinence, manual labour...
not eating this or that,
get us our political rights?
If you had made money or
given your family a decent life...
and educated your children,
would I ask you all this?
"Bapu, I have left for India
as it has become"
"unbearable for me to be with you
any longer"
"Our differences cannot be reconciled.
Your son Hari"
I knew this would happen
Will I have stopped him?
I would never have stopped him
At least he could've said goodbye
You know he hurts easily
He's always been a sensitive boy
Then, God will do His will
I cannot sit and brood over
my personal problems
There is lots of work to be done
Lots of work to be done
Mohan-bhai, I would like to introduce
you to a well known architect...
Mr Herman Cullinburg.
He's a great devotee of Tolstoy
That makes two of us
Haven't I seen you somewhere before?
- I attended your lecture on the Geeta
I see you're not celebrating this great
occasion of the union of South Africa
Not much fun for us, Mr Cullinburg
There are still so many of us
in prison
We have nowhere to put their families.
- Herman has an offer concerning that
Yes, I own about a hundred acres
near Lorli, not far from here
It is rather neglected.
But I could let you have it...
free of rent, of course.
- You take my breath away
You see, we can now have
a second Phoenix Farm
Why Phoenix? We shall
call it Tolstoy Farm
How much longer do you intend
to keep up the struggle?
Until the government withdraws
the Anti-Asiatic Act
Mohan-bhai, there is no end in sight.
And the traders...
who have so far been funding you,
have lost heart
I have faith in our cause
So Gandhi, my boy,
I'm sorry for you
Put up a clean fight, but now
your movement is running out of steam
You know, I want peace,
but my hands are tied
The Act cannot be amended
I see no difficulty.
- The whites will not accept it
I have already conceded
everything else
You and your families
will be protected
We don't need your protection
All we want is that you
put an end to racial discrimination
We refuse to be treated as outcasts
because of the colour of our skin
You are not stating it fairly
Then would you care to state it
in your own words, sir?
Look, there are only a handful
of Europeans in South Africa
As it is, we have enough trouble
with the natives
We cannot have anymore Asiatics coming
here and causing further problems
And that is not
discrimination for you?
It is particularly bad
in the Orange Free State
The Free Staters
will not have one more Indian
No Indian would care to be
in the Orange Free State either
It's just that we will not
tolerate a racial bar
If you'll show me the Free State law,
I'll show you how you can amend it
Bring me a copy
of the Free State law
So Mr Gandhi, what are you doing now?
Looking after the families
of the passive resisters
It is no pleasure
to imprison these people
Are you still practicing law?
- No, not at present
Then what are you doing for a living?
Have you plenty of money?
I'm living as a pauper just
as the others on Tolstoy Farm
Tolstoy Farm?
- Yes. Mr Cullinburg's farm
Oh Cullinburg!
He is an admirer of yours, isn't he?
No, I wouldn't say an admirer.
He is a good friend
I must come and see the farm.
Where is it?
Near Lorli. Why don't you
come and join us?
Yes, to oppose General Smuts
Caught you! Caught you!
Smuts has pulled the wool
over our eyes again, Gandhi-bhai
The new lmmigration Act
has been gazetted
Asians will now be debarred
from the entire country...
not just the Orange Free State
Neither have they abolished
the poll tax
Rogues! Humbugs!
That's what they are
There is something new.
Justice Sol's judgement
He decrees marriages conducted
according to our religious rites...
are illegal because
they are not registered
Well, then I think
satyagraha must be revived
Our people have
lost heart, Gandhi-bhai
So many years of struggle
with nothing to show
How many satyagrahis
can we get hold of?
A few. About forty maybe
I think a handful would be enough.
We shall begin with the women
- Yes
Your wife from Tolstoy,
my wife from Phoenix
Have you heard something?
- What is it?
You are no longer my wedded wife
Who said so? You create
new problems every day
Not I, the government
Our marriage is not registered
like a Christian one
So it is illegal. Therefore you are
no longer my wife but my concubine
Where do these useless people
get such stupid ideas?
Are you prepared to fight
to become my wife once more?
You want me to go to jail?
No, I don't want you to go.
You must make your own choice
Why? Won't you ask me?
- You must make up your own mind
Maybe you shouldn't go.
Your health is not so good
All of a sudden my health
has become so important
If I can survive you,
I can survive satyagraha
If you are not successful, you may
have to go to jail again and again...
even if you find that there is no one
to look after your children
Are you all prepared for that? Because
it is not too late to change your mind
Anyone who wants to,
may stay behind
But remember that you are going to
jail not just to defend your honour...
but to fight for the rights
of Indians in South Africa
And I assure you, it's not
going to be easy
"O King of the
Raghukul Dynasty, Lord Ram"
"You are the One who purifies
all evil, Sita Ram"
"Your name is God
in any form"
"Bless us all, O Lord"
Gandhi-bhai, we have heard that
Kasturba Devi and other friends...
in Phoenix are in jail. We would
also like to offer satyagraha
Yes, of course
But they might not arrest you
If they don't, you go to
the miners and persuade them...
to strike against the poll tax.
They may not strike...
but you will get arrested
for inciting them
The government has gone back
on its word. It promised...
to abolish the poll tax but you
still have to pay three pounds...
when your contract expires or go back
to India. Are you willing to pay?
Then strike! Stop your work now.
We have left our homes for your cause
Gandhi Baba's wife and son are
in jail. Are you willing to join us?
- Then follow us
Hail Gandhi Baba!
Where do you think you are going?
Get back. Go back to your barracks
I'm warning you!
Go back, or I'll fire
Hail Gandhi Baba!
Hail Gandhi Baba!
Mr Gandhi, you must
call off the strike
Do you realise how much
we are losing everyday?
The miners are striking to protest
against the three pound tax
But what has the three pound tax
got to do with us?
If you want your workers
to come back to your mines...
then you must ask the government
to abolish the tax
But how can we do that?
That is a government matter.
We are only employers
If the workers have a legitimate
grievance against us...
we will be happy to listen to them
But you cannot ask us
to interfere with the government
The tax was imposed by the government
in your interest, gentlemen...
so that you would have captive labour
in your mines
The workers have no other weapon
but to strike
So you will not tell our workers
to return to the mine?
I'm sorry, I cannot do that.
- You have nothing to lose, Mr Gandhi
But will you compensate these poor,
misguided workers...
for the damage that
you have caused them?
There is no greater damage than
damage to one's self-respect, sir
I have met the big bosses who own
these mines and pay you your wages
They are very angry.
As long as you are on strike...
it is not correct for you to live
in the mine quarters...
and accept their rations. I will
take you all to Tolstoy Farm...
and you can stay there
until the strike is over
But please think very carefully
before you come with me
Because you may lose your jobs
and houses
But if you value your dignity and
your freedom, then come, march with me
Salutations to our Motherland!
You are all soldiers of satyagraha now
and you will get a soldier's ration
That's all I can give you.
We will march for 25 miles a day
Please, only take as much
as you can carry. Yes?
We will cross the border
and hopefully we will get arrested
You may even get assaulted...
but please remain true and firm
to your creed of non-violence
And remember, it is important to
respect other people's property
What's going on here?
The coolies are going
to be here in two days
We should shoot them before
they create anymore havoc
Not one coolie should be
allowed in town
Send them back to the mines, because
they are bad influence on the coffin
Fellow citizens, please
What are you angry about? The Indians
aren't coming to live in Folksrist
They are merely passing through.
- Passing through?
Who are you? Never seen you before.
- He's a coolie lover
We don't want any coolie booties
in town. Throw him out
What's the matter with you, my friend?
Are you afraid to fight them?
I have pledge myself to non-violence.
You must be kind to them
Why do you want to lay your hands
on innocent men and women?
Who ask only for
the removal of an unjust tax
What tax?
- They will pass through in peace...
and they will just keep on going.
That is the kind of people they are
They want to appeal to your hearts.
Please, be reasonable
I appeal to you in the name of God...
- What do they know about God?
Mohan-bhai! Trunk-call to Pretoria.
It's coming through
Please carry on
Yes, this is M.K. Gandhi. I would like
to speak to General Smuts, please
Mr Gandhi, sir.
He wishes to speak with you
I don't wish to speak to him
The minister is occupied.
May I take your message?
We are at Folksrist and we are
about to cross the border
Please tell General Smuts to
reconsider. It is still not too late
All we want him to do
is to abolish the three pound tax
Sir, they are about to march
into the Transvaal
If you agree to abolish the poll tax,
he will call off the march
Tell him to go to the devil. I do
not wish to deal with him anymore
The minister says
you may do as you please
He will have nothing more
to do with you
We only want to cross the border.
We do not want to harm anyone
We have strict orders
not to let anyone through
Wonder how long they will take to get
to the border and I don't even know...
how many of them they are.
We'll just have to wait here
I'll get that
Come in
Thank you
3000 Indian miners
are camping at Charlestown
1600 striking Indian miners marched
from Danhouse to Charlestown
1700 Indian miners have
left Newcastle for Charlestown
This is wonderful!
Gandhi! Who's Gandhi?
What can I do for you?
- I have a warrant for your arrest
You have to come with me.
- Right now?
May I leave instructions please?
- Go ahead
The police have come to arrest me
Please continue the march...
at daybreak, as planned.
And only announce my arrest...
once you have halted for rations
Let's go
You are charged with...
having brought unauthorised persons
into the Transvaal
Do you have anything to say?
I plead guilty
for having done my duty
We have petitioned and pleaded
with little or no result
I'm now convinced that our non-violent
resistance and our own sufferings...
will ensure success.
I wish to apply for bail
I object, Your Honour. I ask that the
accused be remanded until the 14th...
until I've had time to
prepare the evidence
Every prisoner not charged with a
capital offence is entitled to bail
The accused is hereby granted bail
for an amount of 50 pounds
The magistrate himself!
To what do I owe this honour?
Mr Gandhi, would you
step aside a minute?
Please carry on
You are now my prisoner
And here is a list of others
who are to accompany you
I see that I have been
promoted in rank
Magistrates are coming to arrest me.
Am I to be tried here and now?
Come along. The court
is still is session
A moment please
I'll be back soon.
Please carry on
Mr Camley!
It's you this time
First a policeman,
then a magistrate...
and now the principal
immigration officer himself
Please stand aside, Mr Gandhi.
You are under arrest
Naidu! I'm going to jail,
I may not come back to the march
Proceed straight to Tolstoy Farm.
- Come with me
And please, all of you...
- You are not allowed to make speeches
Please maintain peace and harmony
We have come to arrest you.
Please do not offer any resistance...
and come with us peacefully
to the railway station
From there you will be taken
to jails in Natal
Workers strike!
"Sanitary Workers Join Strike"
"Sugar Refineries Close Down"
Come on men,
hold your formations there
Get back to work you bloody bastards!
Brothers, wait! Don't listen to them
We will continue our satyagraha until
the government has come to its knees...
no matter what the cost.
- You get them back to work at once
I cannot order them.
They are willed by their conscience
These have just come in, sir.
- What are they?
Bombay, Calcutta, Madras...
Delhi, London, Cape Town, Johannesburg,
Durban, Pietermaritzburg...
and this batch here
from businessmen and farmers
One from the Prime Minister,
Mr Chamberlain
The president of the Indian National
Congress, Sir Ferozeshah Mehta
And one from the Viceroy.
- What do they say?
In short sir, we're
called murderers by one group...
and being blamed for ruining
Natal's economy by the other
That Gandhi.
Get me the Prime Minister
We have to call
an emergency cabinet meeting
Long live Gandhi-bhai!
Welcome, Gandhi-bhai
That reception committee
is not for you
That's because of
the railway strike.
I heard that they put
the Johannesburg station on fire
The leaders of the railway strike
want you to meet with you.
They want to make common cause with you.
Tell them I cannot, unless they
adopt non-violent means
Gandhi-bhai, her husband
was shot by the police
Please don't cry, it's all right
You must forgive me,
because I'm responsible
Your husband has given up his life
and become a martyr
Your suffering will only end when
your sisters including my own wife...
become widows like you
Don't cry
"God's true saint is he"
"who holds others' woes
to be his own"
"No pride has he"
"he speaks ill of none"
"He holds all alike
in honour"
So we meet again like
two battle-worn generals
To sign a treaty, I hope
Treaty? With you holding a sword
of passive resistance over my head?
No sword, no violence,
not even by a way of retaliation
I know, I know
It would be easier to deal with you
if like the railway strikers
You just got on with
plain old-fashioned violence
I know that
Why else do you think
we have embraced satyagraha?
You reduce me to sheer helplessness,
Gandhi. What am I to do with you?
How can we lay hands upon you?
You do not appear to be like villains
You have already sent
municipal workers back to work
You refused to support the railwaymen
strike only because it was violent
So Gandhi, what do you want?
It's all there
in our letters, General
Cullinburg's, Pollock's,
Cachalia's and mine
All your faithful followers
Not followers,
colleagues, General
The commission papers, sir
You have asked to change two names
on the commission. I cannot do that
The other points will be
put before the commission
We were not consulted, so we refuse to
appear before the commission, General
I do not mind that. But you should not
prevent others from giving evidence
What about the three pound tax?
- That will be abolished
You will find it all
in the final draft
And the marriage question?
We will recognise all monogamous
marriages contracted by whatever rites
Hindu and Muslim priests
can also legalise marriages
This leaves us with the question of
the entry of domiciled Indians...
into the Orange Free State
in the Cape
The government can be persuaded
to accept that
So, can I take this
as a provisional agreement?
Call it what you wish
But I want it in writing
this time, General
No verbal assurances,
you may deny it later
Touche! You will have
your written statement
And of course
you will be consulted...
once the Indian Relief Act
is promulgated
Well, the specific demands
in this campaign have been met
But we shall continue to fight
against racial discrimination
What if the local natives
follow your example?
They will gain their country.
- You are promising me more trouble
Not me
I plan to leave for India
No doubt we shall hear
a great deal about you over there
If I may say so, those clothes
don't really suit you
I have worn these clothes
and shorn my head...
as a symbol of mourning for those
who were killed during the satyagraha
What on earth is this?
Why thank you
I made these sandals for you
while I was in prison
They are very sturdy
You are leaving now
But it is clear I shall be walking
in your shoes for a long time
He came to a strange land
and made it his own
When he sailed for India, it was with
mixed feelings of pleasure and regret
Pleasure, because he was
returning home after many years
Regret, because it was great wrench
for him to leave South Africa...
where he had lived 21 years and where
he had realised his vocation in life
I will remain forever
a South African Indian
How can I forget
the lesson learnt...?
That, the greatest conflict
can be resolved in peace
If we allow the resolution
to come through the soul...
that, humanity is one,
intended to live in
peace and in equality