Here is Mirabehn’s account of the incident that ended in the photo below: 'One of the most remarkable episodes was at a mill where Bapu was shown around by the manager, who, at the end of the inspection, asked Bapu if he might have the leave bell rung so that the mill-hands, mostly women, could come and meet Bapu. “Of course, by all means”, Bapu said, and the bell was rung.
Immediately the machinery stopped and the building was filled with the sound of running feet. Across the rooms, along the passages, down the stairs they went, patter patter patter, and by the time we ourselves got outside, there was a large crowd of workers waiting. Bapu said a few words, then two of the women workers suddenly hooked him by the arms, one on each side, and throwing up their un-engaged arms, shouted. 'Three cheers for Mr Gandeye, hip, hip..' Hurrah! shouted the crowd, and then again and once more, for the third and loudest time.. ' (Mirabehn, The Spirits Pilgrimage)
Other photographs from this trip show similar images of the common people’s love for the man whom their government portrayed as the Empire’s chief trouble-maker. There are few, if any examples of the leader of an anti-colonial struggle whom the citizens of the colonial power held in such affection.
Gandhi with mill workers in Darwen, Lancashire, 1931
December 1931, Mahatma Gandhi with George Lansbury (1859 - 1940)
and a group of children at Kingsley Hall in the East End of London.
(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Once, in the face of hostile sloganeering in
I attach another extract from the same essay (CWMG refers to Gandhi's online Collected Works): War and Nuclear Weapons: Gandhi first spoke about the atom bomb in February 1946. One historian has suggested that he delayed speaking out because he was concerned that
GANDHI MEMORIAL MUSEUM, Noakhali, Bangladesh
GandhiMedia - extensive collection of Gandhi photographs
Muriel Lester: The East End's peace messenger
Muriel Lester was a close friend of Gandhi, a published writer, an international peace campaigner and founded community centres in the deprived areas of Bow and Dagenham in East London. However, her story has been largely forgotten...Kingsley Hall was an institution founded by Muriel Lester, with her sister Doris, which has roots going back to 1912 when the sisters ran a nursery for local children.. Over the years the nursery would expand and become a 'People's House' where local residents could study, worship and enjoy social events. Muriel and Doris named Kingsley Hall, after their brother who had died young. It is still a working community centre that caters for local youth and women's groups and hosts activities such as dancing and tai-chi. "It's a building owned by, and for, the local community," says David. Today, Kingsley Hall is best known for Gandhi's three month residence in 1931 while he was attending a major London conference on the future of India. People still come from all over the world to visit Kingsley Hall because of this connection - most recently the son of Gandhi's secretary was shown around. However, few visitors will be aware that Gandhi's stay was only possible because of his close friendship with Muriel Lester. Even fewer will know anything about Muriel.
Martin Luther King: "Gandhi was probably the first person in history to lift the love ethic of Jesus above mere interaction between individuals to a powerful and effective social force on a large scale. Love for Gandhi was a potent instrument for social and collective transformation. It was in this Gandhian emphasis on love and nonviolence that I discovered the method for social reform that I had been seeking. I do not want to give the impression that nonviolence will work miracles overnight. When the underprivileged demand freedom, the privileged first react with bitterness and resistance. Even when the demands are couched in nonviolent terms, the initial response is the same. So the nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had. Finally, it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality...If we assume that mankind has a right to survive then we must find an alternative to war and destruction. In a day when sputniks dash through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways of death through the stratosphere, nobody can win a war. The choice today is no longer between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence.." Martin Luther King, full text here: My Pilgrimage to Non-violence, September 1958
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