Lessons from India’s biggest influencer: Mahatma Gandhi

Lessons from India’s biggest influencer: Mahatma Gandhi


Today, October 2, is the day India takes a pause to remember the Father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi. Much more than being just a political figure, the Mahatma was way ahead of his time in experimenting with ideas – be it opting for non-violence, attempting to hack at the roots of caste system, promoting brotherhood in the Indian society, and more.

Influencing – in its truest sense – is not limited to social media celebrities posting content related to fashion, luxury and travel. It is in fact the ability of a figure to raise awareness, amass followers and guide them towards the right path.

Mahatma Gandhi ticks all the above boxes, and he did it for a cause – or multiple ones at that. Therefore, while we dwell upon his social, political messages and ideals, it is also important to understand his abilities as an influencer. These can be utilized to a great extent in the modern world by both brands & influencers to augment their rise.

Here are the top lessons from the life of Mahatma Gandhi for brands, influencers & people in general:

1. Believe in the message: It is important for any influencer or individual today to first have a deep-rooted belief in the message that they are trying to spread. The Father of the Nation arrived at his life principles after years of experimenting and conversations with the self and the people. His rules were strict and were implemented without any room for escape.

The belief system of influencers and brands too, therefore, should be tried and tested before they are shared with the public. This not only makes them trustworthy but also enables them to hold their own in case of a hiccup in the long run.

2. Consistency: Once the ideals are in place after testing, it is important to stick to them and ensure they are not taken for granted. While pivoting is an important factor in today’s business, the core idea should stay intact. The Mahatma did so in his own life, by calling off protests and movements when his ideal of non-violence was breached by the public.

Consistency helps in making a name for the individual, and makes them stand out in a sea of competitors.

3. Practice what you preach: Several influencers today, be it for getting hefty brand deals or any other reason, try to preach what they don’t practice themselves. This is increasingly getting called out in today’s digital & super aware world. The whole idea of being an influencer stems from the idea of doing something and then urging the public to take it up. The Mahatma didn’t just preach non-violence, he practiced it and that helped him become a better individual.

It is high time influencers follow up on their commitments & their advices, and stay miles away from proclaiming what they are not. The world today is much more annoyed by tall claims, and has various tools to bring out the hypocrisy.

4. Empathy: Empathy is widely underappreciated even today, but it is slowly gaining popularity. The Mahatma’s lifestyle is a very good example of him practicing the same. He used bare minimum resources for himself in every aspect of his life, something which resonated with the mostly poor masses in the country at that point of time.

Influencers can use empathy to form a deeper connect with the masses and improve their visibility, but as always one cannot be superficial about it.

5. Treating followers as top priority: It is very important for any influencer to treat his follower as their top priority and think about their well-being at every point of time. The Mahatma’s whole life was dedicated to the welfare of the downtrodden, the freedom of India, and establishing peace and harmony in the country after Independence.

Influencers too should give due weightage to the welfare of their influencers, and not indulge in any activity which makes them suffer – financially or otherwise. Every content being put out should spread joy, urge them to benefit in the long run and abstain from wrongdoings.

Ideas, they say, are bulletproof, and the life of Mahatma Gandhi is proof that the right ones will live on. Influencers & brands should focus on longevity and truth in their interactions with the public, and hope they can replicate the success that the Father of the Nation achieved in his lifetime.