Sunday 22 Dec 2013
A three-part series exploring the life of the holy man, Mahatma Gandhi, who stood up to the British Empire through a radical campaign of non-violence, begins this week on BBC Two.
Presented by BBC journalist Mishal Husain, whose grandparents were Muslims in India at the time of Independence, the series challenges idealised images of Gandhi.
Gandhi's non-violent philosophy has inspired world leaders such as Nelson Mandela and President Obama and yet Mishal also uncovers a man torn by contradictions – the pacifist who backed war and Jihad; the holy man branded a racist; and the political campaigner who was astute and brilliant one moment and naïve the next.
Over three episodes, Mishal chronicles the dramatic story of Gandhi's life, from the little-known but decisive early years in London and South Africa through to India, where he eventually fell to an assassin's bullet. The series features interviews with Gandhi's grandson and granddaughter and Mishal finds that India has since turned its back on Gandhi's blueprint for the country. She also discovers that he is still revered as the Father of the Nation.
A year before his death, Gandhi complained that everyone wanted to take his photograph rather than discuss his policies and he asked: "Who listens to me today?" This series attempts to answer that question.