Today is Independence day here in India. 65 years ago the British government partitioned India and Pakistan, recognising them both as separate nations.
One of the prominent images that I see is that of Mohandas Gandhi (Mahatma is not his name, but a title meaning “Great soul”), the main leader in the peaceful protests to gain Independence. His influence here is staggering and this day is highly significant here. His face appears on all the currency, his birthday and the date of his assassination are both national holidays and each town’s main road is named in his honour.
Recently I heard something terrible about him. During his time in South Africa, Gandhi studied the Bible and was looking into the possibility of becoming a christian. He managed to find a small church nearby, but because of the colour of his skin, the English man at the door didn’t let him in.
From that moment on, he gave up the idea of changing his faith. He couldn’t resist the Bible however and took a lot out of it, but never again did he think of making Jesus his one Lord and Saviour. When pressed by a missionary about this, he replied, “Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ.” (source)
It just breaks my heart to see that someone who changed a nation loved Jesus but could not stand his bride. I can’t imagine the revival which would have taken place if he’d been allowed in and had an encounter with God. Instead what India is today is predominantly Hindu, with many believing in a pantheon of gods. I’ve heard that some of those who accept Jesus as Lord do not see him as the only God, but merely add him to those they already know as Gandhi did.
Recently I saw on TV that there was a poll for the greatest Indian to coincide with today, but they had to exclude Gandhi from competition, as it would have been a walkover. One of the final candidates was Mother Teresa.