Skip to main content

Wit is mightier than prejudice

How does a 'Mahatma' a great soul differ from ordinary people? 
His witty handling of an obnoxious teacher may help throw some light.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi studied law in England from 1888 to 1891 where he attended The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, in London.

Mr. Peters was one of the many people who taught at 'Inner Temple'. He disliked Gandhi ji intensely and made no effort to disguise his animosity and prejudice against Gandhi ji and tried to insult him at every opportunity.

Gandhi ji may have been puny in looks but was a giant in intellect. He refused to be cowed down and always put forward original arguments and approaches which led to numerous confrontations with the arrogant Peters.

One day, Mr. Peters was having lunch at the dining room of the University, and Gandhi ji came along with his tray and sat next to Peters

Peters said, "Mr. Gandhi, you do not understand.  A pig and a bird do not sit together to eat."

Gandhi ji looked at him as a parent would a rude child and calmly replied, "Do not worry professor. I'll just fly away," and he went and sat at another table.

Peters, reddened with rage, decided to take revenge on the next test paper, but Gandhi ji responded brilliantly to all questions.

Peters, unhappy and frustrated, asked him the following question.  "Mr. Gandhi, if you were walking down the street and found a package, and within was a bag of wisdom and another bag with a lot of money, which one would you take?"

Without hesitating, Gandhi ji responded, "The one with the money, of course."

Peters, smiling sarcastically said,  "I, in your place, would have taken the wisdom .  Don't you think?"

Gandhi ji shrugged indifferently and responded, "Each one takes what he doesn't have."

Peters, by this time was fuming.  So great was his anger that he wrote on Gandhi ji's exam sheet the word "idiot" and gave it to Gandhi ji.   

A bully always seeks a reaction, but a wise man does not react rather he responds.
Gandhi ji took the exam sheet and sat down at his desk trying not to react to the provocation, but the intellectually combative Mahatma had to respond. He remained calm as he contemplated his next move.    A few minutes later, Gandhi got up, went to Peters and said to him in a dignified but sarcastically polite tone, "Mr. Peters, you signed the sheet, but you did not mention the grade."

My thanks to Mr. Harbans Singh Khanduja for this piece

Against the assault of wit and laughter, nothing can stand.


  1. very interesting, informative, enlightening. thank you, sir, shree gurvinder singh ji.

  2. Thank you Sir for sharing this Fantastic post on Gandhiji's Life ! Best Wishes for GuruPurab. Best Regards


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

False opinions are like false money

False opinions are like false money, manufactured first of all by evil men and thereafter circulated by honest people who perpetuate the crime without knowing what they are doing.

 ~ Joseph De Maistre

What are SOP or Standard operating procedures?

I wear many turbans, serving as a teacher, consultant and advisor to many organisations most of whom are quite sincere in their efforts to improve performance and profitability. 
Sincerity is key for success, as are the attitudes, skills and knowledge, of people. Yet organisations fail to succeed primarily because of a lack of good and relevant management systems.
Good or bad, every functioning organisation evolves a culture a system and a way of doing things. 
Good systems are well thought out and are relevant. They delight customers, improve morale and helps the bottom line. Customers are usually delighted by high quality of products and services, and prompt deliveries.
Their design is robust and effective, preventing problems and facilitating rapid correction with minimum heartache and headache. 
Bad systems on the other hand lead to bottlenecks and paralysis, caused by too much centralising of work or a large lumbering bureaucracy.  
Centralising occurs when organisations and systems r…

Freedom and Security

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." 
 - Benjamin Franklin