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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 September, 2003, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
Politician ordered to read Gandhi
By Sampath Kumar
BBC correspondent in Madras

A judge in southern India has ordered a politician to brush up on the teachings of the country's pacifist independence leader, Mahatma Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi: Revered for non-violent resistance to the British

A Ranganathan, a senior opposition member from the city of Madras (Chennai), was in court to face charges of intimidating behaviour.

The judge in the case granted him bail - and then told him he must spend five days in the museum of Mahatma Gandhi in the city of Madurai.

Last week, the court ordered Mr Ranganathan to buy Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography, My Experiment with the Truth.

Read it... and prove it

The judge said Mr Ranganathan must familiarise himself with the great pacifist's writings, so that he could reform himself and serve his constituents more effectively.

Mr Ranganathan has been accused of threatening another person in a land dispute.

The court has asked him to produce proof that he has been reading Mahatma Gandhi's book, and to sign the visitor's register in the Gandhi museum every day from 22 September to 27 September.

Mr Ranganathan told the court he had finished reading the first 56 pages of the 560-page autobiography.

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