Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Mahatma's lighter side

I watched an interesting documentary on the Mahatma in Youtube. It was in 5 parts. Here is the link for one of them

Some interesting things I learnt about Gandhi mostly his lighter side thanks to this documentary.

It seems Gandhi’s highest ambition when he first came to London to study law was to become an English gentleman. It seems he sported a top hat and silver tipped cane and even took lessons in dancing, violin and French in an attempt to become one.

In 1930 Gandhi was arrested for the famous Salt march and then released subsequently by the Viceroy Lord Erwin due to international pressure. The Viceroy offered Gandhi a chance to negotiate and Gandhi went from prison straight to the viceroy’s house. He was offered warm water as per his request. It seems Gandhi took out a packet from his loin cloth. The viceroy was curious and asked him what it was and Gandhi said in a hushed voice, “Your majesty, don’t tell anybody. This is the salt I made illegally” and added that to the water and drank it in front of the Viceroy.

Gandhi travelled to London in 1931. Apparently he travelled 3rd class and in London stayed with the poor in East London.

Gandhi was invited to the palace for Royal tea and was criticised for appearing before the king in a loin cloth. Gandhi’s response to the criticism was “The King was wearing enough for both of us”

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