Mahatma Gandhi, the father of India, is to grow in popularity in China thanks to a new Mandarin translation of his autobiography.
The Story of My Experiments With Truth, first published in serial form between 1925 and 1929, in which Gandhi covers his life from early childhood through to 1921, is to be translated into Mandarin.
Scholars say the independence hero (1869 – 1948), who was the leader of the Indian nationalist movement against British rule, is growing in popularity in China where people want to know more about his religious, social, economic and political ideas.
It will be the first time his life story, which has already been translated into more than 30 languages, will be available in the country. Some of Gandhi’s writings on satyagraha – his non-violent philosophy – religion, politics and his speeches will also be translated.
BBC News reported that a team of academics at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou will translate and publish Gandhi’s works in China.
Team member Dr Huang Yinghong said: “A lot of people, especially the young, in China are interested about Gandhi’s work but unable to find anything in the local language.”
Professor Shang Quanyu of South China Normal University in Guangzhou and a Ghandi expert, said the leader’s non co-operation movement against British rule in 1920 piqued the interest of Chinese rulers. Up until around 1950, many books and articles on Gandhi where published in China. He was even called the Rousseau and Tolstoy of India.
But the rise of communism in China saw Ghandi’s popularity wane. “Gandhi’s advocacy of non-violence and class harmony was out of tune with the Maoist ideology and political climate inside China,” Professor Quanyu told the BBC.
But China’s economic reforms, to turn the country into a market economy, led to renewed interest in Gandhi.
Gandhi expert Pascal Alan Nazareth said: “China’s Communist ideology rejects religion, but the role of religion in creating a harmonious society is now a matter of great interest at intellectual and policy making levels in China. For this they are looking at Gandhian and other doctrines.”
Key Gandhi quotes
“Where there is love there is life.”
“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”
“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.”
“A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better and greater than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.”
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”